feb-apr '10: work grows a bit; my working tempo a bit less...


Dear diary,

Wellwellwell... the consistent updating of my blog isn't working. I guess I'll always keep the habit of "first finishing a few things, and blogging afterwards", but things never really get finished Wink

I did do more work done than before, from the end of january to the end of april. Or at least the first part of that period I've been constantly busy -- if you count 'compulsively reading newspapers and other internet sites' as 'being busy', that is Wink

The first 4 to 5 weeks I've been working on a volunteer project: building a new test version of the website ipce.info (which isn't live yet).
(Technical details: the current site has been completely generated using Microsoft Frontpage, which makes it difficult to work on the site with more than one person. The new Drupal site will be 'overlaid' on top of the old one in terms of URL structure. because it's not feasible to convert the -over 3000- existing pages to Drupal. Still, I've spent over 3 weeks programming a Python script which is capable of importing the old pages in conjunction with the 'import_html' module, which at least makes it possible to fully convert selected HTML pages into Drupal pages.
After this I tested & set up the 'biblio' module according to editors' feedback. This has a.o. led to me setting up a collection of custom views to replace biblio's included index pages.

From about halfway february to the end of april I've worked part time on a new paid website assignment, which I received via my 'regular contractor'. I'm now working for an hourly rate which is pretty low, but which still makes me more money than the websites I'd taken on for a fixed price. So for now we're both happy.
Except for the graphical design (which was delivered ready to build a Drupal theme out of), I've fully independently set up the site / themed it / done the necessary custom programming. It was pretty nice to fully build a Drupal site on my own. (This will be my first one to go live; it seems completely ready and full with content, but unfortunately seems to be waiting on some client signoff still.)

During that work, I (ofcourse) also spent much time on reporting and solving bugs in the import_html / biblio modules, and sent in patches for pretty serious bugs in Drupal core (D6.16 breaks PostgreSQL for o.a. recent comments block!) and the date module on internationalized sites.
Further, I properly learned how to implement 'Drupal #ahah functionality' and used it on the above website.

There were some other chores I've done for a friend of mine, whose website I also still need to finish and deliver (since november). Bad bad bad me, for not doing that yet... but he also changed the requirements in between, to something graphical which needs to be done by someone else but me...

Further... well. In between I spent two full days reading various web logs about Drupal related developments. (That keeps interesting me; I really chose the right kind of work that can keep me enthousiastic, and I hope to increase my 'community involvement' some time in the future.)
When there was less work, I automatically spent more time discussing on other forums, and just bummed around... (A day of reading papers + going outside for a bit + eating + TV + e-mail + reading up on forums can still fly by in a snap.)

And of course I spent a day at friends every now and then, have had an 'international meeting' in Amsterdam gehad and gained at least one good friend Smile, went out on Queen's Day... I also spent a week alone at home with the cat, when my housemates were on a trip through Europe.... and during this period I mostly slept from about 5 at night until about 1 in the afternoon Smile

By the end of april, suddenly I have a lot of money again. Not that I really had a lot to complain about, I only had to really watch my bank account in the previous summer... but my posessions have totaled 'slightly above zero' for a year now, despite me living very cheaply. And just now I had some remaining money from website work... I also in april finally received the rent that Rots-Vast owed me (over €4500) because the bailiffs were able to wrap up my case after 14 months. (Don't use Rots-Vast Amsterdam Zuid; they're no good for anything except collecting your money!) Plus I received an unexpected letter from the tax department. Since my income in 2008 had been negative, part (€4000) of the taxes I paid in 2005, were given back to me. Cool, huh, making money by 'not making money'? Tongue So I have some reserves again for unexpected events, which gives me a safer feeling.

That's about it... Not a lot of events for 3 months, but all is going into a positive direction. The last few weeks, everything just went slowly and smoothly... until may 6, when I received a seemingly not-very-interesting phonecall from the next recruiter...
(to be continued Wink)