Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Year, A New Beginning...

First things first: I'd like to wish my readers a very happy and prosperous New Year. Here's to 2010!

A new year is a great time for making changes, and 2010 is no different. To get straight to the point: I've had enough of being a technology professional, so (as Monty Python would say) it's time for something completely different. Yep, I no longer intend to try to earn a living as an IT professional (but I will always remain a geek; I'm changing my vocation, not losing my mind!).

I've been a geek for pretty much my whole life and computers have played a big part of that. From my Commodire PET 2001 in my early teens (like, 13 I think!) to my BBC Micro, I've nearly always had one or more computers at home. I never did get on the DOS/Windoze PC bandwagon (thankfully!), but it was only in the last 15 years or so I really got into real computers in a serious way.

Way back then, I acquired my first real computer, a Sun 3/80 workstation. I still have that machine here (ahh, nostalgia!), but I've gradually worked my way up through Sun's offerings as cash and my chosen career permitted/demanded. So for almost 15 years I've been a Solaris nut and specialist, but unfortunately since moving to Kelowna 11 years ago, paying Solaris gigs have been few and far between.

I love living here in Kelowna and don't like the idea of commuting to a big city to ply my trade. I did it for a while, but while the $$$ were great, the strain on my personal life wasn't worth it. I found a great job here in Kelowna 2.5 years ago, doing embedded systems development. But even that came to an end just over a year ago when the economy went into the shitter. :-(

It's taken me a while to admit this to myself, but earning a decent living as a Solaris specialist in Kelowna just isn't a realistic proposition. If I wanted to join the whoreds (sic) of Windoze-weenies, I could become a Windoze guy. But that just isn't going to happen: my loathing of all things Microsoft is far too strong for that!

Fortunately for me, there's something that I've loved for even longer than computers: music, especially music on vinyl. I've been a music lover my whole life. I've also been a long-term hifi nut (one of my first "dates" with Jenny was taking her to a hifi show in England!), and so I've decided to put the writing skills I learned courtesy of my book, Solaris Systems Programming, and the technical articles I've written over the past few years to work. I've decided to publish my own magazine. That's right: I'm in the process of starting up a freely-downloadable, vinyl-centric audio magazine called Vinylphile.

Vinylphile will contain reviews of records and everything needed to listen to records: turntables, tonearms, cartridges, amplifiers, speakers, cables, and various other audio accessories. Although it'll definately be vinyl-centric, the mag will not be vinyl-exclusive. It will contain some reviews of CD players and other digital gear--but the primary focus will be vinyl. The magazine will be free for everyone to download and read (it'll be distributed as a PDF file); the intent is that the ads that I sell in the mag and on its web site will enable me to pay the mortgage and put food on our table.

The business is very much in the start-up phase, but I've built the mag's web site at It's light on content at the moment, but interested people can sign up to the mailing list. I'll be adding more content in the weeks to come and plan to publish my first issue in April. If you're at all interested in music and/or hifi, please check out Vinylphile, and I hope you become a regular reader! And if you're going to CES or THE Show in Las Vegas next week and you want to get together, why not drop me a line?

I plan to blog a lot more about Vinylphile, but that's all for now folks! Stay tuned...


At 1/1/10 23:48, Anonymous benr said...

I admit, it sounds like a gag, but given that you've change your blogger profile to match and there really is a proper site up suggests your serious. :)

Whatever you do, wherever you do it, I wish you the best of luck and a prosperous new decade for you and your lovely bride.

We love ya man.

At 2/1/10 11:38, Blogger Rich Teer said...

Thanks, Ben, much appreciated. Friends like you are what made my decision to change careers so hard! But I'm not leaving the Solaris scene completely, just not relying on it to pay the bills. I've made far too many friends in Solaris-land to even consider cutting all ties!

For the time being, Solaris is still my primary desktop (SXCE b129), although I may eventually migrate to an iMac (the mag will be produced using Adobe's InDesign, which is Mac or Windoze only--and the latter isn't an option!). But my servers will always run Solaris.

As cool as Mac OS is as a desktop OS, it has a way to go in the server stakes, Apple nixxing support for ZFS in Mac OS made that decision a lot easier.

Here's a free tip to Apple: don't let your love of proprietory techology turn you into the next Microsoft. The CDDL is a great license and the requirement to release your changes to the ZFS source code was a stupid reason to drop ZFS support from Mac OS.

At 4/1/10 00:15, Blogger palowoda said...

Rich, I'm going to follow Ben's comments on future success with your endeavors. But let me express the gratitude of how much time you spent with OMG and your efforts. A balanced approach is sometimes worth more that gold.



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