Status update, March 2024

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For this status update, I’d like to focus primarily on my personal projects. Unfortunately, there isn’t much new to share about my job, as most of my tasks have been repetitive over the past few weeks. However, I’ve continued to learn new things during my free time. Given that this year’s theme for me has been hosting services for personal use, the projects I’ve been working on during this month revolved around this topic.

To start off, I deployed Ollama on after I came across this article. Previously, I had been running Ollama locally but found that even the smaller models were extremely slow due to the limited hardware on my machine. I decided to use Fly because of its support for GPUs and the feature that allows machines to be stopped when they’re not being used. With Fly LLMs run smoothly and I only get charged for the amount computation I actually use.

On to other things, I’m now hosting most of my services on a Raspberry Pi 3B. Previously, I had been running them on a cloud VPS. However, after getting a power supply and case for the Pi, I decided to set it up to work as a mini home server. I moved all the data to the Pi and set up a basic backup strategy using Restic. I’m also using Tailscale to access the services when I’m not at home.

Finally, the highlight of the last month was the deployment of a messaging service for personal use. I started hosting my own services because I wanted to have full control over my data. Given that online communication is such an integral part of my digital life, it makes sense for me to host my own private messaging service. To accomplish this, I decided to use ejabberd, an open-source instant messaging solution based on the XMPP protocol.

I was initially reluctant to host a messaging server. Moving to a privacy-focused platform can be hard. Most people are content using well-known platforms and may not be interested in privacy-focused alternatives. In most cases, asking them to try another platform could result in a negative response. That wasn’t my case though. I found that close relatives and friends were willing to give the server a try if they know it was something I was running.

I’ll continue to explore self-hosted solutions for most of my needs. I’m currently looking for an inventory management tool and a fitness tracker. In addition, I’m eager to delve deeper into XMPP. I want to gain deeper understanding of the protocol and its potential use cases for real-time applications. Stay tuned for further updates.