• Response to Why self hosting is important

    Self hosting is about freedom, you can choose what server you want to run, which version, which features and which configuration you want. If you self host at home, You can also pick the hardware to match your needs (more Ram ? More Disk? RAID?).
    Excellent post about the importance of self-hosting. It also rightfully points out that buying new hardware isn't necessarily ecological to save 20 wants. ( As we learned in Frugal Computing the lifespan of a server needs to beย  10 - 20 years to offset the energy used to manufacture the computer).ย 

    More people should self-host. I'm self-hosting where it makes sense (my blog) and paying for hosting where it doesn't (Fastmail).

    I have a strong opinion on the subject, hosting your own services is a fantastic way to learn new skills or perfect them, but it's also important for freedom.

    Amen. (Which reminds me, I was planning on moving my server to a BSD. I should really get around to doing that).
  • Response to My weekday coffee routine

    I have asked a few people lately when they drink coffee. I am interested in this because I understand that we all drink coffee at different times, in different quantities, and in different contexts. I want to learn more about how others consume coffee.
    I'll indulge in talking about my coffee habit. The method that I brew coffee has changed over the years.ย  In college I used either a hand-drip, a french press, or at times a peculator.ย 

    My standard method was a hand-drip until my son was born. Then taking the 15 minutes in the morning to brew a cup of coffee became too time consuming. Especially when I wanted more than 2 cups in a go.ย 

    These days I use a Cuisenart Automatic Grind and Brew. It has storage for beans on top and a built in bur-grinder. The carafe is also insulated so it doesnโ€™t burn the coffee keeping it warm.

    My first cup is usually around 5am with breakfast (slice of thick toast with peanut butter and banana). Second cup is shortly there after.ย 

    Around 8 when I start work Iโ€™ll have my third cup. This one is kinda sipped over the course of an hour or so.

    I try not to drink coffee in the afternoons. But sometimes I feel like a candy coffee after lunch. Those times Iโ€™ll have a instant cafe latte.

    One thing I havenโ€™t done in the past 18 months is go out for a nice coffee at a specialty shop. Iโ€™ve got to Starbucks, but I miss the hand brews ala Blue Bottle sometimes.
  • Response to The Thermal Printer Project: Part I

    A few days ago, I decided to purchase the Adafruit Thermal Printer, which was compatible with the Raspberry Pi. This thermal printer has been on my mind for a while but this week a reason for buying one came to mind (aside from the fun of experimenting with a thermal printer which was obvious to me).
    Really enjoyed this series from James about hooking a thermal printer to a cronjob that'll print his weather, webmentions, and news off in the mornings. Brilliant! I've got some Pi's laying around collecting dust, I should use them for something fun like this.
  • Response to Developer relations โ€“ Marco.org

    Modern society has come to rely so heavily on mobile apps that any phone manufacturer must ensure that such a healthy ecosystem exists as table stakes for anyone to buy their phones.
    I wasn't concerned when the iPhone first came out and third party apps could only be installed via the App Store. Unlike Android, having a single place to go to install apps is arguably a much better customer experience. Having the manufacturer manually approve each app that's installable on your phone seemed warranted as data was super expensive and you didn't want an app misbehaving on your 3G connection giving you surprise bills. This approval process provided some assurance this wouldn't happen.

    However in the years since the AppStore's release, mobile phones have become central to modern society. Even in Japan, a country famous for holding on to fax machines and personal stamps, it's becoming harder to exist without one of their devices.

    Because of the cellphone's new role as the interface for interacting with society, a closed AppStore and closed devices that only allow you to interact with society via a benevolent dictator's approved was feels increasing anti-democratic.

    No matter how benevolent of a dictator they may be, they're still a dictator.
  • Response to Weโ€™ve all been there: on boolean environment variables.

    Environment values are strings. True becomes "True" and False becomes "False".

    And, well, what does "False" evaluate to? True. True.
    I think the best way to handle settings with Django is to use django-environ.ย  Not only does it handle .env files. It also has a lot of utility methods for converting values to native python types ( bool, list etc..) and using database urls. It's great.

    My airbot settings.py uses it. My airbot settings also lets you specify the path for your .env with the ENV_FILE environment variable, so you can create different files for different environments.
  • Response to Changes at Basecamp

    1. No more societal and political discussions at Basecamp.
    2. No more paternalistic benefits.
    3. No more committees.
    4. No more lingering or dwelling on past decisions.
    5. No more 360 reviews.
    6. No forgetting what we do here.
    I don't work for and don't use Basecamp/Hey, but this was a difficult and disappointing read.ย 

    Not allowing societal and political discussions at work is a tough call, depending on the internal state at Basecamp. With so much injustice in society finallyย  coming to a head, people are going to want to talk about it with other members of society (their co-workers). If the company chat (though this is Basecamp, maybe they don't have one?) is a dumpster-fire 9 - 5 with non-stop political discussions, it speaks to a larger issue with the company culture and individual impulse control.

    Blanket disallowing political discussion removes the opportunity to teach employees a valuable life skill on the internet: learning to not argue on the internet and ignoring the trolls because they will always have more time than you. It seems to me that you'd be better served by taking the instigators aside and having a frank conversation about time management. Learning to turn on the blinders and focus on the task at hand is an important skill.

    Removing the "paternalistic benefits" was also disappointing to see. We know without a doubt that exercise is good for us. Getting food from the farmer's market not only gets you quality product, but also strengthens your local community. These are things we should want to encourage.ย 

    Saying that we're giving you a profit share and you can spend your money how you'd like ignores the psychological aspect of these kinds of benefits. Having that little bit of "extra" or "free" makes it mentally much easier for employees to make better choices that benefit everyone.
  • Response to https://twitter.com/simonw/status/1384383772255084546?s=20

    I still think it's rude to return MBs of data if your client device might be an inexpensive mobile phone, but for things like server-to-server API responses I May have been being way too early 2000s in my thinking Turns out returning 10+ MB of JSON works fine these days!
    I used to think similarly until I started thinking about compute in terms of carbon emissions (all data transfer/parsing/sending/storage requires electricity and thus likely carbon emissions for now). Since then I try to minimize all compute wherever possible.
  • Response to Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities

    We've been using our electric assist "mama-chari" a lot more recently. I've been taking it to a local coffee shop that I'd usually walk (15 minutes) or drive (5 minutes)to and it's been great. My wife has been taking it to her parent's house (5.5km away) where I'd either drive them round trip or we'd take the train. Travel time ends up being about the same regardless of the method of transport we take.

    What I like the most about cycling is how you can travel quickly and you're not disconnected from your environment like you are with a car. It feels more human.

  • Response to inessential: New in NetNewsWire 6: Twitter Search Feeds

    Whatโ€™s cool about this: you can watch for mentions of whatever you want, and those come to you in the same app where your other feeds live.
    Following Twitter searches in NetNewsWire looks super handy. Will have to add the #IndieWeb hashtag once this is released.ย 
  • Response to Colin Walker - Mar 17, 2021

    It's a little bittersweet โ€” on the one hand it feels good as I know that I have a new solution but, on the other, it feels a little sad that the fruits of so much time and effort are now redundant.
    I feel this when I improve implementations all the time. Code reflects our best understanding of a given problem to a given solution at a given time. Requirements changing naturally means that the problem has also changed.

    When writing code I try to remind myself that all is temporary and will be deleted or rewritten at some point, so I best not grow too fond of it.
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