This year is almost over, and it was a very mixed one. It had good and bad sides as well. It started very well as after a few years of trying my wife finally got pregnant. It was also good that I could still continue to live from what I like, with the help of Eric and the others who supported Quanta. And I could improve it, by releasing 5 bugfix releases during the year. I'm not 100% happy with all the releases, but I think the difference between the 3.5.0 releases in 2005 and the 3.5.5 released in October 2006 is huge. Work on Quanta4 continued, especially when Jens visited me. I was happy with the progress we made, altough at some points I was about to give up the new path we chose (using the KDevelop platform and write a new parser) for various reasons. After he left, work on Quanta4 pretty much stagnated, there were only a few commits. I more focused on the 3.5.x series and worked for Eric on other things.
I also managed to visit one place where I never been before, namely the Danube Delta. This was nice, as last year we didn't really have a common vacation with my wife. This was only a 4 days trip though and had its bad points (heavy allergic reaction of me at one day, a speeding ticket on the way home), but the memories from the trip are only good. I'd go back once more, especially that I have better experience now where to go and how to go there.
Altough I didn't go as much as I wanted to, I managed to visit some mountains with Jens (Csukas/Ciucas and Fogaras/Fagaras), altough the second one was not so successful. But luckily I could repeat it two months later with my friends. I was able to attend this years aKademy as well in Dublin, thanks to the KDE e.V. and the other supporters. Unfortunately the way back was a hell for me, my ears hurt so much on landing (and there were 2 landings), that I think (and the doctor also didn't rule this out) it is the cause of several other health problems that still bother me: regular headaches, returning pain in the ear and a constant high-pitch noise I hear. This caused discomfort and especially the headaches took away almost all my energy to work with a computer. I started to drink coffee almost daily to try to help the headache, which is not so good, as before I drunk only rarely (except at conferences).
Lilla came to life between the period Jens left Romania and I went to Dublin. We were very happy for her, and she still makes our life full of smile. She is the one who helped us and still helps us in the hard period of the death of a family member. The death of my father in law was the worst moment in this year and not only. Last year my grandfather died...
We also had another case when somebody left us: a dog found us (really, I was searching for our cat who disappeared for a day and a dog came to us for the calling), stayed with us for some months and disappeared. I'm still sad when I think of it, especially that I was angry the last seconds I saw him, as he wanted to run after our car and I shouted at him to go back to the courtyard. Luckily, our beloved cat is still here and I hope he will stay with us for a long time.
It was also good that we were able to work a little on our house, namely we changed two entrance doors and put some kind of floor on the attic above the insulation layer. All this to try to keep the house warmer. ;-) We wanted to change the fence around the courtyard last year as well, but couldn't afford it.
Finally as a Christmas present, I won a regional contest with my old application, which basicly pushed me into the open source and KDE world: Kallery. The contest itself made also possible to bring the application in the present, a present which will soon become a distant past, once KDE4 is released. ;-)
Probably there were a lot of other important moments in 2006, but these are what came to my mind.
What about the year that will come? Well, one of the most important things, which also would belong to the review of the old year, is that my country will become part of the European Union as of 1st of January, that is less than 24 hours from now. This is almost unbelievable for me, a moment I was waiting for since the communism fall down. I know there are quite some people from the current EU who are not so enthusiastic about this moment (or not so enthusiastic about the union itself), but I think this is a great chance for all the citizens of the continent to live together in peace, harmony and in the long term hopefully in good wealth as well. I know that in some parts Romania is not prepared and there is a lot of things to do until we can reach the level of the big and richer countries, but I see the progress here. I also know that there will be downsides as well, but I believe that alone this country would stagnate at best, but probably go down both from economical and political point of view. As of my personal benefits of joining the EU, the first one is the free travel (no more running for visas in the capital city, no more different treating at the borders - hopefully no more borders in a few years) and the fact that there won't be import taxes for goods from the EU. Think about not being able to order a book or an electronic device from e.g. Germany without the risk of paying a big tax for it. I payed almost the same amount as the buying price for my standalone DVD player when I came back from Finland in 2001, and that price was not small at all... Joining the EU will probably make Romania also a target for low cost airliners, making travel easier and more affordable in certain cases.
I have big hopes that further progress will be made in the next year when it's about the country's infrastructure, especially roads (we had very bad roads and still have in many areas) and motorways, and there were also signs that a regional airport will be built close to my town. Once we have it, I promise to organize a KDE conference here. :-)
I somewhat fear the changes as well, because prices AND wages are already going up, and I'm afraid that once it won't be enough to do OSS alone...well, its not enough even now, but luckily with some (partially related) extra work, I may manage it.
Anyway, I will probably celebrate the event and the New Years Eve partly at home with my wife and daughter, and partly in the (nearby) city on the street. If you want to join, it's possible, as one of the national Hungarian channels, DUNA TV is broadcasting the event from our city. DUNA TV is visible (Free To Air) on the Hotbird satelite (13East, 12149 Vertical, SR 27500, FEC 3/4) in Europe and is encrypted on some other satelites in America and Australia. Understanding some Hungarian would probably not hurt. ;-)
About software: it's really time to push Quanta4 forward. The 3.5.6 release has a priority though, but after that I plan to continue on Quanta4. Unfortunately working alone on it as not that fun, but hopefully we will have some more guys on the boat and maybe Jens will also have some free time for Quanta. I'm not that optimistic about a KDE4 release in mid-2007, but who knows. ;-)
We decided with my wife that next year we will go more often to the mountains on weekends. I hope this will be true. I have some old plans what I would like to visit in my country (2 mountain regions and the part where the Danube crosses the Romanian mountains) and abroad as well (Dolomites, Mont Blanc area, Switzerland - again, some cities, like Vienna, Rome, Venice, Prague). If only one from each list will become true, that would be great. But I will not cry if I only can go often to the nearby places. Visiting Eric in the USA is also an old idea, and I'd like it, but (aside of money) fingerprinting and visa issues are keeping me back from this trip. Luckily we have aKademy, where we can still meet once a year for a few days.
A long time plan is to make some order on my hard disk, especially pictures and music need to be sorted, tagged and backed up...
But my biggest wish of all is to be healthy, happy and to live in peace.
Finally a happy new year for all of you, and may your dreams come true!