My Typical Day Online

Jun 19, 2006 [ #internet #blogger ]

I spend a lot of time online, some people would say it's excessive, but normally most people just ask what exactly do I spend all that time on? Instead of explaining it to each person I figured I'd write a bit about it. I have an odd way of computing which I'll explain and then follow it up with what resources I use.

The Network is the Computer

I'm a systems administrator by day, and one thing I'm always looking for is a way to make tasks easier. Centralizing systems and resources so I only have to do something once is the key here and I carry it over into my personal computing habits as well. I have three computers I normally us, my G3 iBook, an old Dell laptop, and a 64-bit GNU/Linux Debian server. Why so many computers? Well diversity for one, they represent all three major operating systems and platforms and with the exception of cutting edge games I have all my bases covered. Also if I lose a laptop I'm not completely disabled computing wise. The server also has backups for it so we're safe there as well.

The two laptops are essentially satellites of the Debian server, and they contain little to any non-recoverable data. All music, movies, pictures, documents, everything that is important, is stored on the server. I then access it through the web, encrypted SSH connections, and tunneled VNC desktop sessions. Security has a heavy focus, and any IPs that want to connect must authenticate through a webpage, as well as the use of SSL for sensitive connections. The advantage to this is as long as I have a connection to the internet I'm always at my computer. It also allows other people I trust to connect and use various shared resources.

This fits into my daily routine by logging in via SSH on my laptop or desktop at work, then tunneling VNC to my shared desktop. The shared desktop contains my instant messenger, cd burning app, filesharing app, web browser, and whatever else software debian has installed


Here's a list of sites I usually have loaded in a tabs or Live Bookmarks:

  1. Slashdot - I've probably learned more from comments here than I did in four years of college
  2. Penny Arcade - Only on Mon/Wed/Fri, but they have excellent commentary on the gaming industry
  3. Gmail - Where all my personal emails are, go figure
  4. Google News - Gives me more mainstream current events tailored to my preferences
That's it, really not a whole lot when you break it down, but it's a good cross section of the rapidly changing webscape and there's hours of things to read and look into

With the combination of the computing approach I described above and the techniques and list of sites is usually how I spend my day online.