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On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs

This article already made the rounds a couple of weeks ago, but I find myself compelled to post a link here since it seems so relevant to everyone I know.

As I think of this, it doesn’t seem to me that that are that many jobs that are 100% bullshit, I think all jobs have necessary components to them, but it does seem that the amount of time spent performing “bullshit tasks” in a given job keeps expanding.

I think I may be lucky, I do get to spend a considerable amount of time solving technical problems for my clients, but it seems I spend an equal, if not larger portion of my time attending meetings, writing and obtaining approval for documents and procedures, scheduling and coordinating. It also seems that new automation tools and techniques go a long way towards shrinking the time spend performing  the former set of tasks while contributing nothing to the efficiency of performing the latter.

Quick list of open-source webmail clients

Cory Doctorow recently wrote about Mailpile, an Indiegogo-based effort to fund development of a new open-source web-based E-Mail client.

I really have to wonder, does the world really need another such client? Here is a bunch of them:

  • Roundcube – Written in PHP with a moderm AJAX UI.
  • The Horde Project – Not only provides E-Mail, but a full groupware suit.
  • Zimbra – Not only provides a client but also a full server that can replace Microsoft Excange.
  • SquirrlMail – Includes a rather old style UI, but seems to be very popular. Most web hosting providers support installing it directly with their site management tools.
  • Mailr – Not very pretty, but written with Ruby On Rails, if you don’t want to run PHP.
  • And many, manymore.

I’ve been running my own mail sever for years. In my view, that is where the bigger  problems are, the constant flood of spam and other E-Mail attacks, seems to have led most internet service providers to block all E-Mail sent from anyone who doesn’t look like a large service provider. When running my own server I’d often find out that my mail get rejected unless I relay it through such a provider.

Ways to self-host your own website

It seems that recent news have triggered a wave of distrust in cloud and hosted web service. The popularity of hosting your website on your own computer seems to be growing. Personally, I’ve been running my own mail server for years, but several concerns have prevented me from trying to host my own website:

  1. Asymmetric bandwidth – The existing broadband infrastructure was laid by large a powerful communications companies that are more interested in broadcasting video and other media to passive “consumers” then in allowing “users” to communicated. A typical 100Mbit broadband cable connection tends to provide only mere 1 or 2Mbit of upload bandwidth.
  2. Security – Hosting a website from your own internal network typically means potentially exposing your network directly to outside threats.
  3. Availability – If anything happens to your home network – it happens to your website. Power failures, computer crashes, bandwidth-eating games and peer-to-peer software, they will all affect your site.
  4. You are on your own – Support services can be very useful when your tile is limited. There is no one to turn to we you do your own hosting.

Having considered the above, recent disappointment with a hosting service I use, had led me to consider self-hosting once more, hare are some ways one can accomplish that:

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