10 things that I liked in 2020

Written on 31 December 2020, 10:33am

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Last hours of the year, so it’s time for the periodic roundup of things that I enjoyed over the past 12 months. 2020 has been a really strange year, but not everything was bad.

  1. The scientific community for coming up with a vaccine in 2 days. You read that right, 2 days. Here’s for hope that this golden period of breakthroughs will have the same impact in the field of medicine as the Apollo moon landings had in the field of technology. Plus, after all this will be over, we will look back at 2020 and see it as a collective altitude training. Everything else will feel lighter and easier and we will be ready for bigger challenges.
  1. Apple Watch and the Airpods for helping me stick to a healthy routine. Just like the previous years.
  2. A place: Southern France. A wonderful, sunny place, full of history. To be visited again in 2021.
  3. A series: Better Call Saul. I know, it made this list also in 2018. Some things don’t change. Plus, this year we got to see Lalo. Tell me again!
  4. Liverpool FC for finally winning the Premier League. The first part of the year felt so good. So good that the rest of the year would not matter. But here we are still, with all the problems and top of the league again 🙂
  5. Philips Hue. For the long winter nights and because the lights influence the mood.
  6. A book: Andy Weir – Artemis. Quality stuff from the writer of The Martian. Had to take a day off to finish it. I loved the way it made me imagine humans living on the moon.
  7. The Starship. If the humans will set foot on Mars this century, it will be in a Starship. Hopefully this will happen during our lifetime.
  8. Reddit + Quora. The first one for keeping me informed, the other one for putting me to sleep 🙂
  9. Working from home. Because it magically gave an extra hour to all my working days. Here’s for hope that the ‘new normal’ will be nothing like the ‘old normal’.
2020

10 things that I liked in 2019

Written on 26 December 2019, 02:40pm

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1. Liverpool FC. I am supporting Liverpool since the legendary 2005 Istanbul CL final and watching them closely since 2012-2013. In 2019 they produced one of the best comebacks in the history of football, they won 3 trophies and, after winning the Club World Cup, they can claim they are the best football team on Earth.
Would absolutely love to see them also winning the Premier League trophy in May 2020.

2. A book: The subtle art of not giving a f*ck. It’s about focusing on the important things in life and stop giving f*cks about the rest. Some notes here.

3. Nintendo Switch. Because it can bring the family together in amazing ways during the long, winter evenings. And because it allows the players to actually move while playing (with games such as Just Dance, Fitness Boxing, etc)

4. Security. I know, it was also present in the 2018 list. But guess what, I am pretty sure it will still be present in 2020. I am working in this field and I am enjoying every minute of it. I built how2factor.info, I attended a great workshop and learned a lot from a lot of sources.

5. A blog: Daniel Miessler. Because of his energy, newsletter and writing style. Second close – John Gruber.

6. A person: Greta Thunberg. Because our way of living needs a change. And meaningful change needs a leader.
Second close – Elon Musk, after reading his biography.

7. A place: southern Spain. Because of their over 300 days of sun every year, friendly people, affordable living and great cuisine.

8. A device: the Apple Watch. Because it changes my well-being in a subtle, but massive way.

9. A series: Stranger Things. Because it’s about childhood, friendship, courage and the atmosphere brings back nostalgic memories.

10. A game: Heroes of Might and Magic III. Because I still enjoy playing it after 18 years…

10 things that I liked in 2018

Written on 31 December 2018, 12:50pm

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In the last day of the year, it’s time to look back at the year and highlight the things that enjoyed in 2018. For reference, here is the list from the last year.

1. Two books: Daemon and Freedom, by Daniel Suarez. Absolutely brilliant, I don’t know how I missed them for so many years. Here’s an excerpt:

The Code book from Simon Singh was probably the runner-up – a few months ago I ordered the printed version and read it again after 5 years.

2. My new notebook: Huawei Matebook x Pro. Say what you want about Huawei, but they came up with a brilliant device. Miles ahead of the premium-priced Macbooks, it fundamentally changed my workflow. Never been a tablet guy and probably never be, so the combination of an iPhone + an ultrabook like the Matebook works best for me.

3. WorkFlowy: an exponent of the makers (*) culture, WorkFlowy is a dead-simple, cross-platform note-taking app. The hierarchical structure of the notes makes it compatible with mind-mapping and I found myself using it in a variety of ways. For instance, I drafted the outline of this post in WorkFlowy. Others wrote books with it:

(*) the makers culture: Peter Levels https://levels.io/ https://makebook.io/
https://twitter.com/ajlkn https://carrd.co/

4. A place: the Austrian Alps in the summer time. I had the chance to spend about a week in the mountains. The combination of mountains, clean air, outdoor activities and clear blue sky is amazing. Just have a look:

5. Security. There were plenty of security things that I learned in 2018. Went to a few classroom training sessions (CISM, CISSP, TLS), passed some challenging certification exams, and realized that (IT) security is a fascinating domain with a lot of brilliant people.

The IT industry rocks (as one of the security guys that I follow said today), and on top of that, the security aspects make things much more interesting to watch.

6. Simona Halep: not only for finally winning her Grand Slam, but also for having the capacity to remain competitive for a long time: never dropped out of the top 10 for over 5 years and currently number 1 for more than a year (with a brief 4-weeks interruption). Well deserved and very inspirational.

Simona Halep, Roland Garros 2018, Simple Dames, Finale, Photo : Nicolas Gouhier / FFT

7. Two series: Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. I enjoyed watching Breaking Bad when it was released on Netflix, and found the Better Call Saul a very good continuation of the series. Now that Better Call Saul is over, I went back to re-watch Breaking Bad – it’s amazing how a few years and another prequel change the perspective.

https://breakingbad.fandom.com/wiki/Mike_Ehrmantraut

8. Jurgen Klopp. He joined Liverpool 3 years ago and built an amazing team around him. One can learn a lot about leadership just by listening to his interviews. Humble and determined, he’s a perfect fit for Liverpool and you can sense how everybody around the club loves him.

https://twitter.com/stuffIfc/status/1079432962062671873/photo/1

9. The iPhone X – because the dimensions are finally right, and, more importantly, because its camera allowed me to take some amazing photos throughout the year: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dorin_moise

10. Tesla Model S. Finally, I left this at the end because it offered me some very mixed feelings. As I said in a recent post, the car is really amazing and it offers an experience that you will not find anywhere else. But the quality of the support services is disappointing here in Belgium. I hope that things will improve, even though I’m not holding my breath.

Here’s for a brilliant 2019 and remember, in the end it’s all about getting better.