Letters from Home

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January and February have been ... interesting, to say the least. Where do I even begin?

HSM

HSM has hit the point of 90% for me. The base functionality is there, but the thing still needs some spit and polish before it's "ready". Between importing the data from toolshare and making the site look not-ugly, there's still a while to go, well longer than the New Years timeframe I had hoped to hit when we started.

But that's how projects go, right? I have so many great ideas on where to take HSM in the long-term that I really just need to get past this 90% and get the first release out and in to users' hands. Once we get it to the point where toolshare was, we can start adding all the stuff that truly makes me excited:

  • Space access control
  • Membership management
  • Space integration
  • ???

dn42

I finally got my personal server on the dn42. This is exciting to me because it gives me a quick and easy way to jump between home, the lab and wherever else I am, and gives me a cool play ground to host things inside of. Zach and I are considering deploying a huge Tahoe-LAFS instance within the dn42, and that excites me very much.

Random Hacks

I thrive on random hacks, everyone knows that I do.

I implemented another space-stalking tool over here (dn42) which takes MAC addresses from the network's ARP table and uses them to make you want to vomit. I plan on taking this and integrating it in to HSM soon to get rid of the horrible spinning, but that's another hack for the future.

I posted my vimrc on github since it has a lot of fun snippets from my work and personal stuff. I had it in a personal repo for a while now, but hadn't been committing on it when I made changes. Knowing that there's a git repo for it now will hopefully help me keep up to date better.

Work

I'm now interning with Byron at DevFu, doing rails and other Random Hacks. I had planned to start making money doing Rails or something like six months from now, so the opportunity to start out now in an environment where I'll learn a lot more is just fucking great.

Plus, I get to work out of HeatSync most days, which is even more awesome. :) I love that since we started working on it, HeatSync has at least three or four of our 'day crew' in there working on various projects. Rebelhold's even decided to not work on client work on Fridays and focus on presentations and learning shit. That stuff excites me a lot.

The most interesting part of the last few months has definitely been life.

Up In Space

After a long hiatus, I've returned to the sport of model rocketry. My dad and I used to launch a small Estes park flier, and I've finally got in to the hobby again with my hacker hat on again. I bought and built a D-Region Tomahawk from Estes and flew it this year's ARG. It came home in three pieces, but my dad got a pair of HPR kits from What's Up Hobbies, probably one of the coolest vendors I've spoke to before.

So we're going to be busy in the next few months.

Someone Comes to Town

Heather moved in to the Starbase on my birthday. It was definitely an interesting couple of days, settling back in to having to share a bathroom, helping her to move her stuff in, and all that goodness. We've become really good friends over the last few months, and that hasn't faltered after she moved in like I've seen happen in the past. We've been going through Archer and 30 Rock on Netflix and I have a good feeling about having Heather as a roommate. There's been some ... interesting moments, but we'll see what happens, I have good feelings about it.

I think it's interesting that my other roommate Futurist Mike is actually coming out and hanging out with us. I'm not sure if that's because there's a cute girl to hang out with or if he's finally realizing I'm not a socially awkward penguin.

Someone Leaves Town

I lost two friends to suicide over the last two months.

One of them I've known since high school, a very close friend of mine at times. We had become distant over the last few months because our hobbies and interests no longer lined up well, but it still hurts to know that I had know for a long time that he was depressed. He was medicated, but he still chose to self medicate. I never realized that he was as far down as he was until I got a call that said he was gone. I made sure that I reconnected with all of our old high school friends at his service, and I can only hope that they will stay in my life.

The other friend is someone I had only known briefly, one of the girls I had worked with at TinyPrints. This one hit especially close to home because, if I did my math right, she died shortly after our stints at tp ended. The fact that I had to quit because of my anxiety makes me wonder if that environment or something was the cause. I didn't go to her service because it was right after Ryan's and I didn't have the strength for it.

I didn't know Katie well, but I was interested in becoming better friends with her after things settled down in late January. I went to her Facebook wall to send her a message and was presented with an outpouring of love and sorrow from her friends; she had commited suicide shortly after the new year. I knew she had skeletons in her closet, but I never figured they would be the end of her.

Getting Out and Doing Stuff

As much as I hate it, I've really been considering getting a fake ID. I don't need one to drink -- Not only do I have two roommates old enough to buy alcohol, I'm also brewing my own again -- but I want to start going out more, to concerts and shows and things that are arbitrarily restricted to 'adults'. I've always been of the opinion that the age of 21 is entirely arbitrary and that the privelage of drinking should be granted based on maturity. I am more mature than most 21+'s I know and don't really feel that having a beer or two is morally wrong.

Plus, what happens if the next Electric Six show is 21+? I want to start going out and being a real human being at least once in a while. While being in an awesome hackerspace 24/7 is great, I am starting to feel like it is slightly constricting my world view on things.

That doesn't keep me from doing random things, like the geek events that are in the valley. I've been kind of stand off-ish about some of them, since they often don't have anyone that is really part of my crowd. Even the events billed as geek events just turn in to to Star Wars nerdery, unfortunately, and I tire of that kind of easily, unfortunately. :\

Uhm... what else...?

I think that about covers it. The sun's coming up and I'm slightly tired, not sure if I'll take a nap or head down to the lab, yet. The last few months have been interesting and the next few can only be more interesting. I've cried on shoulders for lost friends, fallen in love, been too busy to notice it and hacked my way through sunrises. Let's one-up it and make things better.


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Ryan Rix is a hardcore freestyle vimmer, hacker, backend nerd and doer of cool things living in the Gray Bay Area, California.

Ryan is one of the storers of stories and infrastructure wonks at Storehouse, building the future of interactive storytelling and making sure the servers don't fall over in the process. He contributes to a bunch of Free Software projects, as well, including KDE and the Fedora Project.