Friday, December 28, 2007

Update 28.12.2007

1. Heading for Prague. Long way in front of me.

Update 27.12.2007

1. I left Sighet by car. An awfully long road (10h maybe) by car in ugly weather. Driving lone is sad and gets me sleepy.

2. I finally got back my card from BRD. The branch manager apologized... It was a small victory against them - I have nothing personally with the bank but they should learn that they have to SELL products to me in order to increase their profits.

3. I adhered to a private pension fund. I ope I did a good choice... but who knows.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Update 26.12.2007

1. My nephew's Tudor birthday. Many 12 years old boys around playing a concerto on their mobile phones. Funny and annoying in the same time.

2. Visit to Barsana Monastery and to Botiza. We were warmly welcomed by Ionuc and his grandparents.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Update 25.12.2007

1. We had lunch at my sister's. It was a kind, warm atmosphere... We have sadly remembered Tata Dan as it is the first Christmas without him. Afterwards I have played with my nephews.

2. I went to the cathedral where the excellent choir sang beautifully. Year after year they get closer and closer to perfection. I have to remark the effort of Mrs. Carmen Oprisanu the choir's conductor and Mr. Marin Pihuleac - an excellent soloist with an impressive voice!

Update 24.12.2007

1. In order to reach home I had to buy winter tires for my Chevy. I settled on Nokian W (as they seem to be related with Nokia) because I was in a nick of time for this action.

2. Driving home - okay because of the above mentioned tyres. Only on some portions there were jams and and ice on the road. Anyways the road was full of accidents and I got pretty tired along therefore I was close to make some mistakes as I am not an experimented winter driver.

3. In Sighet I had (again) bad experiences with the ISP (UPC in my case). The internet did not work at all therefore I posted this from my GPRS mobile connection (kudos to Vodafone).

4. BRD is a bank ran and populated by morons. I had to change my credit card and I went to the local branch. Although I was notified by the bank that my card arrived already they refused to give it to me. I called the BRD call center and they confirmed me that the card was sent since December the 13th. I am glad that I made Internet banking with them because in this way I will interact as less as possible with them.

5. The choir of the Baptist Church in Sighet came also in this year to sing carols for us. They are a constant presence in my family's holidays bringing us joy and peace in souls.

Merry Christmas!

May the light of His birth enlighten your souls!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Netwide freedom

I have recently discovered that the network on the building I am working on is severely filtered. For example I cannot access my webmail or youtube...
This made me quite angry and I had to find some solutions. Luckily I did came up with several of them:

1. VPN
I was able to tunnel VPN traffic through a HTTP proxy server using OpenVPN and Hamachi. Although OpenVPN works nice on Windows XP and Linux I had problems wit it on Vista. On the other end of the tunnel there is my own private computer that is connected to the net on a DSL link.The traffic performance is awesome. I needed administrative privileges for this one

2. SSH tunneling
Using only PuTTY I was able to make a tunnel to the same home computer and use the local endpoint as a SOKS server. This one works in almost any environment regardless of the administrative rghts.

3. HTTPtunnel
Maybe the fastest solution - but I cannot run it in every place

4. NetCat
This handy nifty tool saved my day on a customer's site. I was able to use it as a forwarder for sme apps.

After those xperiences I am always carying the tools(binaries/sources) with me everywhere... You may never know when they'll come handy again.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No title

Nico felt pitty for my weekend. This was a very interesting subjecftt as other have seen my latest posts. They believed that I had a lousy weekend.
Contrary I would say. I had a wonderful weekend. I felt like staying home and doing almost nothhing, cutting any link with the outside world. Why? Because I was quite sick and tired of human interaction. Therefore I felt into myself and I analyzed some of my latest actions and future plans...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another movie weekend

It snowed yesterday and I felt like not going out. Partly because of a mild hangover...
So I stayed home and I watched some movies:
1. Mr. North - interesting cast for a so-so morning movie. Funny but too idealistic
2. 12 Angry Men - the 1957 original movie. Excellent.
3. The russians are comming - light commedy about the cold war paranoia. The russians are nice characters
4. Matador - no comment.
5. The shape of things - a movie that makes you think about the fargility of human relatonships, about art, morality nd thir limits. Intriguing.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Movie Weekend

Lazy in he bed untill noon. Shopping. Feeling sick. Took an aspirin.
Than I watched two movies:

Zeitgeist - Interesting but still too fictional

The Hot Fuzz - funny but quite idiotic sometimes....

Sleeping afterwards...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What happened to Sun?

I have been working with Sun hardware since I was in university. Although I did not like Solaris until it's tenth version I liked the hardware manufactured by Sun.
Sun workstations and servers were ahead f time. Powerful processors, good networking capabilities (remember their slogan - The network is the computer), excellent management capabilities and storage options. All those at an accessible price (no wonder that they are the dot in dot com)....
Until recently...
In the last years their workstations became ugly beige towers, they lost the touch of nice design they used to have. In the current line of Sun workstations there is no nice looking one. I have home a lovely SparcStation Classic...
I cannot help myself thinking of the MacMini. It has the same simplicity and minimalistic design as the Classic Sparc... Sun has now the new T1 processors that re silent and reliable. Putting one of those processors in a slim workstation with a size in between Mac and Classic an package it with a Solaris 10 or some polished Linux distro might make it a hit. It could be marketed similarly as MacMini (BYKDM :)
Theonly problem I can see here is the market for it. While Mac is aimed for designers and trend setters Sun is a geekish toy. It is designed for engineers mainly and not or the common user. Still if enough good open source software is packaged with the toy it might be sold to companies as a PC replacement marching both on the advantages in terms of size and power consumption as well as on the aesthetics of the computer not to speak about "holly" things as manageability, security and other things not really present in Vista :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Going virtualized

One of the problems I have always had was e-mail. Work e-mail, home e-mail, junk accounts... I always wanted to have everything in a single place. But often it was not possible.
I lived with this issue until today when I thought how to end the multiple accounts nightmare.
What I did was somehow weird for me.
I have created a Dovecot IMAP server inside a virtual machine and I have moved all my emails to this server. Simple enough - QEmu did it's job very well.
But this success made me consider an even stranger solution.
I am using Windows only for a few operations (MS Project, Nokia PC suite, ...) so I am booting it quite seldom. It means that could create a virtual machine with windows, using only a fraction of the real partition size I am using now, install on the virtual machine the software I cannot use in Linux and share the rest of the gained space between the host and the virtualized windows via Samba.

It worked well this time also.
I have gained in this way a nice Windows appliance securized behind my Linux firewall. I can use it to experiment a lot off things as it runs smoothly with 512 Mbytes of RAM allocated.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Problems. Not just mine...

I realized those days that we are civilization in decline. In every aspect. Especially morally.
I was astonished that in Scotland there is a project for a law that will forbid the usage of words "mother" and "father" in order not to discriminate the homosexuals.

This is a perfect illustration of the Romanian saying "The country is in fire and the lady is brushing". Our planet is dying. The resources are becoming scarce. The populations is rapidly growing. The economy of the world is just an illusion (see the recent American funds disaster). The regional conflicts tend to overtake the world. Nations start not to understand each other. Diplomacy is dead being exchanged just for machine gun talks and bomb lines... Consumerism and our hunger gadgets that are filling our inside emptiness is cutting down trees, making deep holes in the ground, polluting the ocean. The worst is that people die for this - Irak for example.
Still we want everything to be "Bigger, Better, Faster, More" without really thinking if this is feasible or not and what is the final cost for this. I am always listening to people dying to buy a bigger jeep or to cut some trees in a recently gained piece of forest instead of thinking to plant a single tree.

Stop Nilu. You are not better either.
True. I didn't do something too much of substance for this. I am also a slave for gadgets, for buying unnecessary things but not looking for real problems.
I thought for some minor things that I might do:
1. Plant more trees on the small piece of land I have.
2. Propose to the company to organize a team building of cleaning some parks or planting trees.
3. Use the train rather than my car. (as I am a lousy driver this is almost done)
4. Considering how I will live my life in the next years trying to do the least harm to the others and to nature.

I guess that I might be utopic but... I have no more ideas...


Patriarch Teoctist. God rest him in peace.
He was a controversial character, but without a shadow of a doubt, an important personality for the contemporary Romania. I am sure that he had a hard mission into keeping the Romanian Orthodox Church in one piece despite both the internal and external pressure - in his days the church was the most credible institution in Romania. maybe his past was not spotless but he worked hard to do good deeds. He was quite bold in his actions - especially inviting the pope John Paul II to Romania - one gesture that was a milestone in the relations between Orthodoxy and Catholicisms.
After his death lots of hyenas appeared in the stage just to grab a piece of his image. Sad. They started to throw mud both in the man Teoctist as well as in the church. "De mortuis nihil nisi bene" Latin saying seems to be forgotten by the bozos (of uncertain Roman descent) that invaded the press with their inept judgements and venomous sayings. The sad part is that that they are attacking a dead person that is in impossibility to defend himself. The only thing they are after is to get a bit of the aura the patriarch has and mask their hideous figures.
It would be polite to let the time judge the man - after all he was just a man - by its deeds not by the fantasies of some delators.
I recommend a good book Vladimir Volkoff's - Le Trêtre - a book about an NKVD agent infiltrated into the remains of the Russian Orthodox Church after the communists destroyed it that has a careers inside the church as he did his mission extraordinarily. The end of the book has an open end. Maybe the communist found the divine revelation... or maybe not.
Comming back to Teoctist - churches were demolished during his time, but cathedrals, monasteries and skeets were born. An history will look to those either.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I have stumbled upon an excellent movie: Ostrov (The Island: - one of those movies that make you think of the life you are living and about it's values.
The movie was in my opinion a statement about the the christian orthodox values. It is about sin, penitence, guilt, miracle, hope, forgiveness and redemption. Father Anatoly is not a cultivated man, but he is able to believe and his belief gives him an extraordinary gift - foreseeing. All his actions are headed into helping others - therefore prying through his actions for his personal redemption...
The movie is a must see for any film lover but especially for those who embrace the orthodoxy.
Minimalistic and still very subtle in the expression the movie can easily be compared to Tarkovsky's masterpieces Rubliev and Stalker.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Engine in Ilia station

On June the 2nd I had to wait in the Ilia rail station for about 3 hours because there was a derailed train. Some pics...

Old romanian engine

More impressive view


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"TV screen makes you feel small/No life at all"

I guess those are a couple of lines from a song in "Arizona Dream" performed by Iggy Pop on Goran Bregovic's music. But, really this is the truth.

I have seen today a nice movie. Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion"... In my oppinion o good movie that speaks about Altman's own fears. This is his last work, and he has been telling his credo in all the aspects of the movie.

All characters are images of the director. The two sisters - each one with her frustration, the two funny cowboys, CK. All are just facets of him. He speaks about love, success, regret and hope. The secondary characters "The Axeman" and "The Angel" are just memmento's for for both faith and the destiny of art. The final scene when The Axeman is visited by the angel was somehow impressive for me. The Axeman doesn't want to feel emotions and therefore is forbidding others to offer emotions to the public while the angel in not capable to feel the emotions anymore although she would like to. They are two antagonistic forces that are confronting.

All the gags are in the same nice Altman style, subtle and somehow sad - as the ones from Mash used to be.

Very good roles for Meryl Streep - her metamorphosis from the little voice mumbling in the backstage while discussing with her sister to the full blown one while she is on the stage, Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly - make credible characters in the way of Hawkeye and Trapper John. Worth to mention are also Lindsay Lohan and Lily Tomlin.

Coming back to the title - the radio show in the movie was alive it was made with passion and heart. It was made for people and sent real emotions unlike the TV shows...

Saturday, June 9, 2007

E70 - European road

ADVICE: Avoid it!!!

E70 connects Timisoara with Drobeta Turnu Severin... European corridor...
Connects is simply a word. In reality this is an enormous construction yard between Caransebes and Orsova. Semaphores, long lines of cars with angry drivers, ddestroyed road surface, indolent workers, all the elements of a balcanic country...

No road in this country is perfect - as they seem to be even in Hungary - but this one is the worst ever. I have had a very bad time going to Orsova and coming back to Timisoara today. It was a nightmare for me and my car - but I imagine the sensations a foreigner must have... Terror is a gentle feeling :)

I think I should sue the National Road Administration for wwrecking my car on this road.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Fedora 7 - A Big Dissapointment

Full of hope I was when I have heard that Fedora core was to be launched.
I was trembling with impatience to get it. I was supposed to have all the bells and whistles of a modern linux distro.
Finally I have downloaded the DVD image, burnt it and made a try.

Problems found:
1. X server not configured although I am using the common i945 chipset...
2. not present in the system therefore no python dependent programs worked
3. The xen enabled kernel did not boot.

I gave up after this because the effort to dig and solve this doesn't worth.

I am really sorry because I used to love the RedHat derivatives distros.
Because the instalation imge taken with bittorrent was corrupted i had those issues. I have redownloaded it via http and burnt it and it works perfectly.

Nice feature found after:
+ compiz
+ selinux
+ synaptic like yum

Still to be improved:
* wireless
* laptop support

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Top 5:

1. Amstel
2. Ursus
3. Stella Artois
4. Beck's
5. Leffe

Last discoveries:

1. Schopferhoppfer (weisbeer)
2. Paulaner (weissbier)
3. Raddeberger
4. Schwelmer

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Luna Amara (Bitter Moon)

Against the fact that some of their ideas are quite erratic in my opinion I like the music.
Good voices, excellent verses, the band is really one of the most original in Romania.
The songs have quite strong political messages.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shootings at Virginia Tech

I am deeply sory about the events atVirginia Tech. I have read the news in CNN.

I am sorry for the victims and for their families.

Still this incident raises some points on:
1. Individual liberty
2. Gun control
3. Psychological background of the shooters
and at last but not at least
4. American society (see "Borat" and "Bowling for Colombine")

Monday, April 16, 2007

Back to TM

I have arrived yesterday back in TM.
I have driven for 6 hours on the route Sighet - Baia Mare - Satu Mare - Oradea - Arad - Timisoara.
Although I haven't seen any accident on the road the way that Romanians are driving is frightening. Ruthless overtakes, insistent horning, light flashes, lot of police.
And the road was awful. My car - a humble Chevrolet Kalos - begun to have some sounds on the front right wheel.
This was as n a very bad version of "Need For Speed"

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Ieromonahul Andrei (13.10.1919 - 30.03.2007)

After a life of prayer he died in the Christian way - praying and blessing all those that were near him. Tata Dan - as I used to call him - gave us an extraordinary lesson of faith and dignity.

Rest in peace!

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Pauli Effect

The Pauli effect is doing some victims in software too.
We are facing a strange situation when eveything ceased to work on project. We suspect that we are facing the Pauli effect since we have assigned a new engineer on the project.

Our colleague Alexei mentioned that there is also the Sysadmin Effect - when some equipment starts to work just because the sysadmin passes by.

Whould you see here the same correlation as in Seebeck / Peltier effects?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Proud to be an engineer!

Because in Romania engineering is studied only on quite good universities.
I went home last week an I was amazed how many people are following the classes of a WTF university named "Spiru Haret".
Basically this is a diploma factory where everybody can get a degree is they pay the taxes. The quality is less than imaginable. It is worse than the online diploma spam as the students should go from time to time to the exams :).
The only subject this "Famous Unaccredited University" doesn't have is engineering (although it has some computer science, architecture and unbelievable vet medicine).
With the proliferation of this kind of studies we will become a country of idiots.

Why am I against this kind of universities?

1. Because they produce incapable graduates.
2. Because they are proliferating corruption and plagiary (How many original thesis were born there?)
3. Because they are addressing to rich offspring that will finally buy positions instead of more capable people.
4. Because the so called students/graduates are bothering me with their superior attitude and presence.


Sunday, March 18, 2007


When I travel to Bucharest I am always passing by an abandoned church near Chiajna.
The church stays alone on a field full of garbage (as everything near Bucharest).
Its architecture indicates that it is from the XVIII - XIX century. I am dying to learn its story... Sorry for the quality of the image (mobile phone camera)

Corneliu Baba's permanent exibition

Corneliu Baba is one of the greatest Romanian painters of the 20th century. A wonderful selection of his works can be seen in Timisoara in the newly restored Museum of Arts.

Along with him there are also works of other interesting artists like Paul Neagu that is better known in Britain than home.

Guild symbols

This is maybe the last guild symbol that could be seen in Sighet. It is near the "Regele Ferdinand" High School.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Postal Office in Sighet

I guess it is the worst public institution in the world.

I had to send some very important laboratory samples for my grandfather in Cluj as soon as possible and the lab insisted that the have to be sent by PRIORIPOST.

Therefore I went to post with the samples and I have looked for a line where to reach one of the two opened booths (from a total number of eight).

After 29 minutes in that only four persons were served I have arrived to the booth where a bored girl said that the form I have completed was not okay as the lab had no contact person. "For God's sake, I have said, how comes that? A lab is an institution so there would be no need for such a contact person". She asked me to step away and find a contact person. This has pissed me off badly so I rang the lab from my mobile and asked for a contact person. After I have found one I stayed in front of the line and made all the operations one by one only to piss her off as she did to me. When she complained why I did not tell about the operation before I replied that she didn't asked me as it would have been normal to. In this way I made her work for about 23 minutes - with only one customer. Her typing skills were about 1 wpm and quoting Terry Prattchet she was not capable to think and talk in the same time. I felt sorry for the persons that were after me but I was satisfied that she had to support their criticism and jokes as I have given the some clues on why they were waiting so much.

I know that the Post is one of the last government owned companies but the attitude of the clerks should also change. They haven't learn nothing in the 17 years of freedom. The old communist habits are still in place. They believe that they are omnipotent and everything they do is correct.

I really hope that somebody from the company will read this and do something but I highly doubt about it.

I must say that in Timisoara I have seen the opposite - a girl working in the Postal Office in Piata Operei - she has been always kind, polite and smiling to the customers and she knew how to use a computer. I wish that all the clerks were alike...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sighet... sadly

I've come home but I am very sad.
My grandpa is quite ill and I've come to see him and do whatever I can to help him. I know that I cannot do much but I'm trying...

Thursday, March 8, 2007


After I have complained on Perl now it's Java's turn.

1. Memory leaks in Java:

Yep. There are leaks, subtle ones but they are still present. Check this I have had them today as a result of trying to make a really huge zip (160000 files).

2. Different behaviours between classes supposed to do the same thing (ZipInputStream and ZipFile). ZipFile cannot handle more than 65536 entries - this is a known bug.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Guaranteed 100%

Or "Garantat 100%" is one of the best TV shows in Romania. It sytarted more than five years ago in the terrritorial TV studios in Cluj Napoca by Catalin Stefanescu.

The format of the show changed very little by time. Catalin and his guests discuss both common and uncommon or extraordinary problems in the studio.

What I can say is that I admire the the quality of the host. Catalin was always an impartial host. He was able to put the right question, to point out the qualities of the guest and to make them feel at ease and communicate their own ideas. Its show never went into a publicity wagon as Catalin has chosen both the subjects and the guests with great care. It was not an exclusivistic/snobbish show. Thee guests came from all the layers of society, but thhey were all remarkable.

Long live "Garantat 100%"!

Whom tricks whom

I have seen today the movie "Out of Sight". I was quite skeptical about it at the beginning as Clooney and Lopez were the names of the starts and I believed that it will be just anothe boring movie. Surprisingly the movie went into a entertaining one that had both lot of action and dark humour, all the cast contributing tu the sparkling mix aof genres.

The movie goes well along with other favourites of mine as: "The Sting" or "How to Steal One Million ".

Soderbergh made his hand on this kind of movies with this one and frankly I really believe that this one is far better than "Ocean's 11"/"Ocean's 12".

Thursday, March 1, 2007

On Perl Gotcha's again

Two weeks ago I was telling about how I have spebnt half of a day trying to debug some Perl scripts. The problem was related to the fact that in Perl 5.0 was missing the capability of handling long integers.
Today this problem stroke again. But in a more perverted way. Thed scripts were deployed somewhere in Sri Lanka. Suddenly they stopped working and the system was full of alarms of type "Event too old".
I had a quick look and i've seen that the length of the string "1000*time()" became suddenly shorter and it was under the 11 characters needed. WTF? Perl was storing the data internally on 32 bits so the multiplication with 1000 led to an overflow.
So the line "print sprintf("%011x", 1000*time()) was futile.
Perl is quite limited in his scalar data types so I had to make an improvisation.
My solution was:

sub fixTime
$n = 1000.0 * time(); #we force a conversion to float
$h = int($n/65536); #equivalent of a 16 bits rshift
$l = int($n - $h*65536.0); #remainder of the number
return sprintf("%07x%04x", $h, $l);


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Full day

I have spent most of the day to finish the SNMP agent I had to write.

It works okay and I will test it live tomorrow.

The most time consuming part was to write a decent build.xml file that can build the agent locally, then transfer it to a Solaris machine and create a .pkg file for it remotely.

I think that I will start creating an Ant task for this job as it is not very nice to do it by hand in XML. Moreover it will ease my work for the next projects...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Strikes in France

I have found this site:

I guess it is clear what they believe about the "happy marriage"!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Keep the music evil

I have found them some time ago on:
I didn't know them but I was trying to find something similar to "The Dandy Warhols".
The differenece betweent the two bands - although they play some similar music - is the way they are promoting their music. The BJM is giving it for free, all of it is available on their site without DRM's. The DW sold it's music and were quite popular (I must admit that I enjoyed the most "13 Stories from Urban Bohemia").
The relation between the two bands was pictured in the movie "DiG!" that describe the relatiion between the two bands and it's evolution.


Sighet - Bocicoi - Valea Viseului - Petrova - Leordina - Viseu de Sus - Iza - Sacel - Dealu Stefanitei - Fiad - Romuli - Cosbuc - Telciu - Salva - Beclean - Dej - Gherla - Cluj Napoca - Campia Turzii - Aiud - Razboieni - Alba Iulia - Vintu de Jos - Sibot - Orastie - Simeria - Deva - Ilia - Savarsin - Radna -Arad - Timisoara.

All this places are in my mind like a long mantra or prayer. They are all the stations for the train that makes the connection between my birthplace and the town where I live now.

I have memorized their names in the countless train voyages between Sighet and Timisoara. It is only 613 km bu the train makes now 12:34 hours. This roughly means an average speed of less than 50km/hour.

The voyage with this train is a continuous adventure: cold in the winter hot in the summer, with old and smelly cars and restless passengers. Often the train is a scene for fights or parties. Even if you take 1st class (as I usually do) the situation is not better. Al;though the train is a night one there is no sleeping car.

I wish that this train will someday travel the distance in 6 hours and stops in fewer stations.

Still it is the best solution for me to reach home - with my car I could do in in about 7 hours - but during daytime, meaning that I would need one full free day to go home and sometimes I can't afford this

Friday, February 16, 2007

Rennes is closing down

The first result of the happy marriage between Alcatel and Lucent is a massive downsize.
There will be about 12500 jobs dropped all around the world.
Okay, somebody might say, but this is the cost of beeing profitable.
Yes, I agree, but there are many people that are really crushed by this decision.
For example my colleagues in Rennes.
They weere roughly 200. Most of them were really capable people. They have built their lives in Rennes, their homes, their families are there.
Some of them are not young anymore.
Now, they will have to make some hard choices. Leave their city for another location or just quit the company and trying to search for a new job home - not very easy in France for an over 40 years old engineer...
This is one of the times when I really would like that the management would see the situation with another pair of glasses... Not the horse glasses but something more human.

a cat on the end of spring

spring's end...
i've been looking to my cat with indulgence,
as he sadly came home.

he walked a lot and he must be tired,
he cleaned himself up
and was taking a nap.

and he was dreaming wonderful catish dreams.

he has ben seldom blinking
to see the bitter reality
that has been abbruptly stoping
his wonderful dream.

but i... i can no longer dream.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Perl gotcha's

I had to port a tool from Solaris 8 to Solaris 10 and I was not able to understand what was happening with the timestamps. All the events were somewhere long in th past... They were not taken into account.

I've spent 6 hours today on this silly thing:

[dvoina@su1125na08 ~]$ perl -v

This is perl, v5.8.4 built for sun4-solaris-64int

[dvoina@su1125na08 ~]$ perl
print sprintf("%x", 1000*time());

while on

[dvoina@sucomp2307 dvoina]$ perl -v

This is perl, version 5.005_03 built for sun4-solaris

[dvoina@sucomp2307 dvoina]$ perl
print sprintf("%x", 1000*time());

WTF: b68c7d88 on one machine and 110b68ea068 on the other?
The leading 110 were a pain in the back.
I guess that time() was changed between Perl 5.0 and 5.8.

Finally diff solved the problem.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday activities

This saturday was a quiet one. I was kind of an idler all the day.
I cleaned my room as I felt iit was necessary and I started to play with Squeak.
In the afternoon I had an idea on how to implement a CLI client in Python for the Annlab thingie I am working on this weeks.
I have also found a nice book: Ship it! A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects and I intend to read it today.
In the meantime I have started to prepare the docs for SNMP (SNMP4J) for the fortchoming agents I will have to develop.
I wish I'll have also a quiet Sunday (aka no beer :)

Good requirements do good software

I have had a meeting with some guys from a major telecom.
We have provided them some software and they wanted some changes.
I was impressed. Really. It was the first time when I met somebody with a clear vision of WHAT they want. They gave us the demands. They said they didn't care how would we implement this as long as:
1. Works.
2. Works correctly.
3. Works fast.

I felt well to discuss with them as I felt that this is the way the software should be done. The client asks for something an imposes some restriction, but it will never tell you how to do your job.
Contrariwyse inside many companies specifications are hideous mix of what and how.
I have often seen specs that did not describe only the requirements and domain specific business rules but also contained big chuncks of pseudo implementations.
In my oppinion it is not a good practice to do this as it is dangerous from solution's point of view to mix this details in spec. The spec is somehow a contract between developer and client. If implementation details are bound into spec they should be present in the code. More than this the spec is crafted long before design documents so the decisions taken at spec level will heavily influence the design (generally in a bad way).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Reinventing the wheel

Today I have participated in a useless meeting. The subject is a tool developed internally that has to synchronize two filesystems. It has also some other features but this is the main one.

It is useless to say that there are already WELL TESTED solutions for this issues (Rsync being the most known).

I have raised the point that it is no use to invest in this kind of developments as we won't invent a better wheel, but rather add some functionality over the wheel - like building a cart to serve our purpose.

You can bet that the enlightened manager was agains the too costly but safe solution.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Fon Network

I was strucked today by the idea of the Fon network.
Fon is a growing community that is based on the sharing of the available WiFi bandwidth. So basically you buy a WiFi router (called La Fonera) for 29.95EUR and you connect it to the broadband you have. Then you share for public use a part of the available bandwidth. In this way you create a public hotspot for the nearby people and as a consequence you will be able to acces to internet from other hotspots when you might need it.

Consequences of Fon:
1. The WiFi will grow omnipresent - so a bad news for telcos.
2. Many services will become mobile and the market for WiFi PDAs and maybe the new iPhone will grow.
3. Equipment producers will have to take into account that new markets appeared and somehow to make the adoption of WiMax faster and cheaper.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Tragical Mistake

I have lost some banking cards yesterday. Huge mistake!
I was quite scared at first and the I have tried to make the situation clear.
But this was the gate to hell.

First I have tried to block the cards by calling the bank's hotlines for this kind of stuations. Of course that the phone was almost all the time busy. Quite scared that I might be too slow I decided to go personally to the banks to solve the situation.
First I went to BRD - because I was mostly concerned by the card given by them. I entered the branch on Eugeniu de Savoya street and found a line in front of the sign where it was written "Operatiuni card". There were five persons in front of me and it was 11:45AM. The girl that was working at the desk was talking on the phone. Slowly after about fiveteen minutes the first customer leaves. The girl is called by somebody on her mobile. Five minutes of chit-chat and no progress on the line whatsoever.
Finally she hunged up and started to work again. The time passed by and I have been the next in line to be served when the girl put the sign "12:30 - 13:00 Lunch break" on her desk and asked me to go to another line as she was about to go on break.
I started to protest as it was only 12:23PM and only one person in front of me. On the other line there were at least four persons and the other girl didn't seem to work faster. So I have lost the cards and about 40 minutes. It was quite rude of her to do what she did as she saw me staying in line all the time there while she was busy talking on her private phone but this is the way the clerks are.
Quite angry I have left the branch heading to the Eminescu branch of the same bank.
There was a crowd on two lines as only two out of the four "Universal" desks were open on a weekday at a busiest time.

I said to myself that it is no use to get angry and I went to Bancpost to solve other two cards. Here was even worse. I waited in a line of eight to reach the cards consultant. Then he gave me some forms to fill up and I was pointed to another line to wait for another consultant to check if I had debts to the bank (that was for sure not the case as I have tried to explain them because I had some ammount of money in the accounts). I was checked, I haave filled up the forms and went back to the cards operations. Again a line of 10 persons. I gave the filled in forms and the result of the checking to the clerk and he informed me that the process of closing the cards would take for about two weeks and I have to come to take back the chash personally from the bank. I have said that closing an account is a simple accounting operation and I disn't see why it would take so long and why isn't it possible to make a transfer of the mone in an another account... Without any answer...

Back to BRD again. I took a taxi to the main branch of BRD in Timisoara. Here the things wend quite smooth and the clerk was quite amable and helped me with the forms.
I have been able to take money from the account and I was assured that my new card will arrive in two weeks in... Bucharest. What? It seems that they opened my account by mistake on the Bucharest branch therefore there will be some additional time to send the card back to Timisoara.

After these events I have to say that I drove some conclusions:
1. I will never do business again with Bancpost. Bad quality of service and very long lines. Dissorganization and beaurocracy.
2. I am dissatisfied with BRD also so I will try to find better solutions.
3. I do not understand why the clerks are not using the pronoun of politness in Timisoara? This is a characteristic of the region because everywhere in the country two persons that are not in close relations are using it. I'm sick of so much familiarity. and also of fucking "Ciao" that all the people here is using...

On opensource again


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pinocchio software

Pinocchio software = software in that the development team has really no control on the product.
The product is managed by an exteriour entity (sales maybe) and no decision can be taken in the dev team.
- projects started with great risks and against warnings just because they were promised to customers.
- projects in that all the risks were neglected.
- projects in that the projevt manages is in another site.