Archive for July, 2006

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

July 22nd, 2006

Don't you just love it when a movie doesn't even give you the slightest hope that it's gonna be anything other than completely sucky? Honesty, I like that. This movie is everything but pretentious. The story is complete crap and for some reason they hired a total hillbilly to play the lead, without even bothering to draw up a plot for his life. If you liked the first two, you should know this one is by far the worst. If you liked Need for speed: Underground, you'll like the fact that they've brought even more stuff from the game into the movie - the race track with obstacles, car damage (driving is extremely reckless this time) and above all drifting.

What I would love to see is someone actually doing the drift out of the parking garage that we see in the movie.

boo maxtor boo

July 20th, 2006

"We are gathered here today to say goodbye to a dear friend.." Nah, how corny would that be. Still, it's true, I've had yet another harddrive failure. This time one that hasn't been used much in the last 6 months. In the last two days it was failing spontaneously and then giving lots of disk errors upon reboot. I ran Maxtor's diagnosis tool and it said the drive was dead as a doornail.

I shouldn't protest too loudly, seeing as I got it for free. But it reinforces the old saying: "hardware sucks".

Day One

July 17th, 2006
  • came into work: 12
  • left work: 15
  • cups of bad coffee: 2
  • results: none

Last night I arrived on the last flight from Gardemoen into Trondheim. It was delayed for two reasons; 1) the crew couldn't get to the airport in time and 2) a flight in from Paris was delayed and since this was the last one to Trondheim, those passengers travelling up north would have no other connecting flight. First of all, who the hell needs the crew anyway? We should just have the pilot announce "sit down, shut up and I'll bring this bitch home". (Pilots work long days, no wonder they're grumpy, have a little compassion.) It's a 50-minute flight, you can do without your coffee.

So we land just after 1am, by the time people collect their luggage and the shuttle takes off (thank god they wait for the last flight even when it's delayed, the airport is 40km away) it's 1:30. I'm in town by 2 and then I got a 15 minute walk home. By the time I get to bed it's 3am. Not the ideal lead-in to the first day on the job.

By the time I got into work it was noon, but the university doesn't look much like it does on the average day at noon, it's basically deserted. The first piece of business is getting the computer up to speed, I start installing Ubuntu Breezy and... realize I have no network connection. At universities, the networks are very complicated, all the more so in our department. There are 4 plugs in the wall, one is for phone, one is for a Sunray network, one is disabled and one is for some old SGI network. In other words, I'm out of luck. The installer freezes halfway through, because my improvised network connection dies for no apparent reason. So I manage to install Ubuntu with no network for now.

I ask around the office, of course none of the people there are responsible for networking, so I need some other person in some other department in some other building, who may be on vacation at this time, to fix the network plug for me. So my officemate sent an email on my behalf and we wait for the reply. It doesn't come. Meanwhile I need to get my keycard activated so I don't have to ring the doorbell everytime leave the building. At one point I had 3 office veterans working on this problem, trying to remember who is reponsible for signing off on keycards. Finally the verdict comes in "bureaucratically speaking, they're all on vacation, the whole department". But since I already have a card and I just need to get it re-activated, they eventually managed to pull a quick hack and get me access.

But my network problem persists, so I take the grand tour up to the 3rd floor of the main building and realize I can't get in there, because my card doesn't give me access to that department. And there is no doorbell. "Visiting? Use the phone on the right to call the person you're here to see." I scan the list of names beside the phone and I try the one in bold listed under "Networking". Answering machine "the person you are calling, number 93423, is on vacation". So I try another networking guy and I get the switchboard, connects me to someone who *should* be in today. No answer. Apparently they "work until 3, but they're open until 2". This was around 1:30 and I still couldn't get anywhere.

So the eldest guru in my office says "you can use the big boss's computer until they fix the problem". The guy has a top of the line AMD X2 64bit with 4GB RAM and a dual 21'' LCD display, it's a sight to behold. He's not in today, like everyone else, he's on vacation. But I'm not about to invade his office. So I end up spending an hour and a half chatting with my officemate about everything and nothing until we both realized we've done enough today. Hopefully the network bug can go away first thing tomorrow morning.

Have you also had an unproductive first day? Write to us at:

Here's how I killed 4 hours playing Solitaire as I was waiting to get on the network
47 Efficiency Avenue
342-12 Time-to-waste

fashion tips

July 15th, 2006

Do you ever see someone on the street and you think to yourself "that's a really bad thing to wear"? Exactly, so I thought I could do something new here and bless the world with some fashion tips. I'm no fashion guru, but I can save you from humiliation by telling you what not to wear.


The superman boots
God only knows why women like this model. This brown leather abomination looks crap in every incarnation. They usually extend to somewhere above the knee and they inevitably have a zipper on the side. The boots look like something you would wear in a swamp so your feet stay dry. I could understand how it might be practical at winter time, _practical_. But good looking? No, sorry. Not least because they're often worn with clothes that strongly contrast the boots themselves (so you can see them a block away), or because they're worn with clothes that don't contrast much at all, drab, tired shades of brown, navy and black.

Note: the short ones that only rise a little above the ankle are not on the blacklist, those look quite good.


Short skirt & bike

Well this is a no brainer. Or should be. In this country of bikes, everyone has one. And while I wouldn't have thought so, long skirts actually look rather classy and elegant on bikes. Short skirts that cut off above the knees on the other hand.. very tacky.

So there, now you don't have to buy "Vogue" this week.

look into my eyes

July 7th, 2006

"If you're not looking into my eyes when I'm talking to you then I don't think you respect me." Do you know these people? Get off your high horse already. All it means is that I'm able to carry on a conversation while doing something else. Ie. I'm economizing on my time. It may come as a shock, but everyday conversation is not some noble art, it's a very common and cheap thing, any two people can have a go anytime at all.

And at the heart of the issue, not every conversation is engaging enough to require that kind of undivided attention. If I were speaking to say Jerry Seinfeld about his writing process or say Miguel de Icaza about his next vision in the linux space, I just might want to concentrate fully on that. But if I'm having an everyday conversation about some issue that isn't immensely gripping, I'm not going to. In any case, it's a drag to keep up that staring contest beyond the first 5-10 minutes anyway.