Losing My Edge

Let me start with a basic truth: I am not the nerd I was when I was 20 years old.

When I started blogging in 2000, it was something resembling a brave new world. I cut my teeth with learning web programming concepts by building my own crude CMS.

A few years later, I would move to Drupal, and try to stay cutting edge with releases. I’d destroy my database one too many times and eventually moved to MovableType, but even though, I still had the deep nerd passions. I was working as a sysadmin, coding VJArmy and Pop’n Navy, and felt like I had a reasonably strong grasp of the technical skills that were necessary for such things.

Then 2006 came, and I moved out of the directly technical field into the somewhat technical field.

Then 2008 came, and I moved out of the somewhat technical field into the technical management field.

It’s been 14 years since I wrote that rudimentary CMS, and 8 years since I was last a sysadmin. And as the world has changed, my ability to feel any gusto for the idea of configuring Apache and/or patching kernels and/or fprotting tarballs has diminished to zero.

So much like when Movable Type’s troubled history eventually lead me to a snap migration to WordPress, today’s news about the ShellShock vulnerability lead me to come to terms with another harsh reality: my energy for dealing with sysadmin work for my own website has emptied.

The box this site was running on was not in any shape to continue. The thought of rebuilding a VM from scratch when I haven’t built a server in nearly a decade sounded painful.

The upshot: I had an easy plan B.

At the day job, we’ve been Pantheon customers for over a year, and their platform is familiar, powerful, and hit the core use case I needed: keep my blog running. (The other stuff, we will come back to.)

The migration process – from registering a personal account, to spinning up the new site, to importing, to configuring and pushing to production, to activating payment and cutting over the DNS, took about 45 minutes. (I’m not including the 5 minutes where I completely screwed up the initial configuration process.)

Quick. Easy. Mostly painless.

The downside: the other stuff that ran on the box – including RemyWiki – is not running on this host.

RemyWiki may not be familiar to the people who read my blog – it was tucked away on the site, almost a separate world – but it is/was a very active and busy MediaWiki install that documented English language Bemani information.

The challenges of running it boil down to three:

  1. It has the same problems as above – not only does it need sysadmin time and energy to maintain the host, but it also needs its own care and feeding for patching, something I had fallen way behind on (and patching MediaWiki is hellish).
  2. It is a natural magnet for spammers, to the point where I had to turn off registrations and ask people to email me if they wanted access (which I was never very quick in turning around).
  3. It probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep running an informational resource for a hobby that I’m no longer actively involved in, or at the very least, have it so closely tied with my personal site.

So with that in mind: if there are Bemani community folks out there who want to pick up the pieces and get the thing running somewhere else, please reach out. I want to give it a good home, as I know people have poured nearly 10 years of care and feeding into the content. It’s more than a little devastating to know I can’t give it that any more.

  • I can host the wiki, if no one else pops up. I run two game-related wikis on my server already, another one probably wouldn’t be much of a bother (though it depends on the daily hits; my machine is a quad-core i3 ProLiant with 4 GB RAM).

  • GRIM.657

    +1, I can set up a host but it sounds like Xiatian has an ideal setup already. I’m not sure how much maintenance and patching I can commit to, but I’d certainly like to at least get it online in it’s current state.

  • Atchko

    If, for any reason, the wiki can’t be properly rehosted, is it possible to release an archive of its contents? I used RemyWiki quite a lot, and I would be immensely saddened to see it disappear for good.

  • VJArmy is so useful for people who likes BEMANI. Will be miseed.

  • Kagerogue

    As a fan of DDR and Pop’n Music, I was so devastated to see that Remywiki was taken down. I used it almost daily to check song lyrics and read the trivia about the songs and games. I’ll be more than pleased if it makes a return.

  • Dan, contact me and I’ll help with whatever you need. I kept my sysadmin chops and do it full-time now :)

  • TargonRedDragon

    Second to Kagerogue, I’m the player of Pop’n Music 17 and 19 in the Philippines. RemyWiki is totally useful to search for the matching information such as song title, genre, artist, and game origin of song when I upload my pop’n videos to youtube. Some people will be having a hard time finding an alternate English-version Bemani community site for trivias, lyrics, remixes, new expectations on next mixes, and musician informations.

    I hope for the return of your fascinating wiki, Dan.

    – Kevin

  • Jon Talbain

    i also used the wiki quite a bit whenever i needed unlocking help

    also your steam link doesn’t work on your sidebar because you kept the /home after the url page, it redirects everyone that’s signed into steam into their friend activity page

  • I feel devastated. I feel shocked knowing that the largest site regarding Bemani info is now gone. But I hope someone else takes the lead.