Introducing Myself

Hi guys and girls

I’m going to introduce my self

My name is Kirk Macdonald I’m 34 years old and I live in east London

I was a professional bricklayer up to around 8 weeks ago for 18 years and woke up one day and said what am I doing I don’t need to do this no more what the heck time leave and make a big push on the corporation im setting up ready for next summer

I didn’t even go a collect my tools that’s how serious im never going back to lay bricks again

Ok a bit how I got here and why im using nethserver and what iam hoping to achieve

As we know I was a bricklayer started in 2000

Every time I saw a thrown out computer I would get take It home and try to work out what was wrong with pushing me to learn about computer components so I would do my research fix the computer and either sell it or throw it away if it was you know a complete out of date computer

I did not mind wasting money fixing because it was not wasting really lets say it was private tuition fees lol.

I never had internet when I was grown up not a game console let alone a computer

so I was intrigued fascinated with it so this led me on to operating systems had a computer working with no os this was the era of xp never heard of Linux lol any way met somebody who had a copy of xp I was only around 18 is said to him how did he get it he told me via torrent I said whats a torrent he laughed

so I went to a internet café and had a look tried to download xp lol I was in there for like 5 days trying to get xp I new nothing about security worms trogans nothing and I messed his computer up he said to me what have you done to my computer I said I don’t know all im trying to do is download xp

The nice gentleman burned me a copy of his xp went straight home and installed spent many days and nights getting it to work.

Any way 1st computer found and installed by me anyway I was over the moon slight problem thou no internet.

So I got virgin sometimes I regret it because the info download I succumbed to my self is unreal lol.

Any started learning about os security virus all sorts upgraded to windows vista yeah.

My virgin package was due to expire it was like £80 a month this was a lot of money to me then so my first Linux distro was backtrack so guess what I did I learned to hack lol.

I used to hack in to my neighbors internet when im in there having a drink with him general convo he would say my modem is going mad the lights are flashing none stop when I wake up in the morning they are blinking like crazy well that was me downloading torrentz lol I don’t do that no more.

Any way started to learn about Linux whats this I say well here comes another big info download.

So Im still bricklaying in 2008 in the recession I took a break from it and started buying old hp touchscreens reballing them then selling them to a company that was selling them back to hp because the parts was obsolete and there products was still under warrenty.

I was making a killing £1500 a week when my bricklaying money had dropped down in half to £90 which you have to work so hard for

Had to stop this thou as I was living in a flat with 2 toddlers and it was just unsafe for them they wanted to keep putting there hands in the machines Safety first

So set my first construction company up it flopped sometimes making £300 a month burnt through my savings back to bricklaying I went don’t get me wrong sometimes its good you can make £1000 a day bricklaying and others none its just hard work very hard work demining work.

Any way got onto developing websites I knew nothing about html5 and was using html with dreamweaver and hosted my own sites well you guessed it still new nothing about security lol well you know what happened.

Stared to learn a lot about Linux and there os and server editions

got rid of windows and went ubuntu used it for years it was jus missing stuff linux desktops I don’t know it just don’t compare with windows sorry just simple things like the colour limitation of apps especially for offices im not a fan of Linux desktop but saying that im very very fond of the android desktop environments either phone or tablet but for desktop I have to go with windows all the way

Ok late 2014 set up a bricklaying company I had 30 bricklayers working for me I had turned over 1/2 a million in 6 months but was missing a back bone of the operation I was having to out source everything for the operating of it all dropbox websites ssl’s everything it cost me a fortune.

I nearly lost everything with that company as the company I was doing the work for was doing something we call subby bashing which in terms means get companies get them to build on a few projects get a good credit with them have around 20 -30 companies doing work for you get good credit with them then go bust.

I foresaw this and pulled the plug I warned the other contractors what they was doing but greed got better of them 6 months later the company went bust owing companies like me 18 million.

Any way back bricklaying lol had had to keep a steady flow of cash coming in so I did not burn through my money whilst I evaluate what im doing where I want to go and I actually want out of life and get a plan and a set of goals.

I come to realise how much does a bricklaying company make lets say 65mil - 150mil a year tops its not likely go more then.

How much do tech companies make or valued at we all know what apple and amazon are at

So lets get into the tech & online retail industry oh how much have I got to learn lmao.

so in 2015 I put in motion a plan of what I want and where I want to go.

So I started to work 6months then 6monhs of from bricklaying so I can learn everything that needs to be learned to pull this off.

I brought a few servers online took them apart and realised they slightly different then desktop computers info download :rofl:

So I first started with ubuntu I actually got mass and juju to work which is a hard thing from what I understand and I wrote a article about on the ubuntu forums, what I didn’t like was that you needed 4 - 8 servers just to it work then if you wanted to set the servers to autopilot you had to pay for a subscription

So I moved over to windows server 2019 as a test its ok but so many bugs things didn’t work it was problematic guess what again info download :rofl:

So now I got lots of space in my new house my kids are older so I created a office work space still have to convert th loft thou

So I decided to buy and sell stuff again fix turn over whilst im learning to get the backbone system that I need any way I brought a load of firebox only paid 0.99p for 11 plus £50 shipping

which led me on to pfsense info download :rofl:

decided I need something like this but pfsense only does raid 1

searched for alternative and found clearos I was impressed I was like jackpot this is what I need one management firewall that can control everything on one system but I soon learned a lot of there modules you have to pay for I m thinking these are all opensource tools why do for them its open source

so i searched and searched for a alternative and found nethserver bingo:grinning:

This everything i need with a few extra added packages like docker this it, one last cerebral input push and im there lol.

So hopefully by summer it will be ready and im ready to push my 5 businesses

Don’t get me wrong there has been many sleepless nights, turmoil, complete and utter mess ups and times when i have said urgghhhhhhhhhh.

But and i say but with some emphasis it is going to be worth it in the end.

Yours Truly
Kirk Macdonald

The bricklayer who never gives up:grin:


Hi @Kirk_macdonald
This is a really nice story, I like it. Thanks for sharing it with the community.

Welcome to the community Kirk!

1 Like