Rohit's Realm

// / archive / 2007 / 07 / 24 / even-though-i-sell-rocks

July 24, 2007

Even Though I Sell Rocks

I ain't guilty cause, even though I sell rocks,
It feels good putting money in your mailbox

2Pac, Dear Mama (Me Against the World)

As the venerable Realm has gained increasing fame and notoriety amongst friends, family, and the odd disaffected, suicide-prone, emo high school student, I have frequently been asked questions in real life about the specifics of my web site. The most common series of questions is as follows:

  1. What the heck/hell/fuck is wrong with you?
  2. What do you use to host your site? and
  3. Why don't you put advertising on your site?

As the first question is difficult to answer (and indeed, may have no singular answer at all), I will oblige loyal readers by answering the latter two.

Site Hosting

Especially committed readers likely know that, rather than using readily available, open source blogging software (e.g., Word Press, Movable Type, etc.), I chose to roll my own, which, for the nescient, simply means that I wrote my own web application for publishing content on the In-ter-net. Though the merits of this approach are debatable, I am not interested in beating a dead horse—I have previously discussed my decision and stand by it.

All decisions in life have pros and cons, however, and mine to write my own blogging application is no exception. The technology I chose to use (i.e., mod_perl) essentially demands that I have administrative (root) access to the server hosting my site, and as such, I am precluded from using random $5/mo. hosting providers that likely power most personal web sites these days. Until quite recently, I solved this problem by throwing money at it: I built a web server circa 2003, and hosted this site myself, first in my dorm room at Cal, then in my apartment in Berkeley, and finally, at a co-location facility in San Francisco.

Though co-location was expensive (to the tune of $100/mo.), my trite and meaningless yuppie life ensured that I did not miss the money (my weekly bar tabs routinely exceeded that amount my first three months working). However, a recently announced 50% increase in the cost of co-location made me reconsider my setup. Though $100/mo. was a manageable expense for what amounted to a really involved hobby, $200/mo. was simply not acceptable.

Last month, I began searching for alternatives, finally deciding to compromise with a V.P.S. provided by John Companies. For $29/mo., I get my own FreeBSD virtual private server, full root access, and enough bandwidth to support my site. The only downside is that the 2 GB disk space is not nearly sufficient to support my gallery, which now exceeds 5 GB by itself. Thus, the reason why the gallery was down for the past few days: I was transitioning my server from the co-location facility to my home, and then, had to deal with a burned out power supply and other nonsense. In any case, everything is now up and running, albeit a bit slower.


The obvious solution to deferring costs associated with hosting my own site would be to introduce advertising on my blog, and yet, uptil now, I have resisted the urge. You see, though I may have sold my soul, and without doubt do the business world equivalent of selling rocks by working in consulting, I still (somewhere) remain a man of principles. Specifically, though I have no qualms about making the rich richer and the poor poorer in the pursuit of my own material success, I will not sully my only true contribution to society with advertisements for \/14gr4 (or whatever). This blog is strictly for love of the game, and as such, will remain ad-free as long as it is in existence.

I mean, I would not want to push my emo, suicide-prone high school fan base over the edge by selling out—my depressing perspective should be sufficient in and of itself.


I'm not fooled by the rocks that you got, you're still a starving Ethiopian from the block.

I do respect the public front of integrity: it will be worth more when you inevitably sell-out.

When I read your headline, I thought this might actually be an interesting post. Instead, it turned out to be about computers.

Can you please go back to making fun of people or deriding hopeless romantics? Please?

I knew you had some principles (however misguided they may be) somewhere!

Jon, though I appreciate the rhyme, responding to 2Pac with J. Lo probably has him rolling over in his grave (or yelling from the Caribbean where he has been hiding out for the past 10 years).

Katie, would existential angst suffice? See my latest post.

Lisa, I appreciate the sentiment.

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