working from home, day two

I’m working from home this week, as are most (all?) of the other folks in my group. I’m a little unclear as to how many people are actually going into the office this week, overall. I’m not really part of any office cliques, so I don’t hear much chatter. Reading between the lines, I’d guess that more than half the people who’d normally work in the NJ offices are working from home. Our Austin, TX office is closed entirely, due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 (from a visitor to the office). So that’s a lot of people working from home. Here’s SHI’s public statement on our COVID-19 response.

I was expecting the VPN to get really bogged down, but surprisingly, it’s been holding up really well. Apparently, we had the foresight to add a lot of extra capacity to it recently. And, also surprisingly, my cable internet connection has been great too. I kind of expected that to bog down, between all the folks around here who are working from home, plus the people who aren’t going out as much, and are watching a lot more Netflix than usual.

I’ve been collecting a few interesting and/or useful links. Here are a few:

  • The Somerset County Library System’s Be Safe At Home page. They’ve got links to all of their digital resources here. I already knew about most of these, and use a few (Overdrive, Lynda, and Flipster), but there are a couple of news ones that I wasn’t aware of. I may try BrainHQ, if I get bored at some point during this thing. The physical libraries are of course closed through to at least the end of March.
  • The Internet Archive sent out an email with some COVID-19 related tips and ideas. I can’t find a link for the newsletter itself, but it links to this blog post, which is pretty good.
  • SMBC has made some books free to download, in PDF format. You can find them here. I already own most of them, but there were two there that I didn’t already have. (Not that these books have anything to do with COVID-19, but if you’re looking for some laughs, SMBC is pretty funny.)
  • Adam Engst’s TidBITS post Thoughts and Recommendations Surrounding COVID-19 is a pretty good read.
  • Take Control has released a free ebook on Working from Home Temporarily. I haven’t read it, but it might be useful.
  • I’ve always been careful about what I use to clean my iPhone, iPad, and other computing devices. I’m always afraid that I’ll use the wrong thing and mess up the screen. Apparently, it’s fine to use disinfectant wipes on Apple products, at least, so I’ve been getting a bit more aggressive about how I wipe down my devices.
  • Ars Technica has been updating their Coronavirus guide regularly.
  • MIT Technology Review has some good coverage of COVID-19, and they’ve made it available for free. (I think they usually have a paywall of some sort.) The article We’re not going back to normal is a little scary, but interesting.
  • Finally, here’s Alton Brown’s handwashing tutorial. It’s pretty informative, and kind of funny.

Oof. I had a bunch of other thoughts that I wanted to write up here, but I’m kind of exhausted now. My work day is over, I’ve eaten dinner, and maybe it’s time to put the computer down and watch some dumb TV.

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