TL;DR tiny.tilde.website was down for over a week, but it’s not moving to the cloud. It will continue to run from my basement.
I’m writing this on day eight of the power outage in Ottawa, Ontario.
A derecho waltzed through our city last Saturday knocking down power lines, poles and trees. Houses and cars were wrecked and people were injured and killed.
All things considered, I have been very lucky. I have a flexible job and I can work from anywhere I can get Internet access. I have a place to go work from (on the other side of the city, sadly) which has power so I can charge up devices and use their Wi-Fi. My son’s school is closed and my wife has the same flexibility as me (although, it’s her office we’re going to).
One unfortunate effect of the outage is that tiny.tilde.website has been down since around an hour after the power went out. It runs from my basement. I have a UPS but not a generator. The UPS carried on for an hour, which is decent, but nothing but the most extreme preparation could have kept the site up. (Even if I had a generator, the petrol to run it would be $40-80 per day. No thanks!)
I do computer operations for a living, so it hurts when a service that I run suffers sustained downtime. My first reaction was to figure out a way to copy
ttw to a virtual machine and get it up and running. The quality of connection I’ve been able to get nixed this, but after a little time sitting with the question (unable to do anything proactive about it) – I don’t want that.
(Also: a few people contacted me to check in and also to remind me not to stress about things being down. Thanks!)
I fundamentally do not want to live in a world where the Internet is something that lives in a big building in an industrial park. I understand that some people taking part in the “participatory Internet” (i.e. fediverse, self hosting, gemini, gopher, tilde, etc.) have chosen to use cloud providers: good for them! More sites self-hosting, whereever they can, is a net good. A gopher hole or a WordPress blog is better for the technological diversity of the Internet than a Facebook page, even if it’s hosted on Amazon Web Services.
But I can self-host on my own hardware. I have the equipment and skills and a fibre-optic line coming to my house. Most of the time I have good quality power, coming from Ontario’s very low-carbon grid.
And sometimes, when a natural disaster strikes a city, my sites will be offline. And that seems reasonable to me.