September 25, 2012

Looking forward to an indie smartphone


First I thought to write about what 'indie' actually means to me. That would have been quite a bore. As gamer, I can relate to game developer perspective so I started looking from there. If you're willing to dig deep into what makes an indie game, Eurogamer has a fine article about it. My thoughts went elsewhere.

It happens to be a right time to ask: Can there be such a thing as indie smartphone? I'm not sure, but Jolla is certainly getting close. There is a lot of media buzz around Jolla and we are slowly fed with tidbits of information. Many concrete details still remain unknown, for example Android compatibility is apparently not confirmed.

The story of Jolla is a piece of Nokia history. Jolla's smartphone will rise from the ruins of Meego based Nokia N9 project and I keep waiting for more Jolla news with similar enthusiasm to N9 before its sad fate. Now we have seen what the next generation of Lumia phones and the iPhone 5 have to offer. This happens to be the most recent Jolla related article I could find. I agree that the time is right for an alternative.

I hope Jolla manages give us another demonstration of the spirit and mindset required to design and build a unique breed of smartphones. If I'm looking for an answer to what is indie, I've got one example right here. Jolla smartphone will be created by people who kept on believing in their own vision. That's what matters. Whatever they manage to release, it will be an indie smartphone to me.

September 20, 2012

Investing 10$ for the future


It's hard to start something new, such as the first sentence for a new blog. Well, that was one way to do it. I work as a software developer in Finland. My job security has been getting worse for the last couple of years and is very uncertain at the moment. To my surprise, it's not such a bad thing. More and more often I have compelling feeling that I should be doing something else. I daydream about having more time, freedom and independence, in short about being more indie. Eventually this drove me to pay 10$ for a domain name and set up a new blog. I hope it helps me to clarify my goals and work towards them. With the blog I have a way to measure my progress and keep track of it. Hopefully it will also produce a few words worth reading to others.

I'm not going to give up the day job at this point. It still pays the bills and in fact I have recently managed to make it more tolerable. The way I see it now is that each salary is bringing me closer to my goals. Savings and investments are slowly starting to generate a small extra income. I'm not a big fan of sports, but I still find sports betting quite interesting. I am not a winning bettor, but I do believe that it is possible with some help and hard work.

While investing and sports betting have both brought excitement and fun to the weekly routine, they are just a little more than means to an end. I have witnessed my work content gradually turn less and less creative. As this was happening, I really grew to appreciate people who were able to bring their vision to life using any form of art. It took a while to realize that it was the very thing I was missing, the artist mentality that used to be there at the start of my career.

As an enthusiastic gaming veteran, I have been following the rise of indie games with interest. The Internet seems to be a great equalizer in terms of sales and marketing, giving a lot of small development teams real success opportunities. The mobile devices create market for smaller projects and the indie games are thriving. I will surely write about indie games one way or another, just for a desire to be part of the indie phenomenon, at least as a supporting, enlightened consumer if nothing more.

With age I've come to like writing. That helps if you have a blog to update. So, I'm at the starting point of my new quest of finding my indie path. I want to take my job less seriously, make time for things I have passion for, and have fun while doing it. I don't want to turn this into another dull project.

Let's take a bored engineer with spare time, a network connection and a search engine. Sooner or later he will end up reading about passive income. Assuming that my writing gains any followers, I will try to monetize. This is a humble and early warning. The first goal then would be to get back that 10$ I paid for the domain.

To avoid the most pointless blog posts, I've set up an Indie Objective Twitter account. That's all for now.