Happy Holidays

I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season!

Carol and I have been traveling a lot this year and we are staying home this Christmas, hanging out with our friends in Sedona Arizona instead of traveling to see family in California and Rhode Island.

I was going to buy a new laptop for my work and writing (my MacBook Air is 3 years old) but in spite of my laptop being dinged up it is otherwise in good shape. I decided to do something radical with it yesterday:

When I bought my laptop 3 years ago I initialized it with a Time Machine backup from my older MacBook Pro. Needless to say, there was a lot of cruft on my system. I was also running a developer's preview of Yosemite (with all available updates). Yesterday I reformatted the disk drive and did a fresh install of OS X Yosemite - without restoring anything from Time Machine.

I did manually (command line) restore several directories from the latest folder in the Time Machine backups to save the time of not doing fresh git clones of all of my projects, work and writing. I also decided to just install a minimal set of writing tools that I currently use (mostly I now use leanpub.com so all I need for writing is a plain text editor). For programming languages I only installed Haskell, Java 8, node.js, and Ruby.

Restoring OS X systems with Time Machine works very well, but it was time for a fresh start. Everything seems to run much faster and my SSD drive is 75% empty.

I am "sort of" retired now. I try to limit myself to about 10 hours a week of consulting and about 20 hours a week working on a commercial software product. Currently I am helping one customer integrate IBM Watson into their product and I am doing some development work for another customer (online sports game: Ember.js front end with a Haskell back end). Fun stuff!

With two friends I volunteer maintaining a historic farm owned by the US Forest Service. Part of this is keeping land clear of weeds and planting and harvesting food, and another part is keeping a 1 mile irrigation ditch (supplies water for the farm and a local park) clear. Tim took these two pictures of Don and I working on the irrigation ditch last week:

I enjoy hiking and kayaking, but this year I have spent more time volunteering on the farm.


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