Vegard Skjefstad

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Year: 2013 (page 1 of 12)

2013

As we now find ourselves in the last hours of 2013, it’s time for the annual wrap-up. 2013 was the year that…

  • I wrote the least entries during a year since I started to write over 10 years ago. I did, however, dig out some backups CDs from the back of a closet and discovered a few entries I wrote all the way back in 2009. It’s mostly very short reviews, though. Writing this year has been particularly slow in the last half of the year, but there are good reasons for that, reasons you’ll find further down this list.
  • Anniken and I went to a museum and had a laugh.
  • The one-liners collection grew with a few more one-liners.
  • I wrote a few how to-entries, like How to Make Chocolate Mousse With Raspberry Gel and How To Flash Tomato on the ASUS RT-N66U. Many of these how to-entries became the most read (and most commented) entries of 2013.
  • Edward Snowden, with the help of the Guardian, released loads and loads of documents revealing exactly how much the NSA and other government agencies (both American and other nation’s) really know about us. Because of all that was revealed, I stopped using proprietary, closed source software and cloud services. I wrote down everything I had to do to achieve this, and it resulted in the PRISM Break series of posts. The only thing I didn’t do was to stop using Gmail, which I will try in 2014.
  • The wp-days-ago WordPress plugin was updated a couple of times. It’s still a bit buggy, but I’ve got a developer version with new, apparently bug-free, core code running on this site. Updating the original plugin and making everything backwards compatible proved to be a bit tricky, though, so I never got around to release the less buggy code to the public. Maybe next year.
  • I wrote a few more reviews.
  • I was fortunate enough to be able to watch all the Formula 1 races, which is rare. I normally miss a couple every season. This season was so-so, Sebastian Vettel got a bit too dominant during the second half of the season. Next season, though, everyone is dealt a fresh deck of cards: New engine specifications! I even wrote a few Formula 1 entries this year, particularly during the first half of the season.
  • The rambling about designing and developing a computer game of my own continued, but very little nothing happened.
  • The site was redesigned, because that has to happen at least once a year, or I grow too tired of it.
  • Anniken and I went to Paris and had a great time together. Neither of us fell in love with the city in the way you are supposed to do, but it was a great trip nonetheless.
  • I replaced my Nexus 7 tab and returned to the cell phone form factor when I bought a Nexus 4. I also wrote a lengthy entry about all the fun you can have with a (rooted) Android phone: Supercharge Your Android Phone. For 2014, I’m seriously considering getting a Nexus 5.
  • I spent a lot of time outside on the terrace in our Oslo apartment with my laptop, a book, the hammock and a refreshing drink or two. And I absolutely loved every second of it.
  • Anniken and I went to Japan and had an amazing time together. While Paris might have been a tad disappointing, Japan certainly was not. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the country, do it.
  • As far as I can tell, I only managed to remove a single item from The List, item number 14: Visit Tokyo. I’m a bit disappointed about that, to be honest.
  • Even though I didn’t write a lot of entries this year, I wrote the longest in the lifetime of this blog. As part of a project at work, I wrote “Flow in Agile Software Development: What, Why and How“, a 2750 word piece you should read if you’re involved in agile software development.
  • Most of my time during the last quarter of 2013 was used on real life when Anniken and I…
    • sold our apartment in Oslo.
    • bought a house on Nesodden, about 25 minutes by boat from Oslo.
    • moved into said house.
    • bought a car.
    • and, based on the above you probably guessed this already, discovered we’ll become parents next year. That’s some crazy shit right there.

2013 was a good year and, without doubt, the year I racked up the most grown-up-points in my life – so far: 2014 will definitely be a year were we’ll test if it’s really possible to learn an old dog new tricks.

Here are the wrap-ups from previous years: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

As an added bonus this year, while we’re on the subject of time, the past and the future, I give you The History and Future of Everything by Kurzgesagt. It will put everything in perspective.

Resolutions

It’s that time of the year again: It’s the new year’s resolutions! I started this year with four resolutions. How did I do?

  • Run more this year than I did in 2012. Last year, I ran a total of 125 km according to Endomondo. In 2013, the distance I ran was 156 km. Not that much more, but it’s still more. So mission accomplished. In 2014, I’ll have to run even more to stay reasonably fit.
  • Spend more time with friends to make sure they know I’m still alive. This didn’t start out too bad, but I’ve still failed miserably socially. Of course I see my friends from time to time, but I could do a lot better.
  • Go to more concerts. In 2013, I didn’t go to more concerts than I did in 2012 – but I did go to all the concerts I really wanted to: One gig with Biffy Clyro. And, man, it was a great show. But apart from that one concert, Oslo didn’t really get visited by any other artists I wanted to see this year.
  • Take a picture a day. This resolution went really well, and I summarized the project in another entry. I’ll continue taking a new picture every day in 2014.
  • Smile more. I don’t know how well I did on this one, but I’m guessing it started out pretty good, then I probably forgot about it. I’ve had this as a new year’s resolution for two years now, and it’s about time to face the music: I’m not a smiler. It’s not that I’m that grumpy guy who get people down – I even get people to laugh from time to time – I’m just not a born-again-Christian-type-of-smiler.

All in all, I think I did all right with my 2013 new year’s resolutions. What do I have planned for 2014?

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A Second Every Day

I’m not the only one who have been doing something every day this year. Matthew Skuta recorded a one second video every day. As it turns out, I’m not the only one who live a very ordinary life. He did spend a lot more time than I did in the emergency room, though. And saw a lot more cars on fire.

A Picture a Day – Recap

It’s almost been a year now since I announced the A Picture a Day project. The goal was to take and post a picture every day, mainly to keep a sort of a photo journal of the year. And now, as we’re getting close to the one year anniversary of A Picture a Day, I’m happy to say that I’ve actually managed to do just that. It’s not been entirely without a little bit of cheating, though – there have been days when I’ve forgotten all about taking a picture and instead used a picture from a previous day. I guess this goes for about 10-15 pictures shot this year. But at least I’ve posted a picture every day.

One thing I’ve noticed is something that I guess we all already knew, but I’ve never really appreciated it myself: Pictures are a very effective memory booster. Looking back at the pictures I took this year, every single one of them brings back memories of the day they were shot. And not only of the actual moment the particular picture was shot either, I also remember other things that happened that day, especially in the time span plus/minus 30 minutes from when I took the picture.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to continue the A Picture a Day project indefinitely, or at least until I one day croak. I can only imagine the personal value these pictures will have five, ten or even twenty years from now. My only regret is that I didn’t start taking a picture every day twenty years ago. Although I’ve realized I live a very ordinary life, those pictures certainly would have been something to look back at.

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2013 in Music

According to last.fm, my top 50 artists for 2013 are, in order: Biffy Clyro, Rhian Sheehan, Kent, Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Sting, City and Colour, MUTEMATH, Matthew Good, Solar Fields, Aes Dana, Ólafur Arnalds, Ben Howard, Tycho, Greg Laswell, Floex, The American Dollar, Emancipator, Common, Hammock, Koan, CHVRCHES, Tomáš Dvořák, Pearl Jam, Bonobo, Apparat, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Plej, Little People, Mark Preston, Moderat, Blood Command, Aydio, Jon Hopkins, Alexandre Desplat, Thievery Corporation, Pink Floyd, The Album Leaf, Trifonic, The Police, Stein Torleif Bjella, A Perfect Circle, Pretty Lights, Marconi Union, Moby, Editors, Loney Dear, Kuba, Empire of the Sun, Talib Kweli.

This selection of artists means that I’m, also according to last.fm, into genres like rock, pop, electronic and …christian? Well, that sure is interesting, I have no idea which one of the artists in the list above find themselves in the christian genre. But even if it’s interesting, it’s hardly surprising, I’ve fallen into the christian genre trap before with Switchfoot and one other band, whose name I can’t remember at the moment.

I’m listening to music exclusively on Spotify, and this year they introduced a pretty neat feature in their Spotify Year in Review 2013: The possibility to generate your own Spotify year in review.

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