(recur think)

Random musings of a human.

The year has come to an end, it’s December 31st, 2023 and I’m drafting this post, by the time this will be posted, it might be 2024!

This year has been particularly interesting for me, I’ve experienced extremes of ups and downs both personally and professionally. One thing that was constant over the year was, the variety of emotions felt each month.

“My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”

  • Forrest Gump

Here are some of the wins of 2023:

  1. Experimented heavily on OpenAI: ChatGPT and OpenAI were the spotlight of the whole year 2023. The start of the year was with GPT-3.5, later on, GPT-4, and finally the whole ordeal with firing the founder/s. I won’t go into the details here as just a quick search on the internet yields tons of articles and posts. Luckily, I got to experiment a lot on OpenAI, building models, and training models for my day job. I experimented with custom GPT, Assistants API, and creating fine-tuned models that could generate acceptable results based on prompts. Having the opportunity to work on a product with a focus on Generative AI, I got to be in the driver's seat to experiment with this. Will definitely write about this in upcoming blogs.

  2. Healthy Diet: Since, February, I started a diet to decrease my Body Mass Index(BMI)”) as I was in the overweight zone, and I had planned to get into the normal index by 6 months. Luckily, thanks to proper diet, exercise, and discipline, I was able to reach my goal in 2.5 months. I have been sustaining it and I’m planning to continue that in 2024.

  3. Learned to drive: Although I did know how to drive a car, I couldn’t drive on the road in Kathmandu. Driving in Kathmandu is extremely tough as there are lots of bikes covering the road, there aren’t many working traffic lights and we have to depend on traffic police for signals additionally, there’s too much public transport.

  4. New Language: At the end of 2023, I started to follow my interest and learn how to design compilers and language. I’m currently, working on a language that is (trying to be) syntactically similar to a well-known language and will have some extra language features than that and will compile to an executable than the VM which the inspiration language depends on. This is by no means a new idea and there are a ton of languages like that but, I wanted to try my hand at this and also learn about the Algorithms involved while creating effective hash-maps, GC, etc. What’s wrong with n+1 language? :–)

  5. Books and Music: This year I read, 24 books ranging from Technical books and non-fiction to Novels and other fictional books. This is I believe quite low from the previous year, I will have to pick this up in 2024. The plan is to read at least 3 mid-size books a month. On music, I did make quite good progress as I listened to 240 new albums I hadn’t heard before and from 115 new artists.

  6. Learned to Draw: In the last quarter of this year, I enrolled in a course on Udemy on Drawing. So far, I’m enjoying it a lot and will share some of my drawings in upcoming blogs.

  7. Limiting social media: I never had an Instagram account till 2020, and didn’t have a Facebook account from 2017-2020, and was pretty much non-existent on Twitter till 2019. But, during covid phase, I started using social media as it was the only way to connect with people and I went back to checking social media every hour or so since then. Thankfully, during mid-2023, I decided that enough was enough and have limited my usage as I have deleted my account on some platforms and I only use other media only an hour a day. The only thing I have tried unsuccessfully to limit is YouTube. Maybe this is a challenge for 2024.

  8. Completed Games: I’m an avid gamer and I keep on getting new games when interesting ones come out or go on sale but, am not able to finish it properly due to which my games backlog grew to 150 in the last quarter of 2023. Out of which, I completed 15. So, there are still 135 games to be played (if I don’t get something new).

These are some of the wins of 2023, yes, there are plenty of losses too, but, the idea is to focus on the positives and build upon them. Hoping the list for 2024 grows into a massive list with too many wins.

Also, one challenge for me in 2024 is to blog every week. I did get a long subscription for write.as, as I believe this a great blogging platform and I do want to get into a habit of writing long posts each week.

Happy New Year, 2024!

(Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson. Retrieved from: https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1995/12/31)

I have nothing to write and have been stalling this blog for so long. So, I’m going to start with this.

It’s not writer’s block or being too busy to write something but, I have been procrastinating on doing some interesting things and then writing about it. Oh well, I do tend to do interesting stuff but, don’t seem to write about it. For now, I’m going to bore you with software I use daily that helps me get the job done and manage aspects of my life.

Blogging:

  • Write.as: Let’s start with Blogging and I use write.as for it as you can see. Previously, I used Jekyll, Hugo and many other frameworks or static site generators. I used to host it all via Github and redirect to my domain. One I hosted on Github’s domain is still up. The whole process of maintaining and hosting was going fine for some time until I found out, there were lots of software out there which could help me focus only on writing and publishing. (Additionally, my way of constantly changing themes on my blogs, and tweaking CSS was also, time-consuming.) I tried every blog hosting service under the sun until I found out write.as. I’m not going to post negatives about them but, I found most of their flow disruptive and hard to read without having an account while some still needed maintenance from my side. Although write.as isn’t free as other services, it makes the writing and publishing experience good. I can also change css and js of this blog and not have to worry about breaking things but, the default theme is just about right.

Organization and Management:

For organizing and managing the daily, weekly, or monthly aspects of my life, work, and activities I depend on multiple software.

  • Obsidian: I use Obsidian for everything. Be it for instantly writing down food recipes or noting down addresses. I have a Supernote A5X which I use to read PDFs and take notes on meetings or figuring things out. I export the contents of the supernote to Obsidian for organizing and record it for easy finding. Supernote gives me the feeling of writing down on paper with a pen which I have been accustomed to all my life and Obsidian gives me the indexing and quick searching of things when I need to look into it (like a library).
  • TickTick: I use TickTick for my Pomodoro timer and manage my daily tasks list. Using TickTick I can also estimate how much time I should spend on a task at hand(by either taking rough time estimation for a new task or looking at how much time I spent on a similar task earlier). This helps me breakdown my day better and ticking each task throughout the day also gives me a sense of accomplishment. (While writing this blog, I have a timer going on and after much postponing finally, I will be able to check this for today. :–))

Fitness:

  • Fitbit App: I use Fitbit App on my iOS and Fitbit Sense for tracking my steps, calories, and most importantly sleep. Although I’m satisfied with Fitbit Sense, I do not like Fitbit App, it’s lacking in many features compared to Apple Health, and also, Premium costs $80/year for 1-2 features that are actually useful to me. Also, the whole Google Pixel Watch and migration to Google accounts is quite confusing and messy. At this point, I think Google should create one app for both Fitbit and Google Pixel watch so that there would be similar features. (Yeah, but, OS is different between them and Fitbit OS has far fewer features than even Android Wear…)

So, this is it for this blog post, maybe in the next post, I’ll write about tools and software that I use for programming and on my work. See you on the next blog.

New Experiment with write.as!

Trying out this blog setup. Looking forward to posting more here.

Enter your email to subscribe to updates.