Joe Bliven

My Server:

Welcome to my website, and thank you for visiting. This is not a Wix or Squarespace site, it is not hosted on Amazon Web Hosting services. This website is not part of the centralized bloated web at all. It was programmed from the ground up and it's running on a server in my home office. The machine itself is an old Gigabyte T1028 netbook with a 1.6GHz intel atom processor, 1GB of RAM, and a broken keyboard that I slapped a 2TB hard drive into. The netbook is running Lubuntu 18.04, apache2, php7, and mariadb. This is site is coming to you from an Xfinity Performance Plus home internet service that my server shares with a gauntlet of other internet connected devicesin our home; our smart TV, our phones/tablets, a few pcs and game systems as well. At home we normally see nearly 1Gbps download speeds but only around 6Mbps upload speeds on average! As you can imagine that is complete shit for running a server, excuse my french. That's part of the reason I have to be extremely careful with the amount of data on each webpage. This server is, however not only a web server. I also use it as a nextcloud server. Nextcloud is a free and open source software that allows you to get cloud functionality from a home server. This means I can use my server the same way as dropbox or google drive, because storing your files on the cloud just means storing them on someone else's computer unless it's your computer. I also use this server as a GOPHER server. GOPHER was an internet protocol that predates the world wide web and uses TCP port 70. It was developed at the U of M in 1991. It lacked some of the functionality of HTTP (such as images and complex page layouts) but beat it to market and so was still in heavy use during the early days of the world wide web. If you would like to visit my gopher hole the url is GOPHER:// You can visit it on a modern machine using a browser extension like overbite or if you're using a UNIX system you can use the terminal browser lynx which works natively with GOPHER.

This project exists for a number of reasons:

-Firstly it's an outlet for my love of computers. It's fun to be the sysadmin of my own UNIX system and to run a gopher.

-Second it's an alternative space for me to share my life without using social media, without willingly handing over my photos, art and opinions to a corporation that will profit off of them and use them to take away my liberties.

-Third it's a proof of concept, my way of proving that my vision for the internet can truly exist. Proof that we don't need these massive tech companies to provide hosting for our personal sites, all we truly need is the network infrastructure. Proof that simply having an old, otherwise unusable, low power, low spec machine can serve as a sufficient personal space on the web. Proof that websites can be attractive, dynamic and functional and don?t need to implement bloated web frameworks or megabytes of javascript. This website is almost entirely free of javascript (go ahead, you can check). If you're curious about some of the non-visible php or anything else related to the project shoot me an e-mail at