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    I’ve been doing this for a few months as well to great success. Next weekend I’m going to see if I can move entirely to Github Codespaces.

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      Codespaces is still in beta. Is it limited to just projects living on Github? I’m using my private Gitea instance for all my code.

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        Just got access to Codespaces, you need to select a GitHub repository in order to start/create a Codespace. You can open a Terminal in Codespaces and use ssh/git commands, so you could connect to other git repositories as well but I don’t think the underlying storage is persistent and everything’s pulled from the stored GitHub repo.

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      if I may lose my server and lose some important email

      This is the biggest problem I have with most of the “host your own {x}”. Yes, I have to do maintenance, yes things may break. I can probably even deal with spam. I ran my own email a few times. As a secondary server though.

      Because hosting means I need to have a looooong term backup&recovery strategy. Unless Google goes bust, I’m pretty certain I’ll be able to read an email from 2004 or 2005 or whenever it was I’ve switched to gmail.

      And some of my blog attempts I can’t even find on the internet archive, let alone mails film that server. Or photos. Or whatever. I don’t even know what will happen in 10 or 20 years.

      I’m curious as to how do people deal with that issue? Okay, having a newsletter from 2004 is probably my hoarding impulse problem and the inability to go back and clean it up now is just making it worse. Probably the same with the 100gb of photos I have (again, needs cleanup and only 30% are the everyday smartphone snaps).

      What’s your strategy? What are your ultra long term backup and recovery plans?

      What will you do if you give up on computers in 10 years?

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        What’s your strategy? What are your ultra long term backup and recovery plans?

        ZFS. Mirroring. A pair of 4tb drives is not prohibitively expensive in this age.

        Periodic snapshots.

        One offsite backup, in case of earthquakes,fires,etc. Lots of ways to do this. Could be aws glacier or similar. Or a third drive hosted at a workplace (if allowed) or at a friend’s or relative’s house. In the latter case, zfs send/recv.

        What will you do if you give up on computers in 10 years?

        My drives will keep in a closet if I decide to run off and live in the woods for a few years. Google data will not, if you stop paying the google bill.

        1. 2

          A pair of 4tb drives is not prohibitively expensive in this age.

          As a reminder, SMR is still a problem, and even more so with a ZFS setup.

          It’s not possible to just buy a pair of a 4TB drive. Extra effort is needed to avoid SMR.

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          What’s your strategy? What are your ultra long term backup and recovery plans?

          Tarsnap

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            And upgrade plan. While setting everything up is fun as you learn some things, upgrading software and hardware will quickly become a chore. That’s why I avoid owning any server as much as I can.

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              Oh yes I totally forgot to mention maintenance and upgrades. These days the things like that are commodity.

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              just keeping up with the maintenance is too much hassle for me to host anything on my own if I think it’s somewhat important. Imagine going on vacation for two weeks without a notebook to fix your mail server because it went down for whatever reason.

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                I’ve embraced the impermanence of everything. I delete most mail I get. Not archive, trash and it gets auto-cleaned there.

                1. 2

                  I use isync/mbsync. My personal email archive dating back to 2001 seems to be about 3.4GB, so I just download every mail I’ve ever received to all my devices. That’s mirroring taken care of. PCs and laptops need to be backed up anyway, so that’s backups taken care of. This strategy will work if your mail archive is 0.3, 30 or 300GB.

                  I’m pretty certain I’ll be able to read an email from 2004 or 2005 or whenever it was I’ve switched to gmail.

                  Mail is probably safe because the storage costs are negligable. But I wonder how long Google will allow people to store photos and video on their servers for free.

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                  They are completely different use cases from my observation.

                  I run NextCloud on my VPS so that I can access my calendar, save contacts, and share files with people. NextCloud is not a NAS even if some people use it as one.

                  A Synology (or any NAS) is internal to your main network and is where your bulk data lives. It has special filesystems and other low level code for dealing with physical hard drives and data is shared with other local hosts over SMB or NFS. (Or remote hosts over VPN if you have the bandwidth.)

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                    For me NextCloud was always primarily an alternative to Dropbox, Google Drive etc., so I can understand the post. I don’t have a Synology personally but I tried NextCloud often and found the same issues over and over again: The file-syncing wasn’t reliable (macOS), calendar and contact sync never worked correctly.

                    A lot of friends love their Synology NAS systems, not just because of the file sharing features (it’s not just SMB/NFS etc. but also a Dropbox like Desktop client) but also for the reliable Calendar and Contacts sync, there’s also a feature to make it available from outside of your home network.

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                    I ended up with putting all my notes and some sort of bookmarks also in one folder as plain markdown files, I have some sort of categorization by using a simple name schema for my file names like: personal - journal.md and rely on hashtags and the search capabilities of my app of choice on each platform. I don’t put anything in folders (I only have one folder for attachments).

                    I’m using nvalt/nvultra on my mac, iA writer with working copy (a git client) on my iphone and ipad and everything’s stored in a github repo, so I also have it on the web with their search functionality.

                    Yet I’m still not happy with my solution and I always keep on reading posts like this one. I really want to use Evernote and/or MS OneNote, but I feel like I’m locked in and my stuff is not future-proof or accessible

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                      I’m not sure if I missed something in the article, but is .xyz different from .org, .com etc. or is it just an alternative to .io with better availability of names?

                      1. 3

                        .xyz is no different from .org, .com and I regret making .xyz the focus of my post… Any gTLD is great, as long you stand behind it!

                      1. 4

                        I use Inoreader as a sync-service for my feeds, they have tons of pro features. You can filter feeds for specific keywords and filter out annoying things. They’ll also automatically export all my subscriptions to dropbox/google drive when I change something, so there’s always a backup available.

                        The web interface is nice, you can use it with your keyboard, I use mainly reeder for mac and iOS to read on my devices.

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                          +1 for Inoreader, I even pay for it to have more than 250 feeds. The Android app also works well, but I hardly use it these days (no commute).

                        1. 2

                          Cool! Let’s see when the github integration is ready.

                          I’m still looking for the perfect note taking solution. I want full text search, start writing a new note immediately in markdown, have it available on the Web, iOS, maybe Android and Mac/Linux (if the Web app is great I don’t require a native app).

                          So far I have a folder full of markdown notes in a git repo and push it up to GitHub for full text search and read / edit the notes on my iPhone through Working Copy (git client with an editor built in) but then I sometimes forget to push the changes and end up having a conflict in git.

                          Only Evernote and notion.so come up all the time, but I don’t feel comfortable with them having my data in a way I can’t easily extract.

                          1. 1

                            I do something similar with nvalt. My workflow is amazingly simple, search is good, and everything is in a flat folder, so no micromanagement with tags or subfolders or whatever. I don’t put them in git, I just keep my folder in Dropbox. That way I don’t need to push, but I could imaging a setup where it does a commit & push every day or so.

                            Things to be improved:

                            • I don’t have anything satisfactory on my phone yet.
                            • I don’t have any nice remote access, in case I’m on my work computer.
                            • It doesn’t do markdown that nicely, so I sometimes jump out to a better editor.

                            So basically, I’ve always been looking for the “perfect” solution as well, but I realized that something simple that I actually use gets me 85% of the way there. My proof is that I’ve been using this system for years, and I have tons of old garbage notes that I never need to delete, and I always find what I’m looking for.

                            1. 1

                              I’m actually on the beta for the upcoming nvUltra, Dropbox might be a good cross-platform solution instead of git, I’ll try that, thank you!

                              At least on iOS there’s 1Writer and iA Writer which I quite like and I think they can also sync with Dropbox. But as you said, it (nvalt/nvultra) doesn’t do markdown that nicely and I also don’t like the UI that much at the moment.

                              1. 1

                                Aw shucks, I was hoping for nvultra to fix all that :)

                                1Writer and iA Writer are awesome. I remember getting stuck with automatic sync though, could it be that you can only do that in Dropbox if you have a premium account?

                                1. 1

                                  I don’t think so, I’m not subscribed to Dropbox at the moment, this would be bad. I might try it over the weekend

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                            check out he.net, free and rock solid DNS I think for up to 100 domains. I’ve been with them for years now and quite happy.

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                              +1 for he.net. I run a PowerDNS master with he.net as a slave so that I can still use things like dnsupdate for certbot challenges.

                              1. 7

                                Exact same setup here. I have been using HE for… two decades I think (and their website hasn’t changed in that time, hah).

                                1. 4

                                  First time hearing of he.net. (Edit: Apparently I’ve had them bookmarked since 2014.) Have been wanting to switch from Namecheap DNS as their API isn’t free. Found a few options to cut out the PowerDNS middle man:

                                  lexicon supports he.net, which is great since I can use that with the ACME client I already use, dehydrated.

                                  A couple certbot hooks: one written in Python and one in BASH.

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                              Great list, REFL.me is new to me and super cool. I can vouch for a number of these. I’m running Dokku in production hosting five containers on one machine with 2GB of RAM, something you wouldn’t be able to do with Kubernetes. If you’re willing to give up HA and load balancing, Dokku is a great choice.

                              I see Vultr recommended a lot and they do have a really low price point, but be aware the $2.50 plan does not include an IPv4 address. To get their lowest-end server with an IPv4 address, it’s actually $3.50. Once you get into the $5/mo plan, they line up exactly with DigitalOcean’s pricing on CPUs/RAM but disk and transfer might a bit different. It’s worth comparing if you really need that (for example) extra 1TB of transfer DO gives you for the same money. You probably don’t but your milage may vary.

                              I probably don’t need to mention it to Lobste.rs, but cron jobs can and do fail and they fail silently by default. If you really need that cron job to run, it’s worth setting up some kind of monitoring for it. Cron offers a ‘mailto’ option which is easy and good enough for hobby projects.

                              1. 5

                                For cron jobs I’ve been using healthchecks.io lately to get a notification if a cron job fails. The free tier is very generous and you can also host it yourself. I think I’ve stumpled upon this tool in some other discussion here.

                                1. 4

                                  At the risk of turning this into a “everyone recommend your favorite VPS” thread, I’ve been giving lobste.rs sponsor prgmr a go recently. They’re surprisingly helpful and responsive on their IRC channel, and the pricing is on par with DO and others.

                                  1. 2

                                    for load balancing, you can put the dokku servers behind a load balancer (we use ELB), and then write a simple python script to help pushing to all the instances.

                                  1. 1

                                    If I don’t use them enough that I won’t notice they are down, they probably shouldn’t be running in the first place. :)

                                    1. 2

                                      What about cases when you need documents while you’re out, yet machine was down and you could’ve fix it while at home? You might not necessarily need the service while at your computer at home, but once you step out and go to work/government agencies, you might need something you haven’t thought of initially, but now really need. It’s the same as with backups, we don’t know if we need some things until we really need them.

                                      1. 2

                                        That’s why I’m always torn between self-hosting and hosted, especially with services like e-mail. It usually works all fine until I go on vacation for two weeks and only have limited time and equipment with me to fix it. That’s when I want to go for a hosted solution, when I’m back from vacation I want to manage it by myself again…

                                        1. 2

                                          Agreed. I was partly saying what I said in jest. There is of course cases where things happen. But other comments here pretty much cover when you need to actually monitor something. It’s not hard, from a ping -c 3 to nagios or some service. All of these things are fairly straightforward, each with their own tradeoffs.

                                          I think there is also a larger question here, about should I keep service X or Y running? Do they continue to provide value for the resources I use to keep them alive? Sure running X or Y alone doesn’t take a lot of resources, and $10/month or whatever for a cloud instance or $1/m in power costs for your server @ home may not be a lot of resources. But not a lot of resources, consistently, adds up over time to a significant amount.

                                          My initial comment was a snarky/jokey/pithy way of saying all of this.

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                                        Not to be that guy, but they didn’t list FastMail under GMail alternatives. I’ve used FastMail for a while, and it’s pretty cool. It’s also been around for a pretty long time, which makes me feel better.

                                        1. 1

                                          I have to say that it is not necessarily Email that I am after when it comes to Google alternatives. Email, after all, is one of the most insecure communications types in use (emails are stored on a server operated by people who are often unknown and untrusted to the user, they are often passed around between servers without encryption).

                                          Upgrades to email are either not on point in terms of security, or inconvienient e.g. PGP has several key shortcomings 1) ugly 2) malicious “man in the middle” option, and confusing key exchange rituals and 3) people don’t really bother about [their] human rights.

                                          Perhaps a new communications standard e.g. Bitmessage or something else will come up that can prove that it can improve the situation and kill email.

                                          1. 1

                                            I’m using mailbox.org.

                                            Unfortunately, a while ago they killed their email support for non-business customers.

                                            1. 1

                                              mailbox.org is listed as a Google Calendar alternative but not e-mail, interesting. Are you satisfied with mailbox.org? I’m tempted to switch from fastmail.

                                              1. 1

                                                From the top of my head:

                                                • SMTP works as expected
                                                • don’t know how other services (CalDAV, XMPP etc.) work, because I don’t use them
                                                • the web interface is unusable without JavaScript enabled
                                                • all mails sent to @secure.mailbox.org will need to be delivered via TLS
                                                • API is not available for non-business customers
                                                1. 1

                                                  Been on mailbox.org for about a year, so far very happy. Particularly nice that I can have a shared calendar with my wife.

                                              2. 1

                                                +1 - their web interface is excellent and doesn’t hate partially blind people, and they’re super interested in standards compliance. Big fan.

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                                                https://www.notion.so/ works pretty well. It is a private company, but the product is quite nice, and you can make personal and public notes.

                                                1. 6

                                                  (I work at Notion)

                                                  not a walled garden; easy export, and a clear mission statement that this will stay so

                                                  We’re working on improving our export. We’ve had whole-workspace Markdown export for a while, and I’m currently rolling out a new HTML export system with much richer semantics. Unfortunately, I can’t link to a mission statement that promises things will stay this way.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    An automated way to export / backup notion would be cool.

                                                  2. 3

                                                    Unfortunately, it’s a pretty unresponsive (on my computer) JS-based interface.

                                                  1. 16

                                                    I’m a big fan of markdown files in a repo. If the repo is git, you can just whack Gollum in front of it, and non-tech users can edit in a browser too.

                                                    This is essentially what Github wikis are (they use Gollum too) - but they obviously customise to embed the view within the rest of their app.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Nice tip. Can Gollum work with a subdirectory of an existing git repo? ( We store docs alongside code )

                                                      1. 2

                                                        Good question, can’t say I’ve tried it, but the docs mention a --page-file-dir option. https://github.com/gollum/gollum#configuration

                                                        1. 2

                                                          AFAIK you need to execute gollum from within the root directory of your git repo. But it’ll ignore other files if you want to and displays just markdown files.

                                                      1. 3

                                                        This seems to be exactly what I’ve been looking for lately. Does anyone have any input regarding security/deliverability of this project?

                                                        1. 5

                                                          They also provide paid versions and from looking at it (quickly) they’re completely relying on open source but trying to hide how they run things somehow.

                                                          The Docker Hub source repository is hosted on Bitbucket but only issues are enabled, no actual repository. Given that there are a lot of other solutions available like mailinabox or mailcow which are completely developed on GitHub with the community I’d prefer them.

                                                          I’ve been running mailcow for over a year now, it’s also using docker but every service is running in it’s own container. So far I like it and haven’t had any issues.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            I must admit I wrote this response after a cursory glance at the page and seeing “powered by open source” figuring it would have a dual-licensed model or similar. I’m very disappointed there’s no code/it’s not open source since I was hoping to be able to hack on it and improve upon it for my own personal use/learning. Not only that but for them to be claiming about relying on open source but not releasing any is quite dishonest in my opinion!

                                                            Thanks for the heads up about mailcow though, I’ll definitely give that a look.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          I recently switched to Dracula Theme - it’s available for all the tools I use (VSCode, VIM, iterm2) but tons more. Every now and then I want a light theme, Solarized is still the light color scheme to go for me. Just need some workflow to automate the light/dark switching.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              awesome, thank you!