I hate writing this type of post, the review of all your failures and accomplishments over the last year. But review is important its stops you from repeating the same mistakes and give you a direction to go next year.
This year I have traveled to Atlanta, GA, USA (BACnet Plugfest) , Montreal, QC Canada, Harrison Hot Springs, BC, Canada, Calgary, AB, Canada, Black rock city, NV, USA (Burning man), Ruby lake. And a bunch of other places in-between.
I saw lots of fantastic shows, far to many to list. To name a few; Gogol Bordello, Jackie Treehorn, Amanda Palmer, dead mouse,Bassnectar, kraddy, Krafty Kuts, Chemical Brothers, Dresden Dolls, in the house festival,
I joined VHS (Vancouver hack space) a electronics group, where I can talk about tech, security, and other geeky subjects and learn from others.
I met a very special lady, who has made me overwhelmingly happy this year, and I have had good friends move away for better opportunities who I miss dearly. Socially this year has been a roller-coaster of ups and downs. Never have I ever felt so connected with a single person and so disconnected with my community at the same time.
- Lock-picking – I got the chance to see a guest presenter that was teaching lock picking at VHS over the thanksgiving weekend. He was a securities expert giving talks about how easy cretin types of locks and security features where broken. (physical and electronic) He gave a 2 hour persntaiton on picking locks. I have picked up some lockpicks from dealextreme a few months ago, but never got around to playing around with them. I picked my first lock in 1hr and picked up a bunch of practice locks to play with. With practice over the last few month I can pick most normal locks in under 30 sec, and tougher locks in 5-10 mins. Its shocking how easy it really is to pick a lock. Instructions slides, and more info
- QR Tags – As part of the wheat pasting and graffiti projects I learnt how to create QR tags so i could digitally sign the pictures I put up and give the viewers the ability to see other projects I was working on.
- GPS – I purchased a GPS receiver from Sparkfun, to work on my life tracking project that I abandoned. The GPS syntax was pretty simple to decode.
- OpenID – I use it for the login system for most of my projects. Its easier and safer then implementing my own login system. This year I learnt more about the internal system so OpenID mainly for stealing personal information.
Things I have made/did or help make
- Ray Gun Revival – Our newest magazine joining Every Day Fiction and Every Day Poets. It publishes 4000 word or less pulp science fiction stories paying pro rates. This project took a good 2 months of my time to get running. Launches in February 2011.
- Papercraft (Paper model) and Origami (paper folding) - VHS has had a few paper folding (modular origami) nights over the last year that I have attended. I have created a few interesting objects including this 64 sheet star with no glue. I plan to keep building different and more complex objects over the next year. Its a lot of fun.
- Time laps Videos – I have been experimenting with time laps photography after I hacked my canon camera to give it the ability to run scripts. Examples: 2010-Jul-19 – modular origami, Long exposer roof top, Time laps clouds across the sky. 1min per frame, Vancouver Car free days 2010. The hardest part is finding something interesting to recored. I was originally planning on taking a photo a min of the entire trip down and back from burning man, but I was unable to find a way to charge the battery of the camera for the entire trip. I have since purchased a 12v inverter but it was too late for this year.
- SkyZoo – We played music and gave out ~2000 Kazoo on the Vancouver Skytrain during the 2010 Olympic Winter games. It was a lot of fun and we didn’t get arrested. It was organized by the talented Zee Kesler.
- Wheatpaste/graffiti projects - After seeing exit through the gift shop, a graffiti film about Mr Brainwash by Banksy a street artiest and the great work of Lindsay Joy Hamilton, we decided to try it out our self. I put up about ~750 Mario brothers icons around Vancouver over three months. I have since moved on to bigger wheat pasting projects and found a group to do it with.
- Light painting – After stumbling upon some fantastic light painting videos, I decided to make my own. Using my hacked Canon camera I was able to take high dynamic range photos and extremely long exposure photos. I also started and never finished a processing app that would create live light painting pictures/videos. My light painting projects soon feel to the wayside as other projects took up more of my free time.
- Android phone – I upgraded my phone this year to a Android smart phone and started developing apps for it with the help of VHS.
- Color survey – A simple survey written in PHP designed to find out different groups label colors. Does age, sec, location effect how you see color, and if so how much. More detailed description and results. Take the survey.
- Sensor net – I created 2 little sensors that read the inside and outside temperature and light. Connected them to a arduino and recored the values once a min. The reading where very interesting until the outside cable was accentually cut and I lost my readings from the outside sensors.
- Choose your own path (AKA CYOA) – Is a choose your own adventure like game where you are given choices on what the protagonist does after each chapter. You are able to add new choices if you don’t like the choices available. Written in CakePHP.
- Life tracker – This was a project to recored my own moments with a GPS over the entire year to search for patterns and reduce and refine my paths. I was also curious to see how much of Vancouver I walk over in a year. When I purchased my android phone I converted the project from Arduino to Android. After building the tracking app I found that the GPS drained considerable phone from the Android phone. My battery life went down from about 12 hours of to 3 hours. After a few weeks I abandoned the project and didn’t continue it.
- Meauloaf – I helped a good friend of mine Andrew LeBlanc with a short horror film for the bloodshots 2010 contest. We got and
honorable mention for “Best Gross out“. It was a great learning experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year.
Lessons that I have learnt
- I have learned to fear Chicago Airport. I have never had a flight that arrived or depart from this airport on time. They cap all their power outlets so no one can charge their laptops or other electronic devices with out paying for the privilege at one of their booths. But at lest their air port is nice to look at with lots of stuff to do while you are waiting.
- In-Ear buds are good for short distances, anything longer then 4 hours and your ears start to get a cramp. After 8 hours they blister and cause great pain. For long distance travel headphones are the way to go.
- Always make a development log of everything you do each day. There is no way that I will be able to remember what I didn’t last week let alone 3-6 months ago. Keeping a Dev log of what you change, new things, things removed, stuff learned has helped tremendousness over the past year.
This year has been pretty decent. I have not done as much done in previous years but I would say I am happier this year then I have been in a long time.
Goals for next year
- More projects. This year I mainly worked on a few key projects instead of spreading myself out. Well this worked helped me maintain focus and complete polish more projects I missed the ability to try new things and explore more.
- More documentation of the process. I plan to make more posts on the process instead of just the finished product of my projects. A project that takes a few weeks to complete and work out the details shouldn’t just have a post mortem.
- All failed projects should have a post mortem. Why it failed, What I learnt, How to improve next time.
- Participation. Never say No without a good reason, Always be willing to try, Try things that you “Know” to be impossible just for the learning experiences, Participation in every opportunity.
- Take more photos of nothing. I haven’t been taking many photos over the last two years as most of the time I would take photos at shows or parties as “memory photos”. As I slowed down on the parties I also stop taking my camera out and reduced the amount of photos that I have been taking. Next year I will bring my camera with me where ever I go and take pictures of anything that interests me.
- Clean and organize regularity. This year my work space has been a mess. It takes me 10s of mins to find anything and most of my parts are crammed in to a endless stack of shoe boxes. This year I am going to spend the last Sunday of each month or Cleaning and organizing my stuff.
Predictions for the future
- Year of the App and Tablets/Smart phones. I believe that next year will be focused on App devlopment for mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. I will be forcing on the android platform mainly as I believe that it will grow to become one of the biggest players in the industry.
- I believe that there will be on mass mobile network device virus that will infect hundreds of thousands of devices that will force platform developers to tighten the security models on their devices.
- 3d printers are going to be a big thing this year as they become cheaper and easier to obtain. More people will have them and more source objects will be created.
Wow that was a big post. I’m probably missing a few things feel free to reminded me in the comments section.
Happy new year!