Looking back on 2002

It’s been an interesting year.
The biggest change, obviously, is that I now know how it feels to have a six-figure debt. For those who are curious, it feels better than renting.

I started dating again, and while this relationship isn’t yet my longest-ever, this one certainly feels a lot better than my longest-ever, which was the first one to ever force me to ask the question, “Is this better than nothing?” and then answer, “No.” That was two and a half years ago.

In the process of dating again, I had to ask and answer that question twice.

We had a round of layoffs at work. I escaped the chopping block this time. I do believe there will be another round and I’m not at all convinced that upper management is smart enough to not cut our department. And yes, I have an exit plan.

The inescapable tide of Windows XP rendered my book obsolete.

My book seems to have gone officially out of print (I don’t know if it’s customary for publishers to tell authors those kinds of things) and it’s started to show up in remainder bins. My monthly statements are finally giving hard sales figures. At remainder-bin prices, it’s selling again. But I think it’s been more than a year since I’ve cared.

I joined my church’s board of directors this year. We haven’t fallen apart as a result.

I moved this website to a completely database-driven content management system. I really like the results. I can envision a site that does a better job at letting people get at its content, but this one is on its way to that ideal.

I questioned publicly whether I should move from b2 to Movable Type. For now, I’m going to wait until b2 hits version 1.0 and then consider it again. While MT is the industry leader, I don’t think its lead over b2 is insurmountable. And neither b2 nor MT can reach that ideal I’m envisioning without modification.

I alienated some longterm readers this year. That’s par for the course, and I know that’s something that happens just about every year. But I alienated even more people in college than I do today. I’ve always believed you can alienate some of your readers or you can bore all of them. It bothers me when it happens, but there usually isn’t a whole lot you can do about it once the damage is done. In every case I can think of, it was a matter of somebody being disappointed that I didn’t share their opinion about something or think the way they did.

I’m human. I reserve the right to be wrong.

On the other hand, I seem to have gained more in the past year than I’ve lost, as my daily visits is a generally upward trend. (I stopped keeping track about mid-year last year, then picked up again mid-year this year.) It peaked in October; I lost a couple of days in November and December due to problems upstream of me and that hurt my numbers.

There’ll be changes around here next year, but it’ll have little to do with what I say or how the site looks and everything to do bringing more of my content from the past under this roof and with finding related content more quickly and easily.

A sizable number of my readers run Linux now, and I have more computers running Linux than I have running Windows. I expect both trends will continue. Open source has been a growing trend since 1997 and there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue.

I entered the 21st century and got a DVD player and a digital camera.

Here’s to a better 2003.

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