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Everything is new again

Sunday, 28 March 2010 news django disqus photography

It’s been 19 months since my last regular post here. I have a few excuses but I’ve come to realise that I really enjoyed writing… so I’m back. This post is a quick catch-up on what’s been happening with the site and me, and what you can expect from both of us in the future.

Well I somehow still seem to have 200 RSS subscribers so if you’re one of those, welcome back! I’m sorry that things have been so quiet the past year and a half.

The site

ASP.NET is out: The previous site was a colossal beast written in tens of thousands of lines of VB.NET and C# (about 30,000 lines of logic and then the HTML templates!) that tooks months and months to conceive and maintain. Sounds ugly but in fairness to it, it did what I wanted and it did it pretty damned fast on cheap, shared ASPNET hosting from Hostek.

One reason for dropping it is I no longer use Windows and the old site was effectively a compiled binary that needed Visual Studio to maintain. But the main reason for dropping ASP.NET is…

Django is in In the past two years, I’ve grown really attached to Django (a Python web framework). I could enumerate the benefits but there’s one metric that really puts it in perspective: at the time of writing, this site consists of 200 lines of code. Django just does so much for you that you can focus on getting things done. So I heart Django.

Comments on Disqus: The site comments have been moved off to Disqus. I could have used Django’s built-in comments but I really wanted to concentrate on keeping the site light and processing and caching threaded comments is not a simple task.

C-B-A design FTW: The current design is lazy but I like it. I’ve been getting more and more minimalistic in designs for this site over the years and I think this one will be hard to beat. It does have some (what I think) nice touches to it:

this is some code

Large pictures and blockquotes also get pulled back like that.

I’m really keen to know what you (yes you) think to the design so let me know in the comments.

Other bits and bobs:

I got a new camera! My old FujiFilm F5600 has been replaced with an awesome Nikon D5000 w/ Nikkor 18-200mm lens. I honestly thought my F5600 was good (and it was compared to its predecessor) but the D5000 just blows it away.

I have a new phone! My Nokia N95 was getting old, battery fading and the replacement battery was rubbish so I replaced it with possibly the best phone for a Linux power-user, the Nokia N900. It’s a superb phone and I’ll post more on it later.

I have a new processor! I replaced my AMD X2 4800+ with an Intel i7 920.

And of course, I have new RAM! Swapped 2 gigs of DDR1 with 12gigs of DDR3. Yum.

I have new harddisks! The 3x 300gigs Maxtor drives that I complained about multiple times have been replaced with 6x 1.5TB Samsung drives (although they’re RAIDed so I only see 6TB of that)

I have another new disk! A solid state disk! I bought an OCZ Agility 60gig SSD to replace both my WD Raptors. It’s about five times faster as the other two combined but it’s also really weird loading things without the harddisk clicking and clunking. I think they should bring that back on future SSDs.

I bought us a Acer Inspire Revo for a media center. It sits next to the telly running Boxee on Ubuntu and it’s awesome.

And lastly, I’ve been running Ubuntu as my desktop for over two years (about 30 months) and despite the occasional gripe (more of those coming soon), I love it.