A Major Site Overhaul

21 Jan 2014

Hi, welcome to my new website. This site is statically generated with Jekyll, served with Apache, and hosted by DigitalOcean in New York City.

The Setup

I first got the idea of using a static CMS from an avalanche of replies from Don Melton. Static sites have a lot of benefits:

I didn’t feel like writing a controller script to teach Grandpa Melton’s Magneto how to run a blog, so I used Jekyll instead. Jekyll is also very widely used, making it easier to find solutions for common problems.

Migrating from Tumblr

I’ve had a blog on Tumblr for awhile, but I never really liked the service. It was hard to customize templates and images got compressed to almost nothing. Plus, they don’t offer a mass exporter, which made me nervous about putting a bunch of content there.

Since I only had 11 posts, I just opened the edit view for each of them and downloaded the Markdown source manually and pasted them into Jekyll. I’d kept the original images on my local machine, already organized by post in case I ever needed to escape Tumblr.

We’re going full RMS here

The result of this? All the data needed to regenerate my site resides on drives in my control. And the site is generated and served using open-source tools running on open-source operating systems (running on opaque firmware, but let’s just ignore that bit). Thirty years from now, if I want to, I can fire up a virtual machine of Ubuntu 12.04, regenerate my site, and view it just as it is now. That’s pretty damn awesome.