After having used Arch Linux for quite some times, I finally decided to give NixOS a try. I already knew that distribution from being involved in DevOps things, having tried to replace the common $distribution + Python3 + Ansible Stack with something more lightweight, so I had a reason to mess around with NixOS. While it may look like an uncommon choice for work laptops, I’ll try to give my reason of using this in the following post.
More than ten years ago, I coded my first homepage and uploaded it to a Web space my former school provided. I graduated there a while ago and to make sure that my former schools mail address does not get deleted, I have to log into their web services once a year. However, every time I do so, all things tech are getting worse. Shortly after I graduated they banned Smartphone, about a year later they restricted students internet access not only, which is from an educational stance an okayish thing to do, by blacklisting certain sites but by providing a locked-by-default access where students have to ask for a code to get an hour of internet.
So there’s this Things I Don’t Know as of 2018 blog post by Dan Abramov who works on React and while I probably am, as a queer neurodivergent trans woman in tech, in a much more difficult (read to some extend more vulnearable, since having my skills questioned in certain situations is an awful experience I tend to make a lot) place then they are, I feel like sharing the things I want to be better at is helpful for newcomers and starters in this field, since there are a lot of narratives picturing a toxic and harmful programming culture (~real~ programmers™️) rather than empowering one.
Our door management system adoorabell was meant to be a Python/Flask application at first, so people would be able, if they’re inside our home network, to open our front door via their web browser by opening a specific URL. This approach worked fine at first, but due to some technical changes in our network and since we live on the third floor some devices had a hard time connecting to our local WiFi while standing in front of our door.
Recently I worked in quite a few projects aiming at empowering people, such as students but also underrepresented groups in the industry, to code. One of the larger ones is probably Jugend Hackt, a Hackathon for teens between 13 and 19, where I mentored a group in its Berlin edition earlier this year. In the past I had mentored groups of high school students as well, trying to hand over the projects I did at my former school nearly nine years ago to a newer Generation of students, but they ended up employing a network administrator instead of sticking with the concept of a entirely student run schools network, like it was nine years ago.
Long story short I sent in my MacBook to Apple Care again recently, experiencing some major display issues, so that leaves me with having to use my spare laptop, a somewhat 2013-ish ThinkPad x230 and while I generally like that machine, I’ll probably have to upgrade the screen to somewhat FHD/2k (probably 13.3 inch having to cut the bezel as well) and upgrade the keyboard with a x220 one in the near future since a 1366x768px display isn’t usable anymore in 2018.
Since I needed to come up with a decent on-site backup solution beside having my two off-site backup servers up and running, and having to work with external HDDs is not an option, I eventually started to look out for an NAS device to store my backups on. First I considered that I wanted to build such a device from scratch, possibly putting inside some undervolted AMD CPU, eventually soldered on a ITX form factor mainboard having plenty of S-ATA slots, at least two NIC and round about 8GB of RAM.
As soon as @bourryto and I moved into our flat share, we wanted to improve our key sharing and door opening concept, especially since I tend to forget my keys quite a lot. We live on the third floor of a four floor appartment building, so we were able to change the key cylinder of our appartment itself but obviously not the one being used for opening the front door.
I had to hand in my main laptop to service recently since I have experienced some GPU errors and keys refusing to work as they should. Having given away my 2012 11’ MacBook Air I haven’t had a decent spare device to write fiction ad blogposts on, not to think of light code work in the first place. So I went shopping and since I did not felt comfortable buying a cheapish or used laptop (probably ThinkPad), I went with an 2018ish iPad teamed up with an Apple Pencil, since that would be a device fitting way better into my set-up than a laptop I would stop using when my main laptop would be back in my backpack.