Gearhost & Zimwiki

software, website

‘Bout a month ago I said farewell to Google App Engine, or Google Cloud or whatever it’s called now because I found it becoming increasingly heavy to keep my websites updated overthere. What is really nice about GAE (I’m going to keep calling it App Engine, OK?) is that off the top of my head the only service that offered ipv6 records (and thus accessibility) by default. Pity I had to give that up. But all that infra, heavy client and even heavier website just to update a single php file, nah. So I went back to good old shared hosting, complete with html banner injection. It worked… OK the past month. The vignette bothered me a little, but more anoyingly occasionally my website would not be ‘found’, and 000webhost would present me with a 404 page. A single refresh was enough to get to where I thought I was going, but it’s slightly annoying.

Through one of HNs posts I came across Gearhost, which allows you to configure PHP, Node and .Net apps on a small free tier similar to App Engine. You have your custom domain and deployment with git! Fantastic! Was a breeze to setup, and now Koppen is served from there! AAA++++ do recommend.

Next, Zimwiki, Zim-wiki or just Zim, is a desktop wiki program. It’s lightweight, stores notes in it’s own slightly idiosyncratic format as flat files and makes gives you a LyX-like real-time ‘render’ of the flat text. I’ve been meaning to check it out for ages, but it’s formatting being custom held me back a little, and for instance details like ‘:’ as path separators are a bit unfortunate, but I finally got over it for the promise of having a single integrated way to view, edit and search my notes, while still having flat files organized in a directory structure of my chosing (so I can still grep to my hearts content, as well as escape to another tool at any point). I had been using a dir structure of markdown files that I rendered with mkdocs and then published online, but that took a few extra steps and sometimes would have broken search. Zim is just a single program, available for Linux and Windows, and so far, it’s OK! I used a converter script to port my notes from Markdown, and if you move them into your Zim notebook dir, it should find your files and show them (nearly) correctly).