# Status Update

2016-01-04*

Happy 2016 everyone!

I thought I should update this blog, even though it’s taking time away from some really fun side hobbies/projects! This post breaks with the unspoken tradition on this blog, which is that every post should be something meaningful, with original content; but, I now think that I should use this space for more personal/opinion/meta things too, not just pure technical articles.

Anyway, below are some updates on various things going on in my life.

# Side projects

I have a number of side projects all clamoring for my loving care. In years past, I would work on multiple projects at the same time, and start new ones even without finishing old ones. This year, I plan to just focus on one project at a time!

Currently, I am working on a computer keyboard layout optimizer, using the well-known Simulated Annealing algorithm. It’s a very interesting problem, and although currently my SA implementation lacks enough heuristics to make it perform any differently than random search, it is still fun to hack on. Once it is done, I will open-source it.

After that, I want to finish up the core features for a simple terminal-based password manager program. Making a GUI application, even console-based, is quite the challenge!

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that I silently pushed back timeframe for my book the Haskell programming language. I did this on purpose, because what with a new job and whatnot, I have not had the time as before to work on it. But, it is not dead, and I do intend to finish it — later this year!

# New hobbies

I picked up a new hobby — the ancient game of Go! I’ve been playing on my phone and even got myself some decent equipment, and I have to say that it is much more fun than chess (I say this as a former avid chess player). Maybe I’ll find a way to tie it into programming.

My brother gave me a rather expensive camera and I started to take some pictures with it, although I have yet to really put serious time into it. But I do know that it’s one of the first things I’m grabbing the next time I go on a trip.

# Retrospect

Perhaps this section is a bit out of place, but I think I should mention the big highlights of 2015 for myself:

• I got hired at a fantastic tech company (doing DevOps) and basically ended the self-imposed exile of staying out of the professional tech world
• I moved to a new place (closer to work)
• I bought a new car (truck!)
• I learned a lot of new things (from work)

. I should note that, before my current job, I had purposefully refrained from seeking professional positions in the tech sector because I had a fear that somehow my passion for programming would be lost. Thankfully, I can say that this fear was unfounded. Almost every day, after work and dinner, I sit and code (Haskell)!

# Onward

I will be posting something at least once a month, I hope, to share some thoughts with you all. I thank all past, present, and future readers, for giving me the motivation to keep this blog alive!