Monday, October 29

for true believers

Most God-believing people (it seems to me that Christians and Muslims do this the most) tend to assign to God, human-specific limitations (frustrations, wishes, needs and so on).

As they do that, god (the god in their minds) looses any potential for being a discovery in their lives, a presence (I'm not talking about the subjectivity of such an experience here), and becomes an invention.

Either way, for those people specifically , I have a little kung'an important question:
If God is almighty, can He create a stone so big, that not even God Himself can move it?

I didn't think of this myself, I found it somewhere, thought it funny and figured I'd share :)

Sunday, October 28

from the 10 years highschool reunion

Our old highschool teacher, at our 10 years reunion, in September.

We had met in a restaurant for an afternoon and she came to see us.

She is still one of the persons I respect deeply.

Some of my cleagues:



Thursday, October 25

working with Mercurial

Working with mercurial is a strange/new experience in version management. They called it "the new step" over traditional methods, and I was skeptic.

Now, I'm inclined to agree.

The main difference between Mercurial (and, as far as I understand GIT is the same) and traditional version control systems (CVS, Perforce, VSS et all) is Mercurial's distributed nature: here, every local copy of a repository that you make, is a new repository in itself, supporting retrieving previous versions of the code, adding new changes and merging with other repositories (among other things).

This is confusing, the first couple of times you work with it, but as you go along, you start to see the benefits:
  • you no longer have to wait when getting a previous version of the code (it's a local operation)
  • you can (at any time) re-sync your changes with the master version (having a master version - or more - is completely optional; infact, I undestand that, for the linux kernel development model, there is no master version at all, just some preferred/priviledged repositories)
  • you need not make periodical backups (if - say - you loose your HDD, you can simply clone another repository - unless all the HDDs of all the team members fail at the same time :-))
  • it's under your complete control, and creating and merging repositories is as easy as typing two commands (at the moment I have three repositories on my machine, for working on different things: One for a local "master" copy, one for working, and one for testing Mercurial commands, trying various things and generally playing)

Infact, I like it enough to have switched on my home computer from cvs, to mercurial.

In short, it rocks :)

Tuesday, October 23

the best thing about changing your workplace is ...

... the music; and the food; and eating peanuts with chopsticks; and the view; and the small conference room where we all gather for lunch.

As a side note (and since somebody voted I should post more about my narcissisticly esteemed self) I really do eat peanuts with chopsticks, as the peanuts are greasy, I'm at the keyboard and I like playing with chopsticks (there! now you won't make the same mistake again. I hope you learned your lesson :) ).

Either way ... the most, I feel this change in the little differences: the music on the network is different, we order the food each day from a different catering business (and I'm not sick of it yet), we're in a small office and while there's still a work atmosphere around, we're much more into geek culture than in my previous workplace: there are cables around, people use firefox on their machines and the amount of formal rules around here is zero: they're not needed.

I missed that.

Monday, October 22

no comment


Do you know that cliché of sitting on a beach, eventually in the shadow of a palm tree, with a Piña Colada in hand, and looking at the sea?

It's seriously overrated.

I mean, I've tried it, and it's nice ... for five minutes. Then, you get bored out of your skull; even if you have another Piña Colada.

Instead, I want to see nature.
I want to see the world from the edge of mountain cliffs, in that way that makes your breathing stop for a few seconds.

The best vacation for me is not a hotel, nor a beach. I mean, sure, staying in a nice hotel is nice, as is the access to the beach once in a while, but those do not a vacation make ... so to speak.

I want to travel; I want to see people and see into their hearts (to use somewhat bigger words), see what makes them special (I will forever remember being served with tea, in Turkey, in the middle of nowhere, as I had stopped for gas for example).

I want to see grand things, but not the monuments. Monuments are not grand and I'm not sure I care much for monuments. I mean ... I saw the pyramids, and they were OK, but that doesn't mean I will go with a checklist of "items to see" on my next trip - my vacation being a time for myself, not for my checklist.

I really don't need to see the ego trip of every architect who said at some point "I want this to be the biggest thing in the world, because I have a really small ... " - well who cares, anyway?

I'd rather see a waterfall in the middle of the forest, than a monastery for example.

I'd rather see people working the field than doing a "traditional dance" because "the tourists came and they have money".

I'd rather find a monastery (be it Christian or otherwise) "by accident" and spend two hours there to rest and see the people inside, then make a list of monasteries and worship my "checklist of places to reach".

... and finally, I'd rather get on a beach on a Saturday evening and relax, than "Let's go to the beach" every X days, and stay with a Piña Colada in hand, and live the cliché just because I've seen one-too-many commercials.

Sunset at Aphrodyte's Rocks

Sunset at Aphrodyte's Rocks
Camera: NIKON D50
Timestamp: Sun Oct 21 19:06:13 2007
Shutter: 1/250 s
Aperture: F8
ISO speed: 200
Focal length: 55.0 mm
Focal length in 35mm equivalent: 82.0 mm
Lens: 18-55mm F3.5-5.6

EXIF data read by Exiv2 0.12

Thursday, October 18

Tuesday, October 16

Sea View, from the Top of Alanya Castle, Turkey

Sea view, from the top of Alanya Castle, Turkey
Camera: NIKON D50
Timestamp: Sun Sep 30 14:41:35 2007
Shutter: 1/400 s
Aperture: F10
ISO speed: 800
Focal length: 18.0 mm
Focal length in 35mm equivalent: 27.0 mm
Lens: 18-55mm F3.5-5.6

EXIF data read by Exiv2 0.12
Postprocessing done with the GIMP

Monday, October 15

Surrounded by Infinity

Camera: NIKON D50
Timestamp: Sun Sep 30 14:36:48 2007
Shutter: 1/400 s
Aperture: F10
ISO speed: 800
Focal length: 38.0 mm
Focal length in 35mm equivalent: 57.0 mm
Lens: 18-55mm F3.5-5.6

EXIF data read by Exiv2 0.12
Postprocessing done with the GIMP

Friday, October 12

On top of Alanya Castle, Turkey

On top of Alanya Castle, Turkey
Camera: NIKON D50
Timestamp: Sun Sep 30 14:35:49 2007
Shutter: 1/320 s
Aperture: F9
ISO speed: 800
Focal length: 20.0 mm
Focal length in 35mm equivalent: 30.0 mm
Lens: 18-55mm F3.5-5.6

EXIF data read by Exiv2 0.12
Postprocessing done with the GIMP

Thursday, October 11

Everything You Do Should Be Easy

I've just finished refactoring some code and then I realized how easy it is now, to extend it further; More than that, it's a pleasure to do it, starting with clean code.

That made me think: whatever I do, whatever you - or anyone else - for that matter - does, it should be easy to do. The easier it appears to you, the closer you are to mastering that domain.

I'm saying this, generalizing from programming but I think it stands true for everything else. I'm not coming here to claim I've "mastered programming" - or something ridiculous like that.

It's not about me, and it's not about programming.

When you don't have a social life (and as a programming geek, I know what that means :D), socializing with others, can be exhausting.

When you have a flat tire on your car - as another example - you find it tedious to change that tire, until you do it for a few times. Then, it becomes easy; at some point, you jump from "what should I do?!?" to "there's nothing to it".

It's not about you becoming stronger - though, there is that. It's about becoming somehow "wiser about things".

It's about going forward in such a way that all your options keep staying open and more than that, you open to even more possibilities.

If nothing else, it's a bit of food for thought.

Have a nice evening, everybody.

Sunday, October 7

random links

Well ... I haven't written in a while, and I don't have anything novel to write (well ... I do, but it's in draft state at the moment.

In the meantime, here are some links, random news pieces and trivia:

Hard Politik has some excellent (as in funny as hell) questions for fundamentalist Christians (I think) in Why can't I own Canadians?

"Lucifer" on (forums) describes how GreenPeace activists effectively took control of a coal transport ship in a by stretching the meaning of "peaceful protest".

ASUS are announcing a motherboard initializing an embedded linux in 5 seconds and in non-related news, muslim medical students refuse to learn medicine as being against their religion.

And for something older, the uncyclopedia has the greatest article explaining sexual innuendo.

On a more serious note, it seems calculus was not created by sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, but instead re-created: It was initially developed by Archimedes.

Saturday, October 6


View from the terrace, at the motel me and Si stayed, before boarding the ferry to return to Cyprus.

Thursday, October 4

the end

Well ... in the end I managed to sleep at the Bone Club Hotel. Si made a scandal, then I went back, and they were all apologies and smiles; I almost felt sorry for posting about them on my blog, but the following morning they got us out of bed at nine o'clock in the morning to make sure we would pay!

How bad-mannered can you get?!?

Either way! The following day we visited Dim Cave and the Alanya Castle, then left for Tasucu, for the ferry. We had misjudged the distance and the road to Tasucu, so we arrived there around eleven PM, much too late to get on the ferry.

We spent the night in a small gulf by the sea, a piece of heaven, a few kilometres out of Tasucu and arrived back in Cyprus on the morning of the second of October.

Where does that leave us?

I'm at my new job now, reading documentation on GSM networks all day, my bike is in need of a repair shop (I'll see to that tomorrow), and Si is going to office also.

I stil haven't finished unpacking and I'll keep posting pictures for a week or two, I guess.

Wednesday, October 3

Rohia Monastery, Maramures, Romania

Rohia Monastery, Maramures, Romania
Camera: NIKON D50
Timestamp: Sun Sep 16 18:50:46 2007
Shutter: 1/500 s
Aperture: F4.2
ISO speed: 200
Focal length: 26.0 mm
Focal length in 35mm equivalent: 39.0 mm
Lens: 18-55mm F3.5-5.6

EXIF data read by Exiv2 0.12