Lloyd Atkinson
Our guest book
Our guest book

The most important event for me this year was getting married! ❤️ This absolutely eclipses everything else I’ve done this year. This means I’ve obviously been very busy this year, but I wouldn’t change that at all. Here’s a quick summary of what I’ve been up to this year:

Wedding & Wedding Planning: 80% Travelling: 10% Career: 5% Everything Else: 5%
  1. Wedding & Wedding Planning 80%
  2. Travelling 10%
  3. Career 5%
  4. Everything Else 5%

Personal news

I got married! ❤️ We had been planning our wedding for at least two years. It’s hard to find just the right words or phrases to describe how wonderful it was. So, here’s a small list: loving, wonderful, intimate, beautiful, fun, and face aching from smiling! It was absolutely perfect, it was also an outdoor ceremony which was incredible.

It was in my wife’s home country of Poland so our guests were a mixture of relatives from the UK, Poland, and America. It was a traditional Polish wedding, which was a new experience for me - finishing around 4AM! I’m so happy to be married to my best friend and soulmate. I love you, Mrs Atkinson! ❤️

I got a car. 🚗 It had been a while since I drove, but I am glad to be back driving again. I Can’t wait for road trips and adventures!

I started to read more. 📚 I enjoy reading, but I’ve not been doing it enough recently. I also started listening to audiobooks which I have not done for years. Well, I am still listening to my first audiobook so far this year - because it’s a long one. In an effort to encourage myself to read more, I created a reading list on my site. A virtual bookshelf of sorts. You can see it here. There’s not a lot there, yet.

I’ve been working on my site. 🎨 I’ve been working on my site a lot this year. I’ve added a lot of new features and enhancements. I’ve also been working on the design system and the components that make up the site. As well as the reading list, I previously had a very meh page listing talks and presentations I’ve done. I remade this and now there is a cool mini-preview of slides from each talk. You can see it here. I also migrated it from Netlify and Google Domains to completely Cloudflare.

Furthermore, I added a fun little “last song played on Spotify” component you can see at the top of the page.

I posted much less this year. 📝 In case I didn’t say it enough, it was been a really busy year with so much going on. I plan on writing in the coming year. I did create a new notes section on my site, which is a personal knowledge management system of sorts. In my previous year in review this was something I discussed wanting to build. I’ve been using it as somewhere to write small notes on stuff I may expand into a proper article later. I am looking forward to getting back to writing in the coming year.

I created another fun Christmas quiz! 🎄 I created a Christmas quiz last year, and it was a lot of fun to make. So, I made another one this year! This time, however, the longer a player takes to answer, the lower their score. Last year’s theme was Christmas music, and this year’s was general Christmas trivia questions. You can find it here. Last year I did a write-up on how I built it, which for the most part is still valid for this year’s quiz.

Like the previous year, there were players from all around the world. A particularly fun entry was from a live stream in the Astro frameworks Discord server. I was watching the stream and saw the quiz being played live!

Career

I’ve had three jobs this year! This wasn’t planned, but early on in the year, I left a job that had sadly changed from how it had been when I joined three years prior. I then joined a company that, at the time, I believed would be a great place to work. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, and I left after a few months.

Rather than explaining more, given the positive nature of this post, I would save them for another time. I’m now in my third job this year, which, though less scope and more mundane products, I now have more time and energy to work on side projects outside of work.

Tech stuff I did this year and want to do next year

Last year I had a few ideas and technologies to try out. When I started writing this I believed that I had not really worked on any of them. As it turns out, there’s only a couple I didn’t work on which is, to me at least, somewhat impressive given the year I’ve had.

  • Create an integration between my site and Obsidian for the notes page as part of the so-called digital garden idea. So far I have been fine with creating a new markdown file in my editor. It feels like a pretty low effort feature to implement though, so I may do it anyway. I still have questions around how much of my site I’d want managed in Obsidian, and how I’d manage the workflow.

  • I wanted to add a “now playing” component at the top of my site that fetches the song I’m listening to currently or most recently if I’m not listening to anything right now. For the most part I implemented this! Although it does have the ability to fetch the song I’m listening to right now, I opted to simply use the “most recently played” part. My site is built automatically a few times per day anyway.

  • Last year I mentioned that I wanted to write some desktop software with .NET. I didn’t have the chance this year, so this is something I’d like to do next year. I did have the chance to try out a couple of frameworks and I can safely say my choice would be WPF or Avalonia if it’s something I’d want to be cross-platform.

  • Work on some of my electronic and embedded systems projects. I did work on this and started to learn a new language, too. Typically, I’d use C on one of my usual microcontroller choices (such as the AVR). But I wanted to learn something new. So, I chose Rust!

    • Rust is a very capable but very complex language with robust enforced guarantees, which take time to learn. I am not even at a beginner level in this regard.
    • A real type system with all the niceties of modern languages is a productivity enhancer.
    • I love having a productive and modern language for embedded systems and other low-level work. I can install a library (called crates in Rust land) via its package manager. Try doing that in C.
    • One of the core building blocks in the Rust embedded space is the hardware abstraction layer crate. Creating or using a HAL is an essential task for serious embedded systems. This project aims to have a standardised HAL for all platforms! That is a big deal. Anything platform-specific lives in platform-specific implementations of the HAL. For example, your GPIO usage can be portable across the supported microcontrollers. That is light years ahead of the embedded C developer experience.

While Rust does mostly support the AVR, I decided that it would be great to learn it with a very well-supported platform for the sake of documentation, guides, and existing materials. I bought a Raspberry Pi Pico. I have some projects for the coming year that I want to work on.

Conclusion

Well, that’s my second ever “year in review”. I’m looking forward to the coming year and what it brings. I hope you have a great year, too! 🎉

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© Lloyd Atkinson 2024 ✌

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