A year of WFL (Working From Linux)

by @edent | # # | 3 comments | Read ~251 times.
Unix is user-friendly — it's just choosy about who its friends are.

A year ago, I decided to buy a new Linux laptop. I also decided to switch to using it full time for work. I've always used Linux for personal use - but was mostly stuck with MacOS for work. I don't like MacOS. Since I was WFH, I decided to switch to full time WFL…

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What's the cost of going to work?

by @edent | # | 10 comments | Read ~255 times.
A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

(This blog post is going to be UK specific, and biased towards jobs that I've personally done.) How much does it cost to go to work in a physical office? I'm going to try and list all the things I have to pay for just in order to be able to show up. This ignores…

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Predicting The Future - What 1981 Got Wrong

by @edent | # # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~172 times.
A microchip with a British flag on it. Technology and the office of the future There is considerable scope for improving the productivity in offices. The major technological advances which will have an impact on this sector are the low-cost VDU, mass data storage, the digital network and voice command by B.W.Manley

As part of my MSc, I fell down a research rabbit-hole of 1980s "Office Of THE FUTURE!!" articles. Ultimately, I couldn't find a way to include it in my research - so you're getting my cast offs. So, I present to you some choice predictions from "Technology and the office of the future" by B.…

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How to buy team doughnuts when WFH?

by @edent | # | 3 comments | Read ~232 times.
A big box of tasty doughnuts.

I have a conundrum. I'm not very good at social stuff. But I know that buying a couple-of-dozen doughnuts it a nice gesture for a team. So, every few months, I used to pony up for a case of sweet treats. I'm not a manager, or team leader, or anything like that. I just know…

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Is it stealing to read by the light of your neighbour's candle? Or, should companies pay for employees' broadband?

by @edent | # # # | 9 comments | Read ~345 times.
A speed test result.

Back when I worked for an ISP, my employer paid for me to have broadband. I was expected to work from home a few days a month and they needed their workers to have high-bandwidth connectivity. Because it was a business expense, we all received BIG SCARY WARNINGS that the broadband was only to be…

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What I've learned from a year of lockdown

by @edent | # # | 1 comment | Read ~225 times.
A graphic of a calendar showing the date "February 25 Sunday"

I expect everyone will be writing these pieces soon. So here's my cliché-ridden effort. I've found this year to be... liberating. I can stay up all night, knowing I can roll out of bed and be instantly at work. I can be as social as I like - and I can decline invitations if I'm…

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DroidCam - use an old Android as your Webcam

by @edent | # # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~157 times.
A settings screen with options to stream over WiFi or USB.

Turn your Android phone into a USB webcam with DroidCam. I can't believe it took me a whole fucking year of pandemic-time to discover this app. My laptop's webcam is... basically fine. It's a cheap 720p sensor with a tiny lens. It doesn't really cope with low light, and the picture is a bit fuzzy…

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Why don't video calls have stereo audio?

by @edent | # # | 11 comments | Read ~238 times.
Headphone box.

This is probably me being a bit dense. I'm on a video call with two other people. Alice is on the left of my screen, Bob is on the right. Why isn't the audio in stereo? (Zoom lets you send stereo audio - but only of you have a stereo microphone. Whereas I'm talking abound…

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I only know you from above the shoulders

by @edent | # # | 2 comments | Read ~372 times.
Two dogs sat at a computer. One says "On the Internet nobody knows you're a dog."

One of my lovely colleagues made an small speech during a recent meeting. She was delighted to announce that she was heading off on maternity leave next month and looked forward to seeing us all next year once the pandemic was over. There were the usual round of congratulations and how-will-we-cope-without-yous. But a few of…

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Don't think of it as Working From Home - Think of it as Extreme Hotdesking!!

by @edent | # # | Read ~239 times.
A c omplex mechanical unit to adjust the height of a laptop.

I once drove my company car to my company's office and then drove around the company car park for 20 minutes looking in vain for a parking space. Whereupon I double-parked across a couple of cars, flipped on my hazard lights, and dialled in to my Very Important Meeting. Half-an-hour later, I drove home to…

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