www.thesysadmiral.co.uk is dead
I used to have a blog on Google’s Blogger service. I was terrible at keeping it up-to-date and I think this was down to two things:
- I found Blogger a clunky tool to use for creating a blog
- My frontend skills are weak
To address those things I decided to move my blog to something that I was comfortable using and to improve my frontend skills.
long live sysadmiral.xyz
So with a new blog comes a new domain! I love the HBO show Silicon Valley. In it the pseudo-Google company Hooli use the site hooli.xyz (the show is so meta they actually setup the site hooli.xyz). sysadmiral.xyz was my little nod to Silicon Valley and I quite like the xyz TLD.
new blog, new stack
I spent a lot of time researching what tool I could use instead. There are lots of things out there and I found that the static site builder method fit my own preferences better. It felt cleaner to me to build a static webroot and deploy that somewhere.
At the time of my research I was also playing with golang. As someone from a Linux Sysadmin background I loved the ease with which you can quickly build an isolated binary and ship to run pretty much anywhere. This led me to search for golang based static site generators and eventually Hugo.
Even better Hugo converts markdown to html! As a lover of markdown as a markup
language this was perfect. I could easily write simple markdown files, run
hugo and it would build a static version of my blog for simple hosting and
shout outs to @jessfraz
All I needed now to get things going was a hosting environment. Initially, I looked at an S3 bucket fronted with CloudFront with all of the gubbins to get me HTTPS and a custom domain. Would have been fine and cost me not very much to get my site out there.
Then I saw this:
and I was intrigued.
(btw if you don’t follow Jessie Frazelle in some way - please don’t physically stalk her - you should. This woman is one of my tech idols and is a great source of tips and information. She’s also “The Keyser Soze of containers”.)
A service that would link to my repo, use letsencrypt for TLS, build my site automatically on commit and provide CDN features? FOR FREE?! Where do I sign up…?
I honestly cannot recommend Netlify enough. It’s simple, feature rich and perfect for hosting a static site. So I set everything up and was ready to go…
a year or so later…
I suffer (quite badly recently) from analysis paralysis (or as I prefer to say procrastination stagnation).
I also have a family that I love to spend time with and so moving things over stalled. I kept umming and ahhing about the theme, the layout, the navigation. I got distracted by new things (Material Design then AMP then something else…).
In the end I had a week off with my kids and I decided I would use half a day to get the blog moved in whatever form it was currently in.
Now, I have a stack that deploys automatically and all I have to do is write markdown and commit to a git repo.
I hope that this gets the clunkiness of blogging out of the way for me.
I’m not happy with some things. I want to create my own theme so I’ll be tweaking that here and there.
But I do have a small backlog of topics I’d like to blog about coming up:
- moving to a new blog (this post)
- migrating from lastpass to passwordstore.org
- laptop as code
- terraform things
Hopefully, I’ll be better at writing up these things sooner and more regularly!
In the meantime if you are looking at tools for blogging have a look at some of the things I have mentioned above.