Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Work at home and play at work

This is the second part of an article, leaving the geeky parts alone. Click here if you are a certified network and computer freak (like me :-)

Car pooling in the new part of Avalon Town.

I belong to that group of people (is there such a group, or is it just me LOL) that don't divide work and non-work time very sharply. I am a man after all, so according to popular female theory I can think of just one thing (or one thing at a time perhaps). So, if I am not able to log into work a bit in the evening and finish that bit I was thinking about in the car on my way home (if you are thinking "he drives his CAR to work! Is he not thinking about the environment at all?" then I can tell you I am actually car pooling, but I guess thats another story for another time), I get this claustrophobic feeling.

And if I sit at work and thinks about something or someone in Second Life and are not able to log in a bit, I also get this claustrophobic feeling.

So, I don't acccept a job offer that don't allow me to work in the evening from home, whenever that is more convenient. I have yet to find an employer that raises their eyebrows when I tell them that.

It's a bit harder (to put it mildly) the other way around. The play at work part. I do have a hard time raising hell at work because the firewall stops all sorts of interesting traffic. Like the high UDP ports the SL client needs to work, sigh.

So, for SL access from my office for the 2 years I have been in SL I have used a cellular modem. Yes, sl on the mobile, almost:-)

Its a bit slow. And it makes the computer crash more often than usual (even if my computers are normally female, the exception being Hagrid, my giant kneebreaker of a laptop) and therefore should be able to do several things at once, it seems that the combination of being on the phone while watching me during certain animation cycles is too much for them to handle for a prolonged time.

But now it seems I have found a solution. Yes, it's geeky. It requires me to have a server up and running in my basement all day long. It was a bit of work to search for the proper software after I got the idea for the setup. And it took 2 days to actually make it work. But now it does!

The idea is quite simple: When my computer at work needs to talk to linden labs servers, it should be able to sort of squeeze all the different kind of network accesses, some of which the corporate firewall blocks, into a single thin stream going to my home computer. Then my home computer will unpack the thin stream, do all the dirty network stuff over the dam, get answers and send them back upline that tiny stream that our network admin won't know about:-) All they will see is that there is traffic that indicates someone is accessing a VPN, and all the hired consultant we have a lot of do that all the time to keep in touch with their corporate networks.

I think it was a good idea. And when I started to google around for solutions, I was not surprised to discover that someone else has had the same idea. Although for different needs; I have yet to find anyone using OpenVPN in bridged mode with full redirect to access Second Life from behind a firewall (oops, seems a geeky sentence worked its way into here LOL).

So, what will this do for my second life? Ironically, I have found this at a time where my actual SL addiction is on an all time low. I still love to create and explore and socialize, but there is also so many other good things in life. So I tend to prioritize my SL activities rather sharply, not just goofing around as much. I need SL time to be with a very few close friends on the too rare occations when our online times matches. And I need SL time to script and make this gadgets I find fun and interesting to work with (have I mentioned the Drama Dolls on my blog earlier? Yes, I guess I have LOL).

So, hopefully, this will make life a little bit easier for me, and a bit less frustrating for those I meet "at work", because I won't display as a cloud or walk clumsily around or crash whenever we TP out of the skybox. Perhaps even vitalize SL for me a bit. So if you see me online a bit more but not answering IM's, it could be I am just sitting in my non-polluting car somewhere while RL work demand attention:-)

Maybe even hanging around at some beach while working will be more attractive again:-)


Honour said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the translation! :)

Cristopher Lefavre said...

What to say, I actually wrote the "translation" as you say first:-)