Floating about on my personal ‘Cloud’

June 15, 2010 at 12:24 | Posted in Tech | Comments Off on Floating about on my personal ‘Cloud’

Well it has been quite a while since I last posted but life got busy and there have been a lot of changes in my technology setup. My main laptop/server was starting to show signs of it’s age and the constant and heavy use to which it was put. So I decided to replace it before there was a catastrophic failure. An important thing to do since it was acting as my Asterisk (phone) server as well as my web server.

Times like this give one a chance to evaluate ones current set up and make changes for the better. In my case I decided it would be best to seperate the functions of server and personal computing. So I bought myself a netbook that will live on a shelf and act as my server while I switched to using a combination of my Nokia N800 and OLPC XO for my personal computing.

This new set up has allowed me to make further changes that have pushed more functionality onto the server to facilitate the lighter devices that I’m now using on a daily basis and so I now find myself with a personal ‘Cloud’.

Frequent readers will know that I despise the ‘Cloud’ moniker but calling it a personal server although totally accurate would not convey the functionality it provides me to the non-technical crowd. The distinction also needs to be made that this is a ‘Cloud’ that is totally within my control, not some server on the Internet owned and controled by someone other then myself. I control the hardware. I control the software. Most importantly I control my data and personal information.

Now that I have clarified my use of the term ‘Cloud’ in this instance allow me to expand on the things a ‘Personal Cloud’ can provide. My old server set up was very much based solely around acting as an Asterisk/web server with SSH access thrown in only for the occasinal remote admining I may need to do. The new set up still hosts my Asterisk and http servers but it also now provides extra functionality on the LAN (at home) side including a VNC server, a media server, a Tor server so all my devices can use Tor without the need to run Tor on each device. I’m considerng adding a LAN side mail server that would fetch my e-mail and serve it to my various devices but as Fastmail offers IMAP access this seems an un-necessary duplication. I may also decide to start hosing my blog from the new server as that would increase my control over my data. However that would be a minor change as wordperss.com have good options for getting at my data. Although it would allow me greater flexability in what I put on my blog.

On the WAN (away from home) side I have a SSH server that uses public key authentication. This not only gives me access to my machine and files while away. It also allows me secure access to all the LAN side features via port forwarding.

I’m enjoying the flexbility that the new setup provides me and plan to do a couple of future posts on setting up a ‘personal cloud’ on the cheap.

This post was composed on my N800, while lounging on a couch with one of my cats. Ahhhh. the joys of mobile cmputing.

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