Ah 2017. What a year of unexpected twists and turns, an unexpected job change and an even bigger financial drain. Let’s see how the year went by
- After about 6 months of looking around at apartments left, right and center – we finally got around to finalizing and purchasing a flat. The loan process etc took a couple of months, we got it registered on my birthday and finally moved in, during the last week of April.
- Along with the flat purchase, I moved away from Styletag and joined Adobe. I had an awesome time at Styletag, met some amazing folks, learnt hell loads of (new) things and when things started to get a bit boring, the Adobe offer came along, giving me a chance to do what I always wanted to do – ops at scale. It’s been a great 6 months at Adobe
- Travels – The travels this past year were next to nothing – with us being busy with the flat purchase & renovation and Jo’s 4-month stint in the US, we couldn’t do a lot of travelling. In fact we had zero trips till June. Here’s where we went:
- January: No trips
- February: No trips
- March: No trips
- April: No trips
- May: No trips
- June: Solo trip to Mysore & Chamundi Hills
- July – August: 2-week trip to Bucharest & Brasov, Romania
- August: Mangalore trip since Jo returned back from the US
- September: No trips
- October: No trips
- November: IGX Trip to Mumbai (with Kush & Jamie) and Anniversary getaway to Linger, Guddadamane, Sakleshpur
- December: Mangalore
- Gaming: Gaming was again very much on the backseat and I was able to finish only Yakuza 0 this year (fantastic game, btw. For those who haven’t played it yet – what are you waiting for?) and some progress towards Horizon: Zero Dawn and Yakuza Kiwami. Jo & I also managed to finish most of Overcooked while simultaneously cursing and laughing at each other through every session.
- My cycling activity also dropped to zero.
- Starting being part of Bangalore AWS Users’ Group organizing team, first helping out in planning India’s First AWS Community Day and also giving a talk on Kubernetes cluster on AWS using Kubernetes Operations
- Side project updates
- Mumbai visit for IGX. While IGX itself was pretty meh(again), had an awesome time being with Mix, Slacker, Kush, Jamie “Compliance Yeah Right LOL”(who, BTW, did the fastest u-turn – not once, but twice!), Vishal & Samir Bharadwaj
Some obvious and not-so-obvious gadgets/other things bought during the year
- Well, there’s the house.
- Mi Air Purifier: In case you’re wondering how useful it is, have a look at this.
- Fire TV Stick: Initially skeptical since we had the Chromecast already but have to say, the Firestick’s remote is very handy for us lazy folks and makes navigation very easy.
- Philips Hue Starter Kit: I am very much pro home-automation and now with our own house, I finally have the freedom to change things as and when required. The Hue was the first thing I said that I wanted(and yes, others like Lifx, Osram, Syska) etc were considered and rejected because there wasn’t too much of a price difference between them and Hue has the best ecosystem of the lot. The Starter Kit comes with a Hub and 3x colour bulbs (RGB!!!1)
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor: Bought the Motion sensor much later, but has proven to be worth the cost(esp if you’re not buying from here).
- Google Home: Voice assistant. ’nuff said. Works very well with the Hue and it’s speakers are surprisingly loud and packs a decent punch, especially if you consider its size
- Echo Dot: Yes, we have the Dot as well – although this is a loaner from Jeevan. It wasn’t that great with location set to US and after the India launch, I think it’s gotten even worse. India specific skills are pretty poor or incredibly basic. For example, there’s Freshmenu skill. But, you can do only one item per order and only cash-on-delivery is supported. Do these folks not test anything, at all and just have a skill for the sake of having a presence? I’ll save more for a separate post.
- B&O M5: I don’t have any words to describe this, you need to listen to and experience these speakers. So glad Jo picked this after comparing across Bose, Sonos, Yamaha and bunch of others. The previously purchased Logitech z506 5.1 speakers are sitting in cupboard now, will gift them to Dad.
- Oculus Rift: The VR headset Jo bought – it impressed her so much that she was called me at 3am gushing about it. Read my impressions in a previous blog post
- Netgear Nighthawk R7000 : What good is a 100 Mbps line with all your fancy devices if there’s no usable WiFi? After struggling with a el-cheapo router and fiddly extenders, I decided to go all in and upgrade to this – and have seen a massive improvement in network range and speed – so much so even downloads on the PS4 are manageable.
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 – My desktop has been serving me pretty well all these years, but sometime later this I year I am planning to go for a full upgrade and this GPU should hold the post for another few years after that.
- Corsair K70 Lux – Clickety clackety clack. With RGB goodness. Jo loved it so much, she bought a K63 TKL for herself.
What’s for 2018?
As always, I don’t make any resoIutions but here’s what I’d like to do more
- Cycle/Walk more: Goes without saying and it shows when you meet me, I’ve put on a fair bit.
- Improve finances: Last year the house purchase & remodeling made a huge dent in our finances, we should be focusing more on saving towards retirement and re-building emergency funds.
- Travel more: Just 2 trips excluding the office trip. That’s abysmal.
- Blog more: My blogging and my tweeting habits have just fallen aside and I have been procrastinating more and more. I really should get back to my old free-writing days 😀
- Finish more games: The backlog on PS4 has swelled up considerably. Let’s not even look at Steam. Should aim for at least one game a month
- There’s something more brewing. Hopefully can talk about it more, soon.
Compilation of Year in 2017
Quite a few of the services that I use had sent their Year in 2017 compilations to me, here’s most of them in one place + archived just in case.
Well that’s that for 2017. Happy New Year and here’s hoping for a great 2018!