As I sat down at my desk, with the clear objective to update WordPress here, I had a few revelations:
1/ I can’t update WordPress. The PHP version on that server is too old. Half an hour wasted. And each time I try doing something with this corner of the World Wide Web, I realize it’s been almost ten years I have decided to do something worthwhile with it, and never quite found time enough to do so.
Of course, I want to project a decent image as a technophile (which I am), a cool guy (which I may be), and a somewhat successful business guy (results may vary). I also obviously want to be able to disclose information, in long form (as I’ve done here for a while, with sporadic energy), or in short form (mostly via Twitter). Combining that with information about what I could do for potential customers, what I have done for low-and-high-profile customers is something you have to do in the current Web2.0 bonanza, and something most companies, and even indies, have no trouble doing.
But I find myself facing a conundrum: I want complete control (so I need to be able to edit the pages, the CRM, and whatever else might be on the site), and I am utterly incompetent at deciding what’s best.
This is why, every time I decide to spend half a day looking around for technical solutions to my “needs”, I end up lost in unfamiliar territory. There are 3 dozens CRM systems, all requiring a boatload of dependancies. There is a plethora of CSS and whatnot design styles, none of which I could fine-tune if my life depended on it (and it doesn’t).
Sure, there are services that would do it all for me, but it would be worse, to my mind: I wouldn’t understand how it does what it does, which to any self-styled developer feels extremely weird.
At least I understand the underpinnings of wordpress pretty well. I can (and have) modified it to suit my needs. But now that this PHP requirement prevents me from upgrading, I will have to do another weird “let me play!” session. And the end result will probably be the same in the end, which is a little depressing.
Over the years, a bunch of people asked me why I had such a reluctance with web interface, and truth be told, I don’t know for sure. That might be the topic of another post sometime in the future.
Which brings us to…
2/ I have 5 blog drafts I have started and never finished. That’s right. 5 pieces of 500-1000 words I have written but was never satisfied of enough to hit the publish button.
Some geeky analysis of a book, a piece of reusable code I’m proud of, and a somewhat heartfelt eulogy that have been sitting in my (virtual) out-tray for 6 months.
I guess that speaks volumes about a definite flaw: When it concerns only me, I am not a closing kind of guy. Making prototypes and brainstorming commando-style? pschhhhhh easy. Spending 4h navigating ARM-assembly to find a bug that prevents some obscure piece of software from working? stroll in the park. Spending the necessary 4h for a personal project of mine to be finished and released? Apparently can’t be done… If you guys have any motivational tips and tricks for that, I’m all ears.
I am currently working on 2 projects that I really really want to see through. Unfortunately, they are time consuming, at roughly the same level as my paid gigs. That means every hour I’m working on these pet projects, I’m stealing from a customer. And given that I’m at ~120% capacity due mostly to “not enough pressuring the customers to give me what I need to move forward”, these stolen hours are just really hard to pull off.
But I’m still announcing that these two projects (an iOS application that interfaces with RT for bug/incident tracking, and a podcast with Dam and Marc) will see the light of day before the end of Q1-2012. Because we all know the end of the world at the end of aliens who think we are pathetic comes around the 2012 equinox or somesuch.
Happy holidays to everyone!