Morton Fox (mortonfox) wrote,
Morton Fox

2011 - Year in Review

Yes, it's already the second week of the new year but I was busy the first week and 2011 was such a busy year that it was hard to distill the important things from the year. The biggest change is after 16 months being out of work, I returned to work for a small startup (literally a 6-person office when I joined) in Wilmington. My previous job wasn't at a big firm but this one is microscopic in comparison and it's a lot different. There is no bureaucracy, no office politics, no cubicles, and very little formality. I was given full access and was trusted to do the right thing from day one. I learnt a lot as I went along and within a week, I had started contributing important code to the system. Best of all, I was never left with the feeling that anything I did was futile or a waste. Any software I wrote was put to good use pretty much right away and I deployed it myself most of the time. So all in all, it's been a promising start. Then again, I thought the same thing back when my previous job began, so let's check back on this one in 14 years and see if it has withstood the test of time. :)

Of course, with the new job, I had less time for geocaching but I think I did as much of that as I wanted to on weekends and after work in the summer. I ended the year with more geocache finds than year 2009 but not 2010. The year was dominated by Lancaster with two big geocache series, the battleship caches and the rail trail caches, although Delaware was no slouch either with the DGT caches, the C&D power trail, and the First State Challenge. I tried to get out to more geocaching events as well, especially the ones in Bucks and Montgomery County that would've been a 2-hour drive from my old home in North Jersey. Now that these are only an hour from home, it hardly feels like an arduous journey getting there. I also started going to a few Where's George events locally and in Maryland. And of course, I went to local furmeets too whenever I could and attended 3 furry conventions, FA: United, Anthrocon and Furfright. The great thing about this area is there's an event or gathering going on pretty much every weekend. On the other hand, the downside is I haven't had as many mascot gigs now that I'm distant from Hi-4. I'm also losing touch with NYC-area folks but that is to be expected.

I kept up the pace on personal projects as usual. In its 4th year, TwitVim had another round of incremental improvements, although I thought the multiple login feature was big enough to bump the version number. My Foursquare webapp, 4sqNoGPS, became PlainSquare when I rewrote it for the Foursquare V2 API. I also changed the CSS so it looks more like a mobile app on small screens while keeping the desktop interface simple. I've found this setup to be good enough for most day-to-day use and really only hit the official app to upload photos and claim specials. Remember the beta Google Chromebook I received in December 2010? Well, I used it a lot more throughout 2011 and that led to my participation in the Cr-48 binaries project. I probably wouldn't use the Cr-48 for serious development work but now that we have a text editor, a few scripting languages, and some dev tools ported to it, light work is possible. And finally, I did get around to scrapping my old website and reworking it into a Drupal-based site. This doesn't mean that I'll update it any more frequently but when I do, it'll be less of a pain. :)
Tags: career, chromebook, cr-48, drupal, foursquare, furry, geocaching, plainsq, twitter, twitvim, vim, website, where's george, year in review

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