Messing around on the web one night last week I went down a reminiscing rabbit hole that took me to the terminal based email client “Pine”. My mind conjured up fond memories from the late '90s of the winding route to the computer room at Van Mildert College in Durham University – left past the high table in the dining room, along a narrow corridor, before queuing up to go down a few steps on the right for my time to surf the fledgling internet with Netscape, or access my email via Pine instead.
The software I use for writing markdown blog posts on my computer, Typora, has moved from its beta testing phase into a commercial offering. Whereas it was free before, it now needs a licence, enabling the user to download it on three separate devices. This gave me pause, as I hadn't twigged it was a testing phase piece of software when I originally downloaded it – or maybe this was something I quickly glossed over... it's hard to remember now!
Forty-four today. As is my custom since moving back from the States (and my annual leave therefore increasing), I'm taking the day off. In the before-times pre-COVID, I liked to pop into town, mooch around and find a quiet pub to have an interesting beer or two and contemplate the world. A few years ago I even got a small tattoo on my birthday (a maple leaf just above and behind by my inside right ankle, matching my Canadian wife's one). This year I pulled on my trainers and went for a run for the first time in six months.
[Started 05-Jan] The Christmas tree still sits in the corner of the living room, diagonally across from me as I sit here on the couch typing away. Waiting for the twelfth day of Christmas to end, its cheerful red, green, blue and yellow lights shine out across the room, matched by the lights in the bay window that greet passers by on the street.
I thought I had a fairly robust immune system, resistant to many of the seasonal colds that go around... and then my little girl went to nursery. In the last 9 months I must have had more colds and sick days than the previous 9 years. OK, that might be hyperbole but it sure feels that way – and don't get me started on the weekend of fun we had with Norovirus!
Following on from my last post on “Sustainability in tech”, and spurred by a recent circular economy podcast I listened to, I've been thinking about new environmentally-conscious economic models of production and consumption, and the trade-offs that come with them.
I recently came across the company Framework, whose USP is a fully repairable laptop. Shouldn't seem revolutionary but somehow it is in this age of planned obsolescence and glued/welded components. Reminds me a little of Fairphone, who are also trying to disrupt tech hardware with their emphasis on ethical sustainable supply chains and modular, replaceable components.