Thoughts on Blogger

2009/04/02 08:39:00
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Well, it looks like the slow connections I’ve been experiencing with Blogger may be enough to push me back onto my own server. B2Evolution was good to me when I ran it, so I’ll use that software for blog entries. The photos I’ll probably keep on Picasa, but I haven’t given them much thought.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to run my own server for web hosting. It is in the small challenge of doing so that I find some joy. Funny to think that the systems administration that I do could be considered a “hobby”?

There are other things I want to do with the server as well, like limited file sharing, that I have a hard time doing with Google Docs.

So, thanks to a tip from a friend, I’m looking at ServerADay for a discount server that will meet my hosting needs. I’m waiting for one in the $20 range if I can get it. This is a far cry from the almost $100 prices at Serverbeach or the $79 servers at Layered Tech.

Once I get a server, the next issue will be moving the blog over to whatever software I end up using. I’m planning on keeping my Calendar and Email on Google Apps for now, as, with slight annoyances, they’ve been serving me well.

I’m thinking that moving to Blogger was a good experiment, but it did not garner the benefits I had hoped for.

Little Projects on Blogger

2009/01/05 21:52:00
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In my effort to deal with the economic crisis, I’ve began looking at lower cost alternatives to renting my own server. I would like to affirm that eSecureData is an excellent hosting service that has given me far more than I could have expected. Their prices and hardware offerings definitely eclipsed those of Layered Tech.

At this point, though, with the availability of services like flickr and Picasa, I no longer need the disc space for my photos that pushed me to begin renting a server. Also, with the services and amount of space available on Gmail, I no longer need a server for my mail either.

So, I’ve gotten myself a Google Apps Account and am moving items over to Blogger as you read this. I’ve been running Gmail, as part of Google Apps For Your Domain, for more than two weeks now and am quite happy with the results.

This will save me roughly $65 per month on server rentals and free my time up a bit. If you need a simple web hosting service with email, I heavily suggest Google Apps.

Changes to the server and site

2007/06/21 01:01:00
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No doubt, you’ll have noted some changes to the web site.

On Monday evening I rented a newer, cheaper, server from Layered Tech, saving myself about $20 a month. I told them to keep the old server online until the end of the billing cycle, figuring I had about a week to pull my data off of the server and make sure this one worked ok.

The end of the billing period was yesterday. I scrambled to get the data off of my server and onto the new server before the folks over there obeyed my direction to “shut it off at the end of the billing cycle”. Yeah. That was smart, so I made some changes while I was at it.

The new server runs CentOS 5, a newer, more up-to-date version of CentOS. It includes all kinds of goodies under the hood that will likely go unnoticed by visitors and bystanders, but it will allow me to do some things that CentOS 4 was holding me back on, mostly with PHP and Ruby on Rails. I like tinkering with my computers, and having the interpreters that work with the software I want to play with helps.

I’ve also got an (almost) fully functional web server. I still need to edit the skin for this site a bit, as well as load all over the old blog posts (that’ll take a bit), but all in all, I’m pretty close to being done for now.

As far as the site is concerned, gone is the ever growing list of projects that I did not have enough time to document with its own set of articles, wiki entries, and blog entries. I realized that I put everything into the blog and can handle it with categories and tags rather than creating an increasingly chaotic wiki.

Let me know what you think. Old blog posts should be back up soon.

Photos may take a while.