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After helping a friend troubleshoot issues stemming from the difference between Microsoft’s MSI and Click-to-Run installers, I am now convinced that all knowledge base articles that ask for feedback need an additional checkbox. (background, friend had legal Office 2013 license installed via MSI. Bought Project as a downloadable online. Project uses Click-to-Run installer. This article says that MSI and CTR versions cannot co-exist, and to fix the problem he needs to uninstall Office.

@ [C. R. Oldham]

1 min read
Mar 3, 2016
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Beware Amazon Teen Logins

If you pay for the privilege of Amazon Prime, Amazon has a new feature they have quietly rolled out that changes the way your family members interact with your Prime Membership. The tl;dr is that if you are grandfathered into the older method of family management that enabled you to share your Prime benefits with three adults, do not touch your Prime settings. If you change anything you will be migrated to the new Households features and you will not be able to go back.

@ [C. R. Oldham]

3 min read
Aug 11, 2018
Beware Amazon Teen Logins


C. R. Oldham

I am an experienced technologist currently working for SaltStack as Principal Engineer of the backend team for SaltStack Enterprise. While I have spent the bulk of my career in software architecture and engineering, team management, and DevOps, I did take a 6-year hiatus to start and run the Utah chapter of HopeKids.

I enjoy hiking, books, small-scale computing (microcontrollers like Arduino and ESP8266/ESP32, Raspberry Pi, Nerves), distributed and event-driven computing, as well as video games.

I work a lot in Python, run macOS and Linux, have been experimenting with Elixir, Erlang, and Go.

See the page headers on this site for various ways to communicate with me.

This site’s mascot is the “Nickelbot”, an extension of the domain name (ncbt -> Nickelbot), and warped to be the name of this blog (Nickelblog). The domain name stands for a paraphrase (“Not conformed but transformed”) from a quote from the book of Romans: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

Nickel the element is a transition metal. It is hard, but malleable and ductile when sufficient force is applied. It is resistant to corrosion, conducts electricity, and is not very reactive.

Favorite elements of the software stack