I aten't dead.
 
Just in San Jose this week, San Diego next week, Austin before that, Minnesota before that,Tokyo before that. (Yes, all in the same month.)

Thank you VERY much everybody sponsoring my patreon. The support means a lot to me even just from a morale perspective, given how 2016 has turned out. Sorry I've been bad about communicating. Here's an update.

My most recent posts to both the toybox and aboriginal linux lists contained apologies for how little time I've had to work on them. Over on the aboriginal linux side I posted a link to the in-progress mkroot stuff (pending project reboot and vast simplification I'm quite looking forward to) which I haven't had time to work on since. The reasons for the two apologies are connected.

On the $DAYJOB front I'm riding down another startup, something I swore never to do again but here we are. The j-core.org stuff is a compeling technology, and they were sponsoring work into toybox and aboriginal linux until everything turned into Crisis Du Jour back in the spring when the money stopped. After a couple months without pay this evolved into "we can pay you half-time until the next round of funding comes in in October (no back pay until then), in the meantime we need you to work every waking moment including weekends and travel a lot for us".

This has become a less convincing argument now that October was 2 months ago and there's not even a new deadline to miss. I'm scheduled to give a talk at linuxconf.au in January (based on their technology) and have _no_ idea if they'll even be able to pay my airfare there and back. (Do I contact the event organizers and cancel?)

A few months back I took a brief side gig to refill the bank account a bit, but it lasted less time than I expected.

Incidentally, this year I learned that the reason the US space program stalled so badly that not only will China and India make it to mars before we will but Vatican City probably will too, is that the same ITAR export regulations that caused multiple cryptographers to give up their US citizenship back in the 90's to get out from under it were extended to the entire US space program in 1996 and are still fully in force there.  As someone vaguely boss-shaped explained "If I buy a screwdriver at Home Depot it's just a screwdriver, but if I use it to turn a screw on a spacecraft it's now a munition and I cannot discuss it with non-US persons." And of course ITAR covers all the software, so nobody who knows about this wants to get it on them unless they want their career to contract to a hemetically sealed bubble of silence until retirement. (You can read about that at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Traffic_in_Arms_Regulations if you're curious. As with Vogon Grandmothers and Ravenous Bugbladder beasts, "In brief, avoid.")

I also  learned that a company that stresses how much the 2 weeks notice you asked to give your previous employer put them behind schedule can with a straight face turn around a month later and say you need to give _them_ at least 3 weeks more work before leaving or you've ruined the project. (Even after you point out that sometimes schedules are affected by external events, to pick a random example http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/1/12748752/spacex-launch-site-explosion-cape-canaveral-florida maybe delaying http://spacenews.com/house-panel-irked-by-air-force-request-for-ors-6-launch-funds/ if both articles mention the same rocket, and that _after_ such an event such a project might have time to restaff a position.)

So getting back to that side gig I mentioned a couple paragraphs back, I stopped updating my blog while I was there (not sure what could I safely say) and the longer it's been since I updated that the more work there is to catch up. I'll probably do another "new year, new file" blog post on January 1 and then HOPE I find time to fill in the gaps someday.

Similarly, the longer it's been since I updated here, the longer post I felt I owe you guys. I should do a separate post on upcoming _technical_ work, since I should be able to carve out some time over the holidays to get some real work done. (It would be a nice change of pace.)

Thanks again. Trying to get back on track,

Rob