2017 was wrapped up with a weeks-long 12+ hour days effort to move a data center "live" (that is, keep as much online as possible, while shifting it all to another building!), in an effort that ended 2 days before Christmas, because the building we had been in was going to be demolished! We got it done, but that was just the start of maintaining that operation while the campus around us was demolished, and significant renovations were being made to the building that we were now in. Going to the data center included suiting up in boots, jeans, hardhat, safety vest and safety glasses. Construction continues even today, on 5 of the 6 sides of the current data center. COVID-19 certainly played a part in extending the length of the construction project, and the end is now foreseeable.
In January of 2021, I expect to see President Joe Biden sworn in as the 46th President of the US. We may even see the first inoculations for COVID-19 start in the US. In the Spring of 2021, I expect to be relocating to SW Oregon, and selling my California home. We've all been adapting to "working from home", as companies have had to change and adapt to remote working. With that move comes the decisions of what to pack, and where will it live in the new house. Older console servers from the test lab? Manuals and CDs from past vendors (example: Cyclades), with docs and firmware for older hardware. Even bins of serial adapters and specialty cables. Some of that stuff isn't going to "make the cut". This will be much of the "Wringing Out" in the next few months...
In the past 3 years, I've been making LED Art with Arduino boards for fun (see https://www.instructables.com/IKEA-Star-With-ATtiny-and-NeoPixels/ for an example) and environmental monitors. I also got a Prusa MK2S 3D printer, and I'm learning how to make things. I was a supporter of https://www.hackerdojo.com, but COVID-19 has closed most of our maker spaces. I helped teach embedded computing to Jr High students for a year (1-day every couple weeks, in an Introduction to Technology class). I was at every (SF) Bay Area Maker Faire until there was no more Maker Faire.
I was wrestling with whether to start a new Maker-oriented blog as a fork, and try to keep that up after the move. But all the good names I could think of has been taken on blogspot, many years ago. Sadly, most of them had far fewer entries... some seemed to only try a few test posts, and then they want idle. Some started back in 2001, but none updated after 2014. :-( As a result, I think I'll stick with this blog, and post what I like going forward (versus only posting console-related things).
I still get the occasional email, asking for something that's not on my pages at https://www.conserver.com/consoles/, but I haven't needed to set up any hardware to recreate a problem for a long while. It may be Murphy's Law that after I toss out old hardware, that's when folks will have a problem that I'd want to look at myself. But since Murphy isn't going to help me load and unload the trucks, I'll learn to live with not having the hardware.
I'm also exploring Raspberry Pi as I explore new Digital modes in Ham Radio (DMR, New Packet, and some HF modes next year), as I decide which monitors will be useful for Pi projects. There may be some interesting serial-related posts about these in the future.
I hope for good luck, and good health for all of us in the new year.