Kicking Google out of my life, Part 7: Why I relapsed, and will again soon

I've completed my journey to remove Google's services from my life, but a few issues have forced me to relapse.

In June, I set out on a most excellent adventure – to completely remove all traces of Google from my life within 30 days (followed by living, completely de-Googled, for an additional 30 days).

Since that time, I've been chronicling my journey. My personal path to total Google-less-ness: erasing ChromeOS, Android, Gmail, Drive/Docs and Search from my daily life.

Now, I'm a little behind on actually writing up my particular approaches to removing the likes of Google Voice, Maps, and Music (which I will rectify shortly) – but I'm happy to report that, as of July 24th, I have met my goal. I am now, officially, Google-Free™.

Alas, that victory isn't quite as sweet as it should be.

Within days of achieving total, and complete, DeGoogleification…I relapsed. Because I am a weak, weak man.

Remember how I had replaced my Android tablets with a small selection of Linux-powered (but not Android-powered) devices? Well, that approach had – mostly – been working well (emphasis on the "mostly"). Unfortunately, the battery life on both of those (older) devices borders on the abysmal compared to modern tablets.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

One morning I'm getting ready for a long day out and about – running to this errand and that – and I realized that I have nowhere near enough battery to last for the day. Which would leave me without phone, maps, email, music and entertainment for several hours. An unacceptable proposition.

So I grabbed my Nvidia Shield Tablet and used that sweet, sweet Android-powered tablet all day long.

Like I said. I'm weak.

Upon arriving home, I promptly turned off the tablet, stowed it away in a drawer, hopped on and ordered a power inverter for the car. Not exactly ideal, as the battery life on these older machines is still terrible… but at least I can charge them in the car now. And I'm back on track to stay Google-free.

Except for one thing. Well…two things.

I record a podcast with three other gentlemen. We record said podcast via Google Hangouts. Our current setup allows us to dial in guests via the phone while we four co-hosts can sit comfortably on a private video chat and make crude gestures to entertain each other while the guest being interviewed rambles, endlessly, about something or other. It's a system we've used since the beginning and it typically works fairly well.

And, while all of them have been supportive of this (perhaps ridiculous) endeavor of mine, moving all of us over to a new system (which, don't get me wrong, absolutely exists) feels… HARD.

The very notion of moving myself, along with three other stubborn nerds (two of whom I can barely understand half the time), to a new, untested system sounds difficult, at best.

But, and here's the real problem, if anything goes wrong with the new setup – anything that causes a problem with recording our show – I will immediately be blamed for it. I'll not mince words here: I am afraid of what my co-hosts would do to me.

Unless I can summon the courage to force them to make the switch, there is a very real chance I will need to write another article summarizing my additional failure to rid myself of Googliness. I have a few days to do so. Confidence level is low.

Then there's the second thing. And this one stings just a little extra.

By the time you read this article, LinuxCon North America will be kicking off in Seattle. I will, naturally, be there – doing whatever it is I do at conferences. This will include taking and posting pictures on Twitter and whatnot. Which requires a half-way decent camera. I have two. My Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Camera and a Canon DSLR.

And the DSLR isn't working right, with not enough time to get it fixed.

Which leaves me with two options:

  1. Use the super-crummy, low-res camera on the N810 tablet and post fuzzy, terrible pictures for the two minutes my battery lasts, or...
  2. Give in and use the Android-powered camera in front of everyone at LinuxCon. Many of whom will, with utmost certainty, mock and ridicule me (in an oh-so-loving way). Something I am not sure I could resist doing myself, roles reversed.
Obviously, I'll chose the second option. Consequences be damned!

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