I went on a wild ass shopping spree today at the Global Opensource Emporium.

Today, I went in, looked at, and purchased a top of the line exquisite system. A machine. A workhorse. A hideout.

Okay, now that I have your attention with the really neat graphic, intimations of sexiness, and a cool intro, what I got was a Digital Ocean droplet with a nice fresh install of Debian 9, and it's connected to the domain. I'm not certain why I didn't think of all of this sooner. Maybe because I didn't even know I could get one of these so cheaply until recently, and for some stupid reason it didn't even click with me what I could be doing with it until this morning.

i hate discourse, bane of my existence

This whole thing started with that pain in the ass software, Discourse. I mean, it's email based, right? At least they've built it so that if your email system is not working perfectly, you can't really set it up, create a valid admin user, or anything else. And I keep getting email issues with no log output and no way to fix it, the creators don't know what's up with it and basically the response is "fix it yourself!" And so I tried. For about 3 working days.

Until I got sick of it.

And the next kink in the works sealed the deal. I had been following the instructions I had found when suddenly I ended up on an eternal witch hunt through their code for some mislabelled incorrect syntax in their YAML code. I had finally had enough after the third straight recompile and just deleted the whole droplet, removed the subdomain, and wiped all traces of it away. And that was when it clicked.

I've been wanting a nice system of my own for some time, one that was on the Net all of the time, one that I could create bots for Discord on, and work other little projects here and there, one that I could learn all of the sysadmin tools that I wanted to learn but couldn't because the owners didn't use those tools, and were not going to load them and mess up the system they had going.

Which was the right stance to take, by the way.

It felt good, having the learning experience again, getting back into something that is mine, and I can go from laptop to chromebook, to just about anything that I want because it is all already on the Internet. I might even be a jerk and go back to text based emails that reject all of that annoying HTML advertising. Back to the old school.

my little slice of heaven

So I decided to name her annwn (pronounced ahNOON), which is roughly the name for heaven in Cymraeg. Why not stay a little bit topical at the very least. If you're gonna do something, might as well go all out with it.

The beauty of this setup is that I can keep scaling up as I want or need to. I have the lowest common denominator at the moment, and this is perfectly fine with me. I'm just starting to build right now. I built it up with Nginx because I use Apache all of the time at work, and I need more experience with it again. It was what I was more familiar with when I got here, and I need to keep my familiarity with it.

I also have MariaDB for the very first time. I could have went with straight MySQL but that is no longer what is in the repos, so it is what it is, I guess. Since Oracle has ran off with MySQL, too, I guess it is for the best. Maria is part of the same family, and from what I understand many of the same commands, ideas, and concepts roll right on over, so we'll see what we get with it.

I also have a few other pet things working that I am still tinkering on, but the goal is to get this system exactly the way I've always wanted a system to be. A lot of the things that I will be working on for Discord will also be here, It allows for web development, project and application coding, as well as scripting. I can figure out what I need and want to use, and then build the script around them.

A lot of things that have evolved since the early days of my Linux knowledge, and in many ways it feels like that. The charge and thrill are there, and while I am doing almost everything from the console instead of the pretty engineered desktops I used to spend so much time curating and designing in the past, this is getting everything right at the core as well as myself. But the system is exactly the nice luxury sports car in the making that I led you to think that it was.

The engine is new, too.

let's go kick the tires!

So much to re-learn, so much to do... things have changed quite a bit since the last time I took this for more than a career. Now I just need to keep myself out of trouble and make certain that the things I am doing are productive. Part of this is playing with vi and Emacs a little more. I like the idea of becoming much more proficient with vi, as it helps immensely as a system administrator. However, Emacs is a little more of what I am looking for as a budding developer. Remember, I am not using a windowing environment, although I do have access to it, and I will probably be instituting i3 as a window-manager for that.

For the moment, however, I am trying to get as much in command line mode as earthly possible. Besides, there is a lot that can be done, and the more I do it, the better things will become for me. After all, I did just succeed in getting my command prompt in the colours of the Flag of Cymru.