Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Using CodeCommit with RStudio on Windows

Just some notes that were helpful as I'm a newbie to Git...

Assuming you're not the one responsible for granting access to AWS CodeCommit in your organization and you receive three pieces of information, something like this:

1) ssh://

2) user: ABC123

3) Private Key (see below)

The following article will be helpful:

After installing Git consider installing software like Tortoise Git for convenience. You might also want to install an SSH client like PuTTY.

As part of the AWS instructions, you'll need to edit the config file in the c:\users\<username>\.ssh folder:

Host git-codecommit.*
  User ABC123
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/codecommit_rsa

and in the same folder, the codecommit_rsa file should contain the RSA key provided similar to the one below. Note that you might have to remove extra lines that are inserted as you copy and paste this RSA key (maybe Windows \r\n vs. Unix \n?) In general, editing anything between BEGIN and END lines is a bad idea, but removing blank lines did work for me.


The AWS article documents a couple of SSH commands you can run in the Windows CMD shell (ah, memories of MS-DOS). PowerShell presumably would work as well. The -v is for verbose and is handy if you're having problems. When it works you will be happy.

ssh -v

Note that I never had to account for the public key in the public-key cryptography scheme. Presumably, as a public key, it is handled when connecting to AWS and was setup by the administrator that sent you the private key. Comments welcome!

If you're using RStudio, there is already support for Git built-in. I would suggest experimenting with RStudio using a local Git repository and then when you're ready to place files in CodeCommit, clone the empty folder as the AWS article suggests and copy in files to place them under version control.

git clone ssh:// local_proj_folder

The Git tools will recognize the .git folder and you'll be off to the races. There seems to be a whole subculture around Git so happy searching!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Life in a BioSoftTech Startup

This past year or so I've been focused on my work with a startup company creating a 3D videogame (written in Unity) using eye-tracking technology to help those with Autism Spectrum Disorder improve social skills, emotion recognition, and eye contact. Check out the website for more detail ( A more established company in the "BioSoftTech" market is Akili Interactive.

Now that the product is in clinical trials, I am moving to a part-time contract position and expect to be able to write more often here. I'm offering technical product/project management services too.