2021 - Year in Review

blog Dec 31, 2021

2021 was another crazy year; the Coronavirus was at large again, and we had to restrict ourselves in our households for months. Luckily, we got vaccinated early in June.

To quarantine or not to quarantine? - Funny
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I kept track of various items this time. It eventually helped me make the article more structured.


Some Updates

Personally, this was a slow year for me. However, I was fortunate enough to travel when we had fewer Covid cases and lesser travel restrictions in India.

Professionally, I was swamped with various projects throughout this year. Most of them were back to back, which kept me busy to the core. I learned more about Kubernetes, Container Security and performed a few penetration tests.


Travels

In February, we went to Ramnagar (aka. Jim Corbett National Park) and Nainital.

In November, we went to Manali. This trip made me realize how bad is Delhi/NCR's AQI (Air Quality Index).

Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India - November 2021

Tech

Last year, I purchased a Raspberry Pi to manage my DigitalOcean server. I had to make this purchase because, at the time, I did not have my PC. This year, I successfully converted it into a self-hosted server, reducing my dependency on cloud applications like Google Drive, Lastpass, etc. In addition, there are various security measures that I have employed to keep things safe and secure. I plan to discuss these in detail using a threat model in a separate article.

I made some upgrades to my PC -

  • I added 16 gigs of RAM, bumping it up to 32 gigs. I did it for running various container workflows and virtual machines in parallel.
  • I added one NVME SSD to run a Linux-based operating system, primarily as a development environment.

This time, I went with Pop!_OS (well, that's how they write it) over Ubuntu. I liked the defaults that Pop!_OS provides. For example, flatpak over snap (default in Ubuntu), window tiler, exhaustive testing before every release/upgrade. I have upgraded my system a couple of times and never encountered any issues.

What's poppin'?

By the way, when I took the above screenshot, I was watching J. Cole's Documentary. And if you have not listened to J. Cole - arguably one of the greatest rappers of this time - you are missing out on some great music!

J. Cole Freestyles Over “93 Til Infinity” & Mike Jones’ “Still Tippin” - L.A. Leakers Freestyle #108
Almost 12 years in the making, North Carolina and the Los Angeles Leakers finally collide for Freestyle #108 featuring one of this generation’s greatest hip-...

The line where he says, "Who gave the world more fire but got less reward?” hits differently. 🔥


Finance

I started a little bit of investing. Instead of going head-on chasing bulls, I started with a more passive approach by investing in ETFs through smallcase by Zerodha. A smallcase is a basket of stocks/ETFs weighted intelligently to reflect an idea. These ideas can be anything -

  • Rising Rural Development - Link
  • Electric Mobility Sector - Link

These underlying smallcases have stocks handpicked after considering the vision behind the idea/sector and the potential of growth over a specific time horizon. The books I read this year will explain why I took the plunge.


Books I read

After careful consideration, I finally purchased an iPad and read most of my books on Kindle (for iPad).

My workflow has improved significantly - I read these books, highlight important stuff, export them as notes and revisit them whenever I need a refresher.

  • Psychology of Money - Timeless lessons on Wealth, Greed and Happiness
    by Morgan Housel
  • The Almanack Of Naval Ravikant - A Guide to Wealth and Happiness
    by Eric Jorgenson
  • Coffee can Investing - The Low-Risk Road to Stupendous Wealth
    by Saurabh Mukherjee
  • Flirting with Stocks - Stock Market Investing for Beginners
    by Anil Lamba

Things I learned

  • More Kubernetes and Container Security
  • A little bit of penetration testing and red teaming

Animes watched

  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba ( 👺 ) - ( ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - 6/5 stars )

Games played

  • Frostpunk - (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - 6/5 stars)
  • Dota 2 - usual dose of toxicity 🐍

PS. - All the ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - 6/5 star mentioned above are worth recommending!

I hope 2022 has more joy and adventures in store for all of us.

Happy New Year 2022 ! 🎉

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