The work on NTPsec is going very well. Unfortunately, since we lost our CII funding in September, my personal situation isn’t.
Ever since the
Destroy Full-time Employment Affordable Care Act smashed my wife’s legal job out of existence, we’ve felt under some pressure at Chez Raymond. While Cathy was full-time employed, my earnings from royalties and consulting contracts were what we saved against a rainy day or retirement. Since then we’ve had to live on what I make and occasional legal piecework.
The NTPsec funding came on-stream just as we were starting to worry seriously about money. That kept us out of trouble for a little over a year, but now that’s gone, and the legal piecework market is apparently flooded with attorneys whose jobs were also crushed by the ACA around the same time my wife’s was. It’s a buyer’s market and a lot of what she’s being offered these days is not just scutwork, but would barely cover her expenses after travel.
(For reasons I don’t understand, law seems to have been hit harder by the ACA employer mandate than any other professional field except higher education. I hear non-tenured faculty are even hungrier than lawyers these days.)
So now it’s been five months since either of us has been drawing anything like a salary. We’re burning savings, and Cathy – who grew up poor and thus finds a state of no income viscerally terrifying in a way I do not – has started to look like a shell-shock victim. This is damaging my morale.
The only bright spot is my Patreon feed. Right now it’s pulling $1,392 a month, which is actually rather a lot for Patreon but nowhere near enough to cover our living expenses. That would take about $3,000 a month; the big items are mortgage and medical insurance driven stratospherically up in cost by the same disastrous government bungling that cost my wife her job. Then, of course, there’s income tax; with that I figure we’d need $5K a month to be sure of keeping our heads above water.
Thus, even with the Patreon, we’re fast approaching the point where if someone were to offer me a day job, I’d have to take it. And that would be unfortunate for the long term; the infrastructure work I’m doing and expect to do in the future is tremendously important. Somebody’s going to need to design and field NTPv5 to fully cover the IPv6 transition, and it looks increasingly like that somebody needs to be me.
To everyone reading this who is already contributing to my Patreon feed as an individual, Cathy and I thank you. Someday the rest of the world may be grateful, too.
Now I’m appealing to those of you at corporations and institutions. If you use open-source software (including, say, the browser you’re reading this through) you almost certainly rely on code I wrote every day. Soon, you’ll very likely be relying on my code to provide time service for your computers.
If you have purchase authority for software, please use it to sign your company or institution up as an “Institutional Supporter” of my Patreon account. For $100 per month, you will help ensure that all 50+ of my projects stay under maintenance – and your organization will be listed as a sponsor every time I do a project release after you sign up.
Please don’t wait; do it now. Don’t kid yourself that essential infrastructure like time service is somebody else’s problem; it’s your problem, and this is how you can be sure it gets solved.