Another year has passed

Today is the last day of 2011 and it is once again when people look back in time and realize what they have done throughout the year and if they stuck to their promises. I don’t give that much importance to events like new year’s eve or even my birthday but I decided to write a blog post and to think about what happened on 2011.

December is also the month I’ve joined Igalia, I have been in the company for 3 year and the changes seem to have been quite some.
I feel 2011 was not a very productive year from the point of view of side projects. I have been working on the toolkit that powers the MeeGo Harmattan (Nokia N9) for a year and a half and that, together with other tasks in Igalia and in my personal life didn’t leave me much time for creating new projects. Still, I released 5 new versions of OCRFeeder; 4 versions of SeriesFinale and ported it for the Nokia N9. Also I have given once again presentations in some nice events like FOSDEM and LinuxTag.

On the personal side of things the big event this year was my wedding with Helena. After that we had a nice time travelling in Turkey after having cancelled the plans to visit Japan due to the earthquake.
We also spent 10 days in Berlin, we are still in love with the city and we wish one day we’ll experience living in there (could it be 2012?).
After 3 years living in Spain, I feel comfortable here, I recognize its virtues and flaws but I want to know more cultures, more languages and thus more ways of seeing life. As for Portugal, it is part of what defines me but Helena and I are not planning on living in there for the foreseeable future, especially these times when the government(s) is(are) making things difficult for everybody.
Related to this and the economic crisis that is going on, this year I joined a demo and a strike for the first time and I keep hoping that things get better for everyone.
I also realized I am now used to donate to some institutions throughout the year and it is something that makes me feel good.

As book counting is something often present in this kind of year’s review, in 2011 I read 10 books and a short story. The most important ones, in case you’re interested are: The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins), Through the Language Glass (Guy Deutscher) and Citações e Pensamentos de Agostinho da Silva (“Quotes and Thoughts of Agostinho da Silva” by the philosopher).

The future

People often say “next year is gonna be a year of change” but things do change and some situations that happened this year have made me think about my life so I really feel there are going to be changes in 2012. Hopefully they will be good ones.

I wish you all a happy 2012.

Merry Christmas

Yesterday I drove down to Portugal to spend Christmas with my family.
Once again I couldn’t make it to Igalia‘s Xmas dinner which was last night. 🙁 (maybe next year…)

And that’s all, I wish a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays or simply a fine weekend to anyone who reads this.

PS: For a more detailed description on how I might spend Christmas, check out the “last year’s edition” of this post.

Happy Holidays

I don’t normally post on subjects that everybody post but this year I’m writing a post about Christmas.

Not being a religious person, for me Christmas represents a time where people try to be nicer and where I can calmly be with my family enjoying the holidays. Because of this, I love Christmas!
You see, being Portuguese, Christmas also means we all get together today, on Christmas eve, and enjoy a big dinner where turkey (hmmmm turkey!), lamb (haaaa lammmb!) and codfish (ohhhhh codfiiiishhh!), all are present. Of course, we also abuse sweet desserts and later open presents.


Note: My father tells me that many years ago, presents were given at the Epiphany (January 6) but eventually we adopted the American(?) tradition of giving presents on the midnight of December 24 (and I prefer it this way 🙂 ). Curiously Spanish people still give presents on January 6 but my fellow Igalians told me things are also changing in there.

So, I wish you feel as fortunate as I feel this night to be able to spend it with the people I love most.
Merry Christmas, and if you don’t celebrate it, happy holidays!

There is still professionalism

By professionalism I mean the things that should define a professional, mainly: professional spirit, methods and ethic.

A while ago my fridge stopped working, no more cold beers, warm yogurt, etc.
After confirming that it wasn’t a settings problem (I set it to maximum cold and still things would be warm) I contacted my landlord to check how we could fix it. I must mention my landlord is the kindest landlord I could ever asked for and promptly told me to contact someone to fix it and that he would pay whatever the cost was. Fortunately I remembered that maybe the guarantee hadn’t still expire and that we could have it fixed with no cost at all for him. So, he searched for the guarantee document, I contacted the manufacturer (Balay, owned by the Bosch Group) and within 3 days we had the fridge fixed.

Now this post is not to prove that guarantee works but rather to tell you that to my surprise, one week ago I received a letter from Balay appologizing for the inconvenience and that they always reach for their clients’ satisfaction, bla bla bla. I was about to do a western origami ball and put it on the non-organic thrash bag (as it sounded like an advertisement letter) when I read in the last paragraphs  that we would benefit from a guarantee extension of 2 more years starting form the day the fridge got fixed.

In a world where most big companies seem to have forgotten about clients’ satisfaction (stupidly, because I think satisfied clients mean money) and put the profit before everything else, I was really happy that Balay, or the Bosch Group, play different.
If one day I am going to buy any fridge, guess which brand I’ll be looking for? This is how you get clients.

Python Portugal

Great news for the Python community in Portugal.

Last week I took knowledge that Nuno Mariz, a Portuguese Pythonista, created the Portuguese Python User Group!
I quickly joined it and send my regards to Nuno for the idea and action.

So far we, proud Portuguese Pythonistas, have a Django powered web page with only a blog, contacts and a planet (and a Google group as well) but it seems there’s gonna be more.
About the planet, give it a look and add it to your RSS feeds. All posts I’ve seen so far are in English, so, you don’t need to know Portuguese to follow us.

Good job Nuno! Let’s spread the Way Of The Python!