My year off is near its end

Submitted by Unifex on

Last year was bad. Losing Julian was one of the final straws. I pretty much checked out of everything for the year. Token activity on social media, barely looked at any code, no projects for friends, charity or pay. For the most part I let my inner misanthrope win and have had very little social contact at all.

I'm finding that I don't mind it either and I suspect this will continue for a bit longer.

Flying space ships

For most of the year I lost myself in Elite Dangerous. I'm a member of a Wing called the Browncoat Uprising. One of the last posts from last year mentioned that I was returning to the Bubble to help get a new minor faction, the Browncoats, established out in Colonia. It took 4 months effort but we managed it. We have established a planetary base, Eavesdown Docks, in the system White Sun. After that I left Colonia and headed out into the Black. Beagle Point is the farthest point from Sol an unmodified ship can reach. It took a couple of months to get there, but I did get there. Then I kept going. Just a little more. I can't say for certain that I'd gone further than anyone else, but it was good being on the edge of the galaxy sailing into the abyss...

But I came back. I'm back in Colonia working the Background Simulation. We've brought about a state of war in a nearby system. Rodentia Petram is currently uncontrolled. We won the war, a state of expansion from White Sun has completed and we're now holding elections. If we win this we become the controlling faction and the Browncoats become a 2 system faction.


When I installed Drupal on this domain 8.2.x was the latest branch. We're up to 8.4.x and I'm very pleased to say that the update process could not have gone smoother. The resources available to this VPS weren't enough to run composer update but copying the codebase down, running it locally and uploading the composer.lock file allowed composer install to run fine. I have a few projects that I'm going to start on in the coming year. I was considering a few options, but with the direction Drupal has been heading in it is feeling like it's even more likely that this is the right tool for both projects.

I've also been playing with Python a little. Elite Dangerous maintains a journal log file that tracks in game events. There are other programs that are available that monitor this data, save it to a local database and allow the players to make things a little easier. This data is also pushed to the Elite Dangerous Data Network so that others can pull it down and load it into their local databases. So basically you, and everyone else that pushes to EDDN can make use of the data. My program tracks the influence of all minor factions in systems that a select group of minor factions have a presence in.  In my case it's the Browncoat Uprising (the Bubble) and the Browncoats (Colonia) that are being watched. The program then watches for changes in our influence in these systems and reports this to the Wing's Discord server. Discord is like Slack, but for gaming. So, basically, whenever anyone running a helper program enters one of the systems we have a presence in the entire Wing is notified if our influence has changed. I really need to get that code tidied up and pushed to Github. It's a fun little project that uses ZeroMQ, sqlite and webhooks. It also runs on a Raspberry Pi.


I've been particularly inactive this year. The occasional wandering into #homeopathy on Twitter and playing spot the logical fallacy on random posts with Disqus comments.

One of the projects will be around this though.

What's next?

I'm not sure.

I have a study assessment that I'm working on.  It's part of a group effort where we'll all post at the same time to counter an upcoming release from a particularly deluded group of people that have the potential to cause real harm.

I'm wanting to expand on the application for Elite Dangerous.  Add a friend tracker so I can see how far away my people are. Maybe something to monitor local traffic in my immediate area too. "Immediate" being a 50Ly bubble.

I'm wanting to get some tramping in too. I miss that.

Oh! I also intend to spend a month working from Koh Samui. Lamai Beach area to be specific. Dan took me there to a 10 day jaunt and I fell in love with the place. But 10 days isn't enough...

The big personal project for the year will be getting up and running. It's time.