💬 "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
🗣️ Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943

💬 "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
🗣️ Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977

💬 "I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse."
🗣️ Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, 1995

💬 "People don’t want to run their own servers, and never will."
🗣️ Moxie Marlinspike, founder of Signal messenger, 2022

@lukas Good find! Tbh I would have been surprised if he hadn's said something related publicly before.

@floppy me, being halfway reading this: "nice ones! I should reply with that Moxie quote to this; it'd fit in well"

@floppy Hmmmm, what if some ISP give all their customers an IPv6 address and a router with network-attached storage, a webserver, & ideally SSH access builtin?

That'd be one tiny change to bring the homeserver future to fruition!


Or maybe a dynamic dns zone?
Actually it's something that #OVH is starting to sell with domain names...

It opens several possibilities.


@alcinnz @floppy earlier today I wrote out a "thought experiment" pondering ISPs providing mixnet infrastructure (so everyone had easy, anonymous "get_messages()" and "send_message()" APIs)

@meejah @alcinnz
I'm interested, but I can't seem to find it. Would you mind dropping a link here to your write-up?

@glowl @floppy Oh, I just had it as a draft toot i didn't send .. and then saw the above.
That's .. essentially it: provide "mixnet" as a TCP-level stable service, upon which others can innovate.
That kind of sidesteps the PKI piece (i.e. DNS, basically) but also we probably don't want ISPs etc running that part anyway...

@glowl @floppy basically what you get with a mixnet is "send(address, blob)" and "receive()" .. pretty similar to WebSockets, really.
It's probably better to have a "volunteer" one first (i.e. like Tor) before trying to make ISPs deploy it, if only to find the right parameters. Some of these thoughts were inspired by one of the response to Moxie's recent article (i.e. that some services need to be stable .. like TCP)

@glowl @floppy I haven't kept up recently, but is probably still the right place to start right now....

@alcinnz I always wanted a static IP at home but these years, with tracking tech ... not sure that I want it anymore. :)

Funny thing, i have the same IP for months now... strange since homeworking is the new new .


@floppy @moxie I am going to save that quote while working on personal servers, and I may do so under the flag of web0 too :). @aral

@floppy @alcinnz 🤣🤣🤣 People will absolutely run their own servers if the tech is easy enough to use.

Moxie is selling Signal tech to SV companies who want centralization and user monetization. Signal could do what Threema has done for hosted servers, but noooo, that would give customers control and be useful.

I wonder if Mozilla would be willing to buy Signal and implement something like that. 🤔

@jollyrogue @floppy Personally I dream of a IPv6 future where the only thing servers would be required for in the instant messaging space is to keep a public log of messages on a channel. And maybe forwarding messages when users are offline.

From an implementation point of view, this would indeed be beautiful.

But I always wonder how IPv6 would fare in terms of data privacy and untracability. IPv6 seems to simplify tracking methods too. NAT might be a PITA sometimes, but it had some positive side effects too.


@floppy @alcinnz Funnily, IPSec was originally in IPv6, and I heard it was supposed to be required at one point. I’m not quite sure how endpoint authentication was supposed to work, but IPv6 will accept multiple IP addresses easily.

Don’t quote me on this. A lot of IPv6 is still alien to me, but I believe the answer is encrypted L2 network overlays to segment traffic.

@mathew @floppy @alcinnz @jollyrogue Let me share my experience with NAT and how it can be problematic for anyone who wants to do things that IP was originally designed to do. I'm running Qubes OS, and there, its IPv6 support uses address translation. In Qubes, for anyone who don't know, you run a lot of VM's, and often you have one VM per application in order to provide isolation.

The way they implemented it is that your machine has only a single IPv6 address, and each VM has a link-local IPv6 address and it uses address translation when communicating with any external machine. This is annoying, as it would be much neater if each VM had its own IPv6 address. In fact, it would even be simpler to implement that way.

Most design decisions in Qubes OS are taken based on security concerns, so I'm sure they have some edge-case that is solved by this approach, and they recommend against opening connectivity into VM's anyway, but some people want it and with a more straightforward IPv6 configuration this would have been really nice.

@loke @mathew @floppy @alcinnz Isn’t QubeOS focused on personal computers? Wireless NICs don’t support bridging as I’ve found out. 😑

Yeah, figuring out how to get real IPv6 addresses to my devices on a VPN or subnets is something I haven’t figured out just yet. The second one is probably because my ISP only hands out a single /64 to me. 😕 The first is me not understanding IPv6 that well.

@jollyrogue @loke @mathew @floppy @alcinnz This Debian Wiki page says that bridging can be done, provided that some confguration (trick?) is in place. Maybe it is worth looking at. It might give ideas on how to do it without extra configuration.

@alvarezp @jollyrogue @mathew @floppy @alcinnz I guess the fact that it's complicated is a likely reason they went with that solution. I also have think the VM configuration becomes more predictable when every VM has an internal static IP. Thanks for providing this insight

@alvarezp @loke @mathew @floppy @alcinnz I’ll have to try this. It might be a limitation of the driver for my card (Intel).

"Wireless NICs don't support bridging"? News to me, I've been using the VirtualBox wireless bridging feature with my WiFi since I got my PC, though that may be implemented in software...
@loke @mathew @floppy @alcinnz

@dheadshot @loke @mathew @floppy @alcinnz Interesting. I’ll have to try that. I could have sworn it was a driver limitation with my Intel wnic. 🤔

@floppy NAT would only hide which specific device _in your network_ made the request. TBH, I don't see how not having NAT would reveal much more useful information, as you and your roommates are probably (hopefully) the only ones using your network.

@alcinnz @jollyrogue

True, it depends a lot on the ratio between people and network connections, i.e. how many different connections of different people are subsumed by one instance of NAT.

I was thinking about the case when many devices get hidden behind NAT. But on second thought, that probably doesn't really apply to the majority of people, me included.

@alcinnz @jollyrogue

@floppy @tobtobxx @alcinnz @jollyrogue i believe im stuck below 2 layers of NAT, (or whatever the proper term is) so i guess i probably have some more privacy or something?

it does mean i cant accept incoming tcp connections tho.

@karmanyaahm @jollyrogue @floppy What's the link? "pinecone" doesn't look very searchable...

Do you mean Pinephone? I should get back to that...

@alcinnz @floppy That’s been my dream for everything for 20 years. 💭

@jollyrogue @floppy @alcinnz

First you must understand that giving customers control and being useful is a complete contradiction in terms, and something no corporation ever wants to do: 'customer in control' ultimately means commoditization of service in question; being useful means customer doesn't make repeat purchases.

This ain't a scene, it's a goddamn arms race.

"Uhh... wha?"
A majority of the world's population momentarily shaken out of their cellular trance by something physical, potentially hazardous, and in "real time" headed straight at them, 2022

@floppy #3 - was a few years off, see the dot com bust of 2000

@floppy As home devices get more and more silicon at some point even the proverbial smart toothbrush could be running a web server from the bathroom...

Keeping the home as dumb client that simply relays sensor data to remote digital overlords is as silly as it is dystopic

@floppy holy shit that was the founder of fucking signal that said that?!
What a joke

@floppy Robert Metcalfe wasn’t really that wrong when you think about it. He was just off by a few years.

@Agris @floppy

Context is important ... people that run their own servers don't do it because they want to and they have nothing better to do , they do it because they have to ...

@mcread @floppy I was talking about””I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”” in relation to the dotcom boom and rise of surveillance capitalism.

@mcread @Agris
To be fair, my intention was less to make fun of him, but to suggest that is prediction about the future is quite daring.

And as the selection of quotes is admittedly opinionated, I think his prediction is bound to fail as technological advancements will make self-hosting much easier.

@mcread @floppy also in reply to your image, hobbyists exist. Just look at CB radio or ham radio users and all the homebrew stuff they make because they want to.

@mcread @floppy everyone has a family or friend who can do this for them. Host their family and friend’s email, web, etc. I don’t expect everyone to learn those skills but I do expect everyone to have someone they know and trust in their group to.

@Agris @floppy

again, not because they want to, but because they need to do this, in order to protect privacy .

@mcread @floppy seems like more of a philosophical question of why people do hobbies.

@mcread @Agris
You're right, context is important, and it might shift emphasis from ends to means regarding running servers.

However, this doesn't change the fact that Moxie pretends to know what everyone knows, "nerds" or not. This is patronising and possibly a few other things too.

Also, even with context it's a prediction of the future, and one so general that it's bound to fail (and hence kind of dumb).

@mcread @Agris

Besides, it's just plain wrong that "at this point" not even "nerds" want to run servers. Quite some people enjoy tinkering with servers for fun and for the sake of learning.

Also it could be argued that because of that those people could be called nerds.

OTOH by the same line of argumentation, many, many things could be framed as nobody wants to do it, but they do because they have to. Nobody likes eating, but we all have to do it. I think that would be similarly ridiculous.

@mcread @Agris
"People don’t want to use their own computers, and never will." ;)

@floppy @Agris yeah ... look and how the number of computers used by people increased vs the number of smartphones :)

@mcread @Agris
Well, fair point. I'd say that there was a point in time where personal computers were more dominant than smartphones.

(To me smartphones are just dumbed down personal computers that fit into a pocket.)

Similarly, hosting personal servers might not be the ultimate solution, but something that can have quite some advantages for a while


@mcread @Agris

But granted that, I'm sure some years earlier somebody would have said something like:

"People don’t want to carry their own phone with them all the time, and never will."

It happened before that tech became more wide-spread, when it got simplified to a degree that people could use it more easily, while gaining freedom to do novel things or entertaining themselves with it.

I'm pretty sure this will happen with self-hosting.


@floppy @mcread modern cellphones are just tracking devices that you have to pay for out of your own pocket and you have to pay a monthly fee for from a duopoly. CB radios sound at least ten times better and more ineligible than the terribly overly digital-compressed audio captured from cheap ass non-condensor type electret microphones crammed into a tiny little space that costs 13 times as much, only lasts 3 years or so, breaks if you drop it and can’t hold a charge for more than a day.

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