The musings of a South African living abroad

Category: tech

three clear beakers placed on tabletop

Experimenting with Mastodon and Pleroma

This is just a quick post to give some brief thoughts on my experience using Mastodon and Pleroma. Hopefully, anyone who stumbles on this and is a Twitter user might learn something new and move over to one of these federated platforms.

Trying Out The Self-Hosting Lifestyle

With 2021 slowly going by, I’ve tried to keep myself busy by experimenting with new things. And one of those experiments has been with the fediverse. This meant that I’d need to try my hand at self-hosting on a VPS, something I’m not proficient in at all.

water droplets on glass panel

Leaving Facebook

Recently, on Mastodon someone posted a link to a blog post by Aaron Parecki that dealt with how he left Facebook. Taken into consideration along with the recent WhatsApp privacy debacle, I thought that 2021 was the perfect time for me to finally make the break from Facebook and its services. In this post, I want to go through the why and the how of my exodus from Facebook and the services it owns.

assorted-color social media signage

On Mastodon

Back when I was living in South Africa I was an avid user of twitter. The idea of short form messages and being able to follow friends and sites without all the cruft of Facebook was appealing. Twitter at that stage was also still very much in its infancy and wasn’t the hive of bots and politics that it is today. So I closed my account years ago and didn’t miss it at all. The along came Mastodon, an open source and federated alternative to Twitter. And I was hooked.

selective focus photography of computer code monitor display

Moving Back to Linux

Twelve years ago on this very day I took a leap of faith into the wonderful world of Linux.

black iphone 4 on brown wooden table

Social Starvation

One of the habits I wanted to break in 2016 was the large amount of time that I wasted using social media sites. Day after day I would keep on checking Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram several times during the day.

Thinking back on it I have no idea why I became so reliant on social media. It’s great being able to see photos and status updates of my family and friends back in South Africa, but for every useful post I see on Facebook I’m having to sort through 100 posts or ads for things I have no interest in.

Thoughts on FastMail

Recently I’ve been looking to move away from Google’s free services to solutions that, while paid, might be a better fit for me as well. There’s also the fact that Google has a tendency to shutter their services. Throw in privacy concerns and the slow influx of ads into their best services like Gmail and there has been no better time than now to look at moving on.

white suv on road near brown wooden shed during daytime

Saying Goodbye to Google

Leaving Google seems almost the hipster thing to do these days but the more research I’ve done the more it seems as though the power users and geek users out there are opting to move to paid email platforms or open source alternatives rather than relying on the big G as they once used to. Just look at the recent backlash from many Nest users when Google spent $3.2 billion to buy Nest. Many people were turned off by the potential that Google would be gaining even more information about them.

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