May 3, 2020

Cruising through April

By Nicholas O'Sullivan

Well, it’s been about a month since my last update here. There hasn’t been many huge things happening the last month – Most of the major things that have happened, happened in the last weeks of March. Just before Australia went into a lock down of sorts.

Being in Queensland, which is a state that so far hasn’t been affected too badly from Covid-19. Whereas our New South Wales counterparts, also the state that hosts perhaps Australia’s busiest Airport – Sydney International Airport has been affected worse. To date there’s more than three thousand cases in NSW.

As I’m writing here tonight, it’s the long weekend, it’s about 8pm on Sunday. I’m watching Lego Masters – which is a great Australian show with Lego Masters that build all sorts of wonderful creations. Watch the show over at 9Now.

Technical Changes the Last Month

The last month I’ve mostly been focusing on my Virtual Private Server that’s been successfully running this website along with several others. What I’ve got setup is a Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP) server that’s ran by a company in Brisbane known as BinaryLane.

I came across Binary Lane after researching and looking for an Australian ran Virtual Private Server infrastructure company. Too my surprise, I came across them and their prices were very reasonable and in many cases much simpler to understand than that of Amazon AWS in Sydney or even Digital Ocean. Digital Ocean wasn’t going to cut it for me with the closest servers for them I could find being based in NYC with a 300ms ping time! My server in Brisbane has ping rates of about 24ms!

Church Online – So, Church Online has been running quite well for the church I’m apart of. We’ve been pre-recording each week’s service. Than I have been pushing it up with OBS Studio on a LiveStream using Castr.io to go to YouTube and Facebook Live. We’ve also been utilising the Church Online platform from Life.Church. From stats, we likely reach about 40-60% of our congregation.

Church Member Voting – This month we’re having our belated membership meeting. Which, I was able to pull together and online voting system to allow votes to be completed anonymously. The system I found at Code Canyon is called Pro Polls. It’s built with CodeIgniter and Bootstrap so I found it relatively easy to customise and use for the purpose a Church Membership voting platform.

Upon installation of it onto my church’s hosting the system ran well but I made some customisations that have hopefully simplified the system.

I’ve worked a bit with CodeIgniter over the years and I find it quite an easy Mode-View-Controller system to work with.