Working unplugged

For about six or seven years now, I’ve had no network connection at home, and have shuttled the files I need on a USB flash memory device. (When I started doing this, I had a 32Mb one, built into a wristwatch; I’ve progressed to 16Gb now, in a conventional USB stick.)

This way, I have less to distract me when working at home.

A secondary advantage is that, as I’m in the habit of copying the directory tree containing almost everything I ever edit, onto the USB key every time I finish for the day on a particular machine, I have quickly-accessible recents backup: one copy on my work machine, one on my home machine, and one on the USB key (and, more recently, one on my netbook).

The way I’ve structured it is that one directory tree, called “common”, contains just about everything that I might ever edit. In effect, this is pretty much my home directory, minus any static stuff. All the stuff I’ve downloaded for use as is, e.g. reference material, goes in a directory tree called “library”. I’ve also got a directory “tarballs” into which I download things (and typically unpack them into “library” or “common”, but I like to keep the original), and a “music” directory (all paid-for CDs; I don’t like the music industry (in fact I’d be glad if the “industry” part of it disappeared, leaving music in its non-industrial, largely live, form) but I think it’s important to obey even bad laws, however mockingly), and a “language-audio” directory, and a cache of wikipedia articles I’ve saved.

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