The Underbrush of Sealight, Mossnet

ops nix mossnet

published 2023-05-27 01:11

updated 2023-06-04 21:50

I run a lot of software. I enjoy running infrastructure. Now, I've even written a fair amount about running the software that runs my life. However there's a key element that ties it all together that I haven't really written about much.

mossnet or box, is a small older desktop computer that sits in whatever house I tend to occupy at the time. It is the core utility in keeping my life together. It hosts heaps of software that I've built habits around. Most of this software isn't particularly useful to others, and tends to be quite personal anyway. Things like my tasks list and calendar sync services. A place for my photos, and other misc files that need to be transported between my devices. A tool for tracking my finances. Little bots that I write that run on a schedule.

It also runs NixOS, and is part of helm

I wonder why I find it difficult to write about my setup, even though a significant portion of this book is dedicated to it's upkeep. I find tutorials with code snippets the most helpful, even though I do enjoy reading about other people's workflows. I find it difficult to write about my own.

I could talk about how I hoard online content through Shaarli and Wallabag, which I browse whenever I forget something or read from as part of my morning routine. Or about how I write down any and all things I wish to do in taskwarrior. I could talk about the bot that I wrote that reads from Shaarli, Wallabag, Kitaab and my RSS reader, and posts an album a day to a Matrix channel on the server I host. Or even about how I'm constantly loosing photos and contacts because I didn't have a system for my photos for the longest time, and kept accidentally saving my contacts to local phone storage. Maybe even mention that I host a VPN to connect to it from outside my home network, and then also used that connection to remotely mount a spare harddrive to a public facing server I controlled to take backups because I had run out of space on that machine.

All this is to say, this machine really does run my life. I feel at 40% power when it's switched off, and viscerally feel more powerful when it automates more of my life. Just the other week I got uLogger set up, and could view tracks I'd saved from my previous trip to Melbourne and other climbing excursions. I think that feeling is what keeps me hooked on infrastructure / ops work. Summoning new abilities, especially those that normally require a deal with the advertising devils that power the modern world, is far too meaning-making for me personally.