Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Monday, May 26, 2003
Thursday, May 22, 2003
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Friday, May 16, 2003
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
The only thing cheaper than offshore tech labour? UW co-op students.
If it's a general trend in the tech. industry, it had to affect us eventually: UW co-op placements outsourced to India (see "Link with Indian consulting firm"). Of course this is being spun as "developing new opportunities for its students overseas." I can't wait to get paid in rupees ...
Monday, May 12, 2003
I joined the downtown YMCA this weekend. One of the reasons I prefer the Y over for-profit gyms is because 1) No bullshit initiation fees, etc. 2) you get a free hour with an instructor to setup your program. So I went to make my appointment today but they're booked until the end of the month! Kind of like the public/private health care debate: I could PAY for personal training and probably get it ASAP, or I can wait forever for the free version ...
Here's something unrelated but really funny for the blogging crowd. The register has this article about how Google will soon be indexing weblogs separately to avoid "tainting" the main index with "dense and incestuous linking" that according to some "drowns out primary sources" with "idle chatter." Pretty strong words -- I guess the "real" journalists at the register get offended with writers outside the profession get a voice. Other favorite quote from this article: "Recent research ... put the number of blog readers as opposed to writers, as "statistically insignificant."
Final thought: How do you program a computer to distinguish "blog" from "non-blog" ? I don't think anyone can make a precise distinction. Obviously pages at domains like "blogspot.com" and "userland.com" will be classified by Google as blogs, but can we distinguish based purely on content? The New York Times or CNN update their websites almost hourly, and post stories on about a variety of topics but Google surely classifies these as news sources? I'm not sure that anyone can come up with a precise definition of blog.
Friday, May 09, 2003
Here's an example of how "things always work out:" Yesterday I finally reached the end of my rope -- all my credit cards were maxxed, all my lines of credit were at their full, and all my bank accounts were at their overdraft limit. This has never happened before. There has always been one more card/account with money left on it. Not this time -- no tax refund and a long frugal school term had totally wiped me out. I spent my actual last last last 4 dollars in the world on lunch at "La Belle Provence" (fast food on the corner of St. Catherine and City Councellors), went home to make dinner with the last of my groceries, and wondered what I would eat tomorrow (today).
The next day, when I came in to work I checked my online banking hoping for a miracle and amazingly I had been paid, only one week into the term, something I never expected from our accounting people in Toronto. So, there you have it. My financial cycle is timed down to the very day.
Thursday, May 08, 2003
I think I just fixed the main show-stopper bug in the MS Outlook add-in component of our exchange replacement product. Sweet!
Update: In fact, my "fix" was freeing a buffer too soon which started causing crashes. Once the free was moved to the right place, it turned out we were still leaking. So change that "sweet" above to: Yeah I found but didn't quite fix 1/2 of our show-stopper memory leak. Heh, that's the way things always go -- nothing in code is as simple as you think.
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Last night a bunch of us from work saw the sequel to X-men. I'll go ahead and give it a thumbs up despite some annoying soap-operaish moments involving the Wolverine-Jean Grey-Cyclops love triangle. Instead of using the situation to entertain the audience with funny Wolverine-Cyclops banter, as in the last movie, this time around all we get is syrup.
If anyone is interested in what I'm doing at work this time around (and even if you're not), I'm currently working on our Microsoft Exchange replacement product. I'm happy because there's a good chance our next killer app. could involve an Outlook plugin. Better think of it fast, because there's only 8 months left until graduation!
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Monday, May 05, 2003
Saturday, May 03, 2003
In case you were ever a reader of operator<<, I can't post there anymore because I don't have the $US 39.95 right now for another year of hosting and I don't have the motivation to set the damn thing up to upstream somewhere else and plus, well Radio Userland sucks anyway (no linux version, crashes all the time, ...)
So a bunch of stuff has happened since the last time I posted anywhere. I somehow survived final exams, and came through with exactly the same marks I always get. Every term I think, "This is it. This is going to be the term where a really fail at something." Yet somehow school always works itself out. Amazing, but it sure doesn't prevent me from getting really stressed every time around.
If you are ever looking for a place to live for the summer in Montreal, go directly to the McGill online classifieds and you will find yourself a place so cheap and so quick. Even with all the talk of housing crisises and crazy rents, around here Montreal is just like any other university town -- students are desperate to sublet their places out and go home for summer. I decided to find a sublet after only 2 days living at my old hostel (Auberge Chez-Jean) compared to 1 month the last time I was here for exactly this reason. After minimal effort spent searching, I'm now living at 3623 St. Urbain for $275/month. The best thing about this house is that it actually comes with cool student-like roommates (again compare to last term I was here, with nasty Natasha the visitor unfriendly landlord, and where I barely ever talked to anyone)
This reminds me of a funny thing that happened at the hostel the other day. There was the Quebecois guy hanging around the place who looked pretty familiar, and I looked pretty familiar to him, but I figured we must just have seen each other around the hostel scene last fall. But after a while of thinking about it together, we realized that we actually had been roommates last term, in fact both lived side by side upstairs at my old place on Drolet! Thats how close I was with the housemates back then -- we don't even recognize each other after living together for 3 months. Fortunately I don't think that will happen this term.
I am way way way broke, but I this afternoon I managed to find room on a long lost credit card for one essential for my new place: propane. Yes they have a barbeque, but before today there was no tank, and it was full of ash from when the former residents had been cooking with coals (!?!?) Well I certainly can't live like that, so I spend this afternoon cleaning up the thing, putting it back together, and picking up a tank and propane from the (luckily) nearby gas station. It was actually kind of amazing that the whole thing didn't explode when I turned it on, because I wasn't quite sure about the "putting back together" part of the plan, but the only glitch is that the left burner must still be clogged with ash because it doesn't light. Good enough for me though and one minute later my chicken was cooking.
It's pretty stunning how domestic I've become since last term -- always buying groceries and cooking at home, I mean. That's what poverty will do to you. We'll see if it lasts once I start getting paid.
I almost forgot one other super cool feature of where I'm living. Not only is there internet access working the day I move in (score), but in fact wireless internet access ... (double score).