patience is a virtue....

" ...You're gone, gone, gone away
I watched you disappear
All that's left is a ghost of you
Now we're torn, torn, torn apart
There's nothing we can do
Just let me go, we'll meet again soon

Now wait, wait, wait for me
Please hang around...

- "Little Talks" by Of Monsters of Men


Alright, pleasantries and showmanship over -- might as well talk about what's going on real quick.

Yes, I'm moving ThePuzzledsite to a new domain and just starting over from scratch. I've been wanting to do this for a while, but I've been needing a few good excuses. Now I have them, so I may as well list them off right now.

One: I had the original website on a rather basic NameCheap VPS.

Two: Said VPS was my first time actually managing anything close to a publicly available server that's easily accessible from the public Internet.

Three: Most every aspect of that server was dedicated to one single user: the root user. I was not very good at hosting an actual public server when I started, but after months of figuring things out on both a security and sanity level that I can consider even passable by both my past and present selves' standards, I'm ready to do something that can actually be better managed.

Four: This was my first time making a server dedicated to public online use.

Five: I've gotten a bit... dysphric with the whole ThePuzzledboy/Puzzledsite name in general, especially after recently researching puzzle pieces in association with the autism spectrum (yeah, hi -- I have autism. Probably wouldn't notice that about me unless I brought it up in conversation like I did just now lol) and realizing the negative connotations it has due to -- let's be honest, here -- frankly horrible and disgusting so-called "charities" using it to distort many people's ideas of what autism is like.

Side note: if you think otherwise of my previous statement -- like, any part of it, not even going to mince words here -- then now seems like a good time to ask yourself "am I the bad guy?" (The answer to that question, by the way, is a resounding and blunt "Yes.")

Five: I forgot the root password, effectively locking myself out. Good work, me.

And six: Did I mention ThePuzzledsite was my first time doing a public online server, and I did a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad job at it? I did? Three times at this point? Good.

Fortunately, I'll be changing a few things here. I've been brushing up on... well, everything I can that focuses on what I want to do in a server, and for those interested, here's what I'm going to do here.

First, NameCheap is no longer hosting the site. I'm still using them for domain name stuff, but the hosting itself is going to DigitalOcean (thanks, Kugee!) and what they term "droplets". In more colloquial terms, a VPS.

Second, Apache is no longer being used for the HTTP. I've decided on Nginx this time around, and for this new site, I'll be using Hugo to generate static sites serverside, with Wowchemy being used for a website builder.

I've also chosen to add some basic analytics in the form of Umami. Far as I can tell, it seems acceptable enough to not invade privacy (even going so far as to pride itself as GDPR-compliant), and since it's FOSS (you may find that a common thread in this whole thing, to be perfectly honest), I have no doubt that it should work for my purpose without being a complete intrusion.

This doesn't mean I don't want to take away things like this beautiful background and the dithered images like the one at the top of this page. I've been looking up how to use subdomains with NameCheap, and I am so going to have fun with those in the future, including a subdomain for more retro systems that can work better with this sort of design, compared to the HTML5-centric plans I have here. (sorry, Kugee, I'll get the retro thing done ASAP).

Also, I plan on doing an archive of the past versions of ThePuzzledsite, if only to profusely apologize for my horrible job with archiving the old version. (That was well and truly a facepalm moment for me. Oh by the way, did you know the Internet Archive only deals with archiving one page and the links that one page had at that point, with no other recursiveness if you simply told it to save a domain? I didn't until I found out after pushing the new version!) But yeah, rest assured, I still have both versions backed up, just in case. I may have been stupid at managing a website and a server, but at least I know how to do even the most basic backup.

Third, I'm considering adding a few more things for other purposes -- some common, and some niche. To summarize in the form of a list, sorted by highest to lowest priority:

  • a Gopher server powered by Gophernicus, with an HTTP-friendly proxy in the form of Gophper (for those who may not want to use a specific Gopher client, or use third-party proxies)
  • a Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart multiplayer server (because why not tbh)
  • Remark42 for Disqus-like comments
  • a Daikatana Deathmatch server (which, from what I've heard, were surprisingly better at the time than single-player Daikatana)
  • Quake II / III Arena servers (powered by Q2PRO and ioquake3 respectively)
  • an Unreal Tournament '99 server
  • a QuakeWorld server (only as an alternative in case Razorback's QuakeWorld server isn't going online at that moment

I may not do all of this -- hence the vague sorting by priority -- but I hope this give a good enough idea of what I want to try and do for this new site. For all I know myself, I may even add more to this list with things I'm not aware of as of writing this whole thing. Needless to say, I'll try and do some good stuff with this whole thing.

Fourth, I'm still not using SSL/TLS unless absolutely necessary, such as when passwords or other actual sensitive information are given by the end user. Even then, adding an S to the HTTP part of a URL won't make a difference in mere brute-force attacks or ransomware or anything of the sort, especially when anyone can get an SSL certificate and fake supposed credentials either in the form of the certificate itself or the website's own design. It won't matter anyways, in the eyes of unsuspecting grandmothers everywhere. "BuT mUh SeCuRiTy"-- But your own butt for all I care. Adding in and subsequently forcing SSL is outright braindead in the case of a blog or portfolio or basic gallery, and I just don't really see a point in that unless redirecting to a specific site. Though I'll probably have to force it on specific browsers since certain dev teams don't see eye-to-eye with this philosophy.... (sigh.)

As far as the password thing is concerned, I've put some time into utilizing SSH keys for a more secure and easier to access experience on my end (hopefully) so I don't have to remember any passwords beyond when I need to use them for sudo-related stuff. If anyone has any more questions, you know where to find me, then.

See ya'll on the other side.

Puzzled Hunter Graham

Made in Dreamweaver 8 on a Windows XP virtual machine.
Because I can, goshdarnit. ;P

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