Back in the States
It has been quite a while since I updated my blog. That is mostly because I’ve been quite busy lately, completely re-organizing my life. At the beginning of February I moved from the beautiful city of Munich, Germany to the small town of Vacaville, California, which is somewhere between Sacramento and San Francisco, right where I-80 has all the potholes. I’m pretty sure one could get rich around here being an auto mechanic specializing in suspension repairs…
I chose Vacaville, because it seems to be a good central location for finding work in either Sacramento or the Bay Area, and I will probably move to one of those places once I find something. I have a good friend who is nice enough to let me share his apartment with him here in Vacaville for the next couple of months, while I plan my wedding (yes, I’ll be getting married in August!), and sort out what I’m going to do with my life.
I got engaged back in October, at which point it became clear that I need to find a better-paying job than what I was able to get in Munich. Either that or move to a place where the cost of living isn’t so high. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Northern California, so that is where I ended up. I quit my job in Germany at the end of January, and flew into SFO the first week of February. The weather here is pretty nice, but I do miss the cold and snow in Munich.
At my previous job, I learned quite a bit about embedded systems and gained some experience with openembedded.org, as well as ARM-based Debian and even dipped my hands into an interpreted dialect of LISP known as PicoLisp and started learning some Python. My strengths, however, still lie in system administration and networking, whereas programming and scripting is something I’d rather do as a hobby than a career. I have found a new interest in communications-based software and hardware as relates to routing, wi-fi, 3G networks and so on.
On the desktop side of things, I am now using a Mac as my primary workstation. I received a Mac mini for Christmas, and after bumping it up to 2 gigabytes of RAM and a 7200 RPM hard drive, the little $600 machine outshines my far more expensive Vaio notebook, and as far as the OS is concerned, I couldn’t be happier. I am able to take care of just about everything that I need to with it. With MacPorts, I have all my favorite Linux-type software available and it is nice that a lot of proprietary hardware just works on it, whereas on Linux sometimes it is a pain to get stuff working. Not that I don’t love the challenge. Of course I’m still running Linux on my server/media center, and couldn’t be happier with it, but in the future I think any notebook computer I buy will be an Apple. I’ll be staying with Linux for the media center, until there is something as good as MythTV or even MythTV itself running well on OS X. And by “as good as”, I mean it has to be free and open source.
That’s about all for now. Things are going pretty well. The weather is nice and stores are open on Sundays, so being back in the States is working out so far.