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General Tech

2013: Year in review

Happy New Year everyone. Once again I’m doing a yearly review of the highlights and low points of each year for me, and so this will be for 2013.

2013 ended up being one of the worst years for me. Why? Here are my highlights and low points:

Highlights:
-Moved into my new apartment
-Paid off $10k in mortgage payments
-Got a new job at a well known company with a higher salary
-Went to Korea for 2 weeks
-Met a lot of cool people
-Saw my family again after 2 years
-Taking Korean class was a good call

Low points:
-Paid out $5k in parking/impound fees for my scooter
-Didn’t get my driver license in time for the end of the year, so couldn’t renew scooter license
-Broke my wrist and in a cast for 2.5 months
-Lost over $10k in stock options
-Lost $1k in Apple stock due to Scottrade’s errors in reporting gain/losses
-Missed an opportunity to make $50-60k With Bitcoin
-Lost some good friends this year due to misunderstandings
-Despite trying as best as I could, didn’t meet any girls who liked me this year
-Most of my close friends went back to Korea this year
-Korean only improved marginally

Summary:

That’s a hefty list of low points, and stands in stark contrast to last year‘s mostly happy experience. Although the major goal of this year was achieved (finding a higher paying job at a well known prestigious software company), I had mostly bad luck this year, mostly financial-wise and relationship-wise. Despite meeting a lot of people, I made very few close friends compared to last year. The friends that I made this year tended to be more transient and the facebook-acquaintance-type rather than the hang-out-every-week type. In addition, my new co-workers at BitTorrent are not as open to having casual conversations over lunch or hanging out as my last workplace. In addition to living by myself, this turned out to be quite a lonely year for me. The brief vacation to Korea was great, and was my only escape in a year otherwise full of stress and financial mistakes. My Korean barely improved, and its frustrating only being able to understand 20% of the average Korean conversation despite having studied it for over 2 years. What an embarrasement. I learn from my mistakes though, and hopefully next year will be much better for me. My tentative resolutions are:

1) Study Korean much harder, watch more dramas to improve comprehension
2) Stop spending money on gadgets and start saving for the next Korea trip
3) Find a room-mate, and/or find more hobbies and interests in order to meet more people

Overall, I felt like I wasted my time this year and it could’ve gone much much better. I should look for more ways to improve myself, be more aggressive in socializing, be more conscious money-wise, and be active in finding more excitement in my life. As 2014 arrives, I will need to remember: to fight for the things that are meant for me, and to let go of the things that aren’t.

Family visit
I went on a road trip with my family to Vegas, Grand Canyon, LA and San Diego. It was a really fun trip and I especially enjoyed seeing my brother again who I hadn’t seen since Jan 2012.

With my brother and parents at Death Valley
With my brother and parents at Death Valley
With my cousins and grandparents at Red Rock Canyon
With my cousins and grandparents at Red Rock Canyon

In other news…
I love old school DOS games and their hilarious sound effects. Check out this game, it’s called Depth Dwellers:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSeLXmi9ZoM

The sound effects had me rolling, especially the ‘HEY’ greeting and the ‘YEAH’ ending. oh my god…

and also the first ever FPS, which came out on March 1992. Check out these reviews:

Ultima Underworld
Ultima Underworld

ACE called Ultima Underworld “the next true evolutionary step in the RPG genre”, and noted that its simulation-style dungeon was “frighteningly realistic”.

Computer Shopper enjoyed its storyline and characters, and believed that the game “makes you feel as if you’ve entered a virtual reality”

Finland’s Pelit stated, “Ultima Underworld is something totally new in the CRPG field. The Virtual Fantasy of the Abyss left reviewers speechless.”

“Nothing can completely prepare you for the freedom the game gives you … It’s about as close to Virtual Reality as you are ever likely to get from your mouse driver.”

He praised the game’s “atmosphere”-creating sound, and called its graphics “stunning”; he stated that, with a high-end computer, “dungeons can move like a film”.

Scorpia was similarly positive, stating that despite flaws “Ultima Underworld is an impressive first product. The meticulous construction of a real-world dungeon environment is outstanding. [It] may be a dungeon trek, but it is certainly the dungeon trek of the future”

Power Play praised its “technical perfection” and “excellent” story, while Play Time lauded its graphical and aural presentation, and awarded it Game of the Month.

Hmm… high praise for a game that we would now consider to be pixellated and outdated compared to the likes of Call of Duty, Battlefield, Crysis, Far Cry, Bioshock, and co, right? Amazing how much FPS’s have changed.