Tech Update 1 Feb 2021

So whats new in tech around here?

Well, Home Assistant has arrived on one of the webservers and is fairing well in its work as a  central control point for home devices. It is working well with Google Home and all my other devices. Well all apart from Alexa. To be fair the only thing Alexa seems to be used for at the moment is translating “Boris Johnson carrot one hundred” into Welsh!

The firm staples of Nextcloud, Netdata, WordPress, Matomo, FreshRss and Kanboard are working well on the dotcom server.

Courtfax1 has been extended and revamped with Airsonic, CouchPotato, Transmission and Searx – a build-it-yourself rival to Google. SuiteCrm and X2CRM have been mothballed in line with the closure of The Tradehouse.

Mattermost and Discourse are arriving shortly to improve communications. The new CCTV system arrives this coming week and will feed into courfax2. Courtfax2 will serve as the main comms, management and security platform for both properties when the new holiday home is acquired.

The number of Rasberry Pi on the network is multiplying with the welcome addition of a RetroPi for fun. I now have 27,000 games to get through from a number of classic platforms such as ZX Spectrum, Nintendo, Amstrad CPC, Amiga and Sega. These small single-board machines perform well and are fun to work with.

So I have multimedia, home security, communications, general management, gaming and a few other things all managed by a smart web interface.

The original courtfax collection of HTML and PHP scripts is still going strong and has had some python scripts added to it.

A Dell tablet running Windows has recently been chucked in the bin and my “office/studio” is now awash with only Lenovo kit. This will change as I will likely take delivery of a new Microsoft Surface shortly. I have a lot of time for Lenovo kit. It works well, performs well and is reliable. I wish I could say about Dell.

 

 

17 Years Old Today. The Kit that powers this site

WordPress has been powering sites that I own or sites that I have built for 11 of the past 17 years. I have built WordPress since 2009. Since 2011 I have needed a very good reason to build a website in anything but WordPress. We are talking over 200 websites. At one point I owned 40 WordPress websites! I haven’t built a site in anything else since 2013.

I remember once being in hospital and so bored that I updated 12 WordPress websites by clicking on each individual update!

The code base of WordPress has changed monumentally since I first started using it and it has developed from blogging software into a fully fledged website operating system and content management system. This website has developed since 2011 and seen updates since WordPress 2.7. Ok it was heavily rebuilt earlier this year.

This is quite a heavy site – over 10,000 individual items of content and I sometimes consider moving it to another CMS or platform but I never do. WordPress is perfect and I appreciate the regular updates and swift security patches.

After a while I have even begun to like the new Gutenberg block editor! In short I am very happy with WordPress.

In closing there is only one thing left to say. Thank You and Happy Birthday WordPress!

Matomo and WordPress Integration

It was a very pleasant surprise to read the news just now that a plugin has been released for WordPress that seemingly integrates Matomo into WordPress for website analytics management.

Matomo (formerly Piwik) has been my go to website analytics solution for many years replacing Google Analytics (lets not go there on this post) and I am pleased to see this integration with what has to be the best Content Management System on the planet. It is in beta at the moment and I hope that it moves from beta to full product status in short order.

There does have to be a downside. Unfortunately I cannot use this plugin for two reasons. One I have a large number of custom sites set up in my existing Matomo instance including this one and the second is that the plugin is not currently recommended for high traffic sites, which this site is.

I do hope that this important update moves internet decentralisation on and furthers the self hosting movement both of which I am a great supporter of.