Hi, my name is Skylar. I'm a software developer and video game geek.

Setting up all the moving pieces to deploy a static website to S3 just by pushing to GitHub can be tedious. So, I built a thing.

It’s a CloudFormation template that sets up an API Gateway method for GitHub to hit. That triggers CodeBuild to pull in the latest code and build it. That is then sent to S3 where lambda deflates the slug and puts it into the root of the bucket to be served on the web by S3.

If this is something that sounds useful, give it a shot and let me know what you think!

The first website I ever created was in PHP, hosted on Dreamhost shared hosted. It wasn’t anything fancy, but we’ve all got to start somewhere. After a few years of building crappy PHP sites, I decided to check out this “Rails” thing everyone was talking about. My biggest hurdle was wrapping my brain around “not ftp-ing a bunch of files to a server.”

Enter Heroku.

Heroku was the first Rails host I ever used. But as a broke college dropout, it was WAY above my means at the time so the free tier is the furthest I every took anything. As my projects got more complicated I needed more than the free tier could provide. So I moved all my stuff again.

I split up projects between Digital Ocean and Linode. After a few months of running apps on both platforms, I moved everything to Linode. Digital Ocean just had more downtime. A Linode VPS has been serving this blog since January of 2015, and it’s done an outstanding job. My monitoring service say’s I’ve only had 5 outages in the last 6 months with the longest being 8 minutes when I migrated to a new instance. Needless to say, Linode has treated me right, but I like playing with new things.

I’ve had an AWS account for years, but never touched anything outside of s3 and Route 53. About a month or two ago, a coworker told me about Packer and how he was using it to create AMIs. This piqued my interest. My biggest pain point for side projects is managing the servers they run on. Packer and AMIs solve about 95% of that pain for me. So I begain another move.

It wasn’t all roses and the AWS learning curve is steep. But there is a metric ton of documentation and articles to get you going. Once I got my head around most of the pieces it all started coming together and I’m very pleased with AWS. This site was the last thing to move and now that it’s complete I only have 1 box still running on Linode (a Minecraft server that won’t be moved). I’m no AWS expert, but I love learning new things. And there a ton of things to learn in AWS land.

I put together a quick montage of some fun moments from Destiny Year 1.

If you’re not aware I’m a huge Destiny fan. And when you play a game as much as I play Destiny you start to notice some things that may not work as well as they should.

One is the lag compensation in PvP. A lot of FPS games seem to punish people with bad connections, but Destiny seems to reward them. What do I mean by that?

God Mode for the red bar…

God Mode Engage

I don’t even know…

Trade?

(I think that was a trade.)

Or just terrible spawn logic.

Spawn

But even with all that, moments like this one keep me coming back for more.

Collateral

This is how you burn a boss.

Burn the Archon

It’s been one month since I decided to try out Spotify again. I had been a user a few years ago, but ultimately switched to Rdio then back to iTunes.

The transition went well. I just replaced the iTunes icon on my dock with Spotify, but I’m still retraining myself to type “spot”, instead of “itu” in Alfred.

Having a massive music library just a search box away is amazing, and the offline support is fantastic. I haven’t come across any music Spotify is missing that I really want to listen to, with the exception of Taylor Swift.

It hasn’t all been roses. There was an issue that took a while to track down. I would play a song, and switch back to Xcode. A few minutes the music would cut out for a second, then come back. This would happen consistently. The files were cached for offline so it wasn’t the network. After much Googling I hadn’t turned up much expect for re-installing (didn’t work). Then I remembered App Nap.

App Nap is a Mac feature that will sleep backgrounded applications to save on CPU and battery. Sure enough Spotify was opted into App Nap. In Finder pressing cmd-i on Spotify and checking Prevent App Nap fixed the problem.

Overall Spotify has been a great experience so far. It will take quite a bit for iTunes to become my default audio player again.

Edit:

If the “Prevent App Nap” checkbox isn’t showing up for you, open Terminal and type.

bash defaults write com.spotify.client NSAppSleepDisabled -bool YES

I started working on Projector 2 almost 9 months ago. And today, it’s available!

Here is what’s new.

I’ve been hosting this blog on GitHub Pages since March, 2013. And with the change of the new year, I’ve decided it’s also time to change hosts.

I have nothing against Pages, and I think it’s still the easiest way to host a Jekyll site. But I’m a tinker at heart and the easy way isn’t necessarily the fun way. As of this moment skylarsch.com is running on it’s own VPS. Last night I got everything setup, and this morning I switched the DNS over.

My publishing workflow hasn’t changed at all. I still push to a remote repo. It receives the content and builds the site. This is the same thing that occurred before, it just happening on my infrastructure instead of GitHubs.

So, here’s to a fantastic new setup, and a fantastic new year.

This year is drawing to a close. And I can say without a doubt it has been a good one.

For me, the last 4 months have been especially great. Destiny has occupied 296 hours (12 days, 8 hours) of my time. I’ve met some amazing people from all over the world. Made great friends. Tuesday night is a busy one for my raid group.

Some numbers:

  • I’ve racked up 77,843 kills.
  • Cleared raids 23 times.
  • Ran 203 strikes.
  • Killed 128 VIPs in patrol.
  • Completed 187 public events.
  • Won 197 games of Crucible. With a K/D of 1.08
  • 31961 kills with a Scout Rifle, 52% precision kills.
  • 5146 kills with Sniper Rifles, 58% precision kills.
  • 2828 kills with Heavy Machine Guns, 38% precision kills.
  • Killed 38987 Fallen, with a K/D of 351.2
  • Killed 19613 Hive, with a K/D of 57.5
  • Killed 10660 Vex, with a K/D of 73.5
  • Killed 8583 Cabal, with a K/D of 76.6
  • 28596 kills on Earth
  • 19100 kills on the Moon
  • 18486 kills on Venus
  • 11701 kills on Mars

So thank you to the team at Bungie for making the last part of this amazing year, even better.