Jordan Westhoff

Jordan Westhoff's Blog


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Website Domain Disparity

I’m taking a brief break from a good deal of programming and figured I’d clear up some recent questions I’ve been getting about disparity in my web domain names. Currently, I hold the leases to this domain and also http://jordanwesthoff.me – why is this?

First off, I’ve had this domain for a long time. I first decided I needed to develop a web presence way back in high school when I was a wee lad. I’m glad I did. I was less busy than I am now and it gave me a great way to learn about the ins and outs of basic web hosting and all of that fun stuff. That being said, I was a less informed wee lad and decided to host directly with WordPress – it seemed like the perfect combo! For ~$40 yearly I get hosting and a domain and it’s borderline idiot proof! Just what high school me needed.

Over the years though, WordPress has been making a steady decline. I don’t mean the WordPress platform itself – that’s alive and doing incredibly well! It’s their business side of things – their hosting practice and whatnot on the WordPress.Com side of the border. Shortly after buying the domain and getting everything set up and pretty, WordPress notified me I could do some cool new customizing. This seemed like news to me but I checked it out and sure enough, for bolt on pricing I could do a little extra customizing. This was worrying, sure, but  I didn’t need the customization so I let it slide. Two years later, WordPress graciously let me know that they were going to start putting ads on my site. MY site! The one I pay for! Unless, of course, I paid their $89 Premium fee which would remove all of those ugly suckers from the domain and hosting I already pay for. Not cool and certainly not acceptable.

That being said, I started to realize earlier in the year that I love having a blog, and quite frankly, that is more of what this site has been doing anyways. But I still wanted an elegant way to pass information to other parties as well as generally represent myself on the internet. As a result. I set out to make a FrontPage. In my opinion, a frontpage is essentially, a simple, elegant page that has just the most important information about myself – especially now that I’m embroiled in career hunting. I wanted something I could very quickly manage and I found a great HTML5 skeleton to build off of and manage through GIT. I love it – and I think it looks really slick. I’m probably going to keep it, even after I find a career.

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Finished title page on my new domain!

I’m still at a bit of a loss of what to do though – I probably won’t touch this blog besides updates until I graduate. However, I’ve become to really hold resentment towards the once Mighty WordPress and will probably set up my own hosting and a custom install of WordPress post grad once I settle into a job in a couple of months so stay tuned for those updates! Once I have some static servers back up and my firewall and stack back online, hosting my own site locally will be no issue at all – something I’ve been looking at doing for a very long period of time.

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Some more sample imagery from my new site.

Long story short though: Jordanwesthoff.com (the page you’re on now) is here to stay and is going to serve as a professional blog for my work and major projects!

Jordanwesthoff.me is the flashy front page with essential information, a new, slick design and links to all of my thesis work! Thesis work will be posted here too, but it can’t hurt to have some information bridge between sites! So go check out my new front page and let me know what you think and in the meantime I’ll keep blogging here!

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Upgrades, Upgrades, Upgrades

Hey All!

With my return to Rochester, New York to spend a couple weeks working before the next academic semester, I’ll be posting a lot of neat content relevant to the assortment of projects I have planned! Here’s a quick breakdown!

Moving some servers around! I’ll be converting a Windows 7 server to a CentOS server to host this website on! I’ve been using WordPress for a significant period of time and it’s been great! The problem is WordPress’s business plan and pay per add on web features when you host through their web service. After some work with CentOS, I realized I have plenty of power to be hosting else where! I’ll still be running WordPress, the new version 3.8 is pretty snappy! But I want more power with hosting and SEO and back end programming, so hosting locally it is! As a note, if this site goes offline for a couple of days, don’t be alarmed!!

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Building another NAS! I have the parts, the case, (beautiful NZXT 210 Elite in sleek black) and the drives, but now it’s time for the build and setup! It’s going to be a real cool setup on the inside so I’ll be sure to post photos! I’ve been hosting somewhat of a local datacenter for my operations, clients and products but now it’s time to make a bit more of a contiguous storage pool, especially given RIT’s internet speeds here! The power supply is coming in in two days and then building will go forward pretty quickly! This should comfortably keep my storage ceiling around 20tb, even with redundancy and network shares!

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On top of this, I will also be setting up my final server as a general use server, with a file system and user access panel. Currently experimenting with Windows Server 2012 datacenter Edition, but also looking into Ubuntu Server and the possibility of adding in another CentOS machine! With all of these installs, I’ve tapped out all of our networking opportunities so I’ll be installing a mid sized rack switch and firewalls. Time to take this setup to a full blown cluster now that I have the capabilities for web serving, file serving and administration and distributed rendering and computational engines. Hopefully the setup starts to look a bit more professional as well, as compared to the humble beginnings of the project, shown below!

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The humble beginnings of my growing server setup.


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Liking what I see!

I think I’ve just about gotten everything set up and I gotta say, I really like what I’m seeing.  Wordpress is really, really flexible, even if you don’t pay for all the themes and add-ons and starters and the like. It really seems a lot more professional than Tumblr (no offense!) because it seems geared more towards blogging, than being a social network. Gotta love it folks!