You are in a maze of twisty passages, all different; a life of many interests

Someday, I’m going to look back and all the different threads of my life will make sense. =) It’s all in preparation for something very interesting, I’m sure.

Each twist adds another dimension to what I’ve already been able to do. Geeking out (grade school) turned into programming competitions (high school) turned into open source development (university) turned into blogging (also university) turned into research (master’s) turned into consulting and application development (now), which draws on blogging and open source development.

It seems this year I’m adding two ingredients to the mix: illustration and event organization. Today, I reached another personal milestone for event organization (hosted my first large teleconference with an external speaker; plenty of lessons learned!), and I reached another personal milestone for illustration and visual thinking (started making glyphs for fonts!). We’ll see how that goes. =)

I still enjoy getting into the flow with lots of code and bugfixes in the morning, and I’m slowly making progress on the Emacs book. (Thanks, Ian, for keeping me honest.) But learning new stuff is tones of fun, -and it’s interesting bringing everything together.

On a technical note:

I checked out the latest version of Inkscape from the Subversion source tree and I compiled it for our desktop, as that’s what the tablet is plugged into. I had come across Inkscape 0.47′s feature list while looking for the best way to get font glyphs into FontForge, and the new features are pretty cool.

I can’t wait to play around with this! =)

  • Raymond Zeitler

    Everyone’s unique, but you’re more unique than most!

    I’m reading Barbara Sher books. I just finished “Wishcraft.” I just started “I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It.” There’s a chapter in that one that addresses wanting to do too many things.

    Too many interests. That’s my problem too. With strong interests in writing, exercising, photography, music, medical research, learning new programming languages & applications (GIMP, currently), there’s no time to make a living!

    • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

      There’s also a good book called Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One. It was nice knowing that it wasn’t weird to like lots of different things! ;)

      Also: the trick is to figure out how to make a living with the things you’re interested in… <grin> So far, I’m doing quite well! I started out with teaching, now I’m in consulting and application development… who knows what I’ll do next, but I suspect it’ll share many common themes and many transferable skills! =)

      • Raymond Zeitler

        Thanks for the book recommendation “Renaissance Soul…” and for providing a link, something I was too much in a hurry to do for you. :) With an awesome title like that, it’s impossible to resist! *And* my town’s public library is the only one in the area that actually has it on the shelf!

        I think another trick is finding underlying commonalities among as many interests as possible. For me, I could forgo writing if I could do photography and vice versa. That’s because they both entail creating something as a common element. And when my job requires me to write a new program, I fulfill this “need to create.” I can even find fulfillment in making compost or a nice tall curb-side brush pile for pickup. It’s when there’s a lot of debugging, project management and data analysis in my job that I get burned out and frustrated.

        Thanks again!

  • http://www.JulioBarros Julio Barros

    Sacha, I’ve enjoyed your posts for a little while now and the first sentence summed up my life more eloquently than I could ever have put it. … I’m stealing it :)

    • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

      I’m glad you liked it! Borrow away. I look forward to hearing about the good things you do with it. <grin>

  • http://coevolving.com David Ing

    Sacha, I’m intrigued that you’re using Inkscape. You’re way more artistic than I am, and you’ve got a tablet, so you’re way beyond me.

    I’ve been doing vector drawings since the mid-1990s, first in Lotus Freelance Graphics … and then when the client interest pushed that direction, had to move to the dreaded Microsoft Powerpoint. There was actually enough drawing functionality in Freelance, but Powerpoint is pretty hopeless.

    I’ve really been waiting for browsers to catch up to SVG, so my drawing choices have been oriented that way. I discovered that it’s possible to take Open Office Draw diagrams, export them as SVG, manually edit the first line of code — I don’t remember exactly how — and open them up in Inkscape just fine. The SVG directly out of OOo Draw didn’t work well in browsers (at least when I tried it, a year ago), whereas the SVG out of Inkscape works just fine.

    So why don’t I use Inkscape? I was having problems reusing the drawings in presentations (e.g. Microsoft Powerpoint, OOo Impress, Lotus Symphony Presentations), and in documents (e.g. OOo Write, Microsoft Word). Since Inkscape is native in SVG, it seems to have a larger vocabulary than other programs can handle … and then we’re back into exporting bitmap graphics.

    Inkscape export into OOo Draw doesn’t work consistently. Thus, I’ve found the pragmatic solution to be primarily OOo Draw first, and Inkscape later … maybe.

    In the drawings that I have to do, I hope that they file formats (i.e. Open Document Format) are sufficiently stable that I’ll be able open up the documents ten years after they’ve been created. I’ve still got Freelance for OS/2 files on my archive!