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alt.sysadmin.recovery

[2021-05-19 Wed]


So, as some of you may know from XMPP or Matrix chats, I had a hard drive failure on my home server recently, and had quite a bit of downtime because I didn't have time to fix it. Things are mostly up and running now, but that’s not mainly what I want to talk about. I want to talk about system administration and recovery.


Long ago, I had a job as a system administrator at a small web hosting company. At the time, part of the culture of being a system administrator was subscribing to the Usenet newsgroup alt.sysadmin.recovery. Sysadmins shared stories of their tribulations dealing with clueless users, bad enterprise software, and failing hardware, and of their recovery, which generally involved whisky.


Since pivoting to development, I've sysadmin’ed my own machines, but it’s usually reasonably fun stuff, like “set up this new web app everyone in the household will use”, or setting up an XMPP server for family chats¹. This has been the first, or maybe second time that I've had to do really *not* fun sysadmin work at home.


¹Set up Prosody For Conversations


Other than the circumstances, none of it has been really bad; it’s just *too much*! I have all the recovery from backups, plus restoring stuff that wasn't in the backups, but which I have elsewhere, plus some work I need to do on Gemini Quickstart. It’s been taking up my recreational computer time, and preventing me from working on things that are actually fun, like writing Gemini tooling in Common Lisp.


Hopefully, I’ll get it all done soon, and it will be More Fun To Compute².


²Kraftwerk: It’s More Fun To Compute

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