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An old rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open, free and exciting is waking up.


Wednesday, February 9, 2005day link 

 Hacked
Damn, my server was hacked. A vulnerability in the awstats log analysis program. Just announced last week, but not very widely, so I had no clue. Anyway, the result was that every file named index on the server got replaced with a graffiti page from some Brazilian hackers. Big pain. There are 7455 index pages on my server. Anyway, hole closed, and the most important ones restored. But if you have a website here, you better check it out.

And I can see in Google that lots of other sites suffered the same fate. This is what the page said:
SIMIENS CREW

Enquanto Houver Fome Guerra Morte Simiens Existirá!

irc.gigachat.net #simiens

Greetz: #un-root #commandt #h4ck3rsbr #asc #infektion and all friends!

Well, I'm not one of those, I can tell you that.
[ | 2005-02-09 09:00 | 37 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Thursday, January 27, 2005day link 

 Photos and street maps
picture I only heard about it yesterday, so I think it is a new thing. The major yellow page site in France, Pages Jaunes, which also serves up maps and other services, now has photos to go with their maps, for most metropolitan areas in France. I.e. a bunch of people have gone around with digital cameras and photographed every street and every house. I thought at first, sure, that would just be the center of town. But, lo and behold, I typed in my own address, and there was a picture of my house. And not just one, but several views. And everything else on our little street. One can click some arrows and take a little virtual walk up and down the street, and turn around and do it again. I couldn't walk on to another street, which was a little annoying. But then I'd probably have been walking around for hours.

Oddly, the different pictures from the street were from different times. I can guess why. The first pictures are probably 3 or 4 years old. Our house didn't exist then. So if I "walk" up and down the street, there's an empty lot there, and an old wall. But if I turn to the side and look, there's the house. Still a picture taken before we moved in, as the gate hadn't been painted yet. We moved there 1.5 years ago, when the house was a year old. Anyway, it seems that whoever organized these pictures found out there was a new house built, and sent somebody out to take pictures of it. What an honor.

This could all be improved, of course. I don't think there's anything technologically in the way of the pictures being taken in such a way that they could be stitched together into a continuous VR experience. You know, mount a 360 degree camera on top of a car, take a full picture every 5 meters, and GPS code them. And then let me fly through the streets in a fluid motion. And then give me driving directions as a video, rather than this thing with "drive 0.325km to the SE and merge right onto connector road 44b"
[ | 2005-01-27 23:43 | 10 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Sunday, December 26, 2004day link 

 Money and Making It
picture Hm, I haven't written much here the last month.

Mostly because I've been a bit occupied. With trying to make a living mostly. Yet another time my main contract that was paying the rent ran out, last month. And that's the time when I belatedly realize that I don't have much of a working plan. I usually live from paycheck to paycheck, whether it is big or small, which is first of all stupid. And when it has been coming in every month I tend to get complacent, forgetting that it could end any time. You know, I usually don't even have a real contract. Just a few companies who pay me something every month while there's something useful for me to do. And sometimes their situation changes and they don't need me any more. And it is always "Thank you so much for your great work. If there's ever anything we can do for you, just let us know." Well, keep paying me, for starters. But it doesn't really work that way. A business isn't a charity.

The answer is either that I do something on an ongoing basis to have projects and acquire new projects before the old ones run out, or that I start thinking more entrepreneurially building up business of my own, or that I go get a JOB. The latter being my worstcase scenario. I'd rather not. Jobs are rather badly paid here in France, and, well, you've gotta be somewhere all day. Oh, it would be less work than the hours I normally keep, but I just can't bring myself to put that option anywhere else than near the bottom of the list. Not to mention the difficulties of getting a job where I am, where one ought to speak perfect French and one's list of diplomas is all important.

So, short term we're talking about that I need projects. I do programming in PHP (or Python or C if I have to). Website database stuff on Linux. And I administer servers. I have a lot of experience and I'm very good at what I do. Shouldn't be hard, should it? But where does one actually get projects that aren't just 9-5 jobs? Usually people have somehow found me by themselves, and I haven't done much to actively seek business.

I previously mentioned rentacoder.com which is a site where people put up projects and coders bid on them. Well, last I looked I thought it was ridiculous. People put up large projects with outrageously small maximum amounts. You know $50 or $100 for something I would have thought of bidding $5000 for. And programmers in Romania and India actually take those jobs and apparently do them successfully. Anyway, I now took a second look. And have actually spent the last few weeks doing interesting jobs. At ridiculous prices. But I'm learning a good deal. For one thing I made several pieces I actually needed myself, but didn't get around to making. And then there's the clarity and discipline needed to do a specific job at a relatively low price. It actually often is quite possible if one analyzes it well enough and one does exactly what is asked for. Oh and then there's all the good business ideas. People often lay out their whole business plan and ask for a bid for somebody who can do the whole thing. Anyway, I'd wear myself out very quickly making a living on rentacoder, but I think it will be a very useful experience, and some useful contacts. I probably did more real work in the past month than in the year before that.

But, really, I'd much rather figure out how to be an entrepreneur. And it is not like I haven't talked about that before, but what exactly do I do? And, now, how does it work to actually put great focus into making businesses that make money? I mean, that's what successful business people generally do. Most of their actions relate to increasing what comes in and lessening what goes out. Not that that is complicated, but my priorities have never really looked like that. I find it sort of blasphemous to make profits the primary focus of one's activities. But, ironically, that usually ends up meaning that I spend an extraordinary amount of effort making up for the fact that I didn't make wise long-term business decisions. By avoiding thinking of money other than in the abstract, I easily end up having to think about it all the time, because there are things that need to be paid.

I might be boring you. Most people have it figured out quite well, and don't think it is hard. I.e. having a routine that keeps you having an income most of the time, and making sure you have reserves set aside for slow periods, and investments for your retirement and that kind of thing. It isn't rocket science, to plan for being able to pay the electricity bill next month. But maybe I'm too dumb, or rather, my mind has mostly been elsewhere.

Anyway, so I'm making an attempt of being a money-motivated, success-oriented internet business entrepreneur. Greed is good. Buy low, sell high. Well, at least I'm exploring some things I normally wouldn't explore, and changing my focus. Chances are that I can't be somebody who makes profits the primary focus on my life. But there should be some happy medium where I stay true to my principles and still can be successful and prosperous. By my own design, and not just some of the time, by luck. No reason not to.

I started a second blog last month. I had sort of vowed that I'd never have any reason for having several blogs, but I guess I can change my mind. You know, I need a place where I can talk about making money more directly. And, hm, somehow I find many aspects of that a bit embarrassing to mention. And I had in mind exploring various things I normally would have a bad opinion about, like MLM and internet money-making schemes and marketing. Well, to try some of it on for size, and see if I'd feel like changing my mind. And since my tone in this blog here is mostly quite anti-commercial, there was a bit of a conflict. Wouldn't really fit here if I asked all of you to join my MLM downline or something. I'm not sure that works for me anywhere else either, but, hey, I'm looking in a few different places. Anyway, it actually seems that I'm finding that what I'd write when talking about making money isn't all that different from what I'd otherwise write. I don't think I'll end up writing up a lot of hype with lots of underlines and superlatives and exclamation marks to get stupid, but motivated, people to sign up for some worthless money-making scheme somebody has cooked up. But then again, there might be sensible and valuable things out there, or I can invent some, which can be explained in plain terms to smart people, and which also happen to make money. Of course there is. Happens all the time. Business of any kind doesn't have to be based on lies.

OK, enough qualifiers. My other blog is called Escape Velocity, so take a look. For some people it will probably sound pretty much the same as this blog, but other people might find something here and there to be offended about. Whatever. For me, I put on a different hat when I step over there, so it has to be a different place at this point.

I have several of my own projects that are beginning to take form. More on those later. In the meantime, if any of you have programming projects or server management jobs you need a little help on, you know where to find me.
[ | 2004-12-26 17:52 | 51 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Thursday, September 30, 2004day link 

 Fairy Tales
picture Nadia wanted Cindarella in both French, English and Danish. But she fell asleep about half way through, and I didn't even notice. Sweet dreams.
[ | 2004-09-30 16:27 | 18 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Monday, September 20, 2004day link 

 Bloglessness
picture Hm, a whole week without saying anything. As usual it is then really hard to pick anything to write about.

This week I incidentally answered e-mails from three good friends in California who hadn't noticed I had moved to France. I guess I forgot to mention it. Well, really I didn't. But there are still lots of people who don't know what a blog is or what to do with it. The Blogital Divide. Should I have forwarded my blog postings to everybody in my address book? Probably not. But it might be worthwhile to think of overlapping the different media more. Lots of people I know are not going to read what I write here, even if my blog URL is in the signature of my e-mails and in my profile in various places. At least my mom has stopped asking for a printout of my blog, and resigned to reading it here.

But if a blog is a personal communication portal, it might of course do a better job at somehow reaching the people who aren't coming looking for it, because they don't have the idea that they're supposed to. And they aren't really supposed to, because there are different styles of communicating, and it probably doesn't work for everybody to go to a webpage and see what's new for somebody, or to run an aggregator that shows what's new for a bunch of people. Some of those probably would like getting an occasional summary of articles, even if they didn't ask for it. Like a mailing list reminder. "Remember Flemming? Well, this is where he is and what he's doing and what he's said and how you can reach him. And if you don't want to hear about this any longer, click here."


[ | 2004-09-20 23:11 | 12 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Sunday, September 12, 2004day link 

 Finding Paths
picture One of our regular activities is to go to runs with the local Hash House Harriers club. One runs or walks for an hour or so, and then one drinks beer, and there are various crazy rituals involved in both. And one meets some other fun people, mostly expats.

Today was the second time we were the "hares". The hares find a location and lay a track one needs to follow, which is marked with flour or chalk marks. Just finding a location isn't all that easy. It should preferably be a new and different place each time, and one should be able to mark a 3-6km walking path, and a 6-10km running path. Which preferably should be a bit adventurous and non-obvious.

And now, what is interesting is that when you look at an area as somebody who needs to lay an interesting path, you discover all sorts of things you might not have if you were just passing through. You start following trails you don't know where lead, and get surprised when you find out. You try to connect up differerent areas, to make your trail work, and are sometimes surprisingly successful in finding paths when you thought there were none. You walk along a stream where there's hardly a path through the heavy growth, and you find ruined old bridges, abandoned sheds, un-noticed infrastructure, quiet ponds, dried-out waterfalls, and then you come out on a street next to somebody's house, by what you would have assumed to be just a driveway if you had come from the other side.

It is fun to find hidden trails, and new entrances and exits.

Today's run was mostly in an area called Les Quinze Sols. It is called that because around the time of the French revolution, the area got divided into little parcels that were sold for 15 Sols. Sols were a monetary unit at that time. 15 bucks. Later it became a really depleted area, as it was exploited in various ways, for example to extract sand. Now there is a 50-100 year project going on of reverting it to be a well-functioning natural eco-system. Which seems to be going well, as it is quite a jungle, and lots of people were fishing. Our path also went through the ruins of an old mill, out in the Garonne river.
[ | 2004-09-12 22:20 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Wednesday, September 8, 2004day link 

 La Rentrée
picture French kids are back in school this week. That time is called "la rentrée" - the re-entry, the return. Somehow that's a real big deal in the French mind. You hear the word many times per day. Every other commercial on the radio presents something for la rentrée, and lots of people are interviewed on TV about what they feel and think about la rentrée, and it is the subject of talkshows and articles. It is not like in the US where there are also "back to school" specials and so forth. Here they seem to organize their thoughts of the whole year around that time. Which seems to last about a month. Doesn't matter if you go to school or not. La rentrée is one of the key concepts in a year. I suppose it illustrates the importance of education. The French are very serious about getting a proper education, and making sure things work right for the kids, and everything is talked through. It also shows how they tend to arrange things in blocks. In August everyone is on vacation. Toulouse was close to deserted and many shops and companies were closed for weeks or for the whole month, and if anything needed doing, the standard message would be that it is vacation time and it might not be possible. And then - la rentrée - everybody goes back to work and school and things open again. The stereotypical image is that on the first of August everybody and their families are stuck in their cars filled with tents and beachballs on the freeways out of Paris. Headed south, not to Toulouse, but further east, to the Mediteranean. And the last day of August, they're all stuck on the freeway headed back. Well, we're not in Paris, so I don't know if it is exactly like that.

Almost like regular people we had vacation in August. We were in Denmark for a couple of weeks, which was nice. And now Toulouse is bustling again. Nadia is back in Ecole Maternelle (kindergarten), now in the class for big kids. Zach is back in Lycée (high school). Seems to work out well for them. And Marie, she'll start in a restaurant school, and that's actually not before next month. But it feels like la rentrée alright.
[ | 2004-09-08 23:40 | 26 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Monday, August 16, 2004day link 

 Working
I'm not getting much posted here right now. I'm in a streak where I get a lot of programming done. Working on my OrgSpace system. Integrated a bunch of my modules a good deal better, in a unified system. And now I'm reviving a content management system I did some years ago. Will be pretty cool when I'm done. It isn't great for my sanity to work in this kind of mode, where I just work on the same thing for all day, but I do get things done. And right now all the rest of my family is out of town, so I've got peace and quiet for once. Well, I'll follow them to Denmark in a few days, but I'll get the most out of it when they're not here.
[ | 2004-08-16 14:33 | 11 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Wednesday, July 7, 2004day link 

 Blogtalk, Day 2
picture I'm back from Blogtalk in Vienna. But let me just comment a bit on the second day.

It is really too much to just listen to people talking for two days, so it is a bit of a blur on the second day. Would be much better with interactive parts in-between. Not just asking questions, but being able to have more of a dialogue amongst the participants. But the backchannel chat and wiki, etc., make it a good deal more bearable, at least for the audience. Not for the presenters, who are looking at several rows of people glued to their screens, making it hard for them to know if people are paying attention. Anyway, the most valuable parts are probably the breaks and meals and what one talks about over beer afterwards.

Mena and Ben Trott, creators of the Movable Type blogging software spoke first. Mostly on how they're moving in the direction of better supporting more private or small scale bloggers, who might not be looking towards attracting many strangers as readers, but who maybe are just trying to share family pictures and stories. A surprisingly large number of people configure their blogs so that they either are password protected or at least not being picked up by search engines.

Peter Praschl compared blogging with jam sessions. You know, when it works well, various kinds of improvisation come together in a pleasing manner.

Several speakers, like Horst Prillinger and Jane Perrone (who does a blog about blogs for The Guardian) talked about the relationship between blogging and journalism. Various people have otherwise put out the idea that blogging is essentially journalism. But now we hear that it really isn't. Journalists have to adhere to certain standards. They have to get multiple sources, verify the validity of their data, and try to be objective. And they'll usually have to try to write what people want to read. Where blogging really is the other way around. You write what YOU feel like writing, and there's no requirement to be objective or to double-check things. OK, if you really write something false, you'll usually hear about it. But many stories that spread around the blogosphere come from just one little unverified rumor posted somewhere, and then repeated over and over. Can't really call that journalism. It is more about attention. Showing what you have your attention on, and possibly feeding off of what other people have attention on.

Lee Bryant of Headshift gave a very impressive overview of a knowledge community project he's spearheading. Notes and slides here. Using blogs and syndication and aggregators widely in a bigger well-integrated whole. Everything is syndicated (has a feed) and everything can be aggregated (can be read in a uniform manner). I.e. you can use uniform tools for keeping an eye on a whole range of activities, people, projects, groups, etc., and sharing information about them. I'd like to study more what he's doing, as it sounded very right.

There were a bunch more speakers, but I'm not really an objective note taker, so I'm sticking with the ones that were sticking out the most for me.

Collaborative notes from a group of participants are here.

And postings from a bunch of other participants are still showing up at TopicExchange.
[ | 2004-07-07 15:45 | 18 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Monday, July 5, 2004day link 

 Live Tech Blogging
picture Now, those of you don't go to tech conferences, or who haven't recently, might not be aware of how it works nowadays. In a conference that has a significant number of bloggers present it would now be completely unheard of if there weren't an open WiFi network in the conference room. Which means, essentially, you open your laptop and you're on the net. Which means that about one out of two people there has a laptop running. The lucky people who manage to grab a seat at the two rows of tables at the front can actually sit at a desk and are most likely to be able to plug in. And now, this is suddenly a different kind of audience. They look up people's URLs right away, they browse the scheduled program, reference materials, check the validity of what people are saying, and share maps for the suggested lunch locatioin. There's a wiki with information about participants, which anybody can update. There's an IRC chat channel, so one can talk to each other, both people who're there, and those who watch the live feed at home. People on macs (more than 1/2) automatically see other people there on iChat, and can collaborate on writing notes in SubEthaEdit. If people are bored with the presentation, they check their e-mail or browse the web for totally unrelated things. A bunch of people blog live right there. I.e. they write about what they hear, and have often posted about a talk before it even is done. Based on the trackback mechanism, others can see which weblog postings have happened that refer to the conference, right away, and will most likely have read it shortly after it appears.

Is that all useful? In many ways it is. It provides more channels of information, and makes what otherwise would be a one-way speech into something more interactive. You can discuss amongst yourselves, voice your opinion, your disagreements, provide contrasting information, etc. You can also miss half of the talk, of course, but somehow you're likely to get it back from other channels.

It doesn't always work. The net connection was obviously rather overloaded here half the time. And people now take it so for granted that any problems tend to be met with a lot of comments and postings about the outrage of providing only a spotty connection.

Anyway, those of you who go to these things know all this of course, so this was more for the benefit of those who might consider such a format strange and unexpected.

More from another angle from another participant, Suw Charman, here.

Wien in general has excellent public connectivity. There are a large number of open WiFi networks. You can sit down at many cafes or squares and plug directly into the net for free. And this hotel I'm at has a free network you just plug into. Many other cities could learn from that.

OK, I did have some problems at first. I had somehow packed a little quickly, and somehow got off without an ethernet network cable, and I somehow grabbed the U.S. type power cable for my laptop, without getting a converter plug. So the first evening I couldn't get into anything. I tried some of the public nets, but the one at the nearby Museums Quartier was incidentally down at that time, and when I found one by a McDonalds, it turned out to be one of those one had to register for, even though it was free, and I couldn't get the code without an Austrian cellphone. But I got all that remedied in the morning, after a quick trip to a computer store.
[ | 2004-07-05 17:29 | 18 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Blogtalk
picture So, I'm here at BlogTalk in Vienna. Or, rather, the first of two days is over. Just came back to the hotel from dinner. I don't particularly blog well at the event itself.

The conference is mostly academically oriented. I.e. the presenters are mostly researchers and professors who write papers and then present them here. I usually expect that to not really work for me, but it usually does anyway. Quite a bit of material that is interesting and that one can build on. OK, that's the thing about academics, that is it is ok to focus on things that are interesting without them necessarily having any immediate use. As long as you can back up your field of inquiry with lots of references and data. But I can sometimes go for that, even if I don't necessarily have the same kind of references handy.

So, what went on? Well, hard to summarize quickly, and I certainly didn't catch everything. Check Topic Exchange for what other people are saying, and the collaborative notes created live by several smart people with Rendezvous networking and SubEthaEdit editors.

Mark Bernstein of Tinderbox gave a keynote. Tidbits: Some people worry about having only a few readers in their weblog, but it is ok even if only your mother reads it. It is perfectly nice to write to your mother, isn't it? Does blogging change writers - do they become better writers from it? Hard to answer, I guess. How has the Internet resisted turning into broadcasting, like most other media have? Something worth studying.

Stephan Schmidt, one of the developers of SnipSnap talking about bottom-up knowledge managing. You know, most big scale knowledge management systems end up not really working well, mostly because they are too complicated, and their structures don't really match how people think, so they end up not being adopted by users. More simple tools like weblogs and wikis in turn are more likely to be adopted, and usually in a bottom-up way. In organizations people are likely to just start using them, without management knowing, and then self-organizing amongst themselves.

Stephanie Hendrick and Therese Örnberg talked about blogs as an immersive space. Presence, co-presence, dispersive presence. How to create a shared asynchronous cognitive space. Well, that's what blogging is, but some fancy words help sometimes.

Lisbeth Klastrup from Denmark talked about 'live'-writing and weblogs as a parallel to reality tv. How fascinating it can be to have an intimate look into the lives of ordinary people. The affective un-predictablity of seeing what might be next. Immediacy, intimacy and authenticity driving a distributed community.

There were many more things, but that's enough for now. But read more for example: here
[ | 2004-07-05 17:03 | 15 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Friday, July 2, 2004day link 

 Moon
picture Actually I'm bored and depressed about everything today.

Oh, it is a full moon. Tends to coincide.
[ | 2004-07-02 19:23 | 22 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Blogtalk next week
picture Monday and Tuesday I'll be in Vienna for BlogTalk 2.0. I'm sure I'll see some of you there.

List of some of the people coming here

Blog postings about it here
[ | 2004-07-02 18:54 | 17 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Thursday, July 1, 2004day link 

 French Exams
I spent the last three days going to French exams. Not that I really had to for any major reason, but it can be nice to get some diplomas to show that one can speak and write. And it is good practice. There are some official exams called DELF and DALF that one can take all over France, and in most other countries too. Most universities have classes that prepare for those exams through several semesters, but I also realized just recently that one can just sign up for them directly. They're actually independent of any particular courses. I did the exams A1, A2, A3 and A4, which, if I pass, should add up to DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langues Française) Premier Degré. After which one can do A5 and A6, which are DELF deuxième degré, and B1, B2, B3, B4, which are DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française). With that one would, for example, be accepted to French university studies without any further testing.

There's no saying if I'll pass these first ones, though. Went very well, I think, but I'm not sure how stringent the criteria are. Both written and oral tests. Explaining various texts, writing formal and informal letters, and presenting and discussing various topics. My vocabulary is pretty good, which carries me quite a long way. But I can easily grab the wrong conjugation of a verb, or the wrong prepositions, and the masculine/feminine thing for a lot of words is still complete guesswork. So, I hope they don't take that too seriously.
[ | 2004-07-01 10:47 | 13 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Sunday, June 13, 2004day link 

 Anniversaire
picture That mostly means birthday in French. So, we had Nadia's five year birthday party yesterday. Went very well. We were a bit nervous about that. You know, we're still a bit unsure about some French customs, and whether things work the same or differently than in the States. How do we invite people? Do the parents drop off their kids, or do they stay? Do we arrange games? Do we give them a "loot bag" with little trinkets? Luckily, things work pretty much the same. Except for that it maybe is a bit harder to manage a gang of little French girls. French kids seem surprisingly assertive. They generally know what they want and what they don't want. And don't hold themselves back asking inquisitive questions. I've more than once been cornered by some little kid in the playground who had a long list of things that needed explanation. Where I come from, and why, and why my daughter spoke English, and what I think about this or that. Anyway, by now my daughter blends in much better than I do. She has her clique of pals from school, and blabbers away in French with little problem.
[ | 2004-06-13 06:36 | 20 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Friday, June 11, 2004day link 

 Faith and Doubt
picture
"I slept with Faith, and found a corpse in my arms on awaking; I drank and danced all night with Doubt, and found her a virgin in the morning." - Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies

Always good to keep inquiring. If you're getting too sure about anything, you're probably fooling yourself. Life is an unfolding mystery. The more certain and necessary something seems in the mind, the more likely it is that it is just a blind spot.
[ | 2004-06-11 11:50 | 17 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Monday, June 7, 2004day link 

 Reception with the mayor
picture The new major of Toulouse had invited us for a reception at the Capitole today. Well, not just us, but all the local Danish and Swedish people they could get hold of. On occasion of the recent Danish and Swedish national holidays. Champagne and Petit Fours and official speeches. There aren't all that many Scandinavian people here, but it was still a lot more than we had met before. Very nice of the mayor. And, well, something that is different in Europe than in the U.S. The mayor of Los Angeles wouldn't have thought of inviting us for champagne at the townhall. Or if we had gotten such an invitation, I would have suspected it was a sting operation for the IRS or something. Not that the mayor in L.A. wasn't a nice guy too, and it was a good place to live. But there's a difference in how public authorities deal with the people. Also seen from here. If I call the U.S. embassy with a question, 14 euros is charged to my phone bill. I can go and see the local consulate, but when I tried, it took me a couple of weeks before they returned my phone call with an appointment. And you go through the obligatory metal detectors and armed guards. Not that the consul wasn't nice. But the Danish consulate was a place I could just drop by, and where the consul went out of his way to help me out with I needed, even though he only spoke French. And he sends me a note once in a while when he thinks there's something Danish people ought to know. He gave a nice speech today too. Oh, damn, I accidentally overwrote my camera phone's memory with a backup, so I lost my pictures from today. Hm, I'll have to borrow one of Thomas' pictures, as they were there too, and he didn't mess up his P900 today. The reception was in the Salle des Illustres, which is quite a magnificent place.
[ | 2004-06-07 16:47 | 19 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Saturday, June 5, 2004day link 

 Repas de Quartier
picture Yesterday there was a "repas de quartier" in our neighborhood. A potluck party for the people who live within a few blocks from here, which they apparently have every year. Very nice to meet some more neighbors. That is not overly easy here, so this is an excellent format for it. Lots of good food and wine and it is no problem getting along. Life is getting easier.
[ | 2004-06-05 17:50 | 11 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Friday, May 21, 2004day link 

 Nothing much going on
picture Hm, nothing I've felt like blogging about for several days. OK, I had other things to do too, but also nothing inspired me. I just looked through more than 1000 posts in my news feed aggregator, and there was nothing I was inspired to pass on and say anything about. Not that there was anything wrong with the material. Just didn't fit me right now. But I did a few posts on FutureHi, which I'm a contributor to. And recently I've turned my old website, World Transformation into a blog. In part because I was feeling bad about it. It shows really high in the search engines and lots of sites link to it, but I hadn't really touched the content for years. Lots of dead links. And my interests aren't quite the same as they were in 1995. So I made the front page a blog, but one where I'm mainly passing on posts from some suitable feeds, and my own, without much new material. A bit of recycling. I fixed up my homemade aggregator so I can just click next to a bunch of posts and then schedule them for posting on successive days.

Oh, and I think I'll make a wiki program. Nothing much wrong with the existing ones, but I have some other things in mind, and it would need to integrate with my weblog program somehow. It is probably stupid, as, as usual, what I think I want to do sounds simple if I think it through, but it always takes longer than planned to get the details right. And I already have quite a few software modules I've made where I kind of need to fix up the details to make them more widely useful. Anyway, more on that later.

Drove to Cahors today. We finally found Chateau de Caix, Prince Henrik of Denmark's wine chateau. We tasted a couple of the wines and brought back a box of the cheapest one, which wasn't too bad. Great area, by the banks of the Lot river.
[ | 2004-05-21 16:16 | 25 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


Friday, May 14, 2004day link 

 Blogging in London
picture So, I spent a couple of days in London, having some productive meetings and going to a blogger evening initiated by Loic Le Meur. Many good people there. Not a particularly good venue, as it was very noisy with so many people in a small bar and hard to hear what everybody was saying. And difficult to get to know fifty people, even if they all have blogs. But a good thing, nevertheless, and good to meet some new or old friends. See some pictures here or here.
[ | 2004-05-14 16:28 | 20 comments | PermaLink ]  More >



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