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);