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.

Chauvinism, Criticism and Harassment – my comment on the topic.

Last week was the week the game industry showed its lack of maturity by essentially bitching about the drama surrounding Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn. I even saw another article about Phil Fish and naturally the comment section was going all out, saying things they’d never say to people’s faces.

It’s all a bit embarrassing really and I’m not sure why people care so much. Yet, here I am writing a blog post about it so obviously I care? Or do I? Yes, I seem to care enough to get involved in the mud slinging, even though what I try to do is actually pass around some bags so people can clean up their mess.

Here was my contribution to one comment section [edited for typos]…

“This comment section has basically reinforced the point that there is essentially a lot of hate directed at certain professionals in the industry. The problem is that commenters continually attack the player instead of the ball and continually try to find fault (which may be minimal) instead of trying to find what may be insightful.

Case in point are the ridiculous accusations directed at Quinn. All I’m going to say about that is for people to look up Kotaku’s response the allegations. It’s almost like people want or expect there to be something solacious and to hell with what really happened, so long as it *could* have happened.

And the hate directed at Sarkeesian is mindless in that it’s not like many people offer rebuttals to what she has to say. In fact, most of her videos are matter-of-fact in that they merely report instances of tropes and create an awareness of their existence. Culturally we get so used to the status quo that we need the efforts of people such as Sarkeesian to enlighten our thinking a bit more.

In regards to Phil Fish, I think people forget how much that guy toiled to get his game released (watch Indie Game: The Movie). Not everyone can handle media (and social media) in such a way that is dry enough to be palettable to everyone in the world. A more recent example is the maker of Flappy Wings who basically hid while all the conspiracy theories died down.”

*sigh* I don’t know why I bother. I find that people want want to discover a big conspiracy, just like a Hollywood movie but more often that not, the simplest explanations will suffice.

I endeavour to be level headed in these debates. I like jousting with my left leaning friends and conspiratorial friends alike but I do so with the knowledge that I’m as biased as everyone else. I like to appreciate all points of view (Re: Ukraine and Russia) but in the end I still feel compelled to pick a side. Will I get all bitchy with someone who disagrees with me? No, but I’ll still try and make a thought provoking remark on an Al Jazeera Facebook post about the Ukraine conflict (which is a cultural and geopolitical puzzle that I suspect doesn’t bode well for Ukraine).


Come on guys. The rest of the world must be thinking what the hell is wrong with our industry given the way we’re behaving at the moment.