Last year I wrote a yearly review on the progress of this blog. Given that its already been a year since that day, it means that it has been two years since I started to publish my writing in this blog. I want to keep tracking the progress, so that one day I can look back and see what I have built over time. So, let’s get straight to the point.

In terms of changes, nothing has changed with respect to how I managed the infrastructure of my website, as I still host everything with Vultr. Instead, a lot has changed with the content itself and how it is organized.

First of all, I have started to use different virtual hosts for the different projects that I’m currently working on, of which the blog is just a part of. This means that now the main page of the website, that is https://leonardotamiano.xyz, contains a list with links to all the different sections of the website.

As far as the style goes, I like the general idea of having a homepage with different links, and I like the matrix effect, obtained with some javascript, although in the future I would like to change it into something slightly different and less seen.

With respect to the actual links contained in the homepage, for now the three main projects are:

So, to review all that has changed, we must go through each section separately.

## Blog Changes⌗

The blog has not changed a lot with respect to the style and the technical part. I still use the same tooling, because it works wonderfully and it is very efficient for my particular needs. I had already promised last year that I would write a more technical tutorial on how to setup the blogging workflow that I use, but I still have to write it. May this incoming year change that.

With respect to the writings, this year has been interesting, because I’m noticing that I tend to write more emotional and personal posts than techical posts in my blog. While in my youtube account I only create technical content, whenever I feel down, I end up writing, and then I end up publishing my writings in here. Since most of such writing is impulsive, and it follows the emotions of the moment, it is mostly done in the italian language.

It has happend a few times that I would publish something, and then I would regret having it online, because I felt like it was too private, and so I removed it. I’m still unsure how to navigate these waters. How much is safe to share online? On the one hand, it makes me feel better to write about my thoughts, but on the other hand I feel like I’m sharing too much sometimes. I guess it’s because I write in order to talk to someone, maybe myself, and this leaves me pretty open.

I’m also thinking of opening up another blog, but this time in anonymous form, so that I can write the more extreme emotional stuff there whenever I feel like it, anonymously, while leaving the other stuff here.

To get a general idea of the various blog posts that I write, I have created a page in my archive at that contains the current active list of blog-post

Since the last review not much as been written. Out of $14$ posts, $6$ of them were technical or technical related, and the remaining where either emotional posts, writings about the human condition, or reviews about movies that I saw during these months.

Even though I haven’t written much, I have to say that I really, really like to write, and in the future I want to focus a bit more on writing. The problem with writing is that it is tremendously expensive in terms of hours.

Finally, what I’m happy about with respect to my techical writings is that I started my series on the foundamentals of computer science, which will be a sequence of articles written in italian, each of which tries to describe the essence of a particular area of computer science, and it is intended for beginners looking to understand what computer science is all about. If you’re italian and interested you can read the first article here: Come si diventa un Hacker?

## The Beginnings of the Academy⌗

The most exciting thing is the presence of the new section, the academy section, which in a way reflects the fact that this year I have spent a lot of time creating content for my youtube channel.

Given that I make a lot of videos, and that each video is very, very long (we’re talking between 30 mins and 3 hrs of potential duration for each video), and contains a lot of different and useful information, I cannot simply rely on youtube’s search engine, because that is too general and for a lot of technical reasons it cannot do in-depth searches with respect to the specific content I create.

Being inspired by https://ippsec.rocks/, I decided to do a small proof-of-concept by creating a search engine that can be used as a way to access easily all the knowledge contained in my videos. Currently the search engine is in a prototypical form, given that I developed it in a weekend just to get the idea out there, but I’m happy with the result.

For now simple queries can be made, and a list of arguments can be used to select all videos that are related to the selected topic. After the video of interest has been found, by clicking on the video’s title another page opens up, with all the details about the specific video, such as timestamps, relative links, and general description.

The academy also contains the list of playlists that are currently active, and for each playlist the set of all tags related to that playlist is shown.

By clicking on the single playlist a list of all videos of the playlist is shown.

What make me the most happy about the current state of the academy is that, while it is still a prototype, I’ve pretty much automated all that I could, and everytime I make a new video, the effort required to update the metadata and update the academy is very insignificant.

The approach I took should be discussed in its own blog post, but just to give the general idea, I have all the metadata related to my youtube videos saved within an org file, and I have a python script using the orgparse library that extracts such data and builds a json dataset that contains all useful information that is then used by the javascript of the site to display the various data. All of this is done client-side, which means that no code is executed on the server.

The general structure of the org file I use to keep the metadata of my youtube videos is shown below

Each video corresponds to a single org outline, which contains the various useful metadata such as video-id and things of the sort.

While the json dataset is a list of the following json objects

{
"id": "TphOx13VV1g",
"title": "HTB - Unicode (medium) walkthrough (ITA)",
"tags": [
"htb",
"hacking",
// ...
],
"description": "In questo video mostro un walkthrough completo della macchina Unicode offerta dalla piattaforma Hack The Box.\n\n",
"toc": [
"00:00:00 introduzione",
"00:01:55 nmap",
"00:04:00 enumerazione web server",
"00:07:35 analisi endpoint /redirect",
// ...
],
"original_material": [
"https://archive.leonardotamiano.xyz/yt/htb/22/",
],
"external_references": [
"https://jwt.io/",
"https://irrte.ch/jwt-js-decode/pem2jwk.html",
// ...
],
"published-date": "2022-07-27",
"keywords": [
"htb",
"hacking",
"hack-the-box",
// ...
]
},


## Archive Changes⌗

The archive also has not changed that much. I still use the same mess of python and bash scripts, as well as some git for versioning control.

Last year I computed some statistics on my archive with respect to the number of files uploaded, and things of the sort, and I had like $1813$ total files. The same statistics, but updated to the new year are shown below.

--------------------
27-Jul-2022 (04:13)

TOTAL FILES: 1969

FILES PER EXTENSION:
png,1208
html,347
jpg,119
pdf,66
py,46
c,29
org,27
css,24
txt,15
None,12
gif,9
el,9
jpeg,6
h,6
js,5
dot,5
mp4,3
img,3
svg,2
r,2
ipynb,2
pickle,2
sh,2
zip,2
md,2
scm,2
cpp,2
htm,1
mp3,1
odg,1
out,1
csv,1
pyc,1
gpg,1
john,1
ttf,1
lock,1
toml,1
rs,1


As we can see, the new files added were not much, at least in terms of numbers, since $1969 - 1813 = 156$.

The majority of the added files were files added to the youtube-channel section of archive, which contains all the content I create for the videos I upload on youtube.

I’m proud of having made this material, as it was very hard and time-consuming to make. In the future I want to make much more of this.

Even though this is called “blog review”, it has a more general meaning that can include things outside this website and the blog. One of the biggest thing this year for example has been the creation of more than $100$ technical videos for my italian youtube channel, which can be found here

I have created hours and hours of videos in which I teach various things, all taken from the immense world of computer science, with a particular focus on cybersecurity. I make my videos in italian, because there is an inherent lack of such content in my native language, and I want to help change that.

I’m very happy with the content created and also with the results obtained. Just few days ago I hit the $1000$ subscribers count!

This number might not be a crazy big number, but to me it is crazy big, because the video I make are highly challenging, they are long, and they are definitely not for those with low-attention spans. Still, even with this inherent difficulty in the content I create, I’m happy people are choosing to watch my videos, and I’m also really happy to know that I’m able to create added values for them.

I’m happy with the community I’m slowly building, and I have a lot of projects for the future, which I hope to have the chance to at least try out. Its weird, really, as right now it is not anymore the inspiration that I lack, but rather the time and energy to do everything that I want to do.

Where does all this energy comes from?

I guess it comes from a lot of places. Too many too count. Some of them happy, some of them sad. Ultimately, I think it comes from the deep desire, rooted in the pains and joys of existence, to express what it means for me to be alive, to think the way I think, and to feel the way I feel.