paritybit.ca

Now

This is my monthly log. It describes what I’ve been up to recently and what I’m currently working on. Learn more about now pages here.

July 2022

Over the past several months I’ve been recovering from being burned out due to, well, probably more things than I know of, but certainly trying to finish university during the pandemic. In hindsight, I can see the signs of burnout were there since late 2018 and they came to a head in 2020/2021. Thankfully I’m in a much better place now, but I think still not fully recovered. Perhaps that warrants a blog post of its own, but that’s why I haven’t been super active with writing new blog posts. I’ve been quite turned off of computing, programming—tech in general really—and I haven’t had the motivation to write about anything even though I have some topics I’d really like to explore.

Since starting to recover, I’ve been on a bit of a journey to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life outside of my current full-time job. To that end, I’ve been exploring different spaces and ideas: listening to a wide variety of podcasts, reading blogs, engaging in online communities, and watching probably too much YouTube. I still don’t have any firm ideas, but I do have vague notions of “simplicity”, “analog technology”, “sustainability”, “village-like community”, and so on. This led me to the Merveilles community, around which I had been circling practically since I started using Mastodon all the way back in the summer of 2020. The values and virtues that are embodied in that community resonate with me, and so I’ve decided to make that my new home on the Fediverse (@jbauer@merveilles.town is my handle).

Aside from being a supportive and active community, it is filled with people who are generally on the same wavelength as I am about the vague notions I listed above and, crucially, they are actively engaged in pursuits along those lines. I feel that surrounding myself with people who are doing things, who are filled with a myriad of ideas, and who can give valuable feedback will help lift me out of the slump that I am in and help me find the motivation to work on the things I want to work on. An idea I have heard time and time again is that there are generally two kinds of people: those who inspire you and those who drain you; one of the best things one can do for their mental health is to cut out people who drain (often called “energy-vampires”) and surround oneself with people who inspire. I have certainly surrounded myself with far too many of these so-called energy vampires over the past 3-4 years and I’ve been working on changing that.

In terms of what I have planned for the future, well…

I have several blog post ideas I’d like to flesh out regarding my ideal model of software development, more fun explorations of tech and certain aspects of the computing/software industry, what it would take to develop a software stack from the ground up these days, and more.

I need to organize my wiki and start using some kind of system where I can accumulate knowledge, links, and ideas in a much more effective way than I currently have.

I want to get back into programming because I have several ideas I want to realize including exploring making my own kernel, OS, several different client programs (email, IRC, etc.), programming language, and so on. I’ve been having some fun learning Raku recently, so that’s a good sign.

I also want to read more books. I have acquired several very interesting books including K&R’s The C Programming Language, A Collection of Essays by George Orwell, The Design of the UNIX Operating System by Maurice J. Bach, Operating Systems - Design and Implementation by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, and Domesticate Your Badgers by Michael W. Lucas, among many others. And, while I am actually quite interested in reading them, I also have to work on my attention span which has been damaged by the dopamine-drip-feed environment of the modern internet. It has been hard for me to concentrate on reading books for any extended period of time.

One final thing I will aim to do is update this Now Page at least once per month. I’d like to do something similar to 100r.co’s Monthly Log and detail what I’ve been up to over the course of a given month. Not only will this be helpful in seeing what I’ve actually accomplished (celebrating victories is also quite important for one’s mental health), it might also hold me to account if I feel like I have some kind of deadline where I need to have something to show (within reason, of course, because I don’t want to push myself into burnout again). I tend to be a lot more effective at doing things when I have a deadline.

So, I know that was a huge update, but there was a lot to be said. I am looking forward to the future and to getting started on doing the things that I actually want to do. If you want to talk to me more about anything I’ve written here, feel free to send me an email :).

Book Log

January 2022

I’ve been exploring more topics for the blog, getting further immersed in interesting online communities, and trying to figure out how I work best.

I’ve also recently changed the theme on this website. I’ve added a light theme and made the dark theme more accessible to those with vision issues following the new APCA contrast guidelines.

I’ve been migrating back to and setting up more services on my home network. I’ve ditched hosting Matrix because of the hassle involved, and have started hosting a personal wiki over at gemini://wiki.paritybit.ca.

I have recently been trying out the Apple ecosystem (MacOS and iOS in particular) so I can have more well-informed opinions about it.