Erik I


Filed under #100DaysToOffload

It is lunch break.

This year has been special in more than one way. I'm 40 years now and it feels time moves quicker and quicker every year. That is a milestone. Judging by life expectancy around here I am probably at least halfway through.

Spring 2020 has passed, summer has definitely started. Another milestone. I catch myself not caring too much about the fact that there will be no plums on my plum tree this year “ there will probably be plenty next year.” As I realize what I am thinking it feels crazy: it's not that plums matter that much, it is the fact that I was caring so little about the time in between.

Milestones passes me all the time. There are small milestones: weekends, slightly bigger ones: payday, projects are finished, projects are started, birthdays, all my grandparents are gone and other relatives I used to know personally and not just through my parents have also started to pass away, kids are starting in school one by one and are growing up. What actually prompted me to write this was the other day when, for the first time I ordered takeaway for my two oldes kids. I felt joy that they were growing up. And suddenly I realized how much it is also a giant sign that I will disappear.

I can live with that. Unlike a number of other techies I don't want to live forever. Or, more precisely, I do not want to live forever here on earth. I mean: I enjoy almost every day, but I guess if I knew I would be stuck here forever I would feel trapped.

Meanwhile: While I'm almost certainly halfway through life, it is also almost 25 years until I am 65. If nothing too unexpected happen I should be able to get some things done during the next 25 years, as long as I use my time well.

Two quotes comes to mind, they are from the Bible, they are both useful for me to put things into perspective, and at least the first one can be read outside of a religious context as well:

«Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.» ‭‭James‬ ‭4:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

«Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.» ‭‭Luke‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Lunch break finished.

Filed under #100daysToOffload and #linux

Depending on your definition you might argue against it – Linux only desktops are still a minority for example – but here are my arguments for why it is:

  • All ordinary Windows installations now comes with the option of running WSL, and it is now really seamless and really fast!
  • It is trivial to set up VS Code to develop in the Linux machine and with WSL2 it gives you the performance boost you are used to if you are used to Linux.
  • Chromebooks are Linux based and can run Linux software.
  • IT at work is supportive and goes out of their way to support it.
  • Customers have stopped asking questions long time ago.
  • And finally: I have seen developers starting to use Linux machines for a few years already. It kind of reminds me of how it felt like when devs started to adopt Macs around 2005/2006 or so when Ruby on Rails became popular. And just like when Macs became popular, mainstream adoption seems to follow: I've already seen a sales guy running Ubuntu Linux (by his own choice) over a year ago. Finally the reason why I'm writing this now is that I've recently realized that people can present using Teams from a Linux desktop in a meeting, and it Just Works™ and nobody thinks it is strange at all.

(BTW: I should note that howtogeek announced the Year of Linux on the Desktop in May 2019](, but it seems to me nobody noticed including me so I try again this year.)

Filed under #100daysToOffload and #lifeInNorway

This week I made a sign on my office door at home.

It is placed approximately at the middle of the door.

It is part fun and partly I also hope that the kids will understand that I'm actually at work.

I am also planning to tidy up my tool shed and create an almost 2 x 2 square meter office there. That will have to wait until next week or the week after though.

Also I would probably use more images in my post if adding them wasn't so much of a hassle.

Filed under #life and #100DaysToOffload

I've been quiet here for a few days.

A good friend of mine died a couple of weeks ago. He was old. It was no surprise.

He was a good man, I think almost everyone loved him, especially those who knew him well.

I became 40 earlier this year, and it strikes me that I am one of the grown ups now. I'm the one who's responsible for making life better for those around me now, in the same way generations before us have done.

It is mostly small things: hiking in the weekends, inviting people over (when allowed), fixing bikes, driving kids around to meet friends and for soccer (again, when allowed).

It feels like a huge responsibility, but it also makes my life interesting.

Filed under #100DaysToOffload and #ideas

Several things have happened since last time I wrote on the sixth of May, most of them irrelevant to this blog. Suffice to say is that I'm reminded why I didn't take this 100DaysToOffload challenge until I realized it didn't have to be 100 consecutive days.

Generally there are way too many things that tries to get my attention, or worse, start background processes that causes me expenses if I don't pay attention. One particularly annoying one is free trials where one has to sign up using credit cards or Apple Pay.

I can easily realize why companies try this. Recurring revenue is fantastic after all, it is just that I cannot subscribe to every

  • newspaper that I ever follow a link to
  • and every useful app or website that I use from time to time

and while I might sign up for a free month's subscription and put a task with a due date in my system to disable it after 29 days I don’t care anymore. My attention is better spent elsewhere. Also, and this is worse: in many cases it seems like a dark pattern.

This means many newspapers and apps that I would happily have paid to read/use once in a while doesn't get anything since I also block ads.

The latest ones to miss out include Duolingo, a rather nice language learning app that I play again now that my kids are old enough to like it. Knowing that they'll probably be bored or have forgotten it in a month I don't want to subscribe and also, as mentioned above, 7 days free seems like a dark pattern to me at this point.

If they had tokens however I would have bought, both to support them and because I wanted some of the perks (most notably the test to check my current skills so I wouldn't have to ho through all the basics yet again).

No however they get nothing, same as almost every newspaper (I have two subscriptions and I also send some money to the Guardian about half the times I read anything there it seems, since they are the only one that I read that accepts that).

Edit: ran this text through Grammarly. They too miss out on any payment as the hassle of having to deal with more subscriptions just isn't worth it for me.

Filed under #100DaysToOffload and #lifeInNorway

It is now 0607 in the morning and I just heard some seriously loud music outside and the only reason why it is surprising is because there's an ongoing pandemic.

Every year in May, students who are finishing their twelfth (or so) year celebrate russetid, (“russ” time) by driving around, getting drunk, and generally being teenagers – but in Norway this has to be done before the exams 🤯.

When one thinks about it it is so amazingly stupid it is hard to describe, but here we are: even in the middle of a pandemic, getting drunk, getting way too little sleep, and generally wasting a few weeks on partying has to be done. And it obviously has to be done before the exams it seems.

Filed under #100DaysToOffload and #lifeInNorway

During the weekend I enjoyed fixing the armrest on my porch swing.

I also ordered some brake parts which I hope will be here by tomorrow.

Yesterday, after trying to work a full day from my spare bedroom/office I filled the back of the car with assorted garbage and drove it to the recycling center. I feel kind of lucky compared to some friends of mine that I met up there that were dumping their third trailer full of stuff from their garden and basement.

Yesterday was also the day where I decided to take down the tent in the garden as it was starting to get annoying to have to move it around in the garden to avoid damaging the lawn. It is starting to become a family tradition it seems to tent outside around easter or as soon as the snow is going away, but this year the tent stayed up until now, partially as an emergency office should it become too noisy inside the house and partially as a place for the kids to play when they weren't allowed to go elsewhere.

While packing the tent I found a bumblebee that had somehow got trapped inside. Poor creature. I try to help those in the spring and I tried to keep the tent closed, mostly as a precaution against cats, but when the kids play they leave it open and I sometimes forget to check that it is closed before I go to bed.

It now seems my iPhone alarm clock is enough to get me out of bed before 0400. That would be great as the Sleep app does not exist for iPhone and all the others that did exist lacked the killer feature from Sleep: an NFC scanner that could be configured to be the only way to turn the thing off.

This morning I have found some interesting software/websites:

Filed under #100DaysToOffload, #ImperfectRestaurations

We got a porch swing this weekend, and I made a new armrest:

Armrest, seen from right side.

Armrest, seen from left side.

The previous armrest was so rotten it could be picked apart by hand and was not in one piece when I got it so i had to be a bit creative and use everything I learned in the woodworking class in seventh grade and some and then apply some elbow grease on top :–)

Filed under #100DaysToOffload, #security and #auth

When I was younger I downloaded extensions without thinking much. Mostly extensions for Firefox.

As I got older and interested in security I've become a lot more careful. I know I'm not completely safe against malware, but then again I don't wear a hazmat suit at work either.

I've found some reasonable heuristics that have worked well for me and I should probably write a bit more about that some other time – possibly along with some ideas for truly paranoid organizations, but today I want to write about some wishes I have:

  • for all apps and extensions and whatnot: if we could somehow make sure they cannot get data off my computer that would go a long way. Note however that solving this problem in a truly general way will be hard.

  • for web applications: someone should sit down and think really hard about the granularity of the permissions they expose. For example, last I checked with a certain SAAS company my ssh keys worked for all projects I have access to while I want them to work on per project basis. Same goes for the way I had to allow a certain build system access to access all my projects to use it with one of them. Or how a small crowdfunding solution for software wants read access to more or less everything just to allow me to log in to send money to another project.

And a day has passed since last I wrote. But it doesn't matter according to the rules.

Filed under #100DaysToOffload, #habits and #learning

I've written about this before.

When learning something, it can be very useful to put deliberate effort into repeating the winning moves. Depending on your background this might be obvious or not.

Probably less known is that this works in other areas of life as well, not just in sports.

For example I train my fingers for the shortcuts of my IDE and when necessary I even rehearse my getting-out-of-bed-without-waking-up-everyone-routine.

It is also possible to train “moves” that prevent oneself from getting distracted: an incredibly useful one for me is training my fingers to stop myself from mindless browsing: I once noticed that I had a habit of opening news sites too often when stuck. Remembering to stop is hard once it has become a habit.

Instead I find it easier to learn a new pattern. Say you want to stop mindless browsing of during work hours. What I do once I notice this pattern is to deliberately repeat the first steps of my bad habit, only I choose my own steps at the end, in the case of I'd do this:

  • ctrl – l to got to the address bar (others would maybe click the address bar instead).
  • start typing exampl as I would do in my bad habit.
  • instead of typing out the address I then hit escape to leave the address bar alone