# Moving to Octopress

I am moving this site to Octopress. I have been using WordPress which was fine. It’s great that it’s open-source. And WordPress works well enough for what it is. I recently read that WordPress makes up something like 40% of all sites. That success is great too because that means an ecosystem has grown around WordPress with different themes and plugins.

My problems lately with WordPress have included the editor. I only use the in-browser editor. There may be a way to upload posts from some other editor, but then that is just another thing I have to setup and maintain. Octopress is all generated static files, so you write the posts in any text editor you want then run a command and you have your static pages that you just ssh or scp or use git to push to your site. Also, with only static files you aren’t hitting a database to grab the content. I’m sure it is faster, but any slowdown never bothered me however I can’t tell if I noticed a slowdown.

Speaking of maintaining, that is something else that I want to avoid as much as. When I started this site, I liked the idea of hosting it myself with my own server. I’ve since learned that I do not care for any kind of admin work. I had to maintain security, a database, the server software, the WordPress installation, etc. I also tried to have a contigency planned in case/when my server blows up, so I also maintained backups. But since it’s wordpress, all the posts are in a database and not static text files, just more to export/import to maintain. I would now like to minimize what I have to maintain. With Octopress I will use a webhost to just hold my text files, no need for even a database. I did like the idea of having my own server and have all the conrol over it, but it was a virtual machine so still not entirely under my control.

With backups being very important to me, my workflow with WordPress was create posts and pages, create backups of my server files and database, download those, back those up locally to other drives, try to test the backups, etc. With Octopress I just write locally, so it’s already on my machine so need to export the site. As for backups, I could get it to other drives like before, but the remote copy on the webhost is another copy and I could always upload to github as well.

Getting Octopress setup was easy enough, just follow the directions on the site. Worked fine for my Linux machine. Had one snag installing on a Mac but was an easy search on Google to solve that.

This had a decent enough section on exporting your WordPress site to Octopress. I used exitwp which the only difficult thing is getting all the libraries it depends on downloaded. For having equations on my site, I use MathJax and installed it following this. I was surprised how easy this all was.

I will slowely add back all the old content, but when I tried to generate all the posts that were ported using exitwp I had some errors. So I have to add them one by one.

Here’s some test LaTex.

# Video Game Review: Beyond Good and Evil

Beyond Good and Evil is an adventure game released in 2003.  It is about Jade, a freelance photographer and journalist, on her planet that is under attack by aliens.

No real spoilers and I keep details to a minimum, but I do talk about somethings so don’t read if you want to know absolutely nothing before playing.  TLDR; yes play this.

# Totally Boss People in History - Commodore Perry

It will be the bicentennial of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory in the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10th 2013.

Wikipedia has an excellent summary of why Perry was Totally Boss in that battle.

On September 10, 1813, Perry’s command fought a successful fleet action against a task force of the Royal Navy in the Battle of Lake Erie. It was at the outset of this battle that Perry famously said, “If a victory is to be gained, I will gain it.” Initially, the exchange of gunfire favored the British. Perry’s flagship, the USS Lawrence , was so severely disabled in the encounter that the British commander, Robert Heriot Barclay, thought that Perry would surrender it, and sent a small boat to request that the American vessel pull down its flag. Faithful to the words of his battle flag, “DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP” (a paraphrase of the dying words of Captain James Lawrence, the ship’s namesake and Perry’s friend), Perry, with Lawrence’s chaplain and purser as the remaining able crew, personally fired the final salvo, and then had his men row him a half-mile (0.8 km) through heavy gunfire to transfer his command to the USS Niagara. Once aboard, Perry dispatched the Niagara’s commander, Captain Jesse Elliot, to bring the other schooners into closer action while he steered the Niagara toward the damaged British ships. Like Nelson’s Victory at Trafalgar, Niagara broke the opposing line. Perry’s force pounded Barclay’s ships until they could offer no effective resistance and surrendered. Although he had won the battle aboard the Niagara, he received the British surrender on the deck of the recaptured Lawrence to allow the British to see the terrible price his men had paid. Perry’s battle report to General William Henry Harrison was famously brief: “We have met the enemy and they are ours; two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop.”

To commemorate it, there will be a reenactment of the battle.  Maybe watch it while you sip on a Great Lakes Brewing Commodore Perry IPA.

In the mean time, I’m going think of a reason for people to call me Commodore Eric and to have a reason to say “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”

# Early Seat for the March of Progress

I was born early enough to see rapid advances in technology.  An obvious way to see advances are in the media we consume; music, video, etc.  But being someone interested in tech right from the beginning, I’ve noticed the more subtle advances.

I work with Microsoft’s Visual Studios at my job, and I’ve only ever worked with IDEs like this.  I never really gave it much thought.  But having done work with Arduino and Python, I found that an IDE doesn’t need to be as bloated as Visual Studios.

# Meta: Wiki Work

Mostly been working on the the wiki, moving the content from my old wiki.  Soon I’ll add new stuff!

# Shake It Like a …

I sometimes get random ideas.  I might as well share them here.

This one came about from observing some of the awesome new technologies we’re developing.

It’s a digital picture frame in the style of Polaroid pictures.  Even has an accelerometer so you can shake it, however doings would actually do something like change the picture that is displayed.

# Arduino Debounce Library

Finally finished my Arduino Debounce library.

Update 2011-10-17: I have the project on bitbucket, I’ll be updating this.

Like before, put this in your libraries directory.

I made this then found there was a debounce example included in the Arduino IDE that I could have based this off of.  Well, at least I have confidence that this works since it’s like it.

You create the Debounce object by passing the pin number to debounce, delta time to wait to debounce, function pointer to call if debounced input is still high, if still low, is transitioning from low to high, from high to low.

Lemme know how you like.