Looking Back at My 2013 New Years Resolutions

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Earlier in the year, I posted a short list of resolutions for the year ahead. Most of them were really just tasks or projects that I was hoping to work on this year. The year is now rapidly winding down, so I thought this would be a good time to look back and see if I did a good job this year.

Generate new personal crypto keys – PARTIAL SUCCESS

I did generate new ssh private keys this year. Twice. I actually did it the first time specifically to satisfy this particular new year’s resolution. Later in the year, I built a new computer. That meant I needed an additional ssh private key, and I needed to push that out to all the computers that I ssh into.

Pushing out two new keys is just as easy as pushing out a single key, so I generated even more secure ssh keys for each of my machines. I now feel ever so slightly more secure.

I have not yet created a new GPG key. This is a bit embarrassing for me. By the time I got around to thinking about doing this, Edward Snowden had already started leaking information about cryptographic weaknesses. I really need to research which ciphers are safe in a post-Snowden world, but I haven’t done that yet. I’ll just have to add this to next year’s list!

Rework my persist system – FAIL

I love my little persist system. I use it to manage my configuration files and keep them stored away in a Git repository. It works really well, and it helps me keep all my random config files safely in a Seafile library. Since they’re then sitting in one of my Seafile libraries, they already get quickly and automatically synchronized between my laptop and desktop. I don’t run the Seafile client on any of my servers, but this has me covered in the two places I care about the most.

The problem is that I built my persist system in place. I manually created the Git repository where the config files are stored, and the scripts are all hard-coded to point to that repository. They also assume that repository exists. It doesn’t help that I decided to make my persist repository a submodule of my Prezto repository.

I need to rework it quite a bit. It needs to create that repository for you automatically. The trouble here is that I’m lazy, and it is already working just fine for me. I seem to always have something else that I’d rather work on, and I don’t want to tear out something that works just to replace it with something almost identical.

This is holding up my short series of posts regarding the cleanup of my shell environment. One of the goals of that cleanup was to have a simple way to push my rather large Zsh configuration out to new workstations and servers.

The utility of that feature has diminished quite a bit since I started using Seafile. These files are now automatically copied around from machine to machine for me, and that has reduced my level of motivation quite a bit.

I haven’t really found anything quite like my persist system. It has been quite a while since I shopped around for something like this, though. Maybe I will luck out and find something even better. If I don’t, maybe I’ll be more motivated to make my own setup usable by the general public!

In any case, I would really like to see my shell cleanup series progress to its third part!

Continue working on zsh-dwim – SUCCESS

There’s not much to say here. I made updates to zsh-dwim often enough that I wrote five short posts about it this year.

I’ve slowed down quite a bit on this in the second half of the year, but I’ve already crossed off almost every item on my zsh-dwim to-do list. The ones that I haven’t crossed off are either very strange, or ended up not being very intuitive.

I think I’ve scratched all of my own zsh-dwim itches. I’m most likely to be doing sysadmin-related tasks. I bet someone could think of some transformations that would help streamline a programmer’s workflow. I just don’t have the data to make that happen.

Build a web interface for the arcade cabinet – FAIL

I probably didn’t think about this one a single time after January. I had this idea late last year when my friend Brian ordered a whole mess of NFC tags. It sounded like a pretty neat idea at the time, but I don’t think I’d get much mileage out of it.

I’m going to scratch this one off the list for now.

arcade cabinet

Buy fewer games for my arcade cabinet, spend more time playing them instead – FAIL

I didn’t buy a single game for the arcade cabinet during the first few months of the year. After that, I decided it was alright to buy games for the arcade cabinet if they had native Linux ports.

By summer, I was even buying some Windows-only games again. I buy almost everything that shows up on IndieGameStand that has a Linux port, and I’ll happily pay a dollar for any arcade-style, Windows-only game they put up for sale. If I’m lucky, they’ll run under Wine. If I’m unlucky, I’m just out a dollar.

What’s in store for next year?

I’m not sure, but I still have dozens of hours to think about it! I’d like to do something fun with one of my Arduinos, and I definitely have to build a new stand for my new 27-inch monitors.

I would also like to add another chair to my home office: something comfortable to lounge on when I’m reading, or when I’m watching movies or playing games on my arcade cabinet’s new TV. This is probably the smallest home office I’ve ever had, and it is starting to feel a bit cramped in there. It might be difficult to find something that fits, but I’m going to give it a try.