E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


Pile o'Tags

Stuff I Use

Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

Spam Report

At least 237138 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

Most boring upgrade ever

$ sudo portupgrade php5 php5-curl php5-sqlite php5-bla bla bla...
--->  Upgrading 'php5 bla bla bla...'
[Updating the pkgdb bla bla... done]
$ sudo apachectl graceful

This was on a live server, with only the briefest of interruptions; no drama. Boring things should be boring. I love FreeBSD.

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007
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0 comments pending approval
Comment from Chip Kaye , 3 days later

Hi Paul,

Was this FreeBSD/Darwin under OS X, or do you like to run a true/stock FreeBSD server?

thx - Chip

Comment from Paul , 3 days later

It's honest-to-goodness FreeBSD 6.1, running in a VPS instance at JohnCompanies.com. My problem with OS X as server is that there isn't any unified package infrastructure like FreeBSD's ports or Debian's apt-get. You can use MacPorts for add-ons, and Software Update (which does have a command-line interface) for core components, but that's more work at best and a mess at worst. It's great for certain things, especially in a Mac environment (we use it at work), but for web servers it seems like more trouble than it's worth.

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