Culture-Tech Recap 2023

A recap of the culture and tech of my past 3 years, including Books, Music, Movies, 2 Studios, Frontend and a PC.

What can you recognize? The recap of 2023, a controller, South Park, SolidJS, x5z, LunarVim, EndeavourOS, Elk, Studio, a keyboard and a mouse.

What can you recognize? The recap of 2023, a controller, South Park, SolidJS, x5z, LunarVim, EndeavourOS, Elk, Studio, a keyboard and a mouse.

Let me take this time. The time between what I will say later and when you started reading this, to delight that this text would take the place that lay empty for so long. And while I planned a different post to break this ice that has been frozen for about 3 years now, I don’t think that post will make it in time. I am still learning about the topic I was writing about, while building the tools to write it with.

So for the meanwhile, let me revive the annual tradition that I ended the year that I started it. Of tech and culture recaps. But now I have to recap 3 years instead of 1 (but it serves me right). Both discussions on Culture and Technology have been combined in this single post. And the post has been hurried, for it needs no new ideas, or ways to show those ideas. And since it has been hurried, please be a little more lenient with the grammar. (I refuse to use any aid/helper tools apart from spellcheck)

Culture

Firstly, I won’t mention everything, the more curious can always scour my accounts on Goodreads for the books I read and on Spotify for the songs I listen to.

And my tastes have not changed much. I still enjoy reading fantasy, fiction, and classics. And I still listen to a broad variety of genres, although I do have to admit I don’t listen to songs as much as I used to.

Books

Music

It seems that regularly making fortnightly playlists helps mark when I first started to hear a song, and in these three years I have listened to a plenty of new sounds, and some noise as well. However effective the system may be, there are bound to be too many songs to filter through.

I didn’t attempt at a compilation of 2021, and so instead, here are my top songs of 2021 (as compiled by Spotify), which has some decent bangers:

I made one half baked compilation of 2022, which I gave up on filtering and adding more. Unfortunately the more songs I listened to, the more there was to review, so much so that the review playlist I made to filter out the non obvious songs I had liked that year turned out to be 16 hours long. I listened to some of it on random but gave up and the rest is unfiltered still:

And the one I made (am making) of 2023:

Covers

And naturally the covers of three years of Spotify playlists had accumulated, and I made a covers page earlier, where all of the covers can be browsed.

Here are my favorites:

2021.11.i

2021.11.i

Rep

Rep

MyFi

MyFi

Mellow

Mellow

ElvenHigh

ElvenHigh

Eolian's

Eolian's

2022.12.i

2022.12.i

2023.01.i

2023.01.i

Hyperchill

Hyperchill

2022.03.ii

2022.03.ii

2021.04.01

2021.04.01

2021.05.01

2021.05.01

2022.11.ii

2022.11.ii

2022.01.i

2022.01.i

Games

As it sometimes happens with hobbies in large fields, out of the dozen games that I acquired, I only really played Counter Strike. And I could write a post on why CS is so unique and engaging and what I like about it, maybe I will, in the meantime, those who might want to play can request so on my account. I like the game, the mechanics, the strategies and the delicate balance between the teams. The repeated nature of rounds where variations are key.

A screenshot of Counter-Strike 2

I played Forza Horizon 5 for a while on console and got pretty good at it. I could drive well with manual gear changes. It had nice graphics and good cars. It also had freeroam, where all of the map was free to drive, which was chill af.

I also enjoyed Strike Force Heroes for a while. A revival of the old flash games on the web that I played when in school, devoid of a graphic card. Although this iteration is far more decent in terms of graphics and the gameplay and progression are well done. But after some time, the grind became real, nostalgia wore off, and the multiplayer was never fun.

Movies/Shows

We are left with a thought, an idea, a situation we try to resolve long after we finished watching these motion films.

The ones that pop out to me:

Technology

It would be a little overwhelming to note down everything I learned or created in the past 3 years. I will cover a few overarching topics and dive deeper in later posts.

Social Media & Mastodon

In 2020 there used to be a relatively normal social network where folks of tech could be found discussing, debating, learning and developing with each other, and I enjoyed using that website. However, it is 2023, and that place is no more, but there is another that has taken its place. It is Mastodon. And what was true for the village of 2020 is true for Mastodon now.

A screenshot of the mastodon client Elk

Thus, I shifted to Mastodon as my primary social network, as in the one where the most “digital” time was spent. Those familiar with me and who used to follow me on the old network would have noticed/ignored my absence there since. And a mute blog with no updates doesn’t help clarify that all new info I was sharing was shared on my Fosstodon account. Also, I use Elk for browser and the default Android app on mobile.

Two studios

I made two studios.

xypnox.studio's theme editor

The first studio xypnox.studio is a interpretation of a digital workshop in the browser, to experiment, and to build things that should be on the web, or a remedy of those that are riddled with inconsistent interface.

x5z.studio's home page

The second studio x5z.studio, is a collaboration with Azil Zaneen, a design studio for teams and startups looking for fast and quality design, without the usual hassle.

And to build both these websites, I used Astro and SolidJS, which leads to:

Frontend

I tinkered with rich text editors, and theming.

I also got introduced to new frontend frameworks and libraries. I loved using SolidJS and Astro to build cool stuff, including this blog, a couple of websites for startups.

I also really liked:

I consider the following interesting:

PC

I built a new PC at the start of 2023, and it has lasted the year well. Here are the specs:

CPU: Intel i7-13700K (24) @ 5.3GHz
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti
Memory: 32GB DDR5
Displays: Twin 27” 2560x1440 (165Hz and 75Hz)

Mouse: Logitech G502X White (wired)
Keyboard: Keydous NJ80 White with Ocean Wave Keycaps

OS: EndeavourOS Linux x86_64
Shell: zsh 5.9
WM: i3
Editor: LunarVim (Neovim 0.9.4)

The blog's markdown, astro components and cli terminal opened on the desktop

Configuration files can be found in the dotfiles repo.

I dualboot on this machine, with Windows 11 designated as the Gaming OS and the rest of everything handled by EndeavourOS.

After using a ton of Mac devices, returning back to i3 window manager was a bliss. The splits and shortcuts and the ease were all what they used to be, fast efficient and out of the way. Indeed it took time to get it to set up properly, and there are things I still want to change, but the current setup works nicely, and fits like a glove.

My notes have also evolved a lot since I last attempted to explain the system I use for note-taking. I will write the updated version soon, as a lot of what was blurry has now since cleared up. And habits have gotten time to be tested.


So that was the Recap.

I hope the next year’s would be shorter/easier to write. And that the Astro’s Github action won’t break just when I am ready to publish the post .

As for what is brewing next? It is in the darkness that the answers lie.

Sooner or later, everything ends.

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