Author Archives: Ryan Porter

Starting my Homelab

Because my career interests lie in the world of information technology (servers, computers, and the tech that connects them), I’ve been listening to a lot of related podcasts for the past several months. I recently started studying in earnest for the CompTIA A+ certification, which has been a fascinating review of things I know well, and additionally a lot of information that I didn’t know before. It’s a lot of fun!

That being said, I realized that there’s a long way for me to go in order to achieve the level of competency that I want, so I followed the advice of the people at r/ITCareerQuestions on Reddit and started to build my own home server experimentation lab, affectionately called a “Homelab” by the denizens of r/homelab.

I’ve completed the first step, which was to acquire a platform to start on. I’ll be adding a 4TB disk drive and a nice Noctua fan next week. Here it is!

It’s not much to look at yet, but this is the humble beginning of my homelab. It’s a refurbished Dell Optiplex 7010 with 24GB of RAM, Windows 10 Pro, and 1TB HDD. At the back you can see my 2TB single-drive Direct Access Storage (DAS) drive, which will supplement the 4TB datacenter drive that I ordered on Newegg.

My plan is to image the system drive so I can retain that copy of Win10 Pro, and then install it in a virtual machine on whatever hypervisor I decide to replace it with, alongside other services. I have a lot to learn, but this is what I’ll be learning with for now; I fully intend to upgrade this server with more storage space, more modern hardware (such as swapping the i7 and DDR3 for a Xeon and ECC DDR4), and eventually, enterprise-level equipment. It’s going to be fun!

~RP

Time to Leave Windows 7 Behind

Operating system vulnerabilities allow people with evil intent to do a variety of nefarious activities on your computer. They could install cryptocurrency miners, botnets, keyloggers, or other malicious software. They can also steal your data or hold it hostage through a ransomware attack. Since these are exploits of weaknesses in the operating system itself, there isn’t a lot that your antivirus software can do to stop them—only regular updates provided by Microsoft can patch these holes in your system security. And when those updates stop coming, you will be utterly defenseless. Is the convenience of putting off your upgrade worth the risk?

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I’m Still Reading

Dearest readers, whomever you are, I thank you for continuing to bear with me during the last couple months. Real life has prevented me from writing as often as I desire, but my passion for the art hasn’t waned. I wanted to share something from On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner that I read just now.

Finally, the true novelist is the one who doesn’t quit. Novel-writing is not so much a profession as a yoga, or “way,” an alternative to ordinary life-in-the-world. Its benefits are quasi-religious—a changed quality of mind and heart, satisfactions no non-novelist can understand—and its rigors generally bring no profit except to the spirit. For those who are authentically called to the profession, spiritual profits are enough.


Gardner, J. (1985). On Becoming a Novelist. New York: Harper & Row, p.145.

I’m still on track for reading 35 books this year, but I haven’t been able to maintain my goal of writing one short story per week. As long as I’m writing something I still feel that I’m making progress, however.

Be Well!

~RP

Seeking Criticism

As any aspiring writer knows, you have a very skewed perception of the quality of your own work. That’s why it’s important to actively seek out feedback to help you know what areas you need to improve. Here are three sources you can use to find the positive criticism that will help your writing be at the top of your capacity.

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Backing up Your Stories

For creators of all kinds, a mysterious and illusive threat lurks in places we don’t like to think about. You’ve probably stumbled upon frightening reminders of this threat once or twice—such as on a gaming mod site like nexusmods.com, or even on Wattpad, when a content creator’s hard drive fails and they’re unable to continue their work. A sad end to some fantastic creations!

Happily, there is something you can do to protect yourself from this kind of disaster. Simply, you need to back up your stories. This is such an easy task that anyone can do it, but unfortunately, it feels too complicated for many people. I hope this advice will make keeping your precious data backed up seem less advanced for you!

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Welcome to Technoliterate!

Welcome, friends! You’ve discovered the gleaming new evolution of websterhamster’s Machine, which was a personal blog from 2012-2018. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot writing the Machine, but the time has come to kick it up a notch and enter a new phase. That phase is…

TECHNOLITERATE!

Here I will be writing about technology, books, science fiction, and fantasy—my favorite topics of discussion. I hope this will continue to be a learning and growing experience for me, as well as you, Reader.

As always, Be Well.

~Ryan “websterhamster” Porter