February 03, 2006

Verhuisd

Nu zelfs Steven verhuisd is, en ik eigenlijk al een jaar of zestig niks meer over Cocoon heb verteld, ga ik bij deze ook mijn biezen pakken. Zie ik u aan de andere kant terug? Mijn niieuwe feed bevindt zich hier.

Posted by tomk at 09:10 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2006

Hoed af

Je moet het maar doen: jarenlang blijven geloven in je eigen ding, en in de manier waarop je je ding doet. Dan mag je met recht content zijn als beiden hun vruchten afwerpen. Chapeau.

Posted by tomk at 11:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bush in a MUD

Geweldig.

Via Frank.

Posted by tomk at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2005

nrOfChildren++

Het mag onderhand wel officieel gemaakt worden, denk ik:

if (new YearMonthDay().isNear(new YearMonthDay(2005,07,04)) {
    nrOfChildren++;
}

Ik ben oprecht nieuwsgierig of de Eerste (of was het toch de Tweede) Wet van Noels deze keer ook zijn werk gaat doen.

Posted by tomk at 11:09 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 27, 2005

Nieuwsgierigheid

Rik en koebus. 't Zal toch niet met elkaar te maken hebben? Ik verwacht Peter ook nog half en half... Dan zal het echt feest zijn.

Posted by tomk at 08:21 PM | Comments (4)

December 05, 2005

E-corps

Als je dit leest, is de kans groot dat de namen "Hinsen" en "Cobben" u iets zeggen. Lees daarom dit ook eens. Tot dan?

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November 30, 2005

De Kerk

Wie dacht dat het met de nieuwe paus beter zou worden: helaas.

Van't weekend heb ik trouwens nog zo'n stoot gezien op het nieuws: de Kerk gaat nu folders verspreiden om het doopsel te promoten. Ik herinner me als de dag van gisteren de lessen godsdienst op school. Eén van de heikele punten was het feit dat mensen alleen nog godsdienst deden "à la carte": ze deden alleen nog maar mee aan de overgangsrituelen (doop, huwelijk, ....), maar ze gingen niet meer naar de mis. De hypocrieten!

Ik vond dat inderdaad ook hypocriet, en vandaar leef ik nu in zonde met de moeder van mijn ongedoopte kinderen. En nu gaan ze dus folders uitdelen met "laat uw kleine alstublieft toch dopen". Wie is er nu eigenlijk hypocriet?

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November 29, 2005

iText

- "En Tom, waar ben je de laatste tijd zoal mee bezig? Het is hier nogal stil."

- "Blij dat u het vraagt. iText is fijn speelgoed. Het lijkt te doen wat het moet doen, en het is nog goed gedocumenteerd ook."

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November 09, 2005

It's a small world...

Wel wel... In mijn geboortenest wordt er blijkbaar revolutionaire techniek ontwikkeld. Nu aarzel ik een beetje om dit neer te schrijven ("Hoera! Leve Turnhout!" is het gevoel), maar de frase

We zijn de eerste ter wereld die erin geslaagd zijn een HTTP medium te ontwikkelen om computers vanop afstand te besturen en dit aan prijzen die tevens bereikbaar zijn voor particulieren en zelfstandigen

lijkt me een beetje té optimistisch. Het is niet omdat je het niet vindt (wil vinden?), dat het niet bestaat. Je mag natuurlijk wel altijd zeggen "we zijn de beste ter wereld die erin geslaagd zijn ..."

Het bevestigt alleen maar mijn pessimistische wereldvisie: al wat je kan bedenken, is al gedaan ;-)

Voor de rest: Hoera Turnhout! Leve! Turnhout en New York eindelijk gelijk! Als ik het geweten had, ik had meegedaan!

Zo, en nu eens kijken wat ze eigenlijk hebben qua remote access over the internet.

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November 07, 2005

Sint-Lievenspoort

Heh. Dat laatste klinkt bijna als een persoonlijke uitnodiging.

"Pak de bus", dan maar? ;-) Het opent alleszins perspectieven, een keer je je erop toelegt: slechts een paar weken geleden ontdekt dat de bus die elke 10 minuten bij ons in de straat (waar we ondertussen weeral een jaar of 5 wonen) passeert, rechtstreeks naar Antwerpen-Centraal rijdt. Op een half uur van Wilrijk naar hartje Antwerpen, parkeren inbegrepen. Doe het maar eens na.

Oh, maar wat je liever hoort: ja, 't is iets, die werken. Ze zouden dat moeten afschaffen, zodat de auto's doorkunnen! Of enkel de fietspaden blokkeren, natuurlijk, en dan een bordje zetten "fietsers afstappen".

Verdekke, nu heb ik het toch nog over fietsen.

Ik weet het, ik weet het, ik mag het niet doen. Maar zolang de houding bij iedereen is "opzij voor mijn auto!" gaan de files echt niet opgelost geraken.

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October 28, 2005

HangArt

Moest je dezer dagen in het Turnhoutse verzeild geraken, spring dan zeker even binnen op Hangart. Jonge (ahem - van mijn leeftijd) kunstenaars stellen tentoon. 't Is mooier dan om het even wat ikzelf ooit gemaakt heb.

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October 20, 2005

Gevaarlijke namen

Een Libanees noemt zijn zoontje Google (via De Standaard). Van gevaarlijke praktijken gesproken. Hoe gaat dat kind zich over 10 jaar voelen? Stel je maar eens voor dat je 10 jaar geleden je zoontje Enron genoemd had. Of Lycos.

Posted by tomk at 10:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 05, 2005

Vergeelde boekenlegger

Nog ene. In vertrouwde blog-stijl zal ik dan maar een "me too" doen, zeker? Zoals altijd: verwacht niet teveel diepgravende analyses, ik heb een wreed slecht geheugen.

De Kleine Vriend - Donna Tartt
Is dat die van "De Verborgen Geschiedenis"? Niet gelezen, alleszins.
De Ontdekking Van De Hemel - Harry Mulisch
Uitgelezen. Met volle goesting, zelfs. Was dat niet van Onno en op een kasteel wonen enzo?
In De Ban Van De Ring - JRR Tolkien
Uitgelezen. Vraag me nu niet of Aragorn langs links of langs rechts langs Helm's Deep is gegaan: als ik geografisch of genealogisch niet meer kon volgen, las ik gewoon verder, in het volle vertrouwen dat die ring zo ook wel verbrand zou geraken.
De Celestijnse Belofte - James Redfield
Uitgelezen, in mijn studententijd. Op aanraden van mijn vriend/kotgenoot/medecafeganger annex filosofiestudent.
De Duivelsverzen - Salman Rushdie
Nooit aan begonnen. Lees nooit een boek waar veel heisa over gemaakt wordt, valt altijd tegen.
Max Havelaar - Multatuli
Diepgravende analyses van gemaakt in mijn collegetijd. Saida en Adinda. De parabel van de parelvisser. Een heel trimester lang. Reden genoeg om het nooit meer open te slaan.
De Naam Van De Roos - Umberto Eco
Uitgelezen. Wel vreemd om de hele tijd de kop van Sean Connery voor ogen te hebben.
De Avonden - Gerard Reve
Die mens is ook kapotgehypet. Geen interesse, dus.
IM - Connie Palmen
Eh. IM == Instant Messaging, in mijn woordenboek. Nooit van gehoord, dus.
Asielzoeker - Arnon Grunberg
Inderdaad die navelstaarder van den Humo.
Zen En De Kunst Van Het Motoronderhoud - Robert Pirsig
Uitgelezen, op aanraden van diezelfde van "De Celestijnse Belofte". Ik vrees dat ik het nooit echt gevat heb, wegens niet wild van geworden. Het enige dat ik ervan onthouden heb, is dat er twee soorten mensen zijn: BMW-rijders en niet-BMW-rijders.
Het Bureau - J.J. Voskuil
Nooit van gehoord.
Wilde Zwanen - Jung Chang
Uitgelezen. Zonder veel emotie.
Gewassen Vlees - Thomas Rosenboom
Nooit van de mens gehoord.
De Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
Zie ook hierboven, onder "hype".
De Movo Tapes - AFTh
Van onzen AF heb ik al wel iets gelezen, uit "De Tandeloze Tijd". 't Is bij één boek gebleven.
De Langverwachte - Abdelkader Benali; Glamorama - Bret Easton Ellis; Van Oude Menschen, De Dingen (enz) - Couperus
Zie hierboven, onder "nooit van gehoord" ("Couperus" doet wel een belletje rinkelen - 'k heb me altijd afgevraagd of dat nu een Middeleeuwse Hollander of een Oude Romein was).

Observaties:

  • Mijn favoriet onuitgelezen boek staat er niet in! "De ring van de koninging van Sheba". Heb ik dat ook nog eens gezegd.
  • Die kotgenoot van Leuven blijkt me niet alleen leuke avonden, maar ook nog eens cultuur bezorgd te hebben. Hij gaat content zijn als ik het hem vertel.
Posted by tomk at 02:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 03, 2005

Turnhout blogt

Ontdekt via de blog van waar ik nu woon: de blog van waar ik geboren en getogen ben.

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Boeken

Peter doet me eraan denken dat ik onlangs nog eens in de Fnac ben verzeild geraakt (don't ask). Oogst:

  • "Zwerm", van Peter Verhelst. Een vlugge bevingering leek erop te wijzen dat dit iets anders was dan de doorsnee Aspe-roman. Ik ben er nieuwsgierig naar (nee, het plastiekje is er nog niet af).
  • "Halverwege", van diene van de Tröckner Kecks. Ben fan van hem sinds "als nu maar/één van ons/ons tweeën/zegt wat er gezegd moet worden/nu of nooit". Poezie, dus, als het ware. Eerste schuchtere stapjes in een nieuwe wereld, daar ben ik mij van bewust, maar desondanks stapjes.
  • En van de weeromstuit nog een bloemlezing poezie, waar ik de naam van vergeten ben. Kwestie van een hoop schrijvers naast elkaar te kunnen leggen.

Verder nog onlangs uitgelezen: Anderwereld. Wegens enige boek in de fictie-top-10 bij De Standaard waar op de achterflap geen vergelijking met "De Da Vinci-code" gemaakt werd. Nogal Stephen King-achtig, maar toch zonder de touch van de grootmeester. Als je een nieuwe wereld kreëert, moet je wel zorgen dat het klopt, maar zonder altijd uit te leggen waarom het klopt. Op beide vlakken faalt het boek: het legt teveel uit, en nog klopt het niet allemaal. Maar ik heb het wél uitgelezen.

Posted by tomk at 11:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 29, 2005

Bomen en ouders

Zomaar een gedachte...

Informatici spreken graag over "bomen". En bomen hebben "wortels", "takken" en "bladeren".

Soms worden die "takken" plotsklaps "ouders". En die "ouders" hebben "kinderen". Elke ouder kan 0, 1 of meer kinderen hebben. En elk kind heeft precies... één ouder. En elke informaticus vindt dat een juiste en exacte analogie.

Posted by tomk at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2005

Come from

Ooit al van AOP gehoord? Ja? Doet dit dan belletjes rinkelen? Of ben ik de enige die de gelijkenis ziet?

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Antwerpen blogt ook

"Geïnspireerd door 'Gent blogt'", wist De Standaard mij vanmorgen te vertellen. En ook "de Antwerpse bloggers leken naar elkaar toe te groeien". En "onze blog gaat veel interactiever zijn: meer podcasts".

Het zal mij benieuwen. De eerste bewering is zeker al juist. Van de tweede wist ik niet dat er een "Antwerpse blogsfeer" was - 't moet zijn dat ik de verkeerde blogs lees. En die podcasts... weten mensen die podcasts uitzenden eigenlijk waar ze mee bezig zijn? Audio en video zijn voor mij de minst interessante media, wegens tijdsafhankelijk: je moet er zoveel tijd aan spenderen als de maker denkt nodig te hebben. Ik "browse" (in de originele betekenis van het woord) liever door geschreven tekst. Een krant kost mij soms 10 minuten, en soms een uur, afhankelijk van beschikbare tijd en goesting. Maar het 7 uur journaal kost mij altijd 45 minuten.

Edoch. Het zal mij dus benieuwen. Kan ik misschien ineens eens die "Antwerpse blogsfeer" verkennen. En nu maar hopen dat die niet gaan spreken voor "de Antwerpenaar". Eigenlijk ook hopen dat ze zich beperken tot schoon foto's en lyrische bezingingen van de Sinjorenstad. Dat ze vooral heel ver uit de buurt van de politiek blijven.

Posted by tomk at 10:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 26, 2005

Doe de stemtest

Nu ook op OKCupid (via Steven)

:
You are a

Social Liberal
(80% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(25% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat




Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Om één of andere reden dacht ik dat ik meer naar boven zou zitten.

Posted by tomk at 10:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When internationalization goes wrong

Net gespot: op Google.be staat een link naar "Fotosoftware van Google". En die stuurt u naar hier. Iemand heeft de r en de e duidelijk verward.

Noot: Tegen dat u dit leest, is het waarschijnlijk al verdwenen. 'k Vond het toch opmerkzaam van mezelf (of gewoon een teken dat ik op elke link klik die ik tegenkom).

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September 23, 2005

Business on the internet

Zit een mens zich al tijden af te vragen hoe ie geld kan verdienen op het internet, valt ie over dit. Kurieus wanneer de 1.000.000 lookalikes opduiken, en de prijzenoorlog gaat beginnen.

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September 21, 2005

Graaf eens een gat

Graaf eens een gat. Als je in ons Belgenlandje graaft, kom je ergens uit waar het heel nat is. En, aan het nabije ijs te zien, nog koud ook. Feels just like home - we kunnen evengoed geen gat graven, dus.

Posted by tomk at 10:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 29, 2005

Kleine wereld (aflevering zizioen)

Ik blijf er versteld van staan hoe klein de wereld is. Op de vierkante kilometer waar ik mij nu bevind, zitten minstens 5 ex-collega's, waaronder een van mijn vorige bazen. Mijn naaste collega werkt voor het bedrijf dat eCorp overgenomen heeft, en heeft in zijn vorige project gewerkt met iemand waar ik 's middags nog mijn boterhammen mee heb opgegeten. Ook blijkt iemand van het team waar ik bij zit, goed bevriend te zijn met iemand waar ik nog veel mee heb "gewerkt" in de tijd dat ik nog "jaarverantwoordelijke" was aan de KUL. En nu was ik eens aan het nakijken hoe lang ik eigenlijk al met Java aan het stoeien ben (mijn geheugen, weet u wel), en vind ik deze usenet post. Lees even met me mee:

De [...] organiseert in samenwerking met [...] en Alcatel e-COM [...]

Wist ik toen veel dat Alcatel e-COM mijn eerste werkgever zou worden (als ik mij goed herinner, heb ik mijn contract maar ergens begin juli *1999* getekend). 't Zou me ook niks verbazen als mpo één van de sprekers was op die studienamiddagen - ik heb hem dan op die dagen niet gehoord, maar de twee jaar erna toch wel.

Moraal van het verhaal? "Het wiel is rond, en we komen elkaar wel terug tegen", zeker?

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Jackcess

Net hierover gevallen: Jackcess - Java Library for MS Access. Merk vooral de button in de linkerkolom op: "Works great on Linux". Ben ik de enige die dat vreemd vindt?

Update: Ik moet leren de FM te lezen: de FAQ. Terzijde, een vleugje JDBC zou ik wel toffer gevonden hebben.

Posted by tomk at 09:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2005

Verkeer

Ik had natuurlijk beter moeten weten. Zeg nooit tegen een autogebruiker dat hij bijdraagt aan het probleem.

Ja, steden moeten hun werken wat beter op elkaar afstemmen. Kom ze dat in Antwerpen ook maar eens vertellen. Als dàt de kern van uw betoog was, ben ik het volmondig met u eens.

Of een E19-filerijder nu een inherent slechtere inborst heeft dan een Gent-centrum-filerijder, blijft bij mij nog wel de vraag. Als ik in Antwerpen-Noord moet zijn, rijd ik ook niet over de Grote Markt. Als je je dan toch zo ergert aan files, en je hebt dan een alternatief, gebruik dat dan. Die arme E19-er heeft geen andere keuze. En dat hij niet op een motor zit, is natuurlijk omdat ie ook een kroost naar school te doen heeft.

Oh, en ik ben blij te horen dat ik niet de enige ben die die giant sucking sound onzer hoofdgemeentes gewaarwordt. Ik heb echter horen waaien dat mijn vriend Antwerpen wil gaan beginnen verkopen als "Brussel-Noord" bij de multinationals. In deze steun ik hem volledig.

7 keer herlezen om te zien dat ik niet nog eens tegen schenen stamp. Fingers crossed terwijl ik op 'post' duw.

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Beren verkeren

Heh, het zit dieper dan ik dacht toen ik mijn ondoordachte opmerking maakte :p Ik kan mezelf echter niet beletten te bemerken dat locatie van de vaste werkplek van onderschat belang is in onze huidige maatschappij.

Bedenk ook: degenen die klagen over files, dragen eraan bij. Zelfs als het buiten hun wil om is. Iedereen wil dat "de anderen" de trein nemen als ze weer eens op de E19 vast zitten, maar zelf kunnen ze dat niet, meneer, nee, want ik ben heel uitzonderlijk en heb [kinderen naar school te doen|veel te veel dossiers mee te sleuren|onregelmatige uren|veel te reizen|een werkplek te ver van het station|last van mijn eksterogen|...] en al die anderen niet, natuurlijk!

Ter uwer informatie: ik ben van Turnhout in Antwerpen gaan wonen om de dagelijkse file op de E34/E313 te vermijden, en god weet dat ik al veel kansen heb "laten schieten" omdat er een dagelijkse file tussen mij en hen zat. Geloof me, dat zijn geen gemakkelijke beslissingen. Ik voel me dus gemachtigd bovenstaande opmerkingen te maken. En ja, u mag hieruit afleiden dat het bij mij ook diep zit.

Posted by tomk at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2005

Boekstok

Het ligt nu al veel te lang te sluimeren als "doe mij! doe mij!" Vandaar: het stokje.

Hoeveel boeken heb je in je boekenkast staan ?
De familiale boekenkast is net leeggemaakt om wat meer plaats te maken in de living. Ik dacht dat de buit ongeveer 5 macro-pamper-dozen was, en dat er boven nog ergens een koppel van die dozen rondslingert.
Welk boek lees je nu ?
"Lelieblank, scharlaken rood" van euhm... een schrijver. Kan ook een schrijfster zijn. Leuk boek, historisch, over een periode (eind 18de eeuw) waar ik nog niet veel over gelezen had, met (voor mij) actuele thema's als de woon-werk-relatie en sociale dilemma's, en het "be careful what you wish for"-syndroom.
Wat zijn de vijf laatse boeken die je gelezen hebt ?
Heb ik u al verteld dat ik een slecht geheugen heb? Ik herinner mij "Los" van Tom Naegels, en "Bewoonde wereld" van Nicci French. Ook "Het verdriet van België" van Claus schemert door een nevelige achterhoofdkwab.
Welke boeken hebben een speciale betekenis voor jou?
Terlouw en zijn vrouwelijke tegenhanger van wie me de naam nu ontschiet. "Kruistocht in spijkerbroek"! "Het rad van fortuin"! Onder de lakens, met een schamel 25W-peertje. Ook "Baron" van Theun De Vries vind ik nog altijd wereldklasse.
Tot slot, wie wil je met dit stokje lastig vallen ?
Ieder die dit leest en die ooit een boek openslaat.
Posted by tomk at 09:01 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Perceptie en realiteit (aflevering zoveel)

De computers van CNN hebben een virus opgescharreld ergens. Ineens is dat wereldnieuws, een "CNN Breaking News" mail waardig. Of hoe de perceptie van één journalist de realiteit van een paar miljoen burgers wordt.

Noteer ook de woordkeuze van de Microsoft-woordvoerster: "Right now, we're mobilizing our two war rooms". Geen "emergency-rooms" of "crisis-rooms", nee, "war-rooms". Humpf.

Wat nog opviel in de mail: de toffe baseline

More Americans watch CNN. More Americans trust CNN.

Unbiased journalism? Right.

Posted by tomk at 08:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 29, 2005

Saga

The saga continues: ik ben nu ook C, C++, VB, .net, oracle en PL expert. Dat is toch een blog entry die ik nog altijd niet kan geloven.

Posted by tomk at 09:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 28, 2005

Google: toch slim

Eh - *bloos*.

Net op zoek gegaan naar een link om Google op de hoogte te brengen van mijn fantastisch idee, stoot ik op deze pagina. "Dienstregelingen"? Ik ben ondertussen al een maand intensief aan het zoeken naar de efficiëntste manier om van Wilrijk in Brussel te geraken, maar dat was nog niet in mij opgekomen. Voortaan typ ik "brussel mechelen" in Google als ik wil weten wanneer mijn volgende trein hier vertrekt. 't Is verdorie sneller dan via de site van NMBS zelf.

Posted by tomk at 12:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 25, 2005

Verleden

Altijd vreemd, zo een mailtje uit het verleden dat ineens terug in je oog springt. Een paar dingen die mij opvallen:

  • Wat een lange mail. Ik dacht dat de meeste van mijn mails maar een zin of 3 bedroegen.
  • Schoon Engels, jong. Naar mijn idee is mijn Engels momenteel niet zo correct als toen. Mijn activiteit op diverse mailinglijsten is dan ook drastisch afgenomen.
  • Het klinkt bijna alsof ik weet waarover ik het heb.
  • Ik was begin 2003 al met Hibernate bezig. Is dat vroeg?
  • Package names die mijn toenmalige werkgever verraadden, netjes aangepast. Nice thinking.
  • Gavin weet dat ik besta. Of beter: Gavin heeft ooit geweten dat ik ooit bestaan heb. Net zoals ik ooit geweten heb dat Gavin dat wist.
  • Schoon tijden, zoveel ruimte om nieuwe dingen uit te proberen en zoveel tijd om het dan ook tot op de bodem uit te pluizen. Lijkt weeral veel te lang geleden dat ik nog zo diep in een library ben kunnen gaan duiken.

Via statcounter.

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Windows Vista

Nu begin ik mij echt zorgen te maken: na dit leer ik nu de nieuwe Windows naam uit de gazet (de dode-bomen-versie)! Er is een tijd geweest dat ik zulke dingen minstens een maand voor die "old-school media" wist. Word ik oud? Of spendeer ik gewoon meer tijd aan belangrijkere dingen?

Posted by tomk at 09:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2005

Steven is naar de Tour de France geweest. Een interesse die ik niet in hem vermoedde... of zou ie alleen voor de mooie foto's geweest zijn? Zou ie weten wie dat manneke met zijn gele helm is?

Posted by tomk at 10:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

Namechange

This weblog has been rebaptized. The previous title, "Feelings and thoughts", had some problems. It was not very unique, nor recognizable. Moreover, I learnt (but am still learning) to not expose the feelings too often, and thoughts seem to be ignited by feelings most of the time. And it was an English title, while most of my postings currently are in Dutch.

I decided for a Dutch title, with the message that it is more of a "chronicle" thing than anything else. And I sign my e-mails with "tomK" for about a decade now (the origins of which will be told another time).

So there you go - thank you "Feelings and thoughts", you were a nice companion for the last years, hello "de tomKronieken", I hope we have a great future together.

Ok, maybe that last sentence _was_ a little over the top.

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July 13, 2005

Poutrel

Een stalen poutrel! Kan die ook eens bij mij langskomen? Wij zoeken al een maand of 9 naar een redelijk vakmens die zo'n ding in onze living wil komen steken. Maar die mensen (a) nemen de telefoon niet af, of (b) komen niet langs voor een offerte, of (c) sturen die offerte niet op, of (d) sturen een offerte in de trant van "35 EUR per uur", of (e) geven mondeling een offerte, maar na de vraag om iets op papier te zetten blijven ze doofstom, of (f) bellen u terug om te vragen of het dringend is, en zoniet, zullen ze nog wel eens terugbellen om een afspraak te maken om een offerte te maken, of (g) vragen stukken van mensen (10.000 EUR om een balk in een muur te steken? Is dat een gangbare prijs?)

Allemaal echt waar meegemaakt. En dan zeggen ze dat het leven van een zelfstandige zwaar is. Bij offertes voor het plaatsen van een badkamer hebben we ook regelmatig de opmerking gekregen "dat het eigenlijk maar een klein opdrachtje is". We zijn het begot nog aan het afbetalen.


Hmm, ik heb de indruk dat koebus eigenlijk iets anders bedoelde. De kunst van de vrije associatie. Onze elektroleverancier hebben wij al sinds jaar en dag "goed gekozen", en buiten een droogkast die het 2 maanden na het aflopen van de uitgebreide garantie begaf, eigenlijk nog niet veel reklamaties over gehad. Alles wat we zonder uitgebreide garantie hebben gekocht, werkt nog steeds.

Posted by tomk at 10:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Email

Zowel Peter als koebus hebben er last van: geen email adres op hun blogsite. Hoe kan een mens zo iemand iets stilletjes in het oor fluisteren? Zal ik jullie een wegwerpbaar gmail adres bezorgen?

Posted by tomk at 09:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 10, 2005

Het experiment

Dit, dus:

All too easy... Niet dat mijn bezoekersaantallen erop vooruit zijn gegaan.

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July 03, 2005

Lendenrukken

Tom Boonen wint de eerste rit van de Tour. Commentaar van Michel Wuyts: "... met enkele lendenrukken ..." Nu, komende van een man die dijen met boomstronken vergelijkt, niet zó verrassend. Even later, een journalist op het radionieuws van 18u: "... met enkele lendenrukken ..." Die mens heeft de rit gewoon op tv gevolgd of zo?

Posted by tomk at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2005

Britney Spears naakt?

Michel krijgt hits op "Britney Spears naakt"? Waar heeft die goede mens daarover gepraat?

Dit is een experiment. Don't panic.

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Macht

De koebus vertelt. Ik vraag mij af: het spel doorhebben, maar resoluut weigeren het mee te spelen, in de optiek van "ik blijf trouw aan mezelf", is dat slim? Moet je het spel meespelen, of is het genoeg dat je het doorhebt? Het doorhebben is natuurlijk genoeg om K ("de clou") te identificeren, en dat is het allerbelangrijkste, volgens koebus. Waarbij het summum natuurlijk is om zelf K te zijn...

Ik denk dat het spel zien, en het ook beschouwen als spel (en niet als een zaak van leven of dood) nog het gezondste is om ermee om te gaan. Maar ik kan mij vergissen, natuurlijk.

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June 30, 2005

Les vacances

Michel vertelt. Ik vraag me ook af hoe we dat over een paar jaar gaan doen. Voorlopig gaan ze nog gedwee naar de creche onder de vakanties, maar hoe lang gaat dat nog blijven duren... Bij een tussentijdse paniekaanval hieromtrent ga ik er gemakshalve er maar van uit dat er nog een paar honderdduizend Vlaamse gezinnen met hetzelfde probleem zitten, en zij er toch ook in slagen om het op te lossen.

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June 27, 2005

Nicci French

Na Los nu ook eens een Nicci French uitgelezen ("De bewoonde wereld"). Geen slecht vakantieboek, maar op een of andere manier had ik wat meer diepgang verwacht, gezien de intellectuele heisa die errond gemaakt wordt. De finale was een beetje te ver vantevoren zichtbaar, en werd dan ook een beetje te snel afgehaspeld. Ik kan me de dialoog al bijna voorstellen: "Zeg Nicci" - "Ja, Sean?" - "Ben je klaar om naar die receptie van JK te gaan?" - "Ja, bijna, maar we moeten de ontknoping van dat boek nog schrijven" - "Doe jij dat dan terwijl ik me nog even douche, en dan lees ik het na terwijl jij je haar in de plooi legt."

Nu begonnen aan Michel Faber's "Lelieblank, scharlaken rood". Eindelijk nog eens een turf, zie. Hoewel ik zowat mijn bedenkingen heb, want

  • De kritieken op de flaptekst luiden meestal "he, eindelijk nog eens een turf". Het turf-zijn is natuurlijk geen doel op zich.
  • Dat is echt wel zwaar om mee te sleuren op mijn nabije dagelijkse treinrit. 'k Ga toch eens bezien of ik mijn digitaal Standaard-abonnement niet kan upgraden naar dode bomen. (Zijdelingse bedenking: ik lees al een jaar of 10 De Standaard, bijna dagelijks, doch ik heb nog altijd zo geen tabloid-formaat vastgehad. 't Gaat me toch een raar gevoel geven.)
  • 't Is wel een historische roman, maar in een tijdsgewricht waar ik me moeilijk iets bij kan voorstellen - eind 19de eeuw, dat moet zowat het industriële tijdperk zijn, vermoed ik? Adel bestaat nog, niet meer zo onaantastbaar als ze ooit geweest was, maar kapitaalkrachtig genoeg om haar wil nog steeds op te leggen.

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Azuurblauw

Vanaf vrijdag word ik gedetacheerd naar onze azuurblauwe telecomoperator. Moest u daar ook ergens in de buurt (station Brussel-Noord) een stek hebben, of eens passeren, come & say hi. Er zal wel ergens een terras in de buurt zijn waar we onze bokes kunnen opeten.

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June 23, 2005

Mac Zealots

Werner brengt mij in verwarring: "Ik ben alle data kwijt door mijn Mac, omdat ie het na 3 maanden begaf, maar ik ben zo content dat ie terug is". Eh? Ik denk dat ik die maccies nooit zal begrijpen...

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June 20, 2005

Tram 3

Net de koebus wat aan het jennen met zijn tram-3 status, toen ik ineens besefte: sinds de 12de zit ik daar ook op. Ik ben het duidelijk nog niet gewoon.

Zou het nu tijd worden om ook een bedrijfke op te richten?

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Peter...

...weet het toch niet altijd beter. Just for the record :)

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June 13, 2005

En nog iets

Naar aanleiding hiervan: ten tijde van (mijn lectuur van de werken van) Thea Beckman en Jan Terlouw was ik altijd zeer onder de indruk als ik mensen in één of ander weekblad zag vertellen dat ze elke week een boek uitlazen. Zo'n boekjes lees ik dus tegen twee per week! Weeral een minderwaardigheidscomplex de wereld uitgeholpen, zie.

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Los

Zoals gezegd: 't is uit. En ja, verdekke, 't was goed. Schrijnend herkenbaar. En ja, 't was veel te kort. Als je eens een spiegeltje wilt hebben over het politiek correcte denken en je eigen reacties erop: aanrader.

De auteur is trouwens, volgens de achterflap, van een zeer goed jaar. Zou het daarom zo herkenbaar zijn?

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June 09, 2005

Boek

Vanmorgen beëindigd: het Verdriet van België. Conclusie: doorwrocht, schoon, een ambachtelijk werk. En vooral: ik heb het zonder al te veel tegenzin toch nog uitgekregen (na enig aansporen).

Vanmorgen gestart (ziek, thuis, vandaar): Los, van Tom Naegels. Voorlopige conclusie: ik wil eigenlijk niet stoppen met lezen! Doorwrocht? Waarschijnlijk minder. Ambachtelijk? Geen idee, eigenlijk. Vlotter geschreven? Ik vind van wel. Herkenbaarder? Jazeker. Mijn grootste angst? Dat het, net als Kraai , veel te snel gedaan gaat zijn. 't Boekske is ocharme 183 blz dik.

Posted by tomk at 11:13 AM | Comments (1)

Kindermuziek

Ik zou willen zeggen: die van mij kreten ondertussen "Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!" mee, edoch, de schoolverplaatsing gebeurt meestal fietsgewijs, en het meeste gekreet is een duet "aaa-aa-aaa-aa-aaa-aa-aaa" als we over de kasseien hobbelen.

Studio 100 is hier tenandere nog niet binnengedrongen, maar Bob De Bouwer heeft al een ferme voet tussen de deur.

Posted by tomk at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 07, 2005

YAPT

Yet Another Personality Test

a Knight
You scored 5 Honor, 9 Justice, 4 Adventure, and 5 Individuality!
The whole 'protect the innocent, for the Divine and Country" really appeals to you. You're rather go forward that around the side and you're comfortable with traditional values.

Strap on a sword and wear your armor proud. You'll do just fine.




My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 17% on Ninjinuity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 97% on Knightlyness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 5% on Cowboiosity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 44% on Piratical Bent
Link: The Cowboy-Ninja-Pirate-Knight Test written by fluffy71 on Ok Cupid

Via Maarten.

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June 03, 2005

Politiekers en beloften (2)

De Standaard van vandaag:

Patrick Janssens smoort discussie noodbruggen in de kiem met veto
ANTWERPEN - De Antwerpse burgemeester, Patrick Janssens (SP.A), stelt zijn veto tegen het behoud van de noodbruggen op de Singel. Hij herinnerde de VLD-schepenen aan de beslissing van anderhalf jaar geleden, waarbij de bruggen dit jaar nog weg moesten.

Toch nog iemand die een beetje voeling heeft met de burger. Hoewel ik niet echt uit een SP-nest kom, is Janssens volgens mij toch het beste dat Antwerpen de laatste jaren overkomen is.

Dit is een follow-up van dit.

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June 02, 2005

Politiekers en beloften

Uit De Standaard van vandaag:

Hoe tijdelijk is tijdelijk?
Van Campenhout geneigd noodbruggen Singel langer te houden
Blijven de tijdelijke bruggen op de Singel na de Ringwerkzaamheden staan of verdwijnen ze? Schepen voor Stadsontwikkeling Ludo Van Campenhout (VLD) steunt alvast de vraag van de Kamer van Koophandel om ze tenminste nog een tijdje te behouden. Vlaams minister Kris Peeters (CD&V) houdt zich wat op de vlakte.

Ik herinner me als de dag van gisteren (heck, het is ook maar een jaar geleden) hoe men het protest van de buurtbewoners van die bruggen gesust heeft: "Ze worden afgebroken zodra de werken aan de ring gedaan zijn, meneer, mevrouw". Die mensen weten ook weer hoe laat het is. "Neenee, alstublieft, niet op die andere partij stemmen! Wij zijn veel eerlijker dan hen!" Zucht.

Noot: zie ook dit. Die mens doet het erom?

Posted by tomk at 09:13 AM | Comments (1)

May 26, 2005

van Campenhout

Ludo van Campenhout, Antwerps schepen (van toerisme, blijkbaar): die mens blijft mij immens verbazen. De Standaard vertelt (abonnees only, ben ik bang) dat er wreed weinig cruiseschepen aanleggen in Antwerpen dit jaar: 6. Volgens van Campenhout zijn er 2 oorzaken: het duurt nogal een tijdje om van de zee in Antwerpen te geraken, en:

Bovendien zijn er problemen als twee schepen tegelijkertijd willen afmeren. Eén van de twee schepen moet dan aan de verwaarloosde kaai 19 aanleggen, wat vaak niet erg op prijs wordt gesteld door de passagiers. Van Campenhout wil met de schepen voor de Haven, Leo Delwaide (VLD) overleggen hoe de kaai verfraaid kan worden.

Er zijn dus 6 schepen op een jaar, en dat met een pas opgeknapte (lees: volledig herbouwde) cruiseterminal. En wat gaan we eraan doen om er meer te laten komen? Nog een cruiseterminal bouwen! Goe bezig, zeggen ze dan ...

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May 24, 2005

Soap

Juicht! Een nieuwe soap in de maak: Somers zet Patricia De Waele uit VLD-partijbestuur. Ik ben content - dit ga ik graag volgen (het BHV-verhaal heeft me nooit echt kunnen boeien).

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May 23, 2005

Bladwijzers

"Bookmarks" zeggen de Engelsen. Maar dan echte. Kent u die nog? Je leest gezellig een dikke turf van een boek, of een paar boeken tegelijk, of een combinatie van beide, en dan heb je af en toe al eens behoefte om het boek ergens op een plank te leggen om, ik zeg maar wat, eens een kamer te behangen. Tot voor kort (in decennia gerekend, dan) was dit geen enkel probleem: je zocht ergens een stuk papier/karton/plastic/... en stak dat tussen je boek. Probleem opgelost.

Idem dito bij het bekijken van een goede film. De babyfoon krijst? Geen probleem, druk stop, wees een uur of 4 in de weer met het troosten der babyfoon, besluit dan toch maar om in uw nest te kruipen, en 's anderendaags kan je lustig verder kijken naar uw aflevering van Lili & Marleen.

Enter the digital age. U weet wel, dat tijdperk dat alles gemakkelijker maakt voor de armzalige stervelingen onder ons. U leest geen boek maar, nee, u leest een pdf. Banden en magneten enzo, daar moet u niet van weten, u koopt de laatste serie van Samson op DVD. En alles is veel duidelijker en alles gaat veel vlotter en u bent zeer content. Tot u die kamer moet behangen. Of die verrekte babyfoon een nieuwe luier moet gaan aandoen. Gedaan met het wegleggen en/of afzetten. Nee, u moet nu eerst goed onthouden waar u nu weer gebleven was, en hopen dat u dat na 3 dagen, als die babyfoon zijn batterijen eindelijk op zijn, nog weet.

Wie brengt er digitale bladwijzers op de markt?

Posted by tomk at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)

Iphonepod

Hier en hier. En nu dit. Tijd om het groot lot eens te winnen, me dunkt.

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Bubble

Nog iemand die iets in de lucht voelt hangen. Was een douche-gedachte van mij vanmorgen: al die .org bedrijfjes die door grotere broertjes opgekocht worden, doet dat u niet aan iets denken? Zo van die bedrijfjes die wel heel veel belangstelling krijgen van heel veel mensen, maar waarvan niemand eigenlijk goed weet hoe die nu aan centen geraken? Geraken ze eigenlijk wel aan centen? En zou u ook niet graag weten welke de volgende is die de jackpot wint?

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May 19, 2005

Nieuwe hotmail service

Dit klinkt bijna te mooi om waar te zijn:

(of: zoek de typo)

Posted by tomk at 11:03 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

May 18, 2005

Dilbert

Ge-wél-dig.

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Gîte en France

Gisterenavond zijn we aan het dromen geweest over de jaarlijkse vakantie. Eén week is al geregeld, voor de tweede zijn we nog op zoek. Het plan: een huisje/bungalow huren ergens in het centrum-westen van Frankrijk (Poitou-Charente, Limousin, het noorden van Aquitanië), geschikt voor 2 volwassenen en 2 peuters, in de week van 3 tot 9 september. Bij deze zijn suggesties welkom :-)

Nous sommes en recherche d'une gîte ou un bungalow au centre-ouest de la France (Poitou-Charente, Limousin, le Nord de l'Aquitaine), pour 2 adultes et 2 enfants de moins de 3 ans, au semaine de 3 à 9 septembre. Vos suggestions sont appreciées :-)

Posted by tomk at 08:51 AM | Comments (2)

May 08, 2005

Great minds...

... think alike, hoewel sommigen wat meer bij de consequenties stilstaan dan anderen: Stevens CompuGoogle deden mij denken aan deze opmerking en dit tv-fenomeen. Hoe ik die artikels zo snel teruggevonden heb, zegt u? Simpel.

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Een vervolgverhaal

En hoe is het nu eigenlijk afgelopen met die boeken, vraagt u zich af? Wel, op aanraden van Peter heb ik me dan toch maar op het boek dat hier al lag gestort: Het verdriet van België. Ik ben ondertussen toch al tot aan pagina 431 geraakt, dus zo heel slecht zal het wel niet zijn. Er zijn trouwens niet zo heel veel boeken die ik begonnen ben, maar niet uit heb gelezen. Nieuwsgierigheid heeft zo ook zijn nadelen. Eén uitzondering op deze regel: ik ben ooit begonnen aan "De ring van de koningin van Sheba". Niet - door - te - geràken. Ik vermoed vooral door de harkerige taal (vertaling?) van dat epos. Wat er ook van zij, ik ben nooit verder geraakt dan pakweg pagina 10, herhaalde pogingen ten spijt.

Maar we wijken af. Het verdriet van België, dus. Ik heb regelmatig het gevoel dat ik wat lokale verwijzingen mis (wat maakt de Toontjesstraat nu zoveel slechter dan de Oudenaardsesteenweg, bijvoorbeeld), maar over het algemeen vat ik het toch wel. Vreemd inzicht gekregen ook in het samenhangen van Vlaams-nationalisme en collaboratie met de Duitsers in dat boek. De Duitsers waren er blijkbaar in geslaagd om de Vlamingen te doen geloven dat zij samen tot één grote Germaanse afstamming behoorden, en als je dus Vlaamsgezind was, moest je ook Duitsgezind zijn. Vreemde redenering, die blijkbaar toch veel aanhang kende. (Nu ik er zo over nadenk, vermoed ik dat dit één van de grote thema's van het boek is, dus er zal nog wel wat over verteld worden).

Ook vreemde vaststelling: niets in de taal van dit boek doet mij vermoeden dat het "doorwrocht" is, je weet wel, neergeschreven, geschrapt, herschreven, nog eens geschrapt, etc. En toch is dat ermee gebeurd. Ik denk dat het dat is wat vele mensen een boek "goed" noemen: de technische kwaliteiten die het bezit qua grammatica en spanningsbogen enzo. Net zoals sommigen Santana het einde vinden, maar dat is ook alleen maar omdat je weet hoe moeilijk het is zo'n klanken uit een gitaar te krijgen. Om maar te zeggen dat zulke technische kwaliteiten mij meestal maar matig kunnen boeien (je weet niet dat het moeilijk is, omdat je dat zelf niet ervaart). Maar ik begin nu dus toch een begin van een aha-erlebnis te krijgen (op taaltechnisch gebied dan).

De volgenden op mijn lijstje zijn "Lelieblank, scharlaken rood" en een Nicci French (to see what the fuss is about), met dank aan de koebus. Ook al geprobeerd die Tom Nagels vast te krijgen, maar de Standaard(s) in de regio waren uitverkocht.

Ik ben niet helemaal zeker of er enige structuur zit in bovenstaande stream of consciousness, maar ik laat het hier maar bij.

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Funny guys

Net in mijn mailbox gevonden: Two Hilarious Guys. Prachtig gedaan - ik wil niet eens weten hoe lang die mannen daarmee bezig zijn geweest. Wanneer zouden ze eens in de buurt van Wilrijk komen?

Posted by tomk at 09:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 04, 2005

Financieën

In het begin van de maand: centjes op de bankrekening. Op het einde van de maand: geen centjes meer. Wat is ermee gebeurd? Geen idee.

Dit scenario herhaalt zich bij ons elke maand. Daarom ben ik al een tijdje op zoek naar een programmaatje waarmee ik mijn uitgaven een beetje kan beheren/categorizeren. Zodat ik op het einde van de maand kan zeggen: "deze maand hebben we de helft van ons loon uitgegeven aan luiers. Kunnen die mannen onderhand niet zonder?" Of iets in die trant.

Enig gegoogel levert namen op als Quicken en Microsoft Money (die, voor zover ik begrepen heb, hetzelfde zijn - het een is overgenomen door het ander, maar ik weet niet in welke richting). Maar die lijken me nogal heel Amerikaans te zijn (en dus niet bruikbaar in België).

Verder doorgedreven gegoogel ("Microsoft Money België") deed me uitkomen bij Michel, of all people. Maar hij weet het dus ook niet.

Bij deze dus een oproep aan heel als-goede-huisvader-geld-beherend Vlaanderen: hoe doen jullie dit? Vanaf dat de rekening op 0 staat, wordt er enkel nog droog brood gegeten? Of zijn er intelligentere manieren?

Als bijkomende constraint heb ik nog dat wij klant zijn bij Dexia, en dus hun Netbanking gebruiken. Voor zover ik kan zien, krijg je hier enkel een CSV file uit. Dingen die dit kunnen gebruiken (en dus voorkomen dat ik alles moet overtypen) genieten een lichte voorkeur.

En dit is ook ineens een antwoord op Peters vraag.

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April 22, 2005

Het verstrijken der jaren

Een Kortijkenaar geeft commentaar op wat Antwerpse cultuur. Dit ontketende enkele vrijdagnammiddag-associaties(ik was het in een comment-boxke aan het typen, maar het werd wat te lang):

Die zanger van Camden, da's Axl Peleman. Toevallig ook in vroeger jaren de frontman van Ashbury Faith. Van "Rage against the machine" naar "The police" - 't moet toch zijn dat een mens milder wordt met het verstrijken der jaren.

Om op hetzelfde elan verder te gaan: Axl heb ik de eerste keer in levende lijven gezien ergens in een industrieterrein in Herentals, hij bovenop het podium, ik eronder druk doende de massa bijeen (of was het nu uiteen) te harken. De tweede keer heb ik hem gezien een Antwerpse speeltuin, hij achter zijn zoon aan het lopen, ik achter de mijne. 't Moet toch zijn dat een mens zijn interesses veranderen met het verstrijken der jaren.

Overigens heb ik iets te danken aan Axl: mijn kennis van het fenomeen "tandengel". Dat is verdovende zalf voor kindjes die tandjes krijgen, zodat ze er wat minder van afzien. Gehoord van Axl dat dat bestond, tijdens een StuBru-interview. Goed spul!

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April 09, 2005

Wat écht belangrijk is...

Het nieuws van 14u op jongerenzender Studio Brussel:

Camilla draagt een hoed met veren, alles in gebroken wit.

Verdekke. Dat is informatie die ik niet behoefde. 'k Heb toch Radio Story niet opstaan?

Hierbij is de paus-hype wel officieel voorbij: ik geloof niet dat ze net verteld hebben of ie al een beetje begint te ruiken in zijn nis.

Ik draag trouwens een groene broek, en een grijze golf. Mijn sokken zijn een soort afgewassen zwart.

Posted by tomk at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

Marketeers vs technologists

From VentureBlog: Accelerating Acceleration:

But suffice to say, marketers who understand how to sell into a certain market trend will have increasingly more say than technologists who understand what can be developed.

Weird. It is my belief for quite some time now, that this is the case already, and not only on the consumer electronics market either. Whatever you do, you have to sell something. If you do a terific job, but you can't communicate it, you can forget getting praised for it. If, on the other hand, you can't do shit, but are a master in selling that, you will be "a successful entrepeneur".

I just found this post as "draft" in my MT. Originally drafted on 21 November 2003, but still true... I didn't change a word, either.

Posted by tomk at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 08, 2005

Ego-surfing

'k Heb net voor de sport eens gezien wanneer ik me voor het eerst op usenet heb laten zien: dit is het oudste dat ik vond. Wel blij dat het een min of meer helpende en beleefde post is, god weet dat ik er een paar minder euh... helpende heb ingetikt.

Wat me wel lichtelijk verbaasde: dit is de eerste post die min of meer met Java te maken heeft. En ik die dacht dat ik daar al veel langer mee bezig was. 'k Zal mijn archieven toch eens moeten nakijken.

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April 01, 2005

Water op Mars gevonden

Eindelijk zijn er foto's van: er is water op Mars!

Posted by tomk at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2005

Boeken

Stàpels liggen er altijd klaar. "Dat ga ik ooit nog eens lezen!". Mijn lange leven heb ik me afgevraagd hoe ik ooit alle boeken die de moeite zijn om te lezen, gelezen ga krijgen.

Ondertussen al een paar jaren geen deftig boek meer gekocht - ik had er toch stapels van liggen nog, en eer ik die allemaal uit ging krijgen... Bovendien lopen er steeds van die aandachtsopeisers rond ("Lowie! Trek niet aan Tuur zijn haar! Tuur! Doe niet zo kleinzerig!") die maken dat je zelfs niet door de wekelijkse Humo geraakt, laat staan dat je een deftige turf tot jezelf zou kunnen nemen.

En plots... plots zijn de boeken op. Daarnet was je nog lekker "Hitchhikers' guide to the galaxy" aan het herlezen, en die was ineens gedaan. In de kast gelegd, op het plankje "gelezen", en dan naar het plankje "ongelezen" gegaan. En dan zie je boeken staan met titels als "Hibernate in Action". "C# for Java programmers". "Java Design patterns". Allemaal zeer interessant, daar niet van, maar af en toe, zo net voor het slapengaan, lees ik graag eens iets anders. Ik droom van die vakliteratuur. Plots is mijn wekker een UML class, en is het gebiep een fout in wekker.hbm.xml. Zucht.

Niet getreurd, we leven in het internet tijdperk. Vlug enkele sitejes opentrekken, en we vinden wel iets dat de moeite is om door Tante Pos aan onze voordeur te laten afgeven. Oeps. Al enkele jaren de Nederlandstalige literatuur niet echt meer gevolgd. En dus niets dat een belletje doet rinkelen. Wat top10 lijstjes opentrekken - helaas. "De Da Vinci Code" lijkt me iets te veel Umberto-Eco-achtig kabbala-gedoe (eens goed gelachen toen ik zag dat er nu blijkbaar ook "Het Bernini mysterie" bestaat. What's next - "Het Fibonacci geheim"?)

Bij deze dus een oproep aan boekenminnend Vlaanderen: wat is er tegenwoordig de moeite waard om te lezen? "Het verdriet van België" staat ook nog in mijn kast (leek een lekker dikke turf), maar de personages worden net iets te veel Karamazov-gewijs opgevoerd. Ik heb ook gezien dat de nieuwe "Zwarte toren" van Stephen King uit is. De eerste 6 delen heb ik wel gesmaakt, maar het werd toch teveel-van-hetzelfde.

Om een beetje de regionen aan te geven: één van mijn all-time-favorites is "Baron", van Theun De Vries. Daarvóór zijn de historische (middeleeuwse?) epen van Thea Beckman en Jan Terlouw nooit veilig geweest voor mij. Ik vermoed dus dat er een zeker volume (zo'n dun boekje, dat is uit voor je je kan inleven), en een zekere tijdsverplaatsing een rol spelen in mijn appreciatie. En ik heb een beetje veel voorkeur voor de originele taal - liever in het Engels lezen dan een kwakkelvertaling.

Zodus, ideeën?

Posted by tomk at 08:40 PM | Comments (3)

March 29, 2005

Dutch

Following the example of more illuminated minds, I'll post more in Dutch from now on. It's easier to comment on local phenomena in your mother's tongue (especially since the only ones interested in those phenomena speak the same language). Technical and/or world-wide interesting issues will be discussed in English in the category Java (feed).

Posted by tomk at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

Lange Wapper

Dit zit al een tijdje in mijn to-blog-lijstje: Lange Wapper-brug plaatst Antwerpen naast wereldsteden met prestigieuze bruggen. 't Is te zeggen, ik heb er al eens een serieuze tirade over geschreven, die toen prompt door Firefox opgevreten werd. Om een lang verhaal kort te maken:

De Lange Wapper-brug wordt een stedelijk icoon dat de Antwerpse metropool tussen de andere grote steden met prestigieuze bruggen plaatst zoals [...], Central Artery Bridge in Boston [...]

Een vlugge Google levert dan dit op, met als leukste quote:

The elevated highway (which displaced 20,000 residents when it was built) also cut off Boston's North End and Waterfront neighborhoods from the downtown, limiting these areas' ability to participate in the city's economic life.

De Bostonezen (Bostonianen?) zijn dus al meer dan 10 jaar bezig om die brug terug weg te krijgen.

Als een terzijde moet je het niet zo ver gaan zoeken om de vernietigende werking van een viaduct door een bebouwde kom te ervaren: het viaduct van de A12 (voor de kenners: die je neemt om naar den Ikea te gaan) ligt het dichtst bij mijn deur, maar ook de wijk Den Dam kan er zeker van meespreken. We kunnen maar hopen dat er nog een paar dwarskoppen het licht gaan zien ...

Posted by tomk at 08:01 PM

Champion's league

Uit De Standaard snelnieuws:

Champions League naar Kanaaltwee
BRUSSEL - De Champions League komt vanaf volgend jaar op Kanaaltwee. De Vlaamse Media Maatschappij (VMMa) heeft de uitzendrechten verworven voor drie seizoenen (2006-2007, 2007-2008 en 2008-2009).

Geweldig! Geen programma's meer die plotseling verschuiven voor een hoop overbetaalde dikkenekken die achter een bal aanhollen!

Posted by tomk at 07:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2005

The Google

About this: quote from last week's episode of Het Geslacht De Pauw:

- Which internet are you using?
- Google

Not nearly as funny as in the program, but proving my point nevertheless :)

Posted by tomk at 03:04 PM | TrackBack

Ajax

That-new-user-interface-experience-that-Google-uses-in-Gmail-and-Google-Suggest-etcetera-technology now has a shorter name: ajax. It gives me a clean feeling.

Via Werner.

Posted by tomk at 02:49 PM | TrackBack

Google's honesty

Just noticed this: go to Google Suggest, and type "ww". Be amazed by the first result on your list ...

Posted by tomk at 09:10 AM | TrackBack

February 22, 2005

Social networking

Some years ago, we tried to gather some former employees of the notorious The E-Corporation in an Orkut group. The effort failed miserably: you can't get people to subscribe and post random stuff on such a site.

Lately, however, more and more collegues are spotted in the blogging world. Blogging seems to be a much more interesting way to keep in touch with people you want to keep in touch with, but which you can't phone every week.

Just to inspire not-yet-blogging collegues, here's an overview of the ecorp blogs I spotted (risking the rise of a Planet E-corp). (Mail me if you want on/off this list.) Only urls and blog titles, finding out who the actual people are is considered an exercise for home.

Most seem to blog in Dutch these days. Something to consider.

Posted by tomk at 11:11 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 08, 2005

GoogleMaps

GoogleMaps. How long until we don't refer to "the Internet" anymore, but to "the Google" ?

Via Matthew.

Posted by tomk at 01:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 03, 2005

Bill Gates visits Belgium

... as you can read at Michel's weblog (Dutch). Since our little country doesn't host such rich people every day, this event even got the evening news. At one point, a face came in the picture, and I was thinking "I know that guy. Hmm. Ah right, that's Microsoft's spokesman for Belgium." And then, his name appeared on screen: "Peter Vanvelthoven, Secretary of the State for Informatisation." These are scary times...

Posted by tomk at 08:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 20, 2005

E-mail obfuscating

Thanks, Tim. Via stevenn.

Posted by tomk at 09:48 AM | TrackBack

Laugh of the day

I bookmarked this a long time ago, but only now I ended up watching it: communication skills - zefrank. Made me actually laugh, not just smile.

Posted by tomk at 09:09 AM | TrackBack

January 19, 2005

ITConversations and the like

Since I read Russell Beattie's article "PodCommuter", where he describes listening to interviews with IT techies during his commute, I've been listening to some IT conversations myself during the commute. I don't own anything like a MuVo, but I do have an MP3 player in my car stereo (one that reads MP3's from a silvery disc - it's nineteen ninety nine all over again!), one (1) CD/RW disc, and a CD/RW writer, and it works just as well. I haven't figured out yet how much time can be on that disc, but it's human voice only, so that should exceed the typical 10 hours of music by far (I think one hour of talk is about 30 MB).

And I'm hooked to it. Instead of listening to the latest traffic jams and the newest house hit in the morning, I'm now listening to, let's say, an interview with Johanna Rothman, or a presentation of Kent Beck. All these ideas that you never have time to grok, now presented to you during the time you lose every day. It almost makes me wonder if I should extend my commute (it's now a mere 10 minutes).

It also makes me hope that the Javapolis presentations will be made available in MP3 format, too (hint, hint).

Posted by tomk at 08:45 AM | TrackBack

January 07, 2005

Nerd

I am nerdier than 64% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Thanks, Vincent.

Posted by tomk at 01:35 PM | TrackBack

December 30, 2004

Choices ...

Disruptive jam. Or: more choice is not always better. I experience this on more than one domain. One actual example is GPS: I've been sniffing at various mobile GPS devices, but the choice is so overwhelming that I postpone the purchase every time again. Not that I need a GPS device so badly. I've already succeeded in memorizing the 6km ride to my job...

In Dutch, there's a saying: "To choose is to loose". So I try to win by not choosing ;-)

Posted by tomk at 01:11 PM | TrackBack

December 22, 2004

BitTorrent

A well-written piece about BitTorrent's future. Via Matthew.

Posted by tomk at 04:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2004

Interview questions

Hear, hear.

Just one of those obnoxious "I'm not alone" posts.

Posted by tomk at 04:16 PM | TrackBack

December 01, 2004

Konfabulator

Koen showed me Konfabulator. Nice looking stuff. Pleasing to the eye. And since that last item seems to be the most important nowadays (the phrase "perception is reality" comes to mind), I'm sure they'll have their share of loyal users waiting for them.

Posted by tomk at 10:05 AM | TrackBack

Burn bandwidth against spam?

Lycos is following a weird train of thought. I thought spammers (the companies that *sell* spamming services, not the ones that buy them) would be paid by the number of clickthroughs? And I'm sure the amount of money they receive for each click is enough to cover for its bandwidth costs. Sorry, Lycos, I'm out.

Posted by tomk at 09:15 AM | TrackBack

November 23, 2004

GMailFS for Windows

While surfing around, poking at this idea, I found "GMail Drive shell extension" -- or GMailFS for Windows. Nice.

Posted by tomk at 10:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2004

FCC as a marketing partner

Vanity Foul is impressed:

Bloody brilliant!

Hmm, I thought this was a well-known strategy? Janet Jackson, anyone?

Posted by tomk at 10:36 PM | TrackBack

November 08, 2004

Automatic CSS generation

Fun. Impressive. Why do we still pay web designers? ;-)

Via Bertrand

Posted by tomk at 10:33 AM | TrackBack

November 04, 2004

New Mozilla goodies

Jummy.

Posted by tomk at 10:22 AM | TrackBack

October 15, 2004

Google desktop search

After being fairly disappointed by Picasa (what it does, is great stuff, but it's so hard to get things organized (read:exported) the way I like it), I'm giving Google Desktop Search a chance. First impressions (from the tin): no FireFox support, no ThunderBird support, no Jabber (or any Jabber client) support, no OpenOffice support, no Mac or Linux support. Why is Google so popular again with the open source community?

Posted by tomk at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 10, 2004

Totally baffled

So here I am, catching up on blogs and thinking I am reading stuff from all over the world. And all of a sudden, Erik mentions an entry with "Turnhout" in its title. Since that's the town I was born and raised in, I was curious what it was about ("What's this American talking about a city with a mere 40.000 inhabitants?"). I was totally flabbergasted when I ended up here. I've seen this guy's blog more than once (most often via Erik, I guess), and I was truly thinking that he was living in Bangalore or something. You'll have to admit that "Vasanth" is not a name you'll encounter that often in Turnhout.

Anyway, since I'm an Eclipse and a Google addict, I'll most happily install the plugin that's called after my hometown. Thanks, Vasanth!

Posted by tomk at 12:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2004

Moving on

I joined them. 'nough said.

Posted by tomk at 04:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 15, 2004

Local Google

Sounds great. But it is definitely Beta.

Posted by tomk at 12:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 14, 2004

New Mozilla releases

Firefox 1.0PR, Thunderbird 0.8, and Mozilla Suite 1.7.3. I like the FindFast toolbar already.

Via Slashdot, of all places.

Posted by tomk at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

GMail

If you're interested, and you think I know and like you, I have some GMail accounts laying around.

Yeah, these entries are pretty lame, but it sure beats spamming everybody in my address book. Which I don't have available anyway.

Posted by tomk at 10:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 09, 2004

How to dumb down yourself

Glad we have this straight.

Posted by tomk at 03:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2004

Syncing between machines

Everybody Most people seem to have issues with using multiple machines to do work on. It's nice to see that a guru is (a) having the same problems, and (b) getting to almost the same solutions as I am. I'm still not quite there yet, but I'm managing for now.

Posted by tomk at 10:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Antwerp from the sky

It's always impressive and intriguing to see the city you live and work in, from a different perspective: Antwerpen vanuit de Q-Kopter

I've no idea how long these photos will stay online, so hurry!

Posted by tomk at 10:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 07, 2004

iPodPhone? PhoneIPod?

It is happening. As predicted. Looks like my Nokia 6600 will become redundant before its warranty period is finished.

Posted by tomk at 11:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 03, 2004

How do you distributely manage your address book?

Many of us know the situation where they have to access relatively personal information from more than one physical location, on more than one computer, with more than one program. The joint forces of the Internet have already created several solutions to this problem. I keep my bookmarks now at del.icio.us. My code is at SourceForge. And my memory is at a blog. But one question seems to remain unsolved: where do I keep my e-mail addresses?

I have a desktop at home, with a ThunderBird email client on it. I also have a laptop, with the same email client. Occasionally, I switch the OS on either machine. However, at my work location, I use a webmail client. In addition, I have some other (unrelated) mailboxes that also only work with a browser. How can one keep all those address books synchronized? Can we think of a solution that allows you to press CTRL-K on any of them, and access the same address book? Or am I dreaming here? How do you manage your addresses?

Posted by tomk at 08:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 25, 2004

Aantwaarpe (Dutch)

Geboren en getogen zijnde in Turnhout, en inwijkeling zijnde in 's lands metropool, kon ik deze wel appreciren:

Conversatie in de ZOO van Antwerpen:

Een vogel, een vis en een krokodil aan den toog in de bar van de zoo.

- Och zegt die vogel, ik heb het hier allemaal gezien, ik ben 't hier een beeteke muug. Ik kan goe vliege, mijn vrouw kan goe vliege, Mijn kinderen kunnen goe vliege, als we de kans hemme zijn we weg, Terug naar Afrika.

- Ja, zegt die vis. Ik ben het hier ook wa muug. Ik kan goe zwemme, mijn vrouw kan goe zwemme, mijn kinderen kunne goe zwemme, als we de kans hemme zijn we weg, terug naar de Middellandse zee.

- Och, zegt die krokodil, ik wee het nog niet. K'hem een groot bakkes, mijn wijf heeft een groot bakkes, mijn joeng hemme een groot bakkes. Ik denk da'k hier in Antwaarepe blijf !!!
Posted by tomk at 10:27 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 24, 2004

Blogging is useful

I just got use out of my blog! Somebody asked me how to chunk results in Oracle, and I remembered vaguely that I had done that before. A nice Google query returned me this entry. The "external memory" part of the subtitle of this blog is not an accident!

Update: laughed too soon (again). That link didn't provide any information on chunking in Oracle, only on other databases. This one seems to come closer to the truth. Still investigating, though.

Posted by tomk at 11:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Earth at night

I've seen this picture before, but it stays fascinating to look at all those lights. Most remarkable lights for me: the bright line that is the Nile. I didn't really expect that.

Via Bertrand, world-traveller (and occasional item-looser, but in my mind first and foremost Cocooner)

Update: Dang! Where is the RSS feed for this?

Posted by tomk at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 16, 2004

Java Interview Questions

My "Java Interview Questions" ranking is slipping down. Now I feel all neglected.

Just want to play a bit...

Posted by tomk at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

That old memory...

Does this sound familiar?

Posted by tomk at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 06, 2004

No shame

This is new. What I found in my inbox today:

Looks all very official. Even the URL looks good. Except, it is one big GIF image. And I'm not a client of Citibank. And even if I was, they would have another email address than the one this was sent to.

The trick is in the link: it appears that clicking there would bring you to that https url. But instead, you go to some obscure page : http://%36%34%2e%31%36%33%2e%31%39%30%2e%31%35%34:34/%63%69%74/%69%6E%64%65%78%2E%68%74%6D

What really hit me, was the fact that they claim to protect against identity theft. And at the same time, do it themselves. Bastards.

Posted by tomk at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2004

Solaris

Solaris for free? O-kay, you got me interested... But eum... Jonathan, you say "it's free for you to use", and the license says "... license to use [...] the Software [...] for the sole purpose of designing, developing and testing your applets and applications to run on the Solaris platform." Since I don't design, develop or test Firefox, I couldn't run it then? Bummer. You almost got me there, though.

IANAL.

Posted by tomk at 09:43 AM | TrackBack

August 02, 2004

Hackers

Hani made me find Paul Graham's essay about hackers. One sentence that sticks out:

They generally feel that they're stupid and lazy, that their brain only works properly one day out of ten, and that it's only a matter of time until they're found out.
I must be a great hacker then...

In the same spirit as this, only now it's Monday.

Posted by tomk at 09:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2004

Speechless

Oh. My. God. Will anybody stop this gun-lobby-sponsored maniac?

Via Lance.

Posted by tomk at 09:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 18, 2004

Local versioning

I managed to think out of the box myself (well, more or less): I am now the proud owner of Subversion-on-a-stick! Does exactly what I want: the Eclipse plugin supports the file:/// protocol.

Life is ironic: I've just moved an entire company from VSS to CVS, requiring me to learn much more nitty gritty details of CVS that I cared for, and now I'm using Yet Another VCS myself. Well, experience is something to cherish, I guess.

Posted by tomk at 12:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 16, 2004

Hawking

Matthew reports that Stephen Hawking is again counterproving his own theories. This is what I felt when reading his book "Het Heelal" (yes, I chickened out on reading it in English): there's only one person alive who understands what Hawking is talking about, and that is Hawking himself. And thus, the only one he can discuss and argue with, is himself. He must be lonely.

Posted by tomk at 10:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Eclipse and local protocol

Yesterday, I saw my USB memory stick lying around. I had forgotten that I had it (not used for a while), but suddenly an idea sprang to mind: a portable CVS repository! Wouldn't it be nice to not only carry your code with you at all times, but to also have version information on it?

So I came up with a few requisites:

  1. no installation needed. I don't want to install CVSNT every time I want to access the code.
  2. usable with eclipse. That's my IDE.

Well, quite a short list, actually. But even merely 2 requisites can be mutually exclusive: (1) demands for the :local: protocol, and (2) doesn't allow the :local: protocol.

No problem, I thought: Google to the rescue! Now, that didn't turn out as expected. Ever tried querying Google with CVS as one of the keywords? Lots of links, but none of them having anything to do with CVS. Add "local" to the mix, and you get lots of references to "local repositories", but none to "local protocol".

So actually, this blog entry is a challenge to your Google skills: come up with a Google query that returns me (in the first two or three pages) a link that explains me how to combine :local: and Eclipse. Of course, you're also allowed to just give me a damn link.

Any other solution to the above requisites will do too. <managementspeak>Think out of the box!</managementspeak>

Posted by tomk at 08:49 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 14, 2004

E.W. Dijkstra

A blogger, even before the internet as we know it existed: E.W. Dijkstra. Fun to browse through his notes.

Something that struck me as odd for a scientist like him: he had very elaborate and insightful thoughts about the industry. See for example the gap between computer science and computer industry, or all humans should be replacable. Insightful, and not without humor.

Other notes are proves of theorems I even fail to understand, let alone I would understand the solution. I'll just skip them.

I'll leave you in exploring the rest by yourself... Let me know if you find something interesting.

Posted by tomk at 11:40 AM | TrackBack

July 07, 2004

The Sun-Microsoft thing

Not a bad cartoon: Inside Jack. Made me smile, at least.

Via Scott

Posted by tomk at 10:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 01, 2004

Message to car drivers

If you're in a car, and you're trying to get into Antwerp these days, please remind this:

The bicyclists are not responsible for your 45-minutes traffic jam.

On the contrary, if they weren't there, you would've had a 1-hour traffic jam at least. So please don't push us in the gutter, block the bicycle path, or threaten to run us over. If you really want to release your frustration, drive into a wall or something. I am faster than you (even if you think driving 100km/h for 100 meters is any faster than driving 20km/h on that distance), and I will catch you up.

End of service message -- frustration relieved, thank you.

Posted by tomk at 04:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bloglines

I've just switched from an outdated rss2email (great utility, but no atom support, and the new version didn't work out on my WinXP machine) to Bloglines. It looks like the best I'm going to be able to get in my current configuration (involving multiple locations with lots of firewalls and NATs). Bloglines seems to be pretty good nowadays. It imported my OPML file without a single hickup, and keeps my blogroll automatically up-to-date. The most immediate downside to me: you can't mark individual blog items as "read", you've always "read" a whole blog. Quite a big granularity, when you're catching up on two weeks of Erik.

Posted by tomk at 03:09 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 10, 2004

Tooltips in JavaScript

overLIB. It looks awesome! And it works in Firefox. Two reasons to keep it in my link collection.

Via Lance

Posted by tomk at 10:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 08, 2004

StarOffice

Dan discusses how StarOffice is perceived in general. I assume "the word on the street" comes from the early years of StarOffice, when it wanted to take over your desktop, but required ten minutes to open a letter.

Nowadays, I use OpenOffice for all my personal use (that is, all "official" letters I have to write, and even some spreadsheets. And I can print envelopes with it!). I'm not pushing it to its limits, but it works for me. Never done a "document merge" or something of the kind, though.

So if you're in the market for a free office suite, give OpenOffice a fair chance at least.

Posted by tomk at 05:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 02, 2004

del.icio.us search

del.icio.us has implemented its main missing feature: search. Now if we could get categories in a dropdown box, we'd be happy.

If you haven't noticed yet: my del.icio.us feed is in my blogroll. It's one of the reasons posts to this blog are intermittent.

Posted by tomk at 10:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 27, 2004

Propaganda

Anybody else who thinks the new FUD is not a mere coincidence when Bush wants to get re-elected in the fall? A very vague warning, with very vague indicators, but scaring the hell out of people and making them stand united behind one person again. Hell, he pulled it of when invading Iraq ("Saddam probably maybe has bombs!"), why shouldn't he try it again?

Posted by tomk at 04:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 26, 2004

The Turing test

Another complaint about spam. I've been pondering the spam issue under the shower the other day. What we have to do to stop spam, is to select which messages come from humans and which come from machines. Does this ring any bells?

It's the sad truth: we are getting better and better at passing the Turing test. 20 years ago, this was the ultimate dream of everybody even remotely related to IT, including me. As of today, it is our worst nightmare. "Images with foggy text", as one commenter to Matthew suggests, won't help us much longer either, since academics are researching to solve that problem, too. Their goal is, for example, to scan and interpret old manuscripts automatically. A very nobel goal, but the means can be used for spamming as well.

Every tool can be used as a weapon.

Posted by tomk at 10:47 AM | TrackBack

May 17, 2004

Religion stops procreation

Childless couple told to try sex. Fanatism is never good, especially not for your offspring ;)

Posted by tomk at 04:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 13, 2004

Google's blog

Ovidiu Predescu's Weblog: Google's official blog. Nice! Let me grab that RSS feed! Oh no... Atom only.

I use Aaron Schwartz's rss2email. The old version, that worked on Windows too. But that doesn't know about Atom. Now Aaron has done quite some work to rss2email, including adding support for Atom. But somewhere in the process, it all became very Unix-dependent. I tried to get it running on cygwin the other day, but no luck so far.

Does anybody know about a program that

  • sends syndication feeds to an email address
  • handles all flavors of RSS and Atom
  • remembers which items have already been sent
  • and runs on Windows without too much fuss?
Otherwise, I'll have to do some more work myself.

Posted by tomk at 11:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 05, 2004

Re: Why software projects fail

Matthew writes about failing software projects, and how that's all the programmer's fault. Easy blame. The way I see it, programmers are the bottom of the food chain when you're searching for a scapegoat. Go blame a sales guy: "I passed it on to the analyst, and he messed up!". The analyst: "I passed it to the architect, and he messed up!" The architect: "I passed it to the programmer, and he messed up!" The programmer: "I passed it to... eeeh... damn!"

Frank commented too. I have a visual representation of his view:

First featured here

The most fine-tuned (how does one say "genuanceerd" in English?) reaction so far here. Waiting for the sequel.

Update: the image is now also visible to IE-users. And "genuanceerd" appears to be "differentiating". Thanks, Tim!

Posted by tomk at 01:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ClearType

Koen writes about ClearType in Windows XP. Since I'm a curious guy, and I got my hands on a Windows XP with an LCD display for the first time 2 months ago, I had already found the option, but I didn't really like the new typesetting after looking at it for 2 seconds. But, since people seem to be very positive about it, and I really was having trouble with the typesetting I was using, I decided to give it a go again. And lo and behold, after 5 minutes now, it seems to grow on me.

Recommended for XP users.

Posted by tomk at 09:47 AM | TrackBack

May 04, 2004

The Gasbag law

An amusing read (via Lance)

Posted by tomk at 09:21 AM | TrackBack

April 28, 2004

TCPView

Bloogmark: TCPView: see which processes are using which ports on your windows machine, and TDIMon: see when packets are sent.
Posted by tomk at 11:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 22, 2004

Java and Linux links

Bloogmark: Java and Linux Links
Posted by tomk at 11:00 PM | TrackBack

March 20, 2004

TreeSize

Ever had a full hard disk? And ever wanted a tool that told you what directories are the biggest, so you can start deleting there? And ever been frustrated because Windows didn't provide this? I know I've been. And now I've accidently found TreeSize. Another tiny victory!

Posted by tomk at 11:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 18, 2004

XP weirdness

For the first time, I'm using Windows XP. And I've encountered a weird bug. In one specific font (MS Sans Serif), on one specific size (11 pt), the first letter of a paragraph is sometimes clipped partially. As an example, the first W of http://www.borland.com/janeva/ (when viewed with IE) is missing the upper part of its first leg. Google is numb on this. Do you have any experience with this?

Posted by tomk at 11:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 25, 2004

More powerful than you think

Multiple Identity Support for Thunderbird. Great! I was using fake accounts with fake servers to accomplish the same. Now my UI looks a bit tidier. Thanks Jan! But why don't you use Thunderbird + Firefox yet?

Posted by tomk at 10:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 13, 2004

The backfired one fires back

Remember the Lindows case? A new twist has been added to the plot: Is windows a generic computing term? You have to admit, this is a better soap opera than Dallas.

Posted by tomk at 10:11 AM | TrackBack

February 11, 2004

Web Developer Extension for FireFox and Mozilla

Great stuff! Thanks, Glen.
Posted by tomk at 11:37 AM | TrackBack

February 10, 2004

Tiger, Panther, Fox, ...

Last week, I've seen an increasing number of blogs mentioning "Tiger". And I thought: "Those Mac guys seem to be up to something again. <Delete>. There are more interesting blogs (for me) to read".

This morning, I scanned a blog title mentioning "J2SE 1.5". I have seen these too during last week, but I've been seeing them for months now. "Yet another 'it sucks/rocks' about generics" I thought, <Delete>.

And then I noticed yet another one. Thinking that even Erik would eventually get tired of these posts, I wondered why there were 2 on the same day. So I took a look. And lo and behold, I find J2SE 1.5 has a beta release! One week after the fact, or so it seems. I still don't understand how I could possibly miss this.

Am I a victim of the increasing noise/signal ratio on blogs? Do I try to follow too much at once? Or is it just that, with taking care of my job switch, 3 weeks old Tuur in the hospital, 1,5 year old Lowie coming down with something too, supporting Sandra to stay in the hospital with Tuur, getting my bicycle prepared for the shortly daily commute, I have missed a glitch in cyberspace? All those animals that seem to be crawling around in blogland don't help much either in discriminating between them. Or maybe I'm just getting too old for this shit... <sigh> Where is the time you only had to choose between DOS 3.0 and 3.3.

If you're now thinking: "What? 1.5 is out?", please leave a comment saying so. It would make me feel better.

Posted by tomk at 02:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 09, 2004

Thunderbird and Firefox

New releases. Hopefully, Phoenix (as it is still called in my mind) will have gone through its last namechange. This really isn't good, marketing-wise.

Via Koen

Posted by tomk at 12:12 PM | TrackBack

February 05, 2004

Belgian web designer for hire

Just helping to spread the news. I've worked with Tom ages ago, and I remember him as a very fast thinker (which reflected in his dry sense of humor), who took much pride in his work. If you need a decent web designer, talk to him.
Posted by tomk at 11:55 AM | TrackBack

January 28, 2004

An understanding soul

Thank you. Now at least I know I'm not the only one who thought these comments were weird. You might also notice that some (if not most) of those comments were just copy&pasted. And I'm glad not everybody hires this way.
Posted by tomk at 01:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2004

A new virus in town?

All of a sudden, my mailbox is full with

The message cannot be represented in 7-bit ASCII encoding and has been sent as a binary attachment.
messages. Do we have a new scriptkiddie in town?

Update: it turns out that all the to-addresses are different, but all end in @tomk.be. Some worthless piece of program has hijacked my domain?

Another update: Yep. Thanks Koen.

Posted by tomk at 01:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2004

Mobile maps

Inspired by this list of mobile sites, I checked the other maptools that I use frequently. It turns out that both Mappy and Maporama have the map functionality. And in addition, they have itineraries for Belgium as well.

Posted by tomk at 04:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Must... read... instructions...

Mobile Internet - Start:
1 Request your access
Request your access to the Mobile Internet service by calling number 0800 55 085. Proximus will activate the service and there you are, ready to surf the net!
Duh. The "I am smart so I don't need to read all this stuff" syndrome? Or just the "I am plain stupid" syndrome... Everything works like a charm now.
Posted by tomk at 02:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

New toys and GPRS

I'm still getting used to my new toy, a Nokia 6600. There are some minor annoyances (I have to search for everything time and again, and I can't create shortcuts. And when I select "Update time automatically", it is off by 1 hour), but the biggest problem is that I can't get my GPRS to work.

I've tried to get the settings for my operator (Proximus) from the Nokia website, but to no avail. I am able to start Opera, but once I type in a URL (eg. http://users.pandora.be/tom.klaasen), it comes back with the very helpful error message http://users.pandora.be/tom.klaasen - Warning!. That's it. No "couldn't connect". No "I can't get along with that damn DHTML". No. Just "warning". And then in the upper left corner, a little G in a box starts flashing. Which I can only stop by restarting the phone.

I've begun reading the manual (150 pages!), but it boils down to a disruption where the phone manufacturer's settings stop, and where the service provider's settings start. The language used is not exactly the same, and it seems that there is some holes in it. Pretty much reminds me of my first time when I was trying to get a JDBC connection working: Sun ended with "here comes your connection string", and Oracle started with "this is your schema, and your url, and your username, etc" without explaining how to get from that to a connection string.

But enough raving. Did anybody get Opera working on a Nokia 6600 with Proximus? Or do you know some particalur twitches with either of them? I would be much obliged.

Posted by tomk at 10:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 07, 2004

Cell phones

Will Cell Phones Render iPods Obselete?. Of course they will. As a matter of fact, I was shopping for a cell phone the last few weeks, and this was my wish list:

  • Able to call somebody. By far the most important requirement.
  • Camera. And a decent one, one I can use when I forgot my Olympus, not one that takes poststamp-size pictures. Even better: one that excees my Olympus in capabilities.
  • Speakerphone. I've had one too many call from my parents-in-law, discussing a meeting time, which ended up in me acting as a proxy between them and my girlfriend.
  • Java functionality. Hey, I want to at least know what it feels like to program such a thing.
  • MP3 player. But a good one, one that can carry more than 30 minutes of music.
  • GPS system. I end up driving through Brussels quite some times lately, and I always end up getting lost.

All of these devices exist seperately. But my pockets just ain't that big. Nor is my wallet. I am convinced that in the not-so-distant future (one year?), such a device will become available. In fact, Sony-Ericsson's P900 comes very close. I expect that, in a not-too-distant future, these devices become affordable to anybody (as in: you'll see grandma's shopping with it, just like you now see grandma's calling home to ask if dear husband wants chicken or fish for dinner).

But I digress. The point is: all these devices will become one. No question about it.

If you're interested: I ended up buying a Nokia 6600, partly thanks to Russ. Now I need to learn how to program this toy. If you happen to have a link, don't hesitate to send it.

Posted by tomk at 10:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 06, 2004

Copy protecton in Belgium

Once again, Belgium fights a fight that (a) is worth fighting, and (b) seems impossible to win: Belgian watchdog sues record biz over copy protection. Let's hope at least some good comes out of this. I know that I, for one, have lost much interest in music due to record company marketing techniques ("Best Of" albums with just one new song, just to mention one). Let's hope Test-Achats can make a difference here.
Posted by tomk at 01:42 PM | TrackBack

Drunk internet

I sometimes feel the online world is a glimpse of what it would be like if we were always drunk.
Dividing people into categories might not be the most politically correct thing to do, but I recognize most of Alan's personae. Of course, everybody who reads this thinks she's in "The Frontline troops". Let's all try to be there.
Posted by tomk at 01:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 24, 2003

Aha-erlebnis

Do you know what an Aha-Erlebnis is? It's one of those moments when you say "but of course! That's the solution! Why haven't I thought of that on my own?" I just had one reading this article.

I have a desktop at work, and a computer at home, and I like to check the same email boxes at both. At the moment, I'm in the routine of "leave messages on server" at work, and "don't download messages automatically" at home, but this still gives problems. For example, if I receive an email at home that I need again at work, I can't get at it.

So what if.... I could put FireBird on such an USB dongle, or at least have it store its inboxes there. My worries would be over. Keeping track of my RSS feeds would also be much less of a hassle.

Would it be too late to change my order to Santa?

Posted by tomk at 01:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 16, 2003

IT and communication

Today in the paper, in an article about IT cost reduction:

Bovendien -- en dit is echt niet onbelangrijk -- informatici zijn relatief weerloze slachtoffers. Ook andere departementen zoals marketing kosten veel geld waar geen duidelijke inkomsten tegenover staan, maar de marketingdirecteur slaagt er meestal veel beter in om zijn budget bij de bedrijfstop te verdedigen. Want de marketingdirecteur slaat de juiste zakelijke toon aan om aan te tonen waarom elke euro die naar zijn departement gaat, extra klanten en dus extra inkomsten genereert voor het bedrijf. IT managers, daarentegen. spreken niet de juiste taal.
Or in English: both IT and marketing departements burn a lot of money in every company for pretty obscure reasons, but marketing managers will succeed better in defending their budget than their IT counterparts. Hence, cost reduction will occur more in the IT department.

This just illustrates my belief: it is not what you can, but how you sell it, that will earn you a living. Alas, IT people are not very skillled in this area. And moreover: they often don't see the need to sell what they're doing. The most obvious example of this is what they teach IT people in college: "First, program what has most risk. Input and output modules are less risky, so do them last." Later, this results in people demonstrating perfectly working programs to users with command-line interfaces, while saying "we will get you a decent GUI later on." I have done some experiments the other way around: brush up your GUI, leave a few holes in functionality, and demonstrate tht to your users, while saying "yeah, you can't print anything yet, and saving your data is also not yet possible, but we will get to that later on." Guess which strategy delivers the most content users...

Anyway, looks like I'm rambling here. The point is: IT people are generally pretty weak in social (and thus commercial) skills. This is a greater threat to them than they are aware of. Don't forget to exercise these skills. If you meet a sales man at the coffee machine, try to talk to him for once, instead of looking at him like he's a piece of crud (while he's giving you the same look). You didn't get good at assembler by watching Winnie The Pooh videos, did you?

Posted by tomk at 11:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 12, 2003

Open the power of your photo collection

You have a digital camera? And you have tons of photos? And to top it of, you have a pc that runs windows? Try Kana WallChanger. You finally get to see your photos. Especially breath-taking if you close some application down, and all of a sudden, the first picture ever of your oldest son appears. Yes, I'm a nostalgic.

Posted by tomk at 10:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2003

Mac zealots

Watch this and try to tell me that mac users are not zealots again... Maybe these people should get a clue and try www.dell.com.

Did I tell you that I hate queues? No, really, I hate queues. I get nervous if there are 5 people before me at the supermarket checkout. But then again, this is Belgium, the country where people try to slip in before you. If we had so many people appearing at the opening of a shop, we might need a few coppers more, not mentioning the extensive use of watercannons. But I digress. Mac Japan, don't expect my business soon.

Posted by tomk at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 08, 2003

Why IT Administrators Have Become All-Powerful Demi-Gods

Fun-nay: Role Fragmentation.
Posted by tomk at 10:29 PM | TrackBack

Netflix in Belgium

We finally have our Netflix-like service here in Belgium: DVDPost. Jay!
Posted by tomk at 10:18 PM | TrackBack

November 24, 2003

Nephilim

He who has no online presence, now has a blog: nephilim. When you meet him on the street, you would call him "Bart". Bart's been at my current work position as an intern, and a rather good one too. Now he's graduated (yay!) and without a job (ouch). If you're looking for a young and talented Java guy, he might be worth considering. Hopefully, his blog will get some more content, and convince you of this.
Posted by tomk at 10:31 AM | TrackBack

November 21, 2003

Age

I must be getting old: here I ask for a good book about perl. Today, I went to perl.com, and noticed that I knew that page. And when seeing the code again, I realized that I've already taken a short plunge into perl some months ago. Abandoned that effort after a few days due to the inability of my mind to keep track o the difference between %, $, ->, => etc. I want to be able to think about the problem I'm trying to solve while coding. Being a man, this is very hard to combine with thinking about "am I referencing an object or a list ATM?". On to the next...
Posted by tomk at 02:53 PM | TrackBack

November 20, 2003

Well what'ya know...

The first time I disagree with my favorite unix girl enough to blog about it.

Fair enough, she is upset because, if you install Windows these days, it is very likely to be virus-infected before you can even reach windowsupdate.com (although I don't have a problem there, being behind an ISP proxy and all...) But then she gets off in this all-too-familiar "hehe, this can't happen on unix, hehe, you stupid windows-users".

I don't buy that. For one, she admits herself:

(and most people who use linux know better)
This is the main difference between any Windows and Unix installation. The users. I've not been virus-infected (yet?), but I've been using Windows for quite some time now. However, I do have received my share of "BritneySpears.scr". I'm just smart enough not to click those, as are most people who use Linux. The difference is that people who aren't smart/interested enough to know this (hey, maybe they spend their time saving the lifes of too-soon-born children), usually won't run Linux.

To a lesser extent, I also disagree with

the virus won't be able to do anything bad to the sytem
Most of Windows' viruses these days do nothing else than sending themselves around a bit, using the user's address book. As soon as there's a mail program available on Linux that allows you address the address book programatically, you'll have the same problems there. This has nothing to do with the OS, but with the application.

Look at me, defending Microsoft here. It must be that I'm getting old and understanding...

Posted by tomk at 12:06 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 18, 2003

And you thought your job was a nightmare

I bet he's worse off.
Posted by tomk at 02:24 PM | TrackBack

November 15, 2003

I'm a craftsman now

I've just (finally) finished The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master. Great read. I seem to have worked already following most of the principles explained in this book, but it is nice to have them spelled out for you. It reassures that you're on the right track, helps you to understand yourself and your way of programming, and helps you to find areas in which you can improve yourself.

For those who haven't read the book, a short synopsis: apply the programming/analysis/managing/.... methodologies you know, but without being zealous about it. Use UML to draft your class model, but don't restrict your use case by drawing a puppet, an arrow and a balloon. Write test cases, but don't write more than the return is worth. "Pragmatic" in every way.

This book has already spawned my interest in two other books: Surviving Object-Oriented Projects, and a good book on perl. Speaking of which: do you know of any?

Posted by tomk at 01:25 PM | TrackBack

Blogiversary

Look what happened a year ago. Congratulations to myself!
Posted by tomk at 01:13 PM | TrackBack

November 12, 2003

Google bites its own tail

Oh. My. God. (Look here if you don't understand this.)
Posted by tomk at 08:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 07, 2003

For CSS developers

Bloogmark: Multiple IE's in Windows
Posted by tomk at 09:31 AM | TrackBack

Fonts again

Thanks to Joel, I've found ProFont. I can set it even smaller than Andale Mono (7pt!), and still read it. Let's give it a spin. I'm a bit worried that it is going to tire my eyes though.
Posted by tomk at 09:16 AM | TrackBack

A classic

A classic joke, just received again from nephilim: An IT Project. I especially like the "business consultant" one.
Posted by tomk at 08:42 AM | TrackBack

November 03, 2003

Hello, Mr Van den Brande!

Blogging seems to be contagious: David has picked it up too (without much fuss, but you don't hide from referer logs).

David is an ex-collegue of mine, who started his career at the exact same time and place as me. Apparently, he's now working at a job that I turned down because of a bad commute. I hope to read he's happy there. Welcome!

Update: David seems to have forgotten to have an e-mail address available. So David: congrats with your daughter! May she make you proud every day (and grant you some sleep now and then too).

Posted by tomk at 02:14 PM | TrackBack

October 15, 2003

Everything you wanted to know about CVS

... available in one handy book: The CVS Book. Probably exists for some time now, but I've never seen it before.
Posted by tomk at 11:53 AM | TrackBack

October 13, 2003

Beer: the American way

Put beer in a big open vessel. Put the vessel on ice. Leave it for a couple of hours. It will taste great!

Or apparently, that seems to be the American way to do it. *shivers*

Posted by tomk at 01:04 PM | TrackBack

Cocoon GetTogether

What happens when you put a bunch of geeks together, to finally meet IRL? They start tapping away on their laptops. You have to be a geek to understand :-)
Posted by tomk at 12:03 PM | TrackBack

October 01, 2003

Pop-ups

Hear hear: kasia in a nutshell: Life with pop-ups. The people with the money make the laws. It has always been so, and it will always be. Consequence: the laws will always allow the people with money to make more money. Or do you think people in the Middle Ages really wanted to give 10% of their crop to the Church or their Lord?
Posted by tomk at 09:06 AM | TrackBack

September 30, 2003

Editor fonts

Nice suggestion for us code monkeys: Programming Fonts. I'm giving Andale Mono a try now. It indeed looks neater than Courier New.
Posted by tomk at 04:05 PM | TrackBack

September 25, 2003

Geeks with too much time on their hands...

...will create the weirdest things.
Posted by tomk at 11:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 12, 2003

CSS: the final frontier

Since I've lately complained about my envy for people who know how to create something that doesn't make you sick, and since it actually has been quite a long time since I've tried to learn something brand new (to me), I've just ordered Designing With Web Standards. Recommended by Koen.

Knowledge like this won't stop me from making you puke at my design, but at least I'll make you puke according to web standards...

Posted by tomk at 11:54 AM | TrackBack

September 08, 2003

Unlock the power of the Gimp

Start here.
Posted by tomk at 05:49 PM | TrackBack

Open Source Web Design

In need of a new design for your site? Open Source Web Design seems like a good place to start.
Posted by tomk at 05:41 PM | TrackBack

Use different Quote Level Colors in Mozilla Thunderbird

Use different Quote Level Colors in Mozilla Thunderbird. Too cool. It's nice to live on the bleeding edge.
Posted by tomk at 11:11 AM | TrackBack

September 05, 2003

Thunderbird

Always living on the bleeding edge: giving thunderbird 0.2 a spin. Looking good, so far.
Posted by tomk at 02:43 PM | TrackBack

September 01, 2003

Do you read me?

Well, there you are, blogging, sharing your view on Life, the Universe, and Everything, and you see you've got quite a few hits (more than you expected when you started, anyway), and thus, you are content. You rant a bit about your job, but only because it interests you. After all, it is the thing you wanted to do since you were a kid. You rant a bit about politics, but only because it is "en vogue" to do so, because frankly, you're pretty content with the current Powers that Be. You rant a bit about your wife and kid, but only because you love them so much.

Overall, you're pretty satisfied. You write, you got read.

And then, you get "new comment added" notifications that read like

Pls send me the most recent Java Interview Questions Thanks.

On a blog entry that rants about the stupidity of searching for interview questions on the net. And you wonder how much people actually read.

I've been thinking about putting a "Java Interview Question" guide together, available for only 100. I would've been a rich man by now.


Posted by tomk at 01:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 21, 2003

FireBird plugins

From Erik's Weblog : Z Failure via Tech Observer to Mozilla Firebird: Extensions. If you're using Mozilla FireBird, you'll want to grab around in this treasure chest!
Posted by tomk at 10:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 20, 2003

Text Messaging brings down Hollywood

techno weenie: Text Messaging brings down Hollywood. Oh no! The movie studios will have to deliver quality now, instead of marketing hype! How can they possibly survive? Bad Indians who put those mobile phones together!


Well, I guess the quote is pulled out of context, but still...

Posted by tomk at 11:13 AM | TrackBack

August 18, 2003

Power grid down because of virus?

Ovidiu Predescu's Weblog: Power grid down because of virus?. Eh? America has put a single point of failure of it's main energy distribution in the hands of one privately owned company? O oh...

Reminds me of a quote in a documentary I zapped by this weekend: "In the 70-80s, the Japanese did pretty well. The 90s-2000s are for the Americans. And it is very well possible that the next couple of decades are for the Asians." Stories like this are very promising indeed. BTW, the quote was followed by a scene of an Indian-based customer center that was urging broke Americans to pay their (admittedly, still American) bills. Time to polish up on my Punjabi, I guess...

Posted by tomk at 02:09 PM | TrackBack

August 14, 2003

The Wiki problem

It was bound to happen. Sooner or later, some kiddie thinks it's funny destroy other people's environments. I'm actually quite astonished that it doesn't occur more with Wikis. Sorry to hear it has happened to the Roller Wiki.
Posted by tomk at 10:40 AM | TrackBack

August 13, 2003

The Burning Edge

For those who want to stay up-to-date on the evolution of Mozilla Firebird: The Burning Edge. A daily blog about the new features in Firebird's nightly build.

Via redemption in a blog via the same blogless websiteless person as yesterday (let's call him "nephilim").
Posted by tomk at 12:00 PM | TrackBack

August 12, 2003

HP Saga

Rodent Regatta: THE HP WAY Archives. Stories like this make you think twice about which new laptop you're going to buy. And about the feasability of outsourcing your business to a different timezone.

Thanks to a blogless and websiteless person. They still exist, it seems.

Posted by tomk at 10:28 AM | TrackBack

August 11, 2003

It has happened

Apparently, Marc was right when he said this:

so since they are obviously NOT looking for the ANSWERS you are just being hit by the people from the 3rd paragraph: "the bosses that believe in this"

Just look here:

Great interview question. I'm going to ask something like this from now on.

Well, I can only hope I'm right too with

I can only hope that these bosses will then turn to thinking about their interviewing techniques.
Posted by tomk at 04:27 PM | TrackBack

August 06, 2003

Access 2 MySQL

Matt Raible wonders how you can migrate data from Access to MySQL. Matt, I've found this script quite useful and pretty straightforward in the past. IIRC, it needs some tweaking in the code itself, but nothing extraordinary. Let me know how it works out...
Posted by tomk at 10:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 30, 2003

What Matrix Persona Are You?

You are Neo, from "The Matrix." You display a perfect fusion of heroism and compassion. Whoa!

Via Vincent

Posted by tomk at 01:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 28, 2003

PVPOnline

A link you probably better don't know: PvPonline.com. Pretty funny. Addictive, once you start on the archives.
Posted by tomk at 03:57 PM | TrackBack

July 25, 2003

FireBird

<Gasp>. Just installed a nightly build of Mozilla Firebird. It soars. I've never seen a web page load this fast. Me happy.
Posted by tomk at 01:28 PM | TrackBack

Cool optical illusions

Want to create a headache while having fun? Have a look at these cool optical illusions.
Posted by tomk at 01:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 23, 2003

Ego googling

I never thought of this before: instead of ego googling on "Tom Klaasen", do the same on the nick I usually use: tomK. First impression: I'm on top once again :-) Secondly: I'm not the only one that uses that nick. Darn.
Posted by tomk at 09:47 AM | TrackBack

July 22, 2003

We'll bomb you

... unless you stop that copying!

Want to get a license to do whatever you like in the US? Link it to terrorism. It's the same as in the big companies these days: want to do something, say it is "Six Sigma". People will approve what you do, because they know "terrorism: bad" and "six sigma: good", and even better, they know their bosses think that too, so they're safe approving your actions.

On a totally unrelated side note, I'm digesting my national holiday very badly. Totally out of energy at the moment. Can anybody give me a good reason to start working?

Posted by tomk at 09:48 AM | TrackBack

July 07, 2003

Warm feeling

I remember bringing him and him together. Well, I just forwarded Andy's cry for aesthetics to Vincent. Warm feelings as I read the outcome. Especially since it involves Cocoon too. Matchmaking is a great passtime :-)
Posted by tomk at 10:50 AM | TrackBack

July 06, 2003

Badlands...

...or how growing up on a farm is different from growing up in a province town: Badlands. Nice story. Sad ending though.
Posted by tomk at 09:42 AM | TrackBack

July 03, 2003

Under-sell to over-deliver

Oliver: under-sell to over-deliver. Agreed. How many times weren't you asked to make a guestimate, and then have a discussion "If this is right, we will be way over the deadline sales has imposed on us. Can't we bring this and this down?". In this prospect, I am very pleased with the client I'm currently working for. Having had such experiences in the past, I recently made a guestimate that was pretty tight. The answer: "Hmm, this is pretty short, let's double that. This is very fast, lets add a day or 2." Of course, my contact was the final responsible for the planning, and she apparently already knows this "under-sell to over-deliver" principle. Very nice environment to work in.
Posted by tomk at 10:30 AM | TrackBack

July 01, 2003

The Pragmatic Programmer

Another approving review of "The Pragmatic Programmer". If Bertrand can learn something of it, so would I probably. Ordered.

Posted by tomk at 02:01 PM | TrackBack

June 27, 2003

New blogger on the block

I just noticed this guy in my referals. Seems like another great ex-collegue of mine has joined the blogging world. Vincent, as you can see, is a bit more educated in the art of generating something sweet to the eye than me. Enjoy.
Posted by tomk at 02:39 PM | TrackBack

XML overview

Before boasting "I know everything there is to know about XML!!!", please check here first. Makes you kind of humble again, doesn't it? :-P (Hmm, I should look into getting proper smiley pics for this blog...)

Via Cedric

Posted by tomk at 11:22 AM | TrackBack

June 06, 2003

Interview questions

This site claims to give "answers to technical interview questions" (and wants to sell you some book in the progress). I wonder which of those are actually posed in interview sessions. I know that, if I would get questions like that to assess my person, I would dash out as if a bee stung me in the lower part of my back. These questions either rely on probability math, or finding some obtruse loophole in the question. Nothing that tells how technically skilled I am. And if a company thinks that it does tell something about my skills, then that's a company I don't want to work for.

'nough said, I guess. I would love to get some reactions from believers, and try to understand what I am missing.

Posted by tomk at 11:16 AM | Comments (105) | TrackBack

June 04, 2003

Six degrees of weblog

Eei, nifty tool. Apparently, that CamWorld blog (which I've never heard of before today) links to mine in 6 steps. Maybe Bacon was right after all...

Via Erik

Andy is coming to Belgium

Andy states that he might come to Belgium, and even give a presentation. This makes me want to go, even if it was only to be able to put a face on this chain blogger.

On an unrelated note (discussing the Sun vs JBoss issue), he states

Suddenly, .NET is cheaper than J2EE.
Perception not to be underestimated. I've heard at least one company state that they would go for .NET, because J2EE was too expensive for their business. While I didn't do any calculations on the matter, it amazed me. Apparently, they were developing some machinery that included an app server, and they would sell that machinery. So every machine would have to be licensed with one app server. And they perceived that they had to buy a full-scale J2EE compliant commercial package. But if you're into machines with only a couple of users per time, I would think that even a simple Tomcat would do. No licensing costs whatsoever. The point is: this another area where the Sun marketing machine is doing weird things, and achieves the exact opposite of what they want to achieve (sell!).

Moving right along...

Posted by tomk at 10:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 27, 2003

Eclipse and HTML

Matthew, SolarEclipse is a plugin package for marking up XML, CSS and JSP that I find quite useful. It doesn't do much more than syntax coloring, but that makes things readable. And I'm sure you can use the JSP plugin for editing your HTML.
Posted by tomk at 01:56 PM | TrackBack

May 26, 2003

Energy

I felt a little low on energy today. I ended up doing some ego-surfing. Among a lot of mails I hardly remember, I bumped into this link: Index of /dist/avalon/excalibur/v4.0b4
Fixed race condition brought to my attention by Tom Klaasen. His excellent analysis of the problem enabled me to not only fix the race condition but also increase the efficiency of the pool in some cases by 200%[BL]
Wow. I didn't even know Berin told something like that about me. Kinda makes my day a bit better.
Posted by tomk at 10:31 PM | TrackBack

May 25, 2003

OPML and XSL

As promised, I've used XSL to transform my own blogroll format into OPML. This is the stylesheet, and here is the resulting OPML file. Not exactly rocket science, but a nice finger exercise to refresh my XSL knowledge a bit.

Some thoughts though: I don't understand why RSS readers like to export their directory as OPML. OPML is some weird mix of content and presentation (it even gives the possibility to define window positions), but has nothing to do with RSS feeds. The 'standard' is even not applied, since I couldn't find a spec of how the link to the HTML version and to the RSS version of a blog should be specified. Anyway, I derived my OPML 'format' from Steven's and Bertrand's XSLs, and added the 'author' attribute (since I put it in my 'title' attribute, you know, that cool little tooltip that appears when hovering a link).

Anyway, I also promised to develop a GUI in Jython, but since you need only one line to execute an XSL from the command line, this seems a bit overkill. Maybe I'll do it anyway, just for the fun of it.

Posted by tomk at 09:54 PM | TrackBack

May 24, 2003

Re: Java vs XSL

From a not entirely unexpected corner: Outer Web Thought Log: Let's see how many lines Tom needs. Nice. Let's make one thing clear though: I didn't say one needs Java for converting XML, I said I would be faster in Java. Which actually made me think: I would do anything faster in Java. There are even things that I'm pretty sure that are doable in shell script, that I like to write in Java. Just because it's what I do and breathe day in day out. Time to broaden my language vision. Next project: create MyBlogrollFormat2Opml.xsl. If time left, create a GUI for that in Jython. That'll teach me.

What brings me to the following: anybody knows where to find the OPML specs? A quick Google only delivers some 'yeah, this is in OPML, I'm cool' links.

Posted by tomk at 02:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 23, 2003

XSL vs Java

In this tension, I'm apparently on the Java side. I was fed up with constantly having to edit, re-edit and update my feed reader and my blogroll. So I decided to consolidate everything in one XML file, and use some XSLT to get the right format for the right files. After 2.3 seconds of trying this, I noticed that I didn't know where to start. I'm still not used to think in XSLT, and it was for personal use only, so I did everything in Java. Quick. Powerful. Elegant.

At least for me. I guess a real XSL-er could do the same quick, powerful, elegant stuff in XSL. Show me that you are one ;-)

Posted by tomk at 05:44 PM | TrackBack

Http Headers

No more telnet www.mymachine.com 80: Listening to the web. Impressive.
Posted by tomk at 03:12 PM | TrackBack

May 22, 2003

Everybody can be an artist

... with this toy.
Belgian Antwerp
I probably should stop now, before there are too much of these on my page.
Posted by tomk at 03:41 PM | TrackBack

May 19, 2003

Blog pollution

Wow. Now I know what they mean with "Blog pollution". Everybody who wants to know something about the elections in Belgium yesterday, sees this blog now. Hi world!

For clarity: this was not my intention.

Posted by tomk at 05:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 16, 2003

It Works

... if you replace "&lt;" with "<", that is: Open the CD player from within IE. Nice. Anybody knows a script to let IE pour the coffee?
Posted by tomk at 01:21 PM | TrackBack

May 12, 2003

InfoGlut

My HEP server has started to drop items that I still didn't have a chance to read up on (it apparently does this after 14 days or so). So in an attempt to keep my valuable links, my to-read and to-steal-from list:

Now this entry gets aggregated into HEP again, and that will give me another 14 days to find some time...

The term infoglut has been stolen from He Who Answers All Your Questions With An URL.

Posted by tomk at 11:13 AM | TrackBack

May 08, 2003

Doggy

If you know a bit French: Chips et sa descendance - sur le web, rien que pour vous!. Bertrand has setup a blog about puppy-boom. I like this quote already:
Mais c'est pas vrai, on dirait un projet informatique...chaque jour on se dit "c'est pour aujourd'hui", mais toujours rien...
Posted by tomk at 05:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stylish

I seem to be in a UI mood these days. If you're anything like me, you probably won't have noticed because you read this in an RSS reader, but I've changed the look of the blog a bit. Basically, I took the Gettysburg template from MT, and tweaked it a bit. And I've replaced my badges via these links. Todo: remove the search box (what's that doing there? I usually search sites with Google and the site:bla.com parameter.), get rid of the "recent entries" (these are showing anyway), and get the right div a bit more narrow. Add a blogroll (shame on me to not have this yet. I'm now in the painfully slow process of extracting everything from my HEP account, which has to be done manually).

And for work, I just had a chance to play with CSS, and more specifically these ideas. Fun stuff. I wasn't even aware that CSS had that many possiblities. Shiny and bright, and visible. Well, back to the bowels of back-end DAO and VO now...

Posted by tomk at 01:38 PM | TrackBack

May 06, 2003

input type crash

Unbelievable. bchoi: Crash Microsoft Browsers with 5 lines of HTML. It works. I just tried it. Unbelievable.
Posted by tomk at 10:44 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 02, 2003

Web usability

Seven tricks that Web users don't know. Interesting article. I especially liked the bio at the bottom of the page: "Upon discovering users,...": I'm afraid many of us still haven't reached that phase.

Via John via Erik.

Posted by tomk at 01:13 PM | TrackBack

Tidbits

Various [insert blog title here]:
  • When Mark rants, it's funny. Again, the Circle of knowledge chimes in (as indicated by Tim's Im amazed that this obvious premise seemily went over the heads of all the intelligent people that commented on your tabs.)
  • Techno Weenie talks about missing RSS updates during the day. That's the reason I'm still using HEP as a messaging server (kindly provided). Although it's hard to kill subscriptions (I'm still receiving Slashdot updates, while I deleted that feed 2 weeks ago, when they started acting "tough" about "too frequent updates"), it does make sure that I don't have to worry about having missed anything after 2 days of zero keyboard time.
  • Steven detects the be-honest vs. get-the-contract dilemma. This is a problem. But the good (ahem) news is: this doesn't only affect software business. You can see it everywhere. People tend to think short-term when comparing products. When did you last choose the more expensive option between two products that seemed equal to you? You can buy a plant in a pot at various prices too, but some will have enough menure in the pot for another year, others for 2 days. How will you tell the difference? Now I know it's not good behaviour to answer a rethorical question, but still: Only if the expensive-plant-vendor steps to you, and tells you the difference. That's of course what Steven is doing, and he's totally right about it. However, the client must (A) take the time to listen, (B) understand what "menure" is, and what it does to a plant, and (C) trust and believe the vendor. A hard threesome in a world where there are cheap-plant-vendors.
  • Matt validates where he likes. I can only hope that he has never to switch DB vendors (he probably won't, but still), and that he doesn't have to unit test his code (euh... is that "hope"?), or otherwise needs a non-web interface to his code (batch processing? command line processing?).
Posted by tomk at 10:10 AM | TrackBack

May 01, 2003

Query result chunking

I've been wondering about this for quite some time, in various projects in the past, but I never got to actually googling for it. Now by accident during surfing: How to chunk query results (on various DBMSs). Just putting the link here for later retrieval, actually.
Posted by tomk at 05:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 30, 2003

Pushd

I wonder who knew this? Apparently it's possible to use UNC names in your command prompt, only the MS Gods have decided that you should use pushd instead of cd. Mysterious ways.

In case you're wondering why I should need this: I've just finished working on some utility that accesses the Windows registry via regedit, which only accepts files, and that file comes from an UNC location. After that, an .exe on your local machine is started. And that all from within your browser. I do feel a bit dirty now...

Posted by tomk at 02:47 PM | TrackBack

April 29, 2003

Apple and its tune

Funny funny: all the Americans hail Apple with its iTunes service, but as always, they forget that they're not alone on the world. Accepting non-US credit cards shouldn't be any harder than accepting US ones. In fact, that's the added value of credit card companies. And it's not that there are extra transportation costs involved.

Conclusion: Apple gets a tiny bit of it. But that's still more than one can say of most other "internet-minded" companies.

Posted by tomk at 11:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 25, 2003

java.blogs going berzerk?

My exercise entry generated a reaction from a java.blogs user:
Could you either categorize your blog, or remove it from javablogs. When I go to javablogs, I'm not interested in your exercise postings. :p
Well, first off: maybe most Java hackers can do with some more exercise :p Second: I agree. That's why I categorized my blog some time ago, during the first stir in the java.blogs community about just this issue. My first conclusion was that I made a mistake, so I checked my java.blogs profile. And what do you know? The URL provided for the feed is this one. As you see, this doesn't contain the exercise entry. But it got picked up nevertheless by java.blogs. So I'm guessing java.blogs is still using the old URL... Anybody knows about a solution to this? Is there a "flush cache" button somewhere I can press, or should I delete the blog profile alltogether, and create a new one?
Posted by tomk at 10:08 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 24, 2003

Exercise

This sounds like something I might want to try. I've been trying to figure out how to get some exercise into my life, but with a 1-hour commute, a baby son, and a girlfriend who works irregular hours, it isn't so easy. But I know I feel better when I exercise (from the few times I've tried it), so I dearly long to do it. If you exercise in the morning, you get all this stuff they call oxygen in your blood, and that gives you a multi-hour rush. It surely beats caffeine.

Via Keith via Erik.

Posted by tomk at 02:12 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 18, 2003

USB Tootbrush

Gizmodo : A USB toothbrush. And I thought I was geek with my USB Light. (Coming to think of it, that light has already proven its value during a power outage in our house. Replacing fuses by the light of a laptop powered USB light... who said I was losing my geekiness?)

Via Alan via atog

Posted by tomk at 10:42 AM | TrackBack

April 17, 2003

They put everything on the net these days...

During college, I've spent quite some hours playing Frozen Bubble. IIRC, it's even one of the first games I've played over a network. And now, it's an applet. Enjoy :-)

Thanks to atog for mailing me the link. Apparently, he believes I don't read his blog.

Posted by tomk at 02:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Damn the spam!

Apparently, one or the other spam tycoon has finally developed a program to send MSN Messenger messages automatically. This day alone, I've gotten one invitation to visit big tits, one to visit teens, and one to visit something I don't even remember. On one hand, I'm astonished that it has taken them so long to catch on. On the other hand, I wish them very short arms and lots of itches.

So much for trust. Now where can I turn the "allow everybody to send you a message" feature off....

Posted by tomk at 02:12 PM | TrackBack

Various bloggies

I feel a strong urge to do a "me too" on various blogs today. So let's get on with it:
  • Compress your data: Seems like a good idea. Every browsers supports compression AFAIK, and the client machines usually have CPU to spare to do some decompression. What I'm not entirely sure of, is that every RSS aggregator supports zipped streams. Well, they should, of course. People are kind enough to provide you with free content, you could be at least so polite to not drain their bandwidth. And CPU usage (to do their compression) is not billed.
  • Classifying programmers, or how terminology gets obfuscated over time. I've read the same discussion about "programmer" vs "architect" not so long ago (sorry, I don't think I can Google the link back up). A related issue: should you present yourself as "Software Engineer" or as "Senior Software Engineer", with "senior" in the meaning of "knowledgeable"? It sounds weird to be active in a field for 5 years, and call yourself "senior" already. OTOH, 5 years experience in one specific IT domain is very likely to make you the oldest one in that domain ;-)
  • Vera, a New Free Font Family From Bitstream: cool. Looks like a clean font (to somebody who can hardly make the distinction between Serif and Sans Serif). The only problem of course: how an I use fonts? When I think "font", I think "improve the look of a web page", but I don't know of any method to force a user to download a font to look at your page. (I might be wrong about this -- tips&hints as always welcome). As a side thought: nice to see that an open source community can convince a commercial entity to release something under a *PL. Even nicer to see that a commercial entity lets itself be convinced to release something under a *PL.
Have fun!
Posted by tomk at 10:28 AM | TrackBack

April 08, 2003

Blogging is popular

Blogging is more popular than I thought. I've just discovered that an intelligent collegue of mine also maintains a blog: atog. (his previous blog was on blog-city) Java and Movies. Entertaining :-)
Posted by tomk at 10:00 AM | TrackBack

April 04, 2003

Shower thought

Shower thought: first, I wrote

I basically suck at programming.
A few weeks later, I write
The more you know, the more you know what you don't know.
Wow. I must be a great programmer.

Hey, it's Friday, gimme a break!

Posted by tomk at 04:17 PM | TrackBack

April 02, 2003

Scary referers

This kind of scares me: my referers sometimes include my so-called homepage. This means that people who have been searching for "Tom Klaasen" (presumably) are reading my thoughts. I wonder who those people are.

Posted by tomk at 05:01 PM | TrackBack

March 27, 2003

Espa�ol

Feelings and thoughts now talked about in Spanish: Santiago Gala about the circle of knowledge. Thanks for the compliment, Santiago (I think, since I don't speak Spanish, except for "dos cervezas").
Posted by tomk at 09:54 PM | TrackBack

March 26, 2003

Andy's cool?

Andy is on top of the Google ranking. What's the big deal? I'm the most popular Tom Klaasen for quite some time now, and I know a lot of others who fall in the same category. Heck, even this guy beats his daddy.
Posted by tomk at 10:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 23, 2003

Finally, the truth online

Hehe: where GeoURL only knew Brussels in the past, it has finally discovered the real center of the world. I know one or two people who won't like their new "near" designation. :-D
Posted by tomk at 11:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Business ethics

Welcome to the real world rants about unknowing consultants. He concludes with

business ethics : oh so important to build a trust relationship with your customer ...
Sorry Werner, I think you're overlooking something here. While there might be unethical Java people out there, I think the majority of the people you encounter, are not unethical. They're just unknowing. This morning, under the shower, I came up with a good reference: I bought a house two years ago. While it was in pretty good shape, the electricity needed rewiring in some rooms. Having replaced a plug for a lamp once, I thought I would be able to do this myself. Luckily enough, my father-in-law is an electrician. When he started talking about "double carr" and "stiff wire", I knew it wasn't me who was going to replace the wires...

The good news is: not everybody is unethical. The bad news: it is a lot harder to see that a programmer is not good, than to recognize a bad electrician.

via Steven

Afterthought: maybe I'm just plain naive, and are those people well enough aware of their ignorance. But I like to believe in the goodness of people. Anyway, the question remains open: how should good people differentiate themselves from less good people? This could give us an indication of which group we belong to, too.

Posted by tomk at 10:31 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 21, 2003

Circle of knowledge again

Steven writes: Outer Web Thought Log: Open Source uptake in Belgium. Aside from getting me curious to know who can be considered competition to Outerthought in Belgium (I can only come up with one), Steven also ponders about how to position yourself. Always nice to see I'm not the only one thinking those thoughts.

BTW, did you notice this?

... to exchange thoughts and feelings open and freely ...

You should put a hyperlink in there, Steven ;-)

Update: Got to love Google: Yves Vindevogel (via the Cocoon Wiki) also seems to be a Belgium-based OSS/Java/Cocoon guy.

Posted by tomk at 11:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 17, 2003

Antwerp

My guess for the immediate future of Antwerp: VLD joins Vlaams Blok to form a coalition in the community counsil. The coming days will tell if I'm right...

On other world news: UN loses. Either they decide to go with the US tonight, which means they give in to the whims of some president, thus admitting they are powerless, or they don't, and the US attacks Iraq, and the UN remains powerless.

Let's hope I'm wrong on both points, because this doesn't look too bright a future. Not enough to wear shades, anyway.

Disclaimer: all this political stuff is not backed by any strong opinion, just by thoughts floating in my mind. Which is where blogs are for. I should put something like this in my MT templates, I guess.

Posted by tomk at 10:44 AM | TrackBack

March 16, 2003

Gaz

Funny: Code Intensity. $2.49/gallon == 2.31/gallon == 2.31/3.7843 liter == 0.61/liter. Expensive? Now compare to this ("Belgi" is Dutch for "Belgium", where I live. And "loodvrij" is "without lead"). Maybe we can inspire that Bush-guy where he can find money for his budget deficit now (most part of the gaz prices here are taxes) ;-)
Posted by tomk at 10:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 14, 2003

Tab Completion in Windows

Refered to by a fellow worker: Fuzzygroup :: Making Windows Like Unix - Tab Completion. I didn't know that. It only completes file names in the current directory, so it's still slightly different from un*x, which also completes commands in your path, but still...

BTW, this article is in fact two articles: the tab completion stuff, which is interesting, and the author's resum�, which made me laugh (read till the end!). Sign o' the times, I guess...

Posted by tomk at 10:31 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 12, 2003

Freedom Fries

Read this: Yahoo! News Full Coverage - U.S. - GOP Lawmakers Rename French Fries to 'Freedom Fries' in House Cafeteria. Yeah, that'll teach them. Especially since everybody knows that French fries are not French at all, but Belgian...

via DayPop via Matthew Langham

Posted by tomk at 11:47 AM | TrackBack

March 10, 2003

How to create tech jobs

Have I told you already how I agree with Norman Richards? No? Now I did. Not that I see a lot of "dead wood" in my circle of perception, but I know they're out there.
Posted by tomk at 01:37 PM | TrackBack

Blogging mainstream?

Articles like CNN.com - Blogging goes mainstream - Mar. 10, 2003 seem to indicate that the "business people" are starting to smell money in the blogging area. So enjoy it while it lasts, kids, because soon, you'll be slammed with ads like any Internet page nowadays. (For the youngsters: yes, there was a time when you could surf a whole day without encountering a single advertisement.) And then the class action suits will follow: "This guy aggregated my RSS feed, but filtered out my ads." And so on and so forth. The usual crap you get when money sharks touch the fun stuff.

via Erik Thauvin

Posted by tomk at 01:33 PM | TrackBack

March 09, 2003

Nick Chalko goes to war

Nick Chalko, whom I've always respected for his hard work at Krysalis, seems to be eager to go to war. An opinion that differs slightly from mine. No Nick, nobody cares that you want to go out and kill Saddam. He killed enough people in his time. But who we do care about, is the Iraqian dad of a 13- and 16-year old whom you're going to kill too.
Posted by tomk at 10:35 PM | TrackBack

Terry Jones

Found this in my mailbox the other day:

A letter to the london observer from Terry Jones (yes, of Monty Python).

Letter to the Observer

Sunday January 26, 2003

The Observer

I'm really excited by George Bush's latest reason for bombing Iraq: he's running out of patience. And so am I! For some time now I've been really pissed off with Mr Johnson, who lives a couple of doors down the street.

Well, him and Mr Patel, who runs the health food shop. They both give me queer looks, and I'm sure Mr Johnson is planning something nasty for me, but so far I haven't been able to discover what.

I've been round to his place a few times to see what he's up to, but he's got everything well hidden. That's how devious he is. As for Mr Patel, don't ask me how I know, I just know - from very good sources - that he is, in reality, a Mass Murderer. I have leafleted the street telling them that if we don't act first, he'll pick us off one by one. Some of my neighbours say, if I've got proof, why don't I go to the police? But that's simply ridiculous. The police will say that they need evidence of a crime with which to charge my neighbours.

They'll come up with endless red tape and quibbling about the rights and wrongs of a pre-emptive strike and all the while Mr Johnson will be finalising his plans to do terrible things to me, while Mr Patel will be secretly murdering people.

Since I'm the only one in the street with a decent range of automatic firearms, I reckon it's up to me to keep the peace. But until recently that's been a little difficult. Now, however, George W. Bush has made it clear that all I need to do is run out of patience, and then I can wade in and do whatever I want!

And let's face it, Mr Bush's carefully thought-out policy towards Iraq is the only way to bring about international peace and security. The one certain way to stop Muslim fundamentalist suicide bombers targeting the US or the UK is to bomb a few Muslim countries that have never threatened us.

That's why I want to blow up Mr Johnson's garage and kill his wife and children. Strike first! That'll teach him a lesson. Then he'll leave us in peace and stop peering at me in that totally unacceptable way.

Mr Bush makes it clear that all he needs to know before bombing Iraq is that Saddam is a really nasty man and that he has weapons of mass destruction - even if no one can find them. I'm certain I've just as much justification for killing Mr Johnson's wife and children as Mr Bush has for bombing Iraq. Mr Bush's long-term aim is to make the world a safer place by eliminating 'rogue states' and 'terrorism'. It's such a clever long-term aim because how can you ever know when you've achieved it?

How will Mr Bush know when he's wiped out all terrorists? When every single terrorist is dead? But then a terrorist is only a terrorist once he's committed an act of terror.

What about would-be terrorists? These are the ones you really want to eliminate, since most of the known terrorists, being suicide bombers, have already eliminated themselves.

Perhaps Mr Bush needs to wipe out everyone who could possibly be a future terrorist? Maybe he can't be sure he's achieved his objective until every Muslim fundamentalist is dead? But then some moderate Muslims might convert to fundamentalism. Maybe the only really safe thing to do would be for Mr Bush to eliminate all Muslims?

It's the same in my street. Mr Johnson and Mr Patel are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of other people in the street who I don't like and who - quite frankly - look at me in odd ways. No one will be really safe until I've wiped them all out. My wife says I might be going too far but I tell her I'm simply using the same logic as the President of the United States. That shuts her up.

Like Mr Bush, I've run out of patience, and if that's a good enough reason for the President, it's good enough for me. I'm going to give the whole street two weeks - no, 10 days - to come out in the open and hand over all aliens and interplanetary hijackers, galactic outlaws and interstellar terrorist masterminds, and if they don't hand them over nicely and say 'Thank you', I'm going to bomb the entire street to kingdom come.

It's just as sane as what George W. Bush is proposing - and, in contrast to what he's intending, my policy will destroy only one street.

Of course, I don't know if this really is by Terry Jones, but it's well written and expresses the feelings many of the non-americans (and from some information that leaks through, even a few americans) have, I think.

Posted by tomk at 09:58 AM | TrackBack

March 06, 2003

Referers

In Outer Web Thought Log: Sam goes Python (again), Steven refers to my referer log. For the curious: you can find it here. Code is on SourceForge.

It's not much, but the log parsing was fun. And yes Steven, I have more features than you do ;-)

Posted by tomk at 04:59 PM | TrackBack

March 04, 2003

Circle of knowledge

Sean 'Early' Campbell & Scott 'Adopter' Swigart's Radio Weblog has a reference to a "scientific" prove of the "circle of knowledge" theory. I'm glad that my view on the world is scientifically quantifiable.
Posted by tomk at 11:18 AM | TrackBack

February 25, 2003

Rush Hour

Ow man, games like the one Bruggen is referring to, are just too addictive for me... I've only went cold turkey on Sokoban (again) 2 months ago, and I'll have a hard time not playing this til 2 o'clock. AM, that is. Thanks, Rik!
Posted by tomk at 10:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 19, 2003

Death to SpamBots

I've just applied the Enkoder script. While it will not kill the spambots forever (and while they will still be able to find my email address from various other web resources), I hope it will at least slow them down.
Posted by tomk at 01:27 PM | TrackBack

February 17, 2003

Dvorak

Intriguing: Introducing the Dvorak Keyboard. Although it seems to be one of those geek "look how cool I am" things, it's interesting. I've switched my keyboard and typed something in notepad to get a feeling, and it felt good... Using the "one-arm" Dvorak layout would even look cooler for innocent bystanders, but I think it would expose your hand to RSI a bit too much (using the same hand all the time). Although... left-hand Dvorak and the mouse in the right hand would spare me a lot of keyboard-mouse switching...
Posted by tomk at 01:33 PM | TrackBack

February 07, 2003

Good old adventures

Looks like 5 minutes of fun: Good Old Adventures. Slashdotted at the moment. Hopefully I remember to check it out.
Posted by tomk at 01:03 PM | TrackBack

February 05, 2003

New toy

I've just added a new toy in the left column. Most people will read this in an aggregator, I know, but I couldn't resist.
Posted by tomk at 03:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 03, 2003

Clock discussion

Jesse Ezell seems to say "you have to do more than 40 hours a week". I don't get it. Why would that be? Anyway, "doing hours" seems distant to me. I'm 24/7 busy with my job. I punch in and out at about 40 hours/week (most of the time even less), but when driving home, when eating, when going to sleep, when lining up in the grocery shop, ... I'm thinking about my job. It never ends.

Posted by tomk at 10:37 AM | TrackBack

January 31, 2003

Round-up

A lot of blogs this morning that I want to draw your attention to, but aren't necessarily worth a separate entry each time. Here goes:
Posted by tomk at 10:00 AM | TrackBack

Clueless and well-paid

Marc discovers the "perception is reality" principle in the real world. My first impression of somebody always has to do with his appearance. As a general rule of thumb, the more expensive somebody is clad, the more cluelessness he wants to hide with his clothes. I even experienced this myself: on a blue Monday, I put on a suit to go to work. I even felt dumber than normal. Seriously.

The catch is, that for most people, this works. "He's got a nice suit, he must be very intelligent". That's how they get away with it. Maybe my next career choice will be to start wearing expensive suits, become blissfully ignorant, and earn tons of money.

Posted by tomk at 09:26 AM | TrackBack

January 30, 2003

roadVision

Another one bitten by the roadVision beast. I've experienced the exact same situation: somebody who wasn't going to touch code by far, choose the B-beast for us to use. JB is still lucky though: when I was using it, you still had to program everything in JavaScript (yes, serverside). Did you know that variables in JavaScript have global scope, unles you put var before them? Try nesting several while (i < n) loops. In different source files. And find the bug.

Anyway, the price of a product doesn't say anything about its quality. And if it does, it tends to be an inverse relationship.

Posted by tomk at 06:13 PM | TrackBack

Rubik

Jummy: A Rubik's cube solution that is easy to memorize. Thanks, Cedric!
Posted by tomk at 02:53 PM | TrackBack

January 23, 2003

About the economy

The FuzzyBlog is talking about how current salaries are low, and will stay low for years to come. Just one thought: in Belgium, it is forbidden to sell anything with loss (except in nationally defined "sales" periods). I guess Scott has just explained why. And if he lived in Belgium, he should be more careful what he's blogging, or he could get sued ;-)

On a related note, I hope he's wrong. Are there any economists out there?

Posted by tomk at 04:17 PM | TrackBack

January 20, 2003

To blog, or not to blog?

It seems like an "Is this it?" feeling wave is running through blogland: Incessant Ramblings doesn't want to write about his work, and even dive into mark is not too optimistic. The good news is: they blog about not wanting to blog anymore :-)
I can only say this: I love to learn about anecdotes of the bowels of Microsoft (where the author of the first works), and I like to read stuff I don't understand about standard compliance ;-) Lighthouses could be nice also, though.
Which brings me to the following: Mark teaches some zen:
One day Zen Master Bo Woi asked Zen Master Jun Kang, "A long time ago, Zen Master Ma Jo said to the assembly, 'I have a circle. If you enter this circle, I will hit you. If you do not enter this circle, I will also hit you. What can you do?' So I ask you, Jun Kang, if you had been there, how would you have answered?"

Jun Kang replied, "I don't like nonsense. How do I not get hit by Ma Jo's stick?"

Bo Wol answered, "Why are you holding Ma Jo's stick?"
I don't get it. Where does the stick come from? And why shouldn't I hit Ma Jo first? Any help?
Posted by tomk at 10:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 17, 2003

Andy and Microsoft

Andy makes me curious about his MS interview (yeah, there, on the bottom). I hope to read more soon...
Posted by tomk at 04:35 PM | TrackBack

Valid XHTML

I did it! But now the badge collection starts to look messy...

Posted by tomk at 02:46 PM | TrackBack

Collecting "good boy" badges

As you can see on the left, this blog is now considered having valid RSS. Next one: valid XHTML. Seems like I have still some work to do on that one...

Posted by tomk at 02:25 PM | TrackBack

99 Botles of beer

While idling around, I saw Thierry's Corner: One program in 487 languages. Awesome. For kicks, compare the Java and C# version. And give 101 reasons why one is better than the other ;-)

Posted by tomk at 11:00 AM | TrackBack

The Switch (2)

I moved here. Nothing personal, I still love FreeRoller, but the recent blackouts of the FreeRoller server made me step over.
Posted by tomk at 07:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2003

AdCritic

AdCritic.com has become a paysite. I don't know when this happened, but I just stumbled over it. I wonder who is willing to pay USD 70 a year to see ads and parodies on ads? It used to be a fun site for the idle moments though...

Posted by tomk at 04:12 PM | TrackBack

GeoURL

Going with the flow, I added a new toy on the blog. Observations: I spent quite some time retrieving my coordinates. I ended up using Maporama for this.
Posted by tomk at 01:52 PM | TrackBack

IE troubles

I just saw that this page is too broad when seen in IE. I'll have to look into that. In the mean time, please be so kind to use the scroll bar on the bottom of your browser.

Posted by tomk at 11:34 AM | TrackBack

The Switch 2

Another switch: FreeRoller has been failing too much on me lately. It's not only frustrating for me, trying to enter something, but also for people trying to read. Steven has kindly offered me to create an account here, which I kindly accepted :)
Things to do:
  1. register this at JavaBlogs
  2. import the archives from FreeRoller
  3. update link on my "homepage"
  4. get the permalinks to be # instead of the time
Posted by tomk at 09:55 AM | TrackBack

January 11, 2003

Aggie: the sequel

Well, what do you know... Remember that I wanted to get Aggie to send mail? The only problem was to compile some C#. Today I finally got a go at it. First I tried csc *.cs, but that didn't work. Then I noticed a Makefile in the directory. First try was to type make, but that didn't work. Then, from the depths of my memory, something like nmake came to mind. I typed it, and tadaaa... Aggie compiled! I have no idea where that nmake comes from (was it installed already? Is it installed when you install .NET SDK?), but it magically was there.

The big advantage over Hep? It doesn't require a server. That is, it doesn't have to be reachable from the outside. It only needs outgoing HTTP and SMTP, and that's it. You can get to your RSS feeds from everywhere where you can read your mail. It comes pretty close to this.

I discovered a strange thing though: on Win2K, the finest interval between 2 scheduled tasks is 1 day. I wanted to schedule AggieCmd to run once every hour or so, but that's just not possible. I wonder why... Anyhow, I hacked some C# to get finer intervals. In Java, you would use Thread.sleep(3600000). I casted The Magic on C# sleep, which led me to the Timer class. A quick course in Delegates (summary: you can pass methods as variables), and I got it running. Probably not the shiniest code a C# programmer has ever seen, but it seems to be working. (If you're interested in the code, send me a mail. But I warn you: if you've coded more than 2 lines of C# in your life, it really isn't worth the trouble.)

A final note on the Delegate idea: I've got mixed feelings. I like it, because I missed it in Java a time or two (yes, I know you can design around it, but that always seems such a drag), but it also kind of makes methods and objects interchangeable. The OO purist in me isn't too happy about this. Luckily, I'm pretty good at getting purists in me to shut up.

Posted by tomk at 06:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 10, 2003

The Hacker FAQ

It's floating around in blogworld now, but just in case you missed it: How to hire a hacker.
Posted by tomk at 03:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 06, 2003

Java Blogs

Java Blogs now has an RSS feed. Should be quite a fat stream, I think. Added it to my HEP anyways :-)

Update HEP seems to choke on that stream :-(

Posted by tomk at 04:53 AM | TrackBack

January 04, 2003

Digest

Digest of my Saturday-morning wake-up:
Posted by tomk at 05:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 03, 2003

Emailing RSS

Steven has found an RSS mailer for me. Thanks, Steven. It looks nice. I'll give it a try during the weekend.
Posted by tomk at 04:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 02, 2003

Unix/MacOSX

Cameron writes:
My theory with Unix is that it is so hard to install anything that once you get it running, no one screws with the box, so Unix servers work really well. Less software equals less problems.
Right on.

He also mentions the ingenuity of Sun:

So as long as I can work on Windows and let someone else figure out how to install the finished applications on Unix, I'm happy. If you stop and think about it, that's the genius behind Sun pushing Java so hard: all of a sudden, they had a ton(ne) of programmers building applications for their overpriced servers.
That's how all Java programmers think and feel.
Posted by tomk at 04:06 AM | TrackBack

January 01, 2003

E-mailing RSS

Yay: Aggie goes e-mail. It seems to be only in the CVS version for now. Let's see if I can compile a C# project...
Posted by tomk at 04:04 PM | TrackBack

December 29, 2002

Wiki

RSS feed on a Wiki. Nice. Useful. Should be done more.
Posted by tomk at 08:20 AM | TrackBack

Antipatterns

Community antipatterns, from the when-I-have-time-to-spare department. Thanks, Steven.
Posted by tomk at 08:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 24, 2002

Workload

From De Standaard:
Zelfstandigen werken (te) hard
BRUSSEL -- Zelfstandigen stoppen zoveel tijd en energie in hun zaak dat er (te) weinig tijd overblijft voor het gezin of voor vrije tijd. En door de stress en het gebrek aan vakantie kampt een op de drie zelfstandige ondernemers met gezondheidsproblemen. Volgens Unizo zijn er dringend maatregelen nodig om de levenskwaliteit van de zelfstandigen op te krikken. (...)
This one is going with my previous one in my upcoming "Time" blog (together with a translation) ...
Posted by tomk at 04:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Committee

Auch. Maybe we should first raise a committee to decide who is to be in that committee? But before we can do that, of course we need a committee to put down the rules of voting for that committee. Who's going to be in that ruling committee? Maybe we should write an RFC for that. Is anybody volonteering for writing that RFC? No? Damn Apache... nobody volunteers for anything anymore...

Seriously: if you want to contribute something to Apache these days, it seems like you better are a good lawyer. Not for the licensing stuff, no, but to wade through tons of "internal" documents describing what you have to do and what you cannot do. Add to that the huge amount of politics (including the opposition, which is very Belgian: just block every move from the majority), and a lot of the fun of working with a community is blown away. Of course, there are people thriving on stuff like this (you know who you are). But that are not the ones who code.

Posted by tomk at 08:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 22, 2002

Explore2fs

Nice tool if you're transferring your files from an ext2 file system to a Windows environment: explore2fs.
Posted by tomk at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Switch

Well, I've given in. After 10 months of Linux, it's been enough. I looked back last week, and saw nothing but frustrating installing routines and tons of HOWTO's, but very little actual work done. Yes, now I know how a font is rendered on a LCD screen, but how's that going to help me in developing an intranet application? And when I wanted quickly to install Eclipse, to be more productive, I was started for 3 days of frustrating poking around. Enough is enough. I only have that many hours in a day, and I don't want to waste them anymore on things that are done in seconds on a Windows PC. I've lived 10 months of tiny frustrations and tiny victories. Victories are just easier to achieve for me on W2K. I don't want all those nice features that Linux offers you, but that are only interesting for sysadmins. What I do want, is to plug an USB mouse in my laptop and start using it. What I do want, is to be able to scroll my window by touching the sides of the touchpanel. Even more: what I do want, is a decent RSS aggregator. And Aggie is the best one I've encountered so far. I know about Mono, but I refuse to spend a week on trying to install Mono, when .NET is installed by checking a box on windowsupdate.com.

Don't get me wrong: I still believe OSS has a feature. But as things are today, you have to master the underlying technologies in order to use it. I'm still madly in love with Cocoon, but I do know how to run ant, and where to find a jar. I know jack shit about C/C++ development, and I don't even get how you're supposed to install gcc. To let alone the version hell of glibc and collagues.

Maybe I'll turn back in a week or so, when I've encountered the zillionth blue screen of death, but believe me, the zillionth "glibc not installed correctly" gets on your nerves also. And makes you feel like a complete idiot, a feeling that I don't like at all. See you all next time, I'm going to windowsupdate.com now...

Posted by tomk at 09:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 16, 2002

Nicola Ken

Auch, Nicola Ken seems to be a bit blue. From what I can tell, he's experiencing some or several of the following, to which I'm not totally immune either: I just hope this link increments Nicola's referer count, so that he knows he's not alone out there :-)
Posted by tomk at 09:07 AM | TrackBack

December 13, 2002

REST reading progress

I've been scanning the REST paper quickly. From what I've seen so far, this is REST in a nutshell: This is
  1. one guy's wet dream of the Web, and
  2. the goal I (and many other web application developers, I suppose) have been prosecuting for several years now. Yes, you probably too. Have you ever said "I don't like sessions. Sessions are bad. Sessions expire." ? Then you're supposedly a REST-guru without you knowing it :-)
That said, I know that this is a hard goal to reach ("Put the object in the session, it's soooo easy!" - "Yeah, you're right, there's a deadline coming up.") and I'm curious if the paper will reveil magic solutions for this. Object of the next 5 minutes of time.
Posted by tomk at 08:34 PM | TrackBack

December 12, 2002

REST

Did you notice the current hype around REST? Everybody seems to be talking about it, but nobody seems to link to some explanation. I decided to make the world a better place: what I think all the fuzz is about.

First observation: you can get titles in "DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in Information and Computer Science" nowadays. I wish I knew that sooner. Seems like a very nice study field.

Second observation: doctors of philosophy are wordy. If someone could send me a summary, I would be much obliged :-) On my to-read list for now. Comments later.

Posted by tomk at 12:29 PM | TrackBack

December 09, 2002

Agreement

Hacking Log has noticed my thing on community and stuff. Looks to me that we movingly agree without admitting it. This seems to happen a lot to me. Note to self: investigate why this is.
Posted by tomk at 05:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Conspiracy

Random Thought has fallen for a conspiracy theory (also noted by sstirling). We knew from the beginning that Bush was pushed forward by the US weapon lobby, and of course this lobby hasn't hesitated to take as much advantage as it could from the 9/11 attacks (side note: did anybody ever notice that 9/11 is the same as the urgency number in the US? Coincidence?). But that's an entirely different thing than proclaiming that the weapon lobby effectively has committed the attacks. Anyway, if you're an American citizen, please consider carefully before revoting for Bush next time.
Posted by tomk at 05:05 PM | TrackBack

December 04, 2002

w.bloggar

I finally found the instructions for using w.bloggar on freeroller.net. Let's rock!

Next step will hopefully be MozBlog, bug that didn't work out for me yet.

Posted by tomk at 08:44 PM | TrackBack

Community

Oh my, something serious seems to have happened to the Avalon community. I'm curious for the details, but a quick scan of the mailing list archives didn't help...

As for the second part of the article, I'm not sure if I agree with Andrew. I think territory is a good thing. Not "this is my code, and you can't touch it", but "this is my code, and if you want to touch it, please pay respect by trying to understand it before you change it". Why one thing was done in one way, and not another one, is often caused by zillions of reasons, some of which are not obvious to one who steps in head over heels. Let's take the oh so popular car analogy: if I look at a car, I see some thing on four wheels. Why four? A plane is formed by 3 points, so I can easily remove one wheel. I might have to move the other 3's position a bit, but I will end up with a car that can drive straight forward. Vwala, I've fixed a bug in the car design! And then the next person steps in, and tries to make a turn... He'll experience why there were 4 wheels in the first place.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: not all code breaks are maliciously done. In fact, most are not. But many code breaks are caused by somebody "fixing" something without a perfect understanding of why it was that way in the first place. You have to consider that before saying "lets open all code to everybody". Somebody who has proven to have a clear understanding of Log4J, doesn't necessarily have a clear understanding of how a servlet container works.

What does need to be considered, however, is the openness of the "get commit access" procedure: if a Log4J committer comes knocking at Tomcat's door "hi guys, I want to fix code I broke in Tomcat", the treshold should be very low to let him in.

Disclaimer: I'm unknowing of the actual situation in Apacheland. Consider this as "an outsider's theory". I don't want to pretend that I can come in head over heels and fix everything.

Posted by tomk at 03:37 PM | TrackBack

December 02, 2002

RSS email aggregator

Strange things happen when you write weblogs. I just wanted to say I started working on an RSS-to-email aggregator, and I tried to find this link again with Google, to tell you about how I feel the same way and stuff. But I must have typed in something different than on my previous quest for a good Linux RSS aggregator, because the first thing that showed up was this. So it seems that I have waisted yesterday on reinventing the wheel ;-)

I'll have a look at it tonight, to see if it will work for me.

But what I wanted to say: RSS-to-email aggregation seems perfect for me. I'm used to managing an email box that is read on several computers with several interfaces and stuff, and that's exactly what I want to be able to do with my RSS feeds. Another option would be to put it on some HTTP server somewhere, but that requires ... a server. In Belgium, we have this strange thing that broadband home connections cannot be used as servers, so that's a no-goer. With the email solution, you only need a pc that can get feeds via HTTP, and send mail via SMTP, just like a "legitimate" client pc. You'll still need a 24/7 up machine, so maybe it might be a good idea to have it on some server anyway, but still...

Final thought: it seems that I've been spending much of last week's time on getting comfortable with all this blogging stuff. Maybe I should start developing a bit more again :-S

Posted by tomk at 05:40 PM | TrackBack

JavaBlogs.com

Just followed Ovidiu's advice.
Posted by tomk at 05:26 PM | TrackBack

Mr. Flow

This is getting spooky. I'll better start watching my mouth now ;-)

Oh wait, that's not why I started this stuff...

Posted by tomk at 05:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 30, 2002

Backfiring

Talk about backfiring.

Lindows, which was fighting with MS over its name, had setup a page to tell MS "see, there are other companies who also use 'Windows' and are not sued by you." MS's reaction apparently has been "You're right, we have to be consequent!" And so they did...

Posted by tomk at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 29, 2002

Weblogging tools

Well, I've found my RSS aggregator on Windows: FeedReader seems to be a nice little tool. Only 4 things left that I need:
  1. An RSS aggregator for Linux
  2. A weblog client for Windows
  3. A weblog client for Linux
  4. The exact configuration parameters to connect the 2 previous ones to FreeRoller
Off to Google it is :-)
Posted by tomk at 03:07 PM | TrackBack

November 26, 2002

Apache Overhead

It seems like there is a lot of stirring in the mud-pool going on at Apache. They're re-examining their project structure, as well as funding and conferences. All this is done by a few people, who have too little time already as it is, so some things are misunderstood due to lack of time. And people start biting each other's heads off. I hope it'll come together in the end.
In fact, it's this kind of overhead that has worried me ever since I heard about OSS. GPL against LGPL against APL against BSD, RedHat against Mandrake against Debian, Tomcat against JServ, etc etc. Julius Caesar already knew the "divide et impera" adagio. Bill will like to see it. Nuff said.
Posted by tomk at 09:38 AM | TrackBack

November 20, 2002

Blog client

Anybody knows about a good blog client (reader)? I started with newsisfree.com, but one way are the other my account is all messed up now. I'll have to do some Googleing...
Posted by tomk at 05:07 PM | TrackBack

Spam

A lot to do about spam these days. Some of the solutions that are proposed are whitelists ("I know you, you can send me mail") and paid e-mail ("For every mail you send me, you pay me � 0.01). I think a combination of these can be a healthy solution: you pay me � 0.01 to send me a mail, unless you're on my whitelist. Mails like "Hi, I'm tomK, we were on college together, please put me on your whitelist" will become common.
It goes without saying that we need to adapt the e-mail clients also. "Put sender on whitelist" will be an indispensable feature.
Posted by tomk at 04:52 PM | TrackBack

November 17, 2002

Variation

Last Friday, I had to add some extra features on a project that was finished some months ago. I wasn't too keen on doing this: trashing around in code that has a fairly complex structure is usually asking for trouble. But guess what: I liked it. And I liked it for 2 reasons:

Of course, not all programmers are like me (I hope), and few things are more frustrating than a failed project that keeps haunting you, but getting to work on several interesting projects at the same time would surely improve my efficiency.

Posted by tomk at 06:20 PM | TrackBack

November 15, 2002

Getting started

The oddest thing happened yesterday. Some blogger wrote some stuff that I thought was common knowledge, but was received as a complete new insight by a lot of people.

This of course has given me the impression that I'm full of complete new insights, but that I don't express them enough (I guess starting a blog gives you the right to put aside your modesty). And a long-time acquintance of mine pushed me over the edge to start writing things down. So here goes.

Expect Java. Expect XML. Expect OSS. Expect social engineering, or "people skills for geeks" (in the two directions).

Posted by tomk at 05:05 PM | TrackBack