Caleb Dias - December, 2019
I’ve made some changes to how I do my computing since publishing my previous article almost one year ago. I’ve restructured my digital life to be minimal – close to nonexistent – for the sake of privacy, and detached freedom.
The following is my typical computer usage, but I may occasionally switch things up if need be.
I no longer use a single computer that I call my own. Instead, I do all of my computing from public computers using a Tails flash drive. Tails is an operating system that routes all outgoing traffic through the Tor anonymity network, thus keeping my physical location private. I only have about 500MB of personal data, which fits in a small encrypted partition on the same flash drive.
Tails is Debian GNU/Linux based, but does include non-free firmware to be compatible with many computers, and thus is not 100% free software.
I believe that the dawn of the modern computer has caused an unhealthy reliance on electronic technology. Tasks like sending letters, reading maps, reading books, and figuring things out without a search engine are almost antiquated. It’s time to reassess our usage.
As such, I rarely use e-mail anymore, but keep one inbox available in case someone wants to send me a GPG encrypted message or file. I only check my inbox on rare occasion. I still use Thunderbird with Enigmail as my e-mail client.
I no longer use instant messaging, but do have an account at Jabber.org (the first public XMPP service). I just can’t bring myself to delete it. My username is pretty cool, too.
I use nano to edit text.
I avoid SaaS as a rule, however I still host my website on Gitlab.com, and my e-mail provider is Riseup.net. Other than those, I do all of my own computing.
I'm currently using the home phone setup described in my previous article. For a short time I gave in to the convenience factor and purchased a flip phone, but I now no longer own a cell phone of any kind.
None at all, and proud of it. In any case, there are ethical social media options out there such as Mastodon or GNU Social.