Third article of the offline laptop serie.
Sometimes, network access is required
Having a totally disconnected system isn’t really practical for a few reasons. Sometimes, I really need to connect the offline laptop to the network. I do produce some content on the computer, so I need to do backups. The easiest way for me to have reliable backup is to host them on a remote server holding the data, this requires network connection for the time of the backup. Of course, backups could be done on external disks or usb memory sticks (I don’t need to backup much), but I never liked this backup solution; don’t get me wrong, I don’t say it’s ineffective, but it doesn’t suit my needs.
Besides the backup, I may need to sync files like my music files. I may have bought new music that I want to get on the offline laptop, so network access is required.
I also require internet access to install new packages or upgrade the system, this isn’t a regular need but I occasionnaly require a new program I forgot to install. This could be solved by downloaded the whole packages repository but this would require too many disk space for packages I would never use. This would also waste a lot of network transfer.
Finally, when I work on my blog, I need to publish the files, I use rsync to sync the destination directory from my local computer and this requires access to the Internet through ssh.
A nice place at the right time
The moments I enjoy using this computer the most is by taking the laptop on a table with nothing around me. I can then focus about what I am doing. I find comfortable setups being source of distraction, so a stool and a table are very nice in my opinion.
In addition to have a clean place to use it, I like to dedicate some time for the use of this computer. I can write texts or some code in a given time frame.
On a computer with 24/7 power and internet access I always feel everything is at reach, then I tend to slack with it.
Having a rather limited battery life changes the way I experience the computer use. It has a finite time, I have N minutes until the computer has to be charged or shutdown. This produces for me the same effect than when starting watching a movie, sometimes I pick up a movie that fits the time I can spend on it.
Knowing I have some time until the computer stops, I know I must keep focused because time is passing.