I’ve been traveling for just under five months now, and I think it’s starting to get to me. Some combination of being on the road for so long, being away for the holidays, and the fact that it gets dark at about 4 pm (!) here makes me feel very tired and sluggish. Maybe I have SAD. If I’d timed this trip better, I could’ve had two summers, one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern. Instead, I get like two half-summers and twice the autumns.
It’s not homesickness, exactly, because I don’t really miss just being home, although there are a few people I’d really like to see. I’m having a great time. I think I’d just like stay someplace for a while. In a day or two I’m going to Frankfurt to spend Christmas with some family there, and after that I’m going back to Berlin for 25C3, which should be amazing. I like Berlin, and I might try to settle there for a few weeks at least. We’ll see.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lazing about and reading. I’m most of the way through Steve Wozniak’s (the co-founder of Apple computers) autobiography, the trendily-titled iWoz. It’s a good read, and Wozniak is truly an impressive hardware hacker and old-school geek of the highest order.
His original idea for the Apple was to create a powerful, but accessible, low-cost computer that hobbyists and ordinary individuals could use—as opposed to the $10,000 machines that preceded it. It’s almost sad, considering the direction that the Steve Jobs-dominated Apple has gone in recent years: producing overpriced computers-as-art-objects.
One of the first projects Jobs and Wozniak worked on together was the Atari game Breakout. Wozniak stayed up for four days straight killing himself to meet a deadline. Jobs split with Wozniak the $700 wage he’d been paid for the project, but kept secret an extra $5,000 bonus he’d received from Atari for the pair’s efficient use of components. In his book, Wozniak claims not to be bitter about this, but it does say something about the character of one, Steve Jobs.