Feb 2021 Roundup

Feb 2021 Roundup

As it's already over a week into March I'm a tad late with this but here's my roundup of the month (+10 days).

February was pretty hard going for me, being stuck inside and not seeing much daylight with piles of uni stress meant sleepless, anxious nights with little respite and despite finally receiving my new bike at the end of January I only managed to get out a couple of times for some short rides - I suspect the immiment arrival of the Spring Classics will motivate me to get out more! From those rides I know that I'm extremely happy with the bike and would thoroughly recommend Temple Cycles if you're interested in a do it all bike.

Following on from the deletion of Facebook and WhatsApp at the end of January I can honestly say I haven't missed them or felt frustrated at not having them, which is fantastic. I'd successfully convinced the vast majority of my friends to download Signal with just a couple of holdouts - interestingly both of these often went AWOL from the existing chats for weeks at a time.

I made a fair amount of progress on my challenge to increase my online privacy and De-Google my life where possible this month, setting up a host of new self-hosted services:

  • FreshRSS - aggregate my news
  • Gotify - replaces Discord webhook notifications for my server and services
  • Commento - allows you wonderful folk to leave a comment on this post if you were so inclined (no account needed)
  • Calendar & Contacts (Nextcloud) - replaces Google syncing to my phone with DavX5
  • YouTube-DL - by downloading the content I'm going to watch I can track how long I spend watching YouTube and on mobile, set the default playback and also watch ad-free

Sort of related I've setup a Media page here on the site where I've got links to the media I've been consuming recently whether that be music, films, TV shows or books. I think I'll leave blog posts as a feature at the end of my monthly roundups.

Lastly, here are a few articles that I found interesting or that resonated with me when reading.

Age of distractions
Yet another calm weekend after months of lockdowns and I sit down to enjoy a book. After turning a couple of pages, I’m no longer able to keep going. In-between, I’ve managed to look at my phone four times and I’ve had my thoughts wander away. Why does something so simple feel suddenly so difficult?
Fast Software, the Best Software
Essay on the benefits of speedy software, and how it affects user perception of engineering quality and overall usability
Google Analytics: Stop feeding the beast
Google Analytics is only very superficially free. You should not be using it. Here’s why.
ISO 8601: the better date format | Blog | Kirby Kevinson
What data on myself I collect and why? | beepb00p
How I am using 50+ sources of my personal data
The Future of Group Messaging
An analysis of modern messaging, and the next evolutionary steps. A Case Study.