2020 in review

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Learning a bit of Go

I wrote a simple utility in Go to view Linux TC qdiscs and classes in a way I find easier to understand. I wanted something easy to write and statically compiled so it would run on any system with a minimal amount of fuss. I found Go very easy to pick up, I have looked at a bit before when looking into how InfluxDB handles things. I really enjoyed the built in tooling for doing things like formatting code and compiling and running in a single command. I hope to focus a bit more strongly on some Go projects in 2021.

Working from home

With the global pandemic of COVID-19 forcing a change in work style, I started working from home full time and found it easy to adapt to. This lead to me thinking about finding a new job as other companies were becoming more open to remote workers.

I am very fortunate to work in an industry where being fully remote is now a fully realized possibility, at least one good thing has come from this virus.

Learning a bit of Nim

I started on a GameBoy emulator written in Nim, which I cleverly named Nimboy. Nim is a very interesting language, which can write very performant code but is nearly as easy to write as Python. I hope to regain focus and finish this project, because I have been enjoying learning what goes into making an emulator work along with all the interesting details about how the CPU and other components work together to run an application.

I also wrote a simple decision making website in Nim, except compiling to JavaScript instead of C. I have already written a post about this.

Flag voting website

I’ve already covered this in a blog post but it was a fun project to work on, and the website is still active for more votes. It was fun to work on and see the results come in from the people interested in casting votes.

I may spend more time on this in 2021 to see how different ways of counting votes can change the outcomes, or doing some plotting of how certain flags are considered over time.

Changing career

in November I left my job of 9 years at Multapplied and joined Tucows. The increase of nearly 2 orders of magnitude in the number of employees has taken some getting used to, however I am very much enjoying the new technology, methodologies and people I am now working with.

Rethinking my stance on container applications

I used to be very opposed to systems like docker, as I would rather just run applications directly than have all these extra layers of abstractions and complexity. I upgraded my VPS to Fedora 33 and several of my Django applications broke as their virtual environments had to be recreated due to a change of the version of Python to 3.9. If these were run as Docker or Podman containers then this would not have been a problem. I also setup my home router to export some metrics to InfluxDB and display then with Grafana. I ran these as Podman containers on my local server and found it easy to manage the storage and network port mappings.

In 2021 I hope to have a more firm understanding of systems like Docker and see what it is like to manage my own applications in that manner.

Handling a toddler

My son became 2 years old this year and has been learning many words like “no”. He has gotten really good at playing without constant attention which is nice for my wife and I to spend more time on our own activities while he plays in his own world. It will be exciting to see how he grows in 2021 as his use of language grows and he can better express his desires.

Top games of the year

This isn’t a list of the top games that came out in 2020, but the top games I enjoyed playing in 2020.

Hades

I love roguelikes, and this one is no exception. It has a nice form of progression to keep things fresh and has an absolutely insane amount of voiceover for all the communication between characters. I couldn’t put this game down until after I beat it, and still see myself wanting to come back for more.

Deep Rock Galatic

One of the best co-op games of recent times, its very fun to go through the randomly generated caves complete all the objectives. I’ve been playing since early access and still keep coming back.

Divinity: Original Sin 2

I’ve already beaten this game many times, both in solo and co-op with a friend. In 2020 I started a 4 player co-op playhrough with many mods which brought new life to the game. I hope that Baldur’s Gate 3 is just as good if not better than this.

StarCraft 2

StarCraft 2 celebrated its 10th anniversary with the addition of a new achievement to every level in each of the campaigns. It was incredibly fun to go back and play through all those levels after so long and earning some of the achievements was a bit difficult.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

I’ve been enjoying playing through the Halo games again as they became released on the PC. With Halo 4 released this year it is finally complete, since there are no plans to bring Halo 5 this way. Despite Halo 4 being the worst of the bunch to end on, I did greatly enjoy playing through all of these games and will be spending some more time trying to unlock more of the many achievements available.

Cyberpunk 2077

Not the most stable, performant or bug-free game released this year, even on the PC but I kept coming back until I reached the end. I plan to revisit this game once the developers have had some more time to iron out some of the bugs and hopefully improve the performance.

Monster Hunter: World

The Iceborne expansion came out early in 2020 and sucked me right back into this game. I generally like the changes that the expansion brought in, and the increased diversity in the monsters and environments helps prevent the game from getting too repetitive too quickly. I wrote a Monster Hunter: World Iceborne review with some more details.

DOOM Eternal

I actually preferred DOOM 2016 more than this, I did write a DOOM Eternal review on this going into more detail about it already. but I still did enjoy it but don’t see myself coming back to play it again.

Written Wednesday, 30 December 2020

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