A Long Overdue Update

It’s been about 14 months since I last posted an update, and I want to check in here and let everyone know the the blog isn’t dead; I’ve just been incredibly busy.

Early in 2023 I started to realize that my job of ten years was just not a good fit for me anymore. I was stuck maintaining and extending old code and subject to the whims of what features the clients wanted. So, in the spring, I decided to jump ship, and took a position at a new startup called Positron AI. Like most startups the work hours are longer and so I haven’t had as much energy for personal projects. But,it’s also much more rewarding work and I don’t regret the decision one bit.


First and foremost, the name of the OS for this project was changed last year from JR/OS to jrcOS. The OS itself is not entirely “retro” anymore, being a Unix clone, so the new name is more fitting. I did have a brief blog post about this last year, but the rest of the post was so bad I ended up deleting it.

Though my new job has more or less destroyed my original jrcOS schedule, I have continued to work on it, albeit in small bursts. In fact, about three months ago I made a major decision — I decided to do the thing I said I wouldn’t do and start writing non-critical jrcOS code in C, using the Calypsi 65816 C compiler.

I thought about decision this long and hard, especially because I felt like I was giving up on my self-imposed challenge, and it’s the right decision. In the end, it wasn’t that doing everything in assembly was beyond my ability, but rather I just don’t have the patience for it (I’m rather neurodivergent). I’ve also had more time to look at the code Calypsi generates, and I’m decently happy with it. Changing over to C is going to let me meet my goals much faster and with less hassle.

Look for more jrcOS updates between now and spring.


This project, unfortunately, is now on the far back burner. I hesitate to call it officially dead, because I do have plans for the code base, but I’m not actively working on it at the moment. Tentative plans for some future date include a port that runs on a bare metal Raspberry Pi, with a native ARM CPU emulation.

Home Automation

“Wait,” you are probably now saying, “when did you ever blog about home automation?” The answer is I haven’t…yet.

Over the last year I’ve largely rebuilt my entire home network, with the goal of being more fault-tolerant of both power fluctuations and Internet outages. This is quite a bit harder than it sounds with so many products these days being cloud-based.

As part of my revamp I also wanted to delve more into home automation. I’ve dabbled in it before in the form of Phillips Hue light bulbs, but I wanted to start automating even more. I also wanted to add a voice assistant like Alexa, but without relying on a cloud connection.

At this point I’ve achieved my initial goals, thanks to Home Assistant and its large ecosystem of compatible hardware and open source projects. Even my voice assistant, Wintermute (IYKYK), runs on local hardware.

Throughout 2024 I’m hoping to start blogging more about the progress I’ve made and my future plans, including some of the products I’ve found that work with HA.

Closing Thoughts

I have some other, smaller projects mulling around in my brain that I may or may not get to this year. Anything I do I will try to remember to document here. Stay tuned.

The blog has moved (a little bit)

When I first transitioned my personal blog to the Area 73 name, the only reasonable domain name available was “”. At the time I was fine with it; it is short and easy to remember. However, it recently came to my attention that the “” and “” names have become available as well. Of course I immediately purchased them both, and how I am happy to report that this blog officially lives at! In fact, you can access it at any of the three domains, though they will all redirect to

For the time being I have no plans to decommission the original, so any page links out in the wild will continue to work. However I still suggest updating your bookmarks to use the new canonical site name.

Now if only would become available…

I’ve Rebranded

As you probably noticed my blog has a new name – Area 73.

When I originally started this blog it was just a replacement for my aging personal homepage, and I wasn’t sure how long I would really stick with it. So, I brought the blog online in a subfolder of my personal family domain name. My intent was just to blog about random life things, and in fact my first post was about cooking.

Fast forward two and a half years, and now my blog has morphed into a place for me to showcase my hobby projects. With that in mind I decided it was time to give the blog a better name than just “Josh’s Blog”. I wanted a name that invoked images of a skunk works or secret lab, and also something easy to remember. So, I opened up my favorite DNS reseller and started looking at what was available.

After some thought I decided to parody the infamous Area 51, and so I settled on Area 73. Not only is it my birth year, it also happens to be the best number. It’s also unique enough that it won’t be confused with anything else (unlike my first choice, Area 313, which is also the name of a local DJ/musicians collective).

Along with the new name I’m going to be remodeling a bit (changing the WordPress theme). It may get a bit messy for a bit, so please watch your step. 😉


Since my old personal website was very, very out of date, I’ve decided to relaunch my page as a blog. Over the coming months I intend to post regularly regarding the status of my various personal projects, so stay tuned!