How I do my computing

How I do my computing

The way I do my computing is evolving and in flux, but here it is.

I try to avoid nonfree programs, including nonfree javascript. I interact with many proprietary platforms in a read-only fashion without logged in, like watching videos on invidious, reading issues in a github repo, or checking out local events on meetup, with LibreJS on 99% of the time.

Unfortunately I have not achieved 100% free software use in that respect, as sometimes I have to for example log in to github for communication purposes like opening an issue or do online banking. I look forward to tech meetup groups resuming in person events, so that I can join AFK without having to log in and RSVP.

That said, I currently don't have an active facebook, linkedin or google account. I also don't have Google services on my lineage os. Being a relatively late adopter of free software, the journey of slowly shaking off these malware was rather fun. For example, once I discovered my firefox was actually infested with nonfree extensions and purged them all.

In terms of communication, I use xmpp, frequent IRC, and lurk on mailing lists. These days I read and write emails on gnus, and I sign and encrypt emails when needed. I also use Signal and (regrettably) some proprietary communications application which I'm in the process of getting rid of.

I like both command line and emacs interface for getting things done, and given that most of my screen time is spent in emacs, I find myself writing elisp scripts to retrieve information from the web, or process data calling command line utilities, so that I can get things into Emacs (mainly org mode). I also use org-protocol somewhat heavily for that purpose with custom dispatchers.

For low level or latency sensitive tasks, like rsync scripts for backups, cron jobs for retrieving emails and ssh into very remote servers I use command line, as it is more reliable than the emacs interface in this case.

Though I like minimalistic tools like i3 and zathura, I'm not in the suckless camp, and do believe GUI has values. I use firefox and enjoy beautifully designed webpages (with nonfree javascript disabled of course), but take measures to improve my privacy. My websurfing is split about 30-70 between EWW and Firefox. I use EWW when I need to closely process the information in the surfing session in Emacs, when the webpage does not work with nonfree javascript, or when the colorscheme of the webpage is dark (yeah, my eyes can't take dark theme).