Older blog entries for mathrick (starting at number 54)

ghrrrrrrr.Apple pisses me off.

Why? Well, in anticipation of some substantial cash surge (knock on wood), I decided to check in the local (hell yeah, in Odense there’s one) Apple store, to take a look at 12″ iBooks, because that’s exactly what I’d like to get – it’s damn small, has very long battery life, and is sexy (I’m not the only one to share this view, I think, because people with 12″ iBooks are common sight at the Uni). So, I went in, there was one on the display, small as expected, checked the price, OK, within acceptable range, seems they all ship with Tiger these days, which is also good. So the last question was, can I have SuperDrive with this one?

No. That’s only with 14″ ones.

Fuck. Of course, you can have 12″ PowerBook with SuperDrive, so it’s not a technical limitation, it’s just that Apple wants to suck every bit of cash out of you, because prices for PowerBooks are really crazy. It’s 13.500kr vs 8.200kr. And there’s no way I can afford that. But OTOH, I don’t want to get stuck without DVD burner either.

So, does anyone know a good, linux-compatible, 12″ notebook with DVD burner and long-lasting battery, x86 or whatever? And yes, the 12″ bit here really does matter, when you commute to school every day by bike at least.

This is what (amongst other things) AbbreviationZ dictionary says about the entry “sm":

<img src="http://mathrick.org/images/sm_hmmm.png" title="Curious" />

I must say that gives new light to certain things…

Robsta, ugh, that hurts. This is one of the reasons I dislike C++[1]. Good that templates were too fresh of a thing for that document (2001 it says) to be used universally. The same effect, just stronger, seems to occur in Java. Not that I have anything against the language, but somehow, Java and (my private theory) the way its standard library is constructed tends to get the OO designer out of people, multiplied x10. Also, I think that because Java cannot be developed with without dedicated tools (because to get one, simple hello world app you need to create 10 directories, and running a simple jar is still a challenge, 10 years later), people go all the way and make it impossible to understand without dedicated tools. God forbid there’s anything like UML nearby, or we’re all doomed.

[1] And Mozilla/Gecko. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but to my knowledge, up until recently not all the string classes in the platform were frozen. Which means you cannot use strings and keep compatibility with future Geckos. Which means huge, gaping suckage the size of hallway.

This is damn crazy. This saturday the ads delivery I had to do was about 160kg of paper, 27 different ads (plus one free newspaper) per mailbox. Pure insanity, no less.

Salmoni, that was Genuine Windows programme, not programming :). And besides, http://www.arafaelion.com/ seems to be claimed by godaddy.com or something.

Couple of observations from Denmark:

  • They are really hyperpatriotic in some regards. You see discount stores display their offer-of-a-day invariably on top of the Dannebrog. But what really made me laugh was a visit in Netto store, where I found the shelf with honey. There were 2 jars labelled as follows:
    • Danske honning - 25,-kr
    • Udenlandske (ie foreign) honning - 12,50kr

    So, you pay twice as much for the Danishness of it. Where I come from, we’re more used to classifying honey by what it was made from, not the nationality of bees which produced it :)

  • Symbols do matter. You don’t notice (or even know about) it normally, but there are some hidden assumptions and conventions used where you live even in truly trivial matters, and you only come to realise that after coming somewhere else, where those no longer hold. Like, here when ending a mathematical proof, you won’t see people writing QED on the blackboard. Instead, about 90% will draw â-  (U+25A0 BLACK SQUARE), just like you see printed in some books. Also, when marking true/false, in Poland you’d use âoe`` (U+2713 CHECK MARK) and âoe-- (U+2717 BALLOT X). Here you see âoe`` (U+2713 CHECK MARK) and % (U+XXXX NO CLUE, that is, symbol which looks very much like percent sign, but has dots instead of circles).
  • Ads delivery is a very nice job here, because people actually wait for them. It’s really extremely nice when everyone you meet is nice and greets you, although I have to bring them down with my “Sorry, I don’t speak Danish", so usually no further talk follows. Pity.

In other news, I (finally) started frequenting gym in here; taking shower is a funny experience when you cannot raise your hands above your shoulders :)

Turns out that this MSKLC thing (which I downloaded to try and fake Compose key from Unix) is more fun than I suspected. First, the whole download process, with its braindamaged “genuine windows” stuff, which apparently wasn’t read by any English speaker before publication:

To share comments with and ask questions of other users of genuine Microsoft software, participate in the Windows Genuine Advantage newsgroup.

And then, I get to see this pinnacle of UI and HCI design:
<img src="http://mathrick.org/images/msklc_fun.PNG" alt="UI design at its peak" />

Now I finally understand the true benefits of Genuine Windows programme.

Sez M$ in the “advantages of genuine Microsoft software” (emphasis mine):

“You will also have access to new innovations and offerings available only to genuine Windows customers”

Cool. Now where do I sign up for old innovations?

I have just observed cat (successfully) hunting something down outside. That’s what I call the best of 2 worlds: the computer lab and contact with nature ;)

I wonder why WP insists on my own comments being spam. It seemingly does that no matter the machine I try to post from, nor if I’m logged in or not. Bugger.

Lots of everything going on, due to various circumstances I wasn’t able to post in the last week, so the amount of what should be written is rather large. Part of the reason was that I was sick last weekend, so instead of going for the announced cottage trip and having fun, I spent it lying in bed, not-really-able to think or write consistently. After that, I no longer had a computer available, so posting was rather out of question. And now you know.

Anyway, back to the stuff, in random order:

Bought myself a pair of bike lights, to be able to bike at night and not get fines from the local police. Turned out they didn’t work. Gone back to the big store I got it from (Bilka), and they have special section split out reserved just for the customer service. You just get a number in line, wait till it’s your turn, and settle your matters quickly and painlessly. Now, I can’t really compare it to Poland, because I don’t think I ever had to complain about a faulty product, but what I like here is the acceptance of the fact that shit happens, and someone just has to handle it, and its better for the business to do the dirty work, instead of relaying it to the customer. That’s still far too uncommon in Poland, sadly. My belief in the fact it’s a system, not an isolated occurence is strengthened by me having to cancel the cottage trip (due to the abovementioned sickness) just the next day, and it went even smoother than before – I just needed to make one call, I was instantly proposed to get my money back whenever I’m good enough to visit the office. Really a zero fuss system (even though in the end the lights stopped woring after few days, and I spent more on them I’d pay for at local “everything home and workshop” store for proper lights, but the customer service is still nice).

OTOH, I must say that things here are seriously fucked up. Honestly. For example, I missed one lecture because the timetable isn’t up for it yet (thanks to busted electronic everything system, which generated hellish delays all over the place), and I couldn’t login to “blackboard” system on Tuesday (again, busted system), and that was the only place where I could learn that first lecture is on Wednesday. So I learned that, on Wednesday after coming back from school.
Further, you’d expect that all these “e-learn” gizmos we’re supposed to use, SingleSignOn system (from Oracle, no less), account automatically created for every student would mean that I’m able to use the labs computers right from the start. Well, no. Instead I need to register with every institute separately, and of course, each has its own naming policy, acceptable passwords policy, policy on whether I’m regarded to be guest or full time student (which projects on my account’s name), hell, I even need to get Windows and Unix accounts separately in one institute! (But, not in another). Oh, and Unix in form of Solaris 8 is just a joy to use (even with Gnome 2.8 installed), becaus that fucking thing has no support for XKB. Which means no hope for Polish keyboard. Which means no school paper writing. Which means angry me, grrr. Fortunately, both institutes also have Linux labs, which is a lot nicer. Even though it’s Mandrake (or Mandriva now), which in turns means every menu and settings fucked up to infinity. D’oh.

Oh, and another lecture I missed because it overlapped with another class (from the same institute, nothing fancy like classes from different institutes), and, I think I found the Denmark’s single civil officer unable to speak even a word in English. But I wonder why she was placed in Folkeregister (National Register), which by definition deals with assigning CPR (sort of Danish social security evidence) numbers to the foreigners. And everything here is so damn expensive. Coffee is 12kr at the very least (I mean, coffee at the human-run place. Vending machines strangely enough have 4 kr for coffee, strangely because they have â^z kr for everything else). And the books I’m supposed to buy will easily amount to several thousand kr. Booo :(

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