Home Lab: Running bare metal servers

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2024-06-11 18:30:39

I have long had an obsession with PC building. When I was a school kid, my dad picked a PC he liked, and I had to live with it. I made it work even after multiple component failures by fixing things myself until I went to college. It then made more sense to use laptops, and I kept using laptops exclusively until 2023. I had forgotten that I wanted to build a PC someday.

One fine day, my brother, Krushan, asked me what I considered my primary business and what I considered my secondary business. I replied that software engineering was the primary and finance/investments was the secondary business. He asked me how much money I had invested in markets and how much my laptop was worth. As it turned out, I had invested significantly more in my secondary business and under-invested in my primary business. I liked his line of questioning and the irony of the situation. This is when I decided that I had to build a PC. Ever since I have worked with computers, I had to use minimalistic OSes, minimalistic window managers, minimalistic text editors because I was operating on genuine constraints which is one of the best software education one can have. But now I wanted to splurge and get the very best consumer hardware money can buy (hello 24C/32T).

I like to give my dev machines cool names. For the PC, it is ironman and my ThinkPad X1 carbon is thor. Not so surprisingly, my minimalistic habits didn't just vanish. I continue using the PC the same way I use a laptop, but now I can run local LLMs on it. I only run Arch Linux on my dev machines and Debian on servers.

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