Happy 20th birthday Tannock.net!

It was an inauspicious start, and definitely the last few years have been really, really inconsistent, but Tannock.net turns 20 years old today. The domain itself precedes the site, and indeed there was a previous, hand-rolled incarnation for a year or so. But this particular log goes continuously back.

Over the past two decades it’s been migrated a bunch of times – Greymatter, MovableType, something else I can no longer remember, and currently WordPress have been the platforms; it’s been self-hosted under my desk, on a friend’s machine in a server rack, at wordpress, at Rackspace, now Digital Ocean.

I’ve had traffic in the tens of thousands a month and traffic of less than 10 a month. I’ve been inspired by this site, I’ve been terrified by this site (nothing like the fear of the blank page!). I’ve written some truly terrible takes and some good ones. But I love that I can see 20 years of thought, learning, change, interests here in the public realm.

Here’s to 20 more years of writing in public, theoretically more often!

New(ish) Tannock.net

So, it turns out that when one has a WordPress site that is so old that its content predates WordPress itself (indeed, WordPress is, I believe, the 4th in a series of CMS/publishing platforms that I’ve used to maintain this site), it gets some cruft. And when it is additionally sitting on a server that was new sometime in the 90s, occasionally bad things happened. And so, it came to my attention last week that the site was riddled with malware. Some investigation lead me to discover that while the current, immediate threat was easily contained, there were someĀ 1400 suspicious files on the server that I wasn’t sure what they were doing – most were contained by the server itself, but, still – I clearly wasn’t being a good site owner.

So, rather than try to clean that all up in place, on a server that often chokes whenever I click a button, I simply exported the data, moved the site and re-launched it the least amount of time possible. So now I’m using the default WordPress theme for a while, and there’s likely tonnes of things missing. But the site’s now up on a Digital Ocean Droplet, so, in theory, modern technology that will keep it up and running smoothly.

It’s probably time to actually move platforms again, but I have neither the time nor the inclination at the moment, so this’ll have to do.

Minor site Tweaks

I’ve made some minor edits to the site:

  • The biggest change is the header: I’m now pulling in a random image to be the background for the heaader – these are all photos I’ve taken (with the exception of the “comrade”, who used to feature more prominently on this site, and is still my “icon” across virtually every social network I use).
  • Typekit: The site-title is now rendered using Typekit. I suspect which font I use will change over time – nothing stresses me out more than choosing appropriate typography, but for now, I’m using CarbonType by Vic Fieger. You’ll also see a little badge at bottom-right linking to a standarized colophon from them.
  • Less Clutter: I got rid of the “Stickers” in favour of an “Elsewhere”, listing where else you can find me, and did away with the flickr Badge, as I never did like the layout, so it’s a little cleaner down the right-hand-side. I may move to a two-column layout at some point, but this’ll do for now.
  • Colors: Gone is the blue, replaced with a grey, although. Not wholly satisfied with it, but it’ll do for now.

That’s it! Minor tweaks, but long overdue.