Reflecting on 2017 & wishes for 2018

fIgnoring politics and world issues, I actually had a pretty good 2017. I learned a lot, made some new programs, set up servers, and did lots of fun stuff in 2017. Here’s what I did last year, and what I’m looking forward to do this year.

 

Looking back at 2017 thanks to site posts, Instagram posts, my memory, and not Snapchat because that loads too slow, I was up to some fun stuff.

 

Python development

My “starting” of Python development was a highlight of 2017. In the latter part of 2016, I was working on PyTerm and trying to tip-toe around the spaghetti code that it was, and adding useless features that no one cared about. I was about halfway through the development of PyTerm when I decided to switch tracks and began working on a script that would output the weather with the Dark Sky API.

Things changed from the initial plan (I ended up using Wunderground’s API), and active development began in February 2017, and is still ongoing. PyWeather has come a long way in a little less than a year, with nearly 1,000 commits, 30 stars and 8 forks on GitHub. I’ve also received at least a dozen pull requests from contributors, and I’m really happy of how far it’s come.

Thanks to PyWeather being my primary project for 2017, I’ve learned lots about APIs, parsing .json files & config files, along with some extra stuff as well. It’s been a fun year for Python development all around.

 

Systems Administration growth

During 2017 I’ve gained more experience with managing servers and configuring new software. I made a huge migration from HostGator to OVH in February 2017, and managed to set up and still run two VPSes with Apache, mySQL, phpMyAdmin, and Mailinabox. I’ve continued to grow in my knowledge of running servers with Ubuntu Server.

In addition, I’ve been able to play around with new services that are now a part of my home network. At the tail end of 2016 I said goodbye to AsusWRT and headed over to AdvancedTomato land on my router, and it’s been running rock solid so far. I’ve been using UrBackup on my network since March 2017, and had to “migrate” (as in delete all data and switch to a second server) onto a 2 TB RAID 0 array in December. I’ve been running FreeNAS on the network since March 2017 as well, and I recently began running Pi-Hole towards the latter end of 2017.

Of course I’m not done, and I was able to experimentally set up game management software on 7 computers all running Ubuntu Server. It ran, but I eventually abandoned the idea as managing it became awfully hard.

 

LineageOS compiling

For a solid 4 months I was compiling unofficial LineageOS for the vs980/ls980. The efforts began in April 2017 as when I got my VZW G2 a month earlier it didn’t have official LineageOS. This taught me a lot of things, and was mostly trial-and-error for the first week, as I tried compiling on a slow machine with only 3 GB of RAM, and eventually had to switch over to a VM later on. I kept compiling until August 2017, and filled in when all official support was lost for the G2 in the summer. I stopped compiling after I lost interest, and it became more of a chore than something fun to do.

Thankfully, the new manager of LineageOS for the LG G2 does compile unofficial builds for the VZW G2. Overall, I had fun compiling for the G2 for the four months that I did it, and I gained the experience on how to do it again if I ever want to.

 

Web development and administration

While there isn’t anything notable that I can remember, I was able to set up a myBB board earlier in the year. Along with that, I kept maintaining websites as I do, while also deleting older websites that became unused.

 

Personal technology and other random things

Naming sections is hard!

Anyhow, when it came to personal technology and what I got it was an interesting year for sure. The most memorable part was when I finally achieved an Apple-free life this summer. I got an XPS 13 that I still love in August, ending the nearly 7 year reign that Apple products had on my life as daily drivers (the NAS doesn’t count shh…).

I also managed to experiment with Linux as a daily driver OS, twice. In March 2017, I decided to install Kubuntu 16.10 on my MacBook Air, and long story short…things went downhill fast. However, just last month I installed KDE neon on my XPS, and I’m enjoying it so far.

In other news, I got some phones this year. Tablets, sure. I finally got my grandpa’s iPhone 3GS, and that’s basically the accomplishment of the year.

 

In terms of gaming, while I’m not a huge gaming person it was a fun year otherwise. In the former part of the year I purchased Kerbal Space Program, kept up with Cities:Skylines still hammering away at my CPU, and got a Nintendo Switch for Christmas and I’m still playing…SUPER MARIO ODYSSEEEYYYYYYYYY! I also got a fair share of F1 games, Rocket League, and yet-to-play Portal 2. I’m busy damn it!

I managed to criticize code.org. Oh, they haven’t responded back, I think.

I managed to make a Santa Tracker live stream that accumulated over 100,000 views and had 1200 viewers on at once. AND YOU BET I’LL BE DOING IT AGAIN!

 

Well then, what a busy 2017! Here’s my hopes for 2018 and what I’d like to do in this year.

 

More Python development & less slacking

In 2018, I’d really like to stop slacking off with Python development and start pushing to develop on a daily basis. Towards the end of 2017 I really started to slack on PyWeather, and it’s been evident this holiday season, as I last committed nearly a week ago. I haven’t published a newsletter in a month, and things are falling behind.

To remedy this situation, I’m going to set goals to develop for at least 30-45 minutes a day to make some form of progress with PyWeather. Any progress is good progress, and hopefully I can make this a habit, and even increase the daily developing time to 1 hour.

Along with that, I’d like to set some goals as to learning new Python skills this year. Learning how to package up PyWeather into a .exe format is something I’m hoping to accomplish soon. I’d like to start fooling around with making actual libraries, and maybe even a basic Wunderground API wrapper at some point. As an extension of learning how to make libraries, I’m hoping to get down functions and classes, and to avoid spaghetti code.

Additionally, I’m thinking about new projects to start working on with Python. Potential options include a full blown Wunderground API wrapper, “AggregateWeather” which would aggregate the weather from multiple sources, or alternatively starting some sort of Django project. I would absolutely do deep learning & AI, but the constraint there is math experience, as I’m only halfway through Algebra 2. I’m hoping that 2019 will be the year of doing those projects.

 

Exploring more ways to sysadmin

Something else I’d like to do this year is tinker around with more distributions for servers, new services, and stuff I’m yet to figure out.

On the top of the list this year is figuring out how to properly use Wine with the .NET Framework and the XNA framework for a program I’m trying to run, and setting up an OpenVPN server on Ubuntu. Very much short-term stuff, but that’s regardless of the main point.

The main point is getting to know additional distros and software for systems administration. I’ve set sights on getting the basics down in Debian and CentOS, and learning the ropes of nginx in 2018, and maybe even setting up a mail server on my own. This doesn’t mean that I’ll be changing the OS my servers run presently, but I’d really like to see about tooling around with new software.

 

Jumping back into web development/administration

2017 was not a good year for me in terms of web development and administration. I’ve been “cleaning” up my web server for 6 months (I’m the King of Procrastination actually, finishing up would only take 20 minutes), and maybe I’ll stop slacking off and finish up. In addition, I’d like to search around, and try to set up new services that I’ll need to explore.

In addition, I’d also like to redesign this website in 2018 at some point and freshen things up with a revamp. Updating the project pages, getting rid of some old plugins, and generally sweeping up the dust is something I’d like to do this year.

 

Other things that I’ll probably do in 2018

Do an easter bunny tracker live stream sigh

I’ve got 700 subs now what do you expect me not to do

 

I’ll be playing KSP more, I guess. I need to finish my F1 2016 career. Play Portal 2…i guess. Oh, right. Homework. Ugghhh. Studying. Ugggghhhh. Less slacking.

 

As 2017 has already ended, and 2018 has begun, it’s time to start cracking down on my slacking problem, and get to work on these “New Year Resolutions”.

 

Merry New Year!

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