An unceremonious end (potentially)
All computer systems, no matter how robust or simple, will eventually fail. All power grids will have outages, all mechanical parts will be rendered static. The laws of entropy will get to everyone everywhere. Why is this relevant?
This blog is currently being hosted on a Raspberry Pi 3 tucked behind my the network modem at my parental home. Over the 3 yeas that this blog has operated, I have had to access the physical hardware twice, once to replace a faulty sd card, and once to expand the storage with a thumb drive. On both occasions, I happened to be out of the country, and could only diagnose and solve the issues upon my return.
The thing that will change in the near future is the average distance I will be away from the “server” at my parents’ house. This change will come in the form of almost 1000 kilometres, which translates into a 23 hour bus trip, or a 200-300€ plane ticket. As such, I will not be able to perform maintenance on the Raspberry Pi in the event of a hardware failure (or even a catastrophic software failure).
This means that this blog may come to a sudden and unceremonious end. I do not know when this will happen, but experience has thought me that it will happen sometime in the not too-distant future.
This leaves me with a number of options. First, I could take the server with me and set it up in my shoddy apartment. This will not be possible, as I will not be able to get a internet connection with a static IP address. Furthermore, I have never heard of apartment buildings that allow their tenants to forward ports (especially not port 80).
The second option is to move to some sort of cloud based solution. In essence, I do not want to do this. Cloud hosting comes in two flavours, paid and unpaid. As for the paid variety, I simply do not with to increase my monthly expenses any more than I need to, regardless of whether this increase come in the form of 1 euro or 50. The unpaid options are attractive, but seem inherently untrustworthy to me (not to say that paid solutions are inherently trustworthy, but I digress). Basically, these places are making their money somehow, and if I am not paying them… That is not to say that I won’t reconsider this position in the future. Actually now that I think about it, I do host a lot of projects on GitHub, a service which I do not trust in the slightest, but which I also do not feel strong enough about to migrate away from. Currently, requesting a free student account on sourcehut and hosting my blog there seems like the most attractive option. Though I know that that essentially amounts to freeloading of the generosity of others (something I wanted to mitigate by moving out).
Lastly, I could try and coax my family members into solving any issues that appear in my stead. Whether or not this is even possible will depend entirely on the nature of the issue, and my ability to diagnose it remotely.
To sum up: Some day, maybe soon, this blog will go offline due to a server failure and I won’t be there to put it back in place. In such an event, the blog will not come back online, unless I find a way to pay for hosting, or kindly ask others to pay for it. Until that day comes however, expect posts on the regular schedule of whenever i feel like it.