macolyte.net began its life as a self-hosted WordPress site. At the time, it seemed like the most logical choice. A few years in, I realized I was sick and tired of dealing with all the management that comes with running a WordPress site: databases, comment spam, software updates, plugins, etc. Tumblr was an attractive alternative. It was free and took all that administrative bullshit away.
But as with most things, there were tradeoffs. There was no FTP access. I had to go through the Tumblr API, using either an application or the web interface, to post anything. If I wanted to fix any aspect of the theme because it wasn’t quite what I wanted, I had to log in to the Tumblr web site and make my changes to the HTML template in a cramped sidebar window. Updating the CSS was an even more convoluted process. As I started posting more code samples, the biggest pain point became the complete lack of support for syntax highlighting. I managed to hack my way around this last limitation, but I was never happy with the result and it was a huge pain in the ass. In the end, Tumblr was a pendulum swing too far in the opposite direction. I gave up too much control for a little more convenience.
All that history just to say it’s time to move on again. A new solution has presented itself (thanks Gabe) and it looks just about perfect. I don’t have to manage a server or database. The HTML, CSS and posts are stored in a place where I can access them in any text editor on any network connected device. Syntax highlighting is built in and automatic. Hell, it even does footnotes the right way (so I can start using them instead of inserting parenthetical statements everywhere).
But wait, there’s more. I’m not just switching blogging platforms. I’m starting from scratch with a new site. By the time you read this (if anyone actually does read this), my new site will be live at piperedirect.com.
So why start over? I thought up the name and wanted to use it. But my meager skills and utter laziness prevent me from moving everything from here to there. And I figure I don’t have much of a readership to lose, so why the hell not?
In all seriousness, the fact of the matter is that I’ve changed. My growing disillusionment with Apple is making the “macolyte” monkier less and less appropriate. My interests have widened lately to include non-Apple things. I genuinely like the Nexus 7 tablet and I’ve been getting into Linux and Python a bit more again.
My goal with macolyte.net was to present neat little scripts and other tricks. Turns out, that was too limiting for me. I was always struggling to think of interesting, original things to write. It was a real source of stress and made me feel like crap. If I came across something someone else had written, I’d become paralyzed trying to decide if it was appropriate to put here. And I didn’t want to descend into the abyss that is technology punditry. I realize now that if I want to produce “quality content” I simply can’t handcuff myself like that.
Of course, I don’t want to be another “me too” voice in what I see as the technology blogosphere echo chamber. Fortunately most of the things the “tech blogging community” finds important I just don’t give a shit about. The latest Facebook news, Apple patent lawsuits and rumors, and blah blah blah who cares? But I do have opinions. Strong ones. And I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t put them out there, even if nobody else cares about or reads them but me. I still want to write about practical topics, things people can actually use, so the new site (I hope) will be more Macdrifter/Dr. Drang and less Shawn Blanc/Ben Brooks.
This site isn’t going anywhere. Everything will remain for historical purposes as long as Tumblr is still in business and doesn’t decide to purge inactive accounts, but I won’t be adding anything new.
Provided I set it up correctly, the feed for the new site is here should you like to subscribe.