Plain Text


Over the years I have used so many tools to publish this site. The early days saw it start with some html template like the now defunct pagemill to a custom design with a dynamic build and then to wordpress and now the latest incarnation is written in markdown and plain old text.

I think over the past year or so I have tried every blogging tool known on every OS to try and find the perfect solution and I keep coming back to plain text.

plain text image

Plain Text Benefits

Probably the biggest advantage of writing in plain text is that it just works. I don’t have to worry about whether other products will be around in future years if I need to open or edit my files at a later date. (pagemill, noted above has been long discontinued)

Had I written in text, I would still have access to my files and have an archive of all my work I had done over the years [^backups]

That’s why I am reluctant to trust any app that promises ease of use or uses their own format. One example would be using Google Docs.

Writing in Google Docs is a great tool and combined with the gabriel add on I can write in Google Docs, add images and then hit the publish and it will post directly to github pages in markdown.

This is great, but what if Google docs disappears? or more likely, github chnages something and the add-on does not work any more. Then I have the files in docs, but no way to easily export to markdown and I’m left looking for another solution to write with

Another tool I have been considering is Marxico, which allows you to easily sync your writing to evernote. But again, this system has it’s limitations with the biggest being you can’t edit the post in evernote later. What if evernote isn’t around? or Marxico? Again, I would be screwed.

But with plain text all this goes away. I write, copy and paste in a CMS or upload to my host of choice on my publishing host of choice and all my stuff gets processed. easily.

Plain Text Disadvantages

Of course, all is not sunshine and unicorns with this system. Because I write in markdown, this assumes the markdown format stands the test of time and I can edit or publish in this format for years to come. I could be screwd down the road. But at least I would still have the text of the article. I might have to do some tweaking to add links and change the formatting but at very least I would have the text itself.

Summary

I’m done trying to find the perfect blogging tool when I can use almost any device to write in plain text. Plain text removes the friction of formats and file extensions and worrying whether I will be able to open my files in the future.

It’s also easy as I can use almost app to write with that exports to plain text - from simple text editors to distraction free and feature filled markdown editors - almost any program that allows me to format to plain text will do for me.

Sometimes, the simplest way is the best way.

Hosted by Pubstorm


Just a quick note that I’m trying out a different host today that I have not used before: Pubstorm. I was serving from github pages and that was just fine, but Pubstorm allows me not to worry to much about all the confusing git stuff.

All I have to do is fire up a terminal, and enter ‘storm publish’. No more commits or pull and push errors I keep on seeming to have.

I’m not sure if I will stay here, but it’s free hosting same as github pages and it seems to be a bit faster too.

update - that didn’t last long. I couldn’t get the domains sorted out with DNS so after having about 12 hours downtime (it’s a good thing I have no idea on stats) I decided to back to using good old github pages and I use cloudflare for DNS and caching and a free ssl certificate too.

I spent an evening figuring out how to get 100/100 from Google pagespeed, and I want to write an update later about the steps I took to get there in a future post.

In the meantime, enjoy the speed!

Sep 21, 2016 - link

iOS 10 MacStories Review


iOS 10 -The MacStories Review – MacStories

grab a cup of your favorite beverage before you sit down to read this. It’s a very long and thorough review of Apple’s latest iOS release

Sometimes, change is unexpected. More often than not, change sneaks in until it feels grand and inevitable. Gradually, and then suddenly. iOS users have lived through numerous tides of such changes over the past three years.

Sep 19, 2016 - link

Vintage and obsolete products - Apple Support


I’m using an Obsolete Mac to write this. (2008 iMac) Still, this an interesting document to see what’s considered old news by Apple.

Owners of iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac products may obtain service and parts from Apple or Apple service providers for 5 years after the product is no longer manufactured—or longer where required by law. Apple has discontinued support for certain technologically obsolete and vintage products.

Vintage and obsolete products - Apple Support

Full Circle


Sometimes, life is funny and you find yourself back from where you started. Such is the case with ramseeker.

When I started ramseeker the site was hosted on my old domain - macseek.com - as this was really just a personal blog or hobby site to write about whatever I wanted and in the early days I was known as ‘ramseeker on macseek.com’ - quite the mouthful.

So…..back in the days of $35.00 domain name registration, I coughed up the dough to buy ramseeker.com as my domain name as more and more were coming for the ram prices and less and less were coming for my content.

Over time I started to list and track memory prices from over 30 vendors and back in the late 90’s and early 00’s buying ram for the Mac was a good deal as it allowed you to upgrade the computer to it’s fastest and most useful capacity for not much money compared to how much you spent for the Mac you bought that was usually (and still is) priced well over $1000.

Over time, more and more people came for the ram prices and less and less for my writing and with more readers, came more and more advertisers, allowing me to quit my job and concentrate on ramseeker.com full time.

I Blame the MacBook Air and iOS

Then Apple computers started to be released with no-replaceable ram upgrades. First, the MacBook Air, and now in 2016, save for a few desktop models you can’t upgrade the ram in any new Mac you can buy today.

This is good news and bad. Good, because Apple has optimized Mac OS so well that for most users you don’t really need to upgrade the ram anyway because most Macs ship with enough ram for the everyday user. For most of us, you don’t even have to think of adding more ram.

Bad, because well….you can’t upgrade the ram on your new Mac and because you don’t need to shop for memory prices for ram you can’t use due to the fact your new Mac is locked in as snug as a bug in a rug.

This, as you can imagine has resulted in a drop in site traffic and earnings over the years. So much so, that I had to go and get a job again after a few years of relying on this site for my one and only source of income.

I’m actually okay with a job again for the most part, and I have come to terms that tracking ram prices is no longer a service that’s really needed.

Just like video killed the radio star, the iPhone and iPad killed the Mac, and as you’re well aware all iOS devices cannot take a ram upgrade.

If you do want to buy ram today for some older Mac or PC, there are so many vendors and the prices are all the same. At time of writing, 8GB memory upgrade kits are about $30.00 and 16GB kits are about twice that. (makes sense, no?)

RAM is cheap, and most vendors are within a dollar or two depending on whether you buy generic or brand memory. It’s not like it once was when ram prices were hundreds of dollars and taking the time to research ram prices was worth the effort as it allowed you to save money.

So Now What?

I’m going to write about what interests me.

I’ve been link blogging a bit lately, as it’s quick enough to do and it’s a great way to be able to retrieve the sites or apps or articles I want to remember as all I have to do is search the archives to find the link or article again.

ramseeker needs to be fun again for me, and tracking memory prices for older macs where the demand is less and less over time isn’t really the best idea to continue with.

In the past, ramseeker was all about apple memory and I still have a small guide to help you get the right memory for your Mac but I won’t be trying to compete with Apple news sites as there a lot better sites than mine for that.

I hope to write more ‘think pieces’ as some of the blogs I follow currently- they have a voice - and although they don’t post daily they do have something to say and over time I think I might have an opinion or story or two to share as well

Lately, I have been very interested in writing and all the tools that can be used to get words online so I might like to investigate that further and start writing and reviewing apps that allow me to get my thoughts online. I am currently writing this article in markdown with marxico as it syncs with evernote and just overall works for me quite well. But there are many other tools out there and I want to explore and share my findings here.

I’m also going to start linking to other sites I like. I think that in 2016, this is a very old-fashioned thing to do thanks to social media but I guess I’m old-school and just want to share an article or entire site and this will be the place where this gets done.

I guess if I had to summarize, it would be that I no longer am making ram prices my priority (that said, I do have a handy list to help you find the right ram for you mac) and I’m changing the direction of the site.

I’m not sure what direction that will be yet - but that’s half the fun. :)

Sep 18, 2016 - link

The Cloud CMS for Jekyll


This looks pretty neat if you want to quickly blog with jekyll and want a wysisyg editor simiar to wordpress. I’ve tried it, but I think I like my current workflow better though

The best of both worlds Developers and non-developers easily collaborate on sites without stepping on each other’s toes.

Developers have complete control over the source code and simply build static or Jekyll websites.

Non-developers update content visually using the CloudCannon inline editor.

The Cloud CMS for Jekyll

Sep 17, 2016 - link

Cloudcannon


this looks really neat: a CMS for Jekyll. If you want a free site to host your pages, create one on github pages and then when you hit published the content gets build and pushed to your github pages site easily

The best of both worlds
Developers and non-developers easily collaborate on sites without stepping on each other’s toes.

Developers have complete control over the source code and simply build static or Jekyll websites.

Non-developers update content visually using the CloudCannon inline editor.

Ad Blocker Not Required


I have made some pretty significant changes in recent times to this site.

Back in April, I moved from expensive wordpress hosting to free hosting for this site and moved from using the much bloated wordpresss to something a lot simpler for my writing and blogging needs.

Then just this past week I went a bit further and figured out how to make this site secure with https://ramseeker.com instead of just using http://ramseeker.com. I don’t know why you would really need to have this site secure, as I’m not accepting credit cards or any sensitive data, but Google is giving secure sites a bit of an edge in the search results, and when it comes to SEO every little bit counts.

In my effort continue optimizing the site to the bare minimum required, I thought what the heck, I might as well disable all the trackers too.

The Results

now this is fast

This site now loads in about half a second, and has a pagespeed score of 100%. It’s kind of hard to beat 100 percent.

Compare this to a very popular tech blog:

much slower website

With a heavy design and ad trackers galore, this site takes almost ten seconds to load! Who has time to wait ten seconds?

Ads Are Out of Control

I’m old enough to remember a pre-Google internet and pre-adsense and ad-tracker web, and I have to tell you - it was glorious. Maybe because we were paying much more for our internet access, or our computers were much slower and didn’t display in as many colors and resolution and perhaps I’m remembering though rose colored glasses, but it seems to me the current web has become one bloated mess. I don’t need to have ads pushed down my throat all the time just to get to the content.

I know that ads on the web are inevitable, and hosting costs money and time is valuable and publishers need to be paid, but some have gotten awful greedy and have over-filled their sites with more and more ads.

Say GoodBye to Ad Trackers

I’ve tried to use adsense a few times here in the past and risk/reward was always not worth it and I found all they did was display non-relevant ads half the time and they cluttered up the design. Add ‘ad blindness’ into the mix and for me it was an very easy decision to kick them to the curb.

I’ve read some other sites recently that have disabled trackers and analytics and I thought, heck I might as well do the same.

It took some time for me to get the courage to do this. Checking your stats more than once a day becomes a bad habit and I’m the first to admit it’s fun to see your real-time stats or how many visitors a day you get or even how popular your ads.

But what do I do with that data? I have no idea.

The only reason you really need analytics and stats is when you’re trying to sell ads or trying to sell the site. Seeing how the chances of either of those happening are mighty slim anyway I won’t miss the analytics or ads. This isn’t to say you won’t see ads on the site, because I like to make a few bucks for my efforts too, but ads will either be relatively non-intrusive or simple text links. Both load fast and like any other ad, can be ignored.

What Cookies?

enter image description here

My cookie policy? I don’t have one because I don’t collect any cookies whatsoever

Summary

I don’t think I can get this site any more secure or simpler and easy to read, and I could care less about your viewing habits. You can be sure I will have no idea that you visited by using a tracker. I don’t set cookies or track you in any way.

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