Self-hosting Sandstorm

I discovered Sandstorm last week while searching for Slack alternatives for the company. What’s the best way to describe Sandstorm? It’s a virtual environment for hosting web applications. Think of it as your very own Google infra, where you can set up mail, blogs, chat, code repositories, file shares, and even games. And it can all be self-hosted.

I got it running over the weekend and I’m pretty impressed with the polish and ease of use. I have it installed on an internal server now and I’m going to see what the team’s response is tomorrow.

Blue Light Menace

I don’t think I’ll ever be truly able to escape the clutches of my smartphone. Even after divesting myself of social media and games, there’s still a huge chunk of my day-to-day activities that’s tied to the system, not counting the actual phone calls and text messages. For one thing, I do my daily expense recording on my phone. For another, that’s also where I do my language learning — currently French and Mandarin — especially handy to have during the down times. And finally, my podcasts and audiobooks. I tried switching to a dumb phone but it didn’t take.

Still, I have made some changes with my relationship. I don’t keep my phone by my bedside anymore. Before I turn in, I leave it in the living room to charge, right beside my tablet. Now it’s no longer the last thing I see at night nor the first thing I see in the morning.

The benefits were readily apparent. I’m able to sleep quickly at night, and soundly, too. When I wake up in the morning, I am more reflective and calm. There’s that feeling of peace when you’re all alone with your thoughts, nothing nagging and persisting for your attention.

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