This page lists the tech that makes this blog possible.

What runs the site

Hugo

This is the Porsche of static site generators; it’s difficult to handle at times with Go’s inscrutable templating, but its the only one around that can handle 6,000+ blog posts without taking the heat death of several universes to complete.

FreeBSD

It’s still my preferred server operating system since trying it in high school. I use cloud instances with jails to keep things secure and easy to update.

nginx

The fast, simple to configure web server and reverse proxy. Thanks to the maintainers of the nginx-devel FreeBSD port.

Let’s Encrypt

I bought HTTPS certs in the past, but this makes the process so simple. It can also now handle subdomains with little fuss.

Ansible

All the site configuration, package installs and updates are carried out with Ansible playbooks.

Bourne shell scripts

These are the glue for everything else, for podcast pages, encoding audio, scaling Retina™ images, uploading generated assets, and other tasks. No bashisms.


What used to run the site

Jekyll (2013–15)

I still think Liquid is the nicest templating system I’ve used, but alas Jekyll simply couldn’t handle all my posts. For smaller projects, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

WordPress (2006–13)

The Mac Daddy of blogging software. Movable Type had gone commercial at that stage, and Radio UserLand looked to be in its last throes, so I followed the pack to WordPress. For all the security issues and poorly written plugins, it served me surprisingly well for many years.

RapidWeaver (2005)

An intriguing and pleasant Mac application that generated static pages, but I soon ran into limitations with updating sites from different places.

Perl CGI scripts (2004-05)

I wrote my first site engine when at my first job out of high school, before university started. It used CGI, which was a terrible idea but not enough people went to it to spawn too many threads, so I avoided disaster!


How I write posts

Vim and MacVim

I’ve tried everything, and keep coming back to this legendary editor. I’m still learning new things with it even after a decade. NERDTree is still my favourite plugin.

Topre Keyboard

When I’m at home, everything is typed on this beautiful ten-keyless board I bought in Akihabara. Topres are the best mechanical keyswitches around.

Git

Each blog post and site asset is version controlled with Git, which makes updates easier. I used and prefer Mercirual/hg, but I forced trained myself to use it.

Michael Franks

I’m often writing while listening to my favourite singer/songwriter of all time. His over half a century career include albums for every mood and time of day. Incidently, I wrote all but two of his albums on Wikipedia.

Coffee shops

If there’s an environment more conducive to positive thought and writing, I don’t want to know.