As I compose this post, I realise that I’m extremely fortunate to have made it this far through life – especially when considering others living in developing countries, for instance.
After all – although I haven’t got the support of a wealthy, stable family, I’ve still got:
- Food and potable drinking water
- Heating, electricity and other necessities
- A dry roof over my head
- Broadband Internet connectivity
- Good friends, and a handful of family members who mean well – even if I don’t always agree with them
In just over 6 months from now, I’ll have reached the 2 decades old milestone – which is somewhat worrying to contemplate; although I’m cautiously excited about future possibilities.
With that in mind, I’d like to reflect on the happenings of 2010, and the beginning of 2011.
In many aspects, 2010 was just another unspectacular, run-of-the-mill year – a monotonic continuation of 2009, to be blunt; although it brought change and progress in many ways.
From a positive perspective, it was a good year for academia, software development, travelling, and personal relationships, amongst other things.
- I was able to return to London, shortly after my 19th birthday in order to spend some time volunteering at the Symbian Foundation – details of what I did are available as part of my LinkedIn profile.
- I received a number of references from several people, which were fairly useful (thanks!)
- I finally managed to obtain a part-time, intensive placement on a 4-5 year long Computer Science course at the University of Bradford – and completed my first semester, shortly before Christmas 2010.
- I learned the fundamentals of Java, and managed to write a number of C++-based applications using Qt – some of which I published the source code for on BitBucket.
- Towards the end of 2010, I released a modified version of Sebastian Reichel’s ISI dissector for Wireshark with support for USB-encapsulated packets. I have since refactored the USB handling code and integrated it into the main dissector, in addition to writing new dissectors for the SIM, GSM Stack Server and Supplementary Services resources; and worked with Sebastian on incorporating these changes into his version successfully.
- I also managed to reconnect with several people whom I haven’t heard from in a while.
From a negative perspective, it was a bad year for older personal projects, family and financial-related issues, injuries, and the Symbian Foundation.
- The server hosting DNS records for one of my domains (house404.co.uk) and Web services for several projects, which Sjors Gielen generously provided access to for several years finally succumbed to hardware failure – so I’ve lost some old data, some of which was of dubious utility, and some of which was fairly useful.
- In November, I was unfortunate enough to have been involved in a hit-and-run traffic accident, whilst returning home from the supermarket in Boroughbridge. Thankfully, I sustained only minor injuries (from which I later fully recovered); although the suspect was never identified, after filing a police report.
- In December, as a result of the harsh realities of the current economic climate, and decisions from handset manufacturers to slowly withdraw from the Symbian Foundation, the decision was made to effectively cease operations – which left community members such as myself to pick up the pieces.
I remain pessimistically hopeful that things improve in 2011.
Thanks to everyone who’s helped in various ways; provided advice and interesting discussion points; and otherwise persisted with me so far.
Hopefully, I’ve been useful to others in some way, too – and I’m glad, if that’s the case.