Houghton Lake (Michigan). Sky and water shot

On Saturday my wife and I took an unplanned trip up to Houghton lake to see what we could see and just to get out of the house.    I was disappointed.   It’s not a really photogenic place.   The lake is completely developed, there  is little public access aside from boat ramps and probably a small beach.. 

I wanted to get a sunset over the lake but the only place to get that was private property and I didn’t feel like requesting access..    




Sunset would have been about 25 degrees right when it happened and it was lackluster anyways.   



I have decided to leave Godaddy and do my own VPS to run my vanity domain from.   Here it is!    Several reasons.   I want total control over my machine.  Godaddy hosting is not that.   Security wise they were scaring me, using years old unpatched OpenSSH libraries.   Finally, I just wanted something different.  It’s so confusing navigating their control system GUI.  I swear I spent more time staring at the screen looking for what I needed, than I do typing cd /directory/name, grepping for what I’m looking for or googling how to configure something.

THIS POST is the first I’ve made from my new platform.  I decided to leave behind everything on the old server and start anew..   Honestly I didn’t remember half the stuff I set up on that and it was not pretty behind the scenes..


I’ve been heavily into FreeBSD the past summer.  I set up a FreeBSD (11) server to replace a macOS Server.   Free Unix with ZFS pools vs. shiny GUI’s and RAID5 external box.    I’m very happy with my arrangement so I decided to get a FreeBSD VPS at cloudsigma.com


I ran FreeBSD in the 90’s.  Started with FreeBSD 2.5, as a play thing.  3.x was my first real FreeBSD server where I used it on my network as a samba server.   I migrated to 4.x and held on till the bloody end of 4.11..  The box was old as dirt at that point and I decommissioned it.  I switched to using external drives on my desktop box and not having a home server..   fast forward to 2006 I put a G4 mini online to serve files with a Drobo..   Then an Intel mini running OSX Server with a RAID5 box.   That lasted my until present days

I started out with a freebsd image installed to a Virtual Machine on my MacBook Pro.  Configured it as though it were my server, with Plex, sonarr, sabnzbd, etc..   NFS mounted my Mac mini server from the freebsd box and tried it out and it was amazing..


Several thoughts were involved in my decision to tear up my network and start over.   macOS 10.12 Sierra was on the verge of release.  My Mac mini wouldn’t run it.   So I could spend the money on a new Mac mini and keep my aging raid5 box or I could spend new money on hardware to run an OS that gives me enterprise grade data management plus a unix environment.   The only thing I really miss about the macOS server is the caching server for iOS/macOS App Store apps.  That has no parallel in the ope source community..  I would so pay for a macOS server app bundle for Unix…


That poor Mac mini was just a core2duo, and there were nights that the UI would totally freeze up on me.   I SSH’d in to see what was the matter and my user load was over 300..   Too much stuff running on 8G ram and a lowly 2ghz core2duo.  I wiped the drive and sent it down the road (on eBay). To a guy who will use it until it drops dead, building IOS apps he says..  good for him and Im glad to see an old Mac stay in use..

Fast forward to today, I have a Core i7 freebsd server with 32G ram, three ZFS pools, mirrored SSD for boot.  Raidz and raidz2 for my backups storage and my data..   It is beautiful..



I have not been out as much as I’d like to be.  Doctor’s orders, I have a foot ulcer that needs to heal so I am staying off it as much as possible..   I go out and shoot sunsets from the van and do a little bit of still life in the house.   Really looking forward to Spring 2017 when I SHOULD be healed up..