Why IT and IT outsourcing is least affected by quarantine and WFH

I was a bit surprised to find out how many companies in different industries – according to what I can see in news and social media – were not prepared to WFH for such seemingly trivial reasons as low usage of collaboration tools. And I don’t mean audio/video conference tools – demand for which has obviously skyrocketed recently – but rather tools like issue trackers (like JIRA, Rally, Trello etc), document systems, collaborative tools (like Google Docs/Sheets/Drive etc, Office365 and the likes), security measures (VPNs, secure remote access tools etc) and the like.
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What working from home under CoViD-19 quarantine has taught me

Prologue
The SARS-CoV-2 virus and CoViD-19 disease it causes have led to lockdowns/quarantines all around the globe, which forced many companies to make their workforce (mostly office workers, for whom it was actually possible) to work from home. Or, as many call it now – WFH.

Some companies are struggling with it, while others see WFH as a reduction in rent and other expenses, and are even considering continuing WFH for at least part of their workforce past quarantine.

But what impact does WFH have on productivity of office workers? Working in IT outsourcing I can only speak about it’s impact on this business, but I presume many aspects will match other businesses as well.
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VMWare frustrations

I am a sad customer of VMWare as I have bought VMWare Fusion for macOS and had constant issues running it. I’ve tried getting support, they told me to uninstall and reinstall VMWare over and over, but this never solved anything.

In the end I have found solution myself, but only after I’ve given up on using VMWare Fusion literally for years.

At worst VMWare support asked me to provide full remote access to my laptop, which is impossible since I use it for work and it contains information on my clients I am not at liberty to disclose to third-parties. Knowing that I can’t do that they practically found a way not to provide me any support.

Anyhow, for couple of years I had no need to use VMWare Fusion and it was just sitting there, but recently I had a need to using it again and encountered same issues as previously – it had failed to run some “peer process”, most often it was /dev/vmmon
Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 12.32.26.png
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Air Conditioner control via Apple HomeKit and desktop app

Summer is a good time to work a bit on DIY smart-home air conditioner (AC) controls.

If you happen to have WiFi enabled Cooper&Hunter and/or Gree ACs – you’re lucky, because those support an easy to integrate with protocol, details of which one can find here: https://github.com/tomikaa87/gree-remote

In order to do so using Java I’ve implemented my own library: https://github.com/mvmn/ACControl

And using that library I’ve created two solutions for AC control – a desktop app that works great, and a HomeKit automation that is in a Proof-of-Concept state right now because of limitations and connectivity issues I’ve encountered using HAP (HomeKit Accessory Protocol).

Here’s how they look:

ACControl on macOS.png
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