Well, there it is: 2007! I hope you people out there had a good start and I wish you all the best!

Carolin and I spent New Year's Eve in Dublin, with the so very nice host family she lived with over the last year while studying at Trinity College. The weather in Dublin was rainy and windy, which certainly contributed to Carolin's cold coming back, so my year started with pampering a girl that was freezing and sneezing. I hope she'll be well again soon.

For me, the past year was great, with many interesting things, some of which I'd like to point out here.

Careerwise, the last year will be called The Schlund+Partner year". I "joined S+P when the WEB.DE portal was acquired by the United Internet group which S+P is a subsidiary of. Since a few days, though, I'm now an employee of 1&1 with which S+P has been merged. Over the past year, the sysadmin team that I lead got some new interesting and demanding responsibilities additional to the user management and billing systems. For example, we now also operate a data warehouse system on a fat IBM p570. My boss and I had to fight for more staff, but finally I was granted more sysadmin positions on the team (some of them still open!). I really enjoy the mix of leadership and technology that my job is about and since I also got great colleagues, I'm really looking forward to the coming months.

After succumbing to the pressure from some of these colleagues, I started playing World of Warcraft I never played more than an occasional round of Quake 2, so seeing how much time I now spend with developing my Tauren druid makes me actually ask myself if I'm gradually getting addicted. It is so much fun to explore a virtual fantasy world and try to reach goals of increasing difficulty, often with the help of other players.

That I can play WoW at all is due to the fact that I got myself a Mac Mini Having also purchased an iPod Nano before, I've kind of mutated into an Apple fanboy. The experiences I had with their products so far tells me that Apple listens to what customers want and need. Their devices just work easy and intuitive. I feel respected as a product user which makes me a loyal customer in return. Sure, I'm still convinced that nothing beats Linux on the server side, but if I'd get the offer to exchange my Kubuntu ThinkPad with a MacBook, I wouldn't hesitate a second.

I not only started listening to podcasts but also producing one myself Podcasts are a great way of spending my commuting time with entertainment and learning.

And my daily commuting time actually tripled after we had moved to Freiburg in october. We had our doubts about living together for the first time in 8 years of our relationship, but we're really happy. 2006 actually is the year we changed from "relationship" back to "love" again. I'm really lucky to have you in my life, Carolin. And I'll do my best to keep it that way.

Well, talking about new year's resolutions, I have to say that I usually try not to get into that game. We all know that "the road to hell is paved with good intententions", as most resolutions don't ever get resolved anyway. And that's exactly what happened to me also all through the past year: there were just too many goals that I didn't reach. Sometimes, they were unrealistic from the beginning, others I just didn't follow through. That's a depressing thing to notice. So, if there is one important thing I'd like to change in 2007, it's to follow master Yoda's maxim: "Do or do not. There is no try." If you're interested in what I actually do -- keep reading this blog. :)

So, dear readers, how started 2007 for you and what are your expectations or resolutions for the coming year?