Wow! Another year has just come to an end and it's time to look back and recall all the [silly] things happened this year in my life. Was 2018 a good year for me? I have an idea of the things I did this year and know the things I did not do. But still, at the end of every year, I feel like nothing happened! I can't even confidently say if a year was good or not at this point. Is it just me? I don't know.
As usual, I forget things just after they have happened; not just events but people too. I've never had a problem with it though. But for that reason, I keep a digital diary to write down important events and details so that I can recollect my memories later by just reading it. So I skimmed through the diary and found 45 things important that happened this year, both good and bad. I'm going to list a few of them here.
This is the best thing that I acquired this year and everything happened later were dependent on it. Definitely it was a huge upgrade. It gave me the freedom to go places whenever I want. It was after many uncertainties that I got the bike. At first, the bike was a stranger in the house for me. I had no emotional relationship with it. But I slowly started to develop a bond with it and at this point I love my bike so much and I enjoy riding it. I also come to acquire the sense of safety and standards that should go along with when riding a bike. I'm happy that I'm able to do it.
This year was short of projects compared to last year. I only finished a very few projects this year and there are many reasons for it. At this time last year, I was working on the Birthday Alarm project for my first contest (Coin Cell Challenge) at Hackaday.io. It was also my first project at HaD. The project itself is nothing groundbreaking but had a unique concept. This project won runner-up prize in the contest and also it was featured on the Hackaday.com which I felt like being honored, which it is if you don't know about it. It was really something for me. Thanks to HaD.
I can't think of anything more serious than EXPLOG that I spent my time and most effort on. Started from a simple concept of a portable GPS Logger to a commercially viable concept of a unique product. I'm still working on it and I'll have to tackle a whole lot of things before I can bring to light a useful and sellable product. But I enjoy this. I enjoy putting in my effort to make something happen that I dream about. I've done the dreaming part well and it's the time to execute it. You'll hear more about EXPLOG next year.
EXPLOG was also my second HaD project which I also entered into the Hackaday Prize 2018 contest. It aggregated USD 72 from the seed fund furnished by Hackaday. Around Q4, I bought many components for the project, including displays, sensors, microcontrollers etc. I also received a pre-order from a trusted friend. He will be the first one to be delivered the first EXPLOG device. An on-demand 3D printing service, EazyFab from Calicut, offered me a free PLA 3D print for the EXPLOG standard's design. Thanks to Nabeel B A (CEO) and Sijah A K from EazyFab. Thus the project had a great start.
This was recently. I finally have a place to showcase my photostream that I've always wanted. It is available at photos.vishnumaiea.in. All the photos are hosted in Flickr and I used nanogallery2 to create an image gallery that'll load my photostream and show the images in a full screen tiles.
Adding one more degree to the name was not my goal when I joined for PG. It was to broaden my knowledge. And it changed my perception of technology and I was right about my decision. Albeit, my academic performance was poor. As I start to focus on more things, I barely get the time to follow the studies. But I know I'll get over it one way or another. I'm glad that I was able to complete the course formally and now I just have to redeem all the back papers.
I'm now at the stage of life with status (HAVE_COMPLETED_EDUCATION == TRUE && HAVE_JOB == FALSE). I gotta end this real quick.
I wanted to rebuild my website to a mobile friendly version and release it this year. But I have not yet finished it. 95% of the work is done. So I could technically say that I was able to achieve the goal this year. The new version of my website is going to be lightweight, fast, friendly and safe. I used CodeIgniter as the framework for the new version and I'll be open sourcing it in case you want to fork it. New version will be released in Jan, 2019.
This keeps changing. If you remember, last year I was planning on something in the name ONEWAY Electronics. But that's no longer the case. I have a better plan for the business I envision and 2019 going to be the year I have to make this happen.
Mashtips is a review website for tech gadgets and applications. I used to write reviews on Amazon by myself because I thought it would help other buyers. I was asked to write similar reviews for Mashtips in return of money. I've been writing content for my websites for sometime now, but I've never cared about the readability and other aspects that make an article reader friendly. But I had to learn about them to write good articles for Mashtips. I wrote three review articles and after that I realized it was eating lot of my time. Therefore I had to quit it.
This is the best upgrade of the year. Installing the SSD has increased my productivity and efficiency without blowing a hole in my pocket.
I did this for EXPLOG. I had to design a 3D model detailed enough before I could start working on it. Fusion 360 was my software of choice. It is a powerful tool for many types of 3D modeling and can even slice models for 3D printing. The best feature is that we can render high quality outputs on a cloud than on the local machine. That's a huge advantage. The only bummer is Fusion 360 needs internet to work.
This was an extremely important thing I had to do this year. My laptop's battery had already exhausted. So I was urgently needed a backup system if I have to continue my works. Setting up anything wouldn't work. The power supply needed to be stable at all conditions. After many difficulties I was able to setup a solid power supply.
This was another major upgrade. I was having issues with the cable modem (DOCSIS) like frequent disconnections. Around this time was Asianet brought Fiber connection to our place and I was quick to upgrade. I went for the 100Mbps (12.5 MBps) limited plan because speed was important for my work than anything else, so that I don't have to wait for a page to load or a download to finish.
I don't know the exact figure, but I bought parts worth around Rs.30K (just electronic components) for future experiments and projects. I couldn't use any of them this year. But as I'll be releasing the new version of my website soon, I can confidently do more projects and share them here with you.
This guy has been uploading videos on YouTube for more than 10 years now and I've been on YouTube may be like 3 years. But I only came to know about him very recently. I mean WTF, he should've been the first one I subscribe to. Yet, he has become real-life hero for me. The quality of his work and the effort he put in are unmatched and inspirational. The guy is a genius I would say.
I was thinking of buying a new phone this year but that never happened. The second best thing happened was I got a new phone from sister. She bought a new phone and so gave me her old one, an HTC 820 which is a four years old model. Why a new phone was important because my old Moto G2 was slowing things a lot. Of course Moto G2 is a great phone I still use it for snapping pictures and recording audio.
This keeps improving as I listen to more and more genres. I think it become apparent when ODESZA released their latest album A Moment Apart. The way the two musical geniuses mix genres was kind of an enlightenment for me, bringing me closer to genuine music from all the repetitive garbage. I also started listening to more Arabic music from Egyptian musicians. I improved my practicing in many ways this year and I'll continue doing that.
I watched Satyajit Ray's film Pather Panchali for the first time and it did what Iranian films did to change my perspective of films. They both have a commonality - the significance of subtle things. It also seeded in me a strong compulsion to come up with a style of filmmaking of my own. I'm still working on it and next year going to be a defining year for that.
Another interest I happen to acquire recently is Sound Recording. The Moto G2 I have has two microphones at each end that provide a stereo separation when recorded with both of the mics. I use an app called AudioRec to record at high quality WAV. These recordings when listened through a good pair headphones, can recreate the same ambiance of when it was recorded. Doing that for sometime, I came to understand the immenseness of the world of sounds.
Improving lifestyle doesn't mean to be luxurious and be a show off, but to improve the quality of thoughts, interactions, habits, diet etc. This year was one step above 2017 in that regard.
If I don't the share the bads you'd get a wrong perception that my life was always smooth and success which is never the truth. So here are some.
It was just after a month I bought my bike that I went on a trip to Ponmudi with my friends. First of all, it was a wrong decision to go that time because it was amid the worst flood we new-gen Keralites have ever seen. I was too excited and decisions made when you're too excited or too angry are mostly going to end really bad. And that was just happened to me. I can't blame anyone else for that. What happened at Peppara was I crashed my bike near a hill on a turning to the way to Peppara dam. The place was desolated. I did not break any bones fortunately but had some injuries to hands and legs. The bike sustained some damages to the front which were repaired later. We were able to return safely that day.
The road is a dangerous place. We can not afford to make mistakes there, especially on our roads. Everybody is in a hurry on our roads. People want to go first and faster as if they were the only ones on the road. Not everybody is like that but one of them can decide your future even if you were driving carefully. And that is what we should be vary of.
I was spending too much time this year doing nothing at all. I don't know if this is a part of this stage in life. May be I was procrastinating because I was less efficient. I know that's recursive but I could really do very few things compared to before. While intense procrastination makes you less productive by quantity, it earns you refined and comprehensive thoughts. I think I've done it enough and so I want to change that in the coming year. I want to be more efficient; do more things in the least possible time. That's going to be a new year's resolution.
Now I can say the year was good but not great. I could not do many things I planned to do. I was lazy and less efficient. My academic performance was poor and now I have to spend additional time to finish my course. There were both good and bad experiences this year similar to what happens every year. I did make many regrettable decisions and that gave me times of intense depression. Fortunately I happen to have a mental switch to turn on and off any of my feelings.
2019 going to be a "do it or die" deal. It's going to define my life. Means, what I do next year is what going to decide my future. I have a lot of plans and the path seems clear. I just need to make the effort in the right time. So that's what I'm going to do; I'm going to shape my future. My next year's motto will be,