New site isohedral.ca launched
Last Thursday or Friday, I finally received word from Apple that my first iOS app had cleared the review process and was going to be ready for sale soon. I wanted to have a reasonable looking web page that would serve as a home for this app, ideally powered by a modern content management system instead of my mostly atrophied ca. 1995 HTML coding skills. I didn’t want to try to get anything working from within my lab’s web space for a few different reasons, including the vague threat that the university-level IT organization was going to force all lab web servers to go dark at some point in the future. I’m still a hanger-on at ofb.net, but I figured it was time to go pro and pay a professional service that I could then badger for tech support with a clear conscience.
I then began to gather pointers and recommendations for web hosting services, with an emphasis on companies whose servers are physically located within Canada. This turned out to be difficult, but not for the reasons I had expected. I thought I’d easily find a large collection of services, all offering roughly identical levels of service for comparable prices. Instead, it was hard to find any useful information because of the intensity of SEO junk polluting google search results. And the services I did find turned out to vary widely in price and features, ranging for example from over $20 a month for 1GB of storage to $4 a month for unlimited storage.
I settled on a single provider mid-day on Saturday. I decided to register this new domain along the way, rather than simply transferring over the domain I currently own. By the end of the day the accounts were settled and the domain name was visible to the world. I still have some unsolved technical issues, notably related to email, but the infrastructure seems to be in place.
Choosing a decent CMS was frustrating and disappointing. I recognize that these systems require a significant amount of complexity under the hood, but one would hope that most of this complexity could then be hidden for simple tasks. I initially tried Drupal, but found it far too complex for everyday tasks. I threw that out, and I’m currently trying WordPress (both installed via “Scriptaculous”, which is impressive). I’m much happier with it. It has matured to offer a smooth combination of static pages and blog posts, easy handling of uploaded media, and a wide variety of attractive themes. I’m sure I’ll muck about with the guts of this current theme eventually, but it’s reasonably good in the meantime.
All of which is to say: hi. Welcome. Once upon a time I maintained a blog, based on software I wrote myself in 2000. It petered out in 2009, partly because I couldn’t be bothered to modernize the code. Now that I have a proper blog, I might very well start writing posts. Or not. We’ll see.