OK, I am guilty of scrolling through Facebook even though I am on the Fediverse… I simply keep it because everyone else I care about does, anyway, on to the important stuff:

Every once in a while I see something worthwhile there, this time I saw two very interesting posts close to each other (in my timeline at least), these were shared by two different people, both Mexican like me.

The first one came from a someone living in Germany and the other one came from someone living in Mexico.

The first post was about how Mexico is one of the easiest countries in the world to make friends with the locals. It may be biased because the cited article was written from the United States expat perspective, overall I agree with the content. We are friendly, perhaps a little too friendly.

Reference material came from internations.org

The second post was about how according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Mexico is one of the worst countries in to live in and raise a family.

Reference material came from OECD – Mexico and the OECD – country ranking which provides a nice chart.

All this was of particular interest to me because two things are clear:

  1. We Mexicans have sub – optimal life conditions (some of the criteria are: safety, work – life balance, housing, income, jobs, education), yet we maintain a positive (naive?) attitude and stay friendly to each other

  2. Expats see a whole different country

It’s not like expats would frequent bad neighborhoods or have a life similar to the locals, probably enjoying that everything is cheaper given the fact that they earn(ed) money in US dollars but spend in Mexican pesos so they get to see only the nicest the country has to offer, and that’s ok

I just found the contrast interesting

Day 6 of

This entry is going to be a bit more personal, I usually avoid all the touchy – feely subjects but there is something to be said about how we go about balancing our professional careers and private life.

Long story short, I think I work with brilliant people and lately I’ve been anxious about catching up and feeling a bit guilty whenever I catch myself at home being a couch potato.

After getting the impulse of devoting insane hours or even weekends on “getting up to speed”, a conclusion I came to was: “That’s probably counterproductive”

Given how the world works and we are constantly bombarded with the idea that we have to work hard and then harder I think it is OK to make peace with some facts (at least I’m trying to):

  • Not everyone is the same, therefore it is understandable to work at different speeds
  • Not every team member has the same tasks, therefore it is not possible to compare progress between them
  • Not everyone has the same background or experience so it is understandable to need others to make progress

After all these thoughts I haven’t stopped feeling anxious completely but at least it is a step in the right way

If you’re reading this and you’ve felt something similar I want to let you know that it is OK to step back, rest and take your time, after all we are only human and all we can do is our best

Day 5 of

Ever since discovering the Fediverse and reading toots from awesome people in Fosstodon, a little idea started to take shape in my head: perhaps its not that hard to self host, there are tons of tutorials and resources out there…And I need some alternative to google photos to share albums with my family back home

Hardware

After some research and settled for a RaspberryPi server/NAS, now, the purists will say that it is not the ideal platform to host but I think it is perfect to get started and learn the basics or as a hobby, then you can move on to the big boy fancy server hardware.

The first step was to choose the hardware, I settled for this kit because it provides a nice way to attach 2.5″ SATA drives:
Dual/Quad SATA HAT, top board HAT and metal case from Radxa

It was easy to assemble and the process was fun:
Step 1
Step 2
3

Software

For the software related part, I decided to install the Raspbian lite image from raspberrypi.org downloads. And then on top of that OpenMediaVault 5 since there are a lot of tutorials on YouTube and it has a nice GUI. Installation guide

I was up and running after following some instructions in the Radxa Wiki. Ran into some trouble with the Top board hat not displaying any information and RAID because my 4 drives were not detected at first by Open Media Vault and had to set up RAID from terminal- This setup has 4 1Tb HDDs on 2 x RAID 1 configuration – Just remember that forums are your best friends 😉

Now, you can basically learn everything related to Open Media Vault from Techno Dad Life. After a few tutorials I had a piwigo photo gallery up and running, accessible from my local network.

Hosting over 4G?

For the access through the internet part, the not so fun part: it is a long story, but in a nutshell I have to access the internet using a 4G router because my landlord sucks. Anyway it was a bit of a nightmare, after setting up dynamic DNS on my router with noip and also setting up OpenVPN (a very nice feature to have on a router if you ask me) I discovered that neither accessing my local network through VPN nor port forwarding were working.

After tedious exchanges with my ISP/carrier (I am using an additional sim card linked to my phone’s data plan), calls to the store where I got my router from and even TP Link’s product support; some random hero from my ISP’s customer support call center said “Officially we don’t support third party routers, that being said I would suggest you change your APN setting to internet.public” and here I am now, a week after following that advice, sharing photos with my family back home through means I trust and manage myself.

I also installed Murmur (The Mumble server component) on the Raspberrypi 4 and was amazed by how easy it was to set up. My use case is having voice with friends while we play 0 A.D.

Day 4 of

As mentioned in a previous entry, I started a new job in Norway last year, here are my thoughts so far:

First of all, a couple of interviews related to my position took place 3 weeks before my Master’s thesis was due, all that can be said about that is: lots of excitement, I remember getting results and figures the weekend before the final interview took place.

After a well deserved month of relaxation back home (Mexico), my first day on my new job was a week before the company’s Christmas party and it wasn’t long after that everything was slowing down and everyone was away from the office so not much time to get used to a new country and learn the ropes at the new workplace.

During January, February and the middle of March things slowly started to ramp up and I started to understand a bit more on how things worked around here, from using the printer (always a pain, don’t deny it) and meeting colleagues, to slightly more complicated tasks related to electronics and coding.

Then, in the middle of march disaster happened and COVID-19 started to spread, so I was left with doing a couple of tasks here and there (not complaining, still got paid and everything was more or less fine).

Ever since health regulations allowed for people to start going back to their offices with a few minor considerations, things have started to ramp up again but now I can’t help but feel like I haven’t been able to keep up and learn as fast as I should, blaming the pandemic is easy but still…

It is also important to note that my colleagues are really brilliant people and no one has mentioned anything about my performance, maybe anxiety got the best of me or I am just pushing myself too far… Or is it that people in Norway are just that chill and like to take their time? Only time will tell, in the meantime, gotta keep at it.