Why was my weblog offline for 6 months?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

For a few years I was a fan of the Rackspace cloud, because of the simplicity of setup. I’ve now changed my mind. The Rackspace offering is too limited to work as a cloud service and it is too expensive when compared to dedicated hardware. So for instance, the harddrive filled up on my server. The Rackspace Cloud has a fairly rigid limit of 40 gigs on the hardrive. The MySQL database was giving constant errors as it ran out of room and pipes broke causing the database to freeze up.

As it life would have it, this happened after my mom had pneumonia. We decided we should sell her house and she should move in with me. All of November and December was taken up with the task of selling the house, packing it up and putting it in storage. Then January and February we went to Virginia to see some old friends. It was good to travel after having sold the house. I started research on my next book. We returned to New York City on February 25th. I hired an aide to watch my mom. They started on March 12th. Then the pandemic hit and caused a few more weeks of chaos.

I finally got serious about restoring the weblog in mid April. I decided that for my personal projects I would rely on dedicated hardware. After some looking around I decided to rent from Hetzner. I got a huge machine with 2 terabytes of hard drive and 8 CPUs and 64 Gigs of RAM for $50 a month. On AWS I’d be paying $500 a month. On this huge machine I will be able to host many future projects.

I have not upgraded WordPress since 2014. I only used it because it was a simple way to get started and my graphic designer understood it. But my new server is running the newest version of CentOS, which by default runs PHP 7.x. This forced me to upgrade to the newest version of WordPress. I have been disappointed with the tech world since about 2010 and this version of WordPress manifests all the worst trends. It is loaded with bells and whistles which try to make HTML and CSS work as a full CMS. The problem is HTML and CSS. These were great ideas in the 1980s and 1990s but we need to get rid of them now. WordPress is offering a ton of code to try to fix fundamental problems that could be better fixed at a lower level, by changing fundamental technologies. I miss the era of experimentation that existed before 2010. At some point the industry stopped trying to fix fundamental problems and instead we now shrug and live with obviously obsolete technologies. I do not like WordPress, I will get rid of it soon. But I did need to write a script that can port all these ports over to a new format.

But I am very happy to have this site back up.