I was optimistic about Mozilla yesterday. Today, I’m not so sure after reading various posts and tweets. Without Mozilla, we lose a big big fighter for the open web. I really hope Mozilla can bounce back.

Nicholas Bate’s 14 point productivity primer is a great place to start if you need to get back on track.

Toying with leaving Instagram

This morning sees my youngest son, Drew, start his first day in Primary 4. As always with his first day starting a new year at school, the routine was all there. Get him up bright and early to get washed and changed into his uniform. Head downstairs for some breakfast, let him watch some television and as always, get a few pictures of his first day back school. There was something at the end of all this though that didn’t happen—the usual post to Instagram.

I’ve been without Instagram on my phone for over two weeks now. I decided to remove Instagram from my phone after finding myself getting into the bad habit of just thumbing through my timeline and the search tab. I hadn’t posted anything in a while, so it’s not like I was going to miss it. Without being on my phone, I feel like I’ve been more focused over the last two weeks.

This morning though, I felt a little bit guilty about not posting my son’s picture to Instagram, but whose benefit is this for? My own self-gratification? For others that are following me? I’ll be honest, I don’t really know at this point. I feel that Instagram is just another excuse for Facebook to punt ads and keeps those eyeballs on the timeline. Sure there are people on Instagram who are sharing their experiences and moments with family and friends. I like that part of it, it’s what brought me to it in the first place. However, weighing that up the other aspects of Instagram like stories, reels and ads, it doesn’t feel like it’s worth investing my time in it anymore.

After wrestling with the idea of putting Instagram back on my phone, I decided against it and just left it. In fact, I’m at the point now I may just delete my Instagram account. If I’m not missing it on my phone, then why have it at all?

Managed to catch the Perseids meteor shower tonight from the back garden. First time in a long time we’ve had the weather for it.

My Soundcore Life 2 headphones were a great buy. Good sound from them and they include noise cancelling as well.

They also work nicely for online gaming, although I never thought about using them for that purpose when I bought them. #mbaug

Mozilla still fighting for the open web

I must admit, the news that Mozilla was laying off employees didn’t improve my view on Mozilla’s long term viability as an organisation. The open web looks to be a losing battle as Google continues to establish itself as the primary search engine on the internet and the web browser of choice of choice for millions of people. These layoffs could be viewed as the end of Mozilla. After reading their press release following the layoffs, I’m not so sure.

So going forward we will be smaller. We’ll also be organizing ourselves very differently, acting more quickly and nimbly. We’ll experiment more. We’ll adjust more quickly. We’ll join with allies outside of our organization more often and more effectively. We’ll meet people where they are. We’ll become great at expressing and building our core values into products and programs that speak to today’s issues. We’ll join and build with all those who seek openness, decency, empowerment and common good in online life.

Changing World, Changing Mozilla

This sounds promising. I really hope that Mozilla can bounce back from this.

I missed yesterday’s microblogging photo challenge. Bah.

Looking out the window from one of the buildings at Paisley Abbey. I would love a window like this to work from every day. #mbaug

The black and white of a good book. In this case, a recent copy of Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic. #mbaug

The Saturday night view. #mbaug

Daytripping to Culzean Castle is always a good way to spend the day. Definitely a family favourite of ours. #mbaug

Owning freelancing

Seth’s latest post is all about ownership.

If you want to build a career as a freelancer, or a business as an entrepreneur, it helps to own something. Really valuable public companies are worth so much because of the assets they own and the market position they can defend as they grow. A hard-working but disrespected worker (whether an online freelancer or an actual factory worker) struggles because they’re not seen as owning enough. People have choices, and they often choose to hire and do business with entities that own something that they want to use or leverage.

What do you own?

A big problem with my initial stint as a freelancer was that I walked away from it with very little in terms of ownership. Sure I had skills and knowledge, but so do tonnes of other developers. Looking back, there are a few things I should have owned that could have prolonged my time as a freelancer.

I should have used the time to build a product. By owning a product that helps others, I am creating value that others can see.

I should have marketed myself more. By owning my own freelancing landing page, I am able to share my value to others.

I should have written and published my experiences. In writing about my experiences as a web developer and the problems and solutions I encountered, I’m showing how I own problems and the value others can get from my solutions.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It doesn’t change what happened in the past, but it can help change what lies ahead.

Bisect o’clock.

Okay, I’m almost a second out, but getting this spot on was always going to be a hit or a miss. #mbaug

Days definitely flow better when they are planned. #mbaug

Deciding on a new camera

When it comes to taking photos, I always resort to my iPhone. It’s a great camera and provides an adequate level of quality in most of the photos that I take. Lately though, I find myself looking towards an actual camera itself.

There’s lots of reasons for this, but the main reason is that I want to understand more about taking photographs as opposed to just pointing and clicking with my iPhone. I also know that I will, with time, take better pictures than my iPhone does. I’m hoping to use the camera for a wide-range of photos, but mostly I’m looking to using it for wide landscape shots, action shots and portraits.

I’m looking at a DSLR camera, specifically the Canon EOS 4000D DSLR. It comes in at an affordable price and many of the reviews I’ve read, rate it as a good entry camera. The next model up from this is slightly more expensive, the 2000D. At about £40 more, I’m not fully convinced though if it’s worth the jump up.

Whatever I decide, I think both are good enough starter cameras to begin with.

A moment of peace and quiet as I walked off the golf course a couple of weeks ago. #mbaug

A bug is causing my TailwindCSS to fail all of a sudden. #mbaug

Me and Drew had a great afternoon playing golf under a sky of floating clouds. #mbaug

Looking up through the trees in the back garden. #mbaug

Despite numerous attempts to read Dune over the last few months, I just can’t get into it.

Normally I wouldn’t be too bothered about ditching a book. However, when you see it on “must read” science fiction lists, you wonder if you’re missing something about the book.

Made the switch from Apple Music to Spotify today. So much easier to move about in the app and there’s the addition of the web player as well.

To get myself familiar with Ruby on Rails again, I’ve been taking some ideas from other web applications and implementing them myself. I started with Hey’s auto-filing labels. In doing so I picked up a wee bit more on remote forms and Turbolinks and the .to_sentence method.

Trust people’s common sense

Senior minister Michael Gove has said he does not think face coverings should be compulsory in shops in England, saying he trusts people’s common sense.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Mr Gove said wearing a mask in a shop was “basic good manners”.

Coronavirus: I trust people’s sense on face masks - Gove

The problem with this approach is that by and large, people will ignore what’s common sense and just do what they think is right by them.

I don’t always agree with Nicola Sturgeon’s politics, but I agree wholeheartedly with the move to make masks compulsory in shops in Scotland. It keeps the staff safe, it keeps the customers safe and it removes any grey area in between where people wonder whether they should wear a mask or not.

I’ve been enjoying watching Picard on Amazon Prime for the last couple of nights. Just a few episodes in, but really enjoying it.

A paid tier on Twitter? If the benefits were right, I’d definitely go for it.