Weekly Blur

Today is… Wednesday. Yes. That seems correct. Honestly, without checking the calendar, I don’t know the days of the week anymore. I know that there are two days of time off every interval, but most of the days have been blurring together.

I think this is because of the weird schedule I’ve been keeping with regard to work and my location. Normally, whatever that means anymore, I would wake up, take a shower, get dressed, eat, prep, go to work; Come home, clean, eat, sleep; Repeat.

Right now, we spend a lot of time doing whatever needs to be done at the time. Sometimes that’s work, sometimes that’s entertaining ourselves, sometimes that’s cleaning up a mess in the house. The distinction is not really made clear.

The only time it is clear is when I’m rotated into going to the office. Since I’m “essential”, I spend some time in the office doing mostly office things. This schedule feels familiar, but I don’t care much for it. Getting extra rest instead of commuting was nicer.

I’m not sure if this whole telework thing is for me, permanently, but I do know that right now, I prefer it. I think a lot of introverts like me are enjoying the “safer-at-home” lifestyle, if they didn’t already live it prior to this whole pandemic mess. I also think it’s going to change the way we think about work. Some for good, some for bad.

Honestly, a lot of the work we do is now able to be done remotely, so long as the infrastructure exists to support it. This has been a live-fire test showing that lots of companies can support it. Whether we do or not going forward will be up to us all.

Reading Time

Since video games can only sustain my entertainment for so long (yes, really). I am digging into my collection of digital and physical books to see if I can either entertain myself, or learn something new. Up on the docket is: The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde), Permanent Record (Edward Snowden) and Automate the Boring Stuff with Python (Al Sweigart).

I used to be quite a voracious reader, when I was younger. With games (video, card, board, etc), I became less of a reader. I still read technical stuff, but I find fiction hard to stomach, sometimes. I have a poor tolerance for crappy content. When I do want to read fiction, I often look for reviews because I really don’t want to waste my time. Kind of snobbish, I know, but I’m not going to apologize for who I am.

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason for all of this, I think people should take this as an opportunity to improve on their own skills. While that can be hard in certain cases, it doesn’t have to be an immediately useful skill. Even just reading or writing can help with your ability to communicate.

Stay safe, everyone.

What I’m Feeling

The world is getting a face full of COVID-19 and is not taking it well. Many places are closed or have changed their procedures. Places like Starbucks have gone to drive through only. Other places where people congregate have just closed altogether. Techy companies are moving any available workers to remote-work.

Except me. I’m here in the office. I was actually looking forward to working from home, since it’s a much more comfortable environment and I could get some stuff done. I’m a home-body, so I think I would have really enjoyed it.

Well, I’m somehow deemed “critical”. So much for that staycation.

Additionally, Animal Crossing is delayed delivery due to this stupid virus. Our anniversary trip to Disney is canceled. Our Disney cruise is also similarly canceled. My son now has to take his instruction via the web and even my goddamn weigh loss group is going to Zoom.

Work is also piling on. We have constant meetings with Microsoft regarding issues with their Outlook client. Demanding logs of all shapes and sizes be uploaded and proof, undeniable proof, is levied before they lift a finger. I also have been conscripted to develop PowerShell scripts that I’ve never done before, and for deployment to masses of users.

I feel beat down. Burnt out. Tired.

I tried to take a walk. I was interrupted for more work.

I finally got outside. It feels like a middle-finger seeing all the people out, having a good time, walking and talking to friends. Basically the opposite of what we’re supposed to be doing.

I just don’t care anymore.

GitHub (née Microsoft) buys NPM

Weird timeline we’re in, eh? While we all sit and hope for the best with COVID-19 taking an unprepared humanity to task, Microsoft (through GitHub) is making an interesting move.

I have to say, it’s an interesting proposition. Microsoft wants to improve and control the popular NPM (Node Package Manager) repository. This is where JavaScript developers go to download modules for Node.js so that they can build their applications. Microsoft will now own this repository.

Honestly, I’m a little torn. On one hand, I dislike the increasing creep of JavaScript “applications” that are run on Node/Electron because they’re not usually well optimized and eat resources like crazy. On the other hand, Node’s repository has been notorious for squatters, malicious files being uploaded into popular modules and even the transfer or takeover of popular modules by hostile entities without any notification. Some sort of corporate curation and regulation (not to mention proper infrastructure and funding) will help.

Ultimately it seems like just another piece of the Open Source pie being consumed by corporations. While NPM is a handy tool for development in Node, I’m sure this change of ownership will prompt an exodus, as the GitHub acquisition did before it.

When it does, we’ll all be the better for it. More diverse sources allow for less single points of failure or control. I wouldn’t be surprised if the popular distributed git-forge idea spawns into a distributed NPM-analog.

Update: It was pointed out to me that there is, in fact, an alternate package repo tool/project tool: Yarn. I’m not a Node developer, but I am extremely happy that it exists and can be a stand-in for NPM.