Archive for December, 2006

have you re-read those books btw?

December 22nd, 2006

*turns last page*

Oy, that was a serious load. The early estimate was way off, the total number of pages accumulates to 787 in four weeks And slightly half of which I've covered in the last four days. I think that's probably the biggest volume of reading I've undertaken in that space of time.

Reading a master's thesis I thought would be awfully technical, but it turned out to be a ripping good yarn.

Tomorrow there's a test, and then it's off on holiday.

technology "must work"

December 21st, 2006

As I'm reading about enterprise integration patterns, which is a study of common software design solutions in enterprises, it strikes me how many points of failure these technologies have. And that instills in me a sense of compassion for the deployment of such solutions, there are so many angles to cover. And to our benefit as consumers, these complex structures appear simple.

Making an airline reservation can be a process which requires several different systems on different machines to co-operate. There is recording the order, which could be handled by an Order Processing System. Then there is recording customer data (address, date of birth etc), which could be stored in a special Customer Database Registry. Then there is checking for flight availability (websites currently have browseable calendars where dates/times of available flights are highlighted), and this would require checking a Flight Database and a Flight Booking Database, to 1) find flights and 2) see if they have open seats. Then there is processing payment, which is often handled by a third party, like Visa. Then, once a flight has been selected, it has to be recorded in the Flight Booking Database, upon which a confirmation is sent and the order is complete. This whole transaction has to be handled alongside another thousand bookings happening right at the same time.

All of this appears to the customer as a series of simple web pages, sometimes poorly designed and annoying to use, marred by server outages. But it's not just the web server displaying the pages that can face problems, any of the systems can give out and the booking procedure would face a serious problem. Now, as a developer involved in building this infrastructure, I would certainly appreciate the possibility for errors, and how errors anywhere in the chain could be very damaging. But as a customer, I have no sympathy nor patience for problems. I demand to be served, and that's that. It is, in a sense, a curious contrast between the two worlds.

But if technology is considered by critics as "unreliable", just imagine what it would be like if we didn't mind waiting for our bookings, didn't mind our reservations being canceled, didn't mind our tickets becoming invalidated through glitches and so on. Our standards at least drive technology to excel, heads to roll, companies to go out of business, and customer services to improve.

As fate would have it, a perfect example of the lack of patience we have with technology: getting pictures from a camera.

extracting pictures from my camera on linux

December 20th, 2006

My camera: a Canon Powershot S1 IS (bought in the summer 2004)

  • Start VMware.
  • Plug in camera.
  • Windows wizard for camera comes up, next next finish etc.
  • Transfer files to VMware host.

Previous attempts at extracting pictures *gasp* without VMware.

  • gphoto2 - error
  • sudo gphoto2 - error
  • su - ; gphoto2
  • digikam - error
  • kdesu digikam - error (used to work until recently)
  • gthumb - error
  • sudo gthumb - error
  • su - ; gthumb - error

How friggin embarrassing is it that the same usb signal passing through the kernel and into VMware can be correctly processed in VMware, but not in linux?

I've searched high and low for a solution, this problem goes back a year. I've gone through various kernels, various versions of different libraries and applications, and the only thing that used to work was digikam in root mode. For some reason that doesn't work anymore.

UPDATE: After some renewed research (been months since last time I gave up on getting this fixed), it looks like the bug has been figured out. Installing gphoto2-2.2.0 (still marked unstable on x86) finally took care of it.

What a load off. And to think Windows helped fix it.

the phone book, sire

December 19th, 2006

Funniest thing. The phone company dropped off a note at our door, saying they tried to deliver the phone book, but noone was home to receive it. Let me explain. The Dutch have said No To Drugs Mailboxes. They only have that medieval crack in the door, so the phone book is too big to fit through it. So when it is the time of the year to deliver the phone book, they have to drive around door-to-door.

Anyway, I was so relieved to learn I can pick it up at the post office (just imagine the humongous stack of phone books they must have right now). *shrugs* I didn't even know we had a phone book in the house, never seen one.

tårevåt avskjed

December 18th, 2006

Hei!

Vi har ikke registrert at du har betalt medlemskontingenten til Europeisk Ungdom for 2006. Hvis du vil ha Norge inn i EU så fort som mulig – er det enkleste du kan gjøre å betale kontingenten så fort som mulig.

Mange medlemmer gir oss tyngden vi trenger – både økonomisk og organisatorisk – til å være synlige og kjempe for norsk EU-medlemskap hver eneste dag.

Fortsetter du som medlem vil du fortsette å få medlemsblad og utsendelser, og muligheten til å delta på arrangementer i Norge og i hele Europa.

Hvis du ikke betaler innen årets slutt vil du meldes ut av Europeisk Ungdom f.o.m. 01.01.2007.

Du skal ha fått tilsendt giro i Posten for over en uke siden, og har du ikke det har vi feil adresse i vårt register. Meld adresseendring ved å svare på denne e-posten så får du tilsendt utgave 2 av medlemsbladet.

Du kan betale kontingenten enten med den giroen, eller ved å sende følgende SMS til 2040:

EU10

Eller

EU50

(Hvis du bor i Oslo)

Vi håper du fortsetter å støtte EU-saken og fortsetter som medlem i Europeisk Ungdom!

God jul,

Mvh

Europeisk Ungdom

Ai, så fort tiden går. Har det gått ti år allerede? Jeg husker jeg meldte meg inn da jeg gikk på videregående, ca. 97-98. Jeg var littegrann aktiv det første året, men så ebbet det ut fullstendig. Saken har alltid vært god, men til tider har det skjedd lite. Jeg aner virkelig ikke hvordan de har holdt på meg som medlem alle de årene, jeg har betalt kontingent kanskje 3-4 ganger i alt.

Dette er imidlertid første gang de truer med å melde meg ut. Siden jeg ikke lenger engang bor i landet, så er vel det like greit. Jeg skjønner godt at de vil ha de ti spenna, det er sikkert statlig støtte å få per medlem.

De hjemme fikk visstnok en telefon også, man står på.