I’m working on a home cluster project.

It is an experiment, testing whether distributed storage can be useful for digital media professionals like photographers. These users require a great deal of fast, expandable, redundant storage, and since they need a lot of it, they are very price conscious. Can I build something useful that is fault tolerant and reliable, cheaply expandable without a hard cap (like the number of disk slots in a NAS chassis), and fast enough to be used for work?

The initial version is just using gigabit ethernet, but if the initial results are promising, I want to test with a more expensive switch that offers 10Gbe uplink connected to a desktop with a 10Gbe interface. (Even the Mac Mini comes with 10Gbe as a BTO option for only $100!)

I’m using it to learn or improve skills with

  • ARM SBCs
  • A/C and D/C electrical circuits
  • Clustering (with Docker Swarm)
  • Distributed filesystems (with LizardFS)
  • Stateless machines (using Linux and booting an image over the network)
  • Physical skills like rough woodworking, Dremel use
  • Soldering

Project status and updates

The project is in pretty early stages, and (unfortunately) is only really documented on Twitter for now.

See my progress in this thread.



I love the novel Blindsight, by Peter Watts. It’s a fascinating and terrifying scifi examination of consciousness. One of the characters in the book is actually four characters - the “Gang of Four” - who are four personalities residing in a single body.

You should read the novel; it’s available for free online.