Sunday, December 4, 2016

1602 Chinese Map

The Danube Delta is quite accurately described. Some proportions and sizes are clearly wrong.


1. Serial (Bad) Weddings - utterly funny

2. Marco Polo - because in the '80 I have seen a Marco Polo miniseries at TVR

3. Samsara - to test 4K and HDR

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sunny day

December 3rd. Sunny. Lazy morning.
Danced with Mara.
Then Pink Floyd, Dave Brubeck, Compay Segundo.
Sang Christmas Carols.
Visited friends.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What I am tinkering these days

1. I repair my Sennheiser headphones.Some Sugru works :). I have fixed also the Mac's power cable.

2. Struggling with 3D Modeling software: Blender (yuck), Metasequoia 4, Wings 3D
3. Experimenting with engraved acrylic, "glow in the dark" paint and Golden powder + shellac mixtures
4. SVG reproductions of Oravitzan paintings

Almost a Century

98 years since Romania as a whole.
The bad part is that we are not yet Romanians as a whole...

Sunday, October 30, 2016

I have been mildly hacked

I have used a Windows 10 computer that I guess was infected (probably by a key logger). I have recovered the account although the attacker succeeded to end some spam through Skype.

I got paranoid and changed all the passwords, reinstalled devices and enabled 2 factor authentication.

Sorry if you have received some Baidu links. It was not really me.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Null Null A

Our world will never become the utopian Null-A world. It will never get rational an informed.
Because we are just technological monkeys on our path to self destruction.

IT and Cars

I think it is bad that I am an IT guy when it comes to cars.
I am constantly trying to upgrade my car as it would be a computer. Upgrading computers is easy and straightforward. Almost everything is replaceable and even if you do not pay upfront a pile of money you can get parts later on and adapt your gear to your needs. Just some screwdrivers and some patience.

When it's about cars you do not have the luxury to upgrade parts of your car. Retrofitting options is expensive and you need a specialised shop. Parts are not easy to be sourced and are expensive as hell. Lack of information. Warranty becomes void on changes. A nightmare.

I wanted to retrofit a rearview camera and a forward 'adaptive cruise control' but the price was outrageous. In the end I gave up. Next car will have these by default anyways.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Umberto's Magic

As an hommage to Umberto Eco I have re-read some of his books. "Baudolino", "The Prague Cemetery" and "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana".

It is fascinanting how Eco creates characters that seem to modify their reality by inventing stories as Baudolino and Simonini do.

In the end the reality is a sum of tales told from generation to generation by so many Baudolinos or wicked Simoninis.

Childhood's End

The devilish form of the Overlords in A. C. Clarke's "Childhood's End" was nor a racial memory but a racial premonition...

What about the fear we feel from the immigrants? Is it a memory or a premonition? I would say that in this part of Europe is certainly a fear that is still in or genes since the XIVth century.

How will we evolve? Colapse or a hypermind?
In the light of PokemonGo, I am just skeptikal...

Last trip with Kalos

After 11 years we had the last long trip with Kalos. Like an old mule she travelled steady to Greece and back. Not as sharp or fast as it was in 2005 but still able to travel the 2000 km.

I have many memories with this car. She was the first car that I bought and it carried all the people I love. We went in countless places all over Europe. She carried Mara from the maternity to our home. She carried my grandpa in his last visit to Hunedoara.

She did it well with little maintenance costs. She was strudy, quite powerful and tolerant with my lack of driving skills. She was a beautiful Giugiaro design.

Farewell Kalos! I will miss you!

Monday, July 18, 2016


In the past production factors were considered "work, land and capital". Nowadays things are rather changed. Work and land are now resources - this terms encompasses both the material resources as well as work and energy. The capital encompasses not only the financial valuation but also the intellectual assets.  Work on the other hand tends to be diminished in importance with the proliferation of robotics and AI/ML while the intellectual property tends to become increasingly important.

Wars are generally fought for resources and we clearly see some trends:
- as work resource devaluates the countries with high workforce become restless
- as renewable resources get used countries with big resource yields or these with resources that are about to be discarded become restless
- countries with high IP values get targeted more often

Probably we will assist to "Butlerian jihad" in some aspects.
Probably after this war the world will calm down a little and some generations will have peace. Not ours unfortunately and sadly not our children's.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

100 years of peace

Probably the positive attitude and the entrepreneurial spirit in Romania will arrive after 100 years of peace. Relative peace. No massive war, no empires, to land raptures.

100 years of peace that should heal some wounds, make people build and capitalise what they built both materially and spiritually.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tooling in startups

What tooling does a startup need? Where should this tools be hosted in order to be accessible yet cheap?

Well the 1st choice is obviously the "cloud". GitHub and BitBucket are great for hosting source code.
They are not expensive and they offer offsite availability. So You cannot loose your code by using code in any case. If the company is, let's say paranoid about security, the only option I can consider is GitBucket a free Scala developed GitHub clone. GitLab or Gitorious are on the other hand just a pile of expensive junk. GitBucket does everything GitHub does and requires just a fraction of the resources that GitLab asks for. If pay the minimal fee on GitHub 7USD you are good to go with an almost perfect service. BitBucket services are cheaper but their interface is not as polished. Hosting your own GitBucket will go from 5 to 10 USD but there you can scale to as may users as you want paying just for some administrative talent.
The former mentioned tools offer VCS but they also offer wiki and issues trackers - maybe not as advanced as Jira or TFS but, heck, they are almost for free.

The second  category of tools is the build server. Here I couldn't find a decent online build provider, but with a little imagination one can have its own Jenkins either on OpenShift (albeit memory and storage limited - builds tent to take forever) or in even better in a cheap cloud server as these of Digital Ocean or Scaleway.  This means that you will pay from 0 to 10 USD to build services.

Then you need some productivity/office applications. IMO Google apps are just right for this.
GApps come almost in every domain name bundle and sometimes they can be largely discounted.
They also include GTalk/Hangouts and GMail - awesome apps for communication.
Additionally Slack can be used for team communication as their channels work as Google Wave was supposed to, offering a stream of information that anyone can join. Slack is also great for integrating services as it can be triggered or can trigger services that have a RESTful interface.

Summing it up a startup has to pay between 50 to 100 USD per mont for all its IT needs.

NB: In case that the shop is a Microsoft one - their alternative offering (Office 365, VS team services) is more than fair albeit it limits you to a Windows world.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Interesting outages detection

What Microsoft thinks
What I see...

Sometimes the error message is even more verbose and involves a BE server id also....

Somethig as:
X-ClientId: 5..............................................7
X-Auth-Error: MServTransientException
X-FEServer: AM3PR03CA033
X-BEServer: DB4PR03MB0749
Date: 5/26/2016 6:10:38 PM

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Away in Germany for some time. Now I am back.

  • Worked with CEF (Chromium Embedded Framework) - pretty neat integration in .NET but a horrible one in MFC.
  • Used NancyFX for some .NET Restful APIs. I could convert my Java APIs to .NET in a couple of days.
  • Played with the amazing ESP8266. 
  • Programmed a tiny DigiSpark as a evil fake keyboard prank for 1st of April. 
  • Finished a couple of courses on Coursera (Machine Learning, Cryptography) and ED-X (Wine).
  • Coaching. Coaching Coaching.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

umberto@abulafia$: poweroff

Umberto Eco died.

Probably one of the greatest writers.

Fascinating in every sense -  as a philosopher, as a writer, as a man.
It puzzled me with his writings "Foucault Pendulum" was magical - I spent days trying to understand the BASIC code that was computing Iahve's names. He was creative in every way and his style changed continuously from academic writing to graphic novel (almost).

Saturday, February 20, 2016


It seems that slack is just another messaging platform but in reality slack is so much more.
Slack is what Google Wave should have been. It is an integration platform.

At fist look what you have with lack is kind of a private IRC but the ability of integrating external webapps either as a caller or s a callee makes it wonderful.

I quickly gave it a try and integrated slack with both BitBucket and Trello and then I have created some webhooks that notify the team on commits, builds and server status and health by querying a ganglia daemon.

The bonus is that I get free realtime mobile notifications which is awesome.