29 November 2007

Nerdore hip-hop: MC Plus +

So... as a songwriter, I just have to have an opinion about any sound I hear. Today, I'll blog about an artist who really caught my attention as soon as I heard of him: MC Plus +.
Picture credit: official site.
I don't really remember how it began. But soon, his entire first album (Algorythms) was on my playlist. I was like: "Whoah! geek stuff!" and a bit of "It was my idea!". Anyway, I really like this album for its originality. I'm still full of admiration the line:
Like a progress bar that's gone too far...
There's a track about my life-passion, cryptology. There's a track about Tomek The One And Only. Anyway, a great album. Go get it.
So, I decided to do a bit of search in the nerdore hip-hop (or geeksta rap) genre. The only interesting thing I found was the nick "DJ Ikstra". Besides that, well, lots of swearing a nothing I'd remember as interesting.
Then, MC Plus+'s second album came out. And let me say, what a disappointement! Taking a sample of classical music and adding a beat to it sounds good, but not on half one's album! "Sluts" from MySpace are no computer science! The dude can do much better...
Anyway, if you're looking for some nerdy music, MC Plus +'s site is the place to go.

Getting organized with my Nokia 770

My concentration and memory have caused me a few troubles lately. And my time planning... I almost never am satisfied with it.m So I decided to use my Nokia and get a bit more organized. Here's what I installed:
GPE Calendar + Ermining to synchronize it with Google Calendar, which I extensively use.
GPE to-do list. Cool for tasks lists, with both categories and priorities. BUT: I have plenty of ideas that are not exactly tasks and putting them on a to-do list is no good idea, because it becomes very messy, and I keep on adding and removing the same tasks over and over as I postpone realising them. That's when MaemoPad Plus becomes handy: it works on SQLite and lets you build a tree, with nodes that can be sketches, text or lists. I use that for a kind of mind-mapping. (There is no real mind-mapping software for the ITs.) That's where things that are more ideas than tasks go, like making a headband with the fabric I used for my latest dress (when the sewing machine will be fixed) or that website with a Scottish pattern as a background (when I have time for that....).
Last but not least, Gnumeric Spreadsheets. Amazing tool! I don't use it to its fullests, it has a nice bit of arithmetics implemented (and add-ons, which I haven't even installed). I just use it to keep track of health-related stuff, like my physical activities (how many times have you been told to write them down to motivate you?)

New OS2007 HE for the Nokia 770 with Mozilla engine and memory corruption bugfix.

Originally posted: 14 Nov 2007
All the bad things that made me go back to 2006 seem to have been fixed!
The question now is "what do I do?" Only a few days ago I spent a bunch of precious time installing new software to get organized and I wouldn't want to see all that flushed away. I was just going to blog about it when I saw the news). So I guess it's time to learn about dualboot.
Wait a minute, "time"? School has been demanding so much of it recently. Today is a case study, tomorrow a paper in semantics is due, friday, I think I'm not going there cause I have a presentation next week (about debugging the Linux kernel, no room for improvisation here), a business use-case to write over the week-end... And I asked for all of that and I love my life! (Seriously, I do!)

Switching operating systems (back) on my Nokia 770

Originally posted: 3 Oct 2007
So, I was saying the other day how I changed the operating system of my Nokia 770 from 2006 to 2007 Hacker Edition. It was cool, lots of soft, an arabic font so I could easily view arabic pages (not write in arabic, but still). BUT but but. It crashed a lot. At first, I didn't really worry, cause I was installing lots of soft and reboots were needed. However, when it crashed while I was just looking for a network, I started doubting wether it was worth it. And when I noticed that the text editor wasn't working, I said "enough" and I'm back on 2006 right now.
Switching back to 2006 was easy, jut reflash it with the right OS. You can restore your backup information from 2007, except for settings (it made the browser crash, so I imported only the settings from an older 2006 backup I had which I am sure you have if you started flashing your Nokia).
Now, some issues are to be solved. Choose a mail client. Figure out a way to play videos, particulary from Youtube. View arabic characters. Keep a calendar. I don't remeber what else. I promise I'll blog about it when I make some progress.

What [not] to watch: The IT Crowd

I've never really written any reviews, but I recently started feeling the urge of expressing my opinions some place better than between hundreds of other people's comments. So I'm gonna do what I do when I wanna do something: I do it. I'm not really good at reviewing yet, but one gotta start somewhere.
So, I'm gonna start with the geekiest show ever: The IT Crowd, a Channel 4 series about two IT support guys, Moss and Roy and their new Manager, Jen, who doesn't know much about computers (but said on her CV that she had a lot of experience with them).
Left to right: Jen, Moss and Roy (Picture credit: official site).
The show is both geek and good. Geek, because it has a lot of geek humor, like Roy's T-shirts ("RTFM", "I see dumb people", "42",...) or Moss' geek behaviour ("Don't google the question, Moss!"). Good, because it has a lot of British humor (wich I love) and can be unpredictable (what is it with american sitcoms that you can tell the ending after having only watched the first half?).
Two episodes, however, have really disappointed me: "The Haunting Of Bill Crouse" and "The Work Outing". They both have this plot when one of the characters lies, then lies again (not to contradict the first lie), and again, and keeps on falling deeper and deeper. I have seen that kind of plot way too many times (which means more than once, but I'm talking a dozen here) and it's stupid and boring and unforgivable. At least, there still was a bit of geek humor not to consider the episode a total waste of time.
Anyway, the show is really worth watching, and I can't wait for the third season and the remakes (an american one and a german one have been announced - the second will be an awesome opportunity to pick up some german tech talk ).

28 November 2007

The banner

As you see, my blog has a beautiful banner with lots of stuff on it. It's time to give credit to the authors of the graphics I used. So, left to right:

  • the bow is by me, you can also see it on my website
  • the diamond is from here, it's by Ryan Thompson
  • the Nokia 700 is from here, it's by florisla
  • the little black dress is from here, it's by Missie
  • the lady shoe is from here, it's by Almighty1
  • the music notes are from here, they're by Dominique Michel
  • the books are from here, they're by Doodledoo
  • the "Arabic" banner is from here, it's by AnonMoos
  • the lipstick is from here, it's by Jorge Barrios
  • the "e to the i pi" formula is from here, it's by Dermeister
  • Tux is from here, it's by Jan Vansteenkiste
The banner relates to my interests, hoobies, taste,... not perfectly, because I don't read much (the books are math textbooks, okay?), I doubt the musical notes clearly express songwriting, and the diamond is just nice.

27 November 2007

My new baby

Originally posted: 15 Sep 2007

I got a new baby: a Nokia 770. It's really great and unique: it costs around 100$ and has it's own operating system, IT OS, a a modified version of Debian GNU/Linux. The average user will just click on the colorful icons, the advanced one can modify the operating system!

So, since I have a blog, I'll just post here all the wondreful things I did with my baby. Hey, I gotta find a name for it!

So... I changed the operating system for a start. Because "2007 Hacker Edition" sounds sooo cool. I did it the simpliest possible way:
1. Got the os from http://tablets-dev.nokia.com/
2. Flashed the Nokia with it usung the windows wizard from http://europe.nokia.com/A4144790

If someone prefers the good old Linux command line instead of the wizard, there are plenty of cool thing to do described on http://maemo.org/community/wiki/flasher_tool_usage.html.

Picture credit: florisla.

Adventures on eBay

I decided recently to stop attending my correcting codes class and get the book and study at home instead. Easier said than done: the school library lest you borrow the book just for the day, only to copy it (don't excpect me to come to school once a week and study here like a nice little girl, I can't concentrate at school outside of class). You can't buy it in Poland. You can buy it on Amazon for only 140$ + shipping. (Err, yeah, I'm talking about "Error control coding" by Lin & Costello.)
Luckily, I found it for 55$ on eBay (+28$ shipping, but that's still a lot cheaper). Immediate PayPal payement was required, but I hve a PayPal account, so there was no problem. At least I throught so.
The shipping price to Polande wasn't given on the listing page, but I emailed the seller, he said 28$, cool. Clicking "buy it now" lead to a mistake: it couldn't calculate shipping costs for my location and wouldn't let me fill them in by myself (bravo eBay!), so it wouldn't just let me buy the book.
Another mail to the seller, and he sent me a PayPal bill (!!!) instead of modifying his listing. Guys, NEVER fall for that: that's a transaction outside of eBay (because the book would never appear in my eBay as bought by me). Not only these are forbidden, but they are really unsafe. Once you send the money, what's gonna make the seller send you the item? What if he doesn't? What if it "significantly not as described"? Maybe PayPals buyer protection program could help you, but on eBay, nothing could be done. Not even a negative comment. (And if you brought another item just to give him his neg, it would most certainly turn against you.)
So, another mail to the seller, he cancels his bill but I still can't buy the book. Luckily, I found another one on eBay for a comparable price. If I can't even communicate with the seller about a technical detail, things can get very ugly. Not worth the risk.

25 November 2007

Meet my cat

Meet my cat: her name is Fifa, she must be 8 years old.

Isn't she beautiful? She most certainly is, but she's also bored to tears. And that's what happens when a cat is bored:

But you haven't seen the worst yet. Here's a picture of cakes Mom made today:

As you can see, a part is missing. No one in the family confessed having tasted the cake this way, and since Fifa has been caught quite a few times on the kitchen counter recently, who could have done this?

So here it is

My new blog!
It doesn't look exactly as I would wish, but I hope it soon will. The banner already tells a lot about me!
I came here because the TagWorld blog I had been using wasn't great. I think I'll just copy the most interesting posts I wrote back there, so don't be surprised if you see a dozen of them appearing overnight.
See you soon.