Working from home
I've been working from home for a couple of months now. Not working for myself, you understand, but working for my corporate masters from a remote location.
Very remote. Almost 2000 miles, if you can believe the Mapquest directions. However, those directions include a detour through Tierra del Fuego for some reason, so it may be a handful less than that.
All in all it's been working well; it allows me a lot more time to spend with my family (son of 3, wife of unaging beauty) and for cooking. The occasional shot of a naked butt (the child's) shooting past in the background of video conferences, stuff like that.
There are tools that improve the life of a permanent telecommuter. I'll be talking about them at some point. There are things that make life harder, and trying to work with multiple computers (some PC/Win, some Mac OS X) when most of your data is remote is one of them. Right now I'm synchronizing data down on a regular basis, but that makes for some interesting juggles.
Case in point: Citrix. A marvelous tool, and one that allows me to do many things as if I were sitting on the network 2,000 miles (give or take) away. I'd like to give the impression to my co-workers (and bosses) that I'm really not far away, and Citrix lets me do that to some level, but... it doesn't do NetMeeting worth a damn, and drag/drop, copy/paste from local to non-local apps is twitchy at best. It works so well that the places it doesn't are more annoying than they should be.
I use Citrix mostly for Outlook, even though I have Outlook 2003 installed locally as well. But since we have a limit on mailbox sizes, I have to go through and archive mail off every so often. This I do on Citrix, since my PST files are up on the file/print network share (most of my synchronization is currently one-way, down from the network to local).
As I'm writing about this, I'm thinking of a million different things to try in order to fix these issues, but almost all of them require me to take time away from what I should really be doing and testing, tweaking, trying out configurations. I have an appalling tendency to spend a lot more time working on the environment than working on the task at hand; it's the equivalent of a developer endlessly tweaking the IDE rather than coding. So I'll just this on the backburner with the million other things crowding that part of the stove.