We Make Our Own Fate

Warning this may get pretentious! In my most recent journey to open source I have tried to figure out why am I going through this adventure. The start was this belief that somehow I am “superior” because I’m not using the “mainstream” stuff everyone every other person uses. That is a behavior of mine I have had since I was a teenager (and I am long past that stage) that I am contending with ALL THE TIME! So after talking myself off that throne I really wanted to look at why I want to do this and 2 the major reasons that resonate with me are privacy and sovereignty.

For privacy it’s a simple “my thoughts and feelings are my thoughts and feelings and you don’t get to see them unless I say so”. I realize some of the irony of that in declaring this on a public facing website but I get to choose what’s here. I can take stuff down or just not reveal as I see fit. My data is also not being mined to figure how to extract more capital from me. I’m so tired of being “the product” for whatever megacorp platform I happen to be using at the time.

When I talk about sovereignty I mean ownership and data sovereignty. It’s my data I get to do what I want with it. I get to place it where I want to place it and I get to give access to the data with those that I specifically want to have access. Open source software respects my sovereignty and allows me to dictate how it all works for me.

What it really boils down too is this whole thing is about my fate. I feel as if there is more and more taken out of my hands (and I know this is coming from a middle aged idiot probably going through a mid-life crisis); and being able to feel like I have some level of control still on my computers is a big deal to me.

More New Adventures

For the last 10ish years I have been a youth soccer coach. From ages 5 all the way up to 12. It all started because I was given an ultimatum “well if you don’t do it there will be no team”. Now I am not the best coach, my teams have never been great winners, but I had a good time overall. That was until this season. There is a lot of work and coordination involved, and it’s clear this team is at the “washout” stage where they really decide if they want to continue playing. It’s very apparent most of the players are ready to be done with soccer (or possibly me as a coach), it has been a very trying season with a lot of losses. I finally realized it’s also my turn to be done, although I love the sport, I can’t do coaching anymore. Thankfully this is the final week of our season and I am looking forward to actually being able to enjoy my Saturdays again. There are so many cool events I can’t ever partake in because it’s game day! It’s all a little bittersweet not the least if which is I feel like I am letting my club down, but it’s time to move on for me.

In other continuing adventures my open source journey is going great. I have moved off my macOS gear completely and am now sitting on primarily my laptop and desktop machines running Linux as my primary OS. I continue to look for ways to get off “big tech” and find software and services that I actually feel like are “mine”. It’s been a lot easier than I thought and I’m thinking this is exactly where I need to be right now.

Weekly Adventures 2024-14-04

So this week I have moved my desktop and laptop to KDE Neon. They have fixed a bug in some March images that broke full disk encryption so I figured it was time to move from openSUSE back to Neon. The reasoning is simple, although I like openSUSE quite a bit it’s just “off” and not fully supported enough for me to run as a daily driver. The one application I need to work fully doesn’t work great (looking at you Webex) on anything but an Ubuntu base. There is also more general “on the ground” support for Ubuntu and KDE Neon also has a good mix of “bleeding edge” stuff (like Plasma 6) with that LTS (currently Ubuntu 22.04) base. I have also moved to Kagi search online. Although it’s a paid service it seems to give me much better results. If it ends up sucking or going the enshittification route I’ll bail and find something else but it’s good for now.

Sticking With It

Ok so I’m 1.5 weeks into my Linux experiment. I did have to switch back to my Apple laptop for one personal thing, but it was more “it will be faster this way because I know the method”. My Linux machines could have done the work but I needed to get the job done quick, next time I’ll try to plan better and learn how to do the job in Linux. I am still heavily into Apple on the mobile and TV side (iPhone, iPad, and AppleTV), but for now those aren’t going anywhere. I have been looking to at least swap my iPad for a more Open Source friendly device, but I’m not quite there yet. For TV I have found AppleTV to be the best platform for me and it passes the “family approval test” pretty easily. For now those are going to stay but I am always investigating other options, who knows I may have to demo a Kodi box for myself to see if it can be just as good.

Beware My Pontificating

I’m going to just blabber on, lets see how that works. This weekend I ended up getting some free time that I wasn’t expecting. Unfortunately mother nature wanted to change everyone’s outdoor plans so I focused on staying dry and finally doing something I have been threatening to do for a while, I changed my 2 daily driver computers. I have moved from 2 Apple Silicon Macs (Mac Mini and MacBook Pro) to 2 x86_64 machines. One is a mini box running a Ryzen 5500U on my desk and the other is a refurbished Dell Latitude 7400 with an 8th gen i5. One a laptop, the other laptop hardware in a small desktop box. I did this to see if I can run Linux full time.

I have already moved a lot of my services to alternatives that run on everything like personal email to FastMail for the service with SimpleLogin fronting my custom domain addresses and cloud storage to Syncthing with local server and offsite encrypted backups. I have been trying to make these moves for a while but I kept getting sucked back into “the ecosystem” that Apple provides. Until I realized I fell into the trap, yes there is an ecosystem but it’s just designed to look pretty so you don’t see the lock-in with high switching costs. I have known this and was okay with it for a while but seeing how Apple are slowly getting to the enshittification stage of the corporate lifecycle I decided I wanted to see about alternatives. So I went with Linux.

Now of course that sounds so pretentious but it’s at least a workable choice. I have a multitude of choices in distros and what I want to run (for now I ended up on OpenSuse Tumbleweed) and I already heavily leaned towards open source software in the applications I use on a daily basis. I’m so fickle with all of this it may not stick for long but for at least right now, this is where I am going to try my next chapter in personal computing.