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© Rakhesh Sasidharan

Changelog

In chronological order …

21 November 2012

This blog began life under the domain name port25.io in November 2012.

Here is the “About” page of that blog:

Hello and welcome! I am Rakhesh Sasidharan, the creator maintainer and author of this blog.

A couple of elements coincided for this blog to be created: 1) The .io TLD caught my attention and I wanted to create a domain under that TLD for the coolness factor. 2) In a moment of inspiration port25.io came to mind and surprisingly it was available! 3) I had been looking for a way to turn my interest in emails and such into a career, and to solidify this interest and to learn more about this I had been thinking of starting a blog or a wiki. I know I have nothing new to offer, but I like writing and explaining (and adding to the linkpool) and a blog seemed to be a good place to pursue that.

Today I cleared the Microsoft 70-662 exam (Configuring Microsoft Exchange 2010). Although I have worked on Exchange 2003 and dabbled with Postfix, Exim, and a bit of Qmail and Sendmail as a hobby, this was the first time I had actually dedicated myself to reading books and trying to gain a through understanding of an email software and get myself certified in it. So small as it may be, this is a milestone moment for me and I think a good opportunity for me to create this blog at last (the domain name was booked some two weeks ago but I refrained from doing anything as I was focusing on studying for the exam).

In this blog I hope to explore Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013. I might touch on Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007 in relation to the newer versions. And since Active Directory is strongly integrated with Exchange (hmm, the other way around actually) and that’s another product I would like to learn more about I plan on touching it too. Apart from that I plan to write about Windows Server and perhaps other email software such as Postfix and Exim. Focus is an Achilles heel of mine, and I know I can easily get lost in exploring many products and eventually not really getting anywhere, and so in the interests of avoiding that I might skip on Postfix, Exim, and such if I find myself getting waylaid.

I suppose that’s it. Thanks for stopping by, and hopefully by the time you are reading this post there are many more (informative) posts on this blog.

p.s. Since writing this post I cleared the Microsoft 70-663 exam (Pro: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010) so I am now an MCITP Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010. Additionally, this blog is now accessible under the URL of port25.mx.

Nothing much happened to that blog after a few months of writing. Things didn’t pan out at work as expected – i.e. didn’t get more Exchange related work – and it got boring fiddling with virtual machines and coming up with things to do, so things sort of faltered out.

Plus that blog was slow – way slow! It was hosted on DreamHost, and while I have heard great reviews about them (and their customer support was good) I just found the blog too slow to load and navigate around.

20 April 2013

After a few months with DreamHost I decided to move over to WordPress.com. The idea being to re-invigorate the blog by moving to a new provider, and also discontinue DreamHost as WordPress.com was pretty fast. The domain was changed from port25.io and port25.mx to thewannabesysadm.in and thewannabesysadmin.com.

Here is the “About” page of that blog:

The child stands in awe of the ocean. He dips his hand in the water, the feel of the water drops amaze him. He wants more. He wants to bath, to swim, to dive!

There are sign-boards saying no swimming unless you are trained. People look at him with a weird eye – it’s just water after all, why is he so mesmerized by it? Can’t he be content with just dipping his toes? Or compromise on a pool perhaps? These are safe after all, the water monitored and treated. The ocean is vast. You need to be taught how to swim there. Take classes, gain experience, then slowly move forward. You are too young for this they say. Too timid, need to grow further before taking the leap.

That won’t do for the child though. He wants the ocean experience now. He knows how it sounds to them, but he also knows they don’t feel what he feels. He knows he was born for this, that he can pick it up just by jumping into the water. It’s an instinct, it’s in his genes, he’s a salmon! Just needs to feel the water around him and the instinct will be turned on. Let him jump … please!

-x-

Hi! I am the Wannabe Sysadmin. I love computers and I love the role of a sysadmin. Due to poor career choices and a lackadaisical attitude towards managing my career, I am not yet working as a sysadmin the way I like to be. Not yet at least.

I am working with computers though, as a 2nd level help-desk/ IT Manager for an international law firm. The work’s fine, but I want more. I know I can do more. But bad timing/ place/ karma/ luck/ decisions/ whatever, here I am. Present company is of the sort where they don’t give you additional responsibilities – even if you are good at it – because that’s how they are. Moving on to a different firm is possible but is taking time as most roles on offer are similar to what I am currently doing whereas I want to jump deeper. Experience, you see, plays a role, and if you don’t have that it’s difficult to get a start.

I have two doors in front of me. Give up, or keep trying. For a while I kept trying. At work I asked for more responsibilities and challenges, volunteered to help wherever possible, proved my skills, and kept harping about how I am bored and need challenges. At home I played with virtual machines to get a hang of stuff, got certified, taught myself. The usual drill. But over time pessimism crept in and nowadays I’ve mostly given up. Giving up is a dead end though, and dead ends are boring (and lousy!) so every now and then I get off my sorry ass and try to keep trying.

This blog is a log of what I am trying. It serves many purposes, which in no particular order are: (1) I like teaching & explaining. You know how when you are in love you want to express that feeling to whoever you meet? Being a sysadmin is something similar for me. I love what I learn and do with computers and I want to spread the feeling. (2) This blog is sort of a way for people to see what I am up to even though I may not have a proper work experience. (3) Since I don’t work again on most of the things I do, I tend to forget. By blogging I am making notes for future me to refer to when he’s trying something and has forgotten. (4) I don’t want to give up. But it’s easy to give up too. And all the more easy if you are trying and no one knows about it. So this blog is a record that I exist. I have two choices: give up, or blog trying, and I am taking the latter!

As you can see I was in a mood that day!

The “About” page of port25.io was updated to reflect the new name:

p.p.s. The blog has now moved to a new URL: http://thewannabesysadmin.wordpress.com/ (also available at http://thewannabesysadmin.com). Two reasons for such a change: (1) I tend to blog about non-email stuff too, so felt a non-email specific domain name was better; (2) the blog was on a hiatus for a while as I had given up on it, but I want to start again (hopefully) and a new name seemed a good way to get me interested again. The new name also reflects my current situation in life, so the blog feels more personal now than just another techie blog (for me at least!). Additionally, I moved blog hosting from DreamHost to WordPress.com. DreamHost was great but slow to access from where I am and I didn’t see any disadvantages in using WordPress.com with it’s limitations.

Nothing much happened on this new blog except for the “About” page. But that’s not because I wasn’t doing anything – au contraire, I was spending more time with PowerShell and had started yet another blog called use-powershell.com on WordPress.com. That blog was going great and I was generally happy with WordPress.com – until I hit upon a bug. You see, for some reason whenever I’d scroll past the first page of the blog all the code blocks lost their fancy formatting. If I refresh the page it appears fine, but I didn’t like it, and so I lost interest blogging there. Whenever I’d make a new post, I’d scroll down to the older posts and see the code blocks there bare without any coloring, and that just hurt me! Moreover, I had seen many good looking blogs elsewhere which had some cool code formatting (thanks to the Crayon plugin) and I really loved that and wanted something similar for my blog.

So the PowerShell blogging too slowed down. This was becoming a habit!

12 November 2013

I hadn’t given up coding though. And I did explore other options like OctoPress, Jekyll, Felix Felicis, Calepin, etc – static page generators. As mentioned earlier, I have an aversion to databases and I wanted something simple and straightforward for me to understand and tweak, and static page generators seemed to fit the bill. But I didn’t go with any of these as I found them too much of a chore to setup on Windows. Maybe some day … but foir now I was back to WordPress, and back to a self-hosted WordPress installation – the only question being how to go about doing that.

I went back to DreamHost initially. But this time I signed up for their recently launched DreamPress service. DreamPress seems to be a pretty cool service. You get 2 VPSes – one for the MySQL database, one for the web server – and all it has is WordPress. You can’t do much with it like a typical VPS, but unlike a typical VPS you don’t have to fuss around with installing MySQL, Apache, WordPress etc. All that is taken care of and maintained for you. I figured this should give me good performance – being a VPS and all. The prgmr.io domain was initially hosted on DreamPress – I imported all my PowerShell posts into it, got started with a new theme (Atahualpa) after trying many themes (wanted something widescreen and minimalist), setup the Crayon plugin for code highlighting with a Solarized theme, and generally customized everything to my liking. But within a day I was fed up with the slowness and so exported everything and cancelled the service.

Very briefly I tried out Digital Ocean. Their prices were awesome, they give SSD storage (cool!), and a choice between US or Europe hosting (Europe’s faster for me). I loved by brief stint with Digital Ocean, and while I still have an account there I didn’t go ahead with it. Why? Coz Digital Ocean gives you VPSes and you have to set everything up manually. Once upon a time I would have loved doing that, but nowadays I try to be more focused and so didn’t want to spend time configuring Linux and Apache (or Nginx or Hiawatha or whatever I decide to go with). Digital Ocean does give you an option of one-click install for WordPress on Ubuntu, but I am not a fan of Ubuntu (am a Debian fanboy!) and so didn’t want to go that route either.

18 November 2013

After deciding not to go with Digital Ocean for the blog, I started searching around again until I stumbled upon A Small Orange (ASO).

I knew this hosting provider coz a blog I used to avidly follow years ago was hosted with them and so I knew they were a reliable hosting provider. Plus they were recommended by Lifehacker – who had also recommended BlueHost and DreamHost, neither of which I had good experiences with – but I liked ASO’s website, the name, the home grown feel, and their Why page, so decided to sign up with them. Moved prgmr.io over, imported everything – even the non PowerShell blog – and that’s where we are now.

January 2014

A new year, a new direction!

I haven’t done much PowerShell or techie posting in a while. At least not as much as I was doing up to a few months before. That’s because I have been busy with other things and PowerShell has gone down the list.

Rather than let this blog languish and die I think I will start posting other posts too here. So far I was using Google+ for any opinions I had about TV shows and movies or thoughts on Apps and web services etc, but Google+ has a problem (for me) in that it doesn’t feel “me” as it’s a third part my site and all my content can get “lost” among others. I want a central place where my content is posted to and then I can share or cross post it to Google+. This blog could be such a place and so I think going forward I will post more and more of such items here and cross post or share it to Google+.

I am also using Twitter more often these past few days. Twitter is open in terms of sharing to it so all apps have a way to share stuff to it. Google+ on the other hand is more “closed” and while you can share stuff to it from the web you don’t have many apps that can post to Google+. This seems to be because the Google+ API is read only and only a few selected apps/ services have write access to it – so there’s really no easy way to share to Google+ from an app. Twitter has no such limitations.

I’ve also started using the WordPress iPhone app and I find that very comfortable in terms of writing stuff. So I am able to write stuff more naturally on WordPress thanks to this app, further boosting my decision to focus on this blog for a while. I will post here and publicise on Google+/ Twitter.

February 2014

Purchased the domain name winadm.in and it now redirects to this blog. Didn’t renew use-powershell.com, thewannabesysadmin.com, thewannabesysadm.in, port25.io, or port25.mx when they expired. I no longer own these domains.

May 2014

Spent some time tweaking the themes. Added a bit of color to the website. Nothing much, just a teeny weeny bit. It’s good for one’s health to dabble with a bit of CSS now and then.

04 August 2014

Switched this blog to rakhesh.com. I don’t plan on renewing prgmr.io when it expires in 20 days. I don’t blog much here, and there’s no point holding on to that domain name. Might as well use a domain with my name in it!

06 March 2015

Whoo! This blog is still alive and crossed its 290th post yesterday. Past few weeks I made some formatting changes too. To the Crayon Syntax Highlighter theme, added some custom fonts, a dash of color here and there. As I said above, dabbling with a bit of CSS now and then is good for health. Combined some of the pages too and re-arranged their order.

21 March 2017

Discovered that JetPack lets me have a mobile view for the site. So this blog is now mobile-friendly!

Thinking of enabling SSL on the site – watch this space! Have asked the friendly folks at A Small Orange for pricing. Figured I’d just go with them than get SSL certs from anywhere else. Am lazy basically. 

22 March 2017

The site is now SSL enabled! The certificate is only for rakhesh.com, but that’s the name I use anyways. Both http://rakhesh.net and http://ra.khe.sh now redirect to https://rakhesh.com. Also added redirect rules to translate any http://rakhesh/* links to https://rakhesh/*.

23 March 2017

I noticed most of the images on the blog looked fuzzy and didn’t seem to display full size. Then I realized it’s because I had the WordPress JetPack “Photon” feature turned on. It’s supposed to accelerate image delivery but it also seems to downsize images. No wonder! Disabled that and now images display fine.