The management of projects

The supreme Basement Archaelogist

There are projects, and then there are projects.

There are projects that reveal themselves as mere tasks when they’re completed in one or two sessions. There are projects that depend on the successful completion of others.

There are projects that have hard deadlines – whether set by yourself or by outside agents. Often there is a plan that determines which projects should be tackled immediately, those which can be delayed, or those that eventually get dropped altogether. There is also this thing called “life” – born as the unholy offspring of human nature, boredom, exhaustion, financial situations and changing personal circumstances.

Life doesn’t find a way. Life gets in the way.

Then there are the ongoing projects: responsibilities and maintenance tasks that you take on for reasons important to nobody but your own delusion of “the greater good”.

One project may delay the start of others. One of these is my “SA labels” project at Discogs.

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A decade at Twitter

The real Angry Bird! (photo by unknown)

No sooner did I announce that 2019 is a year packed with anniversaries do I realise, quite by chance, that today marks my 10th year on Twitter.

It was none other than Jason Scott who (indirectly) pointed me towards Twitter and, like most first-time users, I had absolutely no idea what to do with it nor what to expect of it. Twitter was different to the other social platforms of the time.

My début tweet was “Just signed up on twitter. Now trying to figure out why.”

In its early days, micro-blogging was as confusing as it was innocent.

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Welcome to 2019

Inside the tower of tapes (photo by hmvh DOT net)

We’re into a new year. 2019 is an extension to a new beginning.

The first order of the year is to finish off a recurring project on Discogs and clear out its leftovers. Printed matter has already been filed away. There’s still stuff to be archived. More people will be bothered. There will be blood. More on that in a future post.

Then it’s off to digitise that proverbial shoebox of photos and slides under the bed. There will be printed matter shredded. There will be blood relatives re-discovered. Media will get increasingly social as part of a long-running experiment whose apex is nearing.

There’s an audio experiment to finish and a bunch of tape decks to repair.

It’s a year full of anniversaries. New knowledge and skills shall be acquired.

And finally, yes, I finally want to must make a major stride forward in that project started in early 2008.

Let’s get cracking.

Photo credits: hmvh DOT net + the BBS archive

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Review: 2018

R.I.P. Courage

As 2018 nears its end, it’s time to reflect on a year that isn’t particularly memorable.

If anything, it may be remembered as just a(nother) year of data breaches and security risks. It began in January when it was revealed that just about every CPU (Intel, AMD, ARM) is vulnerable to the Spectre and/or Meltdown exploits that could potentially allow access to sensitive data stored in an operating system’s protected kernel. In March, it was disclosed that Cambridge Analytica had scraped the data of at least 87 million Facebook users for nefarious purposes.

MyFitnessPal, Ticketfly, MyHeritage, Ticketmaster, Reddit, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, and Marriott were just some of the other famous names who had substantial user data compromised during the year (and are known of). Google announced the planned shutdown of its Google+ platform following (two publicised) data breaches.

Mailboxes were flooded with TOS update notifications as the EU parliament implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), “the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years” on 25 May 2018. Social media analytics service Klout shut down the same day.

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Summer 2018

I don't remember!

Hello.

How are you? I am fine.

Contrary to the hopes of some I am still alive. Alive and well.

Busy. I’ve been busy. Busy with work that pays the rent, and work during what most people consider leisure time. Been busy clearing out more old data files and media. Worthwhile information contained within goes up on Discogs before they get deleted. Other stuff is getting scanned and ripped and digitised. It’s not the best season to do this because you’d rather spend time outside enjoying the great weather instead of wiping off sweat dripping onto vinyl records.

It’s been a hot, dry summer. Wasps thrived and stuff died. Things happened.

Things are happening. There is much to say, yet little worth writing about.

The lack of words must be remedied. I’m just a bit busy right now.

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The eighteen-year scratch

"The fuck of the century"

Every once in a while you happen across an item that launches an entire avalanche of thoughts and memories. One such artefact is the CD above.

This is its story.

Early in the year 2000 I was putting together a compilation CD-R of electronica tracks. Some were popular tunes, some were more obscure, and all were great at the time. I still enjoy them today (although, admittedly, Cotton Eye Joe is a bit of a blemish that hasn’t aged well).

Most tracks were ripped from original CDs courtesy of a DJ friend — but there was one tune I simply couldn’t source anywhere. None of my contacts had it. The nascent internet was of no use.

That tune was LaTour’s Blue, “as heard in the motion picture Basic Instinct“. It gets played during the nightclub scene. Most people probably won’t remember it.

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Of Duke Nukem and aborted laptop ideas

Duke Nukem 3D LA Meltdown Boss Execution (image via 3D Realms)

A few weeks ago I finally finished playing Duke Nukem 3D.

Yes, you read correctly: That Duke Nukem. The one from 1996. The classic old DOS game.

I finally finished the shareware version. Killed the boss. Had to go “cornholio” just for him but I blasted his ass dead. Over 20 years later. Groovy!

So what took this long?

Well, when DN3D came out in 1996 I immediately downloaded and started playing it. It was awesome, I enjoyed it more than Doom. I played a few levels and then other stuff happened. The other stuff was other games and other interests and paid work.

Real life got in the way.

More games came and went. Some were played, some went unplayed, and others remain “to be played properly when I have the time”. DN3D was one of those. Life continued to happen. “When I have the time” never really comes around when other interests and distractions keep popping up.

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Welcome to 2018

More and more stuff to digitise

We’re well into the new year. It’s a new beginning.

It’s time to turn our back on the past and focus on the future.

The first order of the year is to finish off a long-running task on Discogs which I’ve now abandoned and clear out its leftovers. Stuff will be archived. Printed matter will be filed away. People will be bothered. There will be blood. More on that in a separate post.

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