Almost forgot about this!

So… I said I’d use this blog to document/show off my personal projects, went through the trouble of setting this up, and then left it hanging for a month or two.

Guess I should write about some stuff I’ve been playing with, right?

First, I’ve been buying Raspberry Pi 4 boards like crazy since about June. It started when I saw some ads for the “Antsle Nano”, sold at . Hardware-wise, it’s just a repackaged RPi4 (4GB RAM) with an aluminum heatsink case; the real differentiator is the software that comes running on it. They call it “AntsleOS”, a stripped down version of Linux, on which runs a web interface for creating and maintaining LXC containers and KVM virtual machines. Given that they were running a massive discount on it, I picked one up, and thus was my introduction to self-hosting and containers.

Eventually, over the last few months, I wound up with 9 different RPi4 boards, eight of the 4GB RAM models, and one 8GB model. Four of the 4GB boards are running Antsle’s software, hosting a Pleroma instance, XMPP chat server, OpenVPN server, and PiHole ad-blocking system. The other four are clustered together running Ubuntu 18.04 and MicroK8s, serving as a playground for Kubernetes and hosting a Nextcloud and Gitea deployment. The 8GB board, I’ve been trying to set up as a media center PC to replace my Chromecast. I have Kodi installed, but so far Netflix is the only service I seem to be able to get working on it.

MicroK8s has proven to be pretty easy to use, (coming from someone with no real prior experience in working with containers/container orchestration stuff), but holy hell is it unstable. I find myself having to stop and restart the service at least once a day, because one or more nodes will randomly use up their entire RAM and grind to a halt. Usually, the MicroK8s interface on the affected node will refuse to respond, so getting any usable logging info for debugging purposes has been difficult. Now, have I submitted a help ticket like a smart person? No. Partially because I just keep forgetting to do it, and partially because, again, I want to be able to provide more than just “Hey so my thing’s broken, help?” message.

Other ongoing projects include hosting my own email server, maintaining this website, and trying to convince my family to use the additional Pleroma instance I’m running on DigitalOcean to stay in touch and share photos of my baby nephews instead of doing everything through text messaging. Also, one of these days I’m going to repair and recalibrate my 3D printer and attempt to get started on the MCRN Goliath armor costume I want for Dragon*Con 2021, (assuming the pandemic subsides enough by then…).

I may come back later and post pictures of some of my project boards. Depends on how lazy I am/am not.

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