For a very long time, I avoided the command line of Linux like a plague. Sure, I’d mess around with Ubuntu occasionaly. But only in desktop mode. SSH access? I’ll just stick to FTP instead, that’s far less complex!

Until last year I told myself using the command line was “too hard” and “not worth the hassle”.  That changed somewhere last year. I had to do some work on a dedicated server, via the command line. There was no other option.

Before I knew it, I adjusted to using the command line. I learned the basics, and started applying it everywhere. and now I can’t go back. Manipulating files using FTP? Ewwwwww… Uploading a ZIP file I can just grab on the server with WGET? Madness! Setting up cron jobs? Sure, I can do that.

I am not a “master of the dark arts” of the command line. I likely never will be. But that’s okay, because the basics are already saving me a lot of valuable time. I’m not afraid of the dark, scary terminal anymore. 🙂

Today, a collegue of mine told me how a ‘rant’ about a big IT company he made on Linkedin, mysteriously vanished after he refused to take the post down. This after company first called him (!) and ordered him to take it down. Yay for free speech!!

Of course I could blog about how disturbing it is that Linkedin gives companies the tools to apply that sort of “censorship”. But my opinion of Linkedin is fairly low as it is, so… pass.

But I would like to point out that, if you’ve got an opinion on a topic, there’s only one “great” place to share it. And that’s a blog or site which you own. Somewhere a post only gets removed if you choose to do so.

Don’t even get me started on blogging on sites where the traffic only benefits the platform. Like Linkedin, for example.

So, my general advice: If you’ve got an opinion on something, and it’s not illegal – get your own blog. If your excuse not to do so is that you’re afraid people might respond less than favorable, you shouldn’t be sharing that opinion to begin with. 😉

edit: Minor edits for typo’s & better wording

More than a year ago, I launched Toralkodocs.net, a website for “commercial” Joomla documentation. After some deliberating I’ve decided to pull the plug on Toralkodocs when the hosting is due for renewal, in June.

The goal of Toralkodocs.net was to build a Joomla documentation site, which would be updates frequently. But due to a lack of time, inspiration and other issues, toralkodocs never became a success. There are no regrets – I tried something, it didn’t quite work out as planned, and now it’s time to let go of the idea – for the time being, at the very least.

Founders Forever

Toralkodocs’ hosting was funded with donations of people, who joined the ‘Founders Club’. Most of these founders have a subscription that ends in August. When I made the pitch, I did included a “No promises!” clause and people accepted that they were making a donation to a project that might, or might not work out.

While I can’t give them a refund for the two remaining months, I hope to make up for it in the future, when I release new “commercial” products. Think big discounts or free access. I will make sure to inform you (when you’re on that list) when something interesting pops up. Thank you for your support, and for believing in Toralkodocs.

Edit: I’ve recently discovered Leanput which is very close to how I write my books. I will be researching on moving my docs there. Which means there will be updateable books, minus the overhead of hosting, sites and subscription management.

My company is currently making some changes to the way we work. You can always make improvements somewhere. For us, one of the area where we wanted to make changes was the automating of our hosting & domains billing / administration.

Company-wide we’re using OpenERP which is a good product, but for our Hosting & Domain department we have chosen to migrate to WHMCS. This is a tool especially built for “Hosters”. It allows you to automate most of the administrative tasks that come with hosting.

  • It keeps track of domains / hosting about to expire
  • It’ll automatically send a payment (renewal) invitation
  • If the client pays (online) the system will mark their invoice as paid.

Once the system is setup, you basically only have to keep an eye on it, and make small updates when ready.

We’re hoping it will help us save some time. Our company doesn’t employ a dedicated administrative person. So every hour spent on billing clients, or reminding them to pay, could be better spent by the sales person / developer who’s doing the administration.

Sure, it might require a small investment of money and a bigger investment of time; but in the long run we’ll hopefully profit from the time / money spent. And if it encourages our clients to pay faster (which it will) then it’s a win-win situation! 😉