The final step is in motion. I have got all the pieces of the puzzle, now I just have to align them. My intermission will be from the 19th January 2021 until April 20, 2021. 13 weeks is the max with funding covered. However, due to the length of the process and the Christmas holidays, essentially from Thursday 4th December 2020, I will be beginning my intermission.
I am so excited; I feel hopeful and I feel the space to do things that interest me. This will be a big time of change for me, and I hope to look back on it as a truly wonderful time of personal development and positive steps forward in my PhD and my frame of mind.
I have an idea of what to start with, to help myself ease the pressure and the load on myself. I want to stop being as hard on myself and so, I think a nice and extremely enjoyable way to start would be to do some of the projects I have been meaning to do for a long time. These are all computer related:
- Installing a fresh new distribution of Parabola Linux on my machines and setting up my own unix set up with window manager (probably dwm) and an interesting desktop environment.
- Making my own email and git server.
- Migrating to a CLI password and OTP manager such as GNU Pass.
- Deleting a load of accounts I just do not need anymore, starting with google as the final of the FANG  accounts left for me.
- Hosting my own website, and writing it from scratch, or at least build a pre-existing open source solution from scratch on my own hosting, such as write freely.
- Setting up my Raspberry Pi 400 as a seedbox, and a tinker station; perhaps, ultimately using the GPIO on there to flash my ThinkPad x230 to coreboot.
- Setting up a proper backup system of hard-drives, cron, and rsync. I think the cloud is out for me at the moment, unless I find one that aligns with my philosophies and upload only encrypted files to it. It's entirely possible I will do that, just having to scour through 4000 providers is not my cup of tea at the moment.
- Watching and going through the exercises of 'The Missing Semester' from MIT CS .
Well, that was a lot. Of course, I will still write a basic data privacy guide for my friends and family and as a way of having some start-up content on my new home on the internet – my website.
I hope to begin and finish on this in one session after this week of final responsibilities for me. Onwards and Upwards.