Looking back at 2009

It has been a rather medicore year I have to admit…or has it?

2009 saw me pretty much ignore this blog in favour of Twitter. By now most of you have some idea as to what Twitter is, and I must say that I am addicted to the service being a heavy user. It has been another great year for Twitter growth. Everyone is talking about it, both positively and negatively – and whilst both topic’s are relevant, the negativity revolving the stereotypical usage of the service ignores one important trait – everyone uses the service in a different way.

Of course this is reinforced by the fact that the very premise of Twitter changed in 2009. The service used to ask you one simple question “What are you doing?”. In 2009 this changed to “What’s happening?”, as users began using the service for different end purposes. Twitter for me became a replacement from bloated (see MSN/WLM) Instant Messaging Clients. In addition I use it to find out what is happening around me – in my town of Harrow for instance, especially with the unreliable public transport.

Twitter banner

This blog was created as a way to air my thoughts, which worked fine for sometime. As life progressed onwards so did my ‘time’. It takes time to compose and lay out a blog post, whereas on Twitter you can just mindlessly type out your thoughts – just be prepared for feedback from others. Oh by the way, the iPhone was made for Twittering!

2009 was to become my most challenging year at work yet. Organisational changes meant that I had more responsibility at work and I have to admit that I struggled to ‘balance the plates’ as it were. On many occasions I found that I had to ignore my own job in order to lend support to other departments, mostly because we were short of staff.

Our company has it’s lease expire sometime in 2011 so obviously we will be moving to areas unknown at present. Given that a vast proportion of our workforce consists of ladies in their 60’s, it is fair to say that they won’t be following the company should they move to a far off location. As for myself I’ll stick with the company and will be around to train new staff until I can ascertain travel requirements.

2009 was a year in which I became….an APPLE TART. Yeah baby! Ok so I had already owned an iPod Touch, and presently own a jailbroken iPhone 3G, which I am incredibly fond of as it forms a central part of my day to day life. On the other side of things I have been using the RC (Release Candidate) release of Windows 7 for quite sometime, well before it’s October 22nd launch and I wasn’t really happy for reasons I’ll not expand on (it’s better this way).

After doing a heap of research OSX seemed perfect for me. So I purchased a £750 refurb Macbook Pro from Apple’s Online store. Instead what I got was a Macbook, even though the OS (Operating System) and receipt state Macbook Pro. After much head scratching and reading of the MacRumours forums it turned out I had a rare Macbook Hybrid. For the money I had paid I had been gifted a higher spec machine, with an extra 2GB of RAM and a backlit keyboard, the latter of which isn’t a Macbook feature.

Mac OSX was a breath of fresh air. Having grown up around Windows from it’s very first incarnation, OSX was just so damn slick that I fell in love with the OS inside a week. It is just a beautfiul OS to use on a daily basis. No faffing about with stupid application installers, you just drag and drop install. Applications are all self contained so they don’t scatter dependent files all over the place – it just works!… (famous last words I’m sure) I now use my Macbook more than I do my monster overclocked dual core 3.7ghz PC, hooked upto 10 TB of data. I already have plans to buy an iMac but have no desk space for one just yet.

2009 was a key year for Mobile Phones. Apple pretty much scared the living shit out of phone manufacturers by releasing the first iPhone back in 2007.  They followed up with the 3G a year later, and in 2009 released the 3Gs…a speed bumped version of the 3G in the same body…with very little new features. By bringing out the first iPhone Apple were a good 3yrs ahead of the competition, however towards the end of 2009 the competition have caught up and surpassed Apple’s current model in terms of hardware anyway.

Alarm bells are ringing for Apple now, and in 2010 they will face incredible competition on all fronts. Apple’s success with their AppStore has also been their downfall, they just cannot control the sheer number of apps being submitted, and a great deal of poor/untasteful apps have been approved and removed from the store giving the AppStore a rather poor reputation with both developers and customers. Couple this with Apple’s dictatorship like stance over developing apps mean that this can only hurt them more.

June 2010 will see them launch the next iPhone – I can see the obvious larger storage capacity, faster CPU being present and an AMOLED (vastly vibrant/low power) display, which is long overdue. I just hope we get a half decent camera as 2-3mp is just laughable in 2009.

Mobile OS’s will be the highlight of 2010 as iPhone’s Mobile OSX goes head to head against Google’s Android OS, Palm’s WebOS and the somewhat antiquated but hardened Windows Mobile OS from Microsoft. Mobile applications will dominate 2010 and they will be powered by either of these systems.

2009 saw yours truly spend a month and a half out of work, with Post-Infectious Encephalitis. Whilst at work during October I had picked up a nasty cold that just wouldn’t go away, even with three courses of Antibiotics. I thought nothing of it and carried on working despite the fact that I was getting progressively worse.

On a random day towards the end of October I had gone into work in a rather dazed state, but assumed it was the cold messing me about. I was struggling to string a single sentence together when talking to colleagues, and had begun stammering badly. I suddenly realised something was wrong when I was operating some high pressure test equipment and almost performed a dreadful mistake that could have endangered my colleagues not to mention myself – however I stopped myself before any of that could happen. My actions were horribly clouded at this point and thinking methodologically was impossible.

I took some time off work and had some check-ups. A Computerized Tomography (CT) scan revealed that I had Encephalitis, the Post-Infectious type. In other words – inflamed brain tissue after one’s immune system mistakenly attacks the brain instead of a viral/flu infection. In my case I had inflamed tissue at the rear of my brain.

The following month saw me having sheer head pains, which were enough to bring me to my knees half the time, as well as an aversion to bright light, dizzy spells, and random anger bouts. I confined myself to my house after almost blacking out whilst shopping, only leaving to visit the corner-shop/doctor/hospital. Sleeping at night was a bastard and a half. I’d have major head pains and would have to wait to sleep until my body caved in from tiredness, often at 3am ffs.

Only a few work colleagues know, as well as my friend Ayesha who has spent this Christmas with me…as well as eating the contents of my fridge. It would crush my parents if they actually knew about all this.

Visiting hospitals, and having injections – things that I hate had now become a weekly thing for me. I remember being shattered when I was told that recovery couldn’t be measured in weeks but months, many months. My workplace has been quite good about it and told me to get better first. The thing is, where do you I go from here? How do you return to work knowing that you could be clobbered at any time by what resembles a nuclear strike within your head?

So this has been my 2009 in a nutshell. I wouldn’t at all put it down as a bad year but I do hope 2010 will treat me better! Now excuse me whilst I go off in search of PIE…MINCE PIE.

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