bruton.tech

christopher patrick bruton

colophon

My previous iterations of my personal site have been clean, minimalist, monochromatic, and frankly pretty boring, and I wanted something a bit more unique and exciting. I built this site one afternoon in early July 2021—I suppose I was feeling inspired by rainbows and fabulousness on the heels of Pride month (June).

The layout was inspired by the rounded transparent terminals that look so pretty in tiling window managers. The navigation ❮ arrows ❯ (U+276E and U+276F, HEAVY LEFT- & RIGHT-POINTING ANGLE QUOTATION MARK ORNAMENT) were stolen from one of fish shell’s default prompt themes (Starship also uses this character—not sure which came first).

I hand-coded a mockup in pure HTML and CSS (no Javascript anywhere on this site btw), and once I was satisfied I converted the CSS into Sass and built some templates for Zola, my chosen static site generator.

Why Zola? No real compelling reason—I am learning Rust myself and wanted to try out a nice Rust project. And like most Rust software, it’s nicely packaged in a single binary, no need to deal with Node or Python dependency nonsense.

Anyway. I seem to like building blog sites more than actually writing blog posts, so I’ll probably end up abandoning this after a couple of posts and rebuilding it from scratch a year later.

Hosting

I’ve tried hosting static sites before in the usual places (Netlify, Github pages, AWS), but I seem to get more of a kick out of managing my own web server (and learn a lot more this way). So this is hosted on a $10/mo FreeBSD VPS running Apache. I use this VPS for other personal projects, I’m paying for it anyway, so might as well host a site on it too. The performance impact of a static site should be pretty minimal. Not expecting to be retweeted by Elon Musk anytime soon.

Editing

I use Sublime Text for any more-serious projects involving multiple files. I know it’s not FOSS but I’ve been using it for years and I don’t mind paying for a good-quality piece of software. For quick edits and anything in the terminal, I use Neovim.

Networking

Like any good network engineer, I have more networking hardware in my home than the average person. I’m a MikroTik guy, and here’s my current stack:

  • hEX S: main router; does NAT, DHCP, firewall, prefix delegation, etc.
  • hAP ac: Wi-Fi access point; works fine for our tiny apartment, but I still drool over the RB4011iGS+5HacQ2HnD-IN (that’s a mouthful of a model name!) and will probably upgrade at some point.
  • CRS226-24G-2S+RM: handles all my wired networking and various VLANs for work and pleasure. Discontinued, but still gets software updates and works fine.

Computing

I’m a Mac user for now. Working from home, I use my work-owned iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015) for most serious stuff. When I’m sitting on the couch or out and about, I use my mid-2020 MacBook Air.

When my iMac has to go back to the office, I’ll likely get a new desktop computer but not sure what yet. Maybe a new iMac but maybe build my own PC and install FreeBSD or some flavor of Linux.

Updated in July 2021.