Holy Wah! Did I really not post anything for the entirety of 2022?!?!
OK, so to try to get back into the habit of posting consistently (not that I was ever very good at it) I decided to start with a kind of “grab bag” post. So here is what I’m working on right now for my “digital spring cleaning”
It’s been awhile since I did anything with my site aside from logging in once in awhile to update the plugins. I’m hoping to change that. WordPress has evolved A LOT in the last few years, and the most exciting thing for me is block-based themes which I have a professional and personal interest in. I switch back to the default Twenty Twenty-Three theme that allows for site editing, but I haven’t done much in the way of customizing it. There is also the Query Loop Block that if I can get block patterns figured out, can pretty much replace all of the custom block development I’ve been doing in my day job for the last 3 or so years. Finally there is my hosting. Right now I’m on WPEngine, but my account has slipped through the cracks a bit, I received a free “lifetime” account at WordCamp KC 2012 but in the decade that I’ve had the account they’ve added a bunch of features and things that I need to “upgrade” to a paid account. I don’t mind paying for hosting, but this blog is literally the only thing I use WPEngine for, at work we’re transitioning all of our hosting to Pantheon and their Lando integration is really really nice (as well as the rest of their DevOps/DevRel stuff). Most of my “clients” are on GoDaddy which has a really nice interface/integration for client accounts, and I moved my DNS from NameCheap to GoDaddy last year.
*sigh* Everyone is tired of social media, I know. Not to sound too “hipster” but I deleted my Facebook account in 2009 and haven’t looked back since. I deleted all of the apps (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok) off my phone in early 2022 forcing me to use their web interfaces. This dramatically cut down on my usage of all of them. Then with Twitter’s buyout I decided to take a month off, and I didn’t miss it at all. When I originally signed up for Twitter (again at WordCamp KC 2012, well I signed up originally in 2007 but that account was lost to the ages because I couldn’t figure out what Twitter was at the time) I was simply using it to connect to other WordPress friends. Then when Google Reader was killed off, I “migrated” all of my RSS Feeds to their associated Twitter feeds, essentially turning Twitter into a weird RSS reader. Recently I’ve gotten Nextcloud’s News (RSS) Reader up and running and have started rebuilding my feeds there, so no more need for Twitter for that purpose. I’ve also moved all of my WordPress friendships to texts or Slacks or Discord, so I can check that off the reason to use Twitter too, which leaves me with…well…not much. I occasionally pop in, get a bit depressed then close the tab and delete my history to “cleanse myself” of what it feels like it has become.
Digital Media Storage
Speaking of Nextcloud, I’ve been working on recreating iCloud drive over there mostly to automatically backup all of the photos from my phone. It worked pretty well in the past, but a few months ago I swapped over to using the Nextcloud AIO docker-based install on my Raspberry Pi and upgraded to a WD Black 1TB NVMe drive that makes it nice and snappy (OK, I can’t feel much of a difference, but all the benchmark scores are better ). And to fill up that 1TB I’ve been digitizing DVDs with old VHS and 8mm home movie transfers. It’s brought back a lot of memories and brought up a lot of feelings (esp. around my sister who passed away from COVID last year, but that’s another story….) Next steps include getting the spare 3TB drive I have connected to the Pi set up as the backup and automating that as well as getting all of the calendars, contacts, etc aligned again. Once that is all done I’m hoping I can drop my iCloud plan and save just a little bit more money every month.
My best friend from high school recently got a ELEGOO Neptune 3 Pro and is running Octoprint, he said he was looking to add a camera to watch the prints to which I replied, “I’ve got a spare Pi camera laying around, I’ll send it your way”. It felt good to clean a little bit of unused tech out of my “gadget junk drawer”. I’m slowly trying to downsize the things that I’m keeping around “just in case”, I mean when am I really ever going to need ~100ft RCA cable? We’ve been donating things to Goodwill and Habitat ReStore as well as dropping things off at the electronics recycling events the county hosts every month or so. Man does it feel good to clean.
Alright, I’ve typed more in the last hour than I’ve typed in probably the last 3 months combined, I’m off to play with some ChatGPT and Co-pilot to get ideas for more future posts.