Welcome

What's with the name "Tin Pan Valley"? Yes, it's a song by Robert Plant but guess what? I registered this domain long before Robert Plant released the song. I'm a huge Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin fanatic and if Robert wants this domain, it's his.

Back when I came up with the name in 2004 I was thinking of something that was everything "Silicon Alley" in New York City wasn't. I wanted to wit, humor and joie de vivre of Tin Pan Alley songs of the 1920's combined with the redwood trees and Pacific Ocean vistas of Northern California. I don't know what I was thinking to be honest. My wife is from New York City and I had been working for a company in San Francisco so it seemed like there was something to it. I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch Country (Reading, PA) and sometimes when my wife introduces me to someone she'll quip, "I'm from the Big Apple and he's from the Big Scrapple."

For almost all of its existence, this site has been an awful cobbler's child of hastily thrown together pages that bore no resemblence to my professional work. Who has the time? I write code and build web applications all day. I have a family. When I get home all I want to do is chop garlic and find out if my kids heard any new jokes at school. Their math homework is no joke but I help them anyway, though in the Socratic sense:

Really? That's how you would simplify that expression? I'm not saying it's wrong, I just think there might be some other possibilities.

Behind the scenes there's a ton of stuff behind the facade of this web site. Dozens of directories of things I've tried out over the years. New frameworks, blog engines, CMS systems, etc. I have oodles of demos, proofs-of-concept, prototypes, wireframes, hacks, and client presentations buried in directories here.

I might as well tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Chris Hiester. I live in Philadelphia, PA. I used to travel a lot for work, but I have kids now and I like to spend a lot of time with my family (they're a lot funnier than cable tv in a hotel room) so I hardly ever travel. I have 500 years of experience as a software developer. 480 of those years were spent fixing IE6 bugs. I fixed my first IE6 bug by rolling a boulder onto it. I wrote position:relative;zoom:1 on the boulder in saber tooth tiger blood. Then I rolled the rock back up the hill and did it again. In fact, that's what I've been doing pretty much continuously up until last February when IE 10 came out. It's called the Myth of IE6-yphus

You might say I'm a seasoned developer. Marinated even. Or maybe I'm a dry rub kind of guy. I'll tell you a secret: there's pumpkin pie spice in the dry rub. Lots of people tell you they're seasoned but they never tell you what kind of seasoning?

The whole point of this post is to try out the Ghost blogging engine written in Node.js. I managed to get it running pretty smoothly on my Dreamhost VPS. This server runs Apache with a reverse proxy to my Node.js port where I have Ghost running. So far it's working pretty well.

And now it's back to the demos and prototypes. If you want to see a glimpse of the "real" products I build during my normal professional life, here's a link http://viridityenergy.com/solutions/vpower/.