Moving to Google Cloud

A few things precipitated the move from Amazon Web Services to Google Cloud Platform.

I don’t really like Amazon that much, and whilst supporting or using big businesses generally comes with its own variety of issues, I do prefer Google to Amazon.

My web hosting went downhill rather dramatically. I could have possibly worked with them to solve the issues, but none of it should have happened in the first place. Requesting to be moved internally would have fixed my issue, but old vulnerable servers were still being used for paying customers. Their position on SSL was ‘good luck or pay up’ and after the PHP portion kept getting hacked I decided let’s sort out the services remaining on traditional web hosting and go fully cloud.

The biggest immediate motivator was the 1 year free portion of AWS running out, and whilst you only get charged for what you use, the formerly free bit was more expensive than the afore-mentioned hosting. If you do want to stick with AWS after the trial period, their Lightsail packages are eminently affordable and quite tempting, but I did want to move away from Amazon rather than onto one of their cheaper services. 

Google Cloud does not offer free Plesk services like I was using on Amazon and I kind of wanted to get used to how it works now – relying more on instances and less on management consoles. So I thought I’d give Google Deployments and Bitnami images a go. Google Deployments didn’t have SSL by default and seemed to require config changes to set that up, so I gave up in favour of Bitnami eventually setting on what I thought would be the easiest to maintain – stock WordPress on Bitnami. Doubly important because I was going to set up my partner’s website on a separate instance this time, but don’t want to multiply the work.

More importantly of course, Google’s Cloud Platform free tier instance is free forever.

All previous email addresses now go to one single account, and the one thing I’ve kept around from Amazon is I’m using Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) for just sending. It isn’t free, but costs 1ยข per 100 emails a month. And I don’t send a 100 emails a month. I’ve seen other alternatives, so I can switch at my convenience. And really web and mail was all I used the hosting for.

So I’m now on a free server once more.

Moving to Amazon Web Services

Decided to move the couple of websites we run from traditional web hosting to the cloud.

Partially, just because I felt it was time to move on rather than specific hosting issues, but the actual catalyst was not being able to add videos to the WordPress “Twenty Seventeen” theme. I’m sure the fine hosting provider people would have got it working had I asked, but I wanted to be able to do something about it myself. Turns out there was more of an advantage, after trialling a couple of different cloud service providers, Amazon seemed to have the most generous provision for its free tier. The idea was to test it out, see how it worked, and then purchase a plan, but most of the cloud services offer a pay for what you use. This put me off at first, just because it’s not what I’m used to, but makes more sense as why should you pay for a service you aren’t using?

Amazon offers virtual machines that have an insanely generous 1gb of memory and a single core of a Xeon E5-2676 @ 2.4ghz for free.

After transition, which wasn’t entirely without pain – I ended up learning a lot more about the minutiae of DNS and Email than I really wanted to, turns out the free tier is probably enough for my meagre needs. Not only that, but the image I used from the marketplace has resulted in a site that loads faster.

So I’m moving from a hosting service which is slower, costs money, uses old versions of php and friends, has no nginx, and occasionally goes down or goes really very slow to an improved service that’s free and lets me run whatever I want. And even if I eventually trip the free tier and get charged, it’s only going to charge me for what I use.

Day 27 – New job found

BMI: 32.29

So I have found a new job and the diet is going, well, it’s a little up and down, but mostly down from the initial, and I certainly feel a bit better.

Weirdly, the job is literally upstairs from where I was, so aside from the extra steps, my routine will likely be the same. Which is a positive both in terms of health and keeping up with the exercise, and also not being so stressed out that my butt falls off.

Going to keep this short as I’ve posted some other stuff and well, I need to do a more up-to-date entry and see how my weight has been. Hopefully new job anxiety has at least served the positive of making me too nervous to eat. On the other hand, compared to what I was doing during my notice period, I don’t think anything can be as bad stress-wise.

I hope I’m right about that.

General Election 2k17

My usual advice is to vote, just vote for whoever you like, but please vote.

This time, vote Labour. Even if it rains.

People often criticise politicians for ignoring the public, and being samey. Honestly, it’s a valid criticism. But this time, we have a party who is actually championing ideas that have widespread public support that are usually considered political suicide, and they’re gaining voter share because of it.

And let that sink in. Ideas which have widespread, often majority support are considered politically toxic and make you ‘unelectable’. That’s the sign of a broken political system. Re-nationalising the train service and scrapping tuition fees are two examples that resonate strongly with the public with majority support, and yet to get a party that would push for it, you had to ignore the two biggest parties. That’s no longer true and needs support.

Voter share will make these mainstream ideas… politically mainstream.

Day 1 – The diet begins

BMI: 32.55

With a sad, life-changing event happening in the form of being made redundant, I thought it could be a good idea to start a weight-loss / diet blog thing. Hopefully, this will stop me from going mental and eating all the things whilst I try to perk myself up enough to move swiftly into more work.

The funny thing about appetite is that it doesn’t just change because you become less mobile. It is still there at the same level. When I became less mobile due to back pain and foot shenanigans, I pretty much ate the same stuff. Now that I have had a couple of foot operations and my back pain is somewhat more stable or at least enough that I could take up more exercise, I had stabilised, but stabilised on the podgy side.

It’s about time I concentrated more on losing a little weight anyway. The reasons are mostly so that doctors take me seriously about things like my back. Right now, as I’m fat they simply see that as the easy cause of the pain, but I’ve had issues with that since I was a small child. In other words, the pain was caused by my gait which reduced my mobility, which led to weight-gain, rather than the weight gain causing the pain.

BMI 32.55

I’ll be using Wii Fit Plus to help me keep track of things, and as expected, it told me I’d gained a bunch of weight since last time, so I’ve set a goal in it for 3 months of weight loss to get me out of the obese bracket. I also need to be more serious about flexibility exercises, but general exercise I think I’m doing quite well, as I do cycle 4 miles every day. But I need to do more stretches and yoga style stuff as well as that. And that should help with all the secondary issues I have like shoulder pain.