2009: Quite A Year
I thought I’d finish off the year by sharing some of my favourite memories of 2009 with you. It’s been quite a year for me and included many new experiences and acquaintances. I hope 2010 turns out to be as good. I’ll try not to go into detail about every month or we could be here all day, but I have been back through the blog archives to note some of the big events.
Back in January of this year I finally got my act together and set up this site. When I say “got my act together” that’s debatable because the site still isn’t anywhere near finished. It’s still got the “temporary” (ha ha) design that I launched it with. I’m working on that as I’ve said all year, but I hope 2010 will herald a new overall design linking the main Drupal site to the WordPress blog more tightly, building on that foundation. The date I actually moved everything here to danlynch.org/blog was January 17th 2009. I haven’t regretted the move to self-hosting and it’s something I should have done long ago. There’ll be more consolidation and development around DanLynch.org in 2010. I also began my regular Weekly Rewind articles in February and I’m pleased with how they’ve gone so far. People seem to enjoy them but they actually prove very useful for me too, just being able to read back what I’ve done takes a big burden off my shoddy memory.
A big development this year has been public speaking. I have no trouble talking, in fact I have more trouble stopping. no doubt some of you have suffered at the hands of that from time to time, but being more focused and talking in front of people has been brilliant. In March I spoke at the first ever Think Visibility event in Leeds and had a great time. I then spoke again at Manchester Free Software in July. I hope to do more of that in 2010. Our podcast Linux Outlaws has gone from strength to strength throughout the year, seeing record download figures this month. I’m very grateful for that. We started doing the show live sometime around March and that’s been a real addition to the whole experience. Interacting with the listeners as we go has had a big effect I think. The list of the guests we’ve spoken to in 2009 is incredible. Just take a look: Randal Schwartz, Jeremy Allison, Bradley Kuhn, Miguel De Icaza, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge, Max Spevak, Paul Frields, Mo Duffy, Jan Wilderboer, Allison Randal, Chromatic, Greg Kroah-Hartmann, Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier, Pat Davila, Dann Washko, Chad Wollenberg, Matt Lee, Bruce Eckel, Steve Holden, Steve McIntyre, Christina Haralanova, Campbell Barton and more. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few there, so apologies to anyone I missed off.
I took part in Script Frenzy in April and wrote my first ever screenplay, I also made some lovely new friends that I’ve kept up with since. As I write this to you now I haven’t done anything with the resulting screenplay. It needs a lot of work and once I’d finished all the long nights of writing I didn’t really want to look at it for a while to be honest. I will do that soon and see what can be done with it. I’ve since had another idea for a book/tv series which I might explore in the New Year. In May I turned 29, one step close to the big three oh. Looking forward to that milestone next year. I also started doing Rathole Radio at the end of the month. It’s taken off in a way I couldn’t have imagined and given me a real appetite for radio work, which I hope to investigate in 2010. I’ve enjoyed playing some of my favourite music for people, performing live and again interviewing some amazing guests. I talked to Professor Kliq and David Rovics in previous shows and I’m looking to step up more guests in the coming year. I think Creative Commons is gaining some recognition from the wider public now and we’ve seen many mainstream artists using it. That has to be positive and my New Year’s wish would be for the music industry to wake up and stop criminalizing the Internet. They should be using it for what it is, the single greatest advancement in human communication for a very long time. It’s now possible to distribute your work globally with very little cost and people are willing to pay for it if you treat them fairly and charge a reasonable price. I don’t think this wish will come true, but then I suppose it wouldn’t be a wish otherwise. In June I visited Germany to stay with Fab and his lovely girlfriend Katy in Bonn. We travelled to Berlin for Linux Tag and met some very cool people on the way. Some listeners of the show, some who’d never heard of us and others who probably wished they hadn’t. It was a very hectic but satisfying week. We also recorded episode 100 of Linux Outlaws as we sped down the autobahn in the car. That was pretty memorable to say the least.
In July Professor Kliq played a live set on Rathole Radio and I was immensely proud of that. I think he’s got a big future and I hope I can help him along the way. I’m going to skip forward now to September as I said I wouldn’t ramble on for hours and I already have. In September I was incredibly lucky to visit Portland, Oregon for LinuxCon 2009. I met so many famous people from our little Linux world that I can’t name them all. I was really happy to finally meet Bradley and Karen from the SFLC in person. Such lovely people and good friends too. I also really enjoyed Portland, it’s a great place. I later discovered it’s where David Rovics lives, but I didn’t know that at the time. Back in England in October I went to London and saw Kevin Smith live for the first time. He’s a big hero of mine and it was great to see him in person. This all brings us lumbering towards probably my biggest event of the year. It’s tough to pick the biggest event out such a good year, but there’s one that really sticks in the memory. OggCamp!!!
Yes we somehow pulled it off, with help from our friends at the Ubuntu UK podcast the event went brilliantly. Everyone who came seemed to have a good time, the people who helped us out on the crew were fantastic and the whole thing was just a blast from start to finish. I enjoyed LugRadio Live 2009 the day before too and I just hoped OggCamp could live up to it. My biggest memory of the weekend has to be seeing Tony’s face as he returned from a trip downstairs. He looked white as a sheet and I said “you alright mate?”, his reply “there’s people queuing 3 floors down just to get in here”. We were all a bit shocked by that. A big thanks to everyone who attended and made it such a great weekend. We hope to have news on another OggCamp very soon. You’ve been warned.
In November this humble blog passed 200,000 visitors since the move to WordPress. Not bad going in just over 10 months. At the moment it’s closing in on 250,000 and I aim to break that landmark by the 1st anniversary on Jan 17th. In December I received my mystery box from Nokia and was delighted to discover it contained a new N900. Very cool! It looks like I’ll get to keep that a few months and play with the new system. That was something of a shock, but a pleasent one obviously.
I’ll stop now as I’ve gone on long enough. There’s so much stuff that’s happened in the last year I haven’t even covered. Thank you to everyone who’s been so good to me and I hope I’ve returned the favour at least in part. Look out for more podcasts, music, articles, FOSS antics and god knows what else from me in 2010. I can’t wait to find out what’s in store and I hope you’ll all join me. I’ll leave you with some quick 2009 stats:
- 58 episodes of Linux Outlaws
- 24 episodes of the Software Freedom Law Show
- 16 episodes of Rathole Radio
- 17 Epic Distro Reviews (126 blog posts in total)
- Over 1400 Blog Comments
- Over 230,000 visitors to this site
- Over 10,000 miles travelled
Have a great New Year and take care of yourselves. I’ll see you back here very soon for business as usual next week, if you’re not too hung over that is 😉