July 11, 2007
So last Tuesday, about a week ago, I got a call from my sister. This,
in itself, is not generally something I would consider "unexpected".
However, it soon became apparent that my sister had called me to invite
me to her wedding. Since she had been engaged for nearly a year and
half, this, too, was not necessarily all that surprising. What was
a little surprising was that her wedding was on Saturday. And it
was Tuesday. If you ask me, that's the right way to plan a
wedding. 3 or 4 days of worrying about it and fussing over it and then
it's over. After all, the marriage itself is the important bit, right?
In any case, of course I said I would be happy to go. So I packed my
bags (er, bag rather) and hopped on a train to Boston Friday evening.
When I arrived at my sister's place, folks were busy making the cake.
Oh, the cake. My sister's incredible friends, Matt and Shannon, made
the most amazing cake. 16 layers of chocolate (that's already pretty
awesome, but they get extra geek cred for using a power of 2), with
ganache between each layer, and marzipan maple leaves to decorate.
My sister also loves to sail, so they made a marzipan sail boat for
the top as well. It was delicious. 1.5kg of chocolate can't go wrong.
The ceremony itself was very cozy, or as we say in the low country,
gezellig. My sister's friend Ted is ordained through the Universal
Life Church, and he performed the actual ceremony. After which,
the party truly got started. There were about 20 people. We polished
off 5 bottles of champagne and more beers than I care to count. It
was a good night, and a large pub breakfast the next day preceded
and followed by copious amounts of coffee cured what ailed us.
I bought a Canon 30D. It's pretty sweet. I'm not particularly
knowledgeable about photography, but I'd like to learn more. I have
2 lenses for it now: a 50mm f/1.8 fixed lens and a 70mm-200mm
f/4 zoom lens. The zoom lens is gigantic. It didn't
look nearly so big in the photos online. Hoh well; it's not
particularly heavy. Unfortunately, the camera didn't arrive in
time for the wedding. But I will have it for my upcoming trip to
GUADEC, so that should be fun. I
took the picture of Manhattan on the left from our balcony at about 4am.
It was obviously a very hazy night :P
EWR, you fucking suck. You suck elephant dung, you suck suck it all. You
are now 2 for 2 on cancelling my flights due to highly dubious weather
reasons. Apparently all it takes is a mild shower for you to decide that
all flights for the day are cancelled. The sun is shining now but still,
you insist on cancelling my flight. There is one place the sun is not
shining, and if you ever manage to pull your head out from that place,
and actually let flights take off like normal airports do, I will simply
smile, and say "never again."
July 23, 2007
GUADEC was totally awesome this year. Though the signage could have been
better. It was not at all easy to find, and the only sign for it
was the size of a post card. Contrast with last year, where there were
giant signs for GUADEC pretty much all the way from the train station. I
also liked the venue last year a bit more; it was roomier. I think I found
the talks more interesting this year, however.
Among the more intersting talks were Pyro, GVFS and Clutter.
Apparently it's been deemed the "ugliest city in England" or something. I
dunno, seemed quite nice to me. Though the weather could have been better.
It was raining most of the time, and one day it was really cold, only 5
degrees or so. The thing that always gets me about England though is the
prices. They are roughly the same amount as prices here, but of course the
exchange rate means that the real price is roughyl twice as much. Yet
salaries in the UK are not similarly higher. I don't really understand how
the Brits afford things, but I guess they manage somehow...
Christine's a fan, so we decided to snag a copy Friday night. It was a lot
of fun; the staff at Waterstone's dressed up like characters from the book
and there were plenty of copies available to be had. Though they lose points
for closing the coffee shop.
July 27, 2007
Bye bye OS X
I finally just bit the bullet and installed Linux natively on my Mac,
no Parallels or anything. It's working surprisingly well so far (wifi,
suspend, even my EVDO ExpressCard works). We'll see how much it makes
me feel like stabbing people in a few months...
apenwarr and pphaneuf discuss installers
recently. The OS X application model is indeed an elegant one, but
unfortunately it doesn't work for everything. There are lots of
apps that need an installer application because they need to do something
a normal application can't (add a driver or a kernel extension or whatnot).
In those cases, the app is then basically like a Linux one, in that it
sprinkles files across your filesystem. Unlike Linux, however, Mac OS X
has no way to manage these apps. If they don't provide an
uninstaller you're unlikely to ever be able to uninstall them completely
(even if they do include an uninstaller, it may not work properly, of
course). So yes, in the majority of cases you can use the elegant
application framework. But you still get stuck with an unmanageable mess
if you need apps that do use the installers. Close, but no cigar.
I'm spending a bit of time in the valley for work and I decided to stay
in SF this time so I could get a small taste of what SF is like and
see how bad the commute really is. So far, I'm not finding SF superbly
wonderful, but I'm probably just staying in a crappy area. My hotel is
near Chinatown, which is cool during the day but isn't exactly the place
to find nightlife. Still, things close ridiculously early. The day I
arrived, I left the hotel at 9 to get dinner. To me, 9 is a perfectly
reasonable time to want dinner. But it was damn near impossible to find
anything open. I eventually stubled across a fast food burrito place that
sold me a veggie burrito for $2 (and it actually wasn't bad).
As for the commute, I have to say the Google shuttles are amazing. Comfy,
punctual, fast, and free. What's not to like? The commute really isn't
that big a deal with the shuttles, except that it forces me to leave earlier
than I otherwise would (not necessarily a bad thing, though I do feel like
a slacker this week). I could see it totally sucking if there's super
crappy traffic on the 101, though.
Hmm. Why did I decide to live there again?