Things That Moved Me In 2016 – Part 3: Miscellaneous

And finally, here’s part 3 of my series of entries on what moved me in 2016 technology wise. While part 1 and 2 focused on networks and Linux computing this part deal with a few miscellaneous things.

Congress – Congress – Congress

Back in December last year I attended the 32nd Chaos Communication Congress (32c3). It was my first time at Congress and as the event is not only about listening to talks but also about being part and to contribute I had a fabulous time, met a lot of people and learned a lot of new things that I came back to during the year.

One of the people I met was Voja Antonic, a legend in computer circles in his country. He brought along a batch of self assembly kits of a PIC based game console. Soldering the console together and playing the game was fun. Even more fun was analyzing how he implemented the VGA graphics output in software. A fantastic way to learn how bits in memory really make it to the screen.

The Blog has Moved

After I digested my Congress experiences I finally got annoyed enough by my previous blog hosting company that I decided to finally move my content to a WordPress installation and to use an independent hosting company. Uberspace has become my web hosting company of choice and if you speak German have a look and check them out – they are the web hoster for geeks! Moving from Typepad to WordPress was not as rocky as I first imagined and you can find the details here.

2nd Hand Computing

Another positive experience in 2016 was second hand computing. Many companies lease their notebooks for 3 years after which they are returned, processed and resold. Over the year I bought several Thinkpad X230 and T430 models for me, my family and friends. All of them were in great shape, looked almost new and cost between 300 to 400 euros. Sure, one can get new entry level notebooks for the same amount of money but not the build quality and robustness of Thinkpad X and T models. Needless to say that Thinkpads work great with Ubuntu. I was a skeptic at first but after using a second hand X230 for almost a year myself now I’m a glowing supporter.

Auto-dial Conference Calls

It’s a small thing but had a great usability impact: Having been there since the early days of GSM I inly found out this year that there is a way to include DTMF digits after the phone number and place such a number in the phone book. This way the phone waits for the other side to pick up and then automatically generates the DTMF digits to access a conference call.

Bitcoin Experiences

Bitcoins have been around for quite some time and lots of good and not so good things have been written on the topic. In summer I decided to get some first hand experience and you can find my novice account about Bitcoin here and here.

Lots of more tech stories of 2016 to tell but I’ll leave it at this in this post. Obviously you can browse through this site that now goes back over 10 years. It’s incredible how mobile networks and the technology world has changed since I started this blog, but that’s for future blog posts. Happy 2017!