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Some productive work

11 January 2014 21:50

Having decided to take a fortnight off, between looking for a new job, I assumed I'd spend a while coding.

Happily my wife, who is a (medical) doctor, has been home recently so we've got to spend time together instead.

I'm currently pondering projects which will be small enough to be complete in a week, but large enough to be useful. Thus far I've just reimplemented RSS -> chat which I liked a lot at Bytemark.

I have my own chat-server setup, which doesn't have any users but myself. Instead it has a bunch of rooms setup, and different rooms get different messages.

I've now created a new "RSS" room, and a bunch of RSS feeds get announced there when new posts appear. It's a useful thing if you like following feeds, and happen to have a chat-room setup.

I use Prosody as my chat-server, and I use my http2xmpp code to implement a simple HTTP-POST to XMPP broadcast mechanism.

The new script is included as examples/rss-announcer and just polls RSS feeds - URLs which haven't been broadcast previously are posted to the HTTP-server, and thus get injected into the chatroom. A little convoluted, but simple to understand.

This time round I'm using Redis to keep track of which URLs have been seen already.

Beyond that I've been doing a bit of work for friends, and have recently setup an nginx server which will handle 3000+ simultaneous connections. Not too bad, but I'm sure we can make it do better - another server running on BigV which is nice to see :)

I'll be handling a few Squeeze -> Wheezy upgrades in the next week too, setting up backups, and doing some other related "consultation".

If I thought there was a big enough market locally I might consider doing that full-time, but I suspect that relying upon random work wouldn't work long-term.



Comments on this entry

icon Charles Darke at 19:36 on 11 January 2014

Maybe you should give it a go! I'm sure your skills would be in demand, and you have enough internet presence to be able to announce it and see who bites.

You are probably better placed to become a consultant than most people would wish for!

icon Steve Kemp at 19:42 on 11 January 2014

On the one hand I don't need to work for half a year or so, which means there is time.

On the other hand there are some potential offers on the table, which I said I'd come back to in the next week or two. But I worry that if I leave things too long then the work-gap will look less good, and the offers would cease.

Mostly its the trade-off of stability in finding a "perfect job" vs. the perpetual hustle involved in doing odd-jobs for randomly unrelated people.

I can tolerate this current period of uncertainty, and instability, but I'm not sure I'd enjoy it if it were a constant thing ..