Welcome to ~grandline!

2015-09-03 Explanation: Linux Filesystem Learn about the Linux filesystem and directories.
2015-05-27 Explanation: Public Key Crypto Learn how SSH authentication works on ~grandline.
2015-05-27 Explanation: Cryptography What does it mean to "encypt" something?
2015-05-21 Feature: Voice Chat Talk to your fellow pirates using Mumble.
2015-05-15 Feature: Blog Making your own blog on ~grandline is easy!
2015-04-17 Explanation: Open Source What do "Closed Source" and "Open Source" mean?
2015-04-08 Explanation: Bitcoin Learn how Bitcoins work and why they are a cryptocurrency.
2015-03-10 Feature: E-mail Send/receive e-mails using ~grandline's e-mail server.
2015-03-02 Explanation: SSL Certificates Find out how website connections are verified and secured.

...Why the tilde?

Back in April 2014 my friend Jon started working at a VPS (Virtual Private Server) company called Linode. One of the benefits he received was a bunch of free VPS instances. He then offered to give me one on which to do "whatever you want." So I though to myself, "Well, I'm a computer nerd, and most of my friends are computer nerds. I'll just give a bunch of people accounts and see what happens." And so here we are, about a year later at the time of this writing.

While of course I've done the most with the server, having both more know-how and passion for Linux and web development than most other ~grandline users, I've been pleasantly surprised with some of the things others have done. I've enjoyed debugging esoteric use cases with Jon, helping the less computer literate make their first web page, and making cool new features in python. Although I will always hope and nag everyone on ~grandline to do more, it's been fun so far, and I hope that continues as we transition out of college.

Your piratey sysadmin,

P.S. To actually answer the question in the header, the tilde is a reference to tilde.club, which seemed perfect after Jon pointed it out to me. Further, it's based on the shorthand for Linux home directories.

Getting Started

If you're a new victim I've managed to rope into joining, you should check out the Tutorials I have on this site for "Getting Started" and "Basic Linux". If you have any problems, don't hesitate to Google or ask me a question. Although most users on here just make a few simple web pages, you are by no means limited to that use case. For example, every semester I usually setup a few Python scripts that send me a text message if seats become available in a class I'm trying to join at Rowan. This year I wrote a significant amount of Python code to parse and display schedules (viewable via the last column on the Pirates page). Jon just made a redirect link to his own webserver. Finch uses it as an XMPP server to talk between his phone and Raspberry Pi to remote start his car. Tara has been using it to experiment with mySQL along with the server she received from Jon. Several people use it to backup important documents, and I know a few are interested in hosting our own private git server.

There is an awful lot you can do with a linux box that is always on and has a static IP address. If you have an idea but aren't sure about it, check the Tech Specs page or shoot me an e-mail. Also see the Pirates page for a list of current users.