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.
Monday, home office – big surprise, tinkered with IPv6 BGP.
Tuesday, got up at 05:00 to tinker with BGP configs, nap, video meeting, a quick Cape Town visit – three roadblocks, phone chats on the way back with Dirk, Jacques, Pierre and Nikki, figured out the Fhk Woolworths closes at 4pm, we made wraps.
Learning BGP has been fun – have not really used BGP in a few years.
Pro tip: A Thunderbolt 3 cable with USB-C connectors is not the same as a USB-C ‘charging’ cable.
Wednesday, tea, phone chats and video meetings, we made cheesy breakfast burritos at 16:00ish, watched Idiocracy – amusing.
Remember kids, commie data is creative data.
Thursday, up early, worked on a side project, food shopping outing – what a mission to rinse every item when you get home, nap, braai with Mia – we made burgers.
Personality quirk: I hate it when people shuffle songs on albums/playlists – order is important.
Friday, random tinkering with an iMac – installed Aperture, CaptureOne and Proxmox, finally upgraded my laptop macOS (10.15), we watched Darjeeling Limited – which was pretty average.
Double clicking on Apple Watch to confirm things in macOS is pretty cool – less password typing.
Inception: I now have a Debian VM running in a Proxmox VM with VirtualBox on macOS – nested virtualisation is amusing. Proxmox works well.
Saturday, not sure what I did really, migrated some laptop configs, we made mexican food for supper, caught up on some blogging.
Commie Virus lockdown was extended until the end of April.
The two cats are visiting more often.
Half of the contacts on my phone’s ‘Favourites’ screen now use Facetime audio.
Sunday, up early, rainy day – moved my car to get a free car wash, more laptop configs and migrations, Campari, braai with Mia, Facetime chat with Jacques and Dirk, started watching Alien, but fell asleep.
Friday, extreme yak shaving and playing with Proxmox, home exec tasks, tinkered with FRR with more REM B-side tunes, sunset g&t, watched Moneyball.
USD / ZAR exchange rate went over 19 ZAR per USD, eek.
Saturday, tea, backups, sunset g&t, server shopping, watched V for Vendetta again – interesting how the plot involves a virus.
DaisyDisk is a pretty useful tool to clean up a macOS filesystem and free up space. I got a bit annoyed with how macOS shows it has lots of space but ‘df -h’ shows a smaller number. DaisyDisk lets you purge the disk.
So long Wunderlist. We had some good times – we planned a few Afrikaburns together.
Sunday, more backups, email scrubbing and played with FRR and IPv6 BGP, sunset g&t, braai with Mia – and an excellent bottle of Moreson Chardonnay 2017, watched High Fidelity again – great movie – good memories of making compilation tapes – and bad memories of breakups.
“The making of a great compilation tape is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules. Anyway… I’ve started to make a tape… in my head…” — High Fidelity, found in a post from 2008
I listened to the We Learn Nothing audiobook again this week.
“Gangbang doom porn.” — Jacques, when the economy is crashing and virus armageddon hits
Two kinds of decisions: Type 1 decisions are not reversible, and you have to be very careful making them. Type 2 decisions are like walking through a door — if you don’t like the decision, you can always go back.
I installed postgrey on my personal mail server, time to trim some spam. Seems to work pretty well.
Wednesday, Cape Town day, some more prepping at Wellness Warehouse and Dischem, ~office, Waterfront, got a new phone cover and Airpod case – the transparent iphone cover was not working for me, I really can’t seem to just walk past the L’Occitane shop, mussels at Den Anker with Wouter, Stefan and Waldo – Waldo is a doctor – no chance there are enough ICU beds in Cape Town hospitals.
Thursday, home office, fetched Mia from camp, breakfast at W-Cafe in Franschhoek, home office, doctor visit – to get some antibiotics and rebuliser juice, shopping, braai with Paul and Mia.
Friday, kinda overslept – did not remember to set my weekly alarms back, mexican breakfast at Cosecha with Mia – breakfast tacos, collected my shipment of FFP2 masks and goggles, nap, dropped Mia off at a friend’s house in Franschhoek, stopped at Hey Joe Brewery for a beer tasting, watched Pain and Gain again.
Saturday, random tinkering, home exec tasks, Adrian came over for a Sodastream Campari party, sushi at the clubhouse, swim and a drink at the pool bar, epic nap, braai, we watched First Man.
Sunday, fetched Mia from Franschhoek, Le Paris Deli, lunch at La Petite Ferme with Adrian and Al – nice views, nap, watched Sicario again, watched 1917 – good movie, watched Jojo Rabbit – very funny.
Monday, school run, Big Dog Cafe, home office, nap, fetched Mia from water polo, food shopping, I made tacos – yeah, I actually cooked something.
“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.” — Leonard Nimoy’s last tweet
Tuesday, school run, did some reading at Boschendal, home office, fetched Mia, we went shopping – got a Soda Stream – and a bug-out box, we cooked some improved recipe mexican tacos for supper, watched Zombieland 2.
What is a bug-out box? Well, in my case it’s a plastic crate full of food you would eat if you were a student, but with a mexican angle, brown rice, cans of corn etc. That, and smoothie ingredients. So, just in case this covid19 thing is not a problem I can make lots of mexican food. If it is a problem, I can avoid civilization for a while.
Wednesday, school run, Boschendal, Jacques visit, Orms – camera gear swap, Strolla, Wellness Warehouse, fetched Mia from water polo, configured the new camera, Carnivore evening at Babylonstoren with Mia – which was kinda lame and took forever, but I had some time to play with my 16-50mm lens.
Carnivore evening at Babylonstoren: I feel they should warn people, this is a touristy thing – local culture music and dancing for _three_ hours. If that’s your vibe, then great. If you wanted to go eat red meat and have a conversation, not ideal. In fact – the whole thing felt like I was Guybrush Threepwood and I just walked into a pirate bar scene in an adventure game – but then the character did not move for 3 hours and the same music kept repeating – only more painful – this was accordion music! Listening to an accordion for 2.5 hours to get 30min of meat dishes is not my idea of a good time. At least Mia seemed to enjoy it, or tried to stop me from looking very annoyed.
That Sony XR10 from last week failed me. 1/2 way through a swimming gala it just would not autofocus anymore. Had to hard reset the thing to get it to auto focus again. Meh. Fisher-Price. So, I swapped it for the Sony a6400 with 70-350mm lens.
Sony a6400 with Sony 70–350 mm F4.5–6.3 G OSS mini review: It’s light, compact and gives you 525mm zoom. Feels solid. Good value for what I want to do with it – school sports basically. The alternative is a very heavy and expensive full frame camera and lens. 300mm f5.6 works well, 525mm f6.3 is not great for indoors use. Photo quality is good.
After playing with the bridge camera (1 inch sensor), the mirrorless APS-C, and full frame… it seems you can’t really have an all-in-one camera. I think the answer is to have APS-C with zoom lens, and a full frame with prime lenses. Full frame zoom lenses are simply too heavy and expensive. The high-end prime lenses are full frame only. I was tempted to get the Canon EOS RP (on special) and using my old 85mm 1.2 again, but I think Canon needs a bit of time to get with the mirrorless game. The latest Canon 85mm 1.2 RF lens looks rad.
The people at Orms are cool. Very helpful. Support them.
Thursday, cacao smoothies, school run, house cleaning day, worked at the clubhouse, nap, first covid19 case confirmed in SA, shopping for Mia’s camping trip – we found Mia a new sleeping bag, cooked mexican food for supper again, finished watching Zombieland 2 – not as good as the first one, but entertaining.
Friday, vanilla Wazoogles smoothies for breakfast, school run, Franschhoek, home office, watched Mia’s water polo match using my new new camera, watched the next Spider Man movie on Netflix, while Mia packed for camp.
Rule number 2: don’t be lame.
“In physical terms, stress happens when something wants to be in two places at one time. In mental terms, stress is an inability to decide what’s important.” — Happiness Is Peace in Motion
Saturday, we made green smoothies, I took some photos at a school event, dropped Mia off with all her camping gear, chilled afternoon at home, Campari and sushi with Adrian at the clubhouse, swim, nap – that turned into a 12 hour sleep.
“First class on the titanic.” — Adrian, about Pearl Valley
I deleted Mia’s Instagram app, the fallout should be somewhat amusing. Maybe she does not notice.
It’s ok to be weird. Not being weird is a bit strange – and a lot of work.
Sunday, up early, year planning with some earl grey tea, podcast walk around the golf course, mail server tinkering, some Capture One learning – getting used to it, made some mexican food for supper again, device upgrades and backups, watched The Host on Netflix while catching up on some blogging – entertaining movie.
Capture One Pro mini review: So far I like it. I did not want to get a subscription like you need for Lightroom. You get a discount on C1 if you have a Sony camera. Looks like I’ll be needing a faster computer though. It’s pretty resource hungry, and RAW photo files are not getting any smaller.
I finally set up SPF, DKIM and DMARC for my personal mail server. Not trivial or quick. This Mail Test works well.
Going to try harder to not sprinkle my time, like I’m feeding a goldfish. Chunk by day. Weekly themes. Pomodoro etc.
Keep an eye on the doom porn virus news. Those reinvection reports scare me. Enjoy the little things. Stay safe.
Lastly, it always feels good to press ‘publish’ on these posts for some reason – maybe because it can be a struggle to catch up on two weeks of notes. Not sure if I’m reaching 0 or 99 readers – not sure it’s important. LLAP.
Communication and information technology seems to be some of the few areas that have continued growing over the last 30 years. It’s a good thing I find that fun. I’ve been listening to Zero to One again.
Pretty sure I don’t sleep as well with all these school run mornings.
Wednesday, school run, Boschendal breakfast, got a Sony RX10 mk4 at Orms, Cape Town office, camera OS upgrade, watched Mia’s water polo game and used my new camera – she scored 3 goals and they won, seafood pizza at Allora in Franschhoek to celebrate, played with Capture One – lots to learn – feels fairly similar to Aperture.
Water Polo: a hooligan’s game played by hooligans. Mia seems to like it.
Sony RX10 mini review: This camera was released in 2017, but probably still the best all-in-one / bridge camera option. 600mm f4 is very cool. Nice to have wide angle and zoom in one lens. Battery seems to run out pretty quickly. It has a bit of a Fisher-Price feel to it, if you are used to bigger/pro DSLRs, but it’s compact, light and full featured.
“You can’t redistribute your way to prosperity.” — Peter Thiel
Thursday, school run, Boschendal, home office, watched Mia’s swimming gala, Paarl Mall, caught up on some admin.
I never liked Portishead.
Friday, school run, Big Dog Cafe, home office, late lunch at La Paris Birsto with Mia and a school friend, dropped Mia off at the school social, sunset walk.
Saturday, some admin, dropped Mia off, Campari with Adrian, lunch with Adrian and Paul at Die Werf – Boschendal – great meal, SGL at Boschendal.
Monday, no school run for a change, rainy podcast flaneuring around the golf course, home office, salads for supper at Col’caccios with Mia, Pinotage rooibos tea.
Installed Zero fasting tracker app, after Tyler suggested it, pretty cool. Did not think fasting needed an app, but it’s kinda useful.
Tuesday, school run, I was interviewed for a food science PhD research project on food labels – interesting, home office, some sysadmin tasks.
After the food labels discussion, I think people often get stuck in small things when the high impact things seem boring. Sleep enough, move/walk, manage stress, eat less, eat clean, have a regular fasting routine. This is useful to know: My nutritional framework – restrict eating by time, volume and type.
“I live the way I type; fast, with a lot of mistakes.” — July 2011
Wednesday, up early, school run, Boschendal breakfast, fetched my new set of Airpods Pro, Strolla, played with that Sony RX10 camera at Orms – pretty cool, extended wine tasting at Anthonij Rupert Wyne – go check it out, random mid-week braai at home with Mia and some Moreson Pinotage, blue face masks with Mia.
Still pondering the RX10 mark4. Seems like a really good option, but it’s been around since 2017, so due for a refresh.
I seem to use about 8GB of data via my car wifi per month. Mostly Spotify I think, podcast downloads, and hour long Facetime conversations with Jacques and Dirk while driving around – bashing socialism never gets old. Voice/phone services are pretty much free now. Also tested receiving good old SIP calls, works well.
AirPods Pro mini-review: noise cancelling works well, I think I prefer the double-tap feature of the earlier Airpods, but the squeeze thing is not bad. They seem to work well for podcasts and audio books, 97% of the reason I bought them. You still can’t change the volume without using your phone or watch.
I started listening to Zero to One again. He really goes on and on about finding monopoly business models. To be honest, I kinda enjoy audio books, but this must be the Nth trial account, can’t get myself to pay for a monthly service when there are so many good podcasts around.
Thursday, school run, home office, meeting at Lanzerac with Dirk and Gys, wine tasting – Lanzerac make an _epic_ Chardonnay, a swim and a nap at the pool, watched Rushmore again – with Mia this time – the books about ocean exploring, aquarium and fish tank scenes really point at the later movie.
Oh gaawd, yes, I’m now the kind of person than naps next to the pool.
Friday, up early – because my UPS started beeping at 4am, joy, deep nerding on server hardware shopping, Mia had the day off, so we went on a Cape Town outing, lunch at Magica Roma in Pinelands, dentist visit, Stellenbosch, pool time and braai with Jacques and family – and some Moreson bubbly.
Mia keeps her zero dental issues track record – winning at parenting.
Saturday, steak for breakfast, home exec day while watching The Lorax again, device upgrades and backups, researched Mellanox NICs, sunset walk with Mia, watched Spider-Man (2002).
Monday, braai meat for breakfast, school run, home office and home exec tasks and lots of tea making, fetched Mia from water polo, loadshedding – so we had supper at Grappa Pappa at Wilderer – pretty good.
The things you own end up owning you, and there are always more manuals to read and ongoing backups, upgrades, and in my case fully nerding out on the optimal configuration.
Tuesday, school run, breakfast at Boschendal – nice spot to tinker while waiting for traffic to pass, meeting in Century City, worked at the clubhouse, nap, fetched Mia, took Mia shopping for a valentines day school outfit.
What seems to work, on the desire topic, is to plan things to look forward to, delay gratification. As an experiment I’m planning a monthly lunch with friends well in advance, and two or three other things.
Wednesday, school run, Boschendal, Strolla, Paarl Mall, set up my old Apple Watch for Mia.
“When you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, remember that your defining characteristic — what defines a human being — is to work with others.” — Marcus Aurelius
Remember why you started.
Thursday, school run, did some online camera window shopping – mostly looked at the Sony RX10 mk4, watched Mia’s swimmming gala in Stellenbosch, we had an early supper on the way back at Die Werf at Boschendal – nice place – very peaceful – good meal, time well spent.
Friday, Mia managed to break the house key off in the front door, so I went on a mission to find a locksmith, Schoon cafe, Paarl, haircut – found a new barber – great hair cut – I suspect he’s from Albania (Wag the Dog), took Mia’s phone and keys to Rushmore, I had plans to go to Cape Town for the A-Ha concert, but I ended up staying home – lunch and wine tasting at Moreson, went for a nap at 18:00, woke up at 0:00, oops, watched Oblivion again – underrated movie – I actually like Tom Cruise.
Delaying decisions and sleeping on them can be good, but this can get out of hand. Procrastination is an emotional response.
I really suck at personal admin tasks. My new theory: if you don’t have an office, there is no real delineation between personal and work items, so there is always something stuck in the queue before I make time for personal admin. It’s maybe not a very good theory, meh. I think I need a calm naggy voice in my life. Calm nagging is underrated. A-student to manage B-student.
Saturday, tea, home exec tasks, backups, loadshedding, so I went for a swim at the clubhouse, wow GSM really dies when there is loadshedding, watched L.A. Confidential again with a very pleasant Malbec – rad movie – Russel Crowe character is great, caught up on some long overdue blogging – or at least started the process – had 6 posts in the pipeline.
I kinda like Paarl. We even have the Taal Monument.
Monday, school run, Franschhoek town visit, home office, fetched Mia, early supper at La Paris Deli – nice place, sunset flaneuring around the golf course, we processed some items on Mia’s todo list, in bed by 22:00 – because of loadshedding – and then woke up because I forgot the lights on – arghh.
Twitter: two dump trucks on fire slowly backing into each other.
Tuesday, school run, house hunting in Franschhoek, Cape Town meeting, breakfast for supper with Mia in Franschhoek, sunset walk, finished watching Chinatown, watched I Am Your Father – good doccie – David Prowse becomes Vader 35 years later.
Wednesday, school run, home office, we went house hunting in Pearl Valley and Val De Vie, extended sunset walk.
Thursday, school run, brunch with Dirk at the clubhouse – tinkering with a few ideas, house hunting, quick wine tasting at Solms Delta – they have a sparkling shiraz, fetched Mia from swimming, Col’caccios, in bed early because of loadshedding.
Friday, school run, tea at Lanzerac with Gys, Waterfront, car wash, found a new hoodie, could not avoid the L’Occitane shop, late lunch at Ginja, Sea Point, catch up with Wouter, drinks at Vixi for Kieran’s birthday, followed by Village Idiot with Pierre and Stefan, followed by a bit of a house party.
Saturday, workshop and lunch at The Stack – cool venue, tea shopping at Enmasse, braai in Sea Point with Wouter, Audrey and some dutch fiends, time well spent.
Sunday, backups, packing, clubhouse swim and braai for Jacques’ birthday – with a tasty Solms Delta Grenache, time well spent, happy birthday Jacques!
“When he’s sober he’s Spock, when he’s not sober he’s Kirk.” — Jacques
“I’m like Judge Dread – no Jury needed when I’m involved.” — Jacques
Fokofpolisiekar’s music seems more relevant today than in late 2000s. Brand Suid Afrika.