Monday, 30 April 2007

Memory Problems

Starting to act on my latest resolution, I have just revisited some old files/projects. Namely, my long awaited audio player.

Having a little spare time on my hands, It seemed like a good opportunity to check out the new Flash CS3, and also do something about that audio player in the process.

Yet, to my deepest grief, I have discovered that since leaving Teamcode in October last year, I have forgot a really big chunk of what I new about Flash!

I mean I was aware at the time I still have a lot to learn about it (I’m a long time fan of Director and never seemed to get the same level of acquaintance with Flash) but this is really annoying!

Oh, well… like everything else these days, it seems it’s going to be a lot harder than I was hoping.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

I refuse to drive again…

…in this lame excuse of a city!

Satellite photo of the area I live in. Moving the mouse over the picture reveals a detail version.

The picture above is a satellite photograph of the area I live in. Roll your mouse over it to see it slightly zoomed in. Near number 1, in a blueish hue — the building where my apartment is. The yellow dotted line is the way I normally drive to work in the morning. But today the boulevard where I usually turn left (the point below no. 2) was so crowded with cars going both ways, that it seemed easier to turn right instead, and get back on track at the first stoplight (3). You can’t count on fellow drivers to be that nice and allow you to get in line, so it usually takes many minutes before there’s a big enough space for one to sneak in.

This meant a detour of at most 500 meters. Only it took 20 minutes to make that detour! So I finally gave up, turned back home and left the car, then took the subway to work.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

4th

Yesterday we celebrated the 4th anniversary of our marriage.

When I got home from work Crenguţa was waiting for me with a romantic dinner with everything: candle light, exotic salads, wine and tiramisu. Very, very nice! Especially since everything was homemade by herself (except the wine, of course). She’s a fantastic cook, and she also enjoys experimenting with food.

It was a great evening — and a long due one, I might add. I hope there are going to be more and more evenings like that once her health gets better.

The only thing that saddens me now is that I don’t own a camera, the moment and her preparations were well worth immortalizing. Maybe next time.

I’ll leave you with two older pictures. The first fits well in the context, the second not really but I like it. Crenguţa will probably hate it :). I love it. I love you. Both of you :).

Field trip with my cousins, August 2nd, 2003. From left: Sabina (Sally), Crenguţa and me.

In the park with Dexter, probably June 2004

Monday, 16 April 2007

Bad Day at the Office

Some days are better than others, just ask U2.

Today was one of those days that are worse than others. If it keeps going on like this, in a month I’ll be climbing on the walls, honestly.

There are about 200 people in our organization, scattered amongst 3 different buildings. The IT Department consists of 2 (two) people: me and the IT Manager, my boss. So you can imagine it can get really hairy at times. The phone rings every 10 seconds and I have to stop what I’m doing to pick it up, then I barely have time to collect my thoughts and get back to work and it rings again…

Of course I can’t solve everyone’s problems simultaneously, so there’s need for some prioritization. But my esteemed colleagues don’t seem to grasp such concept and keep ringing me to demand a quick resolution to their “urgent” problem for which they called 10 times during the past 5 minutes :shock:.

There are moments when I’m very tempted to leave the office, or better the building altogether, and just refuse to answer any more calls. And this is mainly because some 60% of the “problems” are actually simple alerts popped up by various applications. And what does one do when confronted with a dialog box unseen before? Does one read the fucking text in order to get an idea of what just happened? NO! One picks up the phone and calls the IT Department, BINGO!

A distinct species are the ones that first dismiss the alert, and call afterwards. My first question is of course what the alert reads, and almost inevitably the answer is “I don’t know, I don’t remember” on “I haven’t read it”.

But the icing on the cake today was the behavior of one the people I share the office with. About a week ago, the same person was complaining to the management that the IT department makes life a hell for everybody in that office, because of the fan noise of all the servers we occasionally reconfigure there, and because of all the equipment stored around our desks and on the hallway (the building is really crowded, there’s barely enough room for people — virtually no storage space). Today he was having a lot of fun playing various sound effects from a collection of special effects, sounds ranging from hysterical laughs or cries, to vacuum cleaners and grinders. Of course, everything appropriately turned up, full volume!

I won’t comment any further. The only thing that made me smile (well, it was a good laugh actually) today, was the picture below. Absolutely brilliant!

Dog peeing on laptop

Friday, 13 April 2007

April 13

So much for my resolutions… I didn’t get the chance to write anything since two days ago.

Nothing interesting happened in the meantime, really. Except for two nights ago, when I decided to swap the hard drive in Crenguţa’s laptop. If only I knew from the beginning what a hassle is going to be, and that the very next day she was going to ask me to swap it back with the old one again :)…

From the very beginning when she got her hands on this old Compaq Armada 110, the hard drive, a 10GB IBM Travelstar, had some weird clicks and pops while reading and writing. So I thought I’m doing her a favor if I change it with a 10GB Fujitsu drive I had lying around.

Well, not really. The Fujitsu doesn’t make very loud noises during I/O operations, but the motor that spins the plates has a very loud and sharp hiss, which turns out it’s a lot more distracting because it’s permanent and constant, as opposed to the occasional clicks of the old drive.

But the best part was that I had to take the damn thing completely apart to reach the hard drive! And tonight I’ll have to do it again, to put the old drive back :).

Another really sweet moment was when I discovered the IBM drive has an opening that fully exposes part of the pins, which the other drive hasn’t. And the wise guys at Compaq just had to take advantage of that opening, cramming in the ridge of an underlying heatsink! Opening that exposes the pins of the IBM Travelstar

Needless to say the new drive didn’t fit because of that heatsink’s ridge, so the best solution I could come up with at 2 A.M. was to loosen up the motherboard screws so that I could lift the corner holding the HDD connector just enough to squeeze the new drive in.

I didn’t feel like laughing back then, but I sure did when discovering the quick specs page above: what an appropriate schematic for this laptop!

Very appropriate schematic on the quick specs page of the Compaq Armada 110

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Resolution

I’ve neglected my blog for way too long.

So I have decided:

  • I’ll try to post more often, even if it’s just to say there’s nothing new to say;
  • I’ll start reading the WP documentation ’cause the current look it starting to get on my nerves. So a complete redesign has to happen sometime soon… er, let’s make that soonish…;
  • Maybe I’ll revisit some old ideas for the main site, that one needs to happen sometime too. Although I’ll probably have to make my sister’s site first, as promised.

Completely unrelated to blogging, but part of the latest resolution:

  • I really have to build up the courage and start resume jogging in the mornings;
  • I should give up smoking (again, yes…).
  • Starting some serious research into business ideas, the whole “job” thing is starting to wear me off. If I have to work my ass off every fucking day, at least some decent money would be in order, right?