I am moved to tears right now... (more on the feels)
I was gifted an 10 year old Mac mini server I asked to acquire for the Squid & Squash Foundation and because [[Podcast Producer]] and Apple Wiki both got retired, I had to find new purpose for this machine. My immediate thought is to see if the machine had enough horsepower to help build the iPad autobio app I envisioned 10 years ago (and fundamentally to learn [[SwiftUI]]. I moved onto wanting to learn how to build a media server, a project I embarked on 18 years ago when I acquired a used x486 server for a hundred bucks. I ended learning how to administrate a Mac remotely (quite different from administrating a Linux server in Oracle Cloud (which admittedly, was designed for the purpose) and I was able to index a bunch of movies and build what looks like a private Netflix that doesn’t depend on the Internet. shortly thereafter, I got [[Substance 1987]], my all time favorite [[New Order]] album. This is a part of my youth that really was care free - something I strive to maintain while we are in a COVID era - an era where life has fundamentally transformed due to all kinds of new constraints!
Elements I've rebuilt during shelter
- [[age 8]] a [[home computer]] - my dad gave me a [[Color Computer]] when I was 8. I never asked for it so it many ways, I just saw it as a toy. I taught myself programming from the included manual. There weren’t bootcamps, other programmers (CoCo users were far in-between) - there was no Internet - even bulletin-board systems (BBS) were far in between and expensive to access. We didn’t have Coursera, Udacity - I didn’t have any resources but myself, the computer, and the documentation that was included with it. [[Radio Shack]] was a company that catered to the hobbyist. I bought all kinds of tools, parts to tinker with. This was a computer built for someone who wanted to learn how to tinker with a computer.
- [[age 12]] - I don’t remember when I got my [[Atari]] - my [[Nintendo Entertainment System]] was the game changer - my Super Nintendo really rocked in college due to an [[mgh]] cartridge “backup” system I got. [[Delta]] on my iPad Pro is the next game changer (literally!) - paired 8Bitdo Lite controller and have a truly portable game system with a 12.9” screen! https://altstore.org/delta-emulator-altstore/
- [[age 16]] Arcades - distinct from playing at home. The experience of going to an arcade with friends & maximizing a quarter (and sometimes finding yr quarter lasted you a whole minute!) - the ultimate in stretching your budget as a teen 😆 Instructions: gaming on Apple devices
- [[age 14 or 16]] - [[Substance 1987]] - I learned about [[New Order]] when I was gifted a mixtape from my parent’s friends son. I got this album on cassette tape and played it to death! (I have blips on track 1 on side B of the tape because of all of the times I stopped the tape on side A when the last track ended!) It feels like a great milestone for this album to be streaming off my local media server
- [[age 7?-17]] [[board games]] - I loved playing games like [[Pictionary]] in high school. It was fun to get a [[Codename Pictures]] server up. http://oasis.chinarut.com:9001
- [[age 29]] media server - I wasn’t thinking about serving movies - i was thinking about music! (this is around the time of [[Napster]]) https://emby.media
- [[age 31]] [[web server]] - when I got my first Mac, a powerPC-based mac mini in 2004, I learned how to host my first wiki! MediaWiki (what Wikipedia is built with) was only something you put up yourself - there were no canned “hosted” services like [[Wikispaces]] or Notion. The upkeep was challenging then. It was more proof of concept. Fast forward to today and my media server makes it trivial to put an Internet-facing UI up.
- [[age 12]] ‣ - decided to experiment with creating a 2nd instance of a media server in a direction Emby doesn’t fully support. I actually got it to work on the same machine, in parallel, and in the process, discovered how much of a nut I am when it comes to organizing esp when it’s a source of “relaxation” for me. While it doesn’t always work out, I do enjoy repurposing technology in ways that weren’t originally intended by its creators and this, in fact, becomes a new source of creativity when it does work out. So bye bye files, folders, disk images and drives!
- [[age 17-21]] [[online discourse]] - my freshman year in college, I was introduced to “netnews” The experience I was introduced to was world-class - I was able to review entire discussions, sub-discussions like an RSS reader. Contrast this to the experience of being online today and it’s just one big stream - I think @Quora is the only platform that is willing to track read and unread notifications (which I personally feel is groundbreaking). I’ve had quite a few “false starts” and it was r/Notion that anchored me into Reddit - it is the one place I feel I have a very-opinionated voice. I’ve been slowly working back towards bulletin board forums I was active in in the past (and discovering some of them have since been taken down which makes my heart drop): GTD and TheBrain come to mind in particular.
- [[age 9 or 10]] [[puzzles]] - I've always loved brain games. I compiled iNDS (Nintendo DS emulator) to learn how to deploy apps to my iPad Pro. What I didn't expect to rediscover is [[Picross]] and my love for deduction/logic puzzles. Picross 3D is even more mind blowing! 🤯 https://github.com/iNDS-Team/iNDS
- [[age 21 & age 26]] [[composing music]] - I took an Electronic & Computer Music class in college & later found looping software called ACID that let me play around with creating electronic music in new ways. Found myself dabbing with Garage Band again (though it is closer to a lightweight recording studio - it's amazing to know my iPad Pro in my backpack can come in handy for any musicians I meet! https://youtu.be/oId_BqnSraI)
- [[age 9 or 10]] [[drawing]] - I checked out books from the library to learn how to draw caricatures - I've always been fascinated by animation & remember creating a [[flip book]]. Another use case for my iPad Pro is a [[drawing tablet]] - Wacom tablets used to be very expensive & now this power is available to the masses. Procreate is easily one of the best 10 bucks I've ever spent to dive back into a childhood love for drawing and explore digitally, on-the-go.
- [[age 6?]] [[books]] - Libby has been my saving grace. The digital selection of Kindle books and especially audiobooks at our library is amazing! Libby does a great job managing hold queues & even deferring holds to be delivered later when you do anticipate having time! (this prevents the never ending queue many of you are probably familiar with in YouTube!)
- [[age 8? & age 14-17 & age 31]] swimming - as many kids do, my parents took me to the YMCA to learn how to swim. I ended up being on the swim team in high school and rediscovered how pleasant it was to swim in an outdoor pool in a tropical environment because I never got chilly. Fast forward to living in a desert valley in 2021 and realizing the pool in the community we are in heats its pool even during the summer! While I do realize how out of shape I am, I do make it a goal to swim 250m at least once a week to rebuild my habit and stay in shape (esp in the absence of social dancing during the pandemic). Ideally, I would bike to the pool since it’s only a mile roundtrip!
Other aspects of my youth I have not yet “rebuilt”...
- [[age 6 or 7?]] [[biking]] - oh the adventures of good full speed down the neighborhood hill and learning about kinetic energy - how far my bike would go without pedaling.
- [[age 9 or 10]] [[LEGO]] - i was always inspired to write instructions that would teach others how to build my custom spaceship (which i thought was cooler, complete with string wiring computers and controls together!). it’s probably why I got into mechanical drawing and was inspired by AutoCAD when I was in 7th or 8th grade.