Actualy more like recovering at home. Sick during the weekend and too weak to go out to work today.
Well, I did manage to go through the whole winter without no more than a slight cold or two while all around me people where falling sick with the flu and other season favorites, so this is not bad at all.
Well, nothing extremely exciting happened this weekend, but I’ll make a quick recap nonetheless…
Started reading “The design of everyday things” and “designing with web standards” (can’t be bothered to find the links, but they should be easy enough to find on amazon.com). Like I’ve said before, I can’t do design to save my life, but I sure like it a lot. And the “designing with web standards” is more than a plain design book anyway… On the reading front I’m almost done with the “Elric saga” too, which is a good thing. Only “Quicksilver” seems to endure
Yesterday I let loose the help-desk guy in me and re-installed a Windows XP computer for a regular user. Always a good reminder of why I love *nixes and the like.
Also spent a large amount of time debugging and going over the latest changes requested for dvdlx.com. Changes never seems to stop coming, even on the end of the deadline, but that’s always the case anyway…
Friday afternoon I started to feel a bit off and thought my allergies where acting up. Turns out it is much more than that and after a weekend of pain it doesn’t seem to be much better. Let’s see how I wake up tomorrow and if I’m fit to get out and go to work.
Didn’t manage to find the time to install my new ADSL wireless router. Now that the hardware I’ve been dreaming of (kinda) ;-) fell into my lap I just leave it in it’s box until I can play around with it. Sheesh! Anyway, this is a Aolink ADSL2+ Wireless Router which promises to be the next best thing after sliced bread and I just can’t wait to plug it in and kill the dependency I have on my home network on the (extremely noisy) gateway PC.
That’s about it for now.
Oh yeah, I’ve been considering some rather big changes to the layout and design of nunonunes.org for some time and now with the kind of literature I’m reading and also with the plans for the upcoming hosting change (you’ll see, just hold on) it seems like the time is at hand for it. Hopefully cascais.pm will also get on it’s feet at the same time.
No bruises, no strains and no broken limbs. What an unusual ski trip this was!
But that was not all that was unusual this year, we were caught on a severe storm and couldn’t leave the hotel other than on foot to go the slopes for 3 days. And on the first day even the slopes where closed.
But on the other two days they were partly open and after that the whole mountain was open for skiers again. I did end up buying and using snow-chains for my tires in order to get to the town, though.
Another first this year was the fact that Tuxa and me actually managed to get to Caldea this year. It is a very good idea to spend some time there, all the soreness from skiing hard leaves your body and if you like water as much as I do it is a very good time.
Apart from that, I was extra careful on the slopes this year (I always am, but this year I was really really careful) and it paid off since I haven’t got a single injury. Hurray!
The ski was good but limited since most of the time we were limited to a small number of slopes while the storm spent itself on the upper portions of the mountains. And we took a day off to rest in the mean-time.
All in all a good trip this year. Bruno and Paulo also seemed to like Andorra even if they were less than happy because they couldn’t actually sample the better slopes high in the mountains, so I’m not actually sure if they like it better than Sierra Nevada.
So today is a day for getting in gear again and preparing for the coming week. When we arrived yesterday I was very tired and slept 14 hours straight without even having diner and the upshot of it is that, without having planned it, I woke up in a great mood and with some important resolutions made up in my head. Somehow I got a great sense of perspective this night and got some priorities straight. It actually seems like the new year’s resolutions I’ve never cared to make. :-) Well, let’s see how it goes and if my resolve lasts. It would be good if it did last, since it would greatly improve my life and my morale.
And now off to wash those chains and put them away until next year.
And so it is that after a particular tough and frustrating couple of weeks I’m off to this year’s ski trip.
And not a moment too soon I say.
This year there are two friends coming along so I’ll have some company on the slopes.
The CDs have been burned, the relevant waypoints have been downloaded into the GPS, the bags are packed… It’s road-tripping time! One and a half days to get there, 5 days of skiing and another day and a half to get back.
I do wish I’d live nearer to ski-able country but you’ve got to go with what you’ve got.
This year I’ll really try and come back without anything bandaged or in a cast. I really will. Honest!
Oh and the plans for the 14th of February are coming along nicely. The reservations have been made for Caldea have been made and there’s just a few more details to take care of. Things are looking good.
Anyone in Andorra care to make me an offer I can’t refuse to stay there, by the way? ;-)
I don’t expect to have Internet access in the hotel there (I’ve never had it in the past) and I can’t be bothered to lug the laptop around into town just for that so I’ll talk to you all (yes, you and you) in a few days. Be good while I’m away now…
I just couldn’t help copying the following from the Stray Toaster (with all the due apologies, of course):
If you take a book with you on a journey’ Mo had said when he put the first one in her box, ‘an odd thing happens: the book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice-cream you ate while you were reading it…yes, books are like flypapers. Memories cling to the printed page better than anything else.
This rings so true… It’s actually something I really love about books and one of the things that keep me from being able to forego the dead-treeware editions.
There’s an article over at Corante entitled “Many-to-Many: When usenet was the world…” which has struck a chord with me. It talks about how AOL has stopped offering usenet access because it is just not worth the cost of keeping the servers running.
The fact that usenet has become nearly useless these days (unless you’re a virus writer) and that it is ultimately doomed to go away and be forgotten is hardly news to me. My own company (an ISP) looks at the service in a funny way these days and I won’t be at all surprised when the order comes to axe the service. This will probably not happen very soon, but it will happen eventually, that’s for sure.
So what really got to me was the way in which the article at Corante is written. And this is because I too was a heavy usenet user for a long time. I too remember when usenet and email was nearly all there was to the Internet and it gave me a glimpse of the world through a perspective I could not have gotten any other way. Maybe it was because of this that I was so glad when I got to be in charge of the service at my company some years ago.
Yes, AOL created the “long September” and it may have ultimately doomed usenet in the process but let’s face it, it would probably have happened anyway. AOL is not single-handedly responsible for the Internet boom and the inevitable newbie plague that ensued. So maybe usenet could have continued to be a useful service for a few more years if AOL hadn’t opened the floodgates, that doesn’t mean the flood wouldn’t have come anyway, it might have been a bit delayed but it would have come anyway.
The fact is that when the Internet stopped being the playground of college students and a few other “elite” people and when we got to the point where granny at home uses the Internet to chat with her grandson across the globe and look at the pictures of his day-trip at school then a few basic Internet services of old where ultimately doomed. The newbies came and they did their best to get to grips with what there was available. Some things they understood, some others they didn’t. But most importantly, some things they just took for granted and didn’t care about.
In the end usenet was a very week structure in that it was very open. Anyone could abuse with great ease. For something like usenet to function people had to follow some simple civility rules. Oh sure, there were flame-wars, and memorable ones at that, usenet was the precursor of all those things, but in the end people used to follow some code or some “basic common sense” rules if you will, which allowed the debate to carry on, silly as it may have been.
But when too many people start barging in, creating a mess and then leaving without the slightest respect for other people and their discussions, when people who want to keep on talking and discussing things that interest them have to put up with more and more spam, one-time anonymous flamers and all the random junk that some people throw at them, then it is just not worth it.
In the end my view of it is that newbies (in particular AOL’s newbies) didn’t kill off usenet; stupid, inconsiderate people —either spammers or single individuals— did it. I truly believe that usenet could have withstood a barrage of newbies and the “long” or even “continual September”, what it could not withstand, not by a long shot, was simple, basic human stupidity.
It’s really kind of sad hanging around usenet nowadays, when most groups are filled to the brim with spam, others are just part of a huge virus-spreading or virus-updating network and only a few of my once favorite groups have any real traffic at all. On the other hand, those groups do tend to be coming back to what usenet was all about: just a bunch of people talking about something they like with people who share the interest. There are fewer people by far than there were a few years ago, but the fact is that the signal-to-noise ratio is higher now than I remember it being for a really long time.
Not that I believe in the resurgence of usenet as something useful, but I do get some comfort in seeing that there are others out there like me, old buffs who remember how it was once and how it could be so great.
There are many alternatives to usenet in the form of forums, specialized “chats” and even to some degree weblogs, but it’s just not the same. Not really.
Well now, the comment spam problem is apparently contained for now (I still get a lot of it but it doesn’t get posted due to my more or less rigid comment policy) but now I’m getting something I’ve never gotten before: trackback spam!
This is something I’ve never had before. Comment spam I’ve had by the bucketful but even though I’ve heard a lot about trackback-spam problems I’ve never had it happen to me until quite recently.
Unfortunately MT-Blacklist isn’t quite as good at handling trackback spam as it is with plain comment spam, but it’ll get there eventually, for sure.
What a sad little world we live in.
It’s been an interesting few days since I last checked in.
The decision about moving to a new house is turning out to be a really tough one to make. Still, whichever way things turn out the process has been very… instructive. There are a few things I’ll never do this way again. But it is an interesting ride nonetheless.
I’m less than a week away from this year’s ski trip and this time a couple of friends are coming along to meet Andorra, so it should be extra-fun. There is the detail that Valentine’s day will be in the middle of the vacation and Tuxa is a sucker for those things, but I have my plans drawn up, yessiree!
And on a happy, happy note I’ve finished yet another (and seemingly never-ending) iteration of development for DVDLX. There is still a lot of testing and debugging to be done before the new version goes on-line but the brunt of the development is finished. The most annoying part is that this will still not translate into any visible new features, this was essentially still a lot of code-cleanup and the new features will not be activated right away. Oh well, baby steps. ;-)
Vendetta online is a space opera-style MMORPG.
It has clients for multiple OSs, it has an interesting back-story, the universe in which it is set appears to be quite interesting but, more importantly… Much more importantly: it looks gorgeous on a 20’ screen.
The only problem I anticipate is that the initial 8 hours of free playing-time will go by in a blur. ;-)
Just came in from the movies.
I knew absolutely nothing about this film. Actually (and this is a little embarrassing for me to admit) I didn’t even know he had a new film! I really like his work and I think I can actually say I’m a fan. As much as I can be anyway, given my general disregard for the cinema…
But anyway, on the way there Tuxa told me a few facts about this particular film. First, Woody Allen didn’t appear in it, which takes a bit off the excitement but it is not such a big deal. Secondly there were critics who loved it. Thirdly, there were critics who said it was Woody’s worst. From these two last facts it was clear that it was indeed Woody Allen in it’s most classic. Which is a good thing.
And in fact it was a very enjoyable film.
Not his greatest work, for sure, but still, a very good movie, with some beautiful moments, the characters are very catchy, very compelling, you feel a connection with most of them from the moment they appear…
All in all a film very much worth seeing. Even if you don’t actually go to a theatre, see it on DVD later on, it’s well worth the time.
But then the fact that we went to this small old-style theatre, where you have no publicity before the film, very few teasers, the session still has a break in the middle and —my favorite— the room is small enough that you actually hear the projector rolling the tape in the quietest moments of the film… That just blows me away. What better way to enjoy good old Woody Allen? All the neurotic characters, the insane dialogs, they just come to life on a setting such as this.
What a great evening! And I was needing it too.