Efficiency vs. Beauty

February 26th, 2008 § Comments Off § permalink

Source: Wikipedia


I’ve become scaringly efficient in using my desktop. My fingers are
grown together with the keyboard, knowing exactly what to click in the
next _moment_, without having to think about it or look at it.

I’ve setup desktop-wide shortcuts for frequent system actions and
special shortcuts in all applications I regularly use. I use 8 virtual
desktops with a system for placement of applications to particular desktops. I always full screen every application, so I always use all of
the precious screen space, and switch between them fast using
‘intuitive’ key combinations. I use special combinations for filling
emails in appropriate folder, I can do anything in my regular work flow
at a blink of an eye.

I’ve stripped down the system, so that it’s as fast as lightning and my
time is well spent. But there’s a catch: since I’ve gotten a new
computer, it became too fast. Something I haven’t seen from the good
old 386 times and a ‘turbo’ button that was used to slow down the games
written for slower processors.

Anyway, it’s to fast for the eyes and visual centers in brain. I can
handle MTV videos and modern commercials and movies, but I cant handle
interactive-information-graphics (aka. software) at frame-speed.

It turns out, the civilization thought about this problem and it’s
just me who’s not adapted – including all the fancy 3D GL desktop
effects in default installations turns out to be healthy, more than
just pretty! Oh, and I’m not talking about Vista if you are wondering…

Working with a computer like this feels like playing a musical
instrument, or if you will, writing a poem with an old-fashioned
ink-pen.

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Prejudices

February 24th, 2008 § Comments Off § permalink

Source: WikipediaYesterday I had what I like to call ‘lame Saturday’, which means I
don’t pay any attention to my outlook at all. I like to wear nice
clothes otherwise, but sometimes I just don’t feel like thinking about
matching stuff or wearing the same things as the whole week before.

So anyway, I was explaining this to a (girl) friend and she was very
clear: “that’s so gay.” Simply having an opinion on clothing made me
‘gay’, whatever that means. The direct response made me think, that
either there really is something seriously wrong with me (namely, I am
gay but don’t know it), or with her. My bet is on her. I get this kind
of reaction quite frequently and my conclusion is, that some women feel
threatened if regular men start invading what used to be their domain
of interest.

Now, I don’t have a problem with that, but, if majority of women do
that, then I should probably start worrying about Gay people start to
feel threatened by Straight men invading their brand name.

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Dollars and sense and coffee

February 23rd, 2008 § Comments Off § permalink

Over the door of a Leipzig coffeeshop is a sculptural representation of a man in Turkish dress receiving a cup of coffee from a boy.Image from WikipediaLots of people are regularly complaining about the prices of beverages in public places, of senslesly spending money outside, of irational way of life of the mojority they don’t understand.
Fact is that going for coffee or adrink often can be expensive. But one has to be clear by himself, what she is buying – obiously not the coffee beans. There are plenty of other ways to understand it:

  • one can be paying for some special, his favourite beverage, that she can’t have at home
  • or for the opportunity to meet someone passing by
  • or for the opportunity to meet with someone on a neutral terrain
  • or to have a quiet place to stop and think for a moment
  • or simply be paying for not having to be at home.

… I’m sure there’s plenty of other reasons people have to go spend some time, alone or with friends. None is senseless…

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Dilbert & co.

February 22nd, 2008 § Comments Off § permalink

Source: WikipediaI don’t know about pointy haired bosses, but pointy haired employees and co-workers also exist.

Technology became complicated lately.

February 21st, 2008 § Comments Off § permalink

Source: WikipediaMy skills with technology were seriously tested twice lately. I’ve won one and lost one. But both problems were amazingly complex by nature and made me think of technology in a new way.
A friend asked me to fix the internet connection in a newly decorated flat. Before it worked, after new cables were laid it didn’t. Sounds simple right?
I’ve checked the cable distribution box and sure enough, the wires were done all wrong. Fixed it, didn’t help.
So I’ve checked the wall jack, and sure enough, that was wired wrongly also. Fixed it, didn’t help.
I called support line, they assured everything was ok, but left a note to the technicians to see what was going on. I went back to the wires and rewired them a couple more times, just to be sure. You know how tricky those ethernet cables can get.
So eventually, the third evening I found myself standing on a closet, holding the laptop in one hand, plugged directly into the short line that came out of the wall, pinging the world. And guess what, it worked!
So I’ve wired the stuff back, and it still worked! And the next day, the support called me to let me know “they’ve fixed it”. Yeah right, _they_’ve fixed it.
Every single point from that laptop to the internet was wrong, making it impossible to do an exact diagnosis at once, without lots of trial end error.

Now, another day, shortly after, we went for a ride, when the car started doing strage buzzy sounds at speed above 50 km/h. After a while it became quite annoying and we became nervous. I was checking the car internals in my mind to infer what might be the issue, if the buzz only appeared at particular speed.
It can’t be the gears, can’t be the engine, and it definitely came from outside the cabin, so the usual interference theory wouldn’t hold. It must be the the wheel axis we concluded and drove slower until we came home.
We took the car to the mechanic, who took it for a ride to see for himself. He came back half an hour later, not sure what to think about it. After another half an hour of trial and error it hit him to check the roof antenna. Sure enough, that was it, it was laid too low and was hitting the roof. So it was the interference after all…
So I’ve recognized how annoyingly complex everyday technological system became to be. Not even engineer’s logical mind, that designed them, is good enough to resolve technological issues nowadays. It is evolving…

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Coffe & Chocolat

February 20th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

Source: WikipediaI like coffee. I like it’s taste. I never drink it for effect of caffeine, in fact, it doesn’t do anything for me, except the taste. So you can imagine how I suffer in anglo-saxon lands, where “going to coffee” means “going to Starbucks for a business chat”. Horrible! I’ve overheard a funny dialog in a cafeteria in Ljubljana; customer ordered “espresso coffee“, and the waiter corrected her: “espresso coffee? espresso is coffee in Slovenia!”

But today on the airport I had a revelation; I caught a glimpse of a sense in the existence of Starbucks – I ordered hot chocolate for the first time, and was really looking forward to that sweet and smelly substitute for a meal. When they offered me some cream on top, I was almost in heaven – and I have cream with anything maybe once a year. It made complete sense – joys of consumerist substitutes for natural food at its best. nice cup of warm sweet liquid and well-whipped brilliantly white cream on top. Perfect.

And then the guy took the plastic cover and pressed it firmly over the cup, squashing the cream and preventing the chocolate aroma to come out forever.

I hope this civilization moves to virtual cyberspace soon. It doesn’t deserve to have bodies and senses at disposal.

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Ringer

February 12th, 2008 § Comments Off § permalink

Source: FlickrThere’s no better wake-up call than one of the bureaucrat. And nothing gets you going faster than a good morning scream at the bureaucrat. And if you get one stubborn enough to stay in his position after it, your mind make a twist or two and then surrenders itself to laughing, that will keep you in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Technology

February 11th, 2008 § Comments Off § permalink

Source: Wikipediasetting: hotel reception, after breakfast. cute and still sleepy girl receptionist and a geek dissapointed by the lack of internet connection. On the counter nice blinking wireless access point with pointy antennas.

geek: “hi, erm, one question, wireless doesn’t work…”
girl: “what room are you in?”
geek: “40”
girl: (without hesitation, grab the access point) “oh just reset the router”
geek: “what, this one?”
girl: “no, the one on your floor”
geek: (bewildered by the prompt answer) “that will help?”
girl: “yeah”
geek: (still bewildered that the girl is so sure about the solution to the problem, that kept him awake late last night) “this will help?”
girl: “mhm”
geek: “great”
girl: “yeah, it’s the technology today”

Point

February 11th, 2008 § Comments Off § permalink

Source: Wikipedia“There’s no point going in!” said young man in a catastrophic tone while bumping into us at the front door on his way out. “There’s no point, everybody’s left.” We stood there, bewildered, confused about our destiny for a moment.

“But we have a reservation!? We were here on Thursday and told that we will come at midnight!”
“Hm, just a second, I’ll find someone”

… and he went into the cellar and came back with the cute little francophone girl we made our reservation last week at. She was obviously expecting us, for she knew our name and had the keys to the room ready. A couple of directions in franglaise later we were in our room and laughing about the oblivious fatalist messenger.

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