Technology has escaped me

The other day I realised why, having been an IT professional for 3 decades, I find myself shipwrecked on a technological island without the power to reach or help other people.

- I’ve been in and around microcomputers since the launch of the Commodore Vic-20.

- I’ve been in and around operating systems since Windows 2.0.

- I’ve been in and around databases since dBaseIII+.

- I’ve been in and around web development since the dawning of Mosaic.

- I’ve been in and around office suites since the mighty days of WordPerfect.

- I’ve been in and around helping people with their tech needs since the early 1990’s.

However, as much as I’ve been able to keep myself up to date with multidiscipline computing throughout these times, only recently have I been estranged from the controls and decisions of operating and managing tech. I have been made obsolete.

The ever expanding Universe of waning control

There are layers of control and change now well out of my grasp.

- The operating system of today, will hide controls away and constantly evolve and morph on its own.

- The office suites are now cloud based and are constantly a shifting and changing landscape.

- The file systems and formats are nebulous, twisting and turning, between versions of the same software.

- The development tools require a tower of dependant libraries and licenses to develop these web enabled apps on all surveillance devices.

Every problem needs a full detective investigation of versions, patches and platforms to get to a resolution.

However, people raised on the constrained functionality of one-button “wizard of oz” solutions, have no time to dig deep and try to understand the systems they devote their precious data to.

Every system overloads the hardware with behind-the-scenes telemetry and metrics and the tranmission of that data back to big brother!

The blind engineer

My “computing common sense” power tools don’t work anymore and the meagre dials exposed for me to use have been heavily obfuscated; their control outsourced to a premium administration subscription model on a corporate server.

Everything is going on behind the wizards curtain.

I am blind to it all.

Computer Support says no

If I’m asked a support question, I can no longer answer sufficiently to help. The proprietary mists of the corporate magician sting the eyes.

With a localised ecosystem, changing only every 3 or 4 years, I could maintain a level of competance in all areas of its support. I could provide a “jack-of-all-trades” solution for most peoples needs. That was my skill. A broad level of support.

However, a multi-layered cloud based corporate setup requires keen specialisation in narrow areas to maintain expertise in this ever changing outsourced landscape. I can no longer pursue every avenue to maintain a level of competance.

The shifting layers are stacked against me:

- The hardware arms race and shapeshifting eternally patching OS

- The ever bloating office suite and its mystic configuration at the corporate cloud level

- The sub-contracted IT services to maintain specific pieces of software and hardware

- The accumulated computing skills of the past three decades no longer cover this expansion without a large team of dedicated specialists

A retreat

This island has a shelter.

Sturdily built as Linux.

One where I can know the systems at play.

Where I can command and control how and what it does.

Where the OS I use is steadfast and infinitely configurable.

Where I can install free and open source software as I see fit, to provide functionality I actually want!

Where my data is my own and it is private!

Where I can help others, because the systems are localised and change is at my pace.

Where I can be free.