The Best of 2017
Here is my third installment of the best things I’ve found, learned, read, etc. over the past year. These things are listed in no particular order, and may not necessarily be new.
See the 2016 post here!
See the 2015 post here!
This annual “Best Of” series is inspired by @fogus and his blog, Send More Paramedics.
Favorite Blog Posts Read
I end up reading a lot of articles over the course of the year, and cannot possibly remember all of them. Here is a good selection of that ones that I can recall:
- Ghost in a Box: The Haunting History of Television Broadcast Intrusions - Cool article about television signal intrusions, notably the Max Headroom incident.
- The underground story of Cobra, the 1980s’ illicit handmade computer - The story of the underground computer scene in Romania.
- 25 years of HyperCard—the missing link to the Web - A chronicling of the ephemeral HyperCard.
- The Untold Story of Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell’s Visionary 1980s Tech Incubator - Nolan Bushnell, famed CEO of Atari in its heyday, had a tech incubator long before it was commonplace.
- AN OFF-GRID SOCIAL NETWORK - A nice introduction to just what Scuttlebutt is from André Staltz.
- A PLAN TO RESCUE THE WEB FROM THE INTERNET - Another André Staltz post, this one is sort of a call-to-arms regarding how to save the web.
- How the West Was Wired (1997) - Fascinating article about how telephone networks were set up with barbed-wire in rural areas.
- NeXT: Steve Jobs’ dot.com IPO that Never Happened - How NeXT Software narrowly avoided an IPO.
- The Ghost of Invention: A Visit to Bell Labs (2017) - Douglas Coupland takes a trip to Bell Labs, long after its prime.
- The GeoCities Cage at Exodus Communications - A look into the GeoCities server hardware in 1999.
- Turning on, Booting up, and Jacking into Neuromancer (2016) - The insane story of the failed film and eventual video game spawned off of the Neuromancer (1984) novel.
- Tedium.co - Not just one article, everything Ernie writes is amazing.
Articles I’ve Written for Other Publications
I’ve continued to write for a few different places outside of my own site. Here is a complete list for 2017:
- Snoop Unto Them As They Snoop Unto Us - Article for Exolymph where I requested my FBI file and shared the results.
- ‘More Than Just A Game’– Brainscan Review - Article for Neon Dystopia where I review the movie Brainscan (1995).
- Recollecting The Future— An Omni Retrospective - Article for Neon Dystopia where I talk about the history of Omni (1978) magazine.
- Hallucinations For Accelerated Mutants — A Mondo 2000 Retrospective - Article for Neon Dystopia where I discuss the history of Mondo 2000 (1989).
- On Music, Mondo, & Mayhem: An Interview With R.U. Sirius - Article for Neon Dystopia where I interview R.U. Sirius about his work in music and Mondo 2000. Quite possibly the most fun piece of writing I did in 2017.
- Bypass Your ISP’s DNS & Run A Private OpenNIC Server - Article for 2600 (in Volume 34, Issue 3) where I show how to run an OpenNIC DNS server.
Favorite Technical Books Read
- What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (2005) - A fascinating telling of the rise of personal computers, starting back from the era of time-sharing systems.
Favorite Non-Technical Books Read
- Daemon (2006) - Awesome techno-thriller about an autonomous piece of software that slowly starts taking over the world. The book follows those who are trying to stop the daemon program, and those the daemon employs.
Number of Books Read
This year was noticeably disappointing when it came to number of books read. This is likely due to an increase in the amount of podcasts I now listen to.
Still Need to Read
Dream Machines, Literary Machines, Design Patterns, 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
Favorite Music Discovered
Favorite Television Shows
Black Mirror (2011), Game of Thrones (2011) , Mr. Robot (2015), Halt & Catch Fire (2014), Twin Peaks (2017)
Reply All, TLDR, 99% Invisible, Jason Scott Talks His Way Out of It
Programming Languages Used for Work/Personal
Programming Languages I Want To Use Next Year
- Common Lisp - A “generalized” Lisp dialect.
- Go - Sounds like fun for network-oriented programming.
Life Events of 2017
- Visited NYC, New York.
- Visited Nashville, Tennessee.
Life Changing Technologies Discovered
- PC Engines - I recently got an apu2c4 and am impressed by this single-board computer. While I am just experimenting with it right now, the gigabit NICs should prove to help make a great pfSense router.
- Orange Pi Zero - Not as fast as a Raspberry Pi, but for $9USD, this little board can be used for many, many small and inexpensive projects.
- Mastodon - A really nifty federated social networking software package similar to Twitter that I don’t use as much as I should.
/r/darknetplan, /r/cyberpunk, /r/homelab
Completed in 2017
- Wrote for Exolymph, Neon Dystopia, and 2600.
- Worked on magazine scans for Anarchivism (Slowly going through Mondo 2000).
- Went to Strange Loop 2017.
- Did a lot of work on Philly Mesh.
- Set up a public OpenNIC tier 2 server.
- Got connected to dn42.
Plans for 2018
- Write for stuff I’ve written for already (NODE, Lunchmeat, Exolymph, Neon Dystopia, 2600).
- Write for new stuff (Do you have a publication that needs writers?).
- Publish article backlog. I have around 10 articles I have written or partially written that are not online yet.
- Read more books.
- Participate in more public server projects (ntp pool, etc.).
- Continue work for Philly Mesh.
- Do some FPGA projects to get more in-depth with hardware.
- Organization, organization, organization!
- Continue rebooting Raunchy Taco IRC (Have one server and a certificate authority configured).
- Create a new SKS keyserver.
- Assemble an RC2014.
See you in 2018!