New blog, old posts
Aug 1, 2021

This blog has no tagline, but I have played with the idea of titling it “high on film, focused on code”. Maybe a bit lofty, but it gets across what I want this to be: my outlet for thoughts about movies and programming, two passions of mine.

Wait, new blog?

Yes, there is an old blog. To account for the admittedly unlikely possibility of someone looking for my old posts, I archived the two posts that I deemed worth saving on the Internet Archive. These are part one and part two of a series about embedded ARM development with the GNU toolchain. I’m especially proud of the first article, which made it to the HN frontpage.

Anyways, I later stumbled upon the blog of Vivonomicon, who has a much wider coverage of the topic. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, you should honestly rather read their posts than mine. Here’s a link to the first one.

Why programming?

I can’t say when I wrote my first line of Python, but boy I was young. Today I’m a CS undergrad at TU Darmstadt in Germany.

Recently my dad—the one responsible for all of this—asked me if I saw myself as a sysadmin or programmer. There were two types of developers, he claimed. It’s obvious bullshit, but if you take it for granted for a minute and ask yourself that question, you might learn something about yourself. After further contemplation I’ll categorize myself as a wannabe programmer who is in reality a sysadmin.

Building a medium-sized project like the static site generator powering this blog, Zola, is hard. Building a large piece of software, think systemd, the kernel or Microsoft Word, is a feat of engineering no smaller than the construction of a building. You will have to write thousands of lines of code until you can see the big picture. And especially in the beginning, it’s easy to make unforeseeable architectural mistakes which will force you to refactor most of your work later. No uni can teach you how to get this right; structuring large amounts of code is more art than science.

A sysadmin, on the other hand, writes less code and produces results quicker. For example, putting together this blog was fun and worthwhile: a tiny bit of HTML here, a little web server configuration there and you’ve got yourself a website.

For me, there is a magical middleground in between writing a new word processor and cranking out static web projects. I’ve found lots of joy in contributing to the multiplayer game Teeworlds, especially the DDNet flavor of the game. Years ago, I added a feature which is used commonly in the numerous maps for the game, of which new ones are still being created today. Every time I open up the game, I see other players make use of the mechanic I added, and I’ll make use of it myself. This is extremly rewarding, and I know others who’ve had the same experience with modding Minecraft.

Why movies?

I’ve used to spend a lot of time gaming, but in recent years I found myself increasingly disenchanted with video games. Most single-player games are simply wasting my time. I find myself coming back to the same few games time and time again.

Once, I scoured the internet for the next game to play. Today, I’m on the lookout for movies. Like books and video games they can transport you to any place and make you feel anything, even things you couldn’t experience otherwise. If you’re into movies like me, you know the rush of finding a new exciting flick you know you’re going to love.

My true love lies in horror (Let the Right One In, From Dusk Till Dawn), musical films (Sweeny Todd, Baby Driver) and, I guess, a good revenge story (Inglourious Basterds, The Nightingale).

My go to resources are TSPDT, as I’m into horror They Shoot Zombies, Don’t They?, and Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review on the BBC.