…And, We’re Back.

After eight months,1 I have got round to setting up my website again, and laboured, over the last month, to repost the archive of old articles which I had, in a fit of optimism, converted to Hugo format. Hugo, it turns out, requires coding skills to use, despite the YouTube ‘walkthroughs’ that assure you it’s as easy as picking a new hipster flannel shirt. I could have had a standard, moody, sans-serif photography portfolio blog, with google integration and serious off-the-shelf attitude baked in, but I want something else, and so I have returned to WordPress.

I gave up my commercially hosted website because I was on an economy drive after quitting the job that was driving me to ill-health. That chicken actually came home to roost in October, when I had a mild heart attack, but that’s another story.2 Anyway, this current version is home-hosted, thanks to a wonderful piece of software called Yunohost, which I mentioned in another post.3 If you are reading this, you have accessed it on a little ThinkCentre computer that sits in my office in my home. I am very happy about this. I love having a blog, but I cannot justify paying for hosting. In this version, it is merely a side-project on a server that performs other functions, including hosting my Nextcloud instance. It is, effectively, free.

The previous few iterations of my blog have been on the domain danceswithcats.uk. However, I had over a year’s worth of email service paid for on that one, and didn’t want to transfer it to my server, so I have returned my blog to its original domain, danceswithcats.net. Given that the U.K. may not survive as a political entity to the end of my contract with Gandi, I think this is a clear-sighted move on my part.

It is likely that the next few posts will be about computers and software and, in particular, my server. It is a real triumph, limited only by my inability to properly integrate a network attached storage, so I haven’t yet been able to set up any media, apart from a Calibre server to host my ebooks, which are small files and don’t take up too much space. At the moment, the ThinkCentre has a 1TB ssd. My Nextcloud setup takes about a third of that, and this blog barely touches it, but if I were to host all my music and a music streaming server, it would need over a TB just for that, before I started looking at video. I have a NAS of 4TB in a Raspberry Pi box I put together. However, it doesn’t allow for direct attachment and Network links are symbolic links, which the server software doesn’t like. I’m sure there are ways around this, but they involve deep coding knowledge and maintenance. I need simple.

However, a 4TB ssd is not such an exotic beast now: there are unbranded ones available for £1504 and I’ve even seen a Crucial ssd available for £195.5 I’m tempted by the cheapo. I have good backup strategies, and, by the time even a delicate ssd fails, replacements will be much cheaper, if the decline in the price of 1TB discs is anything to go by.

The process of transferring the server to a new disc will require a bit of careful study. I know how to clone a disc, in theory, and have actually done it with sd memory cards, for my Raspberry Pi. On that occasion, I used a command line program called dd.6 It requires a bit of care, but I am fairly confident.

So, adventures await and I now have a blog where I can boast about them.

The other topics I want to write about are more personal. I have given up work, partly because I felt bullied by my supervisor and was constantly stressed, but mainly to be free to become a carer for my mother, who will be moving down to the Island very soon. I expected to get a part time job, and had all sorts of ambitions in that direction, but then I had the heart attack. It is entirely possible I have had my last day of employment. That deserves reflecting upon. I also want to write about my heart attack. It was a bit of a big deal. I took notes and I’d like to preserve those.

And, I still want to write about books. I had a bit of an obsession with Thomas Mann a couple of years back.789 I’m not sure what that says about me, but my writing about him is all wrapped up in my sense of doom surrounding Russia’s atrocity against Ukraine. Since then, I haven’t read a great deal of ‘literature’, but I have listened to audiobooks, some of which have been fascinating. Over the last few years, starting in early 2022,10 I have listened through most of The Witcher books, by Andrzej Sapkowski.11 Fantasy they may be, but they have a truth to them, and they strike me as superior, in every respect, to any fantasy that I have ever read. I’ve bought the ebooks and am planning to read them more closely because, masterful as Peter Kenny’s readings of them are, listening to a book is a sort of grazing. It colours one’s experience at the expense of detail.

So, if you are reading this, well done you. I am the most amateur of bloggers. I do not attempt to optimise my experience or try in any way to manipulate people into coming to this website, clicking through it, or staying once they are here. You are special. Thank you.

  1. The Times They Are A-Changing. []
  2. The Sorrows of Old Peter []
  3. The Times They Are A-Changing. []
  4. https://www.onbuy.com/gb/p/ssd-sata-4tb-hard-drive-disk-high-speed-hard-disk-internal-solid-state-drives-for-laptop~p87758802/?variant=87758803&color=green []
  5. https://www.onbuy.com/gb/p/crucial-mx500-25-4000-gb-serial-ata-iii-3d-nand~p53896541/?exta=idealo&lid=121232422&stat=eyJpcCI6IjE5NS4wMDAwIiwiZHAiOiIwLjAwMDAiLCJsaWQiOjEyMTIzMjQyMiwicyI6IjMiLCJ0IjoxNzA2MjgzNDkxLCJibWMiOiI1LjAifQ==&clickId=2401261709229130314&iclid=1-2152fecd-5759-324a-804a-825957cdfe52-a79610 []
  6. https://linuxconfig.org/Dd []
  7. Politics, by W.B.Yeats []
  8. Death In Venice, by Thomas Mann []
  9. Top Marks For Me []
  10. Misted Spires, Silver Cobwebs And A Joyful Dog []
  11. https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/series/the-witcher-4 []


  1. It’s Alive!!! – Danceswithcats

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