Saturday, January 03, 2015

Happy New Year

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

I am not going to make new year technology predictions, but I do have a few comments on what technology I am using and what I expect to be using this year:

First, I am surprised at how much Microsoft technology I am using. This started last spring when for political reasons I wanted to stop using Dropbox (I did not like their appointment of Condoleezza Rice to their board of directors). At the time, I could not find a good Dropbox replacement but after getting a Microsoft BizSpark business development grant last fall, and very much liking the Azure services, I recently decided to take another look at Office 365. It turns out that for the same $100/year I paid Dropbox for a terabyte of storage, with Microsoft I now get for the same cost one terabyte of cloud storage per family member and everyone in my household also gets Office applications and use of the online Office tools (that run really well in Chrome with Chrome apps). The versions of Microsoft Word, OneNote, and OneDrive for my iPad and my Samsung Note 4 Android "phone" are also excellent. I bet that I end up being a long term customer of Azure and Office 365.

Probably the biggest technology change I am making in the new year is my decision to go back to using Clojure as my primary programming language. I wrote a lot of code in Haskell in 2014, and spent many hundreds of hours studying Haskell - all time very well spent. That said, with Haskell I found myself dropping back to occasional use of Ruby and Java for various tasks so I ended up using three programming languages. It is nice to settle in with one comfortable and productive programming language and not have to do context changes. (That said, I still use Java, Javascript, and Clojure.)

My BizSpark sponsored (with a generous free Azure usage tier for up to 3 years) business plan involves writing a web service that I won't go into right now, but I have already started replacing the Haskell + Ruby prototypes with Clojure code.

The other big change in my life, technology wise, is my Samsung Note 4 Android "phone." We have been listening to the hype surrounding a mobile device lifestyle for years, but for me having a very capable computing device with a very high resolution screen always with me has been a major improvement because I can always write, communicate, do photography, and in a pinch open a SSH window and write a little code or do some admin on a server. It is liberating to not always need to have a laptop with me.

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