Thursday, January 26, 2012

Freelance Work

I've never really been motivated to do any freelance technical work. Granted, it has always been in the back of my mind that I could earn a little extra money by setting up or fixing people's computers, but the liability issues just didn't seem worth it. I didn't want other people blaming me for things that weren't my fault. It's safer at work, where they provide some protection.

Today, this changed. Today marks the first time I've been paid to provide tech support outside of work.

You know what, it went really well. I might have to start doing this more often.

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and give things a try.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 In Review

It's been over a year since I last posted something on this blog, and I've decided it is time to bring it back. Starting that off, I thought I would review what I've been up to the past year, and what this coming year has in store.

I went to four conferences this year. First, I went to Outerz0ne with my friend James Church. We applied to speak, but our talk wasn't accepted. The talk was intended to be on a project we had started over a year ago, called "Project Jamie." You can find the code for Project Jamie on my github.

We brought five computers to Atlanta with us to set up a demonstration, and we ended up presenting to small groups in our hotel room. This worked out great, as everyone gave us some much needed feedback. Big thanks to Maker's Local 256 for all the help.

Right after Outerz0ne (really, just a week later), we headed north to Indianapolis for Indiana Linux Fest. This time we were on the schedule to speak, and we decided to leave the equipment behind instead of lugging multiple computers all the way to the conference. I had a blast at ILF, and it was the perfect experience for my first time presenting at a tech conference. It was great seeing some of my Infonomicon buddies again, and meeting some new ones. We even made Church a member while we were there.

In the fall I went to the first ever Derbycon. Not only did I attend the conference, but I helped my buddy (and fellow Infonomicon member), dosman, run the lockpick village. I had never picked a lock before Derbycon, but after a weekend of picking locks and learning as much as I could about the hobby, I was hooked. Derbycon was probably my favorite conference experience yet, and I've been looking forward to this year's conference ever since the last one ended.

After Derbycon, I went to Phreaknic in Nashville. Phreaknic was my first conference to ever go to, and it is always a blast going back. So many people that I don't see the rest of the year are there, and there are always interesting things that I've never seen before popping up. This year, someone had a homemade nuclear fusion reactor at the conference. Seeing projects like that always get the creative juices flowing and inspire me to try to start new projects.

Conferences weren't the only things I did this year. I also started working at a new job, finally something tech related. I'm working as a helpdesk consultant, and for the most part, I've enjoyed it. I picked up new hobbies, like the aforementioned lockpicking, and I've enjoyed learning as much about the hobby as posssible.

I was also made the vice president of the Ole Miss Gun Safety Club, as well as being active in the ACM chapter on campus. In all, 2011 was a great year, and I'm looking forward to what 2012 brings (besides the end of the world as the Mayans know it).