2021 Review

For the first time since 2013, I have completed my year-end post before the calendar turns over. I think the key is skimping out on the intro paragraph.

Building stuff

I remain enamored with my reMarkable 2 after 14 months of daily use. The large-eInk-screen-with-low-latency-pen-input device really feels like a new medium with a ton of untapped potential. My recreational coding time this year was dedicated to enhancing my reMarkable’s utility. I built:

  • A service that sends a twice-a-day pdf “newspaper” from RSS/reddit/twitter feeds straight to my device. I’ve been using this for 9 months and still look forward to the paper every time.
  • A fully hyperlinked day planner for consolidating several of my rM notebooks into one pdf (more on this in the next section)
  • several custom template files for my specific note-taking workflows

A "real" side project

That reMarkable day-planner took on a life of its own after sharing it on reddit, and for the first time I made a little income from a side project. Not enough to pay even a single month’s rent, mind you, but it’s still been enormously satisfying to receive the positive feedback and email from satisfied customers. You can, and should, order your own custom planner at https://hyperpaper.me. I hope to write up a post at some point with "lessons learned" from putting this out there.

Reading

I read 57 books this year (gotta keep sharing my personal vanity metric). Favourites were:

  • Masters of Doom
  • The Art of Postgres
  • The Psychology of Money
  • Lives of the Stoics
  • Burke’s Law
  • Shape Up
  • Carrying the Fire
  • Bullshit Jobs
  • Strong Towns
  • How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
  • The Vignelli Canon
  • A Wealth of Common Sense

Links

My favourite links on Pinboard over the year:

Music

I am an old man, so it’s rare for a new album to trigger both intense anticipation and thorough enjoyment. But An Evening with Silk Sonic absolutely knocked it out of the park for me. It was easily my favourite new album in years, and if you enjoy vintage R&B/funk/soul you need to check it out.

Goings on with this personal website

I inexplicably re-built this site for a second straight year. For those keeping track at home, the technology arc has been Jekyll on GitHub Pages -> 11ty on Netlify -> NextJS on Cloudflare Pages. NextJS was a project I wanted to explore, and I really enjoy how it abstracts away the usual webpack/babel/typescript config shenanigans for you. Would recommend, so far.

I wrote a single post, which is actually enough to exceed my average throughput over the past 5 years (!). Hope to see you again in 2022.