Back after a 2 year hiatus

“It’s been a long time…”

According to the calendar I haven’t posted anything here for 2 years. There’s a couple of reasons for that. The biggest is that AppFog’s hosting services ended and I had to migrate to a new service. That turned out to be a good learning exercise but ultimately a pricey one.

Slack as I have been with it, I came to the realisation that all that email traffic from AppFog about massive server loss some time ago actually affected me. Everyone’s apps hosted in the Asia Pacific region got wiped out but (holy moly I’m lucky I suppose) it didn’t wipe out the databases. As much as I wouldn’t exactly miss it if my entire programming blog history suddenly vanished forever, it seems a shame to lose what is essentially my programmer’s “Dear Diary” of content going back to 2008. So the WordPress app was dead (so I couldn’t use the convenient export tool) but I was able to recover the wordpress sqlite database. I’d have to manually apply that database to a new WordPress app.

And so began the process of rehosting

Why are you so expensive, CenturyLink?

I eventually moved the blog to CenturyLink via Bitnami’s creation tools, CenturyLink being the successor to AppFog. It had a healthy trial period credit which seemed like a good deal but there was a catch. It turns out they charge you, then credit you back the charges. The result was that I was paying tax, a lot of it.

The thing is, despite the ‘generous’ credit that would have taken a couple of years to run out, the actual cost of running a basic WordPress server with next to zero traffic was crazy expensive. Something like US $25 a month or something (AWS is about US $5 all up for a lot of services). CenturyLink even posted me invoices all the way to New Zealand charging me tax of US 0.19c. Now, that was okay initially until randomly that tax got way higher than 0.19c, meaning that somehow my bill for that month got super high (albeit credited).

Back to

I was not prepared to stick with a service that was, on paper costing a lot more than AWS (where my other project is hosted). I’ll admit that I’m a web server novice and I couldn’t figure out how (if it was even possible) to somehow scale back whatever setting was required to stop CenturyLink costing so much; the servers were certainly not under load. Their invoice was way more complicated than it needed to be too and I gave up trying to understand how they’d come up with the costs they did. So many of the line entries were vague and repeated. It was not a good example of how invoicing a customer should be done.

So to cut a long story short, I gave up on the idea of having my own privately hosted WordPress blog and moved everything to an hosted site. Thankfully I could now use that convenent WordPress export tool and it was a trivial task to move. It means my domain name can only redirect to (there’s no masking allowed) but at least it’s not costing me. My other projects and domain names cost enough as it is.



No more Failed State

Unfortunately I have not worked on Failed State in all this time. I’d love to but I started Chartopia at and it’s taken over 2 years of my developer free time (more on it later) . I did notice that someone has made an amazing looking Unreal Engine plugin for OSM data though. Nice.