End of a decade

31 12 2009

I was going to write a post about what I have achieved this year, and to be honest there has been a heap. But, it occurred to me whilst I was writing the post that it was also the end of a decade, a pretty big one for me as it goes.

Now I was going to use interpretive dance to go over the major milestones of the past 10 years, but the video camera is broken, so here it is in a smart mosaic format (I won’t rule out doing the dance on special occasions though)  🙂

1. Australia

I came to Australia, just over ten years ago on holiday, but only really decided to stay in the year 2000 after being made an offer by my boss at Admiral (-> CMGAdmiral –> LogicaCMG –> Logica) to stay on as a consultant. It was a huge decision to make, to leave my friends and family and to start afresh. Luckily I had already made a stack of friends in Australia and caught up with a mate from the UK who also lived in Melbourne. On reflection it was the best decision I made 🙂

2. Rachel

In 2001 I met Rachel, since then we have never really been apart. We have been through a heap together, building a house, starting a family and bringing up two fantastic children. She is my best friend and I love every moment we are together.

3. Abbie

In March 2006, my daughter Abbie came into the world and changed everything. She is awesome. Perfect in every way. I am loving watching her grow up, explore the world around her and learn. I love her inquisitive mind, her pure logic and banter.

4. Jack

In March 2007, little Jack joined his sister in the world. Whilst Jack had a pretty full on couple of months when he first arrived, he has gone from strength to strength ever since. I sometimes forget he is only 2 and 3/4 years old, he has such a developed vocabulary and self awareness. Every week he totally flaws me with what he says, not the words, but also the context

5. Family

Even though I live in Australia, I am in full contact with my family in the UK thanks to Skype and cheap telephone calls. I have been really lucky that Rachel’s family have taken me under their wing and treat me like a son. Unfortunately since being out in Australia a few people have passed on and I was unable to attend their funerals, Grandad Bob, Nan and my cousin Janet.

6. Work

Work has been an interesting one. In the last ten years I have done a number of things including:

  • Sheep Rousing – Working on a sheep farm outside of Geelong
  • Road Crack Counter – Long long story
  • Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager

At the moment I have switched back into a consultancy role, specialising in Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solutions. It may sound strange, but it’s the ideal mix between my love of all things techy and Project Management (which I am actually quite good if I do say so myself).

7. Nerdy

There have been a number of nerdy milestones in the past ten years. For what started out with me minus any gadgets whatsoever whilst backpacking, has seen me morph into a gadget collecting superfreak. Of course during this period I have had many different computers and run a stack of different software which I am not going to list as it would be way to sad.

8. Permanent Residency

For some damn fool reason, Australia decided that I could stay in the country. Glad they did really as it would have been awful to be paying off a house I couldn’t live in. Up until getting my PR there was a very real possibility that I could have been sent back to the UK, giving up everything I had made in Australia. This was very much the case until 2006, when it was finally granted 🙂

9. Geelong

When I first got to Australia I worked on a sheep farm outside of Geelong, hence when it came to picking a team, they were my first choice. When I was in the UK, sport never really bothered me, but it’s part of the Australian psyche, and if your in Melbourne, you might as well be a leper if you can’t hold your own in talking footy.  Since 2000, I have watched them lose and then win, finishing up with three grand final appearances in the past three years and two wins, the final being an epic battle against my wife’ family team of St Kilda. Way to go Cats!

So there you go, my reflection on the past decade. At the beginning of the decade, when I was seeing the new year in with some backpacking buddies at Wineglass Bay in Tasmania, I had no idea that I would still be in Australia ten years later and all the things mentioned above would have happened. It will be interesting to see in another ten years what transpires 🙂

And on that note, Happy New Year, 2010 is going to rock 🙂

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iFreewayTimes

10 05 2009

In the spirit of thirteen23 and their teaser concept apps, here are some screenshots of my first and working iPhone web app, iFreewayTimes.

The web app uses the same logic as the existing FreewayTimes gadget and parses data directly from the VicRoads Traffic status site.  The flow and logic is pretty simple, you choose a direction, inbound or outbound, and the app then shows you the traffic times for all freeways in that direction and a traffic light based on flow.

The web app itself makes use of the excellent iUi framework for iPhone web app development that provides everything you need to create a fully functional web app that resembles the normal iPhone look and feel.

I intend to give this a bit of a workout over the next few weeks when I return to driving to work and back and will no doubt come up with a few enhancements. Once I am happy with it, I will release it properly.





It’s arrived

31 10 2007

For a while now I have lusted after an iPhone but you can’t get them legally in Australia yet. So a couple of months ago when Apple announced the iPod Touch I thought oh yes, one of those I shall have. My SP5 is doing the goods as my phone and when I need a new one my employer can shout me one.

So for the past few weeks I have been hitting the Apple Online Store tracking page looking to see where my shiny new 16gig iPod Touch was. Well yesterday I stopped looking as the nice man from TNT finally delivered it.

As usual with any Apple product, the packaging was fantastic and lends itself to the whole experience. After a short download of iTunes and connecting the cable the iPod was alive and fully touchable.

I am going to split my thoughts on the touch into two groups, good and bad:

Good

  • The whole OS / interface is amazing
  • Cover flow absolutely rocks
  • The addition of Wifi makes this so much more than an iPod
  • Safari is fantastic, I twittered and gmail’d from it yesterday and it looked just like it would on IE. OWA is pretty nifty in it too
  • The in built apps are superb (I love the YouTube app)
  • Oh yeah, the sound is as good as my previous iPod Photo

Bad

  • It doesn’t work with Vista 64bit. WHY, come on Apple this is a big problem?
  • Apple should really provide some sort of case in the package
  • Can’t add apps without hacking it (but this is scheduled to change in Feb when the SDK is released)
  • No email, Google maps or ability to sync contacts / calendar items as the iPhone can
  • The iTunes Wifi store only lets you find / buy music, not podcasts / audiobooks etc.

All in all it’s fantastic and with the sexy new case that arrived yesterday, it looks the business!!





Oh yes Apple

10 01 2007

Apple has just announced the iPhone. Engadget has more info.

Features include:

  • 11.6 mm thick
  • 3.5 inch touchscreen
  • 2MP camera
  • 8 GB storage
  • Bluetooth
  • Wifi
  • and it run OS X.

Not sure if it will replace my trusty SP5 just yet.. But would love to try it out 🙂