Andreas Happe: life
2019 was a year in which I expanded my comfort zone and forced myself to face some fears. I haven’t always been victorious, there’s enough to face next year. I see progress and hope; I do not feel trapped in my situation but rather see a comfy base from which I can explore further. I shed some possessions, mostly donated them or gave them away to friends. This calms my mind tremendously.
After 15 or so years I’m finally closing down my own company (it was a small one-person vehicle, in Austrian Einzelpersonenunternehmen or EPU). How so? I’ve been self-employed since I’ve started to study at university. Mostly I did software engineering for various research projects at AIT. There was a short side-project (a failed startup that I created with friends of mine), after that more web development with other friends of mine.
There’s power in switching mental models. In my work, switching from “there might be a vulnerability in this software” to “i just haven’t found the vulnerability” was a game changer for me. I get nervous prior to presentations; one switch that helped me was that instead of thinking “my goal is to look bright” I try to remember that my goal is to teach the audience something and it doesn’t matter who stupid I look as long as they gain something from me.
This year was good work- and health-wise, but bad when it comes to money and relationships. Financially the stock market drop hurt, emotionally getting dumped was painful. For 2019, I plan to keep and improve my healthy 2018 habits: enjoy life as non-smoker, keep on bouldering (6a+ - 6c with a rare sent 7a in-between), finally finish a full Bikram yoga sequence and maybe meditate more often. In addition, I’d like to improve my sleep.
This year seems to bring a lot of changes: I’ve switched employers after staying on/off at a research center or the last twelve years. When I started there, I was doing cool network coding for the SECOQC quantum key distribution network, it somehow felt as being a part of some bigger undertaking that finally let to something. My work had a tenable outcome, this compensated for the long hours and poor pay.
Recently I’ve found an old post-it with guidelines I wrote myself a couple of years back, two of those stood out: make mistakes don’t buy stupid stuff Seems like I haven’t been the most consistent person back then. The post-it got discovered during a clean-up session of my flat, the same session brought up the following stupidly-bought-and-never-used gadgets: one BBC micro:bit that should be able to capture Bluetooth Low Energy transmissions one Proxmark 3 RV4 that should be able to do some nifty RFID stuff (and that I was recently able to fix) one Realtek Software-Defined Radio USB Stick (rtl-sdr).
I have just received my OSCP exam success notification. This is a penetration-testing certification by Offensive Security with focus on hands-on-training.You get an eBook and a week’s worth of video lectures with guided exercises; access to a virtual lab with approximately 55 machines that you should gain full control over and will finish with an 24 hour exam in which you are supposed to root five target machines. All this should be documented and submitted at last 24 hours after your exam is over – my documentation had 264 pages.
Yesterday was this year’s “Akademikerball” in Vienna. This is a continuation of the former WKR ball – which is used for right-wing networking across Europe and organized by the Austrian Freedom Party. This party in turn is a right-wing party: populist, xenophobic, haven of people with a far-right history. Opposed to this party were protests mostly organized by the left-ish social party and the green-alternative party. Police forces were using this event as a show-of-strength.
It’s weakness. Well at least un-enjoyed luxury that has become an everyday event is. This has nothing to do with morals. Luxury costs money. Making money makes you dependant and consumes your free time, it reduces your financial freedom. So if you’re spending your life on luxury make sure that it counts and you’re enjoying it every moment.
Yeah, let’s make some new year’s resolutions so that I can feel bad breaking them. The big ones are: Stop smoking. And nail-biting. Both might be the same outlet of my nervousness, let’s see if I can get them under control. Start doing Yoga and/or Meditation again. To be honest, this will be needed to get resolution #1 to work. Continue climbing. Alas my left wrist joint seems to have suffered sometime last year – I’ll gonna go to the doctor, but might have to reduce my bouldering for a bit.