And the winner is…

The jailed beasts! I wonder who might that be… Bibi40k Oshlobanul, aka DJ Oshlo Scolopendra Kaa0s

…this photo!

First to give credit where credit is due: this picture was taken by a professional photographer, Sebastian Enache, using his Nikon D100 camera.

About three weeks ago, my friend and former colleague Luminiţa (also known as Scolopendra — don’t ask me what this means, I have no clue) asked me why don’t I send the picture to this radio station‘s contest? I knew about the contest because I occasionally listen to some of their shows, and I was even thinking about submitting the picture but I wasn’t quite convinced until she insisted. They were giving away an HP Photosmart 7450 every week for the most funny picture taken by someone at work, so I thought what the hell? I actually needed a printer, but I was 99.9% sure nothing will come out of it. And even though Luminiţa had already changed her heart about the idea in the meantime (she feared repercussions at work — and even tried to convince me NOT to send it anymore), I sent it anyway.

Next week’s winner was someone else. I wasn’t surprised.

The second week the contest apparently didn’t take place, because the magazine publishing the contest’s results didn’t have anything on the usual page. I was on vacation to the seaside so I wasn’t listening to the radio (except for a freaking local station broadcasted on the beach through megaphones — but more about this on another occasion), I had no clue what’s going on. I even thought maybe the campaign ended, the contest was over, so no luck for me.

The third week I was back to the office when I got a call from another former colleague, Bibi40k, who asked me why wasn’t I telling anyone I’d won? I had the magazine but I was so convinced there’s no way I can win that I hadn’t even checked. So there it was, on page 20!

The photo as it appeared in the magazine. Moving the mouse over the picture reveals a detail version that has the date of the magazine overlaid in the corner.Move your mouse over the photo to see a detail version that has also the date of the magazine overlaid in the corner.

Note: if it doesn’t seem to work for you, it means you are using IE version 7.0.5112.0 or older, or an equally crappy browser that doesn’t give a shit about current standards — CSS in this case. Do yourself a favour, get Firefox and see how is this (and good websites for that matter) supposed to work. Yes, yes, I know some people may have styles disabled or check my posts through a feed reader, but these kind of people know enough of their shit to ignore this note, don’t they? So bug off!

So I went to the radio station and picked up the printer the very same night. I was really excited, I don’t usually win anything — I wonder if it’s because I don’t normally gamble or play the lottery…

The first impression of the printer was OK, then I discovered there was no data cable in the package! My friend Kaa0s (you can see him in the picture too) tells me printers are normally sold without data cables. Well, it may be so, but this is just plain stupid if you ask me. Fortunately I had an unused USB cable laying about and I could test the printer right away. Otherwise I would have been really pissed, it was already past the shops’ closing hours.

To cut it short, the printer does a really fine job with photographs, provided you use special photo paper. I suspect the price of the ink and paper would make the home photo studio a wee bit too expensive, though.

But the real surprise came about when I first tried to print a normal A4 sheet with some text. The sheet guiding system (or in fact, the lack of one) makes it almost impossible to print general purpose documents. The first few sheets I tried jammed inside the printer and it continued as if nothing happened. I guess it would have spilled ink all over the place if I wouldn’t have tuned it off right away. In the end, all my efforts resulted in a pile of badly jammed sheets, a few with the text slanted about 5 to 10 degrees, and one sheet with only 1 degree or so. I then called it quits, it was too much work for a damn page of text.

My conclusion: the photos printed with it look incredibly good and the guiding cassette for the 4×6 inches sheets (approx. 10×15 cm.) comes in really handy. But it’s quite a pain in the ass to get a correct print on an A4 sheet, because of what I said above about the guiding system. I think this printer will happily collect dust on my desk.

The guys think I’m whining about it because I don’t want to buy them a drink to celebrate winning it… what a bunch of bozos! I’ll buy you the damn drinks as soon as I find the time — this doesn’t mean the printer doesn’t suck, OK?

And now for a little history of this picture.

It was taken a few years ago two years ago (found the original and checked the EXIF metadata), August 27th, 2003 at 12:45, while I was still working for a publishing house as the production guy for a women’s magazine (the job title was production manager, but I wasn’t really managing anything — it was all pretty standard DTP stuff like scanning, photo retouching and other technical pre-press details).

The whole Production Department was packed into two small and mostly artificially lit rooms in the basement of a residential area villa. It was clearly a political decision, as we were considered outcasts — the tech guys & girls that were less likely to take any bullshit from anyone. And the results of our work were mostly measurable, so it was a lot more difficult to make empty accusations stand (e.g. “this is not good, you completely screwed it up”). Because that’s how the company’s managing bitch director considered a good way to keep people at bay, and as I gather she still treats them like shit till this day.

But we are not here to discuss the reasons I left that company, are we?

Edit December 7, 2005: Because I’m lazy, I almost never prefix the URL‘s I type in the browser’s address bar with “http://” or even “www”. But when it comes to WordPress — actually to the Markdown plugin — this spells trouble all over the links in my posts. After seeing in the stats the 404 error being triggered a bunch of times by links such as

/2005/08/25/and-the-winner-is/www.catavencu.ro or
/2005/08/25/and-the-winner-is/www.eliberadio.ro

I finally understood that starting links with “www” is not enough for Markdown not to consider them relative to the post page. I stand corrected, but I’m still too lazy for this! Maybe it’s time to hack into Markdown…

2 thoughts on “And the winner is…

  1. Baby, you WON! Incredible, but you actually did! So stop complaining and fussing around and buy the guys some beers, ok? As for that sense of nostalgia that I picked from your words.. just think about your caring understanding easy going bitch-boss and about all the shit that you’ve taken all those years.. I honestly think that it’s a step forward. Maybe just a little one, but you’ve definitely taken a step forward. As for the other reasons for what you left the company, we’re not here to dicuss about it, are we? Anyway, in case you will do it eventually, just let me know, ok?

  2. Sweetie, I promise you’ll be the first to know. And I’ll even ask you to proof-read all the entries I will ever write about any sensible subject, OK?

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