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The Cons of Working Remotely

We will not only talk about the advantages, but also the cons of working remotely. Nowadays people tend to work as distributed teams or working remotely. It does not mean that they should work from home. Instead, they can go to the quiet cafè, a silent public library, or just rent a commercial working space. But yes, the plague makes all of us hibernate inside our caves. Without going further than your bed area, there are so many jobs that can be done in front of our laptop. For example, being a web programmer, writers, translators, or analyst.

The cons of commuting Spending 2-3 hours of your life doing nothing except staring at the congested street. Flushing gazillions of carbon dioxide to the air. Tired body and mind. Bad weather. Let's face it: commuting sucks. By cutting the time you wasted inside the cramped subway or train, will make you have enough time for the other things that more productive.

Secondly, the cost of commuting is not cheap. The gas, the public transport tic…
Recent posts

Fight COVID-19 by the 10,000 Movement

The storm is still coming. The sky is full of uncertainties. No single silver lining is seen, not even a dot one. Maybe for the next few months. We don't exactly know for sure. Every day seems harder than a day before. More and more people die. Millions can not go to work, nor school. Fear comes each moment the news from the WHO broadcasted. The sound of thunders filling in our heart, search for the optimism, and kill it mercilessly.

We are afraid that the coronavirus will infect us and makes us sick. We are afraid to die within 14 days. But billions of people are worried they can not feed their families this very day. If we are infected, we still have plenty of time cleaning our browsing history. They don't.

Wash hands? They don't even have enough clean water to drink. If they afford to buy a bar of soap, they will buy some food. Work from home? First, they need work. Then, they need homes. Most of them are jobless, homeless, or both. Social distancing? You should see som…

Scheduling Google SQL Instances

During this hard time, it is important to reduce the cost of our server. Currently, we have 3 running staging/development SQL instances. All of them use PostgreSQL 9.6. We already decrease the vCPU and memory to save some money, but we don't stop just right there. This article will try to explain the details of how we make a "schedule" to start and stop our staging of Google Cloud SQL instances.

The key concept is pretty straightforward. You only run the SQL instance when you work on it. Just like what we do on our Google Cloud Compute Engine on the previous post. Unfortunately, there is a small issue: Google Cloud SQL doesn't provide an "SDK-way" to start or stop the instance. So the workaround is using the "gcloud" command under the Compute Engine within the very same Google Cloud project.

Here is the breakdown of what we aim to do.
Create a Compute Engine, and enable the Google Cloud SQL API access scope.Edit the cronjob that calls the gcloud co…

Scheduling Google Compute Instances with Cloud Scheduler

Our company needs to save some cost for the running staging instances. Since the instance and any related resources are used only when we are at work, we need the instance to be available only at working hours, or from Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. It approximately reduces our cost to roughly 45%. A huge diff.

The Ingredients We need the following components from Google Cloud:
Google Cloud Scheduler: to run a function at an exact day/time.Google Cloud Functions: to start and stop our compute instances.Google Cloud Pub/Sub: as a bridge or messenger from the Cloud Scheduler to the  Cloud Functions.Lastly, the Google Cloud Compute Engine Instances. Each of those will cost us money, but the good news is we will work under the fair usage policy so it can be said that all of those will be free of charge. For example, now Google Cloud gives us 93x each month for Cloud Functions. That means if we only use it twice a day (to start and stop the instance), it will cost us nothing.

We also can use the…

Create a Minimalist Office at Home

This will be the last article of my series on making a home-office workstation wanna-be. The minimalist office is a trend as people tend to work at home instead of spending hours commuting to office nowadays. The reason behind this is that I don't wanna bring my heavy MacBook Pro back and forth from home to office. Besides, I only need a light-computation like typing, editing an image using Canva, or just watching some screencast on YouTube.

We already have a small desk (using dirt-cheap PVC pipes and foldable table) and a DIY tablet stand. For the peripherals, I also have a 10-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab A, a Bluetooth (and silent) keyboard, and a Bluetooth mouse. I often use some keyboard shortcuts, so we can ignore the needs of the mouse.

Let's break them down.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A with 10-inch Display This device is more than enough for typing. If you type, you type with your heart. The 'thinking' part comes after that.

For the editing, change some typos, or replace so…

DIY Tab Stand Using PVC

I think this will be the simplest tablet stand for my Samsung Galaxy Tab A with a 10-inch display. The main idea (at the end) is to make a super-duper tiny and minimalist home office consists of a desk and chair, a tab, a tablet stand, a Bluetooth keyboard, and a Bluetooth (and silent) mouse. You may already read how I made my desk using a pair of PVC table legs, and a folded top table.

Each week, I will try to post about each item needed for our Zen-wannabe home-office. This article will focus on how we make a tablet stand using a half-inch of PVC pipes, and some fittings. We use PVC pipes for almost all of our project since they are pretty cheap and flexible enough. Combined with some fittings, we can easily make any kind of shapes.

What we need:

- 2 x T-shape fittings
- 1 x straight fittings
- 2 x L-shape fittings
- 30 cm half-inch PVC pipes
- An iron saw to cut the pipe
- Some iron glue, or any similar one.

First. Cut the pipes to your preference. For example, you may cut longer if…

DIY Table Legs with PVC for Under $5

I now have two pieces of IKEA Lerberg table legs. It's a great product and has a minimalist design. But the price was about $20 each. My pocket is not deep enough, so I decided to make a similar structure but with cheaper materials. Half inch PVC pipes come in rescue. The total cost for the entire project is about IDR 65,000 or still under 5 dollars.

For this DIY project, we need to make two table legs. Each leg needs:

1 x 21.5 cm: middle leg (bottom)
1 x 18.3 cm: middle segment
2 x 17.8 cm: lower legs (right and left)
4 x 10.9 cm: this depends on your top table's width
2 x 47 cm: upper legs (right and left)
1 x 43.9 cm: middle leg (upper)
5 x T-shape fittings
2 x L-shape fittings

Each leg needs about 2.6 metres so in total we need ~5.2 metres. That means 2 x 4 metres half inch pipes. Each 4 m pipe costs about IDR 18,000. Each fitting costs about IDR 2,000. We also need an iron saw. I get one for about IDR 5,000, but I am a little bit disappointed about the quality. The IDR 20…