AWS did it again, this time with Lightsail

I still remember how AWS (Amazon Web Services) re:Invent 2015 conference impressed me. AWS is extremely successful but they keep pushing innovations at us. I played with their smallest EC2 instances couple of times, considering whether or not I want my own server.

This year at re:Invent 2016 happening during this week Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, announced many new services in his keynote. One that resonated with me immediately was Lightsail. It is extremely affordable server with plenty to offer even in its weakest configuration. For $5 per month you’ll get 512MB of memory, 1 vCPU, 20GB SSD and 1TB data transfer. See also this blog post for more information.

With such a reasonable base price I decided to try it – by the way, the first month is free! My plans were nothing big, I actually just wanted to move my homepage there. But you have that flexibility of a Linux box ready for you anytime you fancy.

I spun my Lightsail instance in no time, choose AMI Linux just for a change (considering my Ubuntu preference) and with Google’s help I got nginx and PHP 7 up and running very quickly indeed. I used the in-browser SSH but because it’s not quite the console I like (but close, even Shift+PgUp/Down works as expected) I wanted to put my public key in ~/.ssh/authorized_keys. I didn’t know how to copy/paste it from my computer, but when you press Ctrl+Alt+Shift in the web SSH it will open a sidebar where you can paste anything into the clipboard and right-click will do the rest.

I really liked this experience, I like the price as well and in-browse SSH comes very handy when you are at a place where port 22 is blocked for whatever reason. (I’m sure it has something with compliance, but don’t want me to understand.) I’m definitely keeping my new pet server although I know that cattle is more common now. Especially in the cloud.

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Salix GWT Tree

Talking about DIY may be sign of a man that can handle some things and doesn’t rely on other’s work. Reinventing the wheel – on the other hand – means someone is stupid enough to do what is already done. Of course it is easy to reinvent that wheel when you don’t know it has been invented already. When you don’t know how to check it out, or when you checked it out but the search didn’t provide proper answer (that may – again – mean that one is stupid to search properly :-)). Whatever you can say about writing “new, simple, custom” whatever – when it does solve the problem in reasonable time frame, it’s sometimes the best thing to do. Even if it’s the wheel. Or the tree.

In this case I’m talking about my recent GWT Tree troubles. I assigned my workmate with some task based on the idea of a tree as good/nice as GWT-Ext one without using any other library, he came up with solution, we’re now cleaning it up and adding things we like and need (automatic sorting, connectors, custom icons for connectors, …) – but the important thing is – we have the Tree we can use! We call the project Salix (yeah, there is some Salix OS too, it’s really difficult to come up with some brand new tree name after we decided to move from something as original as “Simple Tree”) and you can find it on it’s Google Code project page.

I took care of the initial page and while the code is far behind Java Simon standards (other project I participate on) I’m sure you can find everything necessary right away on the first page. If you like the idea, if you struggle with GWT default tree, try it, send us feedback, patch, idea, code, whatever. We don’t plan to work on this project just for the sake of the project itself. We fulfilled our needs and published the result – nothing more, nothing less. Maybe you will like this… ehm… simple Tree too. 🙂