Hicks

2010

Obligatory end of year look back ahoy!

In April, I left Opera to return to ‘normal’ freelance work, and I’ve been busier than ever before. I can honestly say that the lead up to Christmas has been the most hectic I’ve ever had. I felt totally unprepared for Christmas, or for the volume of work. This year I need to plan much better and remember that if I’m working all the time, what am I actually working for? Nobody on their deathbed wishes they’d spent more time at the office.

It’s also been a hard year, taken up with the archaic UK system of buying and moving house. The whole painful process has taken up most of the year, but we’re now in, and finally have more space than a dolls house. Family Hicks still feel lucky to be where we are now, especially with our new addition.

It’s felt like one of the best years for music in a long while with so many great albums released or discovered. In a kind of order then…

  1. ‘Halycon Digest’ Deerhunter
  2. ‘High Violet’ The National
  3. ‘Disconnect from Desire’ School of Seven Bells
  4. ‘Eyelid Movies’ Phantogram
  5. ‘The Suburbs’ Arcade Fire
  6. ‘Queen of Denmark’ John Grant
  7. ‘Seek Magic’ Memory Tapes
  8. ‘Plastic Beach’ Gorillaz
  9. ‘Interpol’ Interpol
  10. ‘Becoming a Jackal’ Villagers
  11. ‘Bang goes the Knighthood’ Divine Comedy
  12. ‘Flattery not included’ Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer
  13. ‘Together’ New Pornographers
  14. ‘Teen Dream’ Beach House
  15. ‘Lucky Shiner’ Gold Panda
  16. ‘A Sufi and a Killer’ Gonjasufi

I also saw The National live twice, and both gigs were highlights (especially the Royal Albert Hall) – just incredible presence.

The biggest disappointment of 2010 for me was the Boxee Box, After eagerly anticipating it for almost a year, the changes made to Boxee just before launch really spoilt it for me. It could’ve been, and still could be, the best media playing box, but the regressions were hard to stomach. The hardware seems great, so hopefully software updates will give the Boxee Box the kick it needs.

Conversely, I’ve become smitten with the new Apple TV. It may be limited in video format support, but it just works brilliantly. The YouTube app is what Boxee’s should’ve been, and I’m finding that I actually prefer the level of control that manually editing metadata brings (despite the donkey work).

2011

This coming year I’ve made a decision. The only conference I’ll be attending is New Adventures in a few weeks time as the rest of the year I’m dedicating spare time to a very important side project. It’s too early to share yet as it’s not set in stone, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do a for a long time now…

One big exception is that I’ve signed up for this years /dev/fort/. After seeing the result of last years, I knew it was the right choice – really looking forward to it!

I’ve also been really getting into cycling again (only a 18 year gap) and have an ambition to take part in the London Tweed Run. So I’ve ordered a new hybrid bike and I’m planning to spend 2011 cycling more, getting fitter and training the moustache.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year – all the best for 2011!