Brian's Notes

Thoughts on Stuff and Junk

A New Name and Blog System

If you’ve been here before, which you probably haven’t since this site gets hardly any traffic, you’ll notice things look a tad different, and hopefully notice a large speed boast. At least I do!

The Tech

This site used to run on WordPress. Now, WP isn’t bad, but I’ve never been a big fan. It’s always felt slow and cumbersome to use, and I’ve always wanted to find a better solution.

Then came a blog post by an Internet friend of mine Hendrik Morkel of Hiking in Finland that sparked my interest in a “hacker” style blogging system called Octopress.

What it produces is a static HTML version of your entire site that it then posts up to your hosting provider. This is different from the WordPress model where you install the software on the server, then login and use their “admin” tool to manage your site off from a database. Each page load in WordPress has to access this database and, on the fly, build the HTML that’s loaded into your browser (I know, this is nerdy). Octopress does all this heavy lifting from your computer itself, then uploads standard ole' HTML files. This mean zero processing load on your server (aside from the negligible resources needed to server HTML).

In the end this makes the site faster… way faster.

Along with that mojo comes a “responsive design”, which means that it’s flexible based on the screen size (more accurately the browser size) you’re viewing the site in. This means the site will look nice on all devices big and small. Bonus.

The workflow takes some getting used to though. You don’t just log into the “admin” and crank out a blog post. Since the posts are held on your computer you write there. Take for instance, right now, I’m writing this post in iA Writer on my computer. Once done writing this post I’ll save it off, generate the new site, and post it to the server. It may seem like a lot of hoops to jump thru just to post something on the site, but what it gives you is the ability to write anywhere you want, in whatever software you want. And, since it’s already on your computer it’s automatically saved locally and not on the site itself (makes for a nice archive of your writing). Add into the mix a Dropbox account, or saving your posts in iCloud, and you have an automated way to keep all your blog posts backed up and safe!

The New Name

I’ve been struggling to find a name for this site, something other than my name. Not only is that totally unoriginal, but it feels egotistical, maybe that’s just me, but it just feels that way. Regardless, for the most part I’ve just used the “subtitle” as the name: “Budo Purveyor”, “Random Ramblings”, and then “I just burn at 110%”.

That last one came from a twitter exchange I had with my wife and Brian Green where I was describing how it’s hard for me to not push myself to my limits. So, take that, massage it a little, and you get “Burning at 110%”. I like it, I think it adequately describes me and how I go about the things in my life. The jury is still out on whether that’s a good thing or not. :)

What do you think? Post a comment!