Home computing goals for 2024

 ยท Eelco Maljaars

As I was not as satisfied with proprietary solutions as I used to be, it was time to reconsider some past choices. Some of the choices have suited me very will for quite some time, but circumstances have changed so I'm open to other options.

Switching to more open solutions

So 2023 was the year I finally switched back to Linux on the desktop, at least for my personal needs. For professional use I still rely on the macbook for various reasons. The desktop of choice after considering a lot of differents options turned out to be Debian 12 running Gnome for me.

I've been a long time Macos user, but for the last 5-8 years Macos has steadily slowed in delivering features that really fit me, all while alternatives were catching up on the features I like about Macos.

File sync replaced

Last year I was playing around with OpenBSD on the desktop, when I found that my 'goto' solution for file sync did not have a client for OpenbBSD. So instead of relying on Synology Drive client, I installed syncthing on both my Synology and the OpenBSD install. This took just a little bit of fiddling and then it mostly just worked.

Being the satisfied syncthing user I turned out te be, I switched all other devices to syncthing between x-mas and New Year too. So now the Macbooks and linux devices also rely on syncthing. This is clearing the way for more open solutions when it comes to network storage. Jay! To finish the migration off I donated some money to the syncthing project.

Ditched VMWare workstation

I've been a paying VMWare customer since I don't know when. There was always the occasional pain when kernel modules would not compile with fancy new linux kernel, but most of the time it was fine.

But it turns out that the performance of kvm/virt manager/qemu is really fine for my needs nowadays, even when running virtual machines that rely on graphical desktops/tools. So I uninstalled VMWare workstation, converted some virtual machines, and it was a done deal. Saves me a couple of hundred Euros every other year.

Migrated from Gitlab to Forgejo

Gitlab is a fine tool, but not completely 'free/libre'. And quite the resource claiming little toy. So over x-mas brake I installed Forgejo as an alternative and migrated all my projects over. Setup was rather painless and Forgejo has a nice tool to import projects, including things like issue tracker data, over. Cool stuff. This migration was finished of by joining Codeberg as a member. Codeberg is taking care of the Forgejo project ever since Forgejo was forked from Gitea.

Next steps

There are a couple of proprietary tools left in my toolchain. There is Intellij IDEA and DBVisualizer. I have no plans to move to anything else at this time.

Replacing the 2018 NAS with something new is on the list for 2024. Still contemplating what to choose.

The home automation relies heavily on Philips Hue and Apple Homekit right now. I also run home assistent, but it could be used for more things.

I'm also looking at a way to play 4K content on our TV, with something like XBMC/Kodi. But I have yet to find capable hardware at a price point I like.