spaceflight, technology, anime, politics, and whatever else I feel like writing about

Accidental Road Warrior

If you had told me ten years ago I'd be able to do my six figure Linux sysadmin (they call it something else but I'm a sysadmin) job from my dad's house for a week by walking into Best Buy, purchasing a preinstalled Gentoo-based Linux laptop, and using a combination of GNU Emacs and a browser descended from Konqueror/KHTML to get my job done, I'd have called you a nutcase. Nevertheless that's what I did this week. A freak ice storm caused such a backlog of airline flights I had to spend three surprise days with the relatives before going home. I now understand the point of Chromebooks. I had to do no setup at all beyond toggling the built in Debian GNU/Linux environment, installing my writing toolchain packages (see previous post), and get cracking... and even that was overkill. All I really needed to get my work done was the Citrix Workspace addon for Chrome to connect to my VDI. If not for a few inane security policies at work I'd be able to install a couple of language-servers into Emacs, a few compiler toolchains, and enable some SSH keys and do full local development from Emacs, no VDI required.

I think this sort of "go anywhere with a credit card and a working brain, receive developer laptop" setup is what Macs were known for a decade ago, only now it takes forever to fight with MacOS to get a developer workflow set up. It's literally one settings toggle on a Chromebook. There's also the small factor of price, where development-capable Chromebooks are intersecting with higher-end Raspberry Pis in cost. That's about ten Chromebooks per Mac. The one thing I don't like is that it's subsidizing the Google adbeast, but I spend all day logged in to YouTube and GMail anyways while carrying an Android in my pocket so that's sort of a moot point. Google's gonna know me inside out one way or the other.

I think this setup could be greatly enhanced with something like Coder for remote development environments. GSuite for SSO/email/office/OAuth, Chromebooks for local machines, and everything else is basically FOSS on commodity hardware. The one downside is that there's no ITAR compliant version of GSuite or ChromeOS or Google could make an absolute killing on the federal/contractor market because it's so fucking much simpler to stand up or manage than the Microsoft stack.

At any rate, I found myself "pining for the fjords" and itching to get the hell out of my dad's house much harder than I normally do when visiting. I guess that's what happens when I have a job that isn't working me to 5% shy of burnout all the time and I have motorcycle lessons in a few weeks. Live your lives, people, don't just work.