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Going Sovereign: Reclaiming my Digital Independence

Learning how to be independent.

:pencil: by Jacky Alciné Jacky Alciné :book: an setup post :bookmark: goals , development , projects :clock7: written :eyeglasses: about 4 minutes, 897 words :link: Comments - 0 Mention(s) - Permalink

There’s something I’ve wanted for quite some time and I didn’t know why it was so hard for me to get off my ass to get it done. I kept seeing it whilst looping Iron Man scenes on my second monitor and it was a personal digital workstation. You see, my laptop’s tweaked to my liking and works in such a fashion where I think I work even better because of said modifications. I have yet to document said changes but it works (for me, quite well). Github is a really popular place to store code, but outside of really mainstream projects and for ease of collaboration, I don’t see the point of me hosting code there when I can do it myself. Don’t get me wrong, if it’s something that I think that can be worth publishing out to the public then I’ll do it. But y’all don’t need to see all of my magic.

Before I really start, I had to understand what it was that I wanted a few things from the following. No reason to build shit all willy nilly.

Git Repositories

In an attempt to remain organized, I throw all of the projects that I’ve checked out using any VCS and threw it into a single folder. With a little wc, that made a rough count of about 190 projects I have checked out at once on my machine1. I probably active touch a tenth of those on a weekly basis. Half of them, though, are typically projects that aren’t meant to see the light of day, like my laptop’s configuration setup or the Git index of my digital book collection. Having hosted Git repositories would allow me to push all of the things as my own private backup service. :dizzy:

Re-enabling Comments

I’ve been sitting on this for quite some time, to set up my own instance of a commenting platform for use with my site. Having this pre-configured and ready to roll would make quite a few things easier. The tool in question would be Isso and I’d probably lock it to be only Twitter authentication if not hard-moderated. Comments can be useful, just from well meaning people. I wouldn’t want to make it too hard for said people to comment on the blog however so comments, it is. Pretty sure I broke a rule somewhere. I have to admit, the enabling of said comments will be very sparingly since most posts tend to be affirmations and confirmations of sorts, not really a open-ended story. I do, however, like the idea of having discourse on shared ideas on this blog (and others). The ecosystem for POSSE (post on [your] site, share everywhere) feels better for one’s brand and authencity to grow. Unfortunately, our social gardens are making that harder and harder.

Data Storage

Dropbox and Google Drive are some dope ass products. Like amazing. However, for the sake of privacy, I’d want to stash the files I use everyday but not with others in a silo and not lose that control. The obvious answer to this would be ownCloud and it seems to be the most popular but I’m still up in the air for other options. Something that can handle PIM and file storage would be the goal, though.

One of my bigger concerns would be handling my picture storage. I wouldn’t want to stash it all on a remote server since that can get considerably expensive fast ($5 for 20 GB of space and I have currently about 60 GB of images and footage).

Private Build Server

The biggest reason why I haven’t left Ubuntu for Debian yet is largest because of the PPA infrastructure that Ubuntu has wrapped around building packages outside of the ones provided in the default repositories. Having something like Drone to handle automatic builds for new software releases like Vim, it’d be dope to have a private PPA system to handle this. Realistically, I wouldn’t bother with this because Launchpad does a really good job of that. What I would use this for would be Wintermute. Having it built automatically and then pushed out to machines that are listening for its updates would be dope. Also, there might be some bits of Wintermute that I want to be deployed onto machines but not necessarily available to the public :smirk:.

The biggest motivation for this probably is for accessibility and full control of said data in the event I want to leave said services. I’ve already made plans to deactivate dozens of my current accounts on the Web and in order to efficiently do so, I’d have to have a replacement system that can keep me as productive as the one prior did.

Thanks to Ryan, I have a very small basis on which I can get this started with as well as interesting projects like sovereign that expand to include e-mail and other dope stuff. This, plus a few other projects are going to occupy a lot of my free time over the month of February. Excited to start!

  1. After a little fun messing up LUKS, that number’s dropped down to less than 20.