Miker

17th level Hacker

Resurrection

This blog has been dormant for a long time, but I’ve decided to start it back up. I created the site cause I wanted a Wordpress install I could test my PalmOS based mobile blogging client against. But once I had the site up and running I started tossing all sorts of random stuff in. Everything from my own thoughts on scalability to summaries of events about the FabLab. However, after a few years of tossing all sorts of random stuff in here I started to really focus on mobile, so I created a mobile specific site called This is Mobility so that I wouldn’t have everything all jumbled together. Then with so much interesting stuff happening in mobile this blog eventually fell into disuse. And it’s remained unused since 2006.

Recently I’ve felt getting a little more randomness going again is a good idea. And I’m really happy I kept all these blog posts around to read, so I could get a peek back into my mind 10 years ago and remind myself what it was like. When I started reading through these posts I figured that’s all I would do, read and then put it aside. But I realized how different my thought process was a few years ago. And not just cause I was young and naive, but because I was looking at things without the encumbrance of much bias. ”Beginner’s mind” is probably the best term for it. That beginners mind decided that Linux and open source were a good bet for building online services. And that beginners mind decided that homesteading a spot in the mobile world was a good idea back in 2003. I wouldn’t pass on getting a bit more of that beginners mind, and it seemed like writing here again could help with that process. With the site being 10 years old, it seemed somehow proper to bring it back.

Of course, some updating needed to be done. While I love Wordpress for some things, I’m also getting tired of it getting exploited and abused cause I pay so little attention to it. It’s my own fault for not updating it, but I really like the option of swapping to something I don’t need to pay attention to instead of modifying my behavior. So I swapped over to using Octopress, which uses post files written in markdown to generate the site as a static set of pages (hat tip to Tony for the suggestion). Thanks to a fantastic set of scripts called exitwp I was able to move an export of my Wordpress data right into Octopress friendly format. Yay! That should be the end of Viagra and Levitra ads randomly appearing at the end of my posts. And as a bonus I can publish the whole thing through Github Pages, and store the source in Github. Which I was doing with the rowehl.com site anyway, but had to take special care to backup the database to keep blog posts safe. Now it’s all just one repo. And cause the pages are hosted directly off Github, when I crash my personal server doing Linux distro hackery I don’t take down rowehl.com.

Also nice about Octopress - the default profile takes a responsive approach. So now my personal blog looks better on mobile than my mobile focused blog. With the way the Octopress templates and plugins are structured it was pretty easy to make some style changes, swap in some fonts that make the site look a little less amateur hour. I got rid of commenting all together and have added some share buttons instead, cause that’s how the world works now. Everyone already has their own place to speak, so why put their thoughts into my database? And again, once less thing for me to worry about.

In the end, actually not much effort at all. And I’m really happy with how it works. Now I have a place to write about all that other not-specifically-mobile stuff like cool bits of open source, programming, emerging technologies, and startups. And to remind myself just how far things have come, I dug up and posted the source code to the Treo650 blogging app that kicked this whole thing off 10 years ago.