Moving Hosts

I’ve hosted my websites via DreamHost for years. Good price, excellent uptime and ok performance. Recently though I’d been starting to see the shared hosting plan I was on creak at the seams. My needs were pretty minimal but it looked like I would need to move to one of their VPS plans. It’s at this point all the podcast adverts rang in my head…so I tried Linode.

Linode’s front page says ‘hosting for developers’ which as Shak keeps saying isn’t me! However the plans looked appealing and I took advantage of an offer to try it for a month for free and so far it’s been really good.

Linode is a bit different to the hosting I’m used to. You pick a Linux distribution, tell Linode where in the world you want it deployed and boom – you have a Linux server that’s all yours. That means root access and ability to install whatever you like…but also means you are responsible for security and keeping the server updated.

Linode supports many distributions and also has an excellent set of tutorials and guides. Within a day I’d migrated a domain and WordPress website over to Linode from DreamHost. Performance was superb compared to what I was used to. I actually enjoyed controlling Apache directly, setting up redirects and getting to grips with installing security certificates.

Last weekend I migrated this blog. I’ve stuck with WordPress for now but starting to look at static site options so I’m more in control and rely less on plugins. Again the performance of WordPress on Linode is excellent and the website migration was pretty trivial. Next up is the podcast which will be a little more involved but hopefully not too bad.

If you are using shared hosting and thinking of moving to something more beefy then consider Linode. Requires more effort but being this in control of my sites is something I wish I’d done years ago.


Stacks is a new web app from Offset that helps users curate and share the apps and services they love. You login via Twitter and then create a stack. Simple.

My Mac Essentials stack
My Mac Essentials stack

Stacks makes it trivial to add app’s, products and services and for the user to maintain the stack. Once done, add some tags and publish it. So far I’ve made three stacks – Mac Essentials, Podcast Tools and iOS Homescreen. I’d like ability to add links and also icons and a search rather than relying on tags would be handy but it is new so not a big deal right now.

I like the low barrier of entry of Stacks and hopefully it will hang around as it’s a great curation tool. Currently invite only but you can request one from the Stacks site or let me know as I’ve got a spare one. What would you add to your Stacks?

Busy Busy Busy

I’ve had quite a bit on over the past few weeks. So much so that I’m taking a week off work starting this Friday. It will be good to take a break from the day to day’s at work and focus elsewhere. Lot’s of bit’s and piece’s around the house to take care off. I also want to put in some quality time on Cocoa and iPhone development. I’ve a simple app that I hope to build over the week I’m off. More on that later.

This weekend has been mostly cleaning up around the house and also on the computers. Freed up around 40GB on the iMac in 10 minutes – just been lazy recently keeping my disks tidy. Also got Delicious Library 2 syncing well between desktop and laptop via Dropbox. I moved the Delicious Library file from /Library/Application Support/Delicious Library 2/ to my Dropbox, creating an alias in the original directory to the file in my Dropbox folder. Works a treat. Just make sure the alias is the same name as the original file. I also updated my library with my latest purchases and also published the library on rather than on MobileMe. You can see the library here.

Dropbox has been working so well for me. So much so that I won’t be renewing MobileMe this year unless it goes through a serious upgrade which I just can’t see. Dropbox is a far superior file syncing tool – and quicker. I use Busysync to keep calendars in sync. I can sync contacts via Google for free. That leaves…and e-mail address that I don’t really use? I’ve turned off push on the iPhone to save on battery life and my calendar and contacts don’t change enough to justify over the air updating. I just don’t need it. If you are interested in Dropbox this is my referral link which gets me extra disk space if you sign up.

Anyway, back on topic. One of the reasons I’ve been busy is I’ve been helping set-up a website for a friend. So if your in need of a personal trainer in the Glasgow area I highly recommend Tangerine13. I’ve spent a few years working with Caroline but she’s moving on to pursue life as a full time personal trainer so hopefully Tangerine13 will work out for her. Eagle eyed readers (i.e. those that can be arsed to visit the site) will notice a small link at the bottom of Tangerine13 to That was the name I was going to use if/when I release iPhone app’s. Long way off but thought it was worthwhile linking to it in case the web site design goes anywhere. Not something I intend to pursue but you never know.

One other thing form the weekend that really pissed me off. Some dirty swine was trying to rip off my credit card. Again. Just over two years since my bank account was emptied, this time Egg were onto it straight away. No money lost, card stopped. Attempt to use my card was in London – trying to buy some Cellnet pre-pay card. I just don’t understand where they get the details from. I do use the card a lot online but make sure it’s always a secure purchase. Then again, there’s nothing to stop a site passing on card details. Or some back room staff doing the dirty I guess. Bloody annoying and it’s put me on edge again about my finances.

Anyway. iPhone app. I’ve a few idea’s for app’s actually. The problem is so do lot’s of other people. Already two of my idea’s, which 4 weeks ago were original and didn’t exist in the app store now do. Time moves fast unlike me at the moment. Too busy. Or busy doing the wrong things. So for my first app, screen’s have been mocked up. Usage has been thought through. Functionality has been locked down to a minimum. Keeping things simple. Just need to start coding. Should be fun. If I find the time.