There’s way too much to do in life. Once you start your family, that’s the priority. So, you have to choose your projects carefully and keep yourself on-plan, minimizing time lost re-calibrating and regaining your focus to get back into the zone, and all that stuff. That’s what this page is for. It helps me keep my bearings, perserve momentum, and make every day as fruitful as possible.
Here’s my Roadmap of Next Steps
It really sucks that Barry Altman, the founder of the new CommodoreUSA that brought back the classic C64 case design, but with an awesome clicky keyboard, recently passed away. It really sucks that Jack Tramiel, arguably the creator of the home PC industry, passed away not long before that. I use my new C64x daily, but I still have the old netbook-style Intel ATOM motherboard in it. It's time to upgrade. I'm going to put the latest, greatest Intel Ivy Bridge in there with a mini-ITX motherboard that can support it and produce a YouTube video as an update to the unboxing one from July 2011.
My last Levinux video was made across different hardware and just video'd from my phone. But I can do it all on one desktop and use screencam software for much higher quality. I just tested ScreenFlow with Ubuntu, and it works perfectly fine. That means I'm going to be able to prepare the Levinux double-click to launch icon in the center of each OS: Windows XP, OS X, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and double-click to launch each swooshing left & right to switch OSes in one smooth high quality video.
Plugin's slow down WordPress and introduce instability and unpredictability. The best performing WordPress installation is a vanilla one, with maybe a pagecache plugin for performance. Nonetheless, I love me a bunch of plugins, and want to keep them. So, prune what you can. Also, I've published nearly 600 articles over the past bunch of years, and some are outdated and are best not found—even if they win me the visit through SEO. I'm going to prune it down to go for the most useful website and best user experience. I'll make up for any incidental lost SEO traffic by making it a better overall site.
I advocate Google+ heavily. It's clearly the future of SEO on Google. Google's executive chairman, Erik Schmidt, whose quotes are almost always prophetic concerning Google's future was recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal regarding his new books along the lines of: content that's tied to real-life reputable identities will rank higher in search engines. Proof of this is starting to filter up. Now, participating in Google+ is much more than just those Facebook-like social media posts. But they don't hurt, either. And unfortunately, I almost exclusively use Buffer to do my daily out-loud thinking, which connects to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn—but not G+ (probably due to API restrictions). So, I have to make the extra effort to push any content I'm announcing also out to Google+ manually.
As much as I love Tiny Core Linux for its nomadic incorruptible approach to a desktop Linux, the "Reset" function built into Levinux sort of reduces its necessity to the point where only the Linux kernel file-size and the BusyBox initramfs-like boot system are the only things I'm getting much benefit out of. One might argue the TCE repository, but I could just as easily wire Recipes to the giant Debian repository with dpkg and apt-get, or to one of the countless Redhat Package Manager repositories (RPM). The recipes would be easier to read and understand, and also run on cloud instances. Keep this switch in mind! Also consider optimizing the Linux kernel for barebones QEMU.
I, like so many others, have invested considerable amounts of my personal and professional time into learning Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash. I actually go back to Aldus, Altsys, Macromedia and ReadySetGo, so I have a pretty long-view opinion. And now, hardware is cheap & ubiquitous—and Adobe software can't flow onto any of it without paying and paying. Well, I'm doing my career a favor and switching to Gimp and Inkscape. But now, I have to go through the mastering-it process again. At least this time, I won't be forced to be a pirate or keep re-buying.
I love my headsmackers section of MikeLev.in. In many ways, this is the most important section of the site, due to isolating those tiny little moments of realization that make all the difference, which I am trying to communicate-to and hopefully reproduce-in my audience. But I am unhappy with my choice of the term Headsmackers. It doesn't look as good featured in the menu as Realizations. Neither am I using the correct features of WordPress and the My Content Manager plug-in to organize the pages best. Overhaul!
There's a variety of reasons I want to do this. For work, I want 100% control of what's going on with the Apache2 configuration, so I can do stupid web tricks like piping the log file over a web service into a co-worker's analytics system. The site itself is gradually slowing down, as one might expect on a $5/mo host that lets you host unlimited sites with your account. Plus, I really do need hands-on experience setting up MySQL and WordPress the non-CPanel old-school way. And finally, I'm paying for a whole bunch of Rackspace loadbalanced servers anyway for professional reasons. There's no reason I shouldn't use it for my main personal site.
I’m using this nifty FAQ system that really helps organize information like… well, just like this page. There are many places (like this) I am doing things that would be better organized and more easily consumable in the FAQ system, so move the data over there. Also, listing FAQ’s doesn’t have to be standalone pages under this system. You just use WordPress shortchodes to work them into just about any page. So, I want to eliminate the concept of standalone FAQ’s througouth my site, and just have the appropriate accordian-style FAQ interface presenent on all the relative pages on the topics. Get creative figuring out which pages need FAQ accordions.
There’s no denying a lot of traffic to my site comes from people looking for QEMU tutorials for Windows or Mac OS X. What I’ve created with Levinux is probably the easiest way to get QEMU running on your system, no matter the OS—so long as it’s x86-style PC hardware (Mac’s included). But it is probably disappointing to a lot of this audience, because they’re looking to run full graphics windowing OSes under QEMU with as much hardware acceleration as possible. But that is counter to the Levinux design and philosophy. Nonetheless, I should find a way to lead these people down the right path—either to get their VMWare / VirtualBox alternative running, OR getting them to give something a little different and potentially life-changing a try—immersing yourself in text-based Linux “server”. I need to get down that messaging and work it throughout all the landing pages this sort of searching audience finds.
Enter answer hereWayyyy back once upon a time when I was Mike Levin, leader of the Commodore shareholder rebellion, I had tribe. Then again when I created the Web 2.0 application, HitTail, I had tribe. But these things are in my past, and I have spent a great deal of time and effort re-positioning myself onto Linux, Python, Mercurial and vim—a "short stack" information technology platform. I also created a very unique Linux distribution that bridges the gap between whatever system you happen to be on today, and that very old-school-ish Unix-like server environment that I have made my main development platform. Now that Microsoft has yanked the carpet out from a generation of infotech professionals... again! ...it seems time for me to rebuild my tribe, but this time around an old-school is cool, timeless, disruption-proof, future-proof, obsolescence-proof Linux Server short stack. I put a minimal forum on the Levinux page, but I've got to start doing the whole permission marketing thing to reach out and keep in touch.
Let’s face it: the future is in dem dere 3D printers. They may be pretty limited today, but over time, they’re going to support more more materials and mixing capabilities, and evolve into Star Trek matter compilers and replicators. But even in their primitive state today, they vastly expand your capabilities as an individual. You just need to master 3D design software, or something like that. And it can’t just be modeling software like Blender. It has to be more computer-aided design-like (CAD) to take care of things like the width of parts. There’s not a clear free and open source (FOSS) choice of software here. Maybe I’ll end up using something like SketchUp. But either way, I’ve got to get started soon! They cost a bit more, but I’m thinking Afinia’s just so the experience is as successful as possible. If not that, then maybe the MakerBot Replicator 2, which can already mix 2 materials. And even just today (2/20/13), I helped fund the 3D Doodler pen.
Start using Awwation or something like it so that I can communicate visually again. The death of Flash and my reticence to use any expensive proprietary drawing and painting tool in the age of ubiquitous hardware has really set me back a few years in visual communication. I have googled animated structured graphics on and off over the years looking for a replacement. So far, there is only one clear choice for replacing the STATIC vector graphics, and that is InkScape. But the SVG format under the modern web browser is becoming very powerful, and it looks like that a Prezi-like visual experience is about to be possible on standard default browsers with no plug-ins, which have pretty good HTML5 support. And so, I will become a visual communicator again. I have also been somewhat keen on reproducing the whiteboard effect that Khan Academy uses, and have done a few experiments there. But I’m thinking Prezi-styled structured graphics might be a more efficient path.
Nail the magic formula to teach people (who have SOME natural propensity) Linux server. Well, I’ve finally released a Levinux beta. It’s based on the old stable reliable QEMU binaries that have been pointed-to forever by qemu.org. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. But I really do need to create tutorials that compel you from one step to the next—specifically, SSH’ing into the VM, and visiting via a web browser on host at http://localhost:8080. They have to be met by something there that brings them to the next step, and so on like a scavenger hunt. I also want to make sure Levinux can easily build the vim, git, python short stack server. The vim with color coding in the Tiny Core Linux repository right now is unfortunately the full graphics version that carries a bunch of dependencies. And Python is 40MB, with is very big for a default server build for everyone trying Levinux for the first time. I’ve got to resolve these issues. Probably I’ll build something minimal with the recipe system, then offer to build something big with the rc.local menu that appears at the end of booting. At any rate, most of the work to get Levinux out of beta is fulfilling on the promise of an old-school is cool Linux server education.