Yes, I have been a terrible, terrible sloth. I neglected this blog (although not the server it is running on) and did not provide any interesting content in quite a while.
In my defense I must say that there are very few problems I need to solve these days. Long gone are the days when I pulled my hair over IR remote controls that would work with LIRC. No more stunts with automatically mirroring certain websites, filtering the local content and presenting it. Building a failsafe fileserver from scratch is no longer required.
Simply put: Things finally work.
Why would I still bother with crawling through hardware compatibility lists to find a cheap USB IR receiver on eBay when I can use my smartphone to control applications? Why mirror and process websites, when there are easier ways. Rolling your own solution gives you all the control – but also means that you are pretty much on your own. And that is fine if you have the necessary time to solve the problems you might run into.
Call it “growing up” or “becoming lazy” – but I like my solutions to be time-efficient and often pre-packaged these days. Yes, it bites me in the buttocks sometimes; Yahoo! Pipes closing put me in a rough spot for about 2 months – parts of my automation infrastructure depended on Pipes doing data transformation. I had to build my own custom solution that would replace Pipes for me. But due to the fact that I used Pipes for years and therefore knew my exact requirements helped me a lot. I knew where I could cut corners without hurting the end result, my own data transformation tool went online 2 weeks before Pipes finally shut down and has been working great ever since. Yes, I no longer run a Solaris fileserver and rely on a Synology NAS instead. And yes, I run Windows instead of Linux these days.
This does not mean that I have lost my passion for tinkering. It means I am more careful with what I spend my time on.