Life with Rona — Day 8

I rebooted (or was forced to reboot) my 16″ MacBook Pro and I am pleased to inform that I can stream music and have audio playback in Chrome without it breaking. It had an uptime of nearly 90 days… so basically I’ve not rebooted since moving to it.

WordPress Gutenberg is better than I expected. I have been writing in Markdown in BBEdit and then just copy/pasting into Gutenberg. I have not used MarsEdit once to write this new series of blog posts… I know Gutenberg received a lot of flak, but I know the lead behind it (Hi Pento!) and I think it is a great editor. I should start looking at the WordPress mobile apps again. The last time we spoke, we had a long conversation at the BA First Class Lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 5. Which is such a cliché place for me to meet folk, isn’t it? While I can’t regale the conversation, there was a lot of me suggesting what I’d love to see in WordPress and how the opportunities should not be missed.

Today, the Prime Minister announced a further extra 14 days of Movement Control Order — this basically means a 28 day partial lockdown. It also translates to the fact that I would spend 1.5 months in Kuala Lumpur, longest time I’ve been here, and most of it, at home. I quite miss the lifestyle I am used to having.

Keeping active via a yoga mat, and HIIT workouts is still something I can do; today it was Nick and Ishaq, very fun overall. Markets are up, up, up, everywhere… so to celebrate, I had the usual breakfast (soft boiled eggs, a slice of bread), a lunch of steak & veggies (loving the fact that I stocked up on meat), and a dinner of bihun (noodles) with a side of ice cream (also glad I stocked up there).

A sad note that O’Reilly Media (ORM) laid off a lot of their staff. No more conferences. Even editors (like Andy Oram) I have known are gone. This is a terrible time for this to happen and I think their events really made a difference in my professional life. I will miss Gina Blaber, Suzanne Axtell, Audra Carter, Patrick Dirden, Sophia DeMartini, Vee McMillen, and many more who this move affected.

I worked with the crew extensively for the MySQL User Conferences, and I’ve spoken at multiple OSCON’s, Velocity’s, and so on. It truly is the end of an era. I’ve made friendships, found fellow Malaysians (Shirley, now at Amazon), and it has been one hell of a ride. Not doing events, say OSCON in Portland is probably also horrible for the economy of Portland (it was always enjoyable; I consider OSCON like I do FOSDEM – a must go for; and now I regret not finding time to go last year. My last OSCON was 2018 (and I was planning on a 2020 return); 2019 was me sitting in London for a couple of weeks that clashed. All in, I know I’m going to miss their events.

Covid-19, the coronavirus, I talk about it to folk, saying it is going to change a lot for us, because things we think are coming back, may not. And today, I see something that affects, even me. On a much larger global scale. Shutting down an economy is remarkably easier than starting it back up. We made open source just fine without conferences (1998+ for me), but the reality is that the moment I went to my first, and before that, Linux User Groups, it became abundantly clear that we could learn a lot by sitting down and focusing, as well as chatting to people, affectionally known as the hallway track.

I don’t know how else the coronavirus is going to change, but today’s Life with Rona truly was a bit of a bummer.