The 3 really important things you need to know about IPFS right now

Think of the internet 20 years from today. Tens of billions of people, trillions of IoT gadgets, millions of data centers; all using currently unimaginable connected devices, all wanting to access data from around the world instantly. What do you think that will mean for the system holding all of this together in the background, the humble file transfer protocol used to move all data around?

Enter the Interplanetary File System(IPFS for short)! A fundamentally different network designed around creating a more secure, open, and flexible system. Learning about and using IPFS today is important because now is the time to be placing your bet on how the internet evolves from here. Fortunately understanding the 3 really important things you need to know will be a piece of cake 🍰

#1: It is NOT a Blockchain⛓️

Blockchain is hot these days, and everyone wants a piece of it. If you’re here to learn how a new one works you will be greatly disappointed with this article because first and foremost: IPFS IS A FILE SYSTEM.

Blockchains are a form of distributed database where all the nodes share the exact same information set (very_broad_brush.jpg). These are very useful for a very specific set of problems. Cryptocurrencies, supply chains, and digital identity are examples of use cases being built on them today. If a large group of people want to make sure everyone has the exact same unforgeable data, they can use a blockchain. If everyone on earth wanted to share the ultimate cake recipe and ensure everyone had the exact same version, they could use a blockchain. 👩‍🍳

File systems are much, much more useful. You likely send and receive files everyday and equally likely never give too much thought of how they are stored, addressed, our distributed. And one thing everyone can be certain of is that they do not have all of the files that exist(nor should they try). In fact, the entire internet was invented to figure out how to arrange and find information when you don’t have all the files you need.

If a blockchain is a recipe(🧾) that everyone shared, files can be thought of as the individual ingredients(🛍️) you have/need. IPFS(🛒) is then a very efficient way to get the ingredients to you kitchen. 🧾 + 🛍️ + 🛒 = 🍰

#2: It’s about the Content🛍️, not Location🗺️

The traditional internet is location based. You tell a web browser where to find a website and it goes to the server and asks for the information. IPFS turns this concept on its head. With IPFS, you tell the network which file you want and it asks the network of peers who has it.

This concept isn’t as strange as it sounds. Recall the last time you were looking for an ingredient you needed to make a cake. You called ahead to the store so you can do curbside & have two options of hopefully finding it; you can either ask the sales associate to get some flour for you (this is content addressing because you’re asking for what the ingredient is) or ask them for the ingredient on isle 4, 3rd shelf, 15th item from the right (the last location where you knew your ingredient was, location addressing)

Since we don’t care where the flour comes from, only that it is the exact ingredient we need, this is a much more efficient way of ordering and receiving – and content addressing is up to 60% more efficient for online videos as well.

#3: It can Literally Save the Internet 🌐

The internet of today has a huge problem that tech folk don’t like to talk about. Our collective demand for streaming content is literally crushing the decades old infrastructure that hosts and delivers our favorite content to our homes and devices.

The hard truth is that “the cloud” is just some mega corporation’s data center and it is limited by same physics as everything else in the universe. A finite amount of data can go in and out at one time.

If you have ever seen the result of a video or website ‘go viral’ and kill a small hosting service you have seen this experiment conducted before. IoT and entire digital native generations are coming to hog all the bandwidth, and they are closing in fast.

The Interplanetary File System will allow the next generations of our beloved infotainment services (ie Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube) spread out the load across a decentralized mesh with absolute guarantee that the data you are getting is exactly what you wanted and unaltered.

For our cake🍰; instead of everyone going to the to same store to get flour (causing shortages and poor social distancing) in the future everyone will just ask their neighbors for flour!


What do you think ? Do you want the world to be powered by distributed networks like IPFS or not ? What about your business? What do you think about the risks of this paradigm shift ? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

A real deep dive on the tech:
The paper that gave birth to the internet:
60% faster videos:

Level up your online meetings

I have dreamt of apocalypse many times, but never did I imagine one during which I would have to have a day job and attend endless online meetings.

Since the lockdowns, video calls have become my day to day life. They consume countless hours a week and are the primary use of my computer now. The tools of the trade I use most are Powerpoint and Teams, but the steps that follow can be modified to the limits to your imagination.This setup could be useful to students, podcasts, streamers, and anyone who uses a computer and wants to do less. The first rule of apocalypse is to have fun and be yourself. 🙂

The Plan

The goal of this project is simple: Create a macro keyboard for the things I use the most without breaking the bank.

Like many who have ended up on this blog; I am a gamer, a technologist, and like shortcut keys. I am always looking for a way to blend these things together.

I’m a classic gamer with a preference for 8-bit NES. As such, I already have a USB controller(which everyone should) so this is what I would prefer to use in my day to day gig. If you want more buttons you can go for a different controller, but your loss in the gaming aspect.

For project budget and costs, this is the only item needed. An NES gamepad costs ~$12 for a 2 pack and are available at all the finest online retailers.


Next, with the hardware settled, we need to decide what matters most in day to day use and can be mapped over 8 keys

For me it is these:

  • Mute/unmute
  • Video on/off
  • Join a meeting
  • Admit to the lobby
  • Volume up and down
  • Scroll slide decks

The actual layout will be something like this:

Well this is what it looks like

I would have liked a “hand raise and lower hand” key but there isn’t a hotkey I could find so, if you work on this product I really need this.


Obviously everything on the software side needs to be open source so no funny business is going on under the hood. I found antimicro and it fits the bill. Though it is currently unmaintained, it is functional and works well enough for my needs. You can find the releases and source code in their github:

The Execution

Putting it all together took about 30 minutes, counting troubleshooting and blogging.

First things first; plug in controller and install the software

Plug in the USB controller and you are done

There are some parts which are less intuitive and I will cover them to close out this article, but this the sky is the limit once you figure out shortcut keys you need for an application.

To get the shortcut keys in Teams, press `Ctrl + <period>` and you will get a menu similar to this:

Teams Shortcut keys screen grab

Now press buttons on the controller to see which button it is associated within antimicro. It is very intuitive

For volume keys (up and down on D pad), you can select the option from the “others “ dropdown on the key assigner.

Location of the volume keys during setup

For the complex key combinations, use the advanced mapper on the bottom left of the keypad to sequence your keys.

Macros in Micro

Having now successfully customized your rig, you are now one of the coolest console cowboys at the end of the world. Good luck!