Skimpy CMS

Skimpy is a simple CMS that is a hybrid between a flat file and RDBMS backed site. It's easier to use than a static site generator but has far more power if you wish to take advantage of it. I haven't "officially" launched SkimpyCMS yet. I put the site up but individual websites are just drops of water in a sea until you actually share them somewhere. I'm working on some tutorial videos before I officially share Skimpy. I also need to fix a windows pathing/routing bug. Who the f#$k uses windows anyway?? (I'm looking at you Joe)

This blog is built with SkimpyCMS by the way. You can view the source of this blog at


I built the web application that uses to stream cattle auctions and receive real time bids from users all over the United States. The owner of the company, Christy Collins was actually a student at a code school I was teaching at some years back here in Austin. She was hoping to save some money by learning to do some of the tech stuff herself but apparently I was a shitty teacher, because she came to the conclusion that coding was just too hard and asked me if I would build it for her.

At first I kind of ignored her because as a programmer, people ask you to build stuff all the time and like most people, programmers can hardly find the time or energy to build their own ideas after they get home from work. Plus what she wanted me to build for her revolved around auctioning cattle which all seemed really weird to me because I knew nothing about the cattle industry. But like any successful entrepreneur, Christy was persistent and the application has been live for a few years now. Christy works hard and her business is growing so I still add features and fix things.


FiniteHelp is an old old project I built in college that makes a negligible amount of money but it does make money. I haven't updated the interface since I built it about 9 years ago but I mention it because back in those days I wasn't even a software developer yet. I was just a guy tinkering around with web stuff in his free time. A really smart guy I met in college, Stephen Leung was an excellent tutor for a particular math course, Finite Math (discrete math). He basically wanted to make a tutoring site for the course. At the time Khan Academy was still really new and barely heard of it but I had played around with it. What Stephen was talking about I could see the potential in because I thought Khan Academy was really cool and with the amount of tinkering I had done, I figured I could probably build it so I did.

I had to learn video editing which was harder than I thought it would be. We also made the mistake of using an 8 dollar microphone (I blame Stephen for being cheap), so the audio was complete crap. I spent hours and hours trying to learn audio editing so I could improve it, only to come to the conclusion that most of good audio is the room and the source. There just isn't much you can do with audio recorded from an 8 dollar mic, certainly not in those days at least.

Anyway the site is, it hasn't been touched in years but people still use it and new paying users sign up every month or two. Even though the site didn't make either of us rich, it's a really important part of my past. This site proved to me that I could put something on the internet and people would pay money for it. Now days that seems so obvious, and people were making money on the internet then too, but not as much and not as many people. Ultimately this project gave me the belief I needed that I could actually make money by building things and putting them online and I'm really thankful for that.