Sunday, October 30, 2011

All Moved In--Digitally Speaking

You know what I didn't want to spend [my time] on? hand-coding html and tweaking software settings. It's sad, and I'll probably lose a 3d20 geek points for saying it, but those days are way, way behind me. - Wil Wheaton
The foundation is settled under my new digital home and I'm doing some work to make it feel nice and cozy.  For good or for bad I've moved off the scripts and duct tape that was used to hold the site together and to publish it out.  Now I'm using a nice standard cloud service.  For a long time the TextWranger extensions, shell scripts, AppleScripts, ant build scripts, and all the other crazy handwritten workflow was a lot of fun for me to put together and managed.  I loved tweaking it, improving it, fixing it, and just the general churn of it.  But over the last couple years it started to get in the way.  My computer systems were updating faster than I had free time to make things work again.  So this new change to a system where someone else is in charge is for the better.
When I first started playing with computers in high school I was beyond excited to be buying a new video card or sound card, mess with the jumpers, make sure the latest drivers were installed or even search the BBSes for third party drivers that were better than the original ones.  I spent weeks getting OS/2 to run with the sound drivers, having Windows 3.1 running underneath it with its own sound and video drivers and all so that I could play Myst.  I found the weeks of reading and posting in USENET and fiddling with INI settings and the registry far more fun than I found actually playing Myst.  I never did beat it.
In college I had my machine setup to triple boot across OS/2, Windows NT and Linux running native StarOffice on each with a common HPFS data drive where all my documents were stored.  I could sync my Palm in any of the OSes against that data.  It was awesome!  I probably had to reformat one of the OS partitions every other week, but I loved it.  It was great.  I even spent a week gutting my old Intel 486 and replacing it with a new Cyrix Pentium chip, new motherboard, and all that good stuff.
It was in the early 2000's after I was done with school and out in the working world when all of that just started to get in the way.  I knew that I could do it, but it had become mundane; it had become the stuff of childhood.  I started to buy laptops that were exactly what I want and just stick to a single OS.  In 2004 I got my first Mac laptop, and Apple completely bought into this new philosophy I had.  No more mucking around.  When you wanted to upgrade you just threw the computer out and bought a new one (note: my original Mac laptop is sitting in the closest behind me happily running OSX Server and being the media and web server of my home).
I think I've reached that point in my website.  Creating all the technical machinery to build the pages, format them for iPhone or convert them to an RSS feed, is just becoming mundane and the thing of childhood.  I'm at the point where I would rather the technology just get out of the way and take a back seat to letting me write.  I hope you'll come along for the ride.