The idea is simple really: Build a NAS out of readily available PC components inside Knagglig crate sold by IKEA. As for "why?" - it's the usual answer - to see if it can be done in a practical way. The other part of that motivation was, that I can now print parts of the construction, so it was a good training for my design and construction skills, that are, honestly, quite lacking.
I only have 3D printer for about a month and people asked me that question multiple times already.. It's the question every early adopter gets. (is it really that "early"?) Back in the old days of feature phones, people were wondering why I got Symbian phone that was quite a bit more expensive than regular Nokia brick. That was years before iPhones were a thing, so the answer wasn't as obvious to non-techie people out there as it might be today. (and remember, when it was released, even iPhone wasn't all that smart, no app store, no multitasking, no Bluetooth even) Back then the simple (and real) answer was:
"Because it's cool!"
And that's really the reason why I got my 3D printer. However I feel like the real answer is different. I no longer feel that the 3D printers are cool for the same reason the pseudo-smart mobile phones with proprietary OS were cool. And to explain that feeling, I have to go few years back.
Has science gone too far? It might look so, because:
- It feels like a huge over-engineering to implement CI at home.
- What would you integrate anyway?
- Just why?
Well let me explain my reasons.
As I've mentioned before, I'm using HP Microserver Gen8 as a small home NAS. There is a lot of stuff stored there, but the primary reason why I actually started using NAS (back then slow, but hackable D-link DNS-323) was to store my photo collection. With ZFS, mirrored drives and extra backup to off-site location, the data on it should be reasonably safe, right? However that's not all that useful if most of the recent photos reside on the SD card inside the camera on in the case somewhere, just because I didn't have time to copy them to the NAS yet. So what can we do about it if we have 15 minutes to spare? Let's automate it a bit!
It all started with tripped breaker. In fact it tripped multiple times before I got home. Luckilly the spinning rust drives with data survived that without any issues, but the flash drive didn't. So with system FUBAR and some (little) time on my hands, there's only one thing to do - upgrade.
Chances are, you never heard about Xymon (formely Hobbit), so let me give you some idea. It's actually pretty decent monitoring system - if you still live in 90s. :D But hey, let's give credit where it's due, compared to other systems at that time, it was reasonably fast, has quite easy to understand configuration, comes with many standard checks out of the box and comes with a web interface. Probably that's why some people still use it to this day.
In our company it's one of those legacy systems, that we need to replace, so as a first step, let's see if we can get some of the data out while we're still using it.
The waste of being present
From time to time I work from home - nothing unusual here, I'm actually surprised that this practice isn't more common. After all - unless you're working manually, chances are you are working remotely anyway. Your email, instant messaging - you might be reading them locally on your computer, but they are all stored, transferred and received by server somewhere in datacentre. All your applications are moving to your browser, all your files are moving to cloud. The point is this: A lot of people are working remotely even while sitting at their office chair. Whole companies are like that.
Yet, every morning, there are traffic jams and the public transport is overloaded.. And it seems like a huge waste to move all these people around, just to have them working somewhere virtual anyway.
So there's this nice thing called Let's Encrypt, I'm sure you're already aware. If you want to get free certificate for your website in an automated way, it's definitely great. However in my case I would have to make sure to renew the certificate before it expires, which would defy the whole point of using static website on S3 - that is, unless I want to change something, I don't have to touch it. I could perhaps set up a daemon somewhere that would take care of it, but then again I would have to make sure that the service actually runs.
Fortunately, there is a way to get the same results with just AWS services.