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The 2021 year review: fuller than expected

Posted in Year Review

As the year ended a few days ago, you may notice that the daily blog posting slowed down a bit. Loads happened over the past few weeks including things that impeded my Advent of Code participation. But that is a story for another post. Today will be all about my 2021 year review.

The year started with my moving away from Twitter, Facebook in favour of a move towards This could have been my best decision of 2021 if not for my turning a girlfriend of almost six years into a fiancée on December 31st. Originally the growing, blatant censorship of certain voices motivated the original decision. However, I’ve found that spending less time on these platforms helped eliminate distractions. Also, if I don’t agree with what happens on a platform, reducing the usage of said product is the only rational decision.

I even started using Parler for a bit to see what the noise was about until that coordinated attack that led to its vanishing a year ago. Even though it wasn’t a platform for me, I was quite disgusted by the way it got deleted. I got to the point where I explored alternative options for smartphones.

All this led me to purchase a PinePhone that I spent a few months experimenting with. I even wrote a sample app using .NET Core to check whether it could run on that PinePhone and it worked on all non-Alpine distributions. Even though I stopped my experimenting around last July, I resumed recently as the operating systems are getting better. I should help with finding and reporting bugs if I ever want to see these mature for the mobile market.

Currently, my favourite UX is Ubuntu Touch but the apps are lacklustre. It seems like my best candidate in terms of daily driver would be Manjaro with the Phosh UI.

The PinePhone exploring was not my only dive into the Unix open-source world, I also experimented with a Raspberry Pi. Through some of that experimenting, I even brought to life a guide to set up NordVPN on a Linux system. It worked well on the Pi but I didn’t try yet on the PinePhone, I will try to see if I can make it work with a UI to change the VPN server without using the command line. Maybe I’ll do that later. Maybe even with the PinePhone Pro which I haven’t ordered yet but that might come soon.

Another thing that happened was that I got Covid, I’ve had rougher flu in my years and actually expected it to be worse. Worse because even though I work out regularly, my body fat is nowhere near Cristiano Ronaldo and won’t get there since my eating habits cancel most of my weight lifting. Still, my football performance is way better now than when 2021 started so the workouts do have some impact. On average I’ve been scoring two goals per game playing each and every week. I scored two last night and three last week upon returning from the 5-a-side break.

Back on the tech side of things, I’ve passed a couple of Microsoft certifications, the AZ-900 fundamentals and the AZ-204 which unlocked the cool Microsoft Developer bad you see in the sidebar.

Last year’s review was all about finding strength in a chaotic era and I feel like I’ve done that. While we do live in strange times, the biggest inconvenience was the lack of socialising from staying home during the best parts of the year. This is why this year I chose not to do that, I’ve seen my friends and family. Went to Paris a few times and even to Italy where I jumped into the Grotta della Poesia. The jump was about ten meters which is my highest jump ever. My now fiancée and I had the most wonderful time. Hopefully, Japan reopen its borders soon as we intended to go there in May 2020. It felt like two of the best years of our lives were robbed but hopefully, this all ends soon thanks to the mild Omicron.

Now I’m engaged, welcomed the cutest puppy in my life and looking forward to a year full of exciting challenges. I will be continuing my journey of growth and will adapt to whatever life throws at me next. And yes, I will keep on building strength and turn myself into the best possible version of myself. I encourage you to do the same for this is the way. Thank you for reading my 2021 year review, I will see you in the next one.

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