Remote Work Update

My desk.
My setup at home. Logitech Camera not pictured.


Over a year ago, I left San Antonio and started working from home in Lexington, KY. (previously)

AV Tools

Microphone: Still very happy with the Meteor microphone.

Camera: Purchased a Logitech HD Portable 1080p Webcam C615 with Autofocus. Works with OSX 10.9.4 well enough. The only pains were reconfiguring various VC software to use the new camera. Hangouts users, beware: every Flash update you must to set your non-default video/mic.

I enjoy the dedicated camera instead of using the one on the MacBook. I work with dual displays, and having to properly position the Macbook or worry about looking into the camera on the Macbook was a bit awkward.

Chat Tools

The majority of my collaboration is on IRC every day. My basic setup uses the Textual client connecting to a ZNC instance running on a server.

I like being very upfront with my status. The usual way I see this done via IRC is ‘nickname’ and ‘nickname_away’ or ‘nickname_zzz’. Don’t do this – it’s the digital equivalent of bad manners. IRC has /away builtin, just use it. Lots of clients are aware of ‘away’ status. ZNC has a nice module called ‘simpleaway‘- when you are not connected to ZNC, it sets your status away.

Turns out you can overshare. After I returned from being idle, help vampires sent messages nearly instantly. ZNC’s ‘antiidle‘ module helps counter this by hiding your real idle time.

Finally, our team worked on IRC bots. Some examples:

  • Single bot command to launch a telepresence/VC session with the entire team
  • Music player control
  • Fun sounds playing in the conference room
  • RSS feed streamed to channel for the team’s Redmine/Jira projects


Remote work is awesome. I’m thankful Rackspace gave me the opportunity for remote work. I’m also thankful the team I work made remote work painless and rewarding.


One thought on “Remote Work Update

  1. Great post! Especially reminding people about the evils of away nicks. Look forward to more remote work tips :}

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