2008: Hopefully better than 2007

Well, 2007 is slowly drawing to a close. As I write this, I’m lying on my bed, winding down for the evening, I can’t help but think back over this year.

For me, 2007 was great academically. I hit some quite high scores at uni, and even this semester, managed to score a 7 in an engineering subject. 7s for me are very rare, and usually only occur with IT subjects — the subject this time around was on communications between embedded systems — specifically, it centred around an Allen Bradley SLC5/03 PLC, and a Rabbit Semiconductor RCM4000-series 8-bit microcontroller.

Amongst other things at uni, this year really drained me. Gentoo took a major back seat, along with many projects I’ve been working on, and my entire focus was on getting through the semester. My stress levels this year got to dangerously high levels, to the point I was at the brink of suicide. The only thing that stopped me, is that for better or worse, I’m needed, and there are things I need to do before I disappear off the scene.

Now that the university year is over for now (except for the mugs doing a summer semester), I’m able to relax somewhat. I was away from home for the last 5 days, sporadically jumping online via a dialup link to check on things. I worked on stuff that pleased me for once.

I did some testing for Gentoo whilst I was at it. My laptop wouldn’t dial out to the internet for some reason, but I soon discovered, the Lemote Fulong I took with me, worked fine. By disabling the getty on ttyS0 (I normally have it for when I use the box headless) and plugging a 56Kbps PSTN modem in, and using KPPP via X-over-SSH (xorg-server 1.4 segfaults, there’s some patches I need to forward-port), I had an internet link up first go. Hence, net-dialup/ppp got a bump. Sadly I had to USE-mask atm, because that needed net-dialup/linux-atm, which isn’t yet stable. If I find a way to test this, I’ll do so, and mark it stable too.

Looking around though, I see I’m not the only one feeling the pressure. Gentoo 2007.1 has been delayed this year quite significantly, with most of the people involved having other issues to contend with. In the developer community as a whole, everyone seems to be on edge. In fact, everyone seems to be on edge. No idea what the cause is, it’s just something I’ve noticed.

Now… 2007 as I say is almost over. Presently, boxing day will be over for me in less than 2 hours. My hopes for 2008…

  • I hope linux.conf.au goes well for all involved. Mark Kowarsky has done a lot of work to organise Gentoo’s presence at this event. Sadly, I won’t be involved (lack of funds and time prevent me from attending) but I’ll try to help out from a distance.
  • I hope that over this new year period, people get a chance to unwind and relax a bit. Some de-stressing is badly needed IMHO, and should help ensure everyone is ready for the new year.
  • I hope that university for me, will now start to taper off a bit as I enter my final year. This year sees a reduction from 48 credit points a semester, to 36, which should leave me more time to dedicate to each subject, and therefore less stress & anxiety.

For the next few days, I’ll be uncontactable, as I’ll be out of mobile range camping at Gibraltar Ranges National Park (northern NSW, half way between Glen Innes and Grafton on the Gwydir Highway). It’s a nice spot, away from technology. See, as much as I like computers, I also like to run away from them for a little while. 😉

Those who are travelling long distances, I wish you all a safe journey. Take it easy on the roads, there’s no point in rushing to a funeral. Here in Queensland, our christmas/new year road toll is already one death higher than it ought to be, and while I really do hope it doesn’t increase, my gut feeling is that it probably will. Take it easy though, and the chances of you becomming another statistic are greatly reduced.

I may not get a chance before the new year to make another post. So whatever you’re doing…

I wish you all, a happy 2008.