After a brief stint at a small consultancy in Cologne I decided to go back to working as a freelance IT architect and consultant, with my favorite open source cloud projects, Rancher and Kubernetes, and everything else cloud native. I have also submitted a couple of papers to regional conferences.
From August onwards I’ll then have two more years at University, and during that time I’ll need to figure out whether I should be starting my own business, continue going solo, or try to find full-time employment again. Main goal: Get my kids through college. And enjoy my work.
On that note: I’ve passed all exams so far and am happy with the results!
Being a long-time Linux user and ardent fan of Debian GNU/Linux, I find myself more and more in a situation where I favor a BSD-style Unix over Linux.
My first real contact with FreeBSD was through the now sadly defunct Debian GNU/kfreebsd distribution, the next logical step was to set up a FreeBSD workstation (with KDE) and now there’s no turning back. One of the main benefits of using Linux over Windows was always to have fine granular control of all the processes and steps – systemd is way too much Windows-like for my taste. Nothing against Windows – I do all my daily office work on Microsoft Windows and Office, but on my servers and workstations I want a shell prompt and full control.
I still run Debian on my GCP cloud servers, for my next server at home I’ve settled on FreeBSD though.
I did have a look at the possibility to replace systemd with SysV-init on Debian, I also looked at Devuan, but in the end the simplicity and elegance of FreeBSD won me over.
Today is a slow day – Friday after a bank holiday (Ascension), which most people here take off from work (including myself).
Time to appreciate my inbox. My empty inbox, that is.
Ever since I came across Inbox Zero, I tried to stick to it, most of the time. According to its inventor, Merlin Mann, it’s not so much about reducing the number of Emails in your inbox, but about reducing the time you’re thinking about the things in your inbox. From personal experience over many years of working I can fully and wholeheartedly agree – an empty inbox makes your day much less stressful!
I’ve settled on Outlook, Tasks, and OneNote to manage my work, but it’s not the tooling that makes the difference, it’s the mindset.
Give it a try – you won’t regret it!
(Screenshot of an empty inbox, Microsoft Office 365)
A year ago today was my last day at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. As part of the many reorganizations, HPE were offering very generous redundancy packages at that time and I decided to take them up on their offer and go back to University (FOM), to study Computer Science in Cologne.
I’m now at the end of the first year, and I’m absolutely loving it! It’s such an enormous privilege to be able to concentrate just on learning, given my age and the fact that I have two (almost grown-up) kids.
To stay on top of all the developments around cloud computing I also work part-time at a small Cloud Consultancy, supporting customers on their journey to cloud; by now I’ve become pretty experienced on all things related to Containers and Security too. Serverless will be next!
In the process I’ve also lost over 40lbs – can’t complain! There’re still a couple of pounds to go, though …
(At FOM, looking out from our lecture hall)
For the first time in 36 years, I’m at home, learning for a written exam in business information systems.
Not that I ever stopped learning or sitting exams, for Novell Netware, Cisco or more recently for Suse, but this was all related to my daily work; if you’ve ever sat a Novell or Cisco exam, you’ll know that there’s a lot of memorizing and intense preparation involved.
This time though, I need to memorize content from the 90s, and I’m having a hard time …
As part of my first calculus class we were told that we’d need a pocket calculator.
Wait – can’t my phone do that?
There’s something endearing nostalgic about the universities’ insistence on a calculator, and they are in good company with my kids’ school.
My last calculator was an HP 16C, I used it during the first years of my professional life to do bit shift operations, and Hex/Octal calculations; I still have it, alas, it does not have basic calculus functions, such as log(). Time for a new one!
The HP16C uses RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) which makes for super fast and efficient calculations. HP seems to not make any RPN devices anymore, most likely because it’s not taught in school anymore and the customer base is aging out.
Amazon to the rescue! A number of shops had the HP 35s (Model year 2015) in new and original condition for a very reasonable price, and one of them is now mine:
Monday we’ll have calculus again, can’t wait!
Today was my first day at University, and also the end of the first part of my journey from being a salaryman to becoming a creator.
Very special day for me, I didn’t really focus on the equipment, so there’s some really shaky bits it the video and also some poor sound – but with all ‘first’ and ‘unique’ moments, there’s no way to reshoot. Well.
Tomorrow is another day, for today this has to suffice
#054 – First Day at University (E)