Older blog entries for AlanHorkan (starting at number 13)

If you can't read you wont know what this says

I was reminded of that amusing quote is saw many years ago in bookshop, written on a bookmark, because of an article in the Gaurdian speculating that Computer Literacy is (or soon will be) as important as ordinary literacy is now.

While I find the article interesting I am not unsympathetic by people who neither have the time nor inclination to learn the generalities of computers - we cannot all be experts at everything - I cannot help but think that anyone who uses a computer needs 'a driving license'. By that I mean a basic education, not just learning by rote how to use a certain Office suite but at the very least enough that they can adapt to new tools. Basic but true computer literacy would hopefully some programming, so that users could at least manage to formulate a proper equation in a spreadsheet or string together more than one shell command or program at a time.

Computers are supposed to be about saving us from boring tedious work and they currently they fail quite spectacularly in that regard. Users need some basic ability to admit, identify, recognise that a task is tedious and repetative and that some form of automation is required and hopefully a convenient way to achieve that automation.
Just as connecting multiple Unix commands together using pipe

ls -l | more
is relatively easy now that I have learned how, I hope that we can develop something higher level that is as simple for users to put together as Toy Bricks.
While users will still need to learn programming methodology and the skills of breaking a task down into reasonably small steps, there is definately a whole lot more that could and should be done to make it easier
The command line interface has pipe but the graphical user interface is sorely lacking an equivalent. Throwbacks to the command lines such as Macro and Scripting languages barely begin to provide something adequately intuative for users familiar with a Point and Click interface. High level object systems (such as CORBA) dont seem to provided much more than shared libraries did except for a comfortable insulation and fake feeling of openness for Proprietary software.

I wait in hope that for Open Source and Free Software to do better, and for some of the many projects out there to fulfill their promise.

hrrm, that was a little longer than i thought, mabye I should remove it from my diary, add some more thoughts and repost it as an article? ... I dunno!

Matrix Revolutions was lame, adequate at best.
I like the Mech. Warriors and there were lots of nice special effects but the movie just didn't really grab me.
I'd recommend to everyone to watch Matrix Reloaded shortly before Matrix Revolutions as I really think it would help to have that momentum, rather than going to it cold-turkey after waiting so many months.

18 Oct 2003 (updated 18 Oct 2003 at 17:46 UTC) »

Saw Kill Bill: Volume 1 today but I'm not sure how I feel about it.
I enjoyed it alright but I'm not sure how much, it was so fast paced my head is still spinning from it.

Yesterday while compiling Conglomerate 0.7.5 I noticed that I got thanked for my feedback in the release notes for Conglomerate 0.7.3.

I'm quite pleased :)

Went Rock Climbing in Dalkey Quarry today. Climbed Paradise Lost, and Levitation.

Bye Bye Sobig-F.

Yesterday, September 10th Sobig-F left us and I breathed a sigh of relief as my email returned to a more managable influx. Even though Sobig-F is gone we should not forget the important message it told us:

"billy gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software!!"

On a more serious note the price of freedom (and security) is constant vigilance.

I only hope that leaders will learn to address the roots of evil in the world, poverty, injustice, repression, not just the symptoms, terrorism, drugs, crime.

My thoughts go out to all those who suffer because of poverty, war and terrorism.

Went to a Metallica concert on Wednesday night, better than I expected, and I particularly enjoyed the pyrotechnics. I still wish I had a Napster T-Shirt I could have worn.
The crowd was the second ugliest crowd I have ever seen at a concert, the ugliest being the older ladies at a Tom Jones concert.

Lisa Simpsons put it best:
"How rebellious, in a conformist sort of a way."

21 Aug 2003 (updated 28 Aug 2003 at 14:03 UTC) »

Tuesday: about 100 copies of Sobig.F virus and some spam.
Wednesday: about 350 copies of Sobig.F virus and some spam.
Thursday: about 800 copies of Sobig.F virus and some spam, and more Virus eMail by the minute.
Friday: God help me!

I must no longer accept or even tolerate Microsoft Outlook as an acceptable mail program, at this stage using Microsoft Outlook is completely irresponsible. I am very tempted to completely point blank refuse to accept email from Microsoft Outlook anymore.

I feel a bit guilty for ever using windows at all anymore. I really should try and do some hacking on WINE and banish Windows from my computer for good.

Update: Clearly not the only one who is less than happy about this latest virus. mbrubeck, James Henstridge, rillian, garym.
This is freakin' ridiculous, I'll easily have recieved a thousand of these today (Thursday).

Update: By Saturday I had already gone over Five Thousand, yes 5000. Even more of this damned virus continue to pour in, completely clogging my mailbox.
Sobig.F gets more comments on Slashdot. Some replies are annoyed or angry others are dissillusioned but funny

Ask not why you should follow standards,
instead ask why shouldn't you?

I will probably elaborate on this later, the attitude of some Duhvelopers (to borrow a Dilbertism) baffles me almost as much as it apalls me.

19 Jun 2003 (updated 23 Jun 2003 at 17:20 UTC) »

GU4DEC, the Fourth Gnome Users And Developers European has finished and I am glad to have helped. I hope that people felt welcome, had a good time, and left the conference with increased enthusiasm for Gnome

The Technology News site Slashdot.org has an article.

Foot Notes posted a story with links to some of the Presentations

Telsa Gwynne wrote extensively about her time at GU4DEC, I even get a brief mention.
She also did detailed write-ups of the talks she attended.

Dave Camp has a diary entry about GUADEC.
I briefly talked to Dave Camp about comic books and generally wondering how people do Computer Colouring in their artwork. Need to get organised and see if I can figure out how to the GIMP more friendly for Cartoon and Comic artists. I already know the GIMP doesn't support full CMYK Colour, it wont be replacing anyone in the printing business anytime soon.

Dobey made a quick mention of GUADEC in his journal, and I hope he enjoys his holiday.

Jeff Waugh was too busy having fun to write much but maybe he will write more later.

The Sunday Tribune (15th June 2003) printed an article about Alan Kay written by Mathew Magee and mentioned his keynote speech at GUADEC. Thanks for the publicity.

Karlin Lillington wrote an article about GUADEC for the Irish Times.

Please let me know about any other news coverage or diary entries, if you see any.

In his diary Glynn Foster makes a few comments that give and interesting view behind the scenes. Dont shoot the messenger.

4 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!