Considering the short list I had for goals in 2008, I did pretty well. I did manage to get my hands on a very obscure, slow machine, as well as a high-end computer for a short while. I also managed to properly configure my router to allow torrent and rsync traffic, and tried — and rescinded — a new look for this site.
Actually, the only thing I didn’t tackle last year (and ironically, it might have been the most important thing) was to learn more about GPG so I can start encrypting my e-mails. I tinkered with encryption a few times, but I never fully implemented it. I have the general idea, and I can actually encrypt things if I want to, but I don’t use it on a daily basis.
So that will be the first goal for 2009, use e-mail encryption on a regular basis. Not so much as a learning experience, but as a matter of necessity. It makes all the more sense considering I send most of my traffic over an unprotected wireless network. Even if the walls are too thick to allow the signal to reach the opposite side of the building, there’s no telling who’s listening at close range.
Next, I think it’s time for me to branch out a little bit. I am going to take another turn at Gentoo, mostly because the last time I spent any time with it, I had very little experience building things from scratch. I have a feeling now that, after a year of using Crux off and on, I can handle a source-focused distro. What I remember doesn’t scare me.
After that, I think it’s time to take a look at BSD. My brief run-in with FreeNAS was sufficiently impressive to make me wonder if that side of the fence isn’t worth checking out. Most of the Linux distros I prefer tout “BSD-style (somethings),” whether it’s package management or initscripts, so clearly BSD is doing something right. I would like to find out what it is.
Finally, I don’t think I’ve been fair to my OLPC. Sequestering it in the closet because of one sticky key is hardly a balanced treatment. I regularly use hardware with much more serious defects than that, and I don’t dump them in the closet and pout. And besides that, I got a few helpful e-mails from another OLPC user, and my curiosity has piqued again.
One addendum: I may, actually, be on the lookout for another machine again, something in the same vein as the 2Ghz Pavilion I had for a short time last year. I do think something with some compiling power might be useful, although I was thinking the same thing last year, and it ended up as a zero-sum event. We’ll see. It won’t be “new,” just “newer.” You know what that means. …