3 Years of Owning a Server

blog writing web

published 2020-11-06 02:58

updated 2020-11-06 02:58

Once I'd built my first computer (which was actually very late, perhaps sometime in 2016) I needed to figure out what to do with my old one. My old one was a mid-spec laptop from 4+ years prior to that, but it had a decent graphics card at the time that allowed me to play some of the games I'd wanted to -- Though in part the small specs lead me to prefer indie games and roguelikes, the only games I'm even remotely interested anymore. I figured I'd try and configure it to run as a server. By this point I'd been running exclusively Linux for a couple years and had come across interesting server software. Perenially interested in Privacy and Free Software, I decided to see what I could muster up. Thus began my on-going experiment with Docker. At the time I knew just enough system adiminstration to be dangerous and hadn't previously set up nginx. Since Docker seemed a lot easier, that's what I went with. The docker instances I stood up then are the very same images that have been running on my server this entire time, I'm a little ashamed to admit. They're horrible out of date, and basically the only sort of server admin work I did was write scripts so they boot on startup and kick them when they fell down. Being the only one who used this software made that a totally fine solution for me. Now, I'm trying to level up once again. I've learnt a lot more about server administration, and I'm trying to achieve Invincible Computing. The sad part is what stirred me to finally commit to doing this whole process (Backup, Automation and Reliable builds) is losing all the data that I had stored in my bookmarks server since it's inception. That place was a comfy little treasure trove for me I could turn to when I finally needed a tool, book or guide in order to accomplish something. It was a personally curated springboard from which whenever I had an idea, I knew where I should go. It was, in some senses, my Google. Rather than search for something through the public search indexes, I would always choose to search this first. And now it's gone. And I never want to let that happen again. So here I am in the dead of night checking all my backups before wiping this ancient machine to imbue it with new life and new power. I hope I don't lose any more data, ever. It's a small step for me, in removing a thorn that has been deeply embedded in my technical prowess. Controlled Difficulty and all.