All posts by joe

Quick Update

Stormtroopers play rugby…

Shooting Range
  • Week of 22-28 June
  • Bug out, week 15, this is a strange year
  • Monday, home exec tasks, morning podcast walk, pizza for brunch, random tinkering, sunset walk with Mia, we made soup, watched Apple WWDC, time well spent.
  • Apple going ARM – probably a good idea for Macbooks, seems Intel lost its way.
  • “What if this was easy and simple? What is the one thing that can make the rest easy?”
  • Tuesday, weekly shopping outing, rotisserie chicken for supper – living dangerously, watched a live stream interview.
  • Live stream interviews – the new live sports.
  • People who wear masks alone in a car – or when walking with nobody near them – low on critical reasoning ability.
  • I bought Derek’s new book, and listened to it. It was a happy 2 hours. You also get the Afrikaans version if you buy it. Pretty cool.
  • I listened to the whole Sivers season 2 podcast series in lockdown.
  • Wednesday, meeting, dropped Mia off at a picnic, live stream, walk, meeting, live stream, we made hot chocolate.
  • Thursday, morning walk, successful fundraising day, updated my bio for the first time in ages, afternoon podcast walk, more Babylonstoren hot chocolate.
  • Word of the day: defeatist. Seems to annoy people.
  • It was time to update my bio: Flâneur, serial entrepreneur, impatient idealist, imagineer, podcast nerd, Techstars alum, enjoys Campari. All progress depends on the unreasonable man.
  • Friday, braai – with some solid red wines.
  • Saturday, False Bay shooting range with Jacques and Adrian, made a beef stew, time well spent.
  • Sunday, watched parts of Money Heist – pretty good, beef stew and eggs for brunch, sunset walk, photo processing.
  • Jacques pointed out that Stormtroopers (clones) probably have good natural rugby playing talent. Jango Fett was from NZ.
  • Tune of the week: A Long December – Counting Crows

Have a fun week, crazy kids!

Quick Update

Blah…

Podcast Walks
  • Week of 15-21 June
  • Bug out, week 14, bit of a blur really, home alone mostly.
  • Monday, mobility routine, morning walk, work, I made eggs and avo, afternoon podcast walk, installed the new Capture One and processed some photos from my Sunday road trip.
  • Tuesday, public holiday, sunny winter morning podcast walk, nap, had some success with fundraising, afternoon podcast walk, made soup.
  • Sing when you are winning. Remember why you started.
  • Wednesday, meeting, afternoon walk, another meeting.
  • Thursday, walk, nap, bath, watched a live stream interview.
  • Political debates are a bit like sword fighting in Monkey Island, you just need to keep track of the insults and the responses.
  • Friday, flaneuring walk and Facetime chat with Jacques.
  • How to nip the Cape independence movement in the bud
  • Saturday, Joostenberg shopping, epic braai, time well spent.
  • Sunday, rainy day road trip with Mia, Boschendal, Babylons Toren, Spice Route, drove up to the Taal Monument, drove to Wellington, listened to lots of Smashing Pumpkins, got pizza in Paarl, sunset walk, time well spent.
  • Tune of the week: Smashing Pumpkins – Galapagos

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Have you seen me lately?

Road Trip
  • Week of 8-14 June.
  • Bug out, week 13, 90 days – yikes
  • Monday, played with some video making ideas, tea, podcast walk, we made pasta.
  • The world went crazy in 2020, maybe social media is the problem.
  • Tuesday, wrote a blog post, enjoyed some Facebook crack, Facetime chats with Dirk and Jacques, shopping outing to get supplies (drinks), Lynx estate to get wine, sunset podcast walk, made a white russian – the Dude abides.
  • Pro tip: in a good white russian, you can taste the vodka and the cream – I use mostly milk but I add a bit of cream.
  • Our First 4 Weeks as an Advocacy Group – things to do while in lockdown.
  • “Heretical thoughts, delivered in a way that capture the attention of the minority – that’s the path that works.” — Seth Godin

  • “Jy kla oor die toestand van ons land. Wel fokken doen iets daaromtrent.” — Brand Suid Afrika

  • I finally reached 300 Instagram followers, that only took about 5 years.
  • Wednesday, rainy morning, tea, winter braaibroodjies, meeting, we made soup, another meeting.
  • Thursday, slept late, rainy day, mostly random work avoidance, took a social media break, Mia made smoothie bowls, Facetime chats with Dirk and Jacques, we took a sunset drive to Stellenbosch to get sushi – pre-holidays treat – nice drive – I introduced Mia to a few Counting Crows albums – watched Star Trek 2009 again with a Jamey.
  • “Impatient idealist” — something Dominic used to call me.
  • “You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow.” — Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

  • Cape independence is feasible – an open letter to John Steenhuisen
  • Friday, Mia’s last day of her term of online schooling, podcast walk, caprese salad, dropped Mia off, nap, podcast walk, La Motte red and gnocchi, watched Star Trek – Into Darkness again, watched Star Trek – Beyond again.
  • Beastie Boys Sabotage features in 2/3 recent Star Trek movies.
  • “To perfect eyesight and a full head of hair.” — Dr. Leonard McCoy

  • Saturday, lazy morning, watched a live stream interview, podcast walk, watched another live stream, jacuzzi bubble bath.
  • Pro tip: seems you can drop your airpods in the bath and they are fine.
  • Sunday, woke up at 10am on the couch with the lights on, Franschhoek visit – spotted a logo I designed 20 years ago – with Gimp and Debian, took a road trip to Worchester via Franschhoek pass and back via the N1 – with a Counting Crows soundtrack – to go snap a pic of the snow on the mountains – see above, watched a live stream interview, watched The Big Kahuna again with a Chinas – rad movie – watch it.
  • The pet project passed 4k FB likes.
  • Tune of the week: Have you seen me lately? – Counting Crows

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

All progress depends on the unreasonable man…

Bench
  • Week of 1-7 June, wow it’s June already, how did this happen?
  • Bug out, week 12, well – back to self-isolation.
  • Monday, lockdown Level 3 – we can go outside again, late afternoon walk with Mia, creative writing.
  • Lockdown seems pretty over for now. Hope you managed to build something, start a project, have something to say for the lost time.
  • Good thing I like nagging – a teenager seems to need nagging.
  • Tuesday, got up early to write the weekly blog post, we made winter braaibroodjies – in the oven – they were epic, walk, jacuzzi bubble bath with a beer – aw yeah.
  • Eternal struggle, if you go sit in front of a computer first thing in the morning, you don’t get any exercise.
  • Funny, now that I can buy alcohol again I’m less motivated to.
  • Wednesday, Robomop and I cleaned the house, afternoon meeting, pesto pasta, afternoon walk with Mia.
  • I listened to The Moment podcast again about finding a scene.
  • DAs Silent March Towards Self-Determination In The Western Cape
  • We added 1000 independence fb page likes this week. Ideas are bulletproof.
  • Thursday, morning walk, mild slump, weird day, tired of my routine, avoided social media for the day, took a long sunset walk, emailed Derek, watched a live stream interview, watched Blow again – rad movie.
  • Most of us have too many goals.
  • “Life passes most people by while they are making grand plans for it”

  • Technology that has been around the longest has the best chance of sticking around.
  • I figured out I can put keep my phone in airplane mode in the mornings with wifi on – feels a bit more peaceful.
  • Friday, sunset walk, we took a drive to Stellenbosch to get pizza – the Stellenbosch streets were pretty empty.
  • Saturday, pizza for breakfast, weekly shopping outing, g&t, we made ostrich burgers on the braai.
  • “When you want to upset a conservative lie to them. When you want to upset a liberal… tell them the truth.”

  • Playing simPolitics is rather absorbing – it’s a bit like the Hunter S. Thompson books on politics – I get it now.
  • I’ve discovered a problem with Robomop – it’s not designed for homes where somebody has long hair.
  • Sunday, watched The Dark Knight, extended afternoon walk, jacuzzi bubble bath, we watched The Dark Knight Rises again – epic movie.
  • “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” — George Bernard Shaw

  • ps. Got a mail back saying: “Wow! Fuck yeah! What a cool project!” – which kinda made my week.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

I’m Bending Spoons…

Podcast Walks
  • Week of 25-31 May
  • Bug out, week 11
  • Monday, pizza for breakfast, it rained, I napped, tested some new server hardware – pretty impressive.
  • Tuesday, rainy podcast walk, dropped off a present, broke some IPv6 routing, fixed some IPv6 routing, Takealot order arrived, Mia gave me a haircut with the clippers that arrived, we used the floor sweeping robot to clean up.
  • I’ve been making Caprese salads for afternoon snacks fairly regularly recently – yum.
  • Wednesday, meetings, played with a FB poll, evening meeting, I was having my own little Spacex launch party with bubbly and everything – and then they cancelled the launch because of weather :-/
  • RIP Johan Lombard.
  • Thursday, rainy walk, watched a live stream, Mia baked muffins, nap, watched Robomop clean the floors.
  • Watch via Peertube: The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Schwartz
  • Friday, woke up to a nicely mopped kitchen floor – thanks Robomop, watched a live stream interview, Mia went to go visit her mom for the weekend – after about 11 weeks, cucumber g&t, I watched Burn After Reading again.
  • “On a long enough timeline people want to be free – Death Stars always get destroyed.” — Jacques

  • Saturday, progressing fairly well with one of the 5 year mission items, weekly shopping outing, Boschendal farm shop visit – yeah, I was bored, cucumber g&t, braai, watched the Spacex launch, video conference catch-up with Al.
  • Watch these interviews about Cape Independence!
  • Sunday, slept late, watched A Serious Man – more Coen Brothers.
  • I made it through the lockdown with some drinks in my house – yay.
  • Tune of the week: R.E.M. – The Great Beyond

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Cooking like a pirate…

Waterfront
  • Week of 18-24 May
  • Bug out, week 10
  • Monday, tested my lithium battery pack to run the iMac for 2.5 hours – 150min discharge at about 4 amps – and then 105min charge time back to 100% – not bad, watched No Country for Old Men – great movie.
  • Luxury is doing one thing at a time.
  • Tuesday, podcast walk, watched a Youtube live stream, completed a website building project, some FRR housekeeping for simISP credits.
  • Wednesday, extended podcast walk, meetings, nap, made oxtail, and had some oxtail for lunch with a tasty Chenin, watched The Big Lebowski again.
  • I’m still listening to lots of Derek Sivers interviews. At one point he talked about having an office job for about two years. I remember having an office job from the end of 1999 to somewhere in 2001 – by 2002 I was mostly working from home anyway. The dot-com days were fun.
  • Thursday, quick walk, bit of a blur – made a social ad, helped Dirk set up IPv6, 12 hour slow cooked oxtail for lunch, watched Beastie Boys Story on Apple TV+ – rad – watch it!
  • Towards the end of Beastie Boys Story, they say something like – be the kind of friend that inspires people to do things. Read about Adam Yauch.
  • How much of an Aliens fan am I? Well, I named my three computers Ripley, Newt and Hicks.
  • Friday, weekly shopping outing, watched a Youtube livestream, oxtail for lunch, then took the remainder of the 14 hour oxtail – added more meat and cooked it another 12 hours – I imagine this is how cooks on pirate ships used to keep a stew going.
  • I got a new headset for teleconferencing – Sennheiser SC-665 – with ultra noise-cancelling mic – and I bought an LED desk lamp – with adjustable brightness and colour temperature. Seems those are the two important remote meeting items you need – I listened to an interview with Ma.tt – about remote work.
  • Getting pretty ready for a haircut at this point – ten weeks.
  • Saturday, random tinkering, long Facetime chats with Jac, Dirk, Paul – while cooking oxtail.
  • Sunday, Waterfront – got a car wash, 10k steps walking around the Waterfront, got new hoodies for Mia and I, ordered 5 pizzas from Baccini’s – first pizza in a very long time, fetched the new server.
  • Walking around the waterfront was special, the shops give you hand sanitizer when you walk in and out of every shop. Not sure it’s the best thing for you skin microbiome.
  • As I’m writing this, about one week later, the pet project from last week has 1.7k FB likes and 4.7k Youtube views.
  • Tune of the week: Beastie Boys – Sabotage

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

The Chickens are Restless…

Commie Virus Walks
  • Week of 11-17 May
  • Bug out, week 9, health week 4
  • Monday, I woke Mia up with tea, so she can roll out of bed an join school with her iPad, podcast walk, worked on a website.
  • Atomic ad on Morning Shot.
  • Tuesday, podcast walk, weekly shopping outing to Franschhoek, we made fresh pasta with pesto, set up two Facebook ads, configured a new wifi router – keyboard and mouse sharing latency over 5Ghz is much better, I finally watched Flash Gordon again – epic movie.
  • My podcast listening routine seems to have changed, less time walking – I’ve mostly been listening to Derek Sivers interviews. I think I’m interested in the overlap between Sivers, Ravikant, Hsieh (Zappos), and Mullenweg. Start here.
  • Wednesday, podcast walk, website tinkering.
  • Thursday, podcast walk, campaign launch day, nap, we watched Star Wars Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back – that Hoth battle is rad.
  • eCommerce is open again.
  • Friday, cloudy podcast walk, started cooking oxtail, shopping outing to Joostenberg, rainy drive back – free car wash, nap, 7 hour slow cook oxtail with a great Oldenburg cab – yum, watched Solo again.
  • Saturday, oxtail round two – even better, braai.
  • The recent pet project racked up 1000 FB page likes and 1400 Youtube views in a week – not bad.
  • How often do you get to help create a new country? Only two ways out of this mess, of which one involves moving to another country.
  • Sunday, bubbly and eggs for brunch, assembled a gas braai, nap, braai, time well spent.
  • The chickens are restless… surreal time – illegal to transport a box of wine – can’t go for a sunset walk – government destroying the economy and thinking it’s a good idea. Cared to death. The irony.
  • I think I enjoyed the early lockdown days – everybody was in a mild panic and more social – long Facetime chats and phone calls with old friends – now it’s just business as usual – with similar restrictions.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Execute Order 66…

Neighbourhood Cats
  • Week of 4-10 May
  • Bug out, week 8, health week 3
  • Monday, podcast walk, creative writing, weekly shopping outing, nap, May the 4th be with you, the last Clone Wars episode was released today, we made fresh pasta and watched the last two episodes of season 7 – good ending – had Mia in tears.
  • Tuesday, podcast walk, mobility routine, my lithium-ion battery packs arrived.
  • “Happy, Smart and Useful.” — Sivers, criteria for things you should be doing – listen to this episode

  • Wednesday, morning walk, berry smoothies, new server arrived – should be fun building that, meeting, nap, meeting, network tinkering.
  • Thursday, morning walk, green smoothies, wrote up some feedback on 4 videos projects, watched the IRR live stream, nap, braai, ecommerce shopping.
  • I realised I’m getting pretty tired of braaiing. How did this happen?
  • This lockdown and its strange rules is becoming lame very quickly. It’s clearly not working, and you have to wonder if the people making the rules understand the original reasons. It seems this state of disaster can last for 90 days. March 26, 90 days later would be June 24.
  • Woke up thinking, what are we waiting for? “The Waiting Place… for people just waiting”
  • Friday, mobility routine, podcast walk, Takealot goodies arrived – with Mia’s Kindle and a few 1TB SSDs.
  • Storage really has become fast and cheap – I remember building a server in early 2000s with 5 hard drives to get to 1TB.
  • Saturday, walk with Mia, Franschhoek outing, desktop backups, fell asleep on the couch soon after the start of a movie.
  • Sunday, up at 01:00 – figured it’s a good time to do server upgrades – upgraded ten servers to Debian 10.4, sleep, random tinkering, meeting, we made oxtail – yum – cooked for 8 hours – served with a nice Pinot Noir, backups, in bed early, time well spent.
  • Tune of the week: R.E.M. – E-Bow The Letter

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

What are you building?

Morning Walk
  • Week of 27 April to 3 May
  • Bug out, week 7, health week 2
  • Monday, public holiday, installed a theme for a Webflow site for a pet project, ventured out to buy food for the week, nap, we made fresh pasta with pesto – yum, watched Alien 3 – David Fincher – rad movie – epic ending.
  • Tuesday, frozen berry smoothies, worked on three video projects, telecon, we made soup, simISP network tinkering.
  • Mia unboxed and set up a printer, there is hope.
  • Favourite thing of the week: IT’S TIME TO BUILD – stop what you are doing and listen to this twice
  • I hope your lockdown time has been productive and you have some project to point to that made good use of this time. I’ve been building Debian servers and working on a pet project which I’ll link to soon. What are you building?
  • Wednesday, meeting, Takealot order arrived – yay – I finally have a can opener, 2h Facetime chat with Jacques, I ordered two lithium battery packs – because Eksdom is probably going to cause trouble again soon, braai, watched the Level4 lockdown update – what a joke.
  • Cat hair is lonely people glitter.
  • Free yourself from old goals.
  • A server we ordered from the US is being shipped, fun to watch tracking updates every morning.
  • Thursday, berry smoothies, random tinkering, nap, tinkered with a Webflow site, watched Star Wars Episode II.
  • We started a Star Wars marathon in preparation for May the 4th – and the final Clone Wars episodes. We are watching all the movies related to The Clone Wars series. Mia watched all the Clone Wars episodes twice between 2011 and 2013.
  • Friday, extended podcast walk – start of Level4 lockdown – we can go outside for 3 hours per day – who dreams up this bs?, website building, watched The Clone Wars animated movie again, watched Star Wars Episode III – actually a pretty rad movie, played with Wireguard – seems to work well.
  • Eek, looks like I gained 5kg in the last 7 weeks.
  • Saturday, podcast walk, braai on the holodeck – with an epic bottle of Mrs English Chardonnay, we watched Clone Wars Season 6, time well spent.
  • Sunday, website building, watched Clone Wars end of Season 5, and then 7 – the Ahsoka storyline.
  • Tune of the week: I Believe – R.E.M.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Cargo cult for cats…

Commie Virus News
  • Week of 20-26 April
  • Bug out, week 6, health week 1
  • Monday, early podcast listening, some experimental breakfast cooking, ventured out to buy food for the week, tinkered with some batch email copy, rainy afternoon, braai with Mia – I find rump steak is best if you want to keep meat for the next day.
  • I’ve been cooking this scrambled eggs thing where I add a layer of mushrooms, put a lot of cheese on top, and let it cook at a low heat with a lid over it – seems to be the best of both worlds, easy cooking and consistency of scrambled eggs, with the more solid feel and cheesy goodness of an omelette.
  • Tech Independence! I listened to a Derek Sivers interview, with Jordan Paris, right at the end, 1:17:00, Derek answers with ‘Tech Independence’ – the course he would teach at university, “Teaching regular people – non programmers, how to be free from the corporate lock-in and get off the cloud.”, “If something matters to you, don’t give it to a company.” Listen to the end of the podcast
  • I think I’ve finally managed to figure out the three things I want to work on over the next 5 years. Sustainable futures. Tech Independence. Cape Independence. The first one is a fancy way of saying keep making money, building networks mostly.
  • Tuesday, tea, green smoothies, wrote some copy for a video ad, tech plumbing for a pet project, watched the chief frog boiler’s speech.
  • Watch this: Einmusik b2b Jonas Saalbach live @ Preikestolen in Norway for Cercle
  • Migrating laptops is not a trivial thing – I keep finding more things to migrate.
  • The neighbourhood alpha cat somehow made its way into Mia’s morning school video teleconferencing, so the class wanted to know the cat’s name. We named him Jones, because he looks like Ripley’s cat… from Aliens, who was smart enough not to travel to LV-426.
  • Wednesday, spend 25min on the phone with Vodacom to ask them to send me a password for a router to change a wifi channel – big companies are special, video meeting, some hardware procurement.
  • I started listening to Models my Mark Manson. I kinda stumbled into it, because I accidentally bought an Audible credit and I did not know what to do with it.
  • Check out the ‘needrestart’ package in Debian.
  • Thursday, tea, green smoothies, more server hardware shopping, I finally managed to find a Kindle for Mia online – eCommerce in lockdown is no fun, I submitted a Debian Request for Package for Routinator, nap, we made Mexican food and watched the lockdown news update.
  • I recently bought a box of coffee pods, not that I like pods, but something different to tea, bit of a buzz in the morning, after about a week of morning buzz I realised it was a decaf box.
  • I cleaned up my RSS reading lists this week.
  • Note to self: daydream more.
  • Friday, creative writing, listened to Disintegration – epic album, quick outing to fetch server hardware, Jones and I had a braai, with some Campari and listened to Neil Diamond, Facetime chat with Stefan.
  • Saturday, tea, Cape Town visit, we made a few videos – good fun, epic fail with my plan to use an iMac as an external display for a Macbook via a Thunderbolt cable – seems the new iMac models do not support Target Display mode anymore.
  • Check out Synergy app
  • My desktop computer space now has 88GB of memory and 16 CPU cores – hard to imagine ten years ago.
  • I bought a Sublime Text licence – support them.
  • If South Africa’s provinces were independent states
  • I’m going to have rather long hair in another month – might need a skateboard.
  • Sunday, chilled day, green smoothies, caught up on some blogging, reading and video watching, watched Groundhog Day again – great movie.
  • Tune of the week: R.E.M. – Bad Day
  • I’m looking forward to a few extended podcast walks in the coming weeks.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Joe Earl Grey Botha…

Lake
  • Week of 13-19 April
  • Bug out, week 5, did not visit the shops at all
  • Monday, up early, braai.
  • Next-Gen Nuclear Power
  • Mini iMac review: 5k screen is rad, fusion drive is a bit slow compared to NVMe, nice that you can upgrade the memory easily, keyboard is a bit dorky.
  • Mini Macbook Pro 16 review: keyboard is great, screen is great, sound is very cool, 8 CPU cores is pretty crazy – yeah, it’s fast, 1TB storage is very handy, finger print gizmo works well. Magsafe power would have been cool, touchbar is pretty lame – who uses that? Pleasure to work with – makes a 13inch laptop look like a Fisher-Price toy. It’s been 5 years since I upgraded laptops – this one is probably 5 times better.
  • Safe to say Mia has slept through 66% of her holiday and commie virus lockdown so far.
  • I’d like to see warning labels on Chinese goods and services – Made with Communism.
  • Tuesday, omelettes, braai.
  • Wednesday, online school started – seemed to go well, meeting, tinkered with three video projects.
  • Thursday, mobility routine, tinkered with making Postfix more secure and migrated some email settings, attended a webinar about IPv6 address planning, braai with Mia, watched the 2nd half of Alien – very impressive movie for 1979.
  • “The standard pace is for chumps.” — Derek Sivers

  • Meta is ‘about’ in Latin.
  • Friday, tea, braai meat for breakfast, played with the cats, bit of a blur – not sure what I did.
  • I think I’m at the end of the road of my drinks stash. 1/2 bottle Campari remaining.
  • My 2 year commie battle on FB seems to be working – the commies are doing most of the work though.
  • Saturday, tinkered with Postfix again – I accidentally required all my mail to come in via TLS, we made eggs for lunch, nap, played with BPKI/RPKI certs, listened to old REM albums and generated a ROA.
  • Mia keeps watching series – wasting time. She’s watching The Office at the moment. One day, when she’s sitting on the couch without any idea what she wants to do with her live at age 30 – I’m going to remind her that I blogged about this wasted time, way back in those commie virus weeks. I nagged her to complete the Jordan Peterson self-authoring / future-authoring course over the holidays – which she did, in a rather half baked way, if you ask me.
  • I drink so much tea I should change my middle name. Mia drinks chai rooibos. I drink earl grey.
  • I started using the 1.1.1.1 / WARP app on my phone this week. Works well, gives you IPv6 also.
  • Sunday, tea, blogging, set up DNS and email for two websites, made popcorn and watched Aliens again – rad movie.
  • I blogged about Why I don’t use Gmail
  • I kinda miss writing. Note to self – write a weekly blog post other than just Quick Updates.
  • I suggested to Mia she should get her own domain name / online name – something like swimgeek.com, but her own.
  • How to start a movement
  • Jonathan Carter is the new Debian Project Leader, nice!
  • Tune of the week: R.E.M. – Leaving New York

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Why I don’t use Gmail

Don’t use Gmail.

Take the free stuff!

I found an article about migrating away from Gmail this week. I was struck by how painful it is to move away. Login and contact details all over the place.

I’ve never used Gmail. I run my own mail server(s). Always have. I still have all my email archived from 1996 days. Recently I’ve been tinkering with a few mail server configs and I realised, this stuff has become pretty complex.

I’d really like more people to use distributed, self hosted email systems, but we have some problems:

  • Things like Gmail are very easy, convenient and free
  • People are trapped in free email services – it’s very hard to migrate away
  • Self hosted email can be complex, and not free (costs maybe 5 USD/m in virtual server hosting)

Why I don’t use Gmail:

  • I can avoid it. I find it fun to maintain my own email services.
  • I hate web based email services. Give me IMAP mail clients and mutt.
  • The advertising business model behind free email can only have bad incentives – I don’t like the idea of surveillance capitalism
  • I really don’t like the idea of some big evil empire having easy access to a large part of the communications in my life
  • I would find it scary to not be in control of my logins details around the web
  • The potential effort involved in migrating scares me – and the more you use it, the more you dig a hole for yourself
  • Email is a network, if one person in the network hosts their email in a compromised place, it impacts the rest of the network – I don’t want to be that guy.

Don’t use Gmail.

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ps. if you find this topic interesting, let me know and I’ll write a post about how to host your own email services.