First off, thanks for the nice comments!
Originally Posted by gimbal
The trouble is that it takes effing ages to make something good, I don't want to think about making something grand...
I have the same mixed feelings, Gimbal. I listen to Romero talk about how basically obsessed he was with programming for so many years. I admire great achievements, but wonder if I really have anything in my life that could attract and hold my undivided attention for so long. I have dabbled in programming and enjoyed it, but it's hard to imagine it completely taking over my life. Yet that kind of absolute devotion seems to be a pre-requisite for doing anything remotely great.
I remember in college really wanting to become a great guitar player. I bought and guitar and worked pretty hard at it, but soon realized that I was just nowhere close to great. I could walk into any guitar shop anywhere and meet a dozen guys who could shred like a professional. I realized that I could study guitar playing intensely for a decade and still only be as good as those guys, much less on par with the true masters. Just didn't seem worth it to me to spend so much time and energy on something that, at best, would net me a few appreciative nods from a few folks (even I didn't dream of making it big on stage or anything).
In short, I think most of us probably wish deep down we could form that sort of obsession that could lead to greatness, but other interests and obligations get in the way.