August 21, 2013

This is how I work.

I was a big fan of the How I work series and Cory Doctorow's caught my attention.

Current gig: System Administrator
Location: Hilo, HI
Current mobile device: Optimus Elite
Current computer: Optiplex 960 and Macbook Pro
One word that best describes how you work: unfocused

What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
Synergy.  I was issued a Macbook Pro and I came across a spare Optiplex. Moving my arms between external keyboard and mouse & keyboard and touchpad was stupid. Synergy is an IP based KVM.  I even contributed to their project because they saved me so much heartache at work.
Tasks Free.  No unneeded permissions, just access to the tasks list of my Google accounts.  I use Tasks at work and home to get everything done.

Google Apps for both work and home.  Their tools are incredible.  I understand that if I'm not paying for it, then I am the product and with the recent revelations about NSA spying that there is zero privacy when using these Google Apps.  I'm not sure what to do about that.  I'm afraid convenience may win over privacy which is an awful thing.

Leatherman Core and Super Tool 300.  I alternate every few days between the two.  They're both enormous, heavy duty multitools and I use them often in my IT work.  I say "they're not always the right tool for the job, but they are a tool for the job." It usually beats having to walk back to the office to find a screw driver or pliers.

What's your workspace setup like?
Usually messy. I try to clean up on Fridays but I don't always get the chance or do a complete job. I sit at a folding table with a monitor on an old dock station stand and the MBP on a similar stand adjacent. Whatever projects I'm working on are usually scattered around the table.  I try to work on them quickly to clear space before the next thing lands on my desk.

What do you listen to while you work?
Pandora.  If no one is around then it's a shuffle of all my stations, if there are kids or coworkers then I push Motown.

What's your best time-saving trick?
I'm a decent Googler. I completed Power Searching With Google and that helped narrow down my searches. I also make my users email me with their requests to submit a ticket.  If it's important they will, if it's not they won't.

What's your favorite to-do list manager?
Gmail tasks. Integrates with Calendar and Tasks Free app for my phone.  I try to pick 1 or 2 things a day and complete them.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?
Multitool. I didn't start carrying it until I was 25 but have used it several times a week since. The phone works with everything ethereal and intangible: information, communication, wireless scanning. The multitool is for physical things. They're a good match.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Documentation.  Pretty much every job I've ever had has suffered from a lack of documentation. Procedures, troubleshooting and accounts; there is often a something missing.  I make it a point to document anything I do.  All the troubleshooting resolutions and anything I configure goes into a Google doc, it's easy to search, share. 

What's your sleep routine like?
Fall asleep around 10:30, sleep heavily and barely move until I wake up a little after 6am. It's not very interesting.  Weekends I get a nap in the afternoon.

Fill in the blank. I'd kill to see ________ answer these same questions.
+Jay Bazuzi

What's the best advice you've ever received?
Be the change you wish to see.

Is there anything else you want to add for readers/fans?
The next few years will decide the future of our country and the Internet. Widespread surveillance undermines everything the Internet should be and falls into the old ways of ruling people.  Corporations and Governments are not our friends, they have an agenda. Sometimes that agenda aligns with my values but it's coincidental and is most often a means to and end.

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