Welcome to 2021

Who would have thought something I started for a bit of fun would still be updated (even if less frequently) nearly 16 years later?

I thought I would cover come of the things that have changed in all that time, both good and bad.

The Internet – Back in 2005 it was still a new place and was also very basic in places, emails were still new and it would be a few more years before video calling was actually realistic (in 2005 Three UK offered the first trials but it was terrible back then ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Music was just starting to find mainstream streaming options online and Winamp still ruled for streaming your daily dose of Chiptunes. In fact, I’d say 2005 was when it really started to become mainstream, although it would be a fair few years before the main platforms evolved enough and technology offered phones able properly stream MP3’s.

Work – In 2005 I started employed by a company and then broke free and setup on my own, the next few years were very tough but I still think it was the right thing to do. These days I deal with frankly frighteningly large projects, albeit in a very limited way, which would have had me frozen in fear and indecision even a few years ago. I’ve worked on the back deck of Construction vessels in the North Sea in both Oil & Gas and renewables. Slowly I worked my way up from the bottom and then moved sideways again to concentrate on something I felt was a niche area. I guess it was when I was there at the beginning now 16 years later it’s not so much. Recently I have started to transition to another role, but thatโ€™s something I really can’t talk about.

Home – I started 2005 living in Eastbourne, East Sussex.. But as I was working away most of the time I slowly came to the realisation that I was extremely unhappy when I was home because it brought home the changes I had been going through and that people were starting to drift away on their own journeys. The Death of an extremely close friend really had a profound impact on my life and slowly it became clear we needed to move away. Our first stop was Lincolnshire, firstly in Sutton Bridge renting again, then just outside Boston, where we started to find time to reflect on the changes. During this time, I became focused on improving myself and slowly worked through on some plans which we put into motion in 2015 when we moved to Scotland, Aberdeenshire. So now I sit in a lovely house on a hill (it wasn’t when we bought it though poor old Angel was crying most of the first week, the house was that bad). Slowly we have improved the place. Still no swimming pool though ๐Ÿ˜›

Friends – Here I have sadly been terrible, after the events of 2004 I slowly broke away from everyone and hid away. I was just too scared of any more pain. I was and still am not sure how to make new friends or even if I could bare the loss of anyone. So I hide away. To all those who knew me before, sorry but please know it was not anything you did but rather my own personal cowardice that made me run away.

Future – So the future is really open right now, we have been through a terrible year in 2020 with the pandemic and all it has done to countless families and people around the world. I have been lucky with work continuing to be there, even if it has been intense and full on since mid-2019. Going forward I plan on continuing to improve myself and slowly transition to another role, either within the same market or something new. We have 5 years left on our mortgage and once paid up I plan on switching to either a part time consultancy role or starting another business and running it from a higher level leaving the day to day to someone else.

To all those who know me, call or once called me a friend I wish you all the best for 2021. Feel free to reach out and say hi via email chain @ this domain or use the contact form.

 

 

Changing mental attitude

Over the years I have swung backwards and forwards between a positive and negative attitude to life and things in general. The last 10 years have been hard with the loss of important people affecting me much more deeply that I could have ever expected.

My attempts and filling the voids left with gadgets and toys has left me feeling even more lost but slowly I have started to clear a path and work on improving myself.

However, the last 3 years have seen my work life balance has hit a road block with a distinct loss of time and a dread when I take time off that things are going wrong. I have delayed my Degree for the last 2 years due to work and feeling unable to commit the require time and resources, which at times has started to frustrate me.

On the plus side I can see our mortgage coming to an end in 4-5 years and the freedom that brings. My hope is to now aim to reduce my work load and shift to a 3-4 months a year role in support of projects, I just need to get the buy in from those looking for my expertise, for what its worth.

When I left the IT sector in 2004 I had a feeling I wasn’t actually contributing or making a difference, I’m getting to that point now with this role although I know thatโ€™s not right on a daily basis I have started to feel my knowledge is not being utilised in the way I would have expected, finding myself in commercial settings more than I would like. I guess thatโ€™s what happens when you grow up.

Me I’d be happy with a low wage and time to play games and do those silly projects I have planned for years, but never had the time to do. Even if I just waste the time at least it is mine to waste then and I will be the one choosing to waste it ๐Ÿ˜‰

In other news I have a CO2 Laser and have been playing with it, it’s only (ha!) a 40w version and I don’t have any air assist for cutting but I’m finding it interesting to play with and have some plans to upgrade certain aspects of it like adding a Raspberry Pi to it releasing my PC from having to be tethered to it for operations.

Covid19 – Yes still having a huge impact I’m still working from home and starting to feel the strain of not being able to meet people and get an idea for what they’re really playing at.. Subterfuge and all that it brings is harder to discern remotely.

I am starting to lose a lot of respect for more and more people as they fall for the stories (and they are stories) on YouTube happy to ignore the facts. I fully expect to go into meetings soon with flat earthers in charge and being told to be ware when we send out vessels they should stay away from the edge of the world. I really wish that was a joke.. ๐Ÿ™

Anyway stay safe out there and please don’t just believe crap om the internet do your own research (and please make sure its a proper research not just some crack pot saying what you want to hear).

How the Internet has changed

So I consider myself to be very lucky in that I have seen some of the rise in digital communications, once they reached a point that was accessible for many anyway.

My adventures started with the Commodore 64 computer and Compunet in the UK, not to be confused with the CompuServe that came sometime after the collapse of Compunet.

So at first we were stuck with 1200/300 speeds that bits per second folks so 1200bps download and 300bps upload and yes I suspect some of you in the middle of nowhere are still stuck that on ADSL ๐Ÿ˜›

My first dealings gave me a feeling of power at my finger tips and the ability to download software was quite frankly amazing for 1986-1989 when I was mainly active.

It would be at least 8-9 more years before the early dial-up companies started to offer these services to a wider audience though AOL and who can forget screaming.net who kicked it all off in 1999 with their free dial-up access in the evenings and weekends.

Anyway I digress somewhat my main point was at the beginning everything was for the greater good, as with the advent of the Personal Computer in the 70’s and 80’s though the big businesses started to take notice and slowly our freedoms were eroded and replaced by consumer demand. Some even hailed it a great thing as surely more choice is always a good thing.

And yes to a certain extent they were right but slowly the big businesses started to see the opportunities, along with the threats, building their models on human nature and harnessing maybe our weakest point.. Human nature has us looking for more, more of everything and those of use coming from the 70’s and 80’s were struck by the shiny stuff and flashing lights this digital age were offering and signed up with glee to free or limited time offers for gadgets and access to cool sites..

..Step forward 10 years and things have started to show how the internet is now not about freedom but control. No longer can a person look up details on a subject and be sure they are reading fact and not some amazing video put out by a large business to shape our values, fears and ultimately decisions removing our conceived control one tiny step at a time.

So here we all stand with people clearly controlling the narrative and yet they have worked the magic so well people feel it’s ok to check for the facts on something of arsebook or titter. We have as a society slowly, through our own hubris, allowed ourselves to become a slave to the technology that was about to set us free in the 80’s and 90’s.

I weep for the day the printing presses stop and we all use a Kindle with it’s auto update so those with the keys to power can rewrite history in real-time with updates.

How long before this blog is considered illegal for not following the herd and/or political lies.

So.. in closing.. Buy a book look into things before agreeing with your favourite person and have a good hard look at yourself in the mirror.. It’s “ok” to disagree with people, that’s how we as a society have evolved.

I just hope we can break these chains that now bind us to technology and turn it around before it’s too late.

Welcome to the Pandemic

So did I ever think we would have this sort of world and how comfortable am I right now?

To be honest I haven’t really got a massive issue with the stuck inside as many who know me will attest to I will happily sit on my fat arse all day and watch TV or surf the web. However my job has meant I have continued to work, more so than before as everyone else is available 24/7 because they’re working remote. It came to a head last week when I felt burnt out and just wanted to hide in a dark room ๐Ÿ™

And no I never thought or would have wanted to be like this, feeling hunted if I go shopping and looking over my shoulder as I stick some chocolate eggs and biscuits in the trolley in case the thought police seize me for non-essential trips out shopping. Delivery of stuff means that technology hasn’t really changed for me, although I’m seeing delays on launching products (a laptop I ordered has been delayed from April until June now.. rather annoy after paying for it mid March).

Reminds me I need to order up some micro-SD cards.. wanders off to amazon and orders a bunch… ยฃ15.98 for 5 16GB cards.. crazy prices.. Oh course when I look back it this, in say 5 years, I will shudder paying that much ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m going to try updating this one every couple of days for awhile, more to get stuff off my mind than anything, move along nothing to see!

A couple of days without a phone

Strange title for a post but it does have a reason behind it.. 

So my current contract is full on and doesn’t stop either day or night. As a phone these days is connected either to a mobile network or Wifi access point it is pretty hard to turn it off, what with WhatsApp and Telegram being used for work to communicate progress it means that just turning off the Sim for some peace doesn’t work. Which means I have to turn my whole phone off… As everyone on the project knows my phone number I can’t even move to another phone with the Sim card. And of course it also means I can’t just setup another phone and carry on as WhatsApp and Telegram are linked to my Google account.

Yes I could just uninstall the apps or not install them on a new phone, ignore calls etc.. but ultimately as I have been getting more and more stressed out with the role I decided to turn off my phone until the New Year.

The surreal thing about this is going out and having a coffee I can see things I never noticed before as I don’t have my head buried in the phone.

I’ve also realised I use the phone to hide and escape, it’s almost as though you can turn on an invisibility cloak when you pull a phone and start scrolling through it. Yes I know you are still there and everyone can see you, but something about our society means you ignore people staring into their phones.

So what would I like to mention today to get you all thinking?

The internet.. Do you remember when everyday something new could be discovered and it wasn’t a platform for hate and control? I miss the simple nature of IRC and Talkers (thanks for introducing me Froodle), Then we had ICQ (remember that), Trillian.. Now everyone is on a platform, Facebook, MeWe, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.. It seems most people have forgotten that the internet is more than a series of platforms and as has been shown in China and recently Russia it’s easy to turn platforms off or control them. The internet was built to be a resilient communications platform. Instead we now have a large online advertising platform with fluff.. The more I observe the way things are progressing the more I see it twisted for everyone elses purposes.

I just hope the next big thing gives back control the us the people to continue to innovate and move technology and society forward. here;’s to taking back control of our destiny in 2020!