Automation & Minimalism

Reddit’s r/selfhosted is an interesting place. They have a significant amount of knowledge regarding open source tools that can be run from a home computer. Most of the tools are incredibly helpful, but many are simply beginner projects that are nothing more than a good idea.

One of the more popular things to self-host is a monitoring dashboard. Grafana is popular, but there are many others that fit various needs. Users on the self-hosted subreddit pride themselves on having massive amounts of information in front of their faces all day. These dashboards include everything from server latency, temperature of thier CPU, banned IP addresses, and even the weather outside.

With all the automation and data that I deal with daily, I have one dashboard: my stock portfolio. It’s not something that’s always open on my desktop. It simply collects data and shows me current status of my stocks. The portfolio is there when needed, but it’s usually an afterthought. In fact, most of my automation doesn’t require me to chase status. The scripts are typically written to notify me if something is wrong or needs attention. Even my massive data gathering scripts at work only notify me if something is wrong.

Whether it’s banking automation, counting down to a meeting, or picking a movie for “Movie & Video Game Night” with my kids, each system delivers the necessary information when it’s needed. I know people who have dedicated TVs for displaying cameras, network status, weather, and anything else imaginable. What’s the point of all that? I suppose they’re the same people that need a watch that acts as a second phone, or dream of a computer strapped to their faces all day.

Perhaps I’m just old and don’t care for all these in-your-face notifications all day. I prefer simplicity, minimalism, and need-to-know.