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2010 in review: the year of travel

2010 will go down in my personal history as the year that I travelled. It will only be replaced as such should I travel even more in a subsequent year. Should such happen, I hope that it is of my own free will and benefit.

I spent not at home approximately 23 weeks of the 52 weeks of 2010. Much of that was spent in the Washington, D.C. area for work, while others were spent in Louisville, Houston, at my parents’ (oh, snowmageddon of February 2010), and single overnight stays in Orlando and Phildelphia. Most of this travel occurred in the later seven months of the year, beginning with a trip to DC in June and concluding with some time at my parents’ house for Christmas.

All the travel seriously hampered by ability to get things done. I still managed, though.

Writing

I didn’t write as much for ThinkComputers this year because of the travel, but I did manage to write a good article on travel technology, i.e. the things I take with me when traveling.

Blog-wise, I didn’t write a whole lot. I saw a year-over-year ~7.5% decrease in traffic. I attribute this to my lessened writing and bouncing from topic to topic. Also, my posts from summer 2009 regarding my stock purchases gave me a giant traffic burst I did not replicate this past year. My 2007 article on installing Roundcube Webmail on Ubuntu Feisty continued to be the #1 article on my blog (as it has been since its writing), followed by my 2008 article on using btnx for mouse control in Ubuntu Hardy.

However, I did have a few good articles from 2010. I worked from home a good bit this year, so I wrote some simple rules for working from home as a reminder to myself of “how” to work from home. My geekiest article by far was on addendum on updating the installation whenever there’s a new WordPress release.

In other news, I severed ties with BIOS LEVEL very early in 2010. It was time for me to move on.

Coding

My as-of-yet incomplete magnum opus of 2010 is the Pittco LAN Administration System. PLAS is a LAN party management tool in the vein of Autonomous LAN Party (ALP). Pittsburgh LAN Coalition (Pittco) has wanted to replace ALP with something better for several years now and after a few false starts, we’ve finally got something up and running. It’s still under heavy development and could use some good Ruby on Rails developers (I’m just a newb to RoR). I plan to spent much of my free time in January and February banging on it.

As for open source contributions, there were quite a few! I set up squid-deb-proxy for Ubuntu update bandwidth reduction and speed increases and suggested some default configuration changes in what mirrors are listed and permitting but not caching unspecified domains. I continued to contribute translations to Gwibber, Lernid, and more. I made a tiny patch to bzip2-ruby to fix compilation on Ubuntu Natty. I also fixed some Config -> RbConfig migration problems in gettext for ruby and cucumber, although neither have been accepted upsteam (I tried with cucumber, but couldn’t get the test harness working in the hour or so I wanted to devote to it so I gave up).

I released ttytter-libnotifyperl, a TTYtter extension which uses ayatana notification bubbles in Ubuntu for its notification of Twitter replies, DMs, and such. I don’t know how many people are using it, but I find it indispensable when working on Ubuntu.

Educationally, I learned how to use git in 2010. I avoided it for a few years because I used Subversion (svn) for work and preferred Bazaar (bzr) for home projects, most of which were related to Ubuntu. I still consider myself a newb, but I’ve taught at least one other person how to use git and counseled several others of approximately my experience level. At least I know I’m learning.

One of my larger projects was a for-profit job I took on early in the year. A friend needed a software for running Twitter contests. I doubt the software was ever actually used in production, as the person who was in charge of running the contest left the friend’s company shortly after I finished the product. I may adapt the product and make some kind of a SaaS thing around it if I ever get the time to do it.

My big work project went live at the end of December. I’m not sure what details I’m permitted to tell about it publicly, so ask me in private. I’ll just say that it’s a big public search portal for a government agency. I might update this story or post another entry about it if my superiors permit it.

Profyle.at, the personal profile directory site, kinda died down, but it’s not dead yet. Jon and I hope to revisit it at some point. Work got in the way for both of us, and not getting into Alphalab for the Spring 2010 session didn’t help.

Stocks

I basically slacked off on stocks this year. I made some money from SYMX, but lost a good bit from ONFI and INAR. I finally sold the rest of my holdings in SPNG, the stock which lost me $23,000 in 65 minutes in 2009. After the tax deduction, the rebate combined with my profits from 2009 sales will cause me to lose just under 3% on the whole deal, or around $90. Not too shabby for at one point having ~$30,000 wrapped up in that pump and dump scheme.

Why did I not pay attention as much? For one, @stockgod and the other Bulls on Wall Street crew stopped posting on Twitter as often because BoWS became profitable and it was more profitable for them to share their hints exclusively to BoWS subscribers. I don’t fault them for doing so at all. I didn’t have the time available to make the $75/mo worth it. @stockguy22 is still going strong, as are a few others, but I didn’t have and probably won’t ever regain the spare brain cycles I had in 2009.

I’m not out of the market — I still have ~$10k worth of stocks — but I’m not able to be a daytrader or even a week trader. I’m just sitting long for a while.

Life

Brigette and I are still dating, of course. She will in the coming month release an update to the web site for Glade Mill Sporting and Hound, the show dog kennel she, her sister, and mother operate under. She’s come a long way and just keeps getting better and better every time I see her new designs. I’m eager to see her build a portfolio site before the end of the year!

I think that’s it for this 2010 year in review.

One Comment

  1. Blah Blah Blah:

    By severing ties you mean voting to remove someone from their position within Pittco, and thusly the person ripped the site off your server.

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