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Head in the clouds

Tue 11 Sep 2012 by mskala Tags used: , ,

As part of my efforts to be ready for wherever my next employment takes me, I've shifted my email home. For a long time my usual practice has been for email to end up delivered to my home computer, which I log into remotely from wherever I am. The way I see it is that my personal email is mission-critical, and I don't want my email home to be on any computer I don't control, especially not one belonging to an employer or to Google. I have had content in my email subject to a court case before, the other side in that case wasn't able to interrupt my email because they had no right to and it was all routed through systems controlled by people who understood that, and I'd like to keep things that way.

Running my own email service requires my home computer to be accessible on the Net at all times, and I've now had a couple of adventures in which it or its Net connection stopped working while I was away from home and I had to switch to less useful backup systems. So, as of today, my email is now going to a leased server elsewhere on the Net. I can connect to it remotely from wherever I have a good connection, even if my home computer doesn't. This may be especially useful if, as seems quite possible, my current home computer goes into storage for a while and I end up spending a lot of time without an operational home computer of my own at any fixed location.

There's no change to my email address, and you're unlikely to see any difference in email to or from me - that's kind of the point. If you are reading headers very carefully you may be able to spot some differences in the internal-to-my-systems routing of messages. I mention this only because some of my readers may find it interesting.

Something else that shouldn't have any directly visible effects, but may interest some of you, is that I've also shifted the backend support for my astrological chart service onto the new server - so that also is no longer dependent on my home computer and my home computer's Internet connection. It may be slightly faster and should certainly be more reliable now. I took the opportunity to upgrade it to the latest version of Swiss Ephemeris and download the full range of year coverage (5400 BC to AD 5400), since (with the improvements in server bandwidth over the years) Astrodienst have greatly relaxed their "download only what you need" request. That's mighty neighbourly of them. I've tested it a bit and I think it does still work; if not, complain, and I'll try to fix it.

The documentation hasn't been updated for this, but one consequence of the change is that because the new server has a fair bit of spare capacity (on account of the way these things are sold as standard package deals), there is now no practical limit on how often it's okay to use the chart service; there's no longer any possibility of it maxing out my slow home Internet connection. I'm quite likely to change its page design in the near future to look a little more recent and better fit other pages on my site, and at that time I may try to drum up some more interest and encourage more people to use it.


Glad you managed to make a relatively seamless migration & were able to find aprovider you could trust in the face of (possible) future lawsuits.
owen - 2012-09-11 17:26
The extension of dates is great news. You've already changed the page design somewhat; I shall miss the old design when you change it completely, but that's me - I already miss the cartoon character that used to live there.
Axel - 2012-09-11 20:41
I meant the horoscope page (for the benefit of any casually passing reader).
Axel - 2012-09-11 20:43
May I recommend you move into the cloud. Furthermore protocols like IMAP are great for having multiple places where you can put and read your email.

Setting up the weak encryption for the VPSes is irritating but one can have a pretty resilent email system by using multiple servers. Multiple MX records anyone?
Anonymous - 2012-10-29 21:05
I, like Axel, would like to see the return of your cartoon character.
Lancelot - 2013-06-09 19:06

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