The Road to Microsoft Semi-Independence
by Mike LevinTuesday, January 31, 2023
I can get a lot done in a day if I start early. I have to pull myself together and be at the top of my game more than ever. Oh that’s exhausting! And so I will focus on the 20% of the work that will make 80% of the difference. That’s going to be dominating the topic of Free and Open Source SEO Software. I’m going to be asking people to take a mental leap to believe that a server, now on their Windows 10 or 11 laptops, set-up just so, with certain Jupyter Notebooks pre-installed as examples and ready to go as 24x7 automation, which is not quite set up because you have to pull the trigger on that yourself, is just a file-edit away. Or perhaps a NAS or RaspberryPi or cloud server instance. All 3 options are pretty easy, and you should know all 3 (not just cloud).
An intro to my current work? Okay… if I were not worrying about being brief for some elevator pitch (the too long but did read version), it’d be this:
Cloud is easy, but clever vendors hell-bent on making you their customer will try to code costly dependencies into your very abilities. They do this by controlling the tools. VSCode is one such tool, but so is Linux as a whole, which is now wholly accessible through Windows 10 and 11 via their Windows Subsystem for Linux (or WSL) product, now shipped with all Windows, and under the Microsoft Store infrastructure, so it can keep updating underneath of you. But the 2 updates it recently shipped for all modern Windows users is Linux graphics and the Linux service manager called systemd. Both of these are incredibly significant. The iron is hot because Linux graphics and systemd on Windows.
So latch onto it. Show the way. Make the one seminal example everyone points to saying stuff changed right here. Craft that story. Not only was the world falling in love with ChatGPT which was being rapidly and lovingly embraced by Microsoft (yikes!), but also the Microsoft platform which now offered Linux as a standard feature started to be used to teach people about the prospect of a life of Microsoft independence. Well, it won’t be full independence, at least not for awhile because Microsoft bought Github and Microsoft addicted a generation of developers to VSCode.
And so the Oceans are Azure for Micro$oft, very blue indeed. Don’t scrap your Github account yet. Quite the contrary, lean into where Microsoft gives us powerful freebie’s. Just be aware that when those freebies are FOSS in nature, there’s something about it corralling you into paid Microsoft services anyway. Go in fully aware. VSCode isn’t as free as you think. Microsoft owns your habits, and you will never be able to use the git or ssh programs without them. It’s vscodependency. You heard it here first, folks. VSCode-dependency… or just being vscodependent.
You don’t need it. You can live without the Microsoft paid service stuff, and you should just know how to do it and be comfortable in a non-Microsoft environment if the situation ever arose. Microsoft’s stuff is nice but not necessary. You need an editor like vim that lets you just edit text in general, as a generic ubiquitous capability, not tied to a vendor and even if possible a particular piece of software available only from one source. Your dependencies should be on industry specifications.
While vim is not part of the Unix standard, vi is, and that’s close enough. You’ve got an industry standard via the POSIX spec a text editor that’s quite capable, and whose modern versions like vim and neovim are quite nifty indeed. I humbly suggest that it is better to get on vim than it is VSCode. VSCode will entice and enchant, but why when the alternative is to be able to connect into servers yourself and just know what you’re doing in a command-line, especially when it involves running vim (or in rare instances, vi) to edit a file in location. VSCode achieves something similar through… oh, that’s a story for another blog post. But it’s slimy.
Am I distracted? How much can I still get done today. Start on the Google Photos thing. That’s of broad potential interest.