Over the years, I've written a few blogs. A couple, with "DeliverScoot" top of the pile, have been moderately successful, if sporadic in their web presence as I've moved from blogging website to blogging website.
On the whole, I've never really found my stride with them. They've been too sporadic, and I've not focused well enough on what I'd like to write about, which has itself shifted as the years have gone by.
However, 2018 and 2019 brought a new serenity to life, and more time to do the things I'd like to do; make music, write, repair. The things that bring happiness to life, rather than drudgery.
In 2019, I took the decision to manage my own blogs, in one place. Half-Baked Blog.uk was picked up for a pittance as an umbrella, and I began to write in HTML. My skills are no better than they were in school back in the 00s, but Low-Tech Magazine's blog detailing low-footprint websites piqued my interest in low-footprint websites. Do we really need them to be complex and resource-hungry? Mozilla have also released a podcast investigating the carbon footprint of the web, which I found extremely interesting. If you're interested, I've written a little more about this website's guts here.
Anyway, it's just a blog. Words and the occasional photograph. I hope you find some benefit in what I've rambled about, or, if not, thanks for stopping by.
Here, I'll attempt to outline the basic premise of it's site and why it's architecture is the way it is. Bear with me.
First of all, I feel it's important to get out there that I am not a technophobe. I work with computers all day, every day in my job and consider myself intermediate at using them, although web design is clearly not my strongest point.
In 2019, I began to think seriously about data ownership. I was prompted partially by a work project that involved transferring huge amounts of data to cloud services, and partially by Facebook's serious moves to introduce their own digital currency, Libra. A blog by Eric Karjaluoto also got my mind ticking a little more. Why was I not controlling my own data? I had all the means at my fingertips.
It's been a gradual move over a couple of years, but I didn't realise the significance of my movement until earlier this year. There is definitely subject matter here for a blog post of it's own, so I will bring myself off the tangent and back around to the website.
Previously a resident of Wordpress and Tumblr, I was never really happy with the designs I could acheive using these tools. I was stuck using their interfaces, and limited in my flexibility to produce what I wanted. I've never hankered after anything fancy in a blog; I've just wanted clean lines, easy text, fast loading and full flexibility (or responsibility) to control the layout.
Two things happened to me in 2019. Firstly, I stumbled across Low-Tech Magazine's solar website. It's no exaggeration to say that it changed my entire outlook on the internet, how we use it, and how it's provided. I'll go into more detail on another day. The second turning point was Mozilla's IRL podcast on the carbon footprint of the internet. I, like many, hadn't though about the internet's carbon footprint. As far as I was aware, mindlessly browsing was a zero-effect activity.
After a lot of thought, I had my criteria set. It was time to bring together my blog strings, porting Deliverscoot over from Wordpress and building the new ones in a controlled, low-consumption way that was entirely controlled by myself. Therefore, the following criteria were set for the site;
There you go; it's a manifesto. As time goes on, I'll update this page below on progress. As I write this now, however, I just continue to build.
6th October 2019: Site successfully migrated to raspberry pi 2 from a raspberry pi zero W, allowing it to enjoy a cabled connection rather than WiFi.
20th October 2019: Re-encoded the site into UTF-8 after apostrophes and other punctuation started to cause problems in some browsers.
29th November 2019: Added some bash scripts to the server to attempt to improve reliability before going solar next year.
28th December 2019: Managed to get the web server properly configured to run virtual hosts.
20th January 2020: Pi 2 is now running two sites without struggling - hooray!