I'm happy to say this website is now fully static and hosted by AWS! Since its creation in 2009 (10 years ago!), micahjayne.com has been running off a LAMP stack on an old desktop at my parents' house. Learning how to setup a web server was a lot of fun and a great experience. I also didn't have to pay for any hosting, so I could spend all of the paychecks from my minimum wage job on musical instruments instead.
It's had some issues, though. The occasional-to-frequent power outage at my parents' house meant I had to call them to restart the server whenever it went down. I set up email alerts through a service called Statcounter that would email me whenever the server went down. Sometimes it'd come back up in an hour or so, other times I'd have to call tech support (my parents) to reboot the server. It was rare I'd ever have a month with 100% uptime. A couple years ago, I bought them a UPS and plugged the server into it (okay, I bought me a UPS. But they're using it for their computer too!). This helped with the outages a lot, but the uptime was still never 100%, due to occasional internet outages.
Ever since I learned about static website hosting with S3, I really wanted to move my website over to it. There was one major sticking point, however — this blog. I know, I haven't posted on here in 3 years, and rarely posted even before then. Still, there's some stuff here that's somewhat sentimental that I'd like to keep around, for my own records, if nothing else. But the blog was stopping me from just dropping all the files in an S3 bucket and calling it a day, so I put it off for a while.
Then I learned about Jekyll, a way to statically host a blog. This is exactly what I wanted, so over a very long Memorial Day weekend, I finally took the plunge.
It makes a lot of sense. Pre-computing all the pages beforehand and statically hosting them. This makes loading considerably faster (and a lot more secure, too). Do all of the computing once, beforehand, not every time a user visits the site. This makes sense for a lot of blogs, especially mine considering the frequency of updates.
Getting Jekyll set up initially was super simple, but it took a lot of tweaking to get things exactly how I wanted them. I wanted to maintain the same look of the old blog, including the sidebar with categories and archives. For the categories, initially I was able to achieve this using a plugin called jekyll-archives. However, when I started working on implementing pagination, things got more complicated. I ended up using the autopages feature of jekyll-paginate-v2 to generate the category pages, but still using jekyll-archives to generate the monthly pages (those are always so small that they never need pagination). It took a lot of experimentation and trial-and-error, but I eventually got everything to my liking.
After I finally got all the files staticized, it was time to upload everything AWS. Getting the S3 bucket and CloudFront distribution was a snap. The AWS documentation actually has a pretty good guide if you're interested in doing this yourself. It takes you through setting up the S3 bucket, setting up a CloudFront distribution to point to that bucket, as well as setting up a custom domain with Route53. Transferring the domains took some time unfortunately, just due to my previous registrar taking a long time to release them.
All said and done, everything is lightning fast now, downloading files especially. Right now, the S3 and CloudWatch costs are fully covered by the Free Tier. Once that expires after a year, the costs will be <<$1/mo. I moved domain name registration from Namecheap to Route53. I never really had any issues with Namecheap, but having everything in AWS makes things a bit easier. Setting up HTTPS certificates for CloudFront is one-click, CloudWatch-served traffic is free, also the DNS service is better (though total overkill in my case). The yearly registration cost is slightly cheaper, but I do have to pay $0.50/mo for the hosted zones. Still, overall I'm paying less than a couple bucks a month for hosting 3 websites, which is amazing. I also moved my other two websites to CloudWatch + S3 + Route53 (these were already static, so they were very easy to migrate). In the future, for some improvements, I could add comments via Disqus or search via Bing or Google, but I don't really feel the need for them at the moment.
Songs about love, space, & symmetry.
My new albums are available now! You can download them both for free on Bandcamp.
Symmetric Geometry/Geometric Symmetry is a joint release with two separate albums, each with 10 tracks. All of the tracks on Symmetric Geometry feature vocals, while Geometric Symmetry is entirely instrumental.
After 5 long years, a project I began with Tyler Ringer & Jeremy Ray has finally been released. Recording began on May 2nd, 2010, and was completed on August 21st, 2011. In the subsequent 4 years, I spent time on and off re-programming instruments, mixing, and mastering. These are by far the largest songs I've worked on, with some songs containing as many as 94 tracks. Attempting to mix such massive songs was a bit daunting, but I'm happy with how they turned out and am excited for them to finally be released. They all feature a wide variety of unique instruments, some you've maybe never even heard of before! You can read the full credits list on Bandcamp. You can download the 32-minute album for free -- just click Buy Now on Bandcamp and enter 0 in the Name Your Price box. The album features 7 songs, all coming together to form a story, while each song seamlessly transitions from one track to the next as the journey continues. I'd recommend downloading in one of the higher quality formats, such as ALAC, to make sure the gap timing is preserved, as MP3 can add space between songs as a byproduct of its compression process. Each track also has its own artwork, each a scene from the Tapisserie de l'Apocalypse. I hope you enjoy these songs as much as we did making them!
Fraction Clock is now available for Pebble!
Tell time in reduced fractions.
We hear it all the time:
"What time is it?"
"It's a quarter 'til three."
But what if you took that to the next level?
"What time is it?", they ask?
"It's thirteen twentieths past eight."
Fraction clock takes the current number of hours and minutes over the total number of hours and minutes and reduces them to their lowest form. It provides an interesting new way to tell time, allowing you to easily see what fraction of the hour or day has gone by.
- Switch between vertical and horizontal orientation of fractions
- Both black and white backgrounds
- Use 24 or 12 as your hour divisor. Using 24 tells you how far you are past midnight. Using 12 tells you how far you are past midnight in the AM and how far you are past noon in the PM.
- Optionally pad the numbers with zeros
- Optionally display seconds
October 16, 2014 - 1:35 pm
Here are a few pictures and a listing of my current guitar rig:
Fender American Deluxe Telecaster Thinline
Vox Custom AC15 Creamback
Pedaltrain PT-2 Pedalboard
Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Mondo Power Supply
Strymon TimeLine Delay
Strymon BigSky Reverberator
Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb
Boss DD-7 Digital Delay
Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator
Electro-Harmonix Nano Big Muff
Paul Cochrane Timmy Overdrive
Walrus Audio Deep Six Compressor
Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-200
Ernie Ball MVP Volume Pedal
Original Polished Brass Rock Slide
Pen and Paper
Part 3 of the pens, pencils, and notebooks collection.
Pens and pencils, from left to right:
Rotring 800+ Mechanical Pencil + Stylus Hybrid 0.5mm - Like the 600, but with a tip that doubles as a tablet stylus.
Tombow Mono Zero Eraser 2.5mm x 5mm - Skinny when it needs to be, but can cover more area with the wider side.
Uni Jetstream Alpha Gel Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm - The best ballpoint with an alpha gel grip, what more could you ask for?
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Gel Ink Pen 0.4mm - Great writing gel pen!
Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Drafting Pencil 0.4mm - Love the 0.4mm lead option, and the retractable tip is great.
Pilot FriXion Ball Slim Gel Ink Pen 0.38mm (Red) - Beth brought these back from Japan during her semester at sea trip. It's a pen that you can erase!
Pilot FriXion Ball Slim Gel Ink Pen 0.38mm (Black)
Zebra Expandz Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm (White) - Love this guy, usually what I carry on me; nice and compact.
Zebra Expandz Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm (Red)
Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm (Gray) - A little smaller than the Expandz, can take a Fisher universal refill.
Fisher Space Pen Bullet Ballpoint Pen - A classic.
Notebooks, from top to bottom, left to right:
Midori MD Notebook - A very nice notebook, another thing Beth brought back from Japan.
Field Notes (Night Sky Edition)
Field Notes (Red Blooded Edition)
Field Notes (Northerly Edition)
Field Notes (The Traveling Salesman Edition)
Field Notes (Expedition Edition)
Moleskine Volant Pocket Ruled (Payne's Gray)
Moleskine Volant Pocket Ruled (Slate Gray)
Moleskine Volant Extra Small Ruled (White)
On the top right is a Saki P-666 pen roll
and on the bottom right is a Boogie Board - a cool digital tablet that you can use a stylus to write on and push a button to erase.
All of the Field Notes varieties:
Some notebook/pen combinations:
Check out part 1 and part 2.
Here are a couple of pictures of my Buckyballs collection. It's old news by now, but it's a shame they got discontinued. There is a recall issued for them, but I have no intentions of returning them; I'll do what I can to resist the urge to swallow them. There's an interesting article on the rise and fall of Buckyballs here. If you'd like, you can still buy Bucky Bigs and Buckyballs encased in lucite here.
I just recently got a new camera, the Canon SL1, and I love it! I would highly recommend it to anyone as an entry-level DSLR. It's a great camera that is easy to use and takes beautiful images. I had the chance to take lots of pictures during my summer in Seattle so I figured I would share them, you can few the whole set on my Flickr page here.
Timbuk2 Proof Messenger & Snoop Camera Insert
I've been loving my new messenger bag, the Timbuk2 Proof, but what's great is that it doubles as a camera bag with the Snoop. When I'm using my bag for work or school and don't need all my camera gear, I can just slide the insert out and keep everything safely stored inside its padded compartments.
I've also made a few Photosynths. If you haven't heard of Photosynth, it's a technology created by Microsoft that allows you to stitch together images to create full 360-degree panoramas. That's cool, but the new tech preview is even cooler, which allows you do view them in 3D. You're not limited to panoramas either, they have a few other types; the spin, the wall, and the walk. You should definitely go check out some of the awesome creations people have made. Below are a couple I did, one on top of the Space Needle and one at the EMP Museum:
No longer available :(
space needle (day) by logarhythmic on photosynth
if vi was ix by logarhythmic on photosynth
A couple other cool pieces of photography gear I've been messing with are the Lytro and the Olloclip:
The Lytro is a different type of camera; it captures the entire light field instead of a flat 2D image. What this allows you to do is take so-called "living pictures," where you can focus the picture after it's already been taken. You can also use perspective shift, which lets you click and drag around the picture to see it in 3D. Below are a couple examples of some pictures I've taken, try clicking to refocus the image and clicking and dragging around to see perspective shift:
No longer available :(
The Olloclip is a little 3-in-1 lens that you can slide onto your iPhone to take fisheye, wide-angle, or macro pictures. One side has a fisheye lens, and the other has a wide-angle lens which you can unscrew to gain access to the macro lens. Very cool. Here are some examples from my Instagram:
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the pictures! If you'd like to see more, you can always follow me on Flickr, Lytro, or Instagram.
My first computer build, dubbed "The Modest Beast", has served me well. Now its successor, "The Promiscuous Beast", has risen to life!
Here are some pictures of the completed build:
After many BSODs, I've finally reached a stable overclock of 4.5GHz, up from the 3.5GHz stock speed. I probably could have reached 4.6GHz, but it would have required upping the voltage to 1.3, which was giving me temperatures around 90° Celsius under load, which I wasn't crazy about. Under my current configuration, I'm getting temperatures under 80° Celsius while running AIDA64, and around 25° Celsius idle. I've read that with Haswell, it's pretty much luck of the draw, and while my chip isn't the greatest overclocker, I'm happy with the results.
- Click here to view the parts list
CPU - Intel i7 4770k Quad-Core 3.5 GHz Haswell
CPU Cooling - Corsair H100i Liquid Cooler
Motherboard - ASUS Maximus VI Hero
Graphics Card - XFX Double D Radeon R9 280X
RAM - G.Skill Sniper 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
SSD - Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
HDD - Western Digital Black 1TB (x2)
Power Supply - NZXT HALE82 v2 700W Modular
DVD Drive - ASUS 24x DVD-RW
Media Card Reader - Rowewill 5.25" USB 3.0/USB 2.0/eSata Hub & Multi-in-1 Card Reader
Wireless Card - TP-LINK TL-WN881ND Wireless N 2.4GHz 300Mbps PCIe Card
Firewire Card - Vantec 3-Port Firewire 400 PCIe Card
Side Fan - NZXT FZ-140mm (Red)
Front Fans - NZXT FZ-120mm (Red) (x2)
Case - NZXT Phantom 410 (White)
Mouse - Logitech G600 (White)
Keyboard - Rosewill Mechanical Keyboard w/ Cherry MX Brown Switches (White)
Keycaps - Rosewill RIKA-12001
Monitor - Monoprice 27" IPS-ZERO-G 2560x1440
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