Christmas time is always busy time. People are preparing for Christmas and New Year celebration, preparing gifts to each other. This time also is good for make some conclusions and remember year's good and bad times. Technologies are evolving each year - processors are created using smaller technological processes, mobile internet becomes faster, games becomes more realistic. It is time to remember what has happened this year.
For me this was year when I have tried some new things. First of all in my spare time I was interested in "small" computers or SOC (system on chip) - Raspberry Pi, Arduino development boards. This is one of my hobbies for a couple of years now. Of course I have worked also with "big" computers this year - this is my day job. So I have made several things for myself:
- Created this blog and have tried to write posts when I have free time. Main purpose of blog was to write for myself - this way I can remember things that I have researched. I have noticed that I use posts to remember some command working with Raspberry Pi projects. After several years it will be also interesting to see what technologies were interesting to me.
- Continued working with Raspberry Pi. I have tried to use Docker images for file storage, blog, games. Now several Raspberry Pi boards are working continuously for web server, tv box, torrent server, NAS server purposes.
- Restored old computers by replacing some old components with new. I have got for free old Asus Eee PC 901 netbook released in 2008 year for. I have replaced it's old model SSD with modern disk, added additional RAM, replaced thermal pad, installed Windows XP. Now it can be used for retro Windows games. Internet browser could not be used on that machine - web pages have become very heavy after more than 10 years after computer's release date, so pages are loading infinite amount of time. May be I will write post about Asus Eee PC 901 in future.
- Tried to use Arduino controllers. I have created Geiger counter using components from Aliexpress and robot car.
- Restored old Notebook that should be utilized. It is Series 9 Notebook NP900X3A released in 2011 year. May be I will write post about it later. I have changed keyboard, replaced SSD, added more RAM, replaced thermal grease and installed Linux operation system. Now it works like a charm. Can use it for Internet browsing, coding, video watching and even for playing some games. Now I am using it to write this post. So even old things can gain second life. Now it becomes popular to recycle old things, using resources from used components, garbage and this way to fight global warming. Looks like I am saving nature!
- Learned more about Linux, installed Linux Mint on my new notebook computer. More I work with this operating system, more I like it.
- Tried and overclocked new Raspberry 4 model B computer. It is amazing how much computing power can fit in small board for this price. My first computer in 1999 was not so fast as Raspberry Pi is now. It was Intel Celeron 433 desktop computer that took significant part of place on the table comparing with Raspberry Pi. It have past only 20 years from that time. I cannot imaging what we will see after 20 years in 2039.
- Played several games: No Man's sky, Watch Dogs 2, Civilization 6, Freeciv, Into the Breach, Witcher 3, Subnautica and some other not very memorable for me.
I want to try some things in new year or in the left time of old year
- Make desktop computer minor update: add RAM up to 32 Gb and add new NVMe SSD. Some new games now can use more than 12-13 Gb. In 2020 for some games 16Gb can be not enough. I can not say I often play computer games, but I like to try some new games. Also Chrome with opened multiple pages can take much memory. New SSD disk can give small speed boost compared to SATA SSD and additional disk space for programs and games.
- Try use more legal computer programs. I do not want to buy Windows 10 Pro for 200 Eur, I have found that Windows can be purchased for small amount of money - 10-20 Eur. This can be done at 3rd party websites that sells keys. Favorite games can be purchased in Steam during winter sales period. There can buy came with 50 or even 80 percents discount. For example one of my favorite games Witcher 3 costs about 15 Eur for complete pack, or No Man's Sky for 27 Eur.
- Install and try Steam Link on Raspberry Pi. Interesting how it will work and can my favorite small computer replace console and will it be possible to play with friends using controllers.
- Using Raspberry Pi to make music center that could be controlled remotely with phone. It should use cloud of other Raspberry Pies, Spotify. Can start with Volumio and see what features it supports.
- Upgrade and add new features for robot car that I have constructed earlier.
- Create camera using Raspberry Pi Zero W
- Make retro console using Raspberry Pi 4. I am waiting for Retropie Raspberry 4 support. It will be possible to emulate Dreamcast console and also run all Nintendo 64 games at full speed.
- Make smart aquarium using Raspberry or Arduino modules. It is not clear yet what I will use and what feature I want to develop.
- And of course write posts in this blog
Soon will come new 2020 year. It will start new decade, so it will be possible to call next 10 years as twenties. What it will bring new in technologies? Will it be years of virtual reality or artificial intelligence or internet of things or new web or social networks tight integration with real life ... or may be all these things together. You never know...will see it next 10 years. I am sure it will be interesting ten years.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!