I have begun down a path to dismantle one of my most interesting labs: phaedo.erinyes.org.
Almost four years ago I put phaedo together. I designed the server to accomplish a number of different tasks. Initially I wanted a server that would function as a fileserver for our home and a mailserver for Internet email. My ISP supports customers running servers on their end of consumer-grade DSL. I used the server as an experimental platform. I worked on projects involving CMS systems, SQL server, DHCP, perl, advanced sendmail and milter configurations and a number of other scenarios over the course of its life.
So in early January 2005 I got phaedo up and running and successfully installed at home. I was proud of my accomplishments. I had set up a blog under the CMS system and was searching for topics to write about. Two weeks later I found the subject that would consume me for over a year: my brain injury. The first posts I made on the system were me chronicling my injury and subsequent recovery. What I have not talked about is the curious development that the systems I was using to publish my thoughts– blog, email, chat server– were brand new constructions. I quite literally had completed the design and installation just a week or so before I went into a ten-day coma.
So phaedo’s second laboratory function came around as part of my recovery process. I had to relearn what I had designed. I had to dismantle parts and put them back together to reteach myself critical system administration tasks. This was painful and slow and filled with anxiety and distress. I desperately wanted to succeed. And brain trauma is a very effective way to complicate those sorts of broad plans– or any plans, for that matter.
Over three years later and the same server continues to putter along reliably in our loft. I have made improvements over the years and some minor changes, but at its core it is essentially the same system as the one I started to build in the week between Christmas 2004 and New Years 2005.
Technology has advanced, my work has changed. — Part of the original design was to set up a space that could function as a testbed for systems that I was working on in the office. But more important than either of those, my life has changed. I’ve come to the conclusion that I do not want to be a full-time system administrator both at work and at home. I have other hobbies that I enjoy now. I want those hobbies to provide a relief from distress, not add to it.
All of this is my overly candid way of saying that this website will be changing. This will be the last post I make on phaedo. Stephanie and I plan to continue the weblog. Stephanie has already moved her falcon journal to its new home. I invite you, one of the countless legion of faithful readers, to our new homes: