About this Website

I have, off and on, effectively kept a vanity website for about twenty years now. My first website - fwaggle.net - was registered back when they cost on the order of $70/year for the domain alone, and the process of creating and updating the registration consisted of having an ASCII text file emailed you, editing it, and emailing it back. We’ve come a long way!

Unfortunately, while we did a stint of being broke-as-a-joke in California, I neglected to renew it, and domain squatters picked it up. I’ve spoken to their sales people before, and while it’s flattering the amount of money they think the vanity domain of a washed-up 90s hacker is worth, so far they’ve not come down below my pain threshold yet.

So I’ve had a few other sites off and on over the years, and I started fwaggle.org originally to cash in on the paid blogging phase during another broke-as-a-joke stint. I didn’t stick with that very long, and I kept very little of the content I wrote over that time because most of it was fluff to make a couple of bucks. The original incarnation of fwaggle.org ran Wordpress, which had actually matured into a pretty good (though not perfect by any stretch) product by then.

Paranoia set in in about 2011, and I switched my “blogging” activity to Google’s Blogger, because they had 2FA and I was convinced my Wordpress installation was going to get owned sooner or later. I whined about Blogger the entire time, and it took nearly two years to actually point the domain at Blogger (and move over the content I wanted to keep), but on the whole it wasn’t bad.

Since I was disabling comments and didn’t really need dynamic content for anything, I eventually found Jekyll, which I absolutely adored, except for the fact that I don’t speak Ruby… so I went looking for an alternative, and found Pelican (used by Linux.org at the time). After a few teething problems I was able to import all my posts over, and got everything set up mostly the way I want it, and I’ve been using Pelican ever since.

My entire Pelican website is stored under Git source control, which I mirror on all my devices. I pull the latest committed changes over, write some bullshit, generate the site locally, and if I’m happy with how it looks, commit the changes.

In the early days of this being a static website, I used Amazon Web Services’ S3, Cloudfront, and Route53 (the latter by necessity, Cloudfront is not particularly good without it). In 2017 I switched from Cloudfront and Route53 to Cloudflare, because those two were making up somewhere around 80% of the monthly cost of the site (the actual S3 costs being more or less a rounding error), and because I use Cloudflare a fair bit for work so every effort to get to know the product was made.