Looking back at 2012 (kind of)

Grumpy Cat <3 joo!

Well here I am again. Sat in front of the PC, nursing a somewhat epic hangover from the night before yet I see so clearly what I wish to look back on for the past year and slightly beyond.

I could start off by looking towards the end of 2011 and pondering as to why I didn’t mention this in my 2011 end of year summary last year. Looking at my 2011 post, it would seem that it was geared towards anything BUT my own life. This on the other hand won’t be. I lost a dear Twitter friend towards the end of 2011, she didn’t pass away or anything no! The aftermath of an argument/quarrel etc is never good and I ended up being blocked for simply airing my thoughts on what was a heated conversation. You meant so much to me, and I am sorry the way it all turned out.

Work absolutely dominated my life in 2012 and this was one year that absolutely that really dragged on. Mass renovation work at our work complex meant that the small engineering team I am part of were stretched in their work duties. Imagine having to carry out your daily tasks, manage machine repairs whilst at the same time assisting with the renovation work and moving whole departments. Yeah…fuck me I was mentally drained at the end of every single working day of the year.

This of course wasn’t helped by a godamn 80KG cast iron vacuum pump landing on my index finger and crushing it horribly during a repair job in November 2012. Hobbling into A&E was hilarious as the staff couldn’t understand why I was so calm despite having blood all over the place. Looking back on that day I recall being in shock with a cheesy grin on my face as I walked in :S All of this turned out to be a blessing in disguise – I met and made friends with some awesome staff/nurses at my local A&E and we still keep in touch today. After a mere two months the bones have mended up faster than expected and I can actually use my right hand to an extent – all thanks to the folks at Northwick Park A&E. You are all awesome, thank you and see you soon (not in A&E!) for drinks.

Olympic Rings at the White Cliffs of Dover

The Olympics hit London like nothing I had ever witnessed before. The 27th of July marked the date in which London and indeed the watching world were blown away by an opening ceremony that still resides in the thoughts of many Londoners. The epic musical build up as the Olympic rings came together was awe inspiring. The events themselves and the fact that Team GB was actually winning Gold medals brought the nation together like never before. Everywhere I looked, people were watching sports on the box or talking about going to see them live. People around the UK were happy, talkative and mostly so focused on the games even if they didn’t like sports. The dire Olympic logo, which resembled Lisa Simpson giving Bart a blowjob was completely overshadowed by this sporting event. Excellents!

Gaming was poor for 2012. I didn’t play much, was it because I am getting older or did I want to spend my free time differently I thought? Pretty much both of these I would say. I found myself reading about technology, gadgets and manufacturing more than I actually gamed. I did manage to play a few though! Continue reading ‘Looking back at 2012 (kind of)’

2012 Blogpost is incoming…

Looking back at 2011

Big Ben on FIRE

So 2011 then…as the saying goes ‘time flies’ and all that and it couldn’t have been more appropriate for this year. This year consisted of nothing but work dominating my life. Being at the same defence company I have been situated at for the past 6yrs+ now has seen me lose that ‘killer determination’ I once had. I have settled down there now to the point where my confidence is slowly waning on a daily basis and an ‘I can’t be arsed’ attitude is beginning to emerge.

August 2011 marked an important event in which I was chosen to work on a special project, which would be very good for my future. At the time of writing, the project is in full flow. Sadly it leaves me horribly tired by the week’s end. Enough about that anyway.

On the technology front it has been an incredible year:

  • After dominating the Mobile market for many years, Apple are now feeling the heat of competition from the likes of HTC, and mainly electronics giant Samsung. So what better way to stall your competitors than suing their rear ends off. 2011 was the year in which every mobile company just sued everyone else – what a time to be a lawyer!
  • Social Networking became gained even more popularity in 2011 and what better way to show off the brilliance of Twitter than by starting a RIOT. After the shooting of a seemingly innocent man in London, various folk took it as an excuse to set buildings on fire and raid shops….and then post photos on twitter of them with their ‘loot’ – clever that. It is also clever that Twitter was the main communications tool being used by the rioters to organise themselves. Twitter came in for the heaviest criticism as generations clashed as to its role, perpetuation and culpability.

The social network was pinned for inciting the riots though the Police used it against the rioters and convicted a great deal of them, therefore restoring some faith and the unstoppable momentum of social media services meant responsibility slowly became the key message.

  • Sony were just as heavily criticised for the hacking of their PlayStation Network, which went unnoticed for several days before they released a statement admitting that data from over 100m+ users was compromised. Restoration to the service took well over a month, however Sony’s reputation had taken a colossal hit and apologies were simply not enough. For the following months, hackers continued to cause havoc with the stability of the network.
  • Without a doubt the largest story of 2011 ws the passing of legendary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Plagued by health problems in the past few years, Seve had stepped down as CEO at the start of 2011 taking a long medical leave. He later resigned as CEO in August 2011 sparking rumours about his health. Tim Cook was to become the new CEO of Apple as a result.

Steve Jobs & Wife

Job’s passing had a profound impact on the tech world, and I have an unpublished article (too long!) to show exactly why. Suffice to say he had a hand in all the technology you utilise today. Music, Film, Personal Computers, Mobile Phones and of course Tablets.

I confess that prior to the release of the first iPhone in 2007 I was never an Apple fan – that one device changed the world. What really made me sit up and take notice was Steve quoting Alan Kay, a legend in the computing world and someone who I worshipped as a teenager. I recognised the quote immediately.

“People who are really serious about software, should make their own hardware”

\o/

Looking back at 2010

Big Ben

So folks, it’s that time of the year again. That time where I look back on a year gone by and… no lets not kid around here – 2010 was about as muted and silent as it could possibly be to tell the truth.

After my Encephalitis scare in 2009, I returned to work in March a slightly different person, more arrogant and fiery tempered than I previously was – a side effect that is commonly observed from those who have suffered from it. I had to take things easy at work and I think my peers realised that, much to my annoyance at first. Work itself was rather challenging throughout the year though.

The biggest upset arrived with our new Government’s Security Defence review. Given that Sonobuoys are just one of our mainstream products we develop, the cancellation of the MRA4 Nimrod and Harrier jump jets were a huge blow to us and to the RAF. For us it meant an entire department being shutdown as the sonobuoy that was manufactured there was mainly deployed by Nimrod aircraft in the first place. I was upset as I had done a lot of work in 2008 on that very product. For the UK in general, it had lost one of the most iconic military aircraft it has ever had – the Harrier. I grew up playing with Airfix models of that stunning piece of engineering and I will miss it a lot. Edit: Final Harrier Photos at www.fast-air.co.uk.

2011 looks to be the most challenging year yet for yours truly and my company. After much thinking and head-banging over this festive period I am not really sure if I want to be a part of it anymore.

2010 Gaming

Assassins Creed Series – I finally got around to playing Assassins Creed 2 and what a title this turned out to be. I loved the first AC but the sequel just pulled out all the stops and for an 8GB title it had a great deal of gameplay, that is if you did everything of course. It’s follow up – Assassins Creed: Brotherhood came out just weeks after I had finished AC2 and this was almost as impressive – essentially this was almost the same game, albeit set in Rome with improved combat and the ability to recruit fellow assassin’s who were rarely used on the whole. These two titles were easily the best gaming experiences I had in 2010 by far.

Continue reading ‘Looking back at 2010′