For me, 2014 was a year of struggle. Personally, emotionally and financially it started out with high hopes, as every year does, but 2014 ended sort-of, kind-of low for me. But that low is temporary. Due to a number of reasons, things went south early in the year, recovered nicely and ended very much in a state of overall “limbo”, leading towards uncharted waters. I see this unknown expanse as an opportunity for new discovery on all levels.
2014 was a year where I lost myself completely and found myself again, unexpectedly. I had a spring of uncertainty, a summer and early fall of love, leading into a winter of soulful contemplation, but those who are important are still with me. I depend very much on my family and friends, one in particular, to be a part of my life no matter in what capacity or frequency of interaction. All my “peoples” are important to my well-being. If you are one of them, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for gracefully listening, being mostly patient, relatively understanding, and generally being there when I needed you, whether in person or via electronic interaction in the ether. The full list of people is far too vast to list, therefore I will not attempt it.
My Faith, which I do not openly talk about often (not out of “shame”, but because it’s so radically ‘different’ in almost every way), was shaken and stirred a bit, but has been restored in full. A lot of my friends and family are fully devout, some passive observers, some with little faith or downright atheist/agnostic, but they are still my friends and I value their views and insights into life, the world, and everything greatly. Due to the path my life has taken me on, I feel I have probably one of the most diverse, eclectic and generally amazing group of friends imaginable. I am very lucky.
Life is hard, it gets you down, but can also take you to unimaginable heights. I’ve been to both extremes this year. I’m an eternal optimist. I know things will get better. I know they will settle and normalize. I know those who are important will stay in my life and those who are not will fall away. Not because they are better or worse, but because that’s how things in the universe revolve. We all drift in and out of each others existence, sometimes with great effect, sometimes with little, yet we always bump into each others realities for a reason and every single interaction is important to who we are and will ultimately be. Where we will all end up, no one knows, except the Architect of the Universe. I know who that is to me. Who(What)ever it is for you, I’m sure you will agree.
So I guess if there is anything I have really learned this year, it’s the absolute importance of friends, family and Faith. Without them, we are utterly alone in this place. On this “pale blue dot”.
Take a little while, listen and ponder carefully. These messages will resonate to most. Take some time to really realize reality.
NSFW – But we shall rise from the ashes of our pasts.
Stardust from Adrien Servadio on Vimeo.
Long, but much deeper than you may realize. 🙂
Best wishes to ALL of you this coming year. Happy 2015.
I know I talk about Linode a lot on my site here, but they are my faithful VPS hosting provider, so I want to support them as much as possible.
Recently, Linode made the jump to SSD drives for VPS and at the same time, doubled the RAM for them. SSD drives are not new for VPS providers, for example, Digital Ocean has used SSDs for over a year and at a lower price point for a basic server ($5/mo for 512mb RAM & 20GB space). Linode has a higher starting price point, but it’s well worth the price considering the robustness of the Linode experience including the control panel, very active support staff and excellent hardware.
I currently have 5 VPS on Linode, but manage another half dozen or so for clients. So when it came to “testing” out the SSD upgrade, I wanted to try it on my own first. It was relatively simple. The only caveat was that a few of my VPS were setup with 32-bit kernels. I had to change them to 64-bit and that was all. I clicked the “Upgrade” button in the Linode control panel and it only took about 10-15 minutes to migrate my VPS to new SSD servers with the 1GB memory upgrade. I then proceeded to update Ubuntu to 14.04 LTS on them all and they are running smoothly. Very painless.
Doing a hdparm drive benchmark, it is notably faster than before.
Timing cached reads: 6854 MB in 1.99 seconds = 3442.87 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 404 MB in 3.02 seconds = 133.82 MB/sec
Timing cached reads: 19672 MB in 1.98 seconds = 9931.54 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 2856 MB in 3.00 seconds = 951.48 MB/sec
So, in conclusion, Linode continues to make major improvements to their infrastructure without raising the cost to the end-user. I hope they keep up the good work and they will have my business for years to come.
Linode has invested over a million dollars into upgrading their network, servers and bandwidth to levels that are unparalleled when it comes to all the features they have already made available to subscribers.
There are three parts to the “Nextgen” upgrade so far.
“We’re spending $1 million making our network faster. Way faster. Cisco Nexus 7000 routers. Cisco Nexus 5000 switches with Nexus 2000 Fabric Extenders. Linode outbound network cap increased 5x. Outbound monthly transfer quota increased 10x.”
“We’re investing millions to make your Linodes faster. Crazy faster. We’ve begun a refresh of 3/4 of our entire fleet to a new ‘NextGen’ host hardware specification. And we’re upgrading all Linodes to 8 cores! Right now. As in all you need to do is reboot to double the computing power of your Linode.”
“We’re doubling the RAM on all of our plans. This upgrade is available to existing and new customers. New Linodes will automatically be created with the new resources. Existing Linodes will need to go through the Upgrade Queue to receive the upgrades.”
These upgrades represent a MAJOR upgrade. I went from 1.2 TB of outbound to 12 TB. That is quite substantial. The 8 core hardware upgrade is a little harder for most to quantify, but it’s better than the 1-2 “visible” cores I get on DigitalOcean or other “minor” providers. The RAM went from 512 (for me) to 1024. That is very substantial as well when you determine how many sites you can run on a single 512 machine and how many more you can run with double the RAM.
I actually, to Linode’s loss, removed one of my VPS servers and moved sites over to one of the newly upgraded ones. I’m sure, once I outgrow my latest linode, I’ll expand to a new one once more, but for the time being, I love having the additional resources. For my “first” linodes and client ones, it’s great to have the additional resources, especially the “pooled” bandwidth.
Anyone who is looking for a VPS server would be stupid not to get one on Linode with all they have to offer. I manage 9 linodes split between 3 different accounts and the piece of mind that my sites are “safe” is reassuring. I have linode backups on half of them. 30 day S3 and personal rsync backups on the others and do not have to worry about my clients.
Here is my referral link.
This will be my first (and last) post of 2012. It has been a busy year, so I’ve neglected posting.
2012 was a good and bad year for me. These are both personal and business.
- I have been kept busy with various ventures and expect some of them come to fruition in 2013
- Have built a foundation for personal and business growth
- Have a LOT of good friends that have referred a lot of business and been there to hang out with
- Got a cool new office space (see next item)
- Still freelancing, but I’ve organized a new local (Somerset, KY) collective of amazing freelancers (Hivemind)
- Visited and met with the main people I work with at my primary and oldest client in New York City (for the first time)
- Flew in the co-pilot seat of a private jet, a Cessna Citation CJ-3 (vid). (Probably doesn’t happen often)
- Got back into the “dating scene” after 17 years out of it. (Still looking)
- The world didn’t end on 12/21/2012 🙂
- My iPad mini “disappeared”, at a family event. 🙁
- Still a bit “lonely” in life
- Running out of storage space on my NAS’ (plural)
Can’t really think of too many “bads”. I guess that’s a good thing.
2013 is here!
I am pretty sure this coming year will bring new opportunities for everyone. The world is so crazy these days, sometimes we just have to tune it down and focus on improving our own lives and spending time with those who are important to us. I’m sometimes guilty of beating around the bush and not taking the leap to make things happen in my life, but I’m going to try to change that this coming year.
There are many things out there that can bring us down, both personally and in business, but we can’t let them. Stay positive, realize that even on our darkest days, we are more fortunate than most people in this world.
Have a Happy 2013!
PS – I’ll try to post more often.
Creating harmony between your career and family life can sometimes be a bit difficult, especially for those of us who are freelancers, in management and/or have a full-time job as well as side-work that can consume your family time.
I’m no expert on the topic, but after having virtually neglected my family life for many years and “losing the love I loved the most”, I feel that I can at least speak on the topic.
This is the way I am currently making my living. I am 100% freelance and while making enough money to survive, I hope to continue being more successful in the future so I can support my kids and have some savings when I get older.
For freelancers, the most important aspect of life is being able to delineate your time between work and family. Stick by it as “religiously” as possible. Things will come up occasionally “after hours”, but make sure your significant other understands that fact and make sure (100%) that he/she is OK with these occasions. Perhaps even have an associate on call who can help if you are completely indisposed.
Since I unfortunately don’t have many day-to-day familial responsibilities as I used to, most of my work is performed in the afternoon and late at night. I usually sleep from 5-6am to 12-1pm. I get my work done and still have time in the early evening to visit my daughters, family and participate in social activities.
If married, getting your work done during normal business hours is key. Have a dedicated office space to stay “in the zone” or if possible, rent a low cost office outside the home so you can separate your work location from home.
Fulltime + sidework
This was the way I operated for many years before and after I was married and had children. I worked for many corporations, contractors and agencies and still had a “side job” hosting websites for friends, family and numerous clients. Before I streamlined my hosting operations, it was consuming MANY evenings, sometimes days of my time when problems arose.
The actual design work wasn’t too time consuming, but the fact that I was on call virtually 24/7 could overshadow a vacation when the phone rang or during a holiday when it was hard to assist clients. Laptops started going with me on vacation, to visit family and virtually anytime I was away from home. Sometimes I even had to “clock out” of my day job to serve my personal clients.
This was probably the most stressful period in my life. Work, kids, wife, more work, then finally sleep for 3-6 hours. It took it’s toll on my health and due to bad handling, it also played a part in destroying my relationship.
For this category, I give the same advice as I did for freelancers. Streamline, follow a schedule, make sure there is truly an understanding with your spouse and have some backup if needed.
I know many people who are in management, from team leads to program managers and VP/CEO’s of companies. Some of them are able to balance their lives well, but many others are hopelessly attached to their smartphones or work laptops, checking and responding to email at all hours of the night, even from bed, while still being at work before anyone else. Some are “heroes” to their families, some have had their life crumble before their eyes.
The managers that are usually the worse offenders are younger ones (25-45) who feel like they HAVE to work unlimited hours for “the company” so they don’t lose favor in the eyes of their superiors. In extreme emergencies, I agree they should respond, but for normal daily operations, disconnect and enjoy life a little. There’s always tomorrow and most likely nothing major is going to change from 7pm to 7am.
I’ve made many mistakes in the past, many mentioned above, and am doing my best so they never happen again. My hosting operations are solid and streamlined. I rarely have problems with that unless it’s an upstream provider. I’ll send out one email to the affected parties and just wait for service to return. Design work can be scheduled appropriately. As long as my clients don’t expect a full website whipped out in 24 hours, I am able to schedule and get them done in a reasonable timeframe. Prioritize your work based on income, urgency, etc. and you shouldn’t run into many problems.
Full, honest and open 2-way communications is KEY in a relationship. Whether or not you have children, your significant other still needs to know that you are giving him/her adequate time without “pining” to be back on the PC. Offer as much time as possible outside of work obligations. Make a plan, understand his/her needs, keep a normal schedule… Don’t be creeping into bed at 2am, disturbing their sleep. Be sure to make the time you spend quality time. Not just sitting around watching TV. Make dinner, go for a walk, go to the movies, visit extended family or friends, find a mutual hobby, etc. Turn off the phone or silence it. Stay away from computers.
Losing one impatient client is better than losing your family.
Dear Steve Jobs,
I feel that with the “death” of the XServe Server and the uncertain future of Mac OS X Server OS, Apple should delve into offering hosted services to pull in entities who are now scattered among numerous other services such as Google Apps for Domains, commercial hosting, and numerous other third party hosted or self hosted apps, which require a lot of maintenance, multiple accounts, billing, etc. Many of my IT associates who have switched to Apple laptops and desktops have commented to me that they hate still having to use non-apple apps to complete their daily business.
For example, the MobileMe interface already is an attractive and functional interface for email, contacts, calendar, iDisk, Photos and location services. How much harder would it be to allow a company to signup and fully attach their own domain to the MobileMe framework. Perhaps even create a separate enhanced version of MobileMe in their [Apple’s] newest “cloud” datacenter in North Carolina and, over time, have an ‘a la carte’ offering of additional new services that users need/request. Maybe even allow developers to write custom Apps that can be cleanly integrated into the web interface and a matching app for the iOS device(s).
Keep the price reasonable, no more than $1-2/mo per user, which would be very attractive for small businesses, special pricing for larger corporations and perhaps discounts when Apple devices are purchased and attached to an account. Perhaps 1 year for free when any iOS device is purchased to draw users in.
The advantages of this would be numerous, it would give small businesses and organizations a unified and complete “Apple Branded Experience” on their Mac PCs, iPhones, iPads, etc. Almost everyone I know has a Apple device of some kind and many would prefer to use their own domain. Apple does offer the capability of attaching a domain to your MobileMe webspace, but that does not extend to customization of the other services.
Also, with minor modifications to the existing MobileMe framework, it would bring a whole new potential residual revenue stream that millions of users could utilize. It may also spur additional companies and users to buy Apple hardware knowing that all these services are so well intergrated. Adding similar features as Google Apps for Domains and improving upon them would make it a very attractive alternative.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do use and am VERY happy with Google Apps for Domains, but it would be nice to have some competition from another major player to keep things interesting. Google does accomplish a lot of what I’ve stated in this email, but it’s not as “pretty”, well integrated and cost effective for those with many needs.
Perhaps Apple could even purchase a VoIP company and add that to their portfolio of services. With an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and an old Mac Mini, it would be nice to get deep integration of all my communications needs while not being forced onto the @me.com domain.
I guess only time will tell how far Apple is willing to ascend into the cloud.