Daniel F. Dickinson

Creating opportunities to follow a passion for life and tech for the common good

No, I Have Not Sold My Soul, V2

Posted at — Jul 3, 2021

This is true despite the fact that I am moving my websites (including this one) away from OVHcloud and/or self-hosting, and am making a shift to using Microsoft 365. Some will never believe that nor accept what I have to say about it, but for me it’s the right decision. There are those think of proprietary companies as akin to ‘the devil’ or some global conspiracy. A more realist view is that the reason open source and non-profit companies are not who provides most services for most people is that few people “put their money where their mouth is”.

Open source and non-profit companies depend heavily on people contributing to the software or organization and most people, even those who benefit from the software or service, don’t. That means doing open source or non-profit for a living often leaves one with ‘starving artist’ syndrome. Proprietary companies on the other hand usually pay their employees well enough that the employee’s concerns are not those of ‘bare survival’.

You may have noticed that this site has moved to Netlify, which is a very cool static web hosting company. It is also proprietary (although friendly to open source, unlike some proprietary companies). This is for two reasons.

  1. Self-hosting my sites and infrastructure was a huge time sink, and not any less expensive than using more managed hosting.
  2. I had become extremely frustrated with the ‘customer service’ / ‘tech support’ at OVH and finally decided to move everything away from them. I could have done some other self-hosting option but my research didn’t turn up anything in Canada that I felt was likely to remain in business and had good customer service1.

I have some projects I plan on working on as soon as I complete the transition away from self-hosting. Not having to constantly deal with distractions from things that aren’t my core goals ought to help a lot.

My core values have not changed, I just understand better that the stories about who is evil and who is good are not all true, and I’ve chosen to concentrate my efforts more effectively.

And finally, this is known as v2 of this article because the original was written for Princes and Madmen. (The differences are illustrative of why I really should wait and edit articles before posting them)2.

  1. A common feature of ‘cloud’ provided services, especially for hosting seems to terrible (or no) customer service. Ditching customer service is probably one of the main reasons the FAANGs are so profitable. ↩︎

  2. I tend not to do so because not only do I often feel a need to get it published quickly, and not only is it extra work, but I don’t see much evidence of many live human beings actually visiting the sites, so I usually feel it’s more of an exercise for my own benefit than fame, riches, reputation, etc. ↩︎