I set up a home server. I’ve had one in the past, but a decade and a half of ZIRP poured money into loss-making tech companies and gave us so many free hosting options that it didn’t seem necessary.
Those days are over, though, and it’s useful to have the ability to host small things at no additional cost or complication and to be able to synchronise data. With things like Docker, it’s easy to run a whole load of services on one computer than it used to be.
I bought a second-hand (but actually completely unused) tiny one-litre Lenovo desktop (M710q) with an i5 processor, half a terabyte of disk and 8 Gb of RAM for just over £100. The built-in disk is one of those NVMe drives the size of a stick of chewing gum, but there’s also space for a 2.5” hard disk. I initially planned to put a mechanical hard disk in there for bulk storage, but solid state drives are now so cheap that the difference between 2 TB of chips and 2 TB of spinning rust was about £5, so I went for solid state.
I took advantage of Linux’s logical volumes to merge both disks into a single volume. I may yet come to regret that – it means that a failure in either disk affects both, and makes changing one of the physical volumes more complicated – but I like not having to worry about managing where the data goes.
I’ve set up a load of services on it using Docker Compose and systemd and it’s been very pleasant. Among other things, I’ve set up Espial for bookmarks, Miniflux for reading RSS feeds, Syncthing to synchronise files between my desktop, laptop, and mobile phone, and Nextcloud so that I can run the GPodder Sync plugin to sychronise podcast subscription and listening from AntennaPod.
For the things that I’m exposing to the outside world, I’m using nginx-proxy as a reverse proxy and acme-companion to deal with HTTPS certificates. It’s been very straightforward, and has automated away most of the hassle and complexity.
I completed my tax return. It’s not due until the end of January, but it’s nice to get it out of the way. I’ve simplified my affairs a bit over the past few years, which has made the return quicker and easier.
I moved my pension. I wasn’t unhappy with where it was, but I wanted something that required less intervention. When I was younger and worked as an employee, employers weren’t required to set up or contribute to a pension, so they didn’t. Now that I have my own company, I’m making up for it, but it costs me more! I’m not entirely confident about the future, but in the low-to-medium-probability event that society makes it through another couple of decades of sclerotic politics and accelerating climate change, it’ll be good to have.
It’s not the highest possible score – that’s 29, which is twenty times rarer – but it’s the best hand I’ve ever scored.
I lost on the next game, so it was a draw overall.
Things I’ve bookmarked this week:
- git-backdate rewrites the commit times in a git repository to make it seem like they happened at a different time – outside working hours, for example, if you want to make it look like you didn’t reclaim surplus value by working on it during your day job.
- Remember the “you wouldn’t steal a car” ads before films? You can make your own.
- Bespoke Synth is a software modular synthesiser that doesn’t attempt to ape the physical equivalent.
- Free Faces is “a curated collection of typefaces” available under free licences.
- Everything you need to use Gaelic script on your computer at Gaelchló (in Irish).