Goodbye 2016, and hello 2017! Jan 2017
A year ago, I wrote about my New Year’s resolutions for 2016. Commitments … tricky stuff!
Resolutions, like most intentions, are easy to make. Looking back to see how they ended up after a year is another story. I’ve never done this in public before (there’s no place to hide!). Let’s get it over with. Swallow my pride a bit and realise that a few things did work out ok:
- Lower night-time power consumption from 100W to 50W - not met.
It’s between 90 and 100 Watt. A slight reduction, as our kitchen stove was replaced with a modern unit, drawing 0.5W idle instead of the previous 8W. I haven’t really chased down the causes of the “vampire” current consumption - probably should have. There must be ways to find out what’s drawing so much. Our 20-year old fridge might well be part of the problem.
Due to our solar panels, we’re again net producers of electricity for 2016 (around 1000 KWh), but not wasting it is still a worthy goal in my book.
- Reduce gas consumption by 20%, down from 1600 m3 - partly met.
Looks like our past year’s gas consumption will end up being around 1500 m3. That wasn’t so hard: a little more clothing in the winter, and the thermostat a notch further down by default.
- I will not buy anything with a computer in it - ouch.
This was clearly placing the bar very high for a gadget freak like me. I did succeed beyond my own expectations: I’ve not bought a new laptop or mobile device - NOTHING over €50 with a computer in it, in fact (eh… except a Silhouette cutting plotter for SMD stencils, last month).
I did skirt the issue by buying several FPGA boards all through the year, and in the past few months I did buy a couple of C.H.I.P. boards (great!) and an Odroid C2 (64-bit ARM: yawn).
I’ve also purchased a variety of STM32 µC chips in the last quarter of 2016 - but these were in fact exempt, falling under the category “used for the R&D of new JeeLabs products”.
- I will create - and release - a number of complete hardware products - sorta, kinda.
The JeeNode Zero was born end 2016 and made available (still in very limited quantity). There’s also another associated board being prepared for production.
- I will design - and release - a working implementation of […] - not really.
While Folie was indeed designed from scratch and released as open source in 2016, it isn’t quite up to the very ambitious ”… an infrastructure which interoperates with both existing and new nodes”. It’s a good starting point and I intend to take it further - that’s all I can add.
- I will continue to write articles for inclusion in the Jee Book - yes, yes, and no.
Yes, I am continuing my writing, and yes it is intended for inclusion in the Jee Book. But no, the current published version hasn’t been updated with any new material for well over a year now. I do want to get back to this at some point, and will probably split things up in multiple volumes, since the material is starting to become too extensive for a single book.
Nah. No big words. No big resolutions. Just some personal observations and intentions:
JeeNode Zero - my top priority: it deserves to reach the official “Release 1.0” status
Forth development - absolutely fantastic for all the code running on remote JeeNodes
Infrastructure - oh yes, more important than ever: managing the WSN, not individual nodes
Wireless - waves which we can’t directly observe are magic: I plan to dive a lot deeper into RF
FPGAs - literally the fabric of computing: far too much fun and way too important to ignore
Retro computing - reproducing the self-contained worlds of the past: it keeps intriguing me
Electronics - the most accessible branch of physics: an infinite source of joy and learning
Carbon footprint - well, ok, one resolution which I’d like to uphold in 2017: no flying
Energy consumption - a recurring theme, but it’s getting harder to reduce it further
Speaking of consumption: I’ve just discovered that… I’m about to completely run out of bits! Have placed an order for fresh bits and bytes, expected to arrive at JeeLabs on February 1st.
All my best wishes to you and yours for 2017,
– Jean-Claude Wippler