Tag Archives: ocean rowing

Building A Startup On AWS

Let’s Dance

Building on the knowledge learned from my previous two blog posts on my following of the Wild Rydes AWS Serverless Computing Tutorials, ( Wild Rydes Part I and Part Deux), I decided to put some of that information to use in my own work at www.nautilustracker.com.

I’ve been working on some mobile apps and a back-end platform supporting my trans-Atlantic Ocean Rowing attempt last year with my girlfriend, Cindy. I’d like to turn some of the things I’ve developed thus far into a Software as a Service (SaaS) for other people to easily use on similar adventures. To that end, I wanted to quickly create a responsive website to put out some information about my future offerings, including the ability to allow interested parties to contact me by providing their email address and a contact message in a simple contact form.

Know Your Limitations. Build On the Shoulders of Giants

I know I do not have great web design skills. Web Design is just not my focus. But I needed to create a nice looking website for my startup landing page. What to do? I did some quick searches and found lots of free Bootstrap templates I could use for my purposes. Over the course of an afternoon I grabbed a free Bootstrap Template that I liked, cut-in some of my own images, and modified the html to create the menus and sections I wanted in my landing page. I brought in some of the JavaScript from the Wild Rydes tutorial I was working through to connect my Contact Form to my DynamoDB database running in my AWS Account. After I had a look-and-feel I was going for, and the functionality was working ok for the Contact Form, it was simply a matter of uploading my web site assets to my S3 bucket:

> aws s3 sync . s3://www.nautilustracker.com

Stop Daddy

I had previously registered my Domain Name (nautilustracker.com) with GoDaddy last year. Now I wanted to move the DNS Registrar to AWS. This turned out to be very easy. Once I followed the documented steps to move a domain to AWS, I only had to add an A Record to point to the domain to my S3 Bucket containing website artifacts. I will point this A Record to a CloudFront endpoint soon.

Lipstick On A Pig

Now that the landing page is up, there is a mountain of work to do. The next step is to get email working for my domain using AWS SES so I can use that domain email to register as an organization in the Apple iOS Developer Program.

ACR Athlete Has Too Much Schwag

Her goal was to help Team ‘Viking Atlantic Row’ (who is affiliated with Alexandria Community Rowing (ACR)), erg across the Atlantic Ocean, virtually, as part of the Concept2 World Erg Challenge, which takes place every year from March 15th to April 15th. Instead, however, Cindy Way and one other teammate, Stephanie Holmes, won accolades from Concept2 for their participation in the event.

On May 29th, ‘Viking Atlantic Row’ Team Captain, James Caple, presented Cindy Way with the schwag received from Concept2 for her stellar performance as a member of the team and for participating in the Concept2 World Erg Challenge.

Cindy Way and James Caple at Dee Campbell Rowing Center
Cindy Way and James Caple at Dee Campbell Rowing Center

While Team ‘Viking Atlantic Row’ (http://www.jamescaple.com/vikingrow) did not erg enough meters to cross the entire Atlantic Ocean, they did manage to assemble a worthy team of stalwart rowers who were able to log over 2,789,698 meters during the month of competition and ended up finishing in 5th Place overall among teams with between 6 and 20 team members. 192 teams participated this year (http://log.concept2.com/team/wec/wecstats15.asp). Please consider joining Team Viking Atlantic for the World Erg Challenge in March of 2016 to help us row across the entire Atlantic Ocean this time!

In addition to virtual Atlantic Rowing, follow James and Cindy as they attempt to become the first American Pairs Boat to row across the North Atlantic for real in 2016 (http://www.1000leagues.com).