All change

It's been a while since my last post, about 6 months. Let's begin with life changes. I've changed jobs and I now work for Couchbase and live in north Manchester. The new job is great, the work is interesting and the product is pretty awesome. The people are also all really nice and helpful. The product is a NoSQL platform and I'm working on the Golang SDK.

I've been doing a bit of exploring on my bike too. Whilst I didn't know this before moving I actually live right next to a purpose built mtb trail. It's short but it's fun. I've also been going on rides with the MNPR (Monday night pub ride) group which is giving me some locals knowledge on the area. So far my favourite ride has been at Rivington, 2 awesome descents although a bit of lifting the bike over gates.

Last night I joined the MNPR guys for a ride up Pendle hill, which is surrounded in witchy history. The climb up was tough and my legs were pretty unhappy for a good stretch of it. The view from the top and the ride down made it worthwhile though.

View from top of Pendle hill

Part of why I haven't written a post for so long is that Pelican is a bit of work to keep running and a hassle to post with. I decided that I wanted a platform with an "admin" area where I can easily write and manage posts. There are two platforms that came to mind: Wordpress and TryGhost. TryGhost was my preference due to a personal aversion to PHP and Mysql (I'm sure Wordpress can be used with other backends too).

Data migration to Ghost was reasonably simple, I wrote a script that converted all of my Pelican markdown files into a single Ghost friendly JSON document. It took a couple of attempts to get things like image paths right but was pretty painless. TryGhost has a button in the admin area for importing said JSON file too. I've decided to use a slightly hacked on default theme (Casper) as I quite the card layout and I think that it still looks clean.

Deployment took me a couple of attempts, in the end I decided to go for the cheapest DigitalOcean Droplet and install Ghost onto it myself as I wanted a SQLite backend rather than Mysql which the One-Click deployment uses. The reason for this is to ease backing up data, I should be able to just tar the Ghost content directory and send it off to something like s3. I've not fully worked this bit out yet.

The big issue with Ghost: thumbnails. There is no auto-resizing functionality for creating thumbnails. There is functionality for "featured images" which is what you see on the homepage cards but these are just the full size image that you upload. This was a bit of a deal-breaker, I did think about writing a Go script that would monitor the images directory and run Ghostscript on uploaded images. I couldn't see a way to access the new thumbnails in a template though. In the end I bought photo compress for Android for 99p and I just use the resized/compressed image for the feature image. This works well for me as I use my phone as my camera.

All change
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