It's Finally Done

Posted by Michael Pak on October 10, 2013

I’ve finally finished this website. I thought I’d to a walkthrough for future reference.

The Tools

I’m currently self-hosting this website through the following stack:

I actually bought the BeagleBone Black for self-hosting. It’s something I’ve always wanted to experiment with and I had to jump on it with its low cost. I chose Arch ARM because I’m already a fan of Arch Linux. Installation was extremely short and honestly, it’s probably more user-friendly with it’s own cherry-picked AUR repo. Nginx is just awesome.

The actual website is built using:

Jekyll seemed like a wise choice because its by Github and Github is awesome. I also didn’t know of any other easy to setup blogging platform other than Wordpress. I know Jekyll does have a built in code syntax highlighting (of sorts), but it requires Python and I didn’t want another dependency so I went with highlight.js.

console.log("Hello World"); // an example

I came across Font Awesome for social media icons and it’s defintely an overkill, but maybe I can find more uses for it other than the three icons I have on the top right.

The Design

Half the time contructing this website was spent trying to figure out how to make it less…bland. The best method I found was to just look for other blogs that already looked pretty and copy their ideas. So I added in a big black bar hoping to achieve the parallax effect like Github’s 404 page, but more subtle. I found the jQuery plugin that they use and tried inplementing it, only to fail miserably. I decided that I should try to understand what it is actually doing later instead of just doing a copy pasta from the example. To replace it, I cropped an image from a random wallpaper and stuck it in. I faded it away in shadow to fit my greyscale-ish theme and made it focus on hover…becuase it was boring.

Definitely expect design overhauls in the future.

Now What?

This blog will be moved over to Github Pages and the domain as well. It’s actually already being mirrored here. I’m just keeping it on my BeagleBone so I can get used to setting up Nginx and other server configurations for my next project. I haven’t quite decided what kind of content I would like to keep here.

Being a static blog site, there’s not much use for javascript. One of my intentions for this website was to teach myself some javascript on the way, but there wasn’t anything useful I could think of that would be easy to implement. So as my next project, I’m thinking about a web app in Node.js as my next project, hopefully successfully hosted on my BeagleBone. It will most likely be a simple chat platform since that’s what Ryan Dahl seemed to usually do in his talks so I think it’s a good place to start.