Klaus Zimmermann's Corner

Bring Back Blogs! And a sprinkling out a few New Year's Resolutions out there

A late Happy New Year of 2023 for every one of my readers and subscribers of my RSS feed!

I know this might be a little late, but I signed up for a challenge online intended to bring back the art of blogging into the Internet - taking away power from the big social networks and bringing back that decentralization that empowers anyone to have a presence and a home online. That's what the Bring Back Blogs! movement is proposing, and what better kick-in-the-butt to get back to writing is there?

So this is my comeback to blogging: starting 2023 in a big blogging way this month. The initial conditions for participation are: post at least three times in the month of January, and to distribute it via RSS. Everything else is optional, including the additional sharing via social networks, but I'm adding myself a personal third conditional: posts will have to be at least 1000 words long. Which shouldn't be much of a problem, frankly, due to my relatively verbose posting history here.

So what to write beyond a rather "meta" introduction? Well, how about some late tech-centric new years' resolutions? I'd say it is still in time for those. So without further ado, some of my goals and ambitions in the tech side of things for 2023:

Reduce phone dependency

We are quick to point to smokers or drug users and claim that they're doing something that it's bad for their health and they shouldn't be doing in first place. And then we turn around and pick up our surveillance-laden smartphones. If you do this, I'm sorry, but you have no moral high ground to point around - and this includes me.

Putting my money where my mouth is, I will start reducing phone dependency in a perhaps slow, but definite manner. Starting this month, I will force myself to reduce my phone usage in several ways, either preventing altogether or making it harder to use it. Some strategies include:

In principle, anything that I can do in my phone is doable via my computers (work or personal), but there is one catch that's constantlyincreasing: with many platforms moving to using MFA exclusively via phone apps (ahem, my bank), depending on my business on the day it, ditching it completely won't be possible. Still, I could move such business to my phone allowed days.

Open more ports in my home server

After self-hosting this very blog out of Tilde.town, there are resources to spare in my server (a Raspberry Pi!) that I could probably put to use on something. Next question is: what shall it be?

While I don't have concrete answers for the moment, here's the end-result of the resolution: I want more than just ports 80 and 443 open and forwarded at the end of the year. That is: more services from that machine should be made available over the internet on the course of this year.

Things that I've thought so far were to host a tiny IRC server to, among other things, facilitate phoneless campaign described before: if I could set a private IRC server that only my family can access, I wouldn't even need to enable end-to-end encryption to keep our chats safe. And perhaps they could like it so much that they'd ditch WhatsApp altogether!

Hey, one can dream, right?

Blog more frequently, and shorter

Perhaps the largest problem with my blogging campaign is that by attempting to make quality posts with interesting content, I end up writing way too much. Like this very post, which was supposed to be a short description of my resolutions! This often makes me tired, because I lose interest in the course of writing long essays, and they basically live unfinished in my collection afterwards.

Solution: write less, but more often. If I can push out more essays (still of a decent length to qualify for that definition) but shorter ones, I think I can keep up the pace more easily, and I won't tire away of writing. This could work to keep my feed interesting, if my readers miss frequent updates.

I could also try to substitute my toots in mastodon with links to the /updates quick posts like I used to do back in 2021.

Game less, record more

I love free software gaming, but gaming itself can also turn into a destructive addiction - and I found myself quite often mindlessly wasting time with it until late in the evenings in the last few weeks. Likewise with smoking, I don't want to engage into a destructive habit under the guise that it's not as bad as the others, and so mindless gaming will have to go.

That is not to say all gaming, though: I can find at least one outlet for which gaming can be justified as acceptable, and maybe even productive! That outlet is making videos for my Peertube channel. Now I know, there are probably other more constructive things to review, like alternative browsers, file managers, command-line utilities or even whole new distros. That's true, but for now I'll say this: it'll be done when it'll be done.

As a practical thing that I can make into a resolution, I'll trade in mindless gaming time for focused, content-rich video production time - with gaming as the backdrop. Because hey, in the end what better way is there to pass a serious, privacy or security-related message than wrapping it around a nice showcasing of Free Software gameplay?

So there it is, the first post of 2023, and hopefully one that will get me back on my blogging habits! What are your tech-side resolutions for this year? Let me know in Mastodon!

Happy 2023 again everyone, let's make this a great one!

This post is number #40 of my #100DaysToOffload project. Follow my progress through Mastodon!

Last updated on 01/10/23