What I’d like from 2006

Rather than looking back at 2005 again, or telling you my resolutions, I thought I’d use my first post of the New Year to outline what I hope to get out of 2006.

I should probably have taken the time to pin some of them down to something more measurable, but they are specific enough that I’ll know if they happen or not. This time next year, I’ll try to remember to reprint the list and explain what I did, or what went wrong.

To Work More

I want to get more done in the time I spend at the PC, supposedly working. That probably means ignoring distractions until I’ve already done the important stuff, and allocating specific time to do things like email, blogging and blog reading, rather than spreading them throughout the day.

To Work Less

Because I’m getting more done, I should be able to allocate less hours to work. I’ve already been doing this for the last couple of months, as since I compared working from home to The Shining, my wife has started a new job. The new routine has given me a realistic period of time into which to fit the bulk of my working hours, and I’ve been able to achieve more in less time.

To Keep Pushing

I want more traffic on the site for my core product, I want to get more downloads, and I want to convert more of those to sales. So far I’ve felt the momentum picking up each year, and I feel like I have plenty of options to keep that going.

To Keep Developing

I also want the product to get better, much better. I’ve got a long list of changes and updates to make, and I want to make the existing features simpler for first time users. I’ll be happy if I make good progress through that list in 2006.

To Learn More

Aside from a little dabbling here and there, I’m not convinced I really learned any new skills in 2005. Rather than trying to know a little bit of everything, I’ve identified a couple of technologies I really want to get to grips with this year. Firstly, I’d like to really get a handle on building web applications with Ruby on Rails, and secondly, I’d like to learn how to use Flash. In the past, my attention has tended to jump around from one thing to another, so I’m hoping that setting a couple of fixed areas of interest for the coming year might help get that under control.

To Go Home

The single biggest factor in my life in the last year has been the fact that I spent 98% of it living everywhere but at home (flooding forced us out of our home on January 8th, and since then we’ve been living with family). It’s been stressful and disruptive, and sometimes I’m amazed by how much I still managed to get done. I’ll be glad if we get back to where we belong in the first couple of months of 2006. Then I’m hoping for a quieter and more stable year.

So that’s what I want from 2006, I hope you’ll all stick around Codesnipers to find out whether it happens.

Cheers

Happy New Year, Gavin.

Hey, when you learn more about Flash (I'm guessing you'll get the latest version), I'd like to request a post on how the video encoding stuff works. I heard something about being able to handle web cameras with Flash now. What I'd really be interested in learning is if Flash would encode a webcam feed on the fly into a SWF file - that way, I could get around my employers firewall that doesn't allow streaming media, but does allow swf files, and then I could check in on my greyhounds during the day :)

Good luck and best wishes in the New Year.

Might be possible

It might be possible Rusty... from what little I know at the moment, it sounds like Flash Media Server would do what you need:-

http://macromedia.com/software/flashmediaserver/

You could probably use that to convert the webcam feed into a flash video feed. Then you could open up an SWF file that connects to the live feed. If the firewall blocks streaming flash video too, then maybe you could use scripting with the media server to periodically process the live feed into a series of fixed progressive download flv files. Maybe the biggest question will be whether you can legitimately do all this using the free development version :). I haven't seen any way you could automate the process just using Flash Pro.

Happy new year to you too.