Darrin, from the local BSD User's Group who sometimes comes to Phoenix.PM meetings once, during a discussion of online services, lamented about the legions of the "virtual homeless"... people who spread their existence between livejournal (or myspace, or whatever), flickr, youtube, twitter, and so on and so forth. Asked about whether he blogs, he said, sure, on his own machine, spoken with his usual emphasis.
Regular readers of my blog know that I've been having a fuck of a time keeping slowass.net stable. Maybe the power isn't clean here. Or maybe the electricity is haunted. I also have to move frequently. Way back in the day, I had a 2400bps dedicated SLIP connection to my Amiga 1000 running KA9Q (TCP/IP implementation packaged with several standard things such as mail and remote shell, all in a monolithic executable), long before I registered slowass.net. Later, it was 9600bps PPP on a 386, then a 486 on a dorm Ethernet line, back when you got a real IP address in your dorm room, then cable, then one employer's serverroom, then a friend's T1, then home DSL again, now, God knows what... something.
The idea of a purely virtual existence... virtual homelessness... is suddenly intriguing again. Places like netfirms let you point your home page there. Their Perl is horribly gimped out, and shared hosting in general sucks. Other places offer free shell accounts. youtube will store your videos, if you upload them all, flickr your photos. I really like being able to just dump things in folders and see them, but there are more and more hacks that mount webservices as filesystems through FUSE and whatnot. How far could one go in gluing all of this stuff together? Would it be less work and pain than trying to build a stable system and keep it running and hosted?
But that's largely a projection of my own frustrations in keeping myself hosted and running. I guess I identify with my once cool, but now old, beaten, battered, and unwanted RISC hardware. There's nothing I can do; it'll wind up in the dumpster long before it stops running (except those stupid fucking harddrives, but the one gigers never seem to die). I wonder if I could virtualize my own existence. Greyhound has $522 unlimited ride month passes. Without having to make connections in a timely fashion and be somewhere, I could slowly roam the country, do my work at Greyhound stations, and then sleep on the bus (theoretically). I could use various climbing gyms and dojos to shower. I could visit all of my scattered friends.
I'd have to resign myself to computer homelessness at least to the degree of giving up my RISC hardware, at least having it running. I could move everything to slicehost.com or one of those. Mini-storage might cost about $80/month; slicehost starts at $20. And $500/month for a place to sleep and outlets to mooch power off of (at least outside of Texas). $30/month for GPRS/EDGE from T-Mobile. Food, a couple hundred. Incidentals, I don't know. So I've got about a thousand dollar existence, available for the taking. Could I actually make the most of it, or would my human psyche bog me down?