So much time spent online


(Tl;dr – this is a stream of consciousness post of various article ideas, news posts that didn’t quite make it into a full article)

Friday, May 29, 2020

The last few days I’ve been catching up on RSS feeds using newsboat, playing with mpv and finding old TV show theme songs. Time flies when you’re messing with bash terminals on your phone and creating scripts to quickly resync your files back from your PC back to your phone.

It’s amazing how fast two months have flown by. A few months ago we thought the end of the pandemic would never come and now we’re starting to see so many places opening up and a change in the cycle of news.

I’ve also been doing cleaning, house moving, and contending with carpenter bees. The last few weeks I’ve learned that growing new grass in our lawn and getting rid of weeds and cultivating flowers gave me something to look forward to during these couple of weeks. I’m sure quite a few of us have hit the hardware store more than once to give ourselves things to do. But on rainy days it’s often spent indoors sleeping or just catching up on the Internet news. I’ve been quite lucky in that this process of continous moving has given me a slow but steady place to go during this pandemic. I’ve stayed close to family and we’ve tried to make the most of it by detailing our adventures of going to the store to navigate the toilet paper and soap supply shelves. Most of these are really returning to normalcy although the other day I still could not find liquid soap in a few stores.

I’ve spent more time on my phone tweaking settings, checking privacy settings and looking for free open source apps than I ever thought I could spend doing. And I’ve discovered the simplicity of just text and finding things you want without all the ad banners, pictures and javascript loading. Lately I discovered the usability of gopher systems. This was the early precursor to the world wide web and HTML markup. Had some of the copyrighting issues and historic timelines never happened we might still be using some text based menu navigation. But it was inevitable that we would keep developing things to make them more user-friendly and simple. I’d like to think that GUI’s, the mouse and keyboard would have developed naturally regardless of history. Just as the wheel and car was going to happen and airplanes and spaceships developed from natural human curiosity.

This week we have the possibility of humans going back to space and although it was temporarily scrubbed due to rain and bad weather a few days ago, they are planning to try again on Saturday possibly around 3pm. There’s a lot that goes into launching a big tube into a virtual vacuum at several hundred thousand miles per hour and expecting it to touch down safely at an area the size of a football field many unfathomable miles away. And just think that the technology has to be stable and secure. I checked out Quora and read that some of the systems for space and the ISS run on Linux systems or just have very basic systems that are embedded without the complex operating systems we have. And that many programs use an older ADA programming language which is used in mission critical systems like military or aircraft tracking. It is interesting how far we’ve come and that we now have so much computing power in our hands yet we still use very powerful systems with fancy GUI’s that have such powerful clock speeds, but could often just used older text based systems to do many of the things we do today.

Today we have so many useful tools that if you’re a student in technology or computer programming, that you have a plethora of amazing resources and source code available to you that you didn’t have before. Many of you can operate BSD systems and ‘nix software that was years ago only available to big Bell systems and corporations. And they had their Plan 9 and other versions.

Much of my time lately has also been spent checking out Python programs and comparing 32bit to 64 bit. I’ve checked out github and msys2 as well as various permutations of pip including pipsi and pipx. It was fun for a hours one night to check out a project called Weboob and also dabble in figuring out minimum hardware needed to run Gentoo or Slackware and also trying to get Cygwin to work on Windows again. I miss the old days when I would mess with programs like Pidgin Portable till 2am. I miss the old days of Yahelite and messing with Deli Linux. And some days I even wish I could old a Libreboot.

It’s amazing how much you learn online when you’re stuck at home and trying to learn about the world, trying to figure out how best to write articles.

  • You come across write.as blogs. You discover there’s a whole other world on gopher web with people writing gopher blogs aka “phlogs” as they call them.
  • You spend time looking at lawn care videos like with “Ginja grass lawn care” and learn to use google maps to measure square feet and also how much you need to measure out for pesticide in a bag to use for a broadcast spread. And that you should only water in your topsoil when overseeding to a moist state, not muddy state.
  • You learn about how to mount tires using WD-40 flames.
  • You discover there are various versions of old Thinkpads with coreboot and libreboot that probably would work for simple daily text tasks and writing.
  • You discover npm and yarn and other terminal programs or package managers. And also about Chocolatey for Windows.
  • If there’s only one good resource you get from this article, check out http://onethingwell.org/ . It has a list of applications that does one thing really well and I discovered a nice simple gopher client that works in Termux called VF-1. There are other nice apps and tools you can find possibly useful for you. This is tailored more for the Unixers in mind but most anyone can check it out.
  • You discover the joys of reading RSS feeds.
  • You read about how essential workers still get to work and go about their lives while you are at home doing the research you’ve wanted and dreamed about, but now have so much unstructured time you weren’t prepared to plan this all out.
  • You discover that there are new restaurant dining guidelines and wonder if one day you’ll get to go out to your favorite festival or dine in and enjoy your favorite Mediterranean, Chinese food, Indian food cuisine, pizza & etc with friends again. You’ve been out of the social loop for so long that you’re not sure what being back in the real world is going to be like.
  • You read about how using Cloudflare and Javascripts and proxies and all that seem to not interact with each other and crave the old days of just simple text sites.

To catch up:
If you’ve been out of the loop in terms of news, a few months ago in April we had all states in the US file and declare a national disaster declaration all for the first time. But now it’s about 45 days later and they’re talking about reopening. (from a WLWT article April 11 32113850)

Some social media accounts were talking about immunity cards to track people that have been immunized and those that haven’t to literally track and create a database or use phones to see who’s social distancing and who’s not and use Bluetooth etc. We may not return to normal soon. (From a Yahoo article about “social distancing wont end soon 020709185”)

There was an interesting quote found in Yahoo where Gates said that a serological test “only goes positive after you’ve infected most everyone you’re going to infect.” (200344998.html)

We’ve approached 40 million unemployed in the US while back in April 9 it says it was about 17 million unemployed according to Politico.

A couple months ago there was also a discussion about limiting purchases of non-essentials for a while to limit the movement in a store.

Lastly there was enough time to look up information about XKeyscore, Vault 7 and cryptoviral ransomware. So be sure to be alert online. Also there’s information on cellphone tracking and infrared glasses for checking fever.

People that are stuck at home may be reminded economically of Lehman and Bear Stearns and Enron and Madoff of 2018. Finance and the economy is gradually shifting again even with so many people unemployed, the stock market bleed has stopped.

It’s a good time in your life to reevaluate priorities in your life such as health and sickness and freedom. We’re not able to go out and enjoy time with others like we used to so if or when society opens up again and theaters and museums and amusement parks are back open again we should go out and enjoy.

One day we’re be able to provide goods and services and keep the glue in relationships and businesses going. We’ll spend less time in front of the monitor looking at mindless scary music videos or superhero comics and such and go live our own life.

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Author: savvywealthmedia

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