Bonum Certa Men Certa

Doing the Site From Home (What I Always Wanted to Do)

posted by Roy Schestowitz on May 14, 2024


Even some of the hosting was done from home (since 2020). In all fairness to BT, we've been on fibre for over a year now (about 16 months) and the uptime is fantastic, the speeds are great, and prices are quite reasonable

1.5 years ago I quit my job - something I had been planning to do since 2019 (but then COVID-19 happened and I was 'lucky' not to be affected). In 2022 I started setting up my office (replacing the upstairs setup) and it resulted in excellent efficiently and productivity. 8 months ago we deployed to this site a system we had developed and tested since July 2022 (when I was still at Sirius and my wife was in the process of naturalisation), so now we can easily produce over 5,000 stories/pages per year, not even counting the sister site which turns 20 in less than 4 weeks. In recent months I found more time, spare capacity to put it another way, to produce as many videos as I had done between 2020 and 2022 (average of more than one per day). The workflow improved a lot and I tend to record periodically in larger batches (like recording 4-8 videos in a row, then sorting out the corresponding text much later).

WordPress never really worked for us. It wasn't developed for us. This one-size-fits-all approach is a misfit.

My personal experience (in recent years) taught me that leaving the job and seeking major change truly makes sense, even if that seems a tad daunting at first.

When I was about 20 I went to a job interview in Nottingham and it was shortly after I had watched Office Space, so myself and other candidates joked about it. This scene from the movie still resonates greatly. Years later, before he killed himself, Aaron Swartz published a post entitled "Office Space" and that too resonated with me (more so posthumously). To quote some bits:

People are always asking me how I manage to get so much done. For a while I tried to impress them with my pearls of wisdom but soon I just sort of gave up. I don’t really feel like I do anything special — I worry about getting stuff done a lot, but mostly I just sort of do it.

It wasn’t until I started working in an office that the question begun to make sense. Since I moved to San Francisco I literally haven’t gotten anything done. I haven’t finished a book (I finished three on the plane out here), I haven’t answered many emails (I used to answer hundreds a day), I’ve written only a couple blog posts (I used to do one a day), and I haven’t written a line of code (I used to write whole programs in the evenings). It’s a pretty incredible state of affairs.

You wake up in the morning, take some crushing public transit system or dodge oncoming traffic to get to work, grab some food, and then sit down at your desk. If you’re like most people, you sit at a cube in the middle of the office, with white noise buzzing around on every side. We’re lucky enough to get our own shared office, but it’s not much better since it’s huge windows overlook a freeway and the resulting white noise is equally deadening.

Wired has tried to make the offices look exciting by painting the walls bright pink but the gray office monotony sneaks through all the same. Gray walls, gray desks, gray noise. The first day I showed up here, I simply couldn’t take it. By lunch time I had literally locked myself in a bathroom stall and started crying. I can’t imagine staying sane with someone buzzing in my ear all day, let alone getting any actual work done.

I did those sorts of jobs more than 2 decades ago and I always hated the environment, which was full of distraction. It reduced productivity and made happiness a lot harder. In 2007 I started working from home (even as a postdoc at the university), but seeing that the sites were growing it was time to make major changes in my life. I wrote about this in the summer of 2022 (in my personal blog) months before leaving the company. I was careful not to let colleagues see this. Only a month after I left my job I lost my best friend (he died after 23 years of our special friendship). He taught me not to rush through life collecting money, hoping to somehow turn that into "happiness" sometime late/r (like retirement), but we could no longer debate the matter. He had been buried.

My principal priority these days is to run the sites and keep/give a voice to suppressed causes, not corporate propaganda (the press or the mainstream media isn't even attempting to refute such propaganda anymore). I can envision doing this for many years to come, but some people will try to prevent that. Fine, I totally expect them to, as they've been trying to do this to me for 20+ years already, using imposter accounts, LARPing, and direct threats. I've become used to it, I'm totally accustomed by now; I grew thicker skin and I always fight back. The attacks were most intense around 2009 (when they also tried to attack GNU).

Software Freedom is the primary goal. It's not some "brand" like Linux (which lost its way irrespective of the Linux Foundation's intervention). Software Freedom is a concept, so extinguishing it (like causing it to go bankrupt) is infeasible. Software Freedom describes a condition, not some entity with a single point of failure.

Software Freedom is (in many people's mind) associated with or personified by Richard Stallman, hence the relentless attacks on him. He's giving a talk tomorrow (unless the Cancel Culture can figure out some way to cancel the talk). Many Software Freedom advocates - myself included - are implicitly unionised, so it's a lot harder to attack/censor/discredit/shame us.

I will hopefully advocate Software Freedom for the next 10, 20, 30, maybe 40 years to come. That's what I wish to do. I think I'm healthy enough to do that.

Other Recent Techrights' Posts

David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
In the Pacific (Mostly Islands Around Oceania) GNU/Linux Grew a Lot
Microsoft cannot compete fairly
Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Old "Tweets"
This was basically an act of vandalism no better and no worse than UEFI restricted boot
Links 26/05/2024: Google 'Search' Morphing Into Disinformation Factory, Discussion of Maze of the Prison Industrial Complex
Links for the day
A Toast to Tux Machines
Food ready for the party, no photos yet...
IBM/Red Hat Failing to Meet Its WARN Obligations in NC (STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA), or Perhaps It's Constantly Delaying the Layoffs
IBM isn't named even once
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 25, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 25, 2024
GNU/Linux in Greenland
The sharp increases for GNU/Linux started last summer
The Sheer Absurdity of the EPO's Career System Explained by EPO Staff
"Staff representation has previously pointed this out to management, and the career system has been the reason for several industrial actions and litigation cases initiated by SUEPO."
[Meme] Productivity Champ Nellie Simon: It Takes Me 3+ Weeks to Write 6 Paragraphs
Congrats to Nellie Simon!
It Took EPO Management 3+ Weeks to Respond to a Letter About an Urgent Problem (Defunding of EPO Staff)
The funny thing about it is that Nellie Simon expects examiners to work day and night (which is illegal) while she herself takes 3+ weeks to write a 1-page letter
Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) in The Hague Taking Action to Rectify Cuts to Families of Workers
they "are active in challenging this measure via the legal system"
Links 25/05/2024: Microsoft Adds More DRM (Screenshot Blocking), Another Microsoft Outage Takes Down Everything
Links for the day
Gemini Links 25/05/2024: "Bill Smugs" and OpenBSD Mirror Over Tor / I2P
Links for the day
Microsoft #1 in Gaming Layoffs, Laid Off Workers Receive Another Insult From Microsoft
Many of them never chose to work for Microsoft
In New Caledonia Windows is Now Below 30% (It Used to be Over 90%)
Microsoft's Windows absolutely collapsing and the measures are relatively stable
Forget About India's and Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons and Armament Race, They Need to Abscond Windows and Microsoft (Security Swiss Cheese)
Both countries would be wise to remove Windows as soon as possible, irrespective of the local party politics
statCounter: GNU/Linux Rose From 0.2% to Over 3% in Pakistan
GNU/Linux "proper" (i.e. not ChromeOS) has the lion's share
Red tape: farmer concerns eerily similar to Debian suicide cluster deaths
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Galway street artists support social media concerns
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 25/05/2024: Section 230 and Right of Publicity Violations by Microsoft (Which Attacks Performance Artists)
Links for the day
[Meme] No Microsoft
For fun!
Microsoft Windows Falls to New Lows in Poland
It may mean people delete Windows from relatively new PC
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: An Introduction
The campaign of coercion (or worse) started in 2021
The "D" in Debian Stands for Dictatorship That Extends to Censorship at DNS Level
Of course the registrar, which charged for domains until 2025, just went along with it
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Getting Stacked by Microsoft
it lets Microsoft write policies
The Parasitic Nature of Microsoft Contracts
Stop feeding the beast
Gemini Links 25/05/2024: Emacs Windows 2000 Screenshots and Little Languages
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 24, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 24, 2024