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Aug 21

Writers build the web: a back-end tech diary (1)

The Raspberry-Pi: a writer’s server

raspberries
My website was down again. I walked into the dark narrow server-room. There was a low whispery hum. Fans cooling hard drives—surely a good sign. I looked at the tiny blue, green and orange LEDs. Some were glowing in a relaxed fashion; some were flashing as though they might be awfully busy. Should they be?

Had the server-room cat dislodged something? How would I know? I squinted at the cables, black, red yellow, blue, and grey, twisting and looping across the desk, coiling across the floor, in and out of boxes, lurking in the shadows.

Things were slipping out of my control.

I was mistress of the world when my first self-hosted, fully functional wordpress.org website went online. I wanted to feel like that again.

I wanted to claim the back-end of my website and call it mine. Well, a part of it, at least. I wanted enough to keep my website safe and ready to upload again. You never know what disaster might befall your hosting solution. A croconado, commercial collapse, that sort of thing.

I consulted with the oracle who sat hunched over his keyboard.

He clicked at light-speed through the infinite tabs in his browser. He glowed in the blue screen light.

“You can keep your very own version of your website, and experiment on it as much as you like on your own private server.”

Yes!

“Your website will be ready for upload to any wordpress.org compatible hosting service.”

Yes!

“Your server will be small and wireless.”

A little box in my office with no cables. Yes!

“You will build it yourself.”

Say, what?

“It’s called a Raspberry-Pi. It was designed to teach children about computers.”

Well, that sounds surprisingly promising.

The oracle told me to visit two web sites:

PressPi – A Turn-Key Raspberry Pi WordPress Server Image!
Raspberry Pi – Teach, Learn, and Make with

The next step was to write a shopping list for all the materials I needed to keep my own wordpress.org website safe and secure—ready for upload, when and where I wanted.

And, of course, I went shopping. I’ll let you know how that went in the next post.

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