Harry Keller

January 2, 2023

↬ December 2022: Covid, photography on a GameBoy, books, movies, new year

Hey y’all,
I hope you had a good NYE and made it into 2023 safe and sound! This is my December recap, so I’ll resist the urge to summarize the whole year: let’s just see what happened during that last month of 2022!

🚨 What’s new

In my last newsletter I said I was coming down with a cold, but a few days later it turned out to be covid. Ugh. I had a good run for 2.5 years avoiding the virus, but yeah, now it finally got me. It was pretty bad for a few days, then felt more like a regular flu, then only a persistent cough remained. I didn’t lose taste or smell, no lasting effects I noticed so far. It was a bit of a bummer, I didn’t even do anything risky, I simply must’ve contracted it on public transport. For the pandemic to be over a surprising amount of people around me have or recently had covid. Oh well.

The first year in business with our cooperative Village One is in the bag (well, more like 3/4 of a year) and we put together a little timeline of all the noteworthy things from each month, along with some photos. It’s cute, you should check it out, it’s much more interesting than this newsletter, I’m afraid! 🤭
Side note: My prior company diesdas.digital also put out a year-in-review post! It was a bit of a sentimental read for me, considering that from 2016 to 2021 I used to write those … it made me quite happy to see they kept the tradition alive and that it seems to be going well! Shout-out to the whole team, often I miss working with you!

Okay, here’s something new: I’ve started taking photos with a GameBoy Camera regularly and I’m posting one a day over on Pixelfed. For those who don’t remember: The GameBoy Camera is a GameBoy add-on Nintendo made in 1998, and also happens to be one of the first digital cameras available. It can store up to 30 photos in crisp 128x112 pixel resolution, in four shades of grey. Its software is really quite amazing for the time: it has Snapchat-style distortion lenses, a panorama assistant, stickers and doodling on photos, different frames, collages of multiple photos, slideshows with transitions and even a chiptune sequencer. I love how the photos contain so few pixels, so little actual information, and yet, the brain just fills the gaps, especially when they are viewed in small sizes. I’ll do a proper post about it at some point, there’s a lot more to it. Meanwhile, maybe follow me on Pixelfed!

What’s good

Speaking of Pixelfed: Like Mastodon it is part of the “fediverse” (federated + universe), which really presents a paradigm shift in social media, away from centralized, billionaire-owned and VC-backed networks, to an open + federated model of many smaller servers linking up into bigger networks, mostly running on open-source software by volunteers. What Mastodon is to Twitter, Pixelfed is to Instagram and there are many more services (e.g. Peertube as a Youtube alternative or Bookwyrm as a GoodReads replacement). I may sound like a broken record, but I find this shift so exciting, re-decentralizing the internet, taking back control of our digital selves, collectively owning our communications infrastructure (which is what social media really is). After having dipped my toes into this, I have zero interest in joining the next centralized social media thing started by ex Twitter employees, being backed by a16z. This article sums it up well.

Book club: We met on Zoom to discuss The Wall by Marlen Haushofer: I absolutely loved the book, but sadly the mid-December time slot meant many regulars apparently couldn’t make it. We shall meet again in early Match to talk about Goodbye, again by Jonny Sun, which is our next pick. Join the meetup group if you’re interested (we will also do a Berlin-based, real-life book swap mid-February, you heard it here first)!

In an effort to detach myself from the HEY email service, I am now using hello@harryfk.com as my main address. I looked at all the email services out there (Fastmail, Proton, Mailbox, Tutanoga, …), but then realized I’ve been paying for an all-inkl.com webspace/email package since 2003 (!) and it comes with plenty of extra storage space, so I just used that, semi-self-hosting. I also tried all the shiny email client apps, but I’m sticking with Apple Mail for now. Still wondering where to move this newsletter, but I’ll figure that out in January. The next email you get from me will most likely come from hello@harryfk.com, you’ve been warned! 

👀 What’s recommended

We watched a lot of odd movies in December, among them Glass Onion (of course), Banshees of Inisherin (how did this even get made?), Nomadland (wow, again), White Noise (omg, what is happening?), but She Said was the best one this month! I have a soft spot for investigative journalism movies and this one about the Weinstein investigation is so, so good. Content warning for sexual assault and suicide though.

I ended up reading 22 books this year and I’d wholeheartedly recommend The Wall, The Lathe of Heaven and Sea of Tranquility. There were other good ones, but I found those three novels most captivating!

This compilation of weird internet artifacts from 2022 is incredible.

I’ve been playing Zelda: Majora’s Mask again and man, this game is just soooo good and timeless. It’s mysterious, haunting, beautiful, tragic, sad, hopeful … all the emotions, it’s a rollercoaster, I love it, there is nothing quite like it! One of my favorite games of all time (if not the favorite).

🔮 What’s next

It’s a new year, but I’m not a person who sets many specific goals or makes resolutions; I just try to do the next right thing, take small steps, then see where we’ll end up. If I had to name something, I’d say I want to keep this newsletter going, maybe change up the format a little bit, we’ll see. Leaning more into the old internet of having my little place on the web, on my own domain, with a blog and a newsletter. That’d be nice!

Otherwise, my girlfriend and I are planning to spend some time in the UK again this year and potentially also take a few smaller trips across Germany. Now that both our jobs are entirely remote we have to take advantage of that flexibility and I’m looking forward to that! With Freddy of course! 🐩

I’m tired of BeReal, maybe I’ll let that go.

📷 What’s in the camera roll

Work and play with Freddy

Real and virtual woods

Eerie Köpenick

Alright, that’s all I got. 2022 is done, hello 2023! I hope you had a calm start into the new year, may it be a good one, whatever that might mean for you! 💛

Talk soon,

Harry Keller | harryfk.com
Berliner, works at Village One
Writing a newsletter, running a book club
Elsewhere: Mastodon | Pixelfed | Twitter

About Harry Keller

Heya, I’m Harry, a software developer in Berlin/Germany—he/him, *351ppm, feminist, cooperativist, dogfather. I recently co-founded the somewhat utopian design+tech cooperative Village One and also diesdas.digital before that. You can learn more about me on harryfk.com and we can connect on Mastodon, Twitter, BeReal, PixelfedInstagram. Or you can simply read my newsletter below! 💁