The Old Computer Challenge v2: Days 1&2 Summary

Days 1&2 of The Old Computer Challenge v2! I found that being almost constantly online during the working hours actually takes a lot away from the challenge - I’ve had to make a few adjustments.

First, even though I took extra care to not run any apps or open any websites that would count as purely “personal” stuff, things like mail, calendars, or iMessage actually aggregated data from both personal and work accounts; so e.g. for mail, I’ve just taken the personal accounts offline. Still felt a little bit like cheating, because e.g. our shared task list has synced in the background, so I didn’t need to explicitly turn the Internet on while I was in the store to see Alida’s shopping requests.

On the other hand, the background syncing on Apple devices actually works extremely well. Apps like Calendar, Reminders or Notes don’t need a constant Internet connection to perform 99% of their functions - you almost don’t notice that you’re offline. This is impressive, because I can now contrast this with e.g. the Go compiler, which keeps making outbound connections (and littering the console with error messages) even when looking up things that are all available locally, in the standard library. The docs work just fine, they just get a preamble of connection errors.

I’ve had to readjust my listening habits slightly, and again, make some new house rules. I’ve decided that streaming music, even while on “company time”, was not OK. Luckily Apple Music allows us to download any music locally, however we still had to be a bit more deliberate about what songs/albums to choose and have available, and on what devices. So I’ve downloaded some Air and Purrple Cat on the computer, and some LukHash on the phone.

I’ve had to run a few errands; using the public transport in Vienna without online directions was effortless, because all the trains, trams, and buses run very often and on time. I’ve had to use my knowledge of the city to plan the route, but this is something that I already do regularly (and also because all of the connections make a lot of sense). I’m not sure if it would be as smooth in other places in the world, though. I probably wouldn’t try this if I were in a foreign city.

I’ve had a couple of games downloaded on my phone, but I’ve decided not to engage. Instead, whenever waiting for a tram, etc I’ve used the time to reflect.

Alida’s e-book reader got destroyed by one of the cats. She got a library card and borrowed some real, dead tree books instead.