Goal Progress – Q1 2012

I’m quite goal conscious and have become more so in the last couple of years. I think that writing down and thinking about measurable, concrete goals is the way to a happy life. Writing them down and having measurable targets makes sure that you know what is required to get to where you want to be and you’ll know when you reach that point.

I have some pretty ambitious goals for 2012 and, as we’re 1/4 of the way through the year already, I thought it’d be a great time to think about where I’m at in relation to where I want to be. I’m not going to go in-depth for every goal, but I do want to hit the highlights.

Fitness

I divided my fitness goals into two categories: speed/strength/power and endurance. I’m doing OK on both at this point, but have suffered some injuries in the last two months that have been a little bit of a setback. I’m confident that I’ll reach the following goals this year:

  • Squat 405 Pounds for 12 Reps
  • Deadlift 405 Pounds for 12 Reps
  • Bench 275 Pounds for 12 Reps

You’ll notice those goals are all endurance related. I took some time off from going heavy with weights to practice going for higher reps and it has been going pretty well. That’s why I think I’ll hit the above goals for sure.

The following goals are a little iffy, and I’ll explain why after the list

  • Squat 545 Pounds for 1 Rep
  • Deadlift 575 Pounds for 1 Rep
  • Bench 405 Pounds for 1 Rep
  • Run 1 Mile in 5:30
  • Run 3 Miles Contiguously in Less Than 20:00

First, I haven’t been running as much as I should be. Quite frankly, I think that running is boring (outside or inside) and just do not like it at all for some reason. I’d much rather do plyometrics or iron cardio style workouts and that is holding me back.

Second, I’m starting to get afraid of going very heavy with my weights. After suffering a strained or torn shoulder tendon and some knee issues so far this year, I really need to give my body a break from the heavy weight to heal up a bit. I plan on doing that over the next few months and then trying to train heavy again. At that point, it may be too late to actually hit my strength goals in 2012, but that’s OK.

Career

My career goals are proceeding along just as planned and I’m on track to hit all of them. For review:

  • Gross $180,000 in Revenue – I’m on track to make over $200,000 this year based on average daily income extrapolated out
  • Keep Contractor Expenses Under $12,000 – This does not look like it’ll be a problem based on the fact that I’ve only paid out $2,500 this year and we’re already 1/4 of the way through it
  • Increase Effective Hourly Rate to $250 / hr – This seems to be the least likely to happen as I’ve had some projects that ran over by a lot but it is still hovering up around $180 / hr
  • Reduce Business Maintenance Expense to Less Than $100 / month – I believe I’ll hit this as I’m hovering around $100 / month and have a few places I think I’ll cut in the next few months
  • Go to a Professional Conference – I’m heading to Future Insights Live here in Las Vegas in about 4 weeks, so that will cover this one
  • Release Another Product for Sale – I completed this one earlier this year by releasing Viral Downloader with Chris Guthrie. It wasn’t a raving success, but it was a good experience and just about paid me back for the time I spent on it.

I’m pretty excited about the progress I’ve made here and a lot of that is due to better organization and heartier work patterns. I don’t see anything going wrong here, hopefully.

Personal

I’m not doing so great on my personal goals. That doesn’t mean that my personal life is bad or anything, I’ve just been shifting my energy in different directions and may need to rethink some of these things based on the fact the weather here is ridiculously nice and most of my personal goals involved staying inside (something I’m not sure I want to do that much as long as I’m living in Las Vegas).

The goals I’m closest to are write 200 articles on a personal website and get picture in Muscle & Fitness. This website is something I enjoy writing on and I’m trying to stay consistent (that’s why I’m writing this post!) and Muscle & Fitness recently introduced a section where you can send in your picture and they’ll feature you. Based on the last two months, I think I should be able to score a picture in that section in the coming months.

Review

Overall, I’m happy with the way I’m going this year. Angela and I are really happy and enjoying our lives here in our (still new) city. I may not hit every goal that I set at the beginning of the year, but they’re helping me experience life and become a better person.

My Dual OS Development Setup

In a previous post, I talked a lot about the hardware that runs my development PC. Getting that all set up and going was only half the battle, though. In this post, I’ll be talking about how I configured up my dual OS development environment to take advantage of the strengths of my hardware. There’s a lot to cover, so this is going to be an epic and totally geeky post. If that’s your thing, great!

OS Choice and Setup

As discussed in the hardware synopsis, I purchased four hard drives. Three of the hard drives were intended as OS and application drives and the fourth for backups and shared storage. The first thing I had to do upon assembly was install my operating systems. The following are what I went with:

  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows 8 Consumer Preview
  • Ubuntu Linux 11.10

I installed Windows 7 first because that is the OS that I’m most familiar with. I won’t bore you with the details of the setup and update process, but it went smoothly and all my hardware was recognized immediately.

Next, I installed Ubuntu on the second SSD. This went fairly smoothly, but I did hit two snags:

  1. Ubuntu didn’t want to install until I modified the installation directive with nomodeset and acpi=off – I’m still not sure why I had to do that
  2. Getting all three of my monitors to work was a pain in the butt – I had to download and install NVidia’s proprietary drivers and then fiddle with the settings for three days until they would work the way I wanted them to

Eventually I got everything running the way I wanted in Ubuntu (although there is still some weirdness with dragging things across the desktop) and moved on to setting up Windows 8. Again, that was a breeze and everything was recognized immediately. I installed Windows 8 because I love the Metro desktop paradigm and want to develop apps for the platform.

Hard Drive Partitioning

After getting all the OSes I wanted to use setup appropriately, it was time to partition the bigger magnetic drive into the pieces I wanted. There were several things to consider:

  • I wanted to make sure both Windows and Ubuntu could read and write to all shared partitions
  • I wanted to make sure I used a sizable portion of the shared hard drive for backups
  • I wanted to make sure that I could share development and virtual host assets between OSes so I could work on projects from either platform

Making sure that both Windows and Ubuntu could operate on all the partitions meant they had to be formatted as NTFS or FAT. Because FAT limits file sizes to 2 GB, I went with NTFS. Windows uses NTFS natively and it is easy enough to mount NTFS partitions in Linux when you need to, so it is really the only route you can go.

The following image shows what the hard drive partitions look like in Windows Explorer:

Each is labeled so you can probably tell what they’re each used for, but I’ll explain a bit more anyways:

Backup
Holds Windows 7/8 and Ubuntu backups
Windows 7
Holds the Windows 7 installation and all installed programs
Windows 8
Holds the Windows 8 installation and all installed programs
Sites
Holds all the active website projects I’m working on (archived ones, too, as they don’t take up that much room)
MySQL
Holds all the database files pertaining to MySQL – in Ubuntu and Windows 7 I changed the data directory for the installed MySQL service to point at where this drive is mounted (drive letter or path)
Other
This holds miscellaneous other stuff that I want to share between Windows and Ubuntu

The only drive / partition that isn’t shown in that image is the one for Ubuntu. It is just a standard ext4 formatted drive with 17GB of swap space.

This partitioning strategy has held me in good stead so far. I wish I could share Apache virtual host configuration files between Windows and Ubuntu, but that just seemed like it was going to cause way more problems then it would solve.

Installed Applications

I tend to not install a bunch of things on my computer. I install the tools I’m going to use and that’s pretty much it. Here’s what I’ve got installed:

Windows

  • Microsoft Office – bookkeeping, long-form documentation, etc.
  • Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 – reading and writing Photoshop files, PDFs, etc.
  • WAMP Server – all in one web server install so I can do minor development on Windows (mostly frontend stuff so I can match Photoshop comps)
  • Sublime Text 2 – general text editing and development
  • Microsoft Visual Studio – so I can do awesome .NET programming
  • Google Chrome – general web browsing
  • Mozilla Firefox – testing HTML / CSS
  • Skype – communication with the world at large

Ubuntu

  • LAMP Stack – for my day job
  • Sublime Text 2 – general text editing and development
  • Google Chrome – general web browsing
  • Mozilla Firefox – testing HTML / CSS
  • Node JS and Node Package Manager – So I can build awesome things
  • Pidgin – IM chat with my friends and colleagues

So as you can see, I’ve got a very limited selection of things that I actively installed and use on a day to day basis. I’m pretty happy with the setup, though.

Finishing Up

That’s pretty much all there is to say about my setup. It has worked out exceedingly well for me at this point and I can’t really think of any drawbacks. Everything I need to be able to do is easy and accessible and I don’t spend any time fiddling with my setup anymore.