Tuesday, May 27

so ... anyone up to explaining this?

So ... anyone up to explaining where the movement is coming from?
I have my own theory, but I'm curious what others think.

Here's the experiment:

More Science experiments at 5min.com

Monday, May 26

be serious! management

Usually, I browse while programming.

That is, at times, I go through some reddit links, some slashdot article, and do my job in between; some other times, I do my job and browse in between (and of course, sometimes I only do one, or the other).

I used to feel guilty about it and then I realized: most people in the company do the same. Most people in my previous company did the same (and I think they still do).

Most people in the company before that, didn't. At all! Working in that place was never fun (of course not, it was supposed to be professional, not fun; Thus, you usually ended up chatting with a colleague, bothering (or not) somebody else, which was unprofessional also (and interrupted two persons instead of one).

I think being serious all the time sounds nice, but only in theory, and only to serious people.

This seriousness at my last employment place was imposed by management; it was a we're busy and have no time to loose on company time or we have a deadline to reach or simply well ... you're payed for eight hours of work!

In my view though, it was simply we take ourselves too seriously around here, so stop trying to have fun, while working.

I realize that, taken to extreme, if nobody does anything, you - as a company - have nothing to sell. My argument though, is not about the extreme cases, except to say that in both extremes, somebody looses (all work and no play makes nine hours of your day extremely dull and all play and no work makes your employment kind-of short, as the company will have no money to give you).

The seriousness at my last employment place was also one of the main reasons I left (well ... that and the BS I got when I asked for a salary raise).

Still, this half-half division is something I feel is beneficial to both the company and myself. I will probably not try to justify this to the CEO anytime soon, but I still think that.

Also, all this theory aside, when we have an emergency I leave the auxiliary activities down and focus on the emergency.

Friday, May 23

sad and sadder

The fact that racism still exists is sad; The fact that censoriship exists (self-censorship is still censorship) is sadder, for the US (this was published by AlJazeera).

Thursday, May 22

the most important question

We as humans, often ask ourselves some deep questions, such as ...
Is there a god?
What is our purpose?
What did you say your name was?

err ... never mind the last one.

Anyway, google has this amazing relevance mechanism, that pushes to the top of the first page, the most relevant results it finds, on a given topic.

... such as ... say, the will of God.

All in all, an amazing feature!

TED strikes again: eat real food!

Tuesday, May 20


There’s no way out of this mess, except to become enlightened and then enjoy it.

- Robert Thurman

a step forward

Sometimes death is an ending.

Sometimes it's a sudden finish of unfinished plans or a stop in day-to-day continuity.

For some reason though, right now I see it as some kind of a step forward, from a conjecture that didn't represent you much anymore. I have the feeling you finished what you set out to do and moved on.

Literally, moved on.

At least, that's how I want to see it; I'm not so sure about this at the moment.

Rest in peace.

Monday, May 19

something sensible

I should probably do something sensible and go to sleep. It's a quarter to four AM, and I just arrived from Vienna (via Frankfurt).

It was a good trip (I almost finished another Terry Pratchett book) although we left Vienna almost an hour late, due to the storm (that was interesting!)

I didn't see much in Vienna (didn't feel like walking a lot) but I got myself some stuff (starting with t-shirts and ending with a proper meditation bowl).

Either way, that's about it -- I'm going to sleep. Don't let anyone tell you I'm not being sensible (well ... after updating my blog-thingy).

Friday, May 16

random update

I'm writing this mainly, because I'll be spending two days with no internet, just going through Vienna (oh, the horror!)

I left my photocamera in Cyprus, mainly to lower my luggage volume, and I'm not really regretting it: my trip here was at night and I'll be going back the same way; when tiredness is an issue (that is, most of the night here and back), an extra luggage just spoils your fun.

Because of this, I might get a small pocket camera tomorrow morning (depending on what I find), just for the mobility of it (that, and my phone camera is a joke and the phone battery is out).

Also, I've moved to a smaller hotel (Sofitel is very nice, but it's also very 'over two hundred dollars a night').

What else ... what else ... what else ...

Tomorrow I'll go on a small shopping spree (need a new backpack and I'm sure there will be a lot of junk that will 'seem a good idea at the time'), and maybe see some more stuff (I've been recommended to go see Hundertwasserhaus by two different people, so I probably shouldn't miss that).

What else ... what else ... what else ...

... Oh, yeah! Everybody keeps saying how Austria is famous for it's Snitzels and it's Apfelstrudels. I can't say much about the Snitzels but the Apfelstrudel I've eaten confirmed it: it was in a class of it's own.

Also, I still have to check out the Sachertorte: it's apparently a speciffic thing, designed for Austrohungarian emperror this or that, because he was a workoholic and liked to have 'a byte of something fresh'; in the middle of the night, that is.

Wish me a Happy Apfelstrudel!
(yes, another one)


The further something is, the smaller you see it.

Zen is opposite: the further it is, the bigger you see it.

Tuesday, May 13

this day

As opposed to other days, this day is full of zen.

On the other hand, so are the others.

Monday, May 12

on the way

Through all the travels I've done, I've become accustomed to the idea that, no matter how I prepare for a trip, there will be something I will probably leave out.

Because of this, I try to keep a mental list of the important things, and check and recheck if I got all of those.

This time I forgot the codecs.

I mean ... I took over an hour choosing between my unseen films and copying them to one of the laptops I carry (thank FSM these things are small!).

Then, I tried actually watching one of them, only to discover I have no codecs.

Thank the gods of the internetz for free wireless connections! :)

Friday, May 9

good management lesson

A manager went to the master programmer and showed him the requirements document for a new application. The manager asked the master: "How long will it take to design this system if I assign five programmers to it?"

"It will take one year," said the master promptly.

"But we need this system immediately or even sooner! How long will it take if I assign ten programmers to it?"

The master programmer frowned. "In that case, it will take two years."

"And what if I assign a hundred programmers to it?"

The master programmer shrugged. "Then the design will never be completed," he said.

Excerpt from The Tao of Programming, Book Three


You can have Zen the hard way, or the easy way. The hard way is very hard and the easy way is very easy. So, why do so many people choose the hard way?

Robert Allen

I needed to read that.

Later edit:
I just remembered A's comment when she heard this: What's interesting about this is that whatever you do, you will have zen anyway!

This is something most of us completely miss.

Thursday, May 8

traveling again

Well ... it seems I'll be traveling again, to Austria. Cool enough :)

a new day

Today's a new day, full of potential, and a fresh start for lots of things and all that. Usually, I wake up in the morning full of ... cheer (for lack of a better word), full of energy, and with a smile.

Not today.

I went to sleep around half past one last night, and something I'd been pushing to the back of my mind for some time got back to me, triggered (I think) by the words of a friend: it's not OK to do overtime, regularly.

I'm actually OK with giving more from myself, for a few afternoons, in the case of an emergency in the office. I find that ... reasonable, for a reasonably small definition of "a few".

What triggered me instead is the feeling I get now, that this is not an exceptional situation, but "the new normality": that "a few evenings in the office because we have to have something in hand by next week" turned in that, and "a few more evenings next week and three weeks after that, and a few more whenever we feel we could reach some milestone, if we just had three more persons on the team".

So, now I'm the position of choosing between saying "no" to all this (which I don't want to do, not as such), getting used to overtime (which I don't want to do either - I'm not my job), or doing something else to fix this situation (and I'm not very clear on what that could be).

Edit: On the other hand, maybe I'm just grumpy; I didn't get much sleep, and the last three hours of what should have been sleep, were spent tossing and turning in my bed, and what should have been a six hours of uninterrupted sleep became three hours of sleep and some (un)rest. Besides, we're not doing that much overtime (even though yes, the situation still needs to change).

Tuesday, May 6

complex numbers

This is the best explanation of complex numbers I've ever seen :)

(hosted on nfccomic.com)