If you’ve read my about me page, you’ll note a fair amount of my former life was spent as a computer programmer of one form or another. Around age ten or so I started tinkering with computers and pretty much never stopped, to the point where the bulk of my employment has involved bit pushing of one form or another. At least until 2002, when I left the computer industry for various reasons.
At this point in my life, I don’t really enjoy programming anymore. I still have to do it from time to time, because I constantly run up against tasks I want to accomplish for which no program already exists. Or the ones that do just don’t appeal to me for one reason or another.
As an example, I wanted a tool that would generate Follow Friday tweets for me, based on who I interact with the most as well as a few other criteria I won’t get into. There are a number of tools available that purport to do this, but none of them did exactly what I want and I dislike the idea of handing my Twitter password off to some random third party (which most of them require since they are web services as opposed to software you run on your own computer). So, I wrote my own in Perl. It took about a day, still has the occasional issue, but it works well enough that I consider the problem solved.
I also hated every minute of that horrid exercise.
That’s really all my recent programming experiences in a nutshell. I have a problem, can’t find a solution and end up writing my own in a fuming rage. I’m always happy to have solved the problem in the end, but the journey no longer offers any fun.
This last week I’ve been trapped in computer hell. See, there are a number of things I’ve had on my “Put Off” list for months that all require some amount of programming or sysadmin stuff. Things like setting up Emacs so I can organize my life again with GTD. And getting all my videos into iTunes and making certain that any new videos I acquire are transcoded for me into a format that iTunes can play. And…and…and…
When I put my serial on hiatus for a few months, one of the biggest reasons is that I need to tell other stories. Another big reason is that I need to attend to a number of other things in my life, not the least of which is getting my life organized and balanced, both in front of and away from the computer. Since my illness reared its ugly head the other week, those little life-oriented projects have taken center stage.
Back in November when I created this site, I decided that I was going to eschew any real mention of the computer-related shenanigans that hit me from time to time. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that there’s so much of that going on at times in my life, that this thing just won’t be complete without telling some of those stories.
I’ll keep it to a minimum though, since I can’t imagine it will be at all interesting to 99% of you. It’s certainly not that interesting to me.