Wow, that was a bump. New Year celebrations over, a day off for the public holiday, and straight back to work.
After a lot of uncertainty in December, I’ve been keen to get stuck in to something valuable, and I’m not breaking any confidentiality by saying that my focus right now is on refreshing the collateral behind Node4’s Public Cloud offerings. I need to work across the business – my Office of the CTO (OCTO) role is about strategy, innovation and offering development – but the work also needs to include specialist sales colleagues, our marketing teams, and of course the experts that actually deliver the engagements.
So that’s the day job. Alongside that, I’ve been:
- Avoiding stating any grand new year resolutions. I’ll only break them. It was literally hours before I broke my goal of not posting on Twitter/X this year. Though I did step away from a 453-day streak on Duolingo to focus my spare time on other, hopefully less gamified, pursuits:
And there ends my streak… 2024 needs some renewed focus on the things that matter. And endless gamification in the form of @Duolingo is one of the things I’ve put in the bin… pic.twitter.com/WYotYm7Yv2— Mark Wilson (@markwilsonit) January 1, 2024
- Doing far too little exercise. A recurring health condition is impacting my ability to walk, run, cycle and to get back to Caveman Conditioning. It’s getting a bit better but it may be another week before I can have my new year fitness kick-start.
- Eating badly. Logging everything in the Zoe app is helping me to see what I should avoid (spoiler: I need to eat more plants and less sweet stuff) but my willpower is still shockingly bad. I was also alarmed to see Prof. Tim Spector launching what appeared to be an ultra-processed food (UPF) product. More on that after I’ve got to M&S and actually seen the ingredients list for the Zoe Gut Shot, but others are telling me it’s not a UPF.
- Redesigning the disaster recovery strategy for my photos. I learned the hard way several years ago that RAID is not a backup, and nothing exists unless it’s in three places. For me that’s the original, a copy on my Synology NAS, and copy in the cloud. My cloud (Azure) backups were in a proprietary format from the Synology Hyper Backup program, so I’ve started to synchronise the native files by following a very useful article from Charbel Nemnom, MVP. Unfortunately the timestamps get re-written on synchronisation, but the metadata is still inside the files and these are the disaster copies – hopefully I’ll never need to rely on them.
- Watching the third season of Slow Horses. No spoilers please. I still have 4 episodes to watch… but it’s great TV.
- Watching Mr Bates vs. The Post Office. The more I learn about the Post Office Scandal, the more I’m genuinely shocked. I worked for Fujitsu (and, previously, ICL) for just over 15 years. I was nothing to do with Horizon, and knew nothing of the scandal, but it’s really made me think about the values of the company where I spent around half my career to date.
- There’s more about the scandal in this Computer Weekly article: Alan Bates: The ‘details man’ the Post Office paid the price for ignoring.
- Spreading some of my late Father-in-law’s ashes by his tree in the Olney Community Orchard.
- Meeting up with old friends from my “youth”, as one returns to England from his home in California, for a Christmas visit.
Other things I found noteworthy this week:
- Which came first, the
chicken or the eggscissors or the blister-pack?
OK @JohnLewisRetail, this is a real chicken and egg situation. Our old scissors are broken, but I need scissors to safely open the packaging on the new ones ??— Mark Wilson (@markwilsonit) December 31, 2023
More of an issue is that this packaging is not easily separated into cardboard and plastic for recycling ?? pic.twitter.com/1LdABS2SPH
- Some of these 100-year old predictions turned out not to be too far off the mark though.
- MidJourney has developed beyond belief in the last couple of years.
- I found a useful UK Government Check for Flooding online service. It can show flood alerts, maps, river, sea, groundwater or rainfall levels. And, although the river in the valley near me is as high as I can remember, apparently it’s been higher and the record was at Christmas Eve 2020.
- The Plan for Milton Keynes: introducing local residents to the original design principles of the new city. The intention is to foster an understanding and appreciation of the designed city, which was the last and most ambitious of the post-war New Towns.
This week, I was quoted in this article:
This weekend will see:
- A return to Team MK Youth Cycle Coaching. Our local cyclo-cross league is finished for the 2023/4 season so we’re switching back to road cycling as we move into the new year.
- Some home IT projects (more on them next week).
- General adulting and administration.
Next week, I’ll be continuing the work I mentioned at the head of this post, but also joining an online Group Coaching session from Professor John Amaechi OBE. I have no idea what to expect but I’m a huge fan of his wise commentary. I’m also listening to The Promises of Giants on Audible. (I was reading on Kindle, but switched to the audiobook.)
This week in photos
Featured image: Author’s own
(this week’s flooding of the River Great Ouse at Olney)