I’ve learned a lot this year with regards to tech. This blog being moved to Hugo as the creation platform has inspired me to write more and learn markdown. I have messed about with encryption and moved away from companies providing services in exchange for encroaching on user privacy. This is the year that I have shut down several Google accounts, my decades-old Microsoft account, my Dropbox account and probably several others I can’t remember. I have learned more about how the internet works and hosting my own services, as well as increasing my awareness with regards to my digital footprint and online privacy.

There are several projects I’d like to look into in 2020. Some are a necessity, but some are more about learning and expanding my knowledge. Here’s a couple;

Upgrade my Proxmox host

I currently run Proxmox on a little Intel NUC. It started as a curiosity away from my main server, but now it has grown to be an absolutely central part of my network. I love the power of the tiny little device and the ability to spin up containers and VMs in seconds. However…it is currently running version 5 of Proxmox which is based on a version of Debian that will reach end-of-life in the summer of 2020. I haven’t decided whether I want to run the upgrade on the device or just clean install version 6, but that’s a decision I’ll consider in a couple of months. I’m half considering upgrading the storage in it, but I’m not sure I need to. I’ll also have to look into replacing the little fan inside as I think it’s probably not long for this world given it’s been spinning for over a year almost constantly.

Set up VLANs and setup Home Assistant

My Hue lights bridge is about to stop receiving security updates this year, which underlines the ridiculousness of closed-source hardware to me. I do not particularly want to shell out for a whole new hub, so I think my only choice will be to set up a VLAN so I can seal it off from the internet and the rest of my network. That way it will be able to receive commands from within my network, but not be able to phone home or present a security risk. I’d also like to get Home Assistant working so I can control and automate the few IoT devices I have in the house. I am increasingly worried about the regular stories of IoT devices being hacked, so sealing them off from the internet and the rest of the devices on my network could give a little more security.

Update my backup storage

This is a pretty important one! I was reflecting recently about my awe at a school friend getting a 120GB Hard Drive about 15 years ago. It’s almost a cliche now, but I honestly didn’t think it would be possible at the time to fill up a drive that size! Just a few years ago my first NAS had a total of 2TB of storage…which was fine for me for years and years. However, I’m pretty sure that my last backup was about the 10TB mark, although that includes all the laptops and computers in the apartment, all the containers and VMs on my servers and the data the few users I offer Nextcloud storage to. That said…that’s a lot of data. The server storing backups has 4x4TB drives in RAID5, giving nearly 12TB of data, so I’ll need to swap these out to something bigger when the January sales are in full swing.

Upgrade the Living Room PC

I currently have a three year old PC in the living room which, as of Red Dead Redemption II, cannot run new games at 4K in high or ultra settings. While this isn’t exactly the end of the world…it would be nice to upgrade if there’s something worth buying. It currently has a GTX1080 card inside, so I’m not that interested in getting an RTX2080 or RTX2080Ti as it’s not that huge an improvement to justify the ridiculous prices these cards are retailing at. If NVidia release a 3080Ti this year I would consider it…especially as the girlfriend is likely to want to get a copy of Cyberpunk 2077 once she’s completed RDRII. Additionally my Oculus Rift has seen better days. The audio is broken in the headset, although I have implemented a hacky solution which works relatively well. However, the fact it is from Facebook is bothersome. Good VR is so utterly incredible an experience that it’s worth investing in a good setup, so maybe I’ll consider that this year.

Like every year, more things will come up as the year progresses. I’m watching a few projects to see if they reach a maturity level for me to be able to swap out for software I’m becoming unimpressed with. Plex, for example, is increasingly becoming bloated and full of “features” I absolutely do not want. I would also really like to replace Tiny Tiny RSS as a recent discussion on Reddit as suggested it’s not only unsound with regards to code quality, but the author is somewhat far-right in their politics. I’d love to pretend that technology is free of political bias, but that’s really not the case. I might look into FreshRSS or another alternative in the next couple of months.

Have a great 2020!