The Best of 2019
Here is my fifth 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 2018 post here!
See the 2017 post here!
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:
- A Short History of Chaosnet (2018) - Networking for early Lisp machines at MIT in the ’70s.
- Optical Telegraphs: an early Internet (2001) - An interesting look at early visual telegraphs, and networks of them used to exchange information over vast distances.
- The story of the Rendition Vérité 1000 - History of the V1000 video card and how Rendition worked to create the best video card for Quake.
- The story of the 3dfx Voodoo1 - History of 3dfx and their Voodoo cards.
- Communicating Cartridges - A look at a handful of video game cartridges that have built-in modems for online use.
Articles I’ve Written for Other Publications
I’ve continued to write outside of my own site in 2019, but all of this material has gone into NODE VOL 01. Below is a list of articles included in that volume. All articles are freely available by downloading the zine.
- “Editor’s Letter” - An introduction to the zine.
- “Dat Project 101” - Overview of the Dat protocol, including an explanation of underlying technologies and usage.
- “So God Made a Farmer” - A look at farmers as hackers and tinkerers, highlighting issues the idea of ownership and involvement in the Right to Repair movement.
- “Chattervox Tutorial” - Shows how to use Chattervox, an application that allows cryptographically secure chat over amateur radio.
- “Ricochet IM” - Explanation and usage of Ricochet IM, secure chat over the Tor network.
- “Bulletin Board Systems Today” - A list of currently-running bulletin board systems you can access today.
- “Mesh Networking Basics” - Introduction to mesh networking technologies and examples of current mesh groups.
- “MNT Reform: Open Source DIY Laptop” - Showcase of the MNT Reform laptop.
- “Deciphering the Lexicon” - Definitions of common terms for the decentralized world.
Number of Books Read
A disappointing number this year 🙁
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
Mr. Robot (2015)
Reply All, 99% Invisible, My Brother, My Brother and Me, Darknet Diaries
Favorite YouTube Subscriptions
Johnson’s Gee-rage, Vinsauce: The Full Sauce, GameGrumps, DIY Solar Power with Will Prowse, Techmoan
Programming Languages Used for Work/Personal
Life Events of 2019
- Visited Paris.
- Presented at a conference for the first time, Radical Networks 2019.
Life Changing Technologies Discovered
- Othernet - Low-cost satellite datacasting.
- DreamPi - Present-day online play for the Dreamcast using the ubiquitous dial-up adapter interfaced with a Raspberry Pi.
- Plex - While I had previously heard of Plex, I got to use and run it for the first time this year. A big step up from Kodi and Samba shares.
- Anderson Powerpole Connectors - The best power connectors for DC electrical power.
- iFlash - Aftermarket SD card adapters for various models of the iPod. Perfect for replacing againg hard disks with more abundant, more reliable, less expensive storage.
I’ve taken a lot of steps away from Reddit this year and only reduced what I check down to a handful of subreddits.
Unfortunately, BarCamp Philly 2019, Pumpcon 2019, and Radical Networks 2019 were all booked for the same weekend this year. I hope to make it to Pumpcon in 2020!
- BSides Philly 2019 - February 1st in Philadelphia, PA.
- Radical Networks 2019 - October 18th-20th in NYC.
Completed in 2019
- Edited and wrote for NODE VOL 01.
- Worked on magazine scans for Anarchivism (Slowly going through Mondo 2000).
- Refocused Philly Mesh.
- Continued work on Networks of Philly.
- Met some really cool people.
Plans for 2020
- Write for stuff I’ve written for already (NODE, Lunchmeat, Neon Dystopia, 2600).
- Write for new stuff (Do you have a publication that needs writers?), maybe Paged Out!
- Participate in more public server projects (ntp pool, etc.).
- Do more work with packet radio.
- Get a fully-working PBX on NPSTN and connect my vintage phones.
- Restore a vintage payphone I already own.
- Restore a vintage Ms. Pac-Man cocktail cabinet I already own.
- Play with LoRa.
- Build a blue box.
- Start a dial-up ISP?
See you in 2020!