Resolutions

After being neglected technically for a long time, in addition to not having much time to post here, I’ve finally gotten around doing a number of things like upgrading to WordPress 2.7, debugging and fixing comment posting (there was cruft in the DB), and fixing the XMLRPC hooks, which never really worked for me (hopefully should encourage me to post more).

Although I tend to use twitter for random small musings these days, I’m going to start publishing photos from Flickr, random technical things which I can’t find well documented, and the occasional personal update.

For now, things that have happened since my last update:

  • Settled quite well into the house now. I’m even used to spending 3 hours of commuting each day (DivX and a 3G modem are equall helpful with this)
  • I’ve become quite amazed at how dexterous the really iPhone is. OmniFocus, beejive IM and 1Password have made it a truely invaluable tool for me.
  • Ciara and I disappeared off to New York for 8 days in November for a much needed break. We had a lot of fun upstate in the country and running around NYC. Photos should appear sometime soon.

Actual News

Now that things are actually set in motion, I’m happy to mention this here.

For the last few months, Ciara and I have been looking for a house to buy. We found a house in early May and we passed the point of no return (and yet an uncertain closing date) last week when papers were signed making things much more official. So, in a few weeks I’ll be moving out of Dublin 4 and down to Charlesland, Greystones. 🙂

In other news, I’m keeping busy practicing driving again before I repeat my driving test in early July (after failing the first one in May 2007, apparently 3 weeks of driving experience didn’t appear to be enough to pass the test :-/ ).

I’ve also weakened, due to a number of factors such as a temperamental handset, overpriced Vodafone bills and a vague timeline until Android and the HTC Dream appear, I’m probably going to end up porting over to O2 in July, quite possibly on July 11th, so I can get a shiny, at least until I can pre-order a HTC Dream.

No Longer In A State of Flux…

I’ve bounced around a lot of places in the last few weeks.

In early April, I was in the Zurich office for a few days (and yes, they really do have a fireman’s pole, no I didn’t go down it), before going to Innsbrook, Austria for an internal work conference and finally Soelden, Austria for our annual ski trip. Thankfully, we left Soelden just in time.

After that trip, I was around Ireland for three weeks and doing various things, including a 24 hour trip to Kilkenny for Andrew‘s Stag Night (mischief and mayhem was appropriately documented) and a few weeks later, Ciara and I were in Barberstown, Kildare for Andrew’s wedding over the May bank holiday weekend.

A week later, I was on a plane again, this time to (sunny) San Francisco. I was back in the mothership for meetings and a well deserved top up of the company koolaid. Apart from working, I got up to many things such as taking a San Francisco Bay ferry tour in dense fog, catching up with people, and slowing resenting the 60 – 90 min commute each way from San Francisco to Silicon Valley (like the locals do).

I was also caught unprepared for one of SF’s biggest events, Bay to Breakers, which can only be described as a St Patricks Day Parade (floats, mass drinking, etc) colliding with Halloween (fancy dress costumes), but SF style fancy dress (think Rocky Horror) which masquerades as a 12km run across the city. Very strange and surreal, but quite entertaining.

I’m now back in Dublin since last weekend, with no plans to travel again (just) yet. Photos from my various recent travels should end up on Flickr soon, I just need to sit down and publish the good ones.

Random Mutterings

The last couple of weeks have been busy, both in work and personally. There’s nothing specifically newsworthy, there has just been a lot going on and not quite enough time to fit it all in. Things are starting to settle down now, so I’ve more time to do random things like (re)watch my West Wing DVD collection while the WGA strike continues.

I’ve also started to look at getting down to doing things I’ve always intended to do, but never had the time to do, such as setup Nagios monitoring of my servers, complete with SMS alerts through Clickatell, using a simple python script I’ve knocked together. I’ll post more details at another time, after I’ve actually got Nagios up and running…

I’ve also been occasionally dabbling with assorted software.

OmniFocus is the natural successor to kGTD, so I tried it out for a while. It’s very nice, but doesn’t suit my needs yet, mainly the ability to sync a single To Do list between 2+ Macs, without resorting to using a USB stick to store it on. According to the online forums, the next release will be aimed more at this use case. \o/

RTM is also nice, particular with the numerous ways in which one can interact with it. I might look at learning AppleScript and trying to make a script to sync certain tasks from kGTD/OmniFocus with RTM. Finally, I’ve been playing with last.fm through iScrobbler. iusethis.com is also a useful site for keeping track of the various OS X apps I use, it even has an RSS feed so I can see when there are new releases.

On the travel front, I haven’t really gone anywhere since Venice, which was 2 months ago. So, Ciara and I are off to explore Copenhagen this weekend, which I’m really looking forward to, since I’ve never been to any of the Nordic countries before. 🙂

Oh, and the new 32GB iPod Touch is rather tempting, perhaps I’ll get it the next time I’m in the US…

2008

So, Christmas the annual arbitrary numerical rollover day have been and gone. This week, I’ve been off work finally (I was oncall over Christmas week) for a full week for the first time in quite a while. I’ve been spending it lazying round, trying to recover from a cold I caught last week and working on little, annoying tasks I’ve been meaning to do for ages, but never got around to doing them until now.

I’ve never really been one for new years resolutions, but this year, I’m going to be more active and get more exercise. I’ve never really been a big fan of athletics, and I gave up swimming regularly a long time ago. :-/ I’m also going to try and get around to watching some of the classic movies I’ve always wanted to watch, but never actually did anything about it. Dr Strangelove is top of my list, especially since I bought it on DVD ages ago and I still haven’t watched it.

2007 was a busy year, both work wise and travel wise. I realised I took 21 flights, visited 4 different countries (many of them a few times over the year) and wandered around 13 cities and saw 7 US states during the year (and I had only been to California before). 2008 doesn’t look like with will be any quieter, Ciara and I are off to Copenhagen in early February. After that, who knows where I’ll end up.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been tinkering with a few techy things which I am planning on posting about here, but not now. Sometime soon, when it’s not 01:00

Photos

One thing I’ve been meaning to do for months is to organise and publish photos from various trips and outings that have been gathering since last February. Last week, I finally stopped putting it off and started sorteding and uploading the photos to flickr. This week, I’ll sort through my photos from New England, New York and San Francisco and try to publish them shortly. 

My photos from New York are particularly interesting, since I upgraded my camera kit with the purchase of an EOS 40D, which is immense fun to use, especially with my Sigma 10 – 20mm lens. 🙂 

General news: Work as usual. Ciara and I are off to Galway for a long weekend this weekend, since I’ve never had more than an hour there, so we’re going to properly explore it. 🙂

Earthquake

So, I’ve been in the US for almost 2 weeks now, so my trip is coming slowly winding up and I’ll be back home in Dublin by this time next week. Apart from work, I’ve been up to quite a few things:

I explored NYC for the first time, taking in numerous sights such as Central Park, the Guggenheim, 5th Ave, the Rockerfeller Centre, Empire State Buildings, Staten Island (and the ferry ride there and back) and many other things. I did regret foolishly walking the 71 blocks from the Guggenheim museum all the way back to my apartment on the Saturday, then I walked around the waterfront to Battery Park the very next day. My feet were sore for almost a week :-/ Thanks to a colleague, I was brough to a very interesting, themed bar, the Beauty Bar, which had wonderful decor inside.

In San Francisco, there are a few things I still haven’t done, so I try to do one or two more things each time I’m back. This visit, I plan on finally going to on a tour of Alcatraz and crossing over to see (and photograph) the views of the city from the Golden Gate Recreational Area. I’ve already managed to get to JapanTown on Sunday, where I had lots of fun wandering around shops and having some very good sushi for dinner.

Oh, and this evening I experienced my first (noticeable) earthquake, 5.6 Mw shake which only lasted 10 seconds. I didn’t even manage to get all the way to a doorway before it ended. :-/

Back, but for how long?

Arrived back from my holiday Sunday afternoon. Trip to New England was really, really good. I’ve lots of photos to prove it, they may even appear online soon. However, I’m almost out of time back in Dublin. I’m off on a business trip to New York and then San Francisco for almost 3 weeks on Wednesday.

I acquired a few toys in New England, primarily a handheld GPS (I tagged waypoints of the trip highlights, I’ll find something to do with them later) and another camera lens, the ultra wide-angle Sigma 10-20mm (which is so much fun to use :).

One interesting thing I’m doing for work on Monday is giving a 10 min talk to students in 3rd and 4th year CS in TCD about a career in IT, particularly in Google. It’s somewhat ironic, since I would never consider myself to have been a model student in college. 🙂

Proof Of Life

In case anyone is using posts over here to check if I’m alive, yes I’m alive. I’ve simply been neglecting this part of the internet.

So, what have I been up to over the last 2+ months? (yikes, it has been a while!). Mainly working, a little bit of travel to London for a few days back in early August, and not a whole lot else. I was over in London for a few days, mainly a visit to finally visit Mark in Oxford, and to visit Ikea and a decent Mexican restaurant.

Apartment is going very well. Essential household items such as dishes, bookcases, a clothes horse, a proper DVD player and of course a Budda Bag have all been acquired and thoroughly tested. I had to survive on a 3G modem for a few weeks while my Magnet DSL was setup, which is now powered by a shiny Soekris net5501. I’ve even gotten used to the challenging 5 minute commute to the office in the mornings…

I’ve slowly been working up uploading my vast collection of outstanding photos to flickr. I plan to upload them all before the end of this week, since I’m off with Ciara on a 2 week vacation, exploring New England by car and train. A Garmin GPS is on my list to acquire as I arrive, so I should have a detailed itinerary and accompanying photos after I return.

Now all I have to do is resist temptations such as Core 2 Duo Mac Mini, an iPod Touch, and of course, an EOS 40D while the US dollar is so low. *sigh*