Year in Review and Preview 2015/2016

Looks like I haven’t done a yearly review last year, the latest one on the blog is from the end of 2013. That’s surprising, but then it’s even more pressing to take stock of 2015 and set up the coming year.

2015 – Results

This year have seen a long trip to Europe in February (Hungary, Prague, Vienna) which definitely opened my eyes to a lot of things that I probably should have understood back in high school (especially regarding history). On the other hand, I was a visitor back in my home country Hungary too, and tried a bunch of things that I have never tried when I lived there before, been there with different eyes (and would love to spend more time home again too).

The rest of the year was spent here in Taiwan, on small trips all around the north and east coast, and around Taipei City.  A lot can fit into day trips, and it is fun to mix popular places with off the beaten track.

I have finished a bunch of projects, probably more than any time recently. These include the Taiwan Bank SSL Status Monitoring service which is going strong, and looks like it had a real effect; then there’s the Formosa City Plan Overlays page which gave me all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings; there are also a lot more hardware design projects than before (but still fewer than I wanted), including the PCIeDuino that still has a lot of unrealized potential; for writing there’s the Atomic Physics Apparatus Advent Calendar which I didn’t think I’ll be able to finish, but I’m really glad I did.

On the reading front, since I haven’t met my goals in the last couple of years (usually 52 books each year), I’ve set a lower goal at 30 this time. I reached that goal (here’s the list of books on Goodreads), which means I should increase the target to be more challenging. There are a lot of good books this year, though I think not one book dominated the year’s impressions. Progressing with the Culture series is good, Invitation to a Beheading, V. are both brilliant works. There were a lot of business intelligence books on the menu, and a couple of plays, which I’m very happy getting back into.

Watched  38 movies (here’s the list on IMDb), and they are overwhelmingly good, and added quite a bit to my world view. I’m being picky about them, and that does a lot of good. There are a lot more in reserves to watch some day than how many I actually see, and that’s a good imbalance, in Eco’s “Antilibrary” sense, and same for books too.

My hardware experiment with Tindie was sort of okay, though my store doesn’t have much traffic or sales at all, but was a good source of a few lessons (and not just on that I need a lot better execution and follow through).

On the side-projects front everything was quiet, probably too quiet. Many big things from before are kind of on ice, and even the ones that continue, such as working on the Taipei Hackerspace are on the back burner.

2016 – Outlook

An experiment that I’m going to try is that instead of new year resolutions, let’s have a theme for the year. Instead of setting priorities now, under the current circumstances, let’s have a tool in the shape of that theme, which helps me make choices along the way. I haven’t quite made up my mind on the theme yet (still have about 24 hours to do that), but my current candidate is giving back. Doesn’t matter that it is very much a cliché in general when one’s being asked about their priorities or values, and the answer has very little bearing on the real world. Here it will be in the background, with an active role, guiding a year’s worth of experimentation and exploration.

Other than that, I’ll try to keep my /now page up to date, as good tool to focus.

How your year’s been and how’s the next one looking up?

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