The Best of 2016
Here is my second installment of the best things I’ve found, learned, read, etc. These things are listed in no particular order, and may not necessarily be new.
This annual “Best Of” series is inspired by @fogus and his blog, Send More Paramedics.
Favorite Blog Posts Read
- OpenSSL Certificate Authority (2013) - Incredible guide to becoming your own certificate authority. I highly recommend it to anyone generating TLS certs.
- The Ars guide to building a Linux router from scratch - Nice guide about building a Linux-based router with cheap components.
- Satellite Pirates (1994) - In-depth coverage about the satellite television piracy scene from the ’80s and early ’90s.
- Ocelot: The story of a torrent tracker (2010) - Originally posted on What.cd in 2010, this post outlines the development of the Ocelot torrent tracker software.
- Uncanny Valley - Written by Anna Wiener, this article is a bit of a snapshot of Silicon Valley culture from a worker’s perspective. A lot of tones you would get from a Bret Easton Ellis or Douglas Coupland novel.
- On Reading Issues of Wired from 1993 to 1995 - Another Anna Wiener article which mirrors a lot of what I feel with archiving old tech magazines.
- 1500 Archers on a 28.8: Network Programming in Age of Empires and Beyond - Amazing article about the technological solution to get machines playing Age of Empires synchronized over a network.
- Obsolesced: The Rise and Fall of the Gopher Protocol - Complete history of the Gopher protocol and the people who created it.
- Peter Molyneux’s Kingdom in a Box - From the Digital Antiquarian, I want to work through reading this whole site. This article covers Peter Molyneux’s start in game development and the creation of Populous.
- Will Wright’s City in a Box - A second from the Digital Antiquarian. This article covers Will Wright’s creation of Sim City.
- Turning on, Booting up, and Jacking into Neuromancer - A third from the Digital Antiquarian. Interesting coverage of what happened to the Neuromancer film rights and the creation of the Neuromancer video game.
- I Bought Some Awful Light Bulbs So You Don’t Have To - A thorough article about a smart light bulb purchased from Amazon that was incredibly insecure.
- Meet Moxie Marlinspike, the Anarchist Bringing Encryption to All of Us - An article about Moxie Marlinspike and his work on Signal.
- The Long Life of a Quick ‘Fix’ (2015) - Covers the creation of border gateway protocol and the known flaws baked in since its inception.
- Mondo 1995: Up and Down With the Next Millennium’s First Magazine (1995) - An incredible article about the entire life and death of Mondo 2000.
Articles I’ve Written for Other Publications
I’ve continued to write for a few different outlets, and still find it a lot of fun. Here is the total list for 2016.
- Building DIY Community Mesh Networks (Amazon link, it will be freely available online soon!) - An article I wrote for 2600 about building wireless mesh networks with off-the-shelf hardware. Inspired by my work with PhillyMesh and showcasing cjdns.
- The Evolution of Digital Nomadics - For NODE, this article speaks to the digital nomad movement, covering the origins, Steven K. Roberts, and the possible future.
- The Hermicity Interview – Drones, DAO, & Deliverable Soylent - For NODE, an article about Hermicity, an ambitious project to deliver Soylent via drones and Ethereum.
- Hyperboria 101 - Moving Through the Mesh - For NODE, this introductory article covers the Hyperboria mesh network.
- It’s Warm, Like Flesh - For Exolymph, this article discusses the OSCAR modular life video.
- I2P 101 - Inside the Invisible Internet - For NODE, this introductory article covers I2P, the anonymous overlay network.
Favorite Technical Books Read
I haven’t read as much this year as previously
- The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary - Really cool book about early community software development practices (at least that’s what I got out of it). Also covers some interesting history on the start of time-sharing systems and move to open-source platforms.
- Computer Lib - An absolute classic, the original how-to book for a new computer user, written by Ted Nelson. I managed to track down a copy for a *reasonable* price and read the Computer Lib portion. Still need to get through Dream Machines.
Favorite Non-Technical Books Read
- Computing Across America: The Bicycle Odyssey of a High-Tech Nomad - The original digital nomad Steven K. Roberts documents his high-tech bicycle trip across the United States.
Number of Books Read
Favorite Music Discovered
Favorite Television Shows
Black Mirror (2011), Game of Thrones (2011) , Westworld (2016)
Programming Languages Used for Work/Personal
Programming Languages I Want To Use Next Year
- Common Lisp - A “generalized” Lisp dialect.
- Clojure - A Lisp dialect that runs on the Java Virtual Machine
- Go - Really interested to see how this scales with concurrent network programming.
- Crystal - Speedy like go, pretty syntax.
Still Need to Read
Dream Machines, Literary Machines, Design Patterns, 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
Life Events of 2016
- Got married.
- Became a homeowner.
Life Changing Technologies Discovered
- Amazon Echo - Not revolutionary, but has a lot of potential to change the way people interact with computers more so than Siri or Google Now. The fact that I can keep this appliance around and work with it hands free gives me a taste of how we may interact with the majority of our devices within the next decade.
- IPFS - A distributed peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol. May one day replace torrents, but for now it is fun to play with.
- Matrix - A distributed communication platform, works really well as an IRC bridge or replacement. Really interested to see where it will go. Anyone can set up a federated homeserver and join the network.
/r/cyberpunk, /r/sysadmin, /r/darknetplan
Completed in 2016
- Wrote more for NODE, wrote for Exolymph (see above).
- Wrote an article for 2600 (see above).
Find my missing Leatherman.Okay, I bought a new (old) one, original Leatherman PST. Also got an old Gerber MP600.
- Released a mobile app.
- Worked on magazine scans for Anarchivism.
- Went to some conferences, Strange Loop and BSides Philly.
- Set up nodes for Philly Mesh.
- Scanned every issue of bOING bOING, a few issues of Mondo 2000 (which got mentioned in a Boing Boing article).
- Participated in the Future Sex Archive Project (which got mentioned in a VICE article).
- Created a Tor middle relay.
Plans for 2017
- Write for stuff I’ve written for already (NODE, Lunchmeat, Exolymph, 2600)
- Write for new stuff (Neon Dystopia, Active Wirehead, ???, [your project here])
- Set up a public OpenNIC tier 2 server.
- Participate in more public server projects (ntp pool, dn42, etc.)
- Continue work for Philly Mesh.
- Do some FPGA projects to get more in-depth with hardware.
- Organization, organization, organization!
- Reboot Raunchy Taco IRC.
See you in 2017!