Distracted Computing


Hey all, I’m sure we all have been here before, distracted. Unable to be as productive as we can while computing. Say for instance, writing a little script for a personal project, but, instead we find ourselves browsing the timeline on Mastodon. Not all of us? Well I’m totally guilty of this and by this I mean distracted computing. Hush, I like the way it sounds, it sounds all fancy.

So, after a while of being unproductive everytime I touch my Pi or laptop I finally had enough. It was time to re-focus myself and find magical ways to avoid all the wonderful distractions computers and the Internet has to offer. At first I tried just correcting myself everytime I caught myself doing something other than the task I sat down to do. But, this grew tiresom, and honestly, frustated me more once I realized how often I was doing it. So second attempt is a method a tad more extreme, a TTY only enviroment.

TTY = No distractions for you!

Using a TTY only?!? That’s nonsense and crazy, I know, I know. But it seems to be effective. I managed to write a blog post, wait, two now (I’m currently typing the second post). So yay, go me for being more focused and limiting my exposure to the goodness of a GUI. Actually, it hasn’t been that easy, or 100% effective. First thing I did was install Toot, a Mastodon terminal client. Hehe. I also setup w3m as my web browser, and now I find myself really enjoying “duckducking” random stuff, just because of the awesome text only visual and lack of ads, and videos, and colors, and, yeah…

W3M = no JavaScript; that’s always a plus. A screen shot of the beautiful TTY Screen shot of TTY; click me

Back to topic, it hasn’t been all that bad either. I been learning a lot and really enjoying reading blogs now in w3m for previously mentioned reasons. Another is I’m using nano in the TTY to write most of my blog posts, among a few other things. The biggest pro is I feel like I’m computing back in um, the 80s? Either way it’s cool. Cool not hip, please let me not be a hipster. I’m slowly but surely honing my amature command line skills, and actually making use of old commands such as [pwd] [date] [cal] [sftp] and some others I rarely used before.


Now don’t get me wrong, there are some things that may be a pain to do in a TTY, such as posting a image to Fosstodon/Mastodon. Or paying bills, actually, I haven’t tried that yet. Now I’m curious if I can pay bills through W3M (probably not because lack of JS). But as we advance into 2020 and beyond I imagine the web getting heavier, bloated, progressy web appy, and honestly much more difficult to utilize tools of old. Becoming more reliant on a GUI and specific locked down platforms, possibly even for simple tasks. Which makes me really sad as I enjoy exploring the tools that made Unix and Linux what it is today. OK, back to happy thoughts.

So, if you are like me and easly distracted by pretty much any shiny, maybe it’s time to kick things up a knotch and use a TTY or just not install a display server, or GUI, whatever it is. Maybe it’s time to take back our precious down time and git (see what I did there) things done. So we can spend the rest of our time working for the “Man” or washing laundry.

In conclusion,

I’m becoming less distracted…For the most part, and it’s really awesome!

This post is brought to you by Nano, spell checker, and SFTP.

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