New website!

If you’ve visited this site in the past, you may notice that things look pretty different. Now that it’s summer again, I’ve spent most of my nights working on completely overhauling this website.

Why this change?

Over the last couple of years, I have grown increasingly dissatisfied about how I maintained and updated my website, and the fact that my technical blog was a wholly separate entity from my main site. At the same time, I fell completely in love with the Hugo static site generator after using it to create PDC Unplugged. However, inertia led me to keep my old website the way it was. A turning point came in 2020 after I discovered that I disliked some of my hosting provider’s policies, including their desire to charge me extra for an SSL certificate for my domain. I vowed that as soon as I had the time, I would ditch my hosting provider and revamp my website in the process. Life had other plans for me these last two years, so I am only getting to this passion project now.

How did I build this?

My current site is built using the Hugo framework and maintained using a Git repo. All binary artifacts (pdfs, images, etc.) are tracked using Git LFS, so my actual repo stays pretty tiny. Since I have very little talent when it comes to web design, I first found a Hugo theme that I liked and then modified it to suit my needs. This particular site is based on the Hugo Finite theme created by Marcus Brinkmann, which I further modified by creating custom layouts and utilizing Hugo’s partials feature. I also ported all the posts from my old technical blog that was hosted on GitHub pages, allowing me to all my writing Jekyll-free.

Other Details

Hugo, while fantastic, is certainly not for the faint of heart. I admit that there is quite a learning curve, and if you are not up for doing a bit of learning about the workings of Hugo, it may be difficult to find a “perfect” theme that does everything you want. This is the third website I am buliding with Hugo, and every time is a learning experience for me.

If you have an existing site that you are porting, I would strongly encourage you to run a webcrawler on your website to help ensure that you keep links consistent during the transition.

Lastly, I had several large disk image files that are somewhat problematic to host using free resources, due to their large size. Git LFS, for instance, will not track these files because they are so big. Thankfully, since all of my disk images are related to CS Education papers and CS Education efforts, I was able to upload them to the new CS-Materials repository! I hope that will be a good permanent home for them going forward. In case anyone can’t access any of the old disk images, please reach out to me and let me know.

That’s it for now! I should have another Raspberry Pi related post soon.