print(“Hello World”);

dark picture with a mobile phone that says “hello” in white text
Photo by Tyler Lastovich / Unsplash

Wow... we're finally doing this!

Hello World! By now you've probably read those two words hundreds of times, even more if you're a part of the dev ecosystem. Nonetheless, welcome to my blog / personal website project, I hope you enjoy your stay :)

I made a promise to myself this year to venture out of my comfort zone and to start making an effort to have an internet presence... so here we are, my own personal internet space!

A little background about myself: My name is Jason, but I go by SquaredX online (hence the name of the website). By day, I work as a software developer at a small but mighty startup called memoryKPR, where we're creating a secure digital vault for memories and user-generated content.

But when I'm not at work, I'm a tech hobbyist, exploring topics like 3D modelling, pixel art, game development, mobile development, and reverse engineering.

My aim this year is to share my passion projects through this blog, and possibly through videos as well. So be sure to sign up for my newsletter to stay updated the latest content! Here's a sneak peek of what's to come:

game dev

Photo by Sean Do / Unsplash

Ever since I first played Simpsons Hit and Run on the PS2, I've always wanted to publish and develop my own games. It felt like a pipe dream during my childhood, akin to kids wanting to become football players or claiming their uncle works for Nintendo.

That was until I started playing Minecraft in high school. And again when I started playing GMod / Rust shortly after that. And also when I first played the tech demo of BeamNG. You get the point.

Further inspiration came from my close friend Renz who has self-published two of his own game projects in the past few years, Alpha: Omnipresence, and more recently, Rainy Day. He also runs a blog, and I highly recommend checking him out!

Finally, it clicked for me that making games is something that can be done by one person or a small team. Starting this year I am planning on documenting the process of developing several small game projects developed through the Godot engine (and maybe bevy depending on how daring I'm feeling).


Photo by Taylor Vick / Unsplash
Homelab is the name given to a server (or multiple server setup) that resides locally in your home and where you host several applications and virtualized systems for testing and developing or for home and functional usage. Source

Homelabbing is a hobby I've recently delved into. I've always been fascinated with the concept of creating a home server and running useful services.

When I was younger, I used an old PC to host Minecraft, GMod, and Counter Strike servers for my friends. Knowing what I do now, I'm surprised that my PC wasn't bot-netted right off the bat.

Currently, I'm using my old gaming PC, which rocks an AMD FX-8350, as my server. If you had asked about my server architecture a few weeks ago, it would've been completely different. You'll be hearing more about this system and my journey soon.

learning about new technologies

Photo by Maxim Tolchinskiy / Unsplash

I loooove learning new technologies, languages, and all things bleeding-edge. When I was younger, I was known to be the person that always flashed custom roms on my old Android phone to get the latest Android version before it was publicly released. Sure, there were some major bugs like the camera crashing while recording a landing video into Amsterdam during a school trip causing the 20-minute video to be corrupted, but the hiccups were worth it to get a glimpse of future technology.

Fast-forward a couple years I was doing the same thing on my iPhones, iPads, and Macs. While these beta versions were more stable, the random crashes still occurred but I persisted in the name of science! ...or maybe it's because I'm impatient?

Even now, for my side projects, I strive to use the latest versions of my tools, eager to experience all the new features (I'm super pumped to upgrade our app to the latest version of Flutter and Dart 3 after watching the Google I/O Flutter Update!)

In terms of new technology, I've been super intrigued by all the AI stuff going around now: ChatGPT, Bing AI, Bard, but especially all the LLMs that can be run locally. The /r/LocalLLaMa subreddit consistently has models released almost daily with all sorts of specializations, quantizations, and applications. The fact that I can run a conversational LLM locally on a base model M1 MacBook with 8GB of ram is insane.

Oh man, I got excited just writing about that haha. Anyways, I hope that my future deep dives into emerging technologies will help others on their own learning journeys as well as my own.

analysis paralysis

aka excessive research over small, sometimes even pointless, decisions or purchases

“You’re not creating if your not first enveloped with passion for your work”
Photo by Jason Strull / Unsplash

Yeah so, I have a tendency of overanalyzing any sort of purchase decision, big or small. Whether it's cookware, vacuums, or electronics, I love sifting through reviews, comparing specs, and reading about others' experiences with the item. There's something about the research process that gets me going.

As an example, I spent an excessive amount of time researching what vacuum to buy for my small place. There's a great YouTube channel dedicated to 1v1 matches against all different types of vacuums called VacuumWars. If you're someone like me, you could lose hours of your time watching all their videos.

Everyone I discuss my purchasing decisions with suggests I post about it online to help potential buyers and the internet knowledgebase. With that in mind, I plan on writing blog posts about all my purchase deep-dives. I'm pumped that, with these blog posts, my time and research won't go to waste anymore!

let's do this!

I really hope I didn't lose you with this wall of text, and I hope to see you around :)

If not, I truly appreciate you taking the time to read this, and hopefully, we cross paths again in the future!