2017.

It’s the last day of 2017. Somehow time managed to move at a relatively steady pace for another year.

In summary, MMXVII was the year that…

  • I wrote the lowest number of post since the beginning of recorded history. With 39 published posts, I’m way below an average of a post a week, which is embarrassing. I started quite a few new posts that never saw the light of day, though. Currently, I have 21 different drafts from 2017 laying around. But what’s the point if I don’t manage to follow through and finish them? There are a lot of relatively good reasons for that, however, and they’ll become apparent as you make your way through the rest of this list.
  • The A Picture A Day project made it through the year. 365 shiny new photos added to the history of la familia and I.
  • I also managed to keep the A Book A Month project alive, and finished 13 books. Reading takes time, and this site suffered a bit because of that. I would have finished 14 if it wasn’t for the fact that December book turned out to such a drag. I wrote reviews of three of this year’s books. Any diligent reader would also have written a year-in-review post about the books he’d read, but no.
  • While we’re on the subject of reviews; I managed to cram out 12 new ones this year – roughly 1/3 of this year’s posts.
  • The one-liners collection continued to grow in size, with six new batches being added this year.
  • I spent more time gaming that I usually do this year. Stellaris and Euro Truck Simulator 2 got most of that gaming time. And this site suffered a bit because of that.
  • The bucket list got revised, and went from 100 to 87 items.
  • Our little family grew from three to four members. Hedda is 7 months old already, time sure flies. Having two kids sure takes a lot of time, and life becomes – if possible – even more characterized by routine and planning than with one kid. And this site suffered a bit because of that.
  • The whole family went to France this summer for the wedding of my sister-in-law and the French love of her life. Traveling with two tiny people who can’t take care of themselves was interesting.
  • While in France, we spent a week in a mold infested Airbnb. I wrote a damning review of the place! Of course I did.
  • I ran a few kilometers on the treadmill. Running takes time, and this site suffered a bit because of that. But I ran far from as much I’d have wanted. For that, too, I have loads of good excuses: With the birth of Hedda, normal life came to a halt. Then, as things normalized, it got too cold in the basement for the treadmill to work properly. When I finally managed to drag it into a room with heating, I came down with a long lasting cold. All good excuses.
  • Work started to clear out the jungle that took up most of our property. The plan is to make a proper garden next spring.
  • We discovered that there are tasty alternatives to meat.

All in all, 2017 was a good year. While nothing out of the ordinary happened, and historians won’t be writing many books about my year, I wouldn’t say it was uneventful. With two little kids, life is never uneventful. Or even remotely predictable even if we tried our best to make it so.

Here are summaries from previous years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

A Picture A Day 2017.

As we’re slowly edging closer to the end of the year, it’s time for another of the classic summaries: A Picture A Day 2017.

I started taking a picture every day on January 1st, 2013. By the end of 2017, I’ve posted 1461 pictures, but taken far more than that. From time to time, I’ve toyed with the idea of updating the A Picture A Day calendar to allow for multiple pictures to be posted on a single day. But I suspect that one glimpse into my life per day is more than enough for most people.

Like I do every year, I’d strongly recommend, nay, urge everyone of you to start taking a picture every day as well. Looking at the pictures is a great memory booster, and I often remember other events from the same day as well. Most of them are quite fond memories, which is perhaps why I go on about everyone having to take their own pictures every year.

But enough about that. Here are a few selected, and randomly ordered, highlights from 2017’s A Picture A Day:

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2017 in Music.

Just as sure as the year is coming to an end, I’m starting to pump out my annual summary posts. First up is my 2017 in music.

Unlike last year, our friends at Spotify have managed to get a recap up this year: Your 2017 Wrapped. This year’s edition is pretty shitty, to be honest, but it contains some of the basic information you’d except from a company that knows everything about your listening habist. Another music service, Last.fm, provided an awesome summary feature last year that showed a lot more fine grained, and interesting data in their annual summaries. Unfortunately, they won’t be releasing the 2017 version until January 2018. It makes a lot of sense in terms of data availability, but doesn’t help me much since I’m writing my own summary now.

So we’ll have to make do with Spotify’s half-arsed effort. Here’s my 2017 in music according to Spotify:

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Thank You, SomaFM.

When there was nothing good to listen to on the radio, Rusty Hodge decided to create his own radio station. So begins the story of SomaFM.

In 2001, I was hard at work on my college thesis. Together with three other students1, I was working on “Project Magoria”, a tick-based, browser-based, online game. It was influenced by Planetarion, but set in medieval times. Although the end result wasn’t amazing, it gave us our first real-world experience with JSP, Linux, Java, SQL, and MySQL.

The thesis also gave me my first real-world experience with trying to get anything done in an open office space. Those of you who work in an open office space on a regular basis, and have a profession that requires you to focus on a task from time to time, know what kind of amazingly stupid idea an open office space is in that context. Numerous studies have shown that the open office space is terrible for people who need to focus. And still many people insist that it’s the right way to work for everyone. My escape in 2001 became to slap on a pair of headphones, and listen to music, preferably electronica. And my main source of mind expanding electronica quickly became the recently launched online radio channel SomaFM.

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December One-liners: Programming Special!

Here are the new one-liners for December. This time it’s programming special, with a few sprinkles of less nerdy wisdom. Most of the quotes below are collected from the Twitter account Programming Wisdom. They’re not exactly haha-funny, but if you’re a programmer they should make you think. Enjoy!

  • “It’s all talk until the code runs.” – Ward Cunningham
  • “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.” – Jan L.A van de Snepscheut
  • I’ve got an idea for a really scary Halloween costume. How do I dress up as “The World Right Now”?
  • “What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months.” – Fred Brooks
  • “Good software, like good wine, takes time.” – Joel Spolsky
  • “Debugging is like being the detective in a crime movie where you are also the murderer.” – Filipe Fortes
  • Trying again to persuade my wife to participate in a twosome.
  • “We build our computer systems the way we build our cities: over time, without a plan, on top of ruins.” – Ellen Ullman
  • “Think about it; and think about it carefully. Nothing happens in our society without software. Nothing.” – Robert “Uncle Bob Martin
  • “I ran a half marathon” sounds so much better than “I quit halfway through a marathon”.
  • “A language that doesn’t affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.” – Alan J. Perlis
  • “Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” – Harold Abelson & Gerald Jay Sussman
  • “Debugging time increases as a square of the program’s size.” – Chris Wenham
  • “One of the best programming skills you can have is knowing when to walk away for awhile.” – Oscar Godson
  • The trick to really enjoying someone’s company is to not spend a lot of time with them.
  • “The strength of JavaScript is that you can do anything. The weakness is that you will.” – Reg Braithwaite
  • “The best programs are the ones written when the programmer is supposed to be working on something else.” – Melinda Varian
  • “A primary cause of complexity is that software vendors uncritically adopt almost any feature that users want.”- Niklaus Wirth
  • “Every great developer you know got there by solving problems they were unqualified to solve until they actually did it.” – Patrick McKenzie
  • Life doesn’t hand me lemons, it fires them at me rapidly from a lemon cannon.
  • “The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is better.” – Eric Raymond
  • “Looking at code you wrote more than two weeks ago is like looking at code you are seeing for the first time.”– Dan Hurvitz
  • Having nutrition information on a bag of Cheetos is like having dating tips on a box of Crocs.