As of today, chrisolin.com is now hosted on Amazon AWS and I’m happy to report that the transition went quite smoothly. I thought it was an appropriate project to tackle as up until the last few weeks ago, I had never used AWS previously. Having this kind of hands-on experience with AWS is a marketable job skill, aside from being useful to have. Moving forward, I’m hoping to redesign the site layout and theme as both are currently not exactly the most visually pleasing thing to look at, which gives me a chance to work on my design/HTML/CSS/PHP skills. Lastly, I’m looking to work on performance tweaking this site over the next several months with the goal of getting ping times down to ~500ms on average. I’m not sure how feasible that is (as I’m trying to keep my AWS bill under $20 a month), but we’ll find out.

Unrelated to this site, I wanted to spend a minute and shamelessly plug talk about Bike Index. Many that I talk to on a regular basis have likely heard me talk about this site at least once, but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here. Bike Index is an open source webapp that basically crowdsources recovering stolen bikes while proving local law enforcement with a resource they can use on the fly. It’s free, easy to use, and can be used to identify whether or not a bike has been reported stolen, which has resulted in bikes being recovered years after they were stolen. The guys that run the site do it out of the goodness of their hearts and don’t get nearly enough recognition for it. If you’ve got a couple bucks to spare, go give them a donation. If you don’t have a couple bucks, I created a Vagrant development environment for anyone that wants to contribute. We’re using a Git/Rails/Redis stack and love new volunteers, even if it’s something like grammar fixes, design suggestions, or localization translations (which is really easy to do in Rails).

Anyways, that’s enough for now. I’m looking to write more this year, so expect some technical write-ups on some of the things I’ve been working on in the coming future.