My Year in Review: Good News, Bad News

What a tumultuous year.

I’ve changed jobs twice, but two of them have been the same. Sounds like a mind-twister, but it was simply Datacom -> Orion Health -> Datacom. If you catch me after a few beers I might have a long chat about the why, but the short answer is that I just didn’t grok Orion. After sampling the greener grass, I discovered that it tastes like crap, and the green, green grass of Datacom is sweeter than ever before. I’m glad to be back.

CropperCapture[1] And then there was the day that a producer from TVNZ left a comment on one of my posts. I presumed they wanted to talk to me about a particular post or perhaps an expert opinion on geocaching. Instead, in the space of about two weeks I went from “3rd-class blogger” to “regular contributor for TVNZ Breakfast”. Every second Wednesday I now haul myself off to TVNZ Towers with a bunch of gadgets. My favourite review so far was the cameras (I still have the 5D MkII), closely followed by sewing machines.

Of course none of the good stuff can offset the bad. Dad’s choroidal melanoma went from “interesting” to “bugger” to “oh fuck” in the course of the year. It’s horrible how one’s perspective shifts as you take in the progress of something like cancer over a long period of time. I would never have though I would be pleased to hear that radio therapy on a rogue lymph node might give us another 12 months.

My son turned 5 late in the year. My tweet at the time read: “My son is 5 today. He is witty, intelligent, charming, and damn good looking. He shares my love of technology. I am bursting with pride.” He starts school next year, which just seems way too soon. He’s champing at the bit of course, but I don’t think we as parents are quite ready to send him off on his own every day. This seems to be a common situation after talking to other parents. Do we underestimate our kids?

Running through the archives is an interesting exercise:

  • In January I crashed a(nother) RC plane.
  • In February I helped the police deal with a geocache that they thought was a bomb, and changed my domain name from to
  • In March I added what turns out to be one of my most popular posts ever (how to fix a bug on a hacked iPhone).
  • I got a new HDTV in April
  • May was a quiet month, I suspect due to being headhunted and dealing with negotiations.
  • June was my first month at Orion, with a new MacBook.
  • I washed my earphones in July, and got annoyed with the App Store
  • In August I enjoyed Disqus.
  • September was pretty interesting: released my first iPhone app, and landed the TVNZ gig.
  • In October I stayed at the Samsung suite at the Westin. Gangsta! I also reviewed and gave away some BBQ Gadgets.
  • November was pretty busy. I moved back to Datacom, completed a Rockband-off, and reviewed sewing machines, BBQs, and the Nokia E71.
  • December brought Streetview, games, and of course my darling EOS 5D MkII.

Whew. What a year. Onwards and upwards to 2009. Looking forward to all sorts of stuff: Ollie at school, Webstock, Web?09, more TVNZ, and more Datacom. Hang on to your hats!

Join the Conversation


  1. Wow Ben, big year. Congrats on the TVNZ gig – I actually saw the sewing m/c episode but didn’t realise it was *you*. My son also starts school next year, scary stuff eh? See you around at Webstock

    1. Yeah, it’s funny that we find it scary. He has never been more excited than during his school visits. He had a great time, completely vanished into the playground at break time, then appeared again when the bell rang, no problems at all.

      Really looking forward to Webstock!

  2. Good to see such a well rounded post, Ben. Sad news about your Dad, though.

    I may just have to talk to you about Orion, they put on a pretty nice presentation in a lecture I had this year…

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