Daniel Santos

Week 03, 2024

I have been experimenting with NearlyFreeSpeech Web Hosting for a couple of months. Behind these experiments is a wish I have to pay less for online services — especially web hosting.

This is the same wish that not so long ago made me take the decision to experiment with PikaPods, where I actually saved some money in terms of web hosting. The problem is that Wordpress is such a memory hog that I wasn’t making peace with its memory needs, having to adjust it all the time, sometimes several times a day!

This made me decide to go back to Micro.blog, where at the first day of 2024 I signed up for a whole year. The thing is… I’ll probably leave again once this period is over, and it’ll probably be to settle with NearlyFreeSpeech.

Now, similar to Pikapods, in NFSN you also pay as you go, that is, pay only for what you use. From what I’ve used so far of both, I’m alright to say that both are very fine services. Their difference resides in customizability, so (forgive me for the poor comparison here) imagine Android vs iOS in terms of how open to changes and customization each platform is.

Some people just want to fire up an instance of an app, and have it running without having to worry about the backstage administration — even if they wanted to, they wouldn’t be able to go much further into backstage because most of its doors are securely locked. This is Pikapods, so it’s similar to iOS: it runs very well, delivers a very nice UX overall, but you can’t do whatever you want because, well, you can only go to somewhat deep water.

Some people, like me, never ever satisfied with whatever they have setup, or who change their minds all too often, are more satisfied with more control, more customization options, even if that means you have to care for administering (a part of) your stuff. I like that, and at least theoretically, as someone graduated in Computer Science, I can operate the backstage (at least to a certain degree of comfort). NFSN’s pricing is also very attractive. Provided that you don’t require support apart from their very detailed and rich documentation, FAQs and user forum, you spend way too little on a monthly basis — for instance , at the moment I’m writing these notes, I have a balance of $4.24, and all I have credited my account with was $5.00 in December, meaning I’ve spent only $0.76 so far. Remember mileages may vary, depending on what you’re going to host.

In my case, with the help of support in a forum thread I created, I got to setup a self running instance of the latest available version of WriteFreely, the open source software behind the paid service Write.as, being able to run several blogs in a single instance if I want to. In my case, it doesn’t use MySQL databases (although it could, as it supports it). If I used MySQL instead of PostgreSQL, I’d be spending a little more than I’ve spent so far, yet, nothing prohibitive. So it’s a scenario where I can customize more and be more open to administering my own stuff, like an Android phone.

I’ve also moved my domain to NFSN. If you visit it, you’ll be able to see WriteFreely working. There are many adjustments I intend to make yet, so it’s missing parts and bits (no posts from 2024 there so far, for example) — but that’ll come with time.

I’m quite impressed with myself and the fact that I’m reading so fast this year. I’ve just finished my fourth book in the year, Holly, by Stephen King, another solo adventure with character Holly Gibney, the shy detective who’s appeared in The Bill Hodges Trilogy and grew to the point of becoming a solo protagonist. I loved her latest, homonym book, read it very quickly… and felt I wanted more. As I usually do in such circumstances I went looking for likely future books with Holly and… surprise! I found out Mr. King (luckily) isn’t ready to leave Ms. Gibney be yet, and intends to gift his fans with yet another Holly novel!

From the above link, where I’ve also found out another short story collection is to be released this year, comes this fortunate spoiler:

The next Holly Gibney book is called We Think Not, and that one is also turning out to be fairly long because there are “too many stories” going on in it. King said, “I feel kind of like the mad juggler. I’m trying to keep all the balls in the air and not drop any of them.”

I’ve spent my last week of vacations at the pool. This has been incredible, as it allowed me to exercise much more than I had been during the whole last year.

When I was a teen, I practiced swimming for many years, and this made me fall in love with the sport and learn how to swim the four classic strokes — front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke (a.k.a. my favorite) and butterfly stroke. So I’ve grown up accustomed to the idea that swimming is the most complete sport and have always wanted to get back to it.

Until by the beginning of January, while thinking about swimming I came to the conclusion that there was nothing between me and starting to swim again. I became member in a club in my city and started enjoying it.

Now I’m going back to work next week, but will try to keep on swimming, as it relaxes me, and exercises me. Maybe I’ll get back to be thinner as well, as I was when younger and practiced more often. Time will say.

#english #weeknotes