the:chris:walker ↩

Well, that was 2013...

… and a lot happened. It was a good year and I’m pleased with it. My son Orson is nearly 2 and it’s been great watching grow and learn. My wife Rosie is pregnant again, so we have an exciting year ahead of us.

So what did I do with the year? It’s interesting to reflect so here goes. I …

watched a whole bunch of movies

Major stand out was Gravity. I wasn’t sure about this but it turned out to be awesome, especially on the big screen. Excellent cinematography. Another was Perks of being a Wallflower, again I had left this unsure about it but when we finally got round to watching it - it was really good. I couldn’t miss out Pacific Rim either which was immense - in most senses of the word.

I also watched Ender’s Game. I am a massive fan of the books. In fact I re-read Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow again before seeing the film. Big mistake. It was not remotely the book. I can’t work out whether it was a good film in it’s own right, I just got blinded by how much they changed the characters and the point of the film. And then went and included some out-of-context bits that were important in the book, but made little sense in the film.

read/listened to a whole bunch of books

I am slowly catching up with a massive backlog of classic science fiction that exists. I have been going a while. Some highlights were re-reading Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow, as I mentioned above. They are so good. I then discovered that Orson Scott Card had written two of a trilogy of prequels to the Ender saga about the first Formic invasion, Earth Unaware and Earth Afire. Highly recommended if you like the Enderverse.

Ready Player One was an unexpected treat. I was bought it for my birthday and had not heard of it but it was excellent. A proper 80s/90s TV/Movies/Music/Video-Games nostalgia-fest wrapped around a plot involving a fully immersive VR simulated world. All boxes ticked.

Other notable books where the Revelation series by Alastair Reynolds and I finally read Snow Crash (and The Diamond Age) by Neal Stephenson.

started a bunch of coding projects

and finished a few! Clogcat got a bunch of followers due to some exposure on Android Weekly. Xbmc-nfo-tool was built from my own need to not have to keep re-telling new installs of XBMC what my obsucrely titled movies actually are. go-logger is (surprise, surprise) a logging library for Go - which I now don’t use as I wrote a better one at work and it’s not on Github (yet, I hope).

Ooh, and also Badgernews! an Android App coupled with a backend written in Go, that follows the RSS feed for a website my group of friends uses. Whenever something new gets posted, it sends push notifications to the Android Device. Simple but useful.

I started but didn’t finish (but may one day…)

  • an S3 compatible API server that runs off a regular filesystem a bit like the fake-s3 Ruby Gem. I wanted one that honored/covered more of the API, including the ACLs.
  • a photo-mangement tool that allows you to have a nice web interface for your own photos. I keep a copy of all my family photos, from various sources on a server I run. I wanted to be to do things like group by event, date, detect new photos and import. All with a nice interface that would let me actually see my photos!
  • a Chromecast simulator an application that behaves like a chromecast dongle. This was actually nearly finished, and worked! but was mostly based on other people’s work (e.g. Leapcast and Nodecast).

learned some new languages

Well, I already new Go, but it’s now almost my go-to langauge for new projects. Much more fluent with how to use it in a sensible way, laying out projects and modularising code.

Also I learned a whole new development environment - Android. Meaning I had to learn not only Java but the Android Environment/SDK/APIs and Gradle (the build tool).

Now on to 2014…

I’m most looking forward to watching the new Sherlock tonight.