Here is my eighth 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. As time goes on, certain categories that show up in one year may disappear in another, or a new one might pop up. This is all fairly normal as I explore new things and abandon old ones.
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 selection of the ones that I can recall:
- Searching for Susy Thunder (2022) - Claire Evans tracks down little-known computer hacker Susy Thunder who was a contemporary with Kevin Mitnick and Lewis DePayne. This article pairs incredibly well with Evans’ book Broad Band.
- Installing a payphone in my house (2022) - Great article about installing a payphone in one’s house. Came out about the time I started messing with payphones myself.
Things I Wrote
I wrote a handful of articles this year for my own site. I definitely did not write as many as I wish I could have, and I definitely have a backlog of stuff that needs to be written up. I often say that a lot of my writing is sort of like notes for myself that I clean up and publish so that other people don’t have to do the hours/days/months of research and troubleshooting I end up doing. Hopefully some of it is useful.
- Call Your Asterisk PBX From A Home Phone Line - After some time having my Asterisk PBX running with some phones and a VoIP-based dial-in number, I wanted to hook in my home-phone line. I was able to do so using an OBi110 which has both FXS/FXO jacks!
- Create a Dialup/Telnet Bridge - I had successfully run some dial-up services, but I really wanted to figure out how to allow users calling in to my machine to telnet different resources or spawn other applications. Luckily
mgettymakes this easy!
- Plus a bunch more for PhilTel.
Number of Books Read
Three books read this year!
- Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet (2018) - This book captures the rarely-told stories of women who helped shape computing from the conception of computers through the dot-com bubble. Stories I thought I knew were completely flipped on their head, and I heard many more about events I never knew happened.
- Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World (2019) - The Cult of the Dead Cow were a major hacking group in the 1980’s but I never truly understood how their members went on to shape modern computing and the Internet as we know it. There are numerous stories and factoids in here that give a great view of how the CDC grew and operated.
- How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (2016) - Exactly what it says on the tin, this book captures all of the failures by the Soviets in trying to construct an Internet to manage their economy.
Still Need to Read
Not to mention a bunch more.
I recently received Minitel which I hope to start soon.
Favorite Music Discovered
Favorite Television Shows
No changes to favorite television shows this year, I find myself watching less and less television.
- The Grand Tour (2016) - A repeat this year, I very much like watching the guys go on long journeys where they make fun of one another.
- Taskmaster (2015) - Another repeat, Taskmaster is a hilarious show where celebrities (usually comedians) compete in a series of challenges. I have a great time watching how everyone has a different approach to each challenge.
I don’t listen to podcasts fairly often anymore but here are a few that I find myself enjoying.
- My Brother, My Brother and Me - A great comedy podcast featuring three brothers answering user-submitted advice questions.
- Your Kickstarter Sucks - A comedic podcast that dissects bad Kickstarters.
- Advent Of Computing - An incredibly well-researched podcast focusing on different pieces of computer history. I recommend the episodes on ALOHANet and Cybernetics.
Favorite YouTube Subscriptions
I’ve been watching a lot more YouTube this year, even more than last year (which I didn’t think was possible). I tend to focus on informative channels these days, and the following are some of my favorites.
- Vinesauce: The Full Sauce - Fourth year for this one, I really just love watching Vinny play weird, bad, or otherwise strange games for hours.
- Techmoan - Another repeat. I don’t think anyone comes close to being able to showcase obsolete technology as well as Techmoan does, and I am still surprised that he is able to find new things to show off.
- Technology Connections - Third year for this one. I really appreciate learning about mundane devices that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought about and the engineering that goes (or doesn’t go) into them.
- Cathode Ray Dude - Fantastic channel showing off old technology and how it works. Videos are expertly researched and produced, especially considering it is all done by one person. A lot of the content is focused on video production hardware, but this is not a hard rule and I end up learning a lot about strange computer devices as well.
- themaritimegirl - Flo shows a ton of enthusiasm as she walks through old technology, showing what she has learned about it and documenting what she tries next!
Programming Languages Used for Work/Personal
Life Events of 2022
Awesome Technologies Discovered
- NABU - These have received a surge of popularity recently. The NABU PC was a 1980’s Z80-based PC that would load all of its software at boot over the cable television network. Recent popularity has created an opportunity for developers to create NABU Network simulators so the NABU PC can be used today.
- Insignia - A completely free revival of the original Xbox Live network for the original Xbox. Currently, 50 games are supported and more are being added all the time.
- mgetty - Okay, I had heard of
mgettybefore but only this year was I able to leverage it for dial-in access on a Linux machine. I was really impressed that it could not only be used for dial-up Internet, but also console login and as a traffic controller to launch other applications like
Completed in 2022
- Launched PhilTel
- Gave three talks for Networks Of Philly.
- Upgraded my dial-up ISP.
- Finished building a phreaking blue-box.
Plans for 2023
- Continue growing PhilTel.
- Organize a Networks of Philly walking tour (and update the website).
- Move Anarchivism off of MediaWiki. Have you moved a MediaWiki installation to Jekyll/Hugo? Let me know.
- Better maintain my personal wiki.
- Do more stuff with packet radio, play with POCSAG.
- Restore a vintage Ms. Pac-Man cocktail cabinet.
- Do more analog video stuff.
See you in 2023!