This site is being remade and I won't be updating this for a while. Expect a lot of broken links, design and functionality. If all goes well, things should be stable by the end of 2022. Thank you for understanding.


Hello 2019!

Published Updated

I’m late for the new year’s resolution thing, but I’m finally here! I’ve had a lot of free time since graduation, I did some stuff and I hope to do more of it.

I Remade My Personal Website… Again

This is the eighth version of my personal website. I keep dreaming about that one big redesign where I start from scratch, but it doesn’t come out that way. Just like I thought the last time, it might be better next time. At least I’ve finally implemented that look I’ve always wanted.

This website is built using the static website generator Hugo since it’s fast and full of features. It’s also hosted on Gitlab Pages which I choose because it’s free and flexible.

I Moved All My Blog Posts Into One Place

As part of the website redesign, I decided to collect all of the blog posts I’ve written and placed them here. In the three-ish years I’ve been blogging, I’ve launched the following blogs.

  • The Algorithmic Cookbook
  • Semester of Java
  • Farai’s Code Lab
  • Kwizitive Creations
  • Farai’s Blog
  • Why I Like This Thing

These blogs move around a lot bouncing between a Jekyll-powered website, WordPress and even Tumblr1. I even got a cute little favicon. The idea behind it is that I wanted to split my website in two; Just Another Random Programming Blogger and Arandos Logs. Since arando is another word for blueberry and Just Another Random Programming Blog boils down to JARPB that can be split into JAR-PB, I decided on making a logo with a blueberry colored jar of peanut butter. Convoluted, but I think it’s cool.

a logo with a blueberry colored jar of peanut butter with the letters FG

I Revisited All The Projects I Did In College

I launched a series called My Git Revisited. I called it that after looking at my GitHub profile and deciding to look through all my old projects. It was really hard to go through it all, but I’m nearly done. I’ll post the summary once I’m done with it.

I Got Off Of Social Media

I was getting stressed out by social media so I left it. Well, I just deleted my social media accounts. I still shadow social media, but I’m slowly weaning off of it. I might get back to it at the end of the year once I’ve thought of a more responsible way to use it.

I Contemplated Deleting Old Work and Starting All Over Again

With all that’s happened since graduation, I looked back for a moment and regret not having done better. I looked at all the work I did and kept wondering if I could do any better. This is partially why I keep rewriting my website and revising my old blog posts2. At some point last year, I even deleted everything because I was just too ashamed of the work I did. My blogs and my YouTube videos– everything.

A short time after I did that, I realized that I can’t undo the past and just write off all the bad experiences I’ve had form who I am. Sure, I could have finished my senior project, but throughout the project, I learned so much. Even as it was hacked together, I remember the joy I experienced learning about Node.js, Dialogflow, web scraping and other little discoveries.

Sometimes, I even forget that joy. For instance, when I [revisited Diary Locker], I realized just how much I underrated it. I was amazed at how well documented it was and the fact that it worked well. Even though I haven’t had much attention, on my blog, all the work I did in college has formed a big part of who I am. It’s also a great way for me to understand who I was and what I was feeling at the time. That’s why I moved all my blog posts into one place.

I can’t recover everything, especially the videos of my projects working (which sucks), but from the little I have recovered, it has meant a lot.

Plans For 2019 (and Beyond)

This extended vacation I have has given me a big dose of creativity giving me so many ideas to try out. These are the projects I have in mind:

  • Finishing The Virtual Jo Project– As much as I want to leave this as it is and move on to more exciting projects, part of me wants to finish this. While there this project isn’t my responsibility anymore, I want to see what could have been.
  • Get a job– As great as my extended vacation is, it’s time to get to work.
  • Improve the websites RSS feeds Right now the feeds are truncated. I want to have a full feed, a partial feed and a feed with everything.
  • Make a GUI for youtube-dl I used this to export the videos from my YouTube channel. I want to give back and make a GUI for youtube-dl.
  • Add Pygal support to Hugo I want to bring Pygal into Hugo, the static site generator I use to build this site.
  • Finish the Share Center’s website I’ve been volunteering at the Share Center of Battle Creek building their website. While it’s live, I still have a lot of work to do on it.
  • Add a search feature to this website– I want to make my blog searchable. I was going to use Algolia to start with, but then I wondered what it would be like to do it on my own.
  • Creating a dedicated projects page– I want to find a way to host all the projects I’m going to make. My projects are all over the place and I just want to bring them into the same place.
  • Visualizing my country’s presidential election– Along with being disappointed by the actual election results, I was angrier at how the results were visualized. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission just dumped the results in a bunch of XLS files So I want to present them better.
  • Implementing Google Maps, but for video games– I wanted to try and recreate video game maps so I can implement navigation algorithms just like Google Maps
  • Find the optimal seeds for a farm in Stardew Valley– I was playing Stardew Valley and I was wondering what the best set of seeds I can buy with a given budget. I’ll start simply by using Knapsack before I go full in by factoring various conditions that can affect yield.
  • Find the quickest solution to problems in Watch Dogs– While Watch Dog’s hacking system is far from realistic, I wondered what the optimal solutions to the puzzles are.
  • Make an online split-flap display for the Amsterdam-Schiphol airport Why that specific airport? They have and API with flight data. Why that specific display? It looks cool. I’ve been planning to do this since 2017, but I never got around to it.
  • Make a “$10 Elgato Stream Deck” The Elgato Stream Deck is a little keyboard that provides macros. I can’t afford a stream deck so I want to make my own in software using Duet Display (which I bought for $10).
  • Implementing Nefarious the Board Game– I was really into board games last year and I would be this year as well if it weren’t for me being far from everything. I want to try and convert the real logic of the game into the board game. I might run some machine learning as well.
  • Evaluate Sponsored Products– As annoying as sponsorships on online content are, I understand that they need money. I want to buy the products they shill and evaluate them for myself. I’m concerned that the creators of the products in question will catch onto what I’m doing and modify their behavior for me, but I’ll see how it goes.
  • Finding my Favorite Food– I struggle to find things to eat because I’m drowning in choice. I want to settle the score once and for all and find my favorite ramen/soda/fast-food and so on.
  • Applying lessons from Masterclasses– Masterclass is a premium online learning platform boasting classes taught by the greats, like Serena Williams, Gordon Ramsey and Samuel L. Jackson. I want to see if they can turn you into a master.

I have bigger things in mind like yet another redesign, writing about how I became a software developer, my job search as well as a big pivot to video among other things I haven’t thought of yet… For now, I have enough to keep me entertained.

  1. It’s very impressive given all the features it provides for free. ↩︎

  2. I don’t rewrite them entirely, I just fix grammatical errors, add images, provide updates, restructure content, etc. ↩︎