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I'm Probably at 90% Up Time 😆️

I run a few services on my Raspberry Pi 3B at home:

This blog/gemlog

An instance of thelounge.chat (for myself and two friends)

The Garden Gnome Society

I'm planning a few more things that I haven't gotten around to yet. But the availability of my services has a somewhat dubious track record. Because of... lots of reasons...

I used to run the Raspberry Pi on a wifi connection (the ability to remove an extra cord from my setup was the sole reason for upgrading from a B+ to a 3B), but it turns out my router is horrible. I often have temporary disruptions on either the 2.4GHz or the 5GHz network, though seldom both at the same time. Attaching an ethernet cable between the router and server has improved this a whole lot.

My ISP is leasing infrastructure from the municipal provider. Sometimes there's been disruption with either the regional infrastructure or the ISP, but because they're two actors sharing responsibility it appears that it takes a lot of time before either notices that it's actually their problem and does something about it.

My consumer router is, as previously mentioned, pretty shite. I know that a previous router I had would choke the connection to my ISP by spamming DHCP renew requests, which was fixed via hard resets whenever it happened. Sometimes when I see network issues here they can be remedied by the same method at least for a while.

I have kids. My wife would previously sometimes disconnect the router when the kids refused to turn off the TV. Since we only have streaming services that would effectively kill the joy. We've recently found a better way to do that, though. There's a fuse in our fusebox that kills the power to our entire living room except for the socket that powers my server and router. Yay!

Did I mention that I have kids? My youngest pulled a bunch of cords out of their wall sockets last weekend when he was angry about something. I was completely out of the loop and didn't notice for a few hours...

Now, these are problems that could all be mitigated by moving to a VPS. Some may be fixed by buying a new router. I'm not planning to do either, however. None of my services are critical to anyone's life, and any of those solutions would cause extra strain on the environment for no other reason than convenience.

Not everything has to have 100% availability, and redundancy is costly both in terms of money and environment (see my post "Thoughts on the Internet and Climate"). I enjoy reading the Low Tech Magazine, for example. They have a version of their website running on a solar powered setup, meaning it sometimes goes offline when the weather is suboptimal in Barcelona. I think this is a playbook we should be more willing to adopt. I feel the frustration whenever I can't go onto IRC because my server is down, or for that matter when my job's streaming service dies because of an outage at Fastly. But why do I want these services now, now, now? It's not because they're a life support system. It's because I'm spoiled.

I'm just gonna work on my patience instead. That'll serve me better in the long run.

Relevant links:

The Lounge IRC web chat

The Garden Gnome Society, an AstroBotany fan service capsule.

Low Tech Magazine's solar powered website.

My "Thoughts on the Internet and Climate"

The Solar Protocol, which looks interesting but I don't really know much about.

-- CC0 ew0k, 2021-06-14

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