There are many tasks I should be doing instead of rambling into this Blog – there’s the book chapter I must finish, all of those Christmas letters I need write to my cousins in Canada (strange, we always send each other snail-mail at Christmas perhaps it’s because you can’t really display an email with all of the Christmas cards), and assorted jobs around the house and garden. Perhaps it’s the weather – cold and damp is not good for motivation, cold and sunny is far more appealing to me.
Work is not much better for motivation – I like technical challenge but this time of year it is all budgets, staff appraisals, office relocations and socialising with clients and suppliers, it must have been 10 days since I last used SQL/Plus and I crave a burst of technology. A few more days and all of this year end stuff will be over and then I’ll be back to my typical 60/40 technology/management week split.
Most of the Christmas shopping is out of the way thanks to the internet and especially on-line charities; this year we are giving donations to charity to buy things that help people in need and telling our friends that instead of a physical gift to unwrap hold and discard, we have done something useful on their behalf. I think I will have a warm feeling when I tell my wife’s mother that we bought a goat on her behalf. I do have a few bits of real shopping to do – my youngest daughter needs a new (or right-sized) bike, hopefully this will last her until she leaves home!
Of course, the other reason I get most of my shopping on the internet is that it enforces discipline in the worst of impulse buyers. Last weekend I was at the local supermarket picking up some extra groceries (well really I went to the optician to pick up a new pair of glasses, but the supermarket is next door) and I came away with a new ADSL wireless router-modem! A couple of years ago I was on an internet trial using microwave links across the city – 2Mbs and free of charge. I set up a home wireless network using a Linksys 4-port wireless B router connected into the trial’s cable modem. The trial stopped and I had to move to my telephone provider for DSL which of course meant buying an Ethernet modem, and being frugal, I bought a cheap one that did not really work with Linksys – I had to write Python scripts to telnet to the modem and setup route tables to get things to work. I have now got one box for the whole of my internet connectivity and things are so much easier and the children think it faster too!