So, it’s been a while. One might even say “quite a while”, in fact. A long, long time. But hey, I’ve been busy!
A few months ago, I finally took the plunge and bit the bullet, deciding to move out (again) into a rental property with my shiny new Fiancee while we watch and wait for the housing bubble to collapse. Well, I hope it is and it does; after more than a year of searching it seems anything but a shack or shanty is overpriced by at least $50K at the moment here in Melbourne. Since I’m tired of being blatantly lied to my face by Real Estate agents Anika and I’ve signed on for a short lease while we regroup.
The end is nigh people, I can see it in sight. A little while ago I decided enough was enough, and sent in my resignation at LIFX. It wasn’t a decision made lightly, but magically after hitting send on that short email, a year of frustration, anger and regret flowed out and I’ve felt happier than I have for a long time. My time there has been turbulent; I’ve met some fantastic engineers, but also some horrific – nay, abysmal – managers and learned both how to think on my feet and design/test/ship a product with only a small handful of guys. It’s been the most instructive part of my life to be certain, and I’ve learned an entire swath of new tools for my future career.
It’s a time of my life I won’t look back on fondly (one pivotal decision will remain the biggest regret for a long time coming, and was the eventual straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back not just for me, but for many others too) but despite all the problems I’ll miss a bunch of my Melbourne colleagues; it’s amazing how well a small team can work together despite all the odds and still get things shipped. To that end, I’m happy I joined, if only so I can say I’ve worked alongside some great veterans of the electronics and software industries.
After making my decision I sought out somewhere new, and found it in Black Magic Design, local to Melbourne of all places. Actually, my dad’s been bending my ear about the place for a year ever since he heard about it from a friend whose son works in the film industry, but I didn’t realize it was both so close and so well established in the industry. I start there in a few weeks, but as I haven’t yet been told what I’ll be doing I’m a little apprehensive. I’m sure it’ll work out in the end. I’m excited to have the change of scenery and to jump into a whole new branch of software engineering, and overall it should be a great positive step in my life.
Moving out has also led Anika and I to buy a bunch of new things – I have a tendency to hold on to things until well past the point at which they should be replaced – so it’s been nice to experience good cookware and whatnot. That’s led me to start trying to automate my life a little more; I’ve bought a real Synology NAS which I’ve had great fun fiddling around with, then bought a Raspberry Pi 2 to run OpenELEC as a media center for my TV. I’ve always looked at the RPi boards with interest but never had a particular project in mind, so never ended up buying one before now. It’s all set up and working amazingly well, but that’s led me to buy another to use as a general purpose server/Linux machine.
It’s a revolution people, they’re fantastic little things. I can totally see why they’ve achieved the popularity they have, and I’m having great fun learning more about configuring Linux systems. I’ve used Linux a lot in the past as a VM, but always for firmware development and other general purpose tasks. Now I’m setting up OpenVPN services and making Python-based web GUIs to remotely start and stop the encryption tunnels and having a world of fun. Next I think I’ll see if I can attach some sensors to it and use it for temperature and humidity logging or something.
And with that, the next phase of my engineering career begins. It started with the 8-bits, moved to the bare-metal 32-bits, and now on to figuring out how to write Linux kernel modules. Huzzah!