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About this site



About this site... I usually like to document new projects. Here is where I document this one...

2020-01-10:  Making an edit to this thing, because some things have changed.

This site is was running on an AWS EC2 Linux virtual machine. I have since closed that server down and moved it to my primary hosting environment.  The reason for this is that, as it turns out, the "free tier" on AWS does not, in fact, last forever.  Once 12 months went by, I started incurring costs.  Evidently there was some misunderstanding on my part.  The misunderstanding comes from where they say, "You can keep the AWS Free Tier running as long as you are using Free Tier services."  I do not know what those services are.  Because I started getting charged by the hour just to have the server instance running. Hell, they were charging me just to have the IP address.  

I bare no ill will to Amazon for this.  It's a great service, and now that I know as much as I do about it, I may go back to it someday.  But for now, from a cost perspective, there is no point to it.

Anyway...  The following is what I had originally written for this page.

Amazon offers the ability for developers to create virtual machines on their cloud servers. This is actually WAY more common than you might think. Many large and popular systems are using cloud based servers for all sorts of things like Analytics, storage, number crunching, stuff like that. In essences you build yourself a computer that is 100% functional, but is not actually a box on someone's desk.

For my purposes, I wanted to learn more about how this technology works. And I've actually wanted to get myself an internet based Linux machine. It's always nice to have one of those. So I gave myself a goal - to build a Linux machine to host a single website.

There are a few companies that offer this exact same sort of situation. Microsoft and Google, both do. They want to get developers interested in their products, and how useful they can be. They want developers to access and use the tools. Because they want people to get engaged with this stuff, they charge practically nothing for the service for those that are just starting out. In fact, if you are only using the service at a bare minimum (which is all I needed), you can continue to use the "free tier" indefinitely.

It took me a couple of weeks, and bit of reading and research, just to figure out how to connect to one of these cloud servers once it was built. Once I managed to figure that out, it was just a matter of working through things one by one to; get Apache and MySQL installed (web server and database), get files moved to the server and start testing, make the server available and live on the internet, and finally point an actual domain name to it.

So what you see here is the end result of all that effort. I created a fairly simple RSS reader. Now that this thing is up and running, I plan to do a lot more with it. So check back and see what comes about.

In the long-term, if I like managing a system like this, over my current shared hosting system, I may consider porting everything over and running all of my business needs off of cloud servers. That's a ways down the road. But it is something to consider.

"I don't always test my code. But when I do, I do it in production." - Abraham Lincoln

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