The era of no excuses

2010-11-07 13:41 (comments: 0)

There was a time when wanting to train for a skill required long, hard and diligent work. This is still true today, but... we now have the Internet. All the catastrophic movies out there are inventing monsters, aliens, plagues or zombies, to scare us about how the end of the world will come. But, I tell you, just try to imagine that the Internet infrastructure falls off tonight and you will have, just from this imagination, the fright of your life. We reached the era of no excuse. I wanted to go back to my daily violin training. When procrastinating, I was searching excuse in lack of resources, lack of sheet music, lack of up to date information. Yet, help was only a click away: the violin site. My hat off to people dedicating their time and energy to preserving and disseminating this world's culture; and (generally) information.


2010-11-06 13:01 (comments: 0)

Yesterday died Adrian Paunescu. A fundamental figure of the romanian culture and literature of the comunist and post-comunist era, he strongly influenced the social, cultural and political education of the young generations of Romania in the 70s and 80s. His cultural acts definitely influenced me. I dare say with him died the last manifestations of the most powerful development of romanian culture, started in the tumult of the 1848 social revolution and extinguished with the economic mishaps of the 1990-2005 period. Paunescu will be missed.

Selling our innermost self

2010-10-17 21:12 (comments: 0)

No, I'm not a brainless anticommercial socialist (I know better, I still drag around the scars from that other, orwellian, world). I believe strongly in competition and I see cooperation as a means to promote faster those better among us. Yet I believe I draw a line just there where comercialism becomes mercantilism; there where love for money pushes a dis- in from of honest.

What on earth pushed me into this rant, you ask? Well, I felt attacked. I love my music, whether the one that I make or the one that I choose to listen. And I love my idols. And I'd like them to stay integer and true to theirs inner selves. Unfortunately, the push of Money seems to become to strong. Money... (not that pitiful paper and plastic that we carry around all the time, but the faceless, hideous mob of human sharks that made of making more and more money yet another religion and their only goal in life).

I love Jack Johnson and his surf blues. I love Norah Jones and her hearty jazz. I love their works. But I can't fail to observe that Money seems to have pushed them aside of their innermost selves. I know it's a delicate thing, what I'll say, and that it's a matter of feelings, the most immaterial thing there is. But this is my opinion and not a flat journalistic piece, so I'll rant away.

In their latest albums (J.J.'s and N.J.'s), both these singers chose (or were pushed to choose) a more rocky, mory popy, more commercially valuable style. It just doesn't sound like each of them anymore. My only guess is that their producers convinced (forced?) them to try to attract a bigger audience than their traditionally small (but oh so faithful) followers (blues jocks, jazzy heads). In the name of Money.

That's not to say that their new music is bad. No, far from such. It is just less their musical personalities (their inner selves) as I liked them. And yes, I know I might be completely wrong about all this, but it's what I think and I stand by it.

Booth Photographics is cool

2010-09-28 16:27 (comments: 1)

Executive: cool companies still exist. Booth Photo is high up amongst them.

Longer version: A few years ago, I needed a tripod for my photography. As I'm just a hobbyist, I wasn't ready to pay big money for the big name stuff but I wasn't ready to put up with the nameless garbage that floats around the physical photo or general stores and gets called tripod. So I shopped a bit on the web.

I stumbled upon a description of the Cameron Professional tripods made by a specialist from Booth Photo and I liked what he showed. So I went and bought a Cameron Professional WT002TH (with ball head) and I never regreted it. Indeed the quality is awesome and the price is very good. The only ick was that the integrated monopod had a broken lock that prevented it from staying extended.

Unfortunately, I realized that the monopod had a problem way too late, when the warranty was off. Anyways, one fine day, in a quest for a possible repair, I contacted the product specialist at Booth Photo, M. Killoran explaining all the above. He very quickly offered (and astonishingly quickly made good on his offer) to just send me a good monopod instead of my broken one. Just one short day passed between me writing to him and me receiving the new monopod in proper hand. How awesome is that? Thanks M. Killoran!

So, my friends, if ever you're in need for digital photography or lighting supplies, do yourselves a favor and look at Booth Photo's offerings. The price is right. And the service is great, I can testify it.

Git and QtCreator

2010-09-13 22:49 (comments: 0)

After 20 years of code development of which 14 with (X)Emacs, I switched in the last months almost completely to QtCreator. I also discovered that I don't trust my brain with remembering and (mentally) navigating all variants of what I am about to develop. Thus I (re)discovered the DVCS world. This time I went with git (rather than mercurial) since this is what I will have to use with KDE anyways.

As they say in Romania, it's hard to learn an old horse new tricks, but up to now I'm rather pleased with what I learn and become able to do with these new tools. Especially git is a huge advance from the old and battered cvs. Happy camper here!