Josh's Brain Blogs

Don't Forget the Rubber Duck

As someone who didn't come into software engineering from a traditional path, it was way down the line before I first heard the term "Rubber Duck Development." Everyone else out there probably knows full well what I'm talking about already, and there's really not that much more I can say about the core principle. I will do so anyway - in short, it describes a simple trick of the human brain: when trying...

Automated Backups in CPanel

I'm a middleman when it comes to my own webserver. My sites collectively are too large to exist as separate shared hosting with a webhost, but I also want to keep them all organized together and have the flexibility of managing each individual site that would come with a colocated or private server. If you're familiar with non-enterprise web hosting at all, you've probably just said to yourself "he must be on a VPS, then," and you're exactly right.

I host only a half-dozen sites or so ( though I'm looking for more clients! ), so I've got...

The Light-Blue-Collar Programmer (with Apologies to Clive Thompson)

A couple months back, I read in Wired (in hard copy, no less, because I'm one of those weirdos) Clive Thompson's column "The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding" . It resonated with me at the time, but I sat on the article until I could also link to it, and now it's too late to really weigh in on it, because as soon as it hit the web it blew up. The post has nearly 125k shares on Facebook as I write this, in fact, and way more Facebook comments than any of their recent posts that don't involve...

Only You Can Prevent Data Fires

One of the first things I blogged about was my new-at-the-time Carbonite account , though I didn't actually write the post about the service per se , more about how their speeds were shockingly slow for my initial backup. I write about them again today because as of now, I've just finished a two-week-long process of encountering a data disaster and the slow road to recovery, and Carbonite will again be a factor (but again not the main thrust of the idea).

A backstory: long before NASes became a...

The New Alvies.org, Part Two

What you missed in part one was mostly me explaining that I like old video games and I've lived a lot of places. Full steam ahead into part two!

The Design In Practice To make this idea work, I needed to establish the requirements for the design, just as if it were a fully-scoped project. I needed the design to accomplish the following: Be completely unique, even if drawing from existing inspiration...

The New Alvies.org, Part One

I hadn't done a whole lot with my eponymous website in a decade; not as if the thing gets a boatload of traffic, but as someone who makes his living and has his major hobbies all connected to the web, it was a bit awkward to have something quite so stale. In the time since the site was last refreshed, I've learned a great deal about design and development, changed my focus personally and professionally, and lived in a great many varied places, and that's something I wanted to reflect in my own personal webspace. Hence, this new alvies.org site.

The Design Impetus...

Drupal 8 Drove Me Temporarily Mad

When I first started building my new site here, I had only one system in mind with which to run it: Drupal 8. There were a few reasons for this, but chief among them were two. First, I'd been using Drupal with a lot of success for many years to get sites with custom designs up and running quickly for both small businesses and my own needs (most recently, when I spent a brief time attempting to sell my home in Massachusetts on my own). Second, I hadn't had a chance to use Drupal 8 yet and I expected it to be light years ahead of what I was used to, and I was excited to add it to my...

Don't Trust Tech Too Much

My wife got a new car recently, a slick little 2016 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn. It's worth noting here that I will not-humbly claim that this is largely my influence - I've wanted a GTI since I was 20 years old, and now she's had two. She doesn't like me crowing about that influence, though, so don't tell...

Mmmmmmm, Text Pastries

Do you use Sublime Text ? You should, it's great. I used other tools for web development for the last ten years or so, but early in 2016 I made the change to SublimeText and I don't think I can ever go back. I was sold the first time I was able to download a community-sourced plugin to provide accurate syntax highlighting for a LESS file, and sold even harder the first time I wrote a macro to generate a bank of similar table rows with a key combination.

The coolest thing I've seen, though, might be...

Why Thumbtack Isn't Working for Me

I run the server on which this site lives as a managed VPS (with Wiredtree out of Chicago, for what it's worth - I've been with them for the better part of a decade now and have been very pleased with their service). The biggest reason I have it as a VPS is because the traffic I get over at Caves of Narshe is sufficient to make shared hosting solutions a non-starter, but the revenue that CoN brings in is wildly insufficient to run a legit private server - or, indeed, to pay for a VPS on its own. As such, over the years I've brought in a few small clients for whom I maintain and host their...

Copyright

© 2000 — 2017 Joshua E. Alvies. All Rights Reserved. More Info