Been a while though with some good news: I’ve passed my 6 month probation at the State Library. I think that means I’m safe-ish for the next 18 months, until my contract ends. This is good news. I was saying to someone on Friday that while there are pluses and minuses, it feels like I’m in the place I should be. A different sort of work and a different sort of pace. One of the aspects of the job I’m hoping to develop more this year is dealing with data, particularly OAI and API type stuff. I’m still somewhat new at this sort of thing but have been pushing myself out into associated communities. Plus I’ve done a couple of coding workshops at conferences on interacting with such. Early days though.
However, it’s not all good as I managed to put back on all the weight I lost in my first 3 months in the new job. I totally blame an addiction to a computer game called Skyrim that lasted about 3 months or so. Very addictive. Most days, I would return home after work and sit on the couch, playing through til well past bedtime. Needless to say, weekends disappeared all too quickly. Food was rushed and consumed while playing. Not a healthy lifestyle. Though I’ve racked up a few hundred hours of actual game play, it remains unfinished. I stopped playing 3 weeks ago and have been rediscovering my life since, even cooking and eating at, if not a decent time, not too late either.
I’ve also been conferencing. In changing jobs, I was anticipating a drop in the number of conferences I attended. So far the only difference seems to be that I’m now self funding my attendance :-) In my first 6 months in new job, I have been to 5 conferences: NLS5 (Perth), Library Camp (Perth), THATCamp (Canberra), VALA (Melbourne), and Library Camp (Melbourne). Admittedly both library camps were one day events following a major conference. I think I’m enjoying the camp approach the most: there’s room for learning new things, room for talking about new things, and room for generally socialising. All done with a group of people similarly minded; made many new friends.
There’s been an odd development in the last 6 months too: I’ve come to the conclusion that I no longer like staying in hostel dorms. There, I’ve said it. The Perth trip last September was the first time I stayed in a room alone: though it was my own room in a hostel with shared bathroom/dunny. $70/night instead of $25. The privacy was nice. I didn’t feel like I had to be totally paranoid about my belongings…or worry about my snoring, or other people’s snoring. On my recent trip to Melbourne, I found a room discounted from $320 to $90/night and that was fab. I’m getting rather used to this :-)
On the tech front, I now have a mac desktop tower at home, XP based desktop at work, an XP based netbook (ASUS Eee 901), and an android based phone (Samsung Galaxy S2). Whereas in my previous job I had the same XP based laptop for work and home, the same netbook, and an iphone. 6 months on and the mac continues to piss me off regularly. Though I’ve recently been reminded that it has a full unix underneath it and I’ve just set up a web server (XAMPP for Mac as I have XAMPP for XP on the netbook) so I can work through the code from the workshops I’ve been to; not to mention as a space for developing code to handle XML and manage data sets. Some aspects of the mac I like and some aspects I don’t. It doesn’t seem as flexible as the PC or as modifiable. Being a keyboard junkie, I consider some of the keyboard shortcuts on the mac to be utterly stupid. Plus there’s a design ethos for the OS (Lion) to work better with smaller screens rather than my 22″ widescreen desktop.
The Galaxy S2 has been a wonderful delight – I was very fond of the iphone 3GS I had which I had to give up when I changed jobs. This was a few months prior to the launch of the iphone 4S. 6 months of use later, I love the S2 and am very happy that I didn’t wait for the 4S. Speed is good, flexibility is good, and modifiability is excellent. I still haven’t replaced my netbook but I have decided on the replacement: ASUS Transformer Prime. It came out a few weeks ago: looks and feels fab. Unfortunately, only the champagne version has come out locally so I’m holding off until ASUS fixes a couple of design issues (related to GPS/wifi) and releases the amethyst grey version locally. I’m a little old fashioned when it comes to tech and would like to be able to walk into a store and buy it…not to mention return it should there be an issue.