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For Good, For Now

Meena, Shasta and I moved back to India from the US a few days back with bags and no baggage! With most of my family in the states, this was one tough decision to take and it has been on our minds for the last three to four years. Our 2018 vacation in Uganda solidified our resolve to enter the Foreign Service and work towards a more holistic life that involved sustainable travel. During one of those long car rides, we decided it was time and planned to ‘initiate exit procedures’ right after our vacation. Just as we were finalizing things back in the US, we’d realized that we would be having Shasta that year and decided to push the move to next year. Come 2019, once we had Shasta’s paperwork in place and she was ready to fly, we head back to Uganda to spend a few months there with Meena’s father and finally made our way to India with a short stay in Dubai. Continue reading “For Good, For Now”

Baseline Road Trail

A beautiful 6 mile hike/walk near Miss Bama’s home. Shasta slept through most of it in the carrier and Dhruv had a ball of a time! So glad we fit this in. Probably one of our longest walks in Florida. The march of dimes event happens here every year.

Bringing the cloud home

I finally got my Shoebox server setup working! I now have three Single board Computer [SBC] working in tandem behind my home router to accomplish what I’ve been wanting to do for quite sometime now – Setting up an easy-to-maintain, in-house server for all my data and web hosting needs. Fixing this all together has been a tremendous learning experience. I still need to weed out some pesky issues but I believe I have the bearing right now.

Here’s my current setup:

  1. NexcloudPi installed on a Raspberry pi 3B+ board
  2. Yunohost installed on an Odroid XU4 board
  3. Diet-Pi installed on another Raspberry pi 3B+ board

I’ve been using Nextcloud as my data storage solution for more than a year now. It does what I expect it to do and much more. NextcloudPi handles the intricate details and takes out the hassles that come with hosting data on personal servers.

On the ODroid-XU4, I installed debian stretch as the base OS and then manually installed Yunohost as my web server. I use ServerPilot on my Digital ocean servers and was looking for a close match while self hosting. Love YHs web-ui and they did seem to support quite a few web apps. I also have my eyes on cozy and caprover. Might explore these at a later point in time if decide to switch to a different SBC.

Both NextcloudPi and Yunohost have letsencrypt tools to setup and manage certificates for the domains/sub domains. While super useful, I realised to benefit from that feature, I had to rely on haproxy. With some pointers from the Nextcloud forum, I decided to use another pi to front as the main server. Installed Diet-pi on it since it’s just something I really liked and configured haproxy on it to map to the corresponding server based on the hostname. While at it, I also added in a switch between the router and various servers.

I still need to work on making this more robust. One niggling issue is the speed is heavily compromised. I’m guessing it’s do with my haproxy config and I should be able to fix it pretty soon. Once I have this sorted out, I need to spend some time hardening the security of the server, further configure Yunohost, device my backup strategies and finally moving my websites over from Digital Ocean.

Skiing at Liberty

Sneaked in a day at Liberty at the very end of the skiing season. Was so totally worth it!

Meena didn’t get around taking the slopes since Shasta was pretty much tethered to her. Kids and I had a blast! Last time we were here [Dec 2017] I barely made it down the hill. This time around, I followed Nik’s strategy of letting gravity do it’s job and maneuvering only when I had to. Totally see how this could be addictive!

River ridge trail

Shasta’s first visit to Patapsco state park. Sharath, Meena, Shasta and I planned to head out together initially. Was pretty breezy and cold. Shasta initially was showing signs of queasiness, so Meena suggested Sharath and I head out while she’d stroll closer to the car.

Started out on the downhill and entered the woods around the corner. Meena joined with Shasta as we were heading back covering about three miles. A wonderful, refreshing day out!

We head out to Hot Pot later that evening. Delicious food and some real good time with the whole family!