Chris Dzombak

Letters of Recommendation: Where to start with Peter F. Hamilton, Mastodon iPhone apps, and Domain Registrars

Friends have sent me a few questions related to my “Now” post from yesterday, and I have one other service I’d like to mention.

Do I have a Peter F. Hamilton recommendation to start?

Good question. For a good sci-fi space opera, I think I would start with his Commonwealth Saga, beginning with Pandora’s Star. That’ll give you a feel for his universe-building and style, and if you like it he’s written 8 books set in that universe.

I liked his Night’s Dawn trilogy, but it is long and it includes some more religious/surreal elements that aren’t hard sci-fi. His more recent Salvation series is also good, but a little more difficult to follow, especially if you’re not going to be able to read it all at once, because it jumps between eras.

What Mastodon iPhone app is best?

I’m currently using Toot!. It works reasonably well and supports push notifications. It seems to be regularly updated, though it hasn’t yet added support for marking notifications as read, which I think was added in Mastodon 3.3.0. (In fairness, I haven’t checked whether this is a Mastodon API limitation.)

I briefly tried Mast a few months ago. It has a nice design but was buggy and did not seem to support push notifications.

Domain Registration: Porkbun

I’m in the process of moving my domain registrations over to Porkbun, from They provide free WHOIS privacy, and their pricing is better than any other registrar I’ve looked at. I’m only a month or two into this migration, but the user experience has been great soo far, and I’m going to end up saving a fair amount of money.