A Long Pause

4/23/2020

Hey all! It has been a long while since I've written a blog post, but I'm going to give an update on some of the interesting things that have been up in my life in the last year. In the future, I may write posts to go more in-depth on one or more of these topics.

New Laptop

Sometime in August, I ordered a new SSD for my Lenovo Thinkpad P50s. After swapping in the 1TB SSD, however, I found the laptop's UEFI BIOS was broken. I was unable to enter the BIOS to change any settings, and attempts at updating the BIOS were unsuccessful at solving the problem. The laptop would still boot whatever OS was found on the hard drive, however, so I installed Xubuntu and gave the laptop to my parents.

I hopped on Ebay, and managed to get a used T450s without a hard drive for around 130 USD. I purchased a charger and a battery for it, and I've been using it happily ever since. It is a fantastic laptop at a great price. Battery life seems to average around five hours, which works for my purposes. When I reinstalled, I used ZFS for the entire disk (including root).

Trying Matrix

Matrix is a protocol for federated communications. It intends to be versatile, applying to VOIP, instant messaging, and IOT. The specification is open, with the intent that anyone could create their own server or client, and could host their own instance of a server or client.

The reference implementation is called Synapse, and it is available on GitHub. I installed it on my NAS (exposed, via Wireguard, at matrix.thorjhanson.com).

Next was the client. The reference implementation is called Riot. Downloading the app allowed me to create an account, and I can now be messaged @thor:thorjhanson.com (this is the format for Matrix handles).

Finally, I installed a docker container of the web version of Riot, allowing me to log in at riot.thorjhanson.com and chat.

So far, I have been very pleased with the Matrix ecosystem. I will likely talk about this more in a later post.

Learning Go (Golang)

This summer I'll be interning at Voxtelesys, a VOIP services company in Fargo. As a part of preparing for my internship, I've recently been learning about Go (sometimes called Golang). Go is compiled, with syntax somewhat like C, but easier and quicker to write (like Python) and with a large standard library. So far, I've really been liking the language.

Married!

Near the end of March, I got married! Yay!

Sway and Wayland

For quite some time, I had been using KDE Plasma as my desktop environment. Sway is a tiling window manager meant to replicate i3, but for Wayland. I'd been wanting to try Wayland for some time, but always found KDE Plasma to be buggy and unreliable under Wayland. Sway, so far, has been stable tear-free. I'll also likely talk about Sway more in the future.

Going Forward

This May, I'll be graduating from NDSU with my BS in Electrical Engineering. Shortly afterward, I'll be interning at Voxtelesys, hopefully going full-time this fall.

I'll try to keep my blog more up to date going forward, but who knows. Till next time!

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