16 Jun 2013

When Your Dead Blog Dies

My webserver fell over last week. I bought the hardware from a guy across the continent on eBay for plus shipping more than 3 years ago. It ran all my course wikis, handled my personal website and a few other tasks it picked up for my friends as a dedicated webserver back before there was a cloud. Until it failed, the hardware had run for 1172 days without so much as rebooting, thanks to the unparalleled stability of free software, and my all-too-paralleled recklessness as a system administrator.

Of course, I’ve been doing this too long to back up any less frequently than every sixty seconds. So I didn’t lose any data, even when the hard drive with all the web data on it mysteriously melted down too.

But this attack of Murphy’s Law did have consequences: when I installed fresh new Debian wheezy, put everything in place up to date, my Blosxom install that runs this blog failed to migrate. It was the middle of the week, with a bunch of work happening urgently at SFLC, and the webserver itself was critically necessary to do my grading at the law school, because all my students’ work goes on in the wikis. So they needed fixing right away. But something mysteriously clobbering the blog, which would take time to find, was not urgent. Besides, I hadn’t said anything here for years. Who cares about a dead blog?

But, like a driver snapping awake on an empty road, the enhanced state of death in which my blog now was shocked me with my loss of this form of connection. I’m starting a leave next week, taking one year away from teaching, which should open time for reflective writing, maybe even reflective editing. There is hardly any shortage of stuff to write about in Freedom Now. So what it all means is, wake up and drive.

permalink | personal | 2013.06.16-09:00.00

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