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IDEA: Open Source Journalling

The idea has been floating for a while but I think it is finally time to start something. One of my concerns with the big journalling apps apart for sending some of my most intermittent thoughts to a company that one day could be on Google’s acquisition list is just sending these thoughts to a company that may or may not be around in 30 years when I want to review them and reflect on my life.

That sparked a quest to find a good self hosted journalling application and while WordPress is a great content manager it is not a great journalling application. This has lead me to the decision something needs building that will allow me to journal on my server with an application I control.

I can not be the only person that thinks this way and after a quick search of /r/selfhosted there are many people looking for just an application.

This is the kick off post for what I hope will be a large scale open source project with a lot more than just a web app.

The initial version will be a PHP based web application as that is what I know and in time I will develop iPhone and Android applications. The initial web app should be fully responsive for mobile use to make it possible to write from a phone as I personally often find myself tapping away inside Day One currently.

I will be looking for collaborators in the 2019 after I make an initial start on the project with the aim to have a beta version ready in Q3 of 2019. To start with this project will be a very slow burn but will pick up pace towards the end. If you are a PHP developer and are interested in working on this project please do not hesitate to reach out.

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Back to Dedicated

It was only last month I posted about how I used shared hosting for my personal sites now. Then comes the end of March and shared hosting failed me.

My time on A2 Hosting’s shared platform was fantastic and I can’t fault it for running a simple WordPress site. The let down came with a large scale custom web application I am working on that needs to communicate in real time with a new of API’s some that have very specific requirements – this is were the walled garden of shared hosting became a problem. Don’t get me wrong the shared server at A2 Hosting has more then enough power to handle the traffic levels I expected it just couldn’t do a number of features I had to have.

After a lot of research and digging around I decided to setup a server at Digital Ocean that could run all my sites on 1 box. Its not massive (1 core, 1GB RAM and 30GB SSD) and I don’t need a lot of power. I need root access to be able to set it up how I want.

I had always used Digital Ocean for development servers and testing but never production until last week. I have found their reliably second to none and bandwidth is always there when I need it.

Because Digital Ocean is aimed at developers for hosting complex applications they have a lot of powerful features including Block Storage (think second hard drives in your server), private networking and load balancers to build clusters and floating IP addresses so even if you shut down a server you can maintain its IP address for use on your next server.

Digital Ocean is VPS hosting levelled up.

Give it a try yourself and get $10 credit on new accounts on me.

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Reeder for Mac (draft 3)

Today I got my hands on Reeder for Mac, a mac version of my favourite iPhone and iPad app for Google Reader. The overall design of the application lives up to the high standards set by the iPhone and improved upon by the iPad version.

The application is easy to use, fast and full of keyboard shortcuts. It is the only desktop app I’ve used that compares to Google Reader’s web interface and I may even start using it over the web UI all together.

I do like the built in web browser with preloading to quickly jump to the site for those that don’t provide full content in their RSS feeds.

The only draw back have is there’s no support for AppleScript or extensions to add more services and ways to share items but I’m sure this will be fixed before the final release or soon after in a point release.

So far there been no word on a release date or pricing although it will have to be very low inorder to compete with the free and feature rich Google web interface. You can grab the draft version for free from made@gloria.

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The New Twitter.com

Today I received access to try out the new Twitter.com web application. I call it that because this is by far the best desktop experience I have had with any Twitter app. The information you want is displayed conveniently next to your timeline and images from yFrog and Twitpic are loaded right into the Twitter website.

The app is filled with keyboard shortcuts that make navigating a breeze and with the panel on the right following a conversation is now much easier. The new version is also faster, switching from the main timeline to your mentions and back can now be done in the same second. The new Twitter web site also features useful information from your profile at the top of the right panel on the homepage.

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Fujifilm W3 3D Camera

Today Fujifilm announced a pretty sweet looking ‘Real 3D’ camera, so need for glasses. This stunning camera doesn’t just do 3D video it also does 3D still pictures and 2D pictures and video and unlike it’s predecessor, the W1, the W3 shoots 720p stereoscopic HD video perfect for YouTube 3D.

The camera will be available in September for around £400, Amazon are already expecting pre-oders. While I’m not likely to buy this one I am hoping to buy something similar in the near future, may 1080p.