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During a Network Outage


... self-hosting is sometimes extra nice.

This is post no. 41 for Kev Quirk's #100DaysToOffload challenge. The point is to write many things, not to write good ones. Please adjust quality expectations accordingly :)

So cable is down.

I guess for most people this means that computers are now useless; all the cloud stuff is out, so... that was it.

My wifi plugs work fine though. I just added a keybinding to them this morning; Super-F9 toggles the fancy chains over the windows, while Super-F10 is the kitchen standing light. They switch super fast (hundreds of milliseconds). And... they keep working when there is no internet.

(... I guess the many cable people are now busy DDoSing the mobile network, thus, not a whole lot of internet from there either.)

This... gives one some perspective, still. In a neatly antifragile way. (No link because, well, no internet; it's a Nicholas Taleb thing though.)

What worked

(Yes it's kinda fun to start writing a postmortem while it's still happening. Especially given how the impact is... not overly great.)

Well, my home server is still up. I'm actually writing this on my laptop, via sshfs, saved to it. Conveniently, it has a web server running, too, to preview it. (... yes, it's still all hand-written HTML.) I can't quite sync it up to the main site, but... eventually, that will happen, too.

Tailscale works! (Tailscale is really cool, by the way, if you want a magically-just-working VPN; it's basically the only piece of proprietrary tech in the infrastructure, but... it's worth it.) I could ping all local nodes, so, apparently, it doesn't need pinging their central servers to figure out IP addresses to contact. Very good.

Yes, the fancy light switches still work.

So does DNS. Honestly, I'm not drastically sure how I can still use names for the home server even though the DNS server is on a VPS outside; I guess the interesting ones were cached still. Plus I have Unbound DNS running on the router, so DHCP names keep turning into hostnames, too.

Also, it really feels like... it's neat to be separated from the rest of the world for a while. There was a time when LANs weren't usually connected to anything. More room to think. Also more room to perceive what you do and do not control.

What didn't work

I should totally get an amateur radio license. It would make it a whole lot easier to figure out what's going on.

Or I should dig up my RTL-SDR dongle with the antenna. And, of course, pre-install the relevant software.

Also, how does one mirror entire DNS domains?

It can... also be used as an excellent excuse for writing posts that are even lower quality than usual :)

... comments welcome, either in email or on the (eventual) Mastodon post on Fosstodon.