Last updated 1 week ago
Service Migration
Last updated 1 week ago

Note: This post is a little bit different - it's actually up here on the blog so various clients of mine can read and keep track of things. It brings to light the need for a real linked tagging system for my site, so I'll be adding that in soon.

So recently, Digital Pacific had an amazing deal for completely dedicated servers. I managed to pick up two servers. So as I continue my adventures in web and software development - I've got to work on perhaps growing and providing web hosting services to a select number of clients I have.

I'd like to actually start working on growing this little side-business, and perhaps consider building extra income from it. The challenge of regular clientele maintenance is tantalising as it'll mean my skills are kept constantly sharp.

Now, traditionally, I stuck to building a single LAMP/LEMP stack on a Linux based server, and would do a lot of nagging configuration work on a per-site-or-domain basis. It was a hassle, and caused a lot of issues with security personally (what if one client got misconfigured and could access another client's MySQL database?!) - and a lot of the points of failure rested with yours truly.

Docker, how magical!

Enter the magic of Docker. Docker sounds like a lot of extra, super painful, overhead, but really - it enables me to containerise and compartmentalise each site's resources from an end-user perspective. It also does away with crazy configurations and bespoke work, meaning I can standardise my deployments and make things more automated.

Each client-site will be it's own self docker container for backups to be downloaded, etc. I'll be working on a nice, easier-to-manage-service panel for my clients from now on. In fact, it's an upcoming number of personal project I'll be writing about later (helpdesk, system management, tracking tools, etc)!

Services Moving

  • This site has moved to the new servers;
  • My personal Bookstack installation has moved to the new servers;

Upcoming Scheduled Moves

In order of migration, the following sites will be moving across this weekend.

Last updated 2 weeks ago
Ubuntu 18.04 in the Bedroom
Last updated 2 weeks ago

So, I've never really been shy about using linux as an Operating System for my web servers; be it Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS or otherwise.

However, for the first time tonight I've decided to roll out Linux on a desktop that I'll be using; it's for the bedroom, where I might do some blog writing, or check my email, and some general productivity basics. Enter Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Desktop edition. Yup, that same Bionic Beaver version I was kidding about on Twitter a few days ago; I've started using it.

It's only been about 15 minutes (the install itself took an additional 5 minutes on top of that) but within that 15 minutes, I've got Visual Studio Code running, I'm writing this blog post, and I've started installing Git. Seriously, from start to finish, that's an incredible turnaround speed at which I've booted into the OS, started configuring it and immediately become productive.

I haven't really gotten elbows deep into the guts of the OS in terms of customisation, but hot diggity there's already a few nice things I like about it:

  • I'm using my 34" ultrawide as my default monitor in the bedroom, the 3440 x 1440 resolution is natively supported
  • The whole interface feels really snappy and quite intuitive!
  • I got VLC and Spotify running almost instantly (I had to login to Spotify, that was the biggest delay)
  • Parsec streaming is no nonsense for when I need to use Windows stuff (Games, Adobe Suite etc)

So far, the OS does all the usual stuff I need, with the exception of gaming, but that was always the intent with a machine in the bedroom. The last thing I want is to be gaming and disturbing my significant other in the middle of the night.

Overall, really pleased with the OS. And can foresee myself using it more often from now on!

Last updated 2 weeks ago
Cloud Citizen: The Citrix X1 Mouse
Last updated 2 weeks ago

So, in a previous post about Project Cloud Citizen, I mentioned that I was possibly going to use my iPad with an iOS specific mouse. Enter, the Citrix X1 mouse, and the Jump Desktop App!

I've literally had the mouse for about 10 minutes, and it's working a treat through Jump Desktop; it feels a little weird, but seems to be tracking fine. I'm actually stunned at how usable it is!

Sadly, all the gaming sync’d issues with the Dex Pad that I reported having, also seem to be mimicked with the iPad, Citrix X1 and Jump Desktop. There’s a small bit of hope however — certain game styles do work with the setup. Things like DIablo 3, Torchlight 2, etc. Games that don’t require constant, active input from something like the WASD control setup do work very nicely.

So there’s some middle ground there, I think my expectations overall, are too high for something like iPad cloud streaming for games right now; and that’s ok. Having things work on the iPad, within a self-contained little unit, with phenomenal battery life, and usability - perfectly matches my desire to be fully mobile, while also matching my desire to not carry something around that’s as heavy as a laptop, at least for the time being.

Too many Compromises

While there's some games that work - really, the iPad works as a decent laptop replacement when I use it to remote into my Windows systems, with minimal disruption. Sadly, it's not going to let me remote in and play games. All my other bits of productivity, would remain unaffected, and at the end of the day, that's pretty important.

So end of the day, the iPad, combined with the Citrix X1 mouse does make the best laptop replacement - with instant on, superior battery life; I won't ever really be without abilities for productivity. I just can't really expect to play amazing games with only my mouse.

It'll still be in my Every Day Carry

With a combination of PLEX, Netflix, Jump Desktop, and the Pencil/Citrix X1/Smart Keyboard combo, my iPad becomes a suitable, extremely lightweight laptop replacement. The instant-on, and insane battery life, give it a pretty awesome advantage. The size is still reasonably large enough that I can get work and media consumption on it done, and still handle it comfortably in one hand.