First update in a long time. I have been very busy recently, working two contract jobs, hunting for a new appartment, helping a friend with his move to Stuttgart, and getting all the insurance and tax paperwork done for my independant work. It's fun learning new stuff! My job used to be programming C++ pretty exclusively. I'm still doing C++ work, but my primary tools at the moment are Java, VisualBasic, PHP, MySQL and Halcon Script - with a major project in each. PHP and MySQL are an insanely productive combination in their problem domain and real fun to work with. Java feels like a toy language coming from C++ - it's similar enough so you are able to dive right in and hack away and forgiving enough to let you get away with it. The refactoring tools available for it are powerful and easy to use. I don't like it's exception handling and object lifetime semantics though. VisualBasic and HalconScript are clumsy and basically a huge PITA to work with. Dunno why BASIC ever got as popular as it is. Working independantly takes getting used to. For one thing I find working from my home office more exhausting than sitting at the company's desk. Maybe it's just me, but when working from home I only bill actual working hours. For an eight hour work day that feels like taking an eight hour exam and I'm completely wasted afterwards. Working at the company's office on the other hand you seldom if ever get eight hours of high concentration work done on any single day. Colleagues, phones, meetings etc interrupt often enough that the typical eight hour day is more like five or so... Cool new website find of the month: spurl A page that manages your bookmarks and finds related links and information. I wonder when the ultimate-uber-search engine will emerge. A mix of technorati, google and the likes. I wanna have my own customizable web spiders. Continuously monitoring and crawling the web for me and presenting relevant results. I'm already using a baby version of a service like that, which lets you craft a search and updates you via email or rss when something relevant to your search happens. But it's not good enough.