Monica

I’ve started hosting the excellent Monica. Monica is a CRM tool for your personal contacts. It allows you to track interactions, remind yourself of birthdays and track relationships between you and your contacts.

This kind of tool is great for me because I have a limited memory when it comes to relationships, and this tool acts as my external memory for all the details I don’t tend to remember. Things like pet names, parents, birthdays, conversations, money owed… etc.

Good stuff!

Yeah, I stood up a new Gitea instance, again. Things have improved since last time. I’ve got a Lightsail instance that I don’t have to worry too much about. Especially if my home connection has issues, or, lord forbid, my server getting hacked and allowing the attacker onto my network proper.

It’s not as painless as Github, but it does work well. I’m using it in conjunction with my edits to the TwentyTwentyOne child-theme I’m using on this site. Ultimately, I feel like these are just toys to play with that are, at some points, useful.

Let’s see how long this lasts.

A World Without CSS or JavaScript

Would the world be better without these tools? Not too long ago, I might have agreed with that. The problem is people, not (entirely) the technology.

Kev recently posted about a designer’s thoughts on a style-less and javascript-less world. A world in which every page looks like something straight out of the 1980’s. While the idea behind these thoughts is sound: The current system allows for abuse and is often used harmfully. The problem with this thinking is that regardless of the medium, humans will abuse it to the maximum extent to get what they want. HTML is easy to abuse, and other formats that try and slim it down more, like Gemini and Markdown are still very abusable.

Ultimately, I think that Bradely is too close to the problem. As a designer, I can imagine that seeing such abuses daily, in and around your own work, and work of others in your peer group, can really drain the love of the craft out of your life.

Dropbox Hesitates on M1 Support

An article piqued my interest this morning:

I don’t even have an Apple M1 device, nor do I have a Dropbox account, yet I can see how dumb this decision is. Major platform updates? You support it, especially if you have paying customers on it. Simple as that.

I’m beginning to wonder how relevant Dropbox is in this new era of cloud computing, where everyone has an online storage sync option. Their primary competitors, Apple’s iCloud, Google’s GSuite/Google Docs, and Microsoft’s OneDrive all have additional functionality of office suite apps that integrate directly with it, are easy to load on new machines and have near system level support. It’s a hard position to find yourself in.

Last time I used Dropbox, it was pretty decent at working consistently, cross platform, and decently fast without chewing up resources like some of their lesser competition. Still, they haven’t really found themselves a good niche. They were content, for many years, of being the only viable game in town, and focusing only on storage. Now, they’re fighting to survive.

I can’t imagine they’re going anywhere anytime soon, but these sorts of comments that the media picks up on, are usually signs of internal turmoil or failure to thrive in a new environment. Who knows? We’ll all be watching.

Update: I just learned that Dropbox had switched to an Electron-based app. Like 1Password before them, it seems like this is a common death knell for companies. They switch from their optimized, but expensive to support stack, to something lazier with electron and then just try and get subscribers to keep them afloat.

Lovely.

Pick Your Battles

Journalists are constantly having to defend themselves (both offline and, now online), often with people more powerful than they are. Sometimes these opponents are governments themselves. When you’re faced with a threat that can ignore laws, have access to mechanisms and security breaches that other attackers could have, you have to change the way you approach handling sensitive information.

Sometimes paranoia is the correct option.

There is no defense against a determined, state-level, actor. You just have to hope they lose interest in you, or you are no longer their primary target. The Eye of Sauron is, however, always watching.