Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Mamá, mamá, voy a manejar volqueta!!

It looks like soon enough I'll become a suit. Which means I'll wear a tie, not an administrative role. As have several other bloggers done before, I will start working at Heinsohn Software House. I will be working on both Java-ish stuff an AS/400ish. Since I don't have the slightest idea of what an AS/400 is (ohh, yeah I have seen a couple on a computing room somewhere) it will be a nice learning experience. (What the f. is a mainframe, how do you work with that? do you program that? how do you script in that? what is it? how do you multithread it? whuy don't you people like it?).

In order to enter school you only have to pay (hell, I got accepted and they hadn't even seen my picture, I might as well be green, for all they knew), but to get out you have to produce an enormous amount of paper (high school certificate, three copies of your name, as if they didn't have it already, english tests, in triplicate and the like), but so be it, for the sake of graduating.

I swear, I have tried, but coming back to windows after being in Linux is like going back to ride on an SUV after riding a tank (stolen from Neal Stephenson's "In the beginning there was the command line")

I finally got time and read "Cryptonomicon, thanks to a birthday loan present from Alejo. I liked it, but think that several of the stories don't really add to the plot. It is like the guy eanted to make it longer, so started making up stories to fill blank spaces of time, but gave those stories no relevance. Like writing the beginning and the end, first and then writing whatever is in the middle (specially part of Goto Dengo's tale and the story stolen accross the wall from Cantrell)

Monday, January 27, 2003

The Average Chibchombian

An article published by El Tiempo here says that the average chibchombian knows that incurring in a certain behavior (i.e. bribing a police officer to scape a ticket) is wrong, but nevertheless a good percentage of the population says they would do it, when presented with the dilemma. A grandmother would call it "the dismemberment of the moral fiber that holds the nation together", and would only see it as a sign of the forth coming apocalypse.

I myself, am no stranger to this kinds of conduct. I have not bribed a police officer, but presented with the perspective of a 350K fine, plus two days of wandering through bureaucracy to recover a vehicle from the patios (or paying a middle man to do it) I would probably do it. The question is, then, where to stop? I know I wouldn't kill somebody on cold blood. The problem is that the threshold that morally (in the latin, personal sense of the word) restricts our actions is no longer given by religion, but as a consequence of a personal choice. I think religion lost this power because of the imposibly high threshold it set. Shamefully, since almost everything was outlawed (from saying the earth revolves around the sun, to premarital sexual relationships, to cursing, to thinking bad thoughts) so there was no clear boundary between being "a little outside" and being "totally fucked up".

That looks like an anticlerical rant that might belong somewhere else, but as this blogs states it is print $self so these are just the toughts of the day

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Boys: You didn't make it

After being rejected by these guys and the IEEE in our (Alejo and I) kernelish patches for security improvements (here and here) on the same day i have to say:
The IEEE thing had been far fetched from day one, that is, it was really hard for it to make it. The comments of the guys on the rejection note, tough, show that they actually read the paper and make some interesting sugestions. I really like that, it shows they took the time to read the whole paper and make constructive criticism.

On other news, the place where the evil list was hosted has given me an ultimatum: Pay US$10 or surrender your site. Since the only allowed form of payment involves using a chibchombian credit card to pay in US dollars (which in itself involves a fee of US$30 and an exchange rate that makes a US dollar cost about 3500 colombian pesos) I am not going to hold on to the site much longer. Anybody willing to host the poor perlish scripts before their death about ten days from now will be more than welcome to have them.

I have been looking for a job. It is tough business. It is like selling meat, only you are the meat, damn.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

One day foxtrot woke up and realized that, for the first time in his life, he actually had to make a decision that wasn't obvious to him or that the environment in which he was inmerse did not make obvious, and it scared the hell out of him.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Academicus Infinitus?

"as time passes, you have more and more things "over there" and less and less things right here...
Why does one engage in as big an endeavour as a postgraduate study abroad?
The ivy league brochure reason (higher earnings) doesn't quite cut it, not at least in Chibchombia, where a degree is a reason to turn you down, because of perceived earnings expectance (what they think you would charge). Of the other reasons that I can think of, the most plausible one is "the intellectual challenge". Having so many bloggers currently living the experience I have to ask: Is the challenge that cool a thrill, as to justify all of the effort that must go into it?
Is that really the reason?

I have to confess that when reading LOTR, I almost throw the book out the window after 20 pages of moronic Tom Bombadillic singing and chanting, and so I think it is a good move, from the film's point of view, to dissapear the character entirely.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

The Evil Ring

Let's face it, hackers are lazy. Lazy in a good way, tough. In a way that would make you spend two hours scripting away a task that takes ten minutes so that the next hundred times it will take only one second and would be performed by the computer, all on his own. Wheter or not this saves time on the long run is a matter that has yet to be discused, but it's a hell of a lot of fun.
Me being a hacker wannabe myself, have found me looking repeatedly at the Evil List for the latest in blogging inspiration. I tought it would be nice to have a ring, just like the freak ring, but dynamical, that is, you cicle trought the blogs in the same order that they are on the evil list at that moment (or some 14 minutes before). To achieve that I put together a perlish script, that can do the trick, by looking at the evil list, finding the next or previous entry to yours and sending you there.
This infamous script takes two arguments:

  • name: An indication of the blog you want to place yourself in, to go to the previous or next. The name has to contain a unique part of your blog's URL as it appears on the list (examples of valid names are foxtrot, binaryx, bachue, and any piece of the url that identifies the blog univocally

  • position: Either previous or next to indicate if you want the blog that is a little younger or the one that is a little older that the one indicated by name

For example, for foxtrot's blog the url would be:

<a href="">Previous</a>
<a href="">Next</a>

Monday, January 06, 2003

Arriados down the mountain

When foreigners talk about their trips to Colombia, most of the time they say that the people is very welcoming. I have to say that being a life long Homo bogotanisuntil this weekend I had not understood why they said such a thing. But it all changed this weekend,as I went my brother and some friends to Armenia, to visit the Parque Nacional del Café. I have to say they make you feel welcome all the time, all people, the taxi drivers, people in the hotel, even people in the middle of the street.

PD:Praise to the Evil graph, and Hackerus Enormus Galactus. He's done it again. To answer Binaryx; having been the monitor of Teoría de Lenguajes, several times I have to say that grading huge unintelegible graphs is indeed fun, just like documenting somebody else's code and drinking varsol

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Le Seigneur des anneaux : les deux tours

After trying several times, and going to Unicentro and finding no available seats in any of the six possible screenings of the movie I finally managed to see Lord of the Rings II. I have to say it was awesome. When compared to it the first one looks like a children's tale.
I have to see that after reading the book I had no idea of how they would manage to portray the ents, but after seeing what they did I have nothing to do but applaud, same goes to the word done with Gollum; precioussss.
The Two Towers is the kind of movie after which one needs to take a breath, I mean, the battle of Helm was one of the greatest screenings of a battle I have ever seen. It's a remainder of how battle were not so long ago, where two armies would fight in the open against each other to decide, rather quickly which was the course of action to be taken. You always knew your enemy. "If the guy has a red uniform, he's one of yours, don't kill him", unlike almost all wars right now, where the enemy is invisible, and will not risk combat out in the open.