Zumi's Scratchpad

Moving back lol

(updated: 2021-04-08)

Well, it's been a fun ride. Though not really, since I don't even update it that much.

Noooo I don't mean here of course, I meant my short-lived space away from neocities. A space that, among other things, provides some HTTP-only stuff so you can look at it with real Windows 95 or something. I can't be arsed to renew domain and host services because it might not be all that useful, expect scalpers to take it or remain a parked space forever.

There were only a few things anyway that I hosted there. A file dump, a mirror of my 90s page, a little wiki that ran on PMWiki, and my other blog that ran on Pico CMS. That wiki my friends never used anyway, since there wasn't much incentive to contribute. I didn't really do much of anything else on it until the hosting inevitably expired though.

I'm trying to port the posts from my other blog, so things may look wonky this time around!

Manual SSL

The hosting service I used, Hostinger, offers automatic SSL cert stuff. Didn't feel like adding it and using more of my already-tight budget, so I opted to manually doing the SSL stuff. Oftentimes I would be late to renew my certificate, so my website would've ended up being locked / "unsafe!" on many modern browsers, until I renewed it.

I used to use an online service to do the renewal stuff, but that has since shifted to a sign-up service, which I didn't like. So I had to make do with certbot. In short, here's the steps I had to take:

Create cert

sudo certbot certonly --manual

Enter e-mail address, accept mandatory IP logging, place files as per instructions.

Register certificate and chain

Copy paste the contents of (or upload)

/etc/letsencrypt/live/*/fullchain.pem

and

/etc/letsencrypt/live/*/privkey.pem

to its respective slots in the web hosting file manager.

Do the above for all domains and subdomains to be certified.

Renew cert

sudo certbot renew, then reregister.

Considerations

I also noted some security considerations based on a recent happening:

FTP

Sometimes manipulating files through FTP can be slow. I used FileZilla to transport my files, later using Thunar's network browsing feature. Either way, they're both slow.

When I uploaded the wiki, it had to go through a metric ton of files. I'm conviced that I uploaded so many files at one time that it probably promptly IP-blocked me for a while. And no, investing in a VPS wasn't really in my budget either.

Perhaps I would be better served with uploading just one zip and then have some dummy script explode it into functional pieces?

Other stuff

I was limited to two subdomains, which was actually perfect for my needs. One is for spaces which is supposed to be a thing for me or others to host sites on, in the end I just hosted my blog there and some file format documentation drafts. The other one is the aforementioned wiki, which I even had "wiki farms" set up (that's what they subwikis apparently).

I also had some other stuff on there, like a tutorial on making a simple site for character info. Of course it's based on PHP + MySQL, and there was a demo that went along with it. I might repost it here some time.

Also this lmao, my pretty crappy attempt at a "RESTful" API for some joke.


I planned to continue this, but uh.. turns out I really don't know what else to put here.

Man, reading that initial blog again made me feel kind of dumb lol. It was good to get away with owning a domain and paying for web hosting for once, but once I learned how to /etc/hosts and "host" a bunch of services all on localhost all willy-nilly and string it all together, it felt pretty limiting. But I guess I got what I paid for, lmao.

Because now I don't think it's just websites that I want to host, I wanna host an IRC server, a Gemini server, self-hosted cloud stuff, random dumb services, etc. etc. Even I don't really like Apache all that much and would rather use Nginx (Hostinger uses LiteSpeed, which I think is a derivative of Apache?)

In which case I really should invest in a VPS some time. My friend offered one up for maybe like 1 or 2 weeks, but that short period of time where I had it running was pretty glorious.

I did find Ngrok to be a fine service to be securely hosting all of my shit, when I hosted my IRC server the origin whois all pretty much said localhost instead of my actual IP address, though I'm not sure if it's Ngrok doing it or the server software (ngircd)

Midterms are coming next week and the assignments are just out the ass and whatever time I have left to clear my mind I can't use it for other stuff, I'm just pretty drained now lol.