Bye Bye, AWS! Hello, WordPress.com!

Three years ago, my friend Rob let me know he was shutting down his personal server, where Two Ideas lived, and that I needed to find somewhere else to host it. (Thanks, Rob, for letting me use your server for so many years!)

I moved to hosting on AWS, for a couple of reasons. First, I knew how to administer Linux systems, and running Linux on AWS was easy. Second, the first year on the “free tier” was absurdly cheap. Third, I didn’t know a whole lot about AWS, and it seemed like a good opportunity to learn.

What did I learn?

Not as much about AWS as I’d intended; it was too easy and reasonable to run my box like any other Linux server. I learned far more about AWS and automation in my one year at Context Relevant than in three years of running this blog in the cloud.

But I did learn some other things.

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Neat trick: colorize bash input

As a frequent technical communicator, I often want to cut-and-paste something from my Unix terminal sessions so that other people can see what I’m seeing.

Unfortunately, it can be confusing to read:

Hello World in the Unix shell, without color

Hello World in the Unix shell, without color

Instead I want it to look like this:

Hello World in the Unix shell, in color

Hello World in the Unix shell, in color

How did I make this happen? Well, it’s a bit hacky, and it only works with the bash shell. Read on for more details.
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