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 237143 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

Good web hosting

Each year I spend some time doing research on inexpensive web hosting options for my students. It's virtually impossible to find a cheap hosting company whose name doesn't produce copious results for a Google search on "FoobarHost.net sucks". The predominating mood for me at the end of this research is always: I'm really glad I have more than $10/month to spend on hosting.

Since fall 2003 I've had a FreeBSD VPS with JohnCompanies, and it's really quite excellent. They are a high-performance, no-nonsense, technically oriented provider. When you ask a support question, you get a reply from an actual human being whose first assumption is that you know what you're doing.

About six months ago I moved all of our sites at work to a FreeBSD VPS as well (top of the range, unlike mine!).

They're not perfect -- in my 3+ years I've had situations where a box had recurring stability problems. But when it became a real problem for me, I just said, "Hey, can you move me to a more stable box?" and they did. The server that's hosting our websites at work has been up for about eight months straight.

So, John and company -- thanks!

Thursday, January 11th, 2007
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