I didn’t blog as much as I would have liked to this year, mostly because of my crazy busyness.
My article on how to install Gears on 64-bit Linux continues to see quite a bit of traffic. I even host a copy of Gears, even though it’s likely out of date. Also in the Linux vein, my articles on how to buy DRM-free music online with Amazon MP3 on Linux and Android were moderately popular. I wrote an article on how to add CACert root certificates to Chromium on Linux and it sees more traffic than most of my other posts combined.
I wasn’t as active in the open source community as I would have liked, but I did make some contributions to Gwibber, Astrid, Celtx, and Lernid. I mentioned the first three in my Launchpad activity update. The latter is a newer development by Jono Bacon. I contributed the entire Esperanto translation less than two days after it was available on Launchpad. I have no way of verifying it, but I think that the Esperanto translation was the first complete non-English variant translation available.
I recently wrote two brief articles on how to automate some tasks on Facebook. One was how to rapidly expunge friend suggestions, and the other was how to select all friends in a friend select dialog.
I met Tom Dickson of Will It Blend? fame at CES last year. He was really cool and friendly.
I also wrote a few articles on politics, my favorite being A Comment on Socialism Defined, a comment left on a friend’s blog, Strike the Root!. I’ll not go into how much I think Obama and his friends have screwed up the country already (it’s not all been bad—he has done some good things). That’s something for another article.
A new hobby this year for me has been stock trading. I’d saved up some money and decided to use some skills I learned in middle school to make a buck or two on the stock market. Ironically, not 12 hours after I blogged about my flagship stock being up near 200%, that stock, SPNG, dropped 27.66% in one day, costing me $23,000 of value on a $10,000 investment in 65 minutes. It recovered, and I still made out with a profit, but I learned a very, very valuable set of lessons. I still kick myself occasionally because of this and probably will for a long time. My goal of getting into stocks was to generate enough money that I could pay off my student loans really quickly. I could have paid off more than 2/3 and I didn’t cash out when I should have.
I did meet many, many new people in the stock world, especially Stockguy22 and the Bulls on Wall Street crew. I said goodbye to StockTwits after I was temporarily banned for cheering on Vonage (VG) when it was less than 50 cents, riding it to 80 cents, and cashing out. They called it a worthless, crappy penny stock. A few weeks later, it spiked to ~2.20 and has been above a dollar since. HA!
The biggest changes in my life were in my location and work. I got a new job in March at Vivísimo, a search platform maker in Pittsburgh–I even wrote a post on the corporate blog! I moved in with some friends in May, but realizing we were a little cramped, I moved into a new apartment in July (I didn’t write about that!).
I wrote more than 28 articles for Bob Buskirk‘s ThinkComputers. My favorites were the Masscool MP-1371RS Media Player and QNAP TS-809 Pro network attached storage device. I use the former alongside my PS3 for video formats my PS3 can’t stream from the latter. The NAS has become the central storage hub for all of my computers, replacing the QNAP TS-109 Pro I reviewed two years ago.
BIOS LEVEL was fairly inactive this year, largely because of a major server outage from May to August. I did write an article on the Orbita Mouse, which I still use to this day at work. I did record and post several videos from Ohio Linuxfest 2009, including Linux Journal editor Shawn Powers’s keynote, Jorge Castro‘s talk on building a community around an open source project, and more on licensing, making money from open source, democratized design, and talking to policymakers and legislators about open source. All Ohio Linuxfest videos with a write-up are available on BIOS LEVEL, or on BIOS LEVEL’s Blip.tv channel.
Jon Daniel and I spend most of November cranking out a beta version of Profyle.at, a personal profile directory service. We’re not entirely finished yet, but sign up for our Profyle.at beta and you’ll likely get in! We want to help people find you on the Internet so your friends and family can follow you on whatever sites and networks you like the most. We pitched for funding and didn’t get it, but were cordially invited to present again during the next round in a month.
Brigette and I are still together, and going strong. We’ve spent most of her winter break together, driving throughout western PA to be with friends and family, too. She’s been working on her web site for her beagle and vizsla show dogs, Glade Mill Sporting & Hound. She’s come a long way, from using a completely WYSIWYG editor to redoing it with a mix of code and WYSIWYG with Adobe Dreamweaver. I’m eager to see what she’s planning for it.