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Google Apps or Google Sites

posted Sep 29, 2009, 3:58 AM by Andrew Barkley

Apparently, the Google Sites application is not strictly part of Google Apps.  This can be really important long term if you plan to host a lot of content.  A free Google Apps account is eligible for 10 GB of website space, while a free Google Sites account limits to 100 MB per site.  Yes, that is different of 100 times.  And if that is not enough, there is an option to pay for more space on Google Apps, but not on Google Sites.

Unfortunately, this was not well spelled out and I am now migrating from Sites to Apps.  The only upside is that it is exactly the same interface for the packages.  There may not be a migration tool, but using the Sites tool is easy enough to just redo it again.

If the site you are working on starts with the URL, your are on Google Sites.  If the the URL starts with, you are using Google Apps.

Space may be less of an issue for you if you are sure to host media files elsewhere.  Picasa integration recently added makes this easy.  Also, there is now a tool to permanently delete images to free up space.

Migration Complete

posted Oct 13, 2008, 8:52 AM by Andrew Barkley

Tired of maintaining a server for a server for a silly vanity site that has not been updated much since 1999, I have transferred any remaining relevant content to Google Sites.  Google Sites is an incredibly impressive wiki tool, although it has none of the flexibility I am accustomed to in using a custom server.

This site has gone from being a basic vanity page at Internet Texoma in 1994, to later run a 120 MHz Toshiba laptop with RedHat Linux in 1997, later upgraded to a 400 MHz Monster PC in 1998.  In those college days, it made sense to run a good home server with SSH access, web access to personal files, firewall, email, and anything else that was so much better than an Iomega Zip drive.  The Monster was an amazingly reliable machine for the next 7 years, and was discontinued before its time.  The operating system, however, did not age as well.  Linux installs, while stable, seem to lose any support less than one year after they are released.  I then upgraded to a good hardware firewall device (then common), and a Mac Mini G4.  The Mac has done well for 3 years, completely replacing Linux with all of the same server tools I was accustomed to along with great OS continuity.  However, just like with the switch to the Mac, all of my technology needs for a home server continue to drift away into better supported better integrated services offered elsewhere, and there is no reason to maintain a web server just for the vanity site.

Looking back, it is amazing how much the publishing tools have improved over time.  Starting with basic HTML, and following the versions as they changed, I wrote my own CMS, SiteCompiler, well before I ran my own server.  I then upgraded that concept from the basis in HTML code to a flexibly defined XML document and transformations to render HTML with, SiteTransformer.  Of course, that got old too, and I soon found myself preferring the wonderful wiki, Dokuwiki.  And while I greatly miss its simplicity and file-backed storage, Google Sites is a great improvement to the editing interface of even that.

Tactical Nuke

posted Oct 8, 2008, 2:20 PM by Andrew Barkley

The management term “tactical nuke” seems to mean software systems that are a good non-functional asset but are never seriously meant to be used. I have seen a lot of such systems in the energy industry. This seems to be a symptom of the “post-Enron” economy.

…after all, if they customers would come, we might have to use the system you spent the last year building.

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