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Paternity-leave is half-over

14 November 2017 21:50

I'm taking the month of November off work, so that I can exclusively take care of our child. Despite it being a difficult time, with him teething, it has been a great half-month so far.

During the course of the month I've found my interest in a lot of technological things waning, so I've killed my account(s) on a few platforms, and scaled back others - if I could exclusively do child-care for the next 20 years I'd be very happy, but sadly I don't think that is terribly realistic.

My interest in things hasn't entirely vanished though, to the extent that I found the time to replace my use of etcd with consul yesterday, and I'm trying to work out how to simplify my hosting setup. Right now I have a bunch of servers doing two kinds of web-hosting:

Hosting static-sites is trivial, whether with a virtual machine, via Amazons' S3-service, or some other static-host such as netlify.

Hosting for "dynamic stuff" is harder. These days a trend for "serverless" deployments allows you to react to events and be dynamic, but not everything can be a short-lived piece of ruby/javascript/lambda. It feels like I could setup a generic platform for launching containers, or otherwise modernising FastCGI, etc, but I'm not sure what the point would be. (I'd still be the person maintaining it, and it'd still be a hassle. I've zero interest in selling things to people, as that only means more support.)

In short I have a bunch of servers, they mostly tick over unattended, but I'm not really sure I want to keep them running for the next 10+ years. Over time our child will deserve, demand, and require more attention which means time for personal stuff is only going to diminish.

Simplify things now wouldn't be a bad thing to do, before it is too late.



Comments on this entry

icon Steve Kemp at 13:47 on 14 November 2017

Ninja-Update: The blogspam service queries the dronebl blacklist, as well as the stopforumspam.com site...

icon Steve Kemp at 13:46 on 14 November 2017

It's an interesting idea, and it could possibly be profitable enough to cover costs & buy beer every few weeks, and thus be slightly worthwhile with even a handful of users, but I suspect that I'd not be good enough at marketing to make it happen.

Right now the users I have are an adhoc mixture who are largely present by accident due to the plugins for wordpress, drupal, ikiwiki, etc. If it were to become a "proper" service then those would have to be actively maintained, improved, and promoted.

I wrote the wordpress plugin myself, so I could possibly manage that, but the rest would require the kindness of strangers. Traditionally something hard to encourage for commercial-servers.

If somebody forked the codebase and made it commercial I'd actually be a little pleased - if they let me use it for free - but I think I'm probably not the person to do it myself. (The last time I tried to take a server from "free" to "paid" it bombed, badly. Too many people said "Sure I'll pay £1/£5 a month". Zero users actually did.)

icon anarcat at 13:37 on 14 November 2017

(Replying to the previous discussion about blogspam here, since the thread is closed...)

You should consider making blogspam non-free (as in beer): nothing in the free licenses we use keep you from charging a fee for using a service. If I would run this, I would look at per-site usage and choose a sweet spot in that long tail to make it so the most users could run it for free and then larger consumers would subsidize the others.

Anyways, if people are unhappy with the pricing, they can setup their own service with the free software you provide... The problem here is really how to share the bad offenders securely. For this DroneBL have an interesting approach of basically allowing writes from the outside...

But I understand that if you don't use this anymore, the incentives to maintain the service are very very small...