Administrivia for August 2014

This is one of those posts I hate the most. You know when inactive bloggers inform the world about the cool changes they make to their sites and promise how they are going to blog more. Yes, those exactly.

I decided to try something new this time around. You may or may not be seeing it at the same time I do, but if you are seeing this, then my cunning plan worked out perfectly.

Rant and Reasons for Changes

Until August 14th 2014, this site was hosted on Hostgator. I was their happy customer for years, but they did something I find totally unacceptable. They sold my contact information to JustCloud, who started relentlessly spamming me about some cloud storage – a full GIGABYTE of it. After some back and forth, I decided this business practice didn’t sit well with me and besides, I wanted to try out a product of the company I work for. It didn’t help Hostgator’s case that their only response to my complaints was that they didn’t recognize the email address I contacted them from and they could not help me. Oh well, someone else gets the business then.

Enter the Cloud

Opinions expressed below are my own and not those of Google, Google employees and/or shareholders.

If you’re reading this, it’s coming directly from Google Compute Engine. There are some things I was paying others to do for me that I’m perfectly capable of doing on my own and besides, it’s a fun thing to try this new cloud thing. In the past I tried some other public cloud offers and couldn’t quite get my head around making them work. Thinking that if I get hopelessly stuck this time around, I would be able to find a person or two to help me out, I ventured into this exercise a few days ago.

As it turned out, I needed no help, since the process of getting the virtual machine up and running was easier than setting up the real physical machine. It’s still somewhat blurry in my mind how much it’s going to cost, so I may be going back to same shared costing if it proves unreasonable. It shouldn’t though.

If you’re curious what all the fuss is about, give Google’s cloud a chance. I’m sure you’ll be positively surprised how easy to set-up and use it is.

HTTPS Everywhere

One of the reasons I really wanted to move to my own server is that I wanted to add some more bells and whistles to the site that was proving unreasonably difficult in the shared hosting environment. The major one of those is I wanted to have this site available entirely on HTTPS, especially given Google’s recent push for HTTPS everywhere it only made sense I did as my employer preaches. For that I had two requirements: I didn’t want to pay through the nose and I wanted to do it myself. I managed to do both of those, through the combination of a little bit of a research, and realization that I will never run this as a commercial website with the online store, so the actual certificate “quality”, as long as all browsers accept it was just fine with me. I’m happy to report, that I paid exactly $0 for a perfectly valid certificate.

Better Mobile Experience

When I originally set-up this site in WordPress, I messed up customizing the theme in a very wrong way, which made updates unreasonably difficult. One of the sad side-effects of that was that reading my site on mobile devices was a challenge. Since I read most blogs on a mobile phone, I suspect others may do the same with mine and making the site work properly on mobile devices was paramount. I’m happy to report that, too has been addressed with this change.

There are a few more visual quirks I need to address, but I like where I am with this personal project right now.

She doesn’t care about any of this, as usual, but She was mildly (for certain values of mild) upset about the couple of all-nighters I put into this project so far.

  1. I know this is totally of the topic comment but, can i have this juniper router template/image :D

    • Those are for persobal use only for now, sorry. I have been meaning for a very long time to open up that library to the public, as either free or paid product, but I have not had enough time in the day to polish it enough to do so. Thanks for reminding me, though! :-)

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