Well, 2012 was an interesting year, technology-wise for me.  I used new tools, revisited old dusty corners of my techno-memory and learned a bit about teaching technology.

Q1 – 2012

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In the early part of the year I completed my first from-scratch Mac OS app since the advent of Objective-C… a far cry from the days of the Tardis Software FastFinder (my command-line replacement for the MacOS 1.0 Finder – check out this letters-to-editor page from April 1985) and Consulair C (Bill Duvall’s original C compiler for Mac).

Q2 – 2012

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That adventure was followed by my first foray into the sound booth at Lynda.com where I recorded our first online course, Windows Phone SDK Essential Training.  I had reached out to the great folks at Lynda.com in late 2011 and, serendipitously had the opportunity to follow in Joe Marini’s footsteps when he moved from Microsoft to Google.

I then started on my journey of retro-tech.  In May, I had the opportunity to revisit the world of DirectX and video capture.  It’s amazing how this world has not made much forward progress since the 1990’s.  In order to capture video + audio you still need to create filter graphs (a non-trivial process!) and then load them (an even more non-trivial process) and make sure they don’t leak memory.  I’m happy to say that the result went into production and is happily being enjoyed by visitors to the “museum” as you read this.

Q3 – 2012

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Having moved once again through the land of ancient technology, I worked hard to find a new gig with a more modern flavor.  It turned out to be much more difficult that I’d imagined, given the actual dearth of real developers doing mobile apps, and yet I finally landed what I thought was the gig of the year – 7 months doing iOS apps. 

Starting in late July, I had the opportunity to work with a great agency here in Seattle as part of a team building a cutting-edge iOS/Android hybrid app – I got to build the iOS platform on which an HTML5 ‘responsive’ app would live.  The team was great, the environment was urban and energized, what’s not to like?  Well, once the app was built in 3 weeks or so, I went to the VP and said, OK, this is a 7 month gig, what’s next?  Well, it seems there was a SNAFU between engineering and their HR folks and it was intended to be a 5-7 WEEK gig, not a 7 MONTH gig. 

So back to looking for the next good thing I went…  and found it a few weeks later back in retro-tech land.

Q4 – 2012

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Continuing in the clear theme for 2012, the year ended even more retro, and simultaneously modern, than I could have imagined.

I’m both in the final stages of authoring a beginner’s course on iOS development and, because it involves multiple interlocking NDA’s I can only say that these days my toolset includes WinDBG (the Windows Kernel debugger) and multiple Linux VMs based on Ubuntu and Debian.

It’s amazing how one’s fingers remember the old commands (page down in ‘vi’ is still ctrl+f, insert is still just the single keystroke ‘I’, etc. etc.) once the cobwebs are dusted off.

And on to 2013…

In the coming year my plan is to create more than consume, get outside everyday and enjoy yet another fascinating circumsolar journey!

Happy New Year everybawdy (as we used to say in the early days of podcasting ;)