I never thought I would be one to blog, but I suddenly have a bit of an interest in it. Mostly I'd like to start keeping notes on various technology-related things that I do in my spare time, so that I can find them later if I need them. I might also ramble about some other things (Video games? World news? Sandwiches? I don't know). I just feel compelled to write, because I kind of enjoy it.

Anyway, yes, a notebook or a word document would serve the same purpose, but doing this in blog form has other (what I would consider) benefits:

  1. The information is available from anywhere. Google Docs and Dropbox and the like arguably solve this problem as well, but they don't really...

  2. Make the information public. Who knows, maybe someone else will have the same problem I had, this will actually get indexed by The Almighty Google, and they'll benefit from my dicking around until I got things working the way I wanted meticulous research.

  3. It is, in and of itself, a random tech project to keep me entertained.

This blog as a "project"

Pertaining specifically to number 3 up there, I set this up because I read a few articles about this newfangled Ghost blogging engine and it piqued my interest. Apparently it launched on Kickstarter with the goal of being:

An open source blogging platform which makes writing pleasurable and publishing simple.

So far I'd say it hits that. There are really no frills about Ghost; it has pages for writing and publishing your posts, a little bit of customization, and some account settings. Dashboards are apparently coming down the pipe at some point that will allow you to get a nice overview of your posting stats and other metrics. It's themeable, which is nice, and themes drop in without any fuss. Oh, and it uses Markdown, a spec I've come to be rather familiar with because I hang around on Stack Exchange more than I should probably admit.

My favorite thing about Ghost so far is the real-time post previewing. It's nice to be able to see the formatting as I type out the Markdown, so that I know right away if I'm doing something stupid. In my opinion, it's the best of both a WYSIWYG editor and the flexibility of markup languages all wrapped up nicely.

There are already a handful of nice themes out there, but I'm going with Ghostwriter for the time being. It's simple but polished, and I like that everything is centered instead of having sidebars and whatnot. It feels very clean.

The project behind the project

Currently this Ghost installation is running on a Raspberry Pi (running Pidora, currently), and it's actually surprisingly functional given the specs. It may not live here forever, but it's quite a bit more energy efficient than running off of a desktop or laptop or something of that nature. Creating a new user account was kind of painful, though:

POST /ghost/signup/ 200 97878ms - 27b

...but I only had to do that once, right? In any case, since this is all SQLite and node.js, it would be pretty trivial to migrate to another machine down the line. We'll see how it goes.