Can’t stop listening

You know when some song get stuck in your head and you can’t get bored of listening it over and over again? It happens to me from time to time and this time it is “Lynyrd Skynyrd – Hell or Heaven”.

Mama used to say to me, you can make your destiny
Keep your feet planted on the ground
You can always get it back, make a
castle from a one room shack
It’s all of what you make of what you’ve found
Son you’re gonna find out when you’re older
There’s always been the hand of god restin’
right there on your shoulder

Will it be hell or heaven on earth
The choice is up to you
Look to the sky, the answer is clear
Are you gonna, live life for all it’s worth
Choose hell, or heaven on earth
If you live it right, there’s nothing to fear
‘Cause you’ll find heaven right here

Saw a man the other day, had it made in every way
Till his greed brought him down
He was blinded by the city lights, now he
shivers in the cold tonight
Who will save the lifeguard when he’s about to drown

Will it be hell or heaven on earth
The choice is up to you
Look to the sky, the answer is clear
Are you gonna, live life for all it’s worth
Choose hell, or heaven on earth
If you live it right, there’s nothing to fear
‘Cause you’ll find heaven right here

You know you’re gonna walk through fire
You know your gonna feel the pain
Oh you’re gonna lose, if you want to win the game
And everytime your heart is breakin’
And everytime your faith is shaken
Remember what mama said… Oh that day…

Hope when my time has come
I’ve left enough to build upon
Ain’t no one gonna say I didn’t try
Here’s why…

Hell or heaven on earth
The choice is up to you
Look to the sky, the answer is clear
Are you gonna, live life for all it’s worth
Choose hell, or heaven on earth
If you live it right, there’s nothing to fear
‘Cause you’ll find heaven right here
You’ll find heaven right here Oooohhh..
You’ll find heaven right here Oooohhh..
Oooohhh…. heaven right here…

“This is the year of the Linux Desktop”

Every year, the same phrase appears: “This is the year of the Linux Desktop”. Unfortunately, it never is. But then you read something around and suddenly you realize the pace of the Linux Desktop:

Stuff that dates back to when the Linux world’s version of “usability” was providing X Window with a teal background and a penguin-branded start button. Stuff from before Rasterman, or the passage of time needed to make people nostalgic for CDE. From a time when people believed that one false step with XF86Config could explode your very monitor, and when it seemed like the most wonderful kind of magic to make a Soundblaster 16 Plug-N-Play croak “I pronounce Linux … Linux.”

I was there. It is not that long ago. We went from “I’ll use Windows 3.1 without a mouse than THIS” to “more eye candy than Windows Vista Premium Special Edition Signed Zero Alpha Plus” in around 5 years.

How to piss off people

Remember when I tried to use Canola? Well, I’m a happy user of UKMP (which is getting features and bug fixes in a weekly basis), but I can’t help to stop and read stuff when INdT says it is working in a new version of Canola, which should be the “best thing since sliced bread”.

Since I’m a coder, I can say that:

  1. Jumping from toolkit to toolkit means you don’t understand what “community” means;
  2. Choosing a toolkit just because it is the “new shinny thing” is not a good methodology (see “Duke Nukem Forever” and its three rendering engine history);
  3. hidding comments because they ask the dreadful question is not nice.

Honestly, I really can’t care about such thing anymore. Canola will not succeed by itself in its current pace (maybe because it is a Nokia thing they will push it in their devices) unless those guys realize what a community is.

Which LOLCAT are you?

Your Score: Cheezburger cat

74% Affectionate, 57% Excitable, 53% Hungry

Sure, you deserve one. You helped popularized lolcats from a running gag to an online sensation. Now mainstream media writes asinine columns on this ‘phenomenon’, students write theses on the topic, programming languages adopt the grammar, and losers write tests about them on dating sites. Now take your cheezburger and never touch the internets again.

To see all possible results, checka dis.

Link: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Fighting my first Australian flu

It was bound to happen. After six months in Australia, I had to get a flu. And I must say it is the worst flu I ever got. I’m not sure if the fact that I’m doing the gym helped anything, or that now I have a weird diet, but honestly I never felt so shitty before.

I took some meds, went to bed and could feel my tights burning. I’m not joking: I was feeling kinda cold, but the moment, I got under the quilt, I start feeling warm already. After one minute, I felt I could boil an egg if someone left one between my legs — if I could stand still. My legs were a little bit sore after gym Monday and the flu didn’t made it easier. Actually, my chest and tights were sorer than ever and every position I tried let something hurting.

8pm and I was feeling completely shit. My arms were cold, my face was buring, as my legs and my feet were cold. I decided to take a shower to try to balance the temperatures, only to feel sicker and throw up. Fortunately, and weirdly enough, it made me feel better.

Sleep? No chance. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t unfocus on the pain in the legs. I had some weird visions of fast changing images (can’t remember which ones), but I guess it was enough to overwhelm my brain enough to fall sleep.

Today I’m still a little bit sore, my throat is sore and I’m having some trouble focusing (not to mention actually speaking).

Programming is a lost art

A few days ago I was reading a digg story about “Linux developers switching to Eclipse”. Honestly, I tried to use it, but I think the interface it too cluttered and there is a lot of space which could be used to show code. You can switch everything off, but it becomes a pain in the backside to look at two files at the same time. Then again, it is my opinion.

The thing that made me post about this is a comment posted by someone in the history. On it, the user said he couldn’t understand how people could use VIM or Emacs to write code in a “modern era” where there are “several thousand modules” to work with.

Everytime someone say something like this, there is one word that pops in my mind: Unix. Why? Unix was conceived with one thing in mind: let’s build a good bus, so application can talk to each other; that way, we can do apps that do just one thing, but the user can make them work together using the bus.

There, more than 30 years ago, the first real big project, which stays alive today (more like “alive in concept” than code). The idea was to build simple and small things and not “the word processor with a spreadsheet and voice recognition, which can send faxes through wireless”. Well, ok, you can build such word processor, but when you focus on small things at time, building libraries to keep things smaller and reusable (maybe not reusable, maybe just simple). When you do that, you don’t have to focus on “several thousand modules”: you just have one module to focus at time.

Somewhere in the road of software development, we lost the big picture view of things.

In a way, I can relate this to the way the computer industry went. You see, in the very beginning, software was unimportant; the idea was to sell hardware. In that way, because software was not an important piece, people thought, first, how to share it, how to make it “compatible” with other people apps. Then, in the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s, software suddenly became a very important piece and it was not more something you should share: you would keep it to you, share your application and make people buy another application from you to talk to other people apps. And then, suddenly, this became the world where everyone wants to write the “word processor with spreadsheet and voice recognition, which can send faxes through wireless”.

I’m not surprised the old guys (Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Douglas McIlroy) don’t code anymore. This became a fighting zone, not a museum of paintings…

Why Ubuntu is so popular

Slashdot comment:

Personally, I’ve been using Mandriva/Mandrake for about 5 years, and I don’t see anything that Ubuntu has that Mandrake didn’t have 3 years ago. I’m not sure why Ubuntu is catching all this attention. Maybe I’m missing something really big, but I seriously don’t see what makes Ubuntu so much better than Mandriva, or most other desktop oriented distros. I actually prefer Mandriva, because I find that the Admin tools are much better.

The comment is right. There is nothing that Ubuntu does that Mandrake wasn’t doing 3 years ago. So why did Ubuntu became so popular?

I guess there is one simple answer, and it comes with five letters: GNOME. Ok, you can kick me now, but listen this: what every single distribution was doing 3 years ago with KDE? They were trying really hard to mimic Windows. Users would look at it, see “Oh, it looks like Windows” but, when using it, it would not behave like Windows. Inside their heads, they would say “This Windows sucks”.

Now Ubuntu chose GNOME as default desktop interface (but you can have Kubuntu and KDE, if you want to). When users look at it, they don’t see Windows; they realize it is something completely different. Even Mac users don’t see a Mac OS there and know they are dealing with a different beast. And that’s were they get rid of old habits and learn news things — and learn that there are easier ways to solve problems.

Ubuntu is popular because it chose to be Linux, not Windows.