Category Archives: Personal

2011 in Review

OK, I know 2011 is long and gone, but I’ve been busy with other stuff. So here it goes.

Travelling

My initial intention of travelling to a new country was scrapped due to the prices of the country I intended to visit: Iceland. Instead I readapted this resolution, to revisit my favorite places in Europe. And so I did. I revisited my favorite place in Europe, the wonderful city of Edinburgh, Scotland. I also had the privilege of revisiting Inverness and got to know the Highlands a lot better, including visiting the amazing Isle of Skye. In December, I revisited London for a few days. It is quite different to visit museus while being an adult. You really appreciate them more! I then took the Eurostar to Paris and I also revisited this wonderful city, my third time there. A particularly wonderful treat was visiting the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, one of my new favorite places ever. On my Flickr account you can check out some photos of Scotland. I’ve yet managed to upload photos of London and Paris.

Reading

I’ve set myself on the beginning of the year to read 30 books. I managed to break the scale and read a whopping 43 books. I really think that Goodreads and my Kindle were crucial in achieving this objective. You can check out all my 2011 read books on my reading challenge page. This year I’ve upped the ante and set myself to read 45 books. You can check my progress here.

Blogging

On this objective I failed miserably. I intended to blog at least once a week. Then it shifted to once a month, and then just when I felt like it. I’ll try to improve my blog this year (I hope).

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Laziness

Laziness has been preventing me from updating this blog. I mean to fix that from now on…

A year+ with my Kindle

So it’s been a year and a couple of months since I was given a Kindle for my birthday. So it’s high time I reviewed my experiences with it.

Let’s just say I can’t imagine my life without it. It has become one of those gadgets that, at least myself, can’t live without. The experience of reading a book on a Kindle is amazing. Dare I say better than a regular book? Perhaps…

The battery life of this thing is huge… Without the wireless turned on (I only need it to sync anyways) it can last almost two months, which is an amazing number!

Since I have it I’ve been reading a lot more, as you can probably guess by the posts in my book blog.

Bottom-line, it’s an awesome gadget, which I simply adore.

Ubuntu 11.10: a general improvement

So I’ve been using Ubuntu 11.10 for a couple of weeks now, and the general feeling is that is a lot better polished than Ubuntu 11.04. Unity has come a long way, and I can honestly say that this version is almost useable. In my work desktop, my default desktop environment is now Unity-2D, simply because it runs a lot smoother than the 3D counterpart.

Don’t get me wrong, I still miss Gnome 2. But at least now I can pass the mourning of not having it available anymore and actually use the computer.

The only problem at the moment is this damn bug, that forces me to unount a usb drive from a terminal. I sure hope it get’s fixed soon.

Yet more Ubuntu 11.04 complaining

Sorry, this is another post complaining about Ubuntu 11.04. This time a bug that bothers me a lot… Qt applications with a 1px icon in the notification bar. Really annoying. I personally use only two Qt applications constantly: Skype and Last.fm Scrobbler, and both applications rely heavly on the notification bar icons. So it’s really annoying having them minimized to a 1px icon. Huge fail indeed.

One alternative, suggested by Nuno Dantas, was to drop Gnome entirely and switch to XFce. I tried it but think it’s not really my cup o tea, perhaps when Gnome 2 is completely dropped from Ubuntu I’ll switch to XFce.

Another option was to find alternative applications in GTK+. So that’s what I did. For Skype, the simplest alternative was installing and activating the Pidgin Skype plugin. It still needs to have Skype running, but now I don’t care if the app has a 1px icon, because I can control it from Pidgin. For Last.fm I’m now using Vagalume, a GTK+ Last.fm Player. It has all the features of the official player, is GTK+ based, and even works with libnotify, something that the official player doesn’t support.

So, for the time being, I’m a happy camper… But Ubuntu 11.04 has to be the crappiest release to date…

My new Book Blog

With the new year, came the usual New Year Resolutions. One of them I’ve already put into motion, which is blog at least once a week.

Another one is to read more. I’ve signed up for he GoodReads 2011 Reading Challenge and set myself to read 30 books this year. I though of setting the bar a little higher but then I though, small steps…

For this purpose, I’ve created a new blog, specifically for Book Reviews, called Reliant Bookwork. I took this idea from my sister, which also has a Book Reviews Blog called Sleepless Bookworm, with already a batch of interesting content. My GoodReads account is connected to the blog, so every time I write a review on GoodReads, it gets posted to that blog.

So let the reading year begin, and happy reading to myself!!

2010: a personal review

So, a full week has passed since the end of 2010. So it’s time for a personal review of the last year…

Personally, it was a somewhat good year. I changed my position at CICA, becoming a Systems Administrator at UAS, responsible for everything from Email to LDAP. I also became a permanent worker at FEUP, with a contract of indefinite duration. In the current times, that not that bad. I also (finally) got my driver’s licence is May, so you should be careful when you’re on the road!

Got to visit a new country in October, Ireland, and revisit an already visited one in December, The Netherlands. Amsterdam in the Winter is somewhat magical, as the photos and videos I took can show you…

Gadget-wise, it was also a good year. I bought my current phone, the Google Nexus One, and got offered a Kindle 3 for my birthday. Let’s just say that because of this last one, I’ve been reading like crazy

So, overall, 2010 was a good year. Let’s see what 2011 will bring…