Thursday, January 28, 2016

I'm back!

So, after a three year hiatus on postings I'm here again! Yaay!

This post will be the first of a short-ish recap of past highlights and future plans, of which I am quite excited. I will also try and keep the posts shorter but more frequent.

Professional life changes

Halfway through that time I changed employer, and managed to learn quite a few new tricks at the new place. I'm still doing software development, but as a consultant, which has exposed me to a lot of new people, places, projects, PLC:s and PowerPoints. (And companies, languages, APIs and hardware, but those don't start with a p. ;)

My current job is as a (heavily developing) systems architect at Bit Addict. The company is lead by an old friend of mine from the university days, and I signed on as peon #1. We've grown from 2 to 5 people in 1,5 years and are targeting around 8-10 in a few years. We're doing software work for manufacturing & automation companies, ranging from ERP-integrations all the way to safety hardware installation. Our customer are pretty high tech, high power lasers (4-6 kW), titanium 3D printers or surgery simulations, so the applications are quite exciting.

Nevertheless, the best part is that we're out there, doing good work that our customers appreciate and building a company and relations by our own. A lot is being learnt, but as long as one avoids making the same mistake twice, it's all part of the process.


I suggested the name of the company as I used the same name for a small PC demo a friend and I did together for DreamHack 1997 (this was back in high-school). This, kids, was when all we had to play with was a framebuffer and a weak CPU. No libraries, APIs or GPUs or whatnots. It was all our own code, except for the music-player, the VGA-mode setter, and a bit of interpolation code we got from his big brother.

You can still download and run it in a DOS emulator if you want to. It's not that good, honestly, but as we came in 3rd place out of 7-ish entries,  I suppose a tiny bit of pride is in order. This was back when there was about 400 attendees with their own computers, as opposed to 9500 last year (2015).

It's a different world today, since the competition is more about creativity than technology, but looking at 4K or 64K demos never fails to impress.

I actually got a huge flashback to the demo scene days by playing TIS-100 over the holiday (christmas gift from a friend, thanks Nix!). The fun part if the game is sitting and optimizing a program until it is as small, fast or efficient as it can be. The downer is that I can't fool my brain into thinking it's a game all the time, thus it feels a bit close to work at times. Still, good fun and recommended to anyone who've done a bit of assembler hacking in their youth.

My next post will be about ... Home Automation!  .. Starring a raspberry pi... Stay tuned.