Last month, I've started writing this article, I thought I should make it a "2014 Year in Review" sort of post - But my intention was to focus more on what I didn't do in 2014, what I wanted to do, and how I hope to change that in 2015.
But then I had a déjà vu feeling... I have been writing similar things in the past years the site is up.
“It's been a while since I posted on the site, and it's time to reveal what I have been working on.”
“For Year 3, I hope to have more time to write, develop and improve my existing creations. I haven't had much time lately, but I have big plans for Dropit and the site, and I also got a few other things in the works. I hope you will like all of these new things coming soon and thank you for being there and enjoying the site and my other creations :)”
So I deleted the file for this post and thought: "How would I make this post different, so that you, my kind readers, read it and will be able to truly see my intentions for 2015?"
The Answer: by focusing not only on the what, and how to improve - sharing more the why and the background that led to it.
So to make it clear, this post is going to be about me looking back (both at Sl’s Repository and offline) at 2014, the ups, the downs, what I liked, what I didn't, what I plan for 2015 and how I intend to really make it happen.
As I revealed on my interview for The Sweet Setup, my day job 1 used to be as a Network Technician in an underground location where my iPhone and iPad don’t have reception most the time, and my development/writing time was usually over the weekends. I was interviewed at the end of June, and the interview was published on September 8.
I say "was" because on July, I was moved from my previous underground location to a different location which was closer to my home, above ground but still without reception.
I arrived underground on September 2013, where I met some of the most amazing people, who became like a family to me.
Some were older, some were younger but through my year, I found myself.
As Casey Liss wrote in his post "Falling in Love with Virginia":
“This trip changed everything for me. It allowed me to leave behind any preconceptions of Virginia. The trip showed me what Virginia really is: not only a truly magnificent part of the country, but also my home.
Humans are social creatures. We value being connected. That’s why we stare at our phones all the time; always seeking yet another connection. It’s only when we disconnect from everyone else that we can really connect with ourselves.”
Casey also mentions in his post how he considers himself a child of the northeast, and how he planned to "return to where he belongs - the northeast" after a few years.
My home is in the north of Israel and my workplace was in the southern center, 2-3 hours away 2. With every commute there, I fell in love with the place and the people. I connected with myself, even today, I feel like home when I'm visiting my friends underground, not just when I'm at my actual home.
My iOS Setup Underground
I couldn't bring my Mac to work, so I brought my iPad to work with me, with a special SIM that had reception, then when my iPad stopped reading the SIM, I bought a ZTE MF60 Router, and a SIM adapter to be connected underground.
I didn't have a lot of time, so I used my iPad to mainly reading RSS and Twitter, so when I get home, I will get right into writing and developing my apps.
Editorial and Drafts were also the apps I used extensively, for anything text related (even starting to write some posts if I had the time).
Even when I got home, I got used to the iPad-only setup, inspired by Federico Viticci who recently shared his review of 3 years of the iPad as his main computer. I used my Mac only for Developing apps and modifying the site's HTML and CSS. Also like Federico, I don't work from my desk, I work on the living room sofa - It's comfy and feels free.
On July 2014, despite efforts by me, my superior and his superior, due to medical concerns I was moved closer to my home.
While in a car the commute to the new place was just a 20 minutes drive, with public transportation, It could take more than 2 hours, which is insane.
The new place has zero work, it is a day job 3 and I really don't enjoy my time there. After getting home I was always exhausted, so I had zero motivation to do anything at first. By anything I mean writing, developing apps, reading Twitter/RSS - literally anything. I started playing World of Warcraft again 4 to spend my time. I love the amount of detail Blizzard puts into the game and it's lore, I like to refer to them as the Apple of games 5. They also published a documentary that gives a "behind the scenes" look into the game and it's history as part of World of Warcraft's 10 year anniversary.
Since moving, I keep fighting to return to my previous workplace and I also visit there whenever I'm around the area.
At the beginning of December, I was there for a whole week again,
But on my way there, my iPhone 5s took a dive into the toilet.
Away from home for the week, I was completely disconnected for a week.
When I got home I sent the phone to a lab after putting it in rice for the entire week. I started using an Android replacement phone, but being away from my iPhone, away from all the apps I use everyday, I started missing it all.
After 2 weeks I was told my iPhone can't be repaired. While waiting for the iPhone 6 stock to refill 6, I redesigned the website and started working on the Mac again. After 3 weeks with the Android phone I got my new Space Gray 64GB iPhone 6.
The iPhone 6
The iPhone 6 surprisingly felt like a bigger upgrade than I expected over the 5s. I'm not sure if it's because of the 3 weeks of using an Android phone, or the bigger and better screen, but it felt like a big change.
I didn't like the idea of bigger iPhone screens, and the iPhone 6 does sometimes feels less comfortable to hold, but after getting used to the new size (it took me about 2 weeks), there's no way for me to go back to the smaller size. And lastly, the battery is amazing. When I got my 5s I was very happy with it's battery, but the 6 is better and lasts even more.
2014 in Sl's Repository
What I Did
At first, when I saw the stats for 2014, I was surprised that 2014 was my most successful year yet.
But after looking back into each month, I understood why.
I think I did I fulfil my promise from last year (quoted above), In the first half of the year I did bring updates to Dropit, Rodeo Blue, SOS Weather 7, Version 2.0 of the Site and also published a lot of great articles, I'm especially proud of the Unread review.
What I Didn't
While I like what I did on the first half of the year, I'm disappointed I didn't make anything new in the second half of the year.
I'm going to make sure it won't happen again.
Shortly after my iPhone 6 upgrade, I started writing the first draft of this post.
I also kept learning and experimenting with Swift 8.
For 2015, Year 4 of Sl's Repository, I will try my best to have a lot of great content available on the site alongside new Apps and creations I'm currently working on.
To make sure it does happen, I upgraded my Mac to a 13" Retina Macbook Pro 9.
My iPad is also showing signs of age, in a non-usable level. It's running iOS 8.1 and is prone to crashing, so I don't even try. I wanna upgrade it too, but buying my new iPhone 6 and my new Mac is kind of heavy on my bank account, so I'll make the upgrade in a few months, maybe alongside the Apple Watch :)
I'm going to make a longer review of my Mac and going back to using it for everything after my iPad-only setup, but there's one thing I wanna share right now - I'm missing Editorial. It's irreplaceable. I'm currently writing this on Byword on my Mac, but I am missing all of my Editorial workflows. Especially the Post to WordPress workflow, as I intend to publish this by copying and pasting to the WordPress Dashboard 10.
I hope you'll enjoy everything I got in store for this year :)
More like a week job, since I used to be there most of the week (Sunday - Thursday), I slept and lived there. Work hours on Sunday and Thursday are flexible. ↩
Israel is a small country. Driving from top to bottom takes about 8 hours. ↩
I'm always home at noon. Work hours are 9:00 to 16:00. Thursday is shorter. ↩
I played it from June 2008 to December 2011. I stopped playing to found Sl's Repository. ↩
Blizzard and Nintendo, they just make completely different games. ↩
The supply and demand in Israel was insane. There was no iPhones available in stock, with no ETA. Even after my carrier got the stock refilled, by the time their advertisement that it's available again appeared in the paper (after just 1 day), they already ran out of stock again. ↩
I learned the basics when Apple revealed Swift 1.0 at WWDC, but it's been updated to 1.1 since. ↩
The high end one with 512GB of storage, 2.8 GHz Intel i5 Processor and 8GB of Memory. ↩
I tried MarEdit and Blogo and they are both missing the features I want - I'm looking for a Poster for Mac sort of app, to manage posts and pages (separately), and publish new content easily with categories and tags in mind. Sorting options are optional. ↩