Over the past three or four years I’ve been slowly building a little digital empire for myself, by linking together various computers in interesting ways. I run my own e-mail, web hosting (quite independently of SilentFlame, the charitable web hosting organisation I run), DNS and Jabber, and with my friends have a private VPN, a sort of Internet of our own, where we have web addresses like http://zephyr.athenet/ for my desktop computer.

I’ve decided that it’s time for all this to come to an end. It fuels a strange kind of megalomania on my part, but also costs money I’d rather not be spending: around £90/year. But the main thing is that I don’t like having the responsibility for these services on my head. The e-mail service in particular is relied upon by eight to ten others, and I find that responsibility uncomfortably weighty.

But I still need a host out there on the Internet to sync my files, and do e-mail and web. The solution is SDF. Through then I can get everything I need. The only exception is the storage of large files. They are currently working on implementing such a service, though, and even if that doesn’t go ahead there is S3.

I do not seem to be able to resist, though, switching from Mutt to Alpine, since I’ll be reading my e-mail on a classically sysadmin’d NetBSD cluster.

This means giving up

as my primary e-mail address, which is sad because I’ve managed to stick with one address for a very long time. But the important thing with e-mail addresses is not that they never change, but that old ones continue to forward (a problem with my university account). And I’ll definitely have that forever.

It’s important to be aware of your attachments, and know when it is time to move on from their support, when they cease to be interesting hobbies and more weird ego-dependencies.