What I did in 2010, Year end review

8 minute read

I hate writing this type of post, the review of all your failures and accomplishments over the last year. But review is important its stops you from repeating the same mistakes and give you a direction to go next year.

This year I have traveled to Atlanta, GA, USA (BACnet Plugfest) , Montreal, QC Canada, Harrison Hot Springs, BC, Canada, Calgary, AB, CanadaBlack rock city, NV, USA (Burning man), Ruby lake. And a bunch of other places in-between.

I saw lots of fantastic shows, far to many to list. To name a few; Gogol BordelloJackie TreehornAmanda Palmerdead mouse,BassnectarkraddyKrafty KutsChemical BrothersDresden Dollsin the house festival,

I participated at burning man with its anit cooperate, peace loving hippy festival to protesting at the media fuck fest that was the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter games.

I joined VHS (Vancouver hack space) a electronics group, where I can talk about tech, security, and other geeky subjects and learn from others.

New Skills

  • Lock-picking - I got the chance to see a guest presenter that was teaching lock picking at VHS over the thanksgiving weekend. He was a securities expert giving talks about how easy cretin types of locks and security features where broken. (physical and electronic) He gave a 2 hour persntaiton on picking locks. I have picked up some lockpicks from dealextreme a few months ago, but never got around to playing around with them. I picked my first lock in 1hr and picked up a bunch of practice locks to play with. With practice over the last few month I can pick most normal locks in under 30 sec, and tougher locks in 5-10 mins. Its shocking how easy it really is to pick a lock. Instructions slides, and more info
  • Google app inventor/PhoneGap - I been developing a few simple Android apps using these frameworks. Google App Inventor is very simple and would make a good teaching tool for youths on programing but isn't that powerful. PhoneGap on the other hand is very powerful and a little confusing but you can make just about anything it in. PhoneGap uses html and Javascript and can be used cross platform on IPhone and android as well as other smart phones.
  • QR Tags - As part of the wheat pasting and graffiti projects I learnt how to create QR tags so i could digitally sign the pictures I put up and give the viewers the ability to see other projects I was working on.
  • GPS - I purchased a GPS receiver from Sparkfun, to work on my life tracking project that I abandoned. The GPS syntax was pretty simple to decode.
  • OpenID - I use it for the login system for most of my projects. Its easier and safer then implementing my own login system. This year I learnt more about the internal system so OpenID mainly for stealing personal information.

Things I have made/did or help make

Lessons that I have learnt

  • I have learned to fear Chicago Airport. I have never had a flight that arrived or depart from this airport on time.  They cap all their power outlets so no one can charge their laptops or other electronic devices with out paying for the privilege at one of their booths. But at lest their air port is nice to look at with lots of stuff to do while you are waiting.
  • In-Ear buds are good for short distances, anything longer then 4 hours and your ears start to get a cramp. After 8 hours they blister and cause great pain. For long distance travel headphones are the way to go.
  • Always make a development log of everything you do each day. There is no way that I will be able to remember what I didn't last week let alone 3-6 months ago. Keeping a Dev log of what you change, new things, things removed, stuff learned has helped tremendousness over the past year.

This year has been pretty decent. I have not done as much done in previous years but I would say I am happier this year then I have been in a long time.

Goals for next year

  • More projects. This year I mainly worked on a few key projects instead of spreading myself out. Well this worked helped me maintain focus and complete polish more projects I missed the ability to try new things and explore more.
  • More documentation of the process. I plan to make more posts on the process instead of just the finished product of my projects. A project that takes a few weeks to complete and work out the details shouldn't just have a post mortem.
  • All failed projects should have a post mortem. Why it failed, What I learnt, How to improve next time.
  • Participation. Never say No without a good reason, Always be willing to try, Try things that you "Know" to be impossible just for the learning experiences, Participation in every opportunity.
  • Take more photos of nothing. I haven't been taking many photos over the last two years as most of the time I would take photos at shows or parties as "memory photos". As I slowed down on the parties I also stop taking my camera out and reduced the amount of photos that I have been taking. Next year I will bring my camera with me where ever I go and take pictures of anything that interests me.
  • Clean and organize regularity. This year my work space has been a mess. It takes me 10s of mins to find anything and most of my parts are crammed in to a endless stack of shoe boxes.  This year I am going to spend the last Sunday of each month or Cleaning and organizing my stuff.

Predictions for the future

  • Year of the App and Tablets/Smart phones. I believe that next year will be focused on App devlopment for mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. I will be forcing on the android platform mainly as I believe that it will grow to become one of the biggest players in the industry.
  • I believe that there will be on mass mobile network device virus that will infect hundreds of thousands of devices that will force platform developers to tighten the security models on their devices.
  • 3d printers are going to be a big thing this year as they become cheaper and easier to obtain. More people will have them and more source objects will be created.

Wow that was a big post. I’m probably missing a few things feel free to reminded me in the comments section.

Happy new year!



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