Ben Cantrick (mackys) wrote,
Ben Cantrick

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I generally think that New Year's Resolutions are dumb. They're nice-sounding BS that people spew so they can feel like their life has some direction, even though they've basically done the exact same stupid crap this year that they did last year (and the year before, and the year before that). Also, once uttered, said resolutions are promptly forgotten - before the resolver's head has even hit the pillow later the same night. So I'm not going to tell you what my resolutions are for 2k8 - because I'm not making any.

Instead of happy-sounding fantasy BS, let's talk cold hard reality. Let me tell you some things that I actually accomplished in 2k7:

- I designed my first RF circuit board, complete with PCB trace F antenna. This was a Zigbee board based on the ChipCon 2420 2.4 GHz RF transceiver chip, using Microchip's ZigBee stack.

- My electrical engineering and embedded systems skill in general went way through the roof this year, as I worked at MuLogix and made a couple of embedded systems, including a 4 motor H bridge (30 A each) embedded system with an accelerometer for automatic vehicle leveling. Part of this system was a 5 processor RS-485 communication network, which I designed and successfully implemented the protocol for.

- I also recognized that the commute to that job was way, way too long and I needed to bite the bullet a get a job closer to home. And despite some struggle, I successfully interviewed and landed a great new job (contract to hire) only 12 miles from home.

(I want to express public thanks to my roommate for fronting me rent during the several months it took me to find the new job - really, really appreciate that. We got out of that god-awful shithole apartment and found a much better place thanks to him, too.)

- Speaking of landing the new job, one of the things that helped was that I wrote a multi-threaded webserver in Java this year - just because I wanted to see if I could. It turned out to be easier than I thought.

- Speaking of Java, I tutored a student in Java this year (an English major, yet) and I think she ended up learning a lot. Her final project was a Zork-like game, all in Java.

- I took some Aikido classes. Only about six weeks worth - just enough to scratch the surface. But I had a great time and learned a ton.

- Did all the mechanical work myself to resurrect my motorcycle after more than a year of not riding, and went on some great rides in the fall. Mom showed me an awesome new riding route that I'd never been on before. Also rode to Taos, NM and back with Mom and Ben.

- At the new job, I designed the architecture for our new mobile device email rendering system, and implemented the three new backend processes to make it run, as well as debugging and improving the Windows Mobile 5/6 rendering client. In the process I improved my MFC and Windows programming skills considerably.

- As a result of the above and other butts I kicked at the new job, was hired on as a full-time employee starting Dec 28th.

- Conceptualized and designed a novel many-ratio CVT. And that's all I'm going to say about that until the patents are filed. Taught myself the basics of SolidWorks as part of this project.

- Spent a lot of time thinking about powered exoskeletons and other such sci-fi, and actually saw at least one example of such a thing fully working. (I still think my designs are better, of course.)

- Decided that I couldn't stand the fucking moronic government of my country any more, that the Dems are just as bad as the Repubs, that the system will not change because it has no interest in changing, and made considerable progress on my multi-year plan to GTFO the proto-fascist imperial ruins of this once great republic.

- Capping off the year, I gave my little brothers and sisters $2000 each for a christmas present. I think all four of them went home a lot happier thanks to that. My little brother who wants to go to Europe can probably finance his entire trip with that present. The rest of them will hopefully be a little farther ahead on their student loans.

So, those are the major things I actually accomplished in 2k7. What worthwhile things have you successfully accomplished in the past year?
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