Hey… so it’s been a while since there was a post here (stares at last blog in 2019) - for a number of reasons, and you might have noticed a few changes around here if you’ve followed the blog for any length of time.

Some context behind the large gap, and reasons for the changes: Working in Technical Marketing for a vendor means that a lot of the time you spend working and researching things that are essentially part of the “output” for your job, meaning that most of your time and effort is spent on building content that can be used internally and externally, and subsequently if there is a decision for “does this belong on my personal blog, or on the work blog?” the answer basically always favours the work forums.

With that in mind, I’ve come up with a bit more of a deliniation between the two and what “Blah, Cloud” is really used for. It’s my personal site, and in the past it’s largely been covering vendor stuff - that’s going to change a bit.

In the past I was treating my blog how I treat my work blog, and wouldn’t allow myself to post things that are more personal or non-work related, but I have a vast number of thoughts, projects and ideas that i’d like to share that don’t fit into that bucket - and I figure, if you’re of the same persuations as me why not stick around, maybe theres some overlap!

Instead, I see this becoming a place where I can post about things like my race car builds, home automation, machine learning experiments ↗, any techy/nerdy endeavours I might be working on, beer brewing, 3D printing & CNC; and wider opinion based thought pieces (cough engineering for failure and planned obscelesence cough).

What’s new?

Site Design

You might have noticed that the site looks totally different from it’s previous incarnation as a Wordpress site - that’s for a few reasons, I wanted to make it simpler, to streamline and optimise the look (and the network calls ↗) and the processing time as well as make it mobile responsive and SEO friendly ↗, and allow me to use my workflow (writing in markdown and using git) - all of those things are delivered by Hugo ↗, and a heavily customised theme ↗ with some optimisations built in.

Site Stack

Under the hood this baby runs on GitHub Pages and Actions, uses CloudFlare as a CDN with a CloudFlare Worker for analytics via Plausible ↗ - and still manages to only weigh in at 66KB on a full article, and load it uncached in 0.4s.

C’est tres rapide, no?!

I’ve also made my analytics public so you can see just what info is gathered (not much, and no PII ↗, no cookie popup, you’re welcome.) check that out here ↗.

Site Content

I’ve taken the time to write a few new pages that will be permanent fixtures here and provide a whole bunch more references and information to what i’ve been up to for the last while:

  • Bio - Longer term background, trends, and contact info
  • Now - What I’m up to right now in short little snippets, updated regularly
  • Works - Content I’ve created - videos, blogs, solutions, git repos, etc

I’ve also moved and refactored all of the content that was on the Wordpress site and also taken the time to make sure that every single link, in every single blog is working, was redirected, or is replaced with a new reference, this was a few weeks of evenings work, but as you can see from the metrics on 404s ↗ - it’s looking pretty good.

Not to mention, the entire site ↗ and all its comments ↗ are open source.

The Future

So with all that in mind, a few ideas I have for things i’d like to write about over the next while, should it interest any of you:

  • Migrating from Wordpress to Hugo
  • Building and automating social card icons for Hugo
  • Building/customising a Hugo theme for performance and content
  • Building an auto-scaling numberplate recognition system ↗, from scratch
  • Optimising machine learning models
  • Using github as a comment system for Hugo
  • Building and scaling a multi-arch home K8s cluster
  • Using hardware accelerators with K8s for ML scheduling
  • Building ↗ and training ↗ robots to walk
  • Compiling custom kernels for Jetson Nanos
  • Pathfinding and mazebuilding algorithms (with GANs?)
  • Using RTL-SDR for plane tracking and LoRa WANs
  • Hacking Ikea smart blinds to add features that should have been OOTB
  • Planned obscelence is alive and well in the appliance industry
  • …and a lot more.

Here’s to the next chapter of Blah, Cloud!