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madduck's droppings (drafts)

The following are draft posts slated to appear on my blog. These are subject to change or deletion. You have been warned and should probably not be looking here by elsewhere!

This makes me want to buy this.

The sad thing is that in the end, nature will have taken a big hit, many humans will have been affected negatively, but the fuckheads responsible for this, those that purposely downplayed risks and lied (and continue to lie) about their abilities to contain spills so they could make more money, they'll walk freely, or with punishments that are in no relation to their crimes.

I want everyone who carries any responsibility in this to be disowned, and their money made available to an environmental institution (and not the government). And then I'd have them spend the rest of their lives cleaning and helping nature recover.

Posted Wed 02 Jun 2010 08:53:39 CEST Tags:


twitter+facebook+google are all US. companies and governments are increasingly relying on those companies, and users are relying more and more on those media for basic communication. What do you think will happen if the US declares war on your country? Will you even be able to react?

Data souvereignity




Here is another in my list of growing reasons why I think Ubuntu is going bad: net books won't have OpenOffice installed anymore. Instead, documents shall open with Google Docs in the future.

There are of course arguments in favour of this: we are talking about net books, so it seems sensible to make use of "the cloud" to be able to keep the requirements on local resources low. Also, network-based applications open up unprecedent possibilities for collaboration, and Google has unquestionably created some smart products.

However, despite all the hype, I think people are failing to see beyond the initial excitement. I fear that there'll be many instances of "oh had I known better" in the future. And Ubuntu is basically suggesting — even forcing you — to go along (if you have a net book that is). I wonder if they asked their users.

The decision just seems like a horrible move:

  • there is no physical security in the cloud, the only layer protecting your data is a password. This can be quite fatal, as exemplified by the case of Twitter.

  • it sounds a bit feeble, but who can guarantee that the data will be available for as long as you need them? The likelihood of Google going down is small, but I consider the likelihood of Google abusing its position (and the dependence it creates/advocates) to be on the rise. Maybe Sergej and his moral commitments can keep the company on track for a while, but what happens when the founders finally pass on the hat? Recall that the company is already run by Eric Schmidt, who believes that privacy is not something people should rely on, and money making desires, and greed, don't mix well with idealist promises and consumer interests.

  • while we're on privacy and trust issues, are you just going to believe Google won't ever use these data in ways you wouldn't want them to? Keep in mind that once something's out in the cloud, you cannot purge it anymore as it might linger on backup media forever. Currently, Google just (makes money while it) serves you advertising that is likely to be more interesting to you, because it is selected based on the context you provide. This seems like something you want, but which of the users knows what else is planned, or already going on?

  • network access is becoming more and more ubiquitous, but there will still be outages. Do you want to depend on highly complex and fallible hardware, and the skill and availability of engineers maintaining the infrastructure, just to be able to access, use, and manipulate your data when you want to?

I am aware that we're talking about the default Ubuntu installation, and that users who want will still be able to install local applications to replace the network-based ones. However, Ubuntu's market position is, I think, largely a result of making selection decisions for users (who didn't want to choose one of 30 software packages for a task). As such, the decision that was made for the upcoming Ubuntu release is likely going to be accepted unchallenged by most of their users.

I consider this irresponsible, and probably not in the interest of their users. But it's likely that there's a direct financial benefit for Ubuntu (or Canonical) with this move. As I said before, money just doesn't mix well with consumer interests, but money is more exciting for some people.

I used to have a Wikipedia page. At LCA2010, as well as on random occasions over the past six months, I had to explain to a number of people why this is no longer the case — I eventually gave up. Several discussions later, I've decided that I want my page back.

The problems in the past were two-fold:

  1. When I found out that someone had created a page for me, I proceeded to edit it myself. This generated what the Wikipedia Police calls a conflict of interest. I should have known better.

  2. Wikipedia deletionists seem to get confused when distinguishing people from books. But oh, there must be so much satisfaction in policing Wikipedia, especially if you have an anger problem, and no discernable talent.

I found an easy way to solve both of these problems at once: crowd-source the creation of a new page. Therefore:

Dear reader: if you think I should have my own Wikipedia page e.g. for my contribution to Debian, as the author of The Debian System, as a FLOSS researcher, or the person who spearheaded the vcs-pkg effort, then please create one.

Wikipedia is a place where people with more free time than the others get the final say. You can help in preventing that.

NP: The Phenomenal Handclap Band: The Phenomenal Handclap Band

Posted Mon 08 Feb 2010 02:39:59 CET Tags:

julia:~# lspci 00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82945G/GZ/P/PL Memory Controller Hub (rev 02) 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82945G/GZ Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 02) 00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01) 00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 01) 00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 01) 00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 01) 00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GR/GH/GHM (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 5 (rev 01) 00:1c.5 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GR/GH/GHM (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 6 (rev 01) 00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 01) 00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 01) 00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 01) 00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 01) 00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01) 00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev e1) 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GB/GR (ICH7 Family) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01) 00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 82801GR/GH (ICH7 Family) SATA AHCI Controller (rev 01) 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 01) 09:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8071 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 16) 0a:00.0 IDE interface: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88SE6121 SATA II Controller (rev b2)

  1. Get image.
  2. Write image to disk somehow
  3. Recreate first partition with full disk size (or use parted to grow it)
  4. sudo apt-get install mdadm lvm2
    1. sudo pvscan
  5. sudo pvresize /dev/sdb1
  6. create a swap LV
  7. shift data around between
Posted Mon 16 Aug 2010 20:01:18 CEST Tags:

Dear lazyweb: I store all my contacts in individual vCard 3.0 files. I have a Nokia E71 and an E72 smartphone. They seem to be able to read only vCards 2.1.

Previously, I used the Nokia N900 to convert from version 3.0 to 2.1. That was a hassle, but it worked. Unfortunately, my N900 has since died and Nokia seems no longer interested.

The convcard utility in multisync-tools [[debbug does not

Posted Tue 21 Jun 2011 20:45:45 CEST Tags:

We all know Greece is up shitcreek without a paddle. We also know that there are several other countries who have taken up the chase. It is no secret that the guilty ones are a few corrupt and/or incapable politicians at the top, and/or nepotism in general.

We know that our politicians are too scared and whimsical to be consequential, and therefore they impose solidarity on the economically strong countries. With that I mean is that our chancellor has no spine and happily promises German tax money to the shitcreek participants: let's give them a chance, shall we? Those poor countries have lived above their income for years, so let's bail them out. We mustn't put the Euro-Zone at risk, OH NO we MUST NOT!

If I then read that countries like Italy have some of the largest gold reserves and that the national banks, including those of indebted countries, are currently purchasing gold, rather than selling it — while discussions about raising the ESFS are going on, then I wish I could just pinch myself and wake up from a bad dream. There is something awfully wrong going on here.

I am sorry for all honest people in the affected countries. You must read my complaint and think of me as a greedy pig. After all, I am complaining about our (German) taxes being spent outside the nation, while your problems revolve around not even being able to meaningfully spend your taxes inside the nation anymore.

I sincerely hope that those responsible will eventually be removed from their responsibility. I would be happy if we helped any country to start anew, without insane, oppressing debts. But as long as those idiots up there, who put us/you into that position, remain there, it feels to me as if we might just as well use the money to buy more air time for our politicians to talk more crap.

NP: Monkey3: Beyond the Black Sun

Posted Tue 30 Aug 2011 09:10:19 CEST Tags:
  • no filesystem encryption
  • no way to dial a specific number via SIP directly out of a contact
Posted Fri 26 Feb 2010 08:01:16 CET Tags:

If you are using Google Groups to host your project's mailing lists, you might want to consider moving your infrastructure to a more dependable and clueful operator.

"Why?", you might ask. Because Google has recently started to remove the Sender field from the mails they send out, even though the corresponding RFC says that this header SHOULD be included:

The "Sender:" field specifies the mailbox of the agent responsible for the actual transmission of the message. For example, if a secretary were to send a message for another person, the mailbox of the secretary would appear in the "Sender:" field and the mailbox of the actual author would appear in the "From:" field. If the originator of the message can be indicated by a single mailbox and the author and transmitter are identical, the "Sender:" field SHOULD NOT be used. Otherwise, both fields SHOULD appear.

According the RFC 2119, the word SHOULD suggests:

that there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a particular item, but the full implications must be understood and carefully weighed before choosing a different course.

Unfortunately, searching the Google Groups help for "sender" yields no results, so I find it a bit hard to believe that reasonable considerations preceded the change.

The only reason I could imagine was to save space and bandwidth, but if that was Google's goal, they'd do better in discontinuing the annoying multipart/alternative strategy of sending all e-mails in duplicate form, as plain-text, followed by HTML. Also, they could try trimming Received headers or deciding on which of the multiple representations of SPF or DKIM they'd like to use instead of bloating the headers.

The bottom line is that I have no other choice than to conclude that Google Groups isn't seriously operated, and hence I can only recommend everyone to move elsewhere.

Posted Wed 18 Nov 2009 16:40:25 CET Tags:

ERP CRM/Address book Billing/finance Supply-chain management Team-oriented calendering Document management Ubiquitous information management Tags (everything should be a file, vfs modules into app storage is the wrong way around) Proper PDF annotations (or djvu or anything)

Posted Sat 11 Jul 2009 19:17:58 CEST Tags:


https://launchpad.net/bugs/236047 https://launchpad.net/bugs/275229

NP: Neil Young: On the Beach

Posted Fri 28 Nov 2008 11:07:41 CET Tags:

On trains from Germany to Switzerland you used to notice the crossing of the border not only due to the appearance of the passport control folks in the train: once the Swiss train team replaced their German colleagues, passengers were finally able to travel in peace. Once you crossed the border, there would be no more almost-continuous blather through the speakers about where to find the restaurant, how lovely and relaxing it would be to enjoy fine cuisine there (I bet they never actually ate there themselves), and that the train crew regrets that some passengers are going to leave at the next stop, how much they hope that they'll soon come back, and how happy they are to welcome new passengers.

Each announcement would last somewhere around 30 long seconds, and when it was finally over, they'd repeat it in horrific English: wrong words, bad grammar, and pronunciation that made me cringe every time.

But apparently, the German railway needs more business and their PR department seems to think that this is the way forward.

Not the Swiss, or at least I thought until today. Heck, I even gave myself a "GA" for my 30th birthday, a year subscription for all Swiss public transport, because I enjoy travelling in Switzerland, and even if it's just to get work done.

But just now, on the train from Fribourg back home, the productive and calm silence was interrupted by an announcement where to find the restaurant in four languages, and when the "minibar" passed the upper deck of our wagon, the voice again made sure we knew.

It seems that the days on Swiss trains are gone, when short, smooth, and unobtrusive announcements would let you know about the next station, just in time for you to pack up and get ready to go, or a similarly pleasant message greeted you as you boarded the train, allowing you to make sure that you got on the right line.

What a shame.

Posted Wed 25 Mar 2009 08:03:18 CET Tags:

A neighbour of mine visited the other day with the new Metallica album, , popped it into my stereo, and started on a conversation about the band… and was surprised when I told him that Metallica died for me with their self-titled "Black Album". Arguably, the black album is still quite good, many like it a lot and toss it in with the other great ones, but for me it's nowhere near their earlier output. And by "earlier output", I do not mean Garage Days.

Their new album is to Metallica pretty much exactly what Black Ice is to [[!wikipedia] AC/DC]]: impressive licks and dense, heavy music that would raise everyone's eyebrow if it came from a new-found band, but both lacking any of the original spirit of the performing bands. If you want to put it that way, it's the band's music without the soul.

I've heard that the new Guns 'n' Roses album, , also fits that description (and it shouldn't carry the name "Guns 'n' Roses" anyway).

Anyway, the point of this post is to proclaim (if you mistype that as procmail, you are a geek) Master of Puppets as the best Metallica album of all time. I've scientifically established this by listening to (and enjoying) … and Justice for All, Kill 'em All, Ride the Lightning, and Master of Puppets in that order on my trip to (and from) today's debian.ch annual general meeting in Basel, and the empirical evidence is solid.

This is not to diminish any of the other three albums quoted along the lines in any way.

NP: Metallica: Master of Puppets

Posted Wed 10 Dec 2008 11:36:48 CET Tags:

Dear Internet: I love Penny. Love, -m

NP: Pulp: This is Hardcore

Posted Tue 26 Aug 2008 18:52:53 CEST Tags:

The theory of reasoned action(TRA) was first proposed by Azjen and Fishbein (1975 & 1980)

So it was first proposed in 1980? Or in 1975?

Endless lists of references, unrelated. Bloat.

Passive voice.

Single-author papers speaking of "we".

"The qualitative interview is used in qualitative research of all kinds, whether positivist, interpretive or critical. It is used in case studies, in action research, in grounded theory studies, and in ethnographies (Hesse-Biber & Levy, 2006; Klein & Myers, 1999; Myers, 1997, 1999; Northcutt & McCoy, 2004)." -- pointless, contentless, waste of paper

This study aims to address these issues and answer the above question through a number of objectives

Studies aim? You answer through objectives? the previous section argues

Conboy's thesis

07 18:35 < madduck> and if (Smith 2003) already said what you say, quote it in full, leave it the fuck out, but do not do: "It has been shown that foo (Smith 2003) and that bar (Smith 2003). Furthermore, it seems that water is wet (Smith 2003). Finally, some concerns have been raised that moo (Smith 2003) 07 18:35 < madduck> especially not if Smith 2003 is a fucking 700 page book

Klein and Myers (1999) recommend that "the intellectual basis for the research should be as transparent as possible to the reader".

"""Cooper and Schindler (2003) recommend that, particularly in instances where the study is broad and exploratory and where limited research currently exists, it is vital that the researcher parses the research project into a set of clearly defined steps."""

--> and I need references for that???

Change is the movement away from a present state toward a future state (George and Jones, 1995).

NP: And all because the Lady Loves: Sister Bridget

Posted Sat 06 Feb 2010 08:01:19 CET Tags:

Previously, I wrote about how to convert SVN-tracked packages to Git. Unfortunately, not all packages can be converted just like that. For instance, we've only recently imported python-docutils into the Subversion repository of the Debian Python packaging team, and I am not going to push Git on those people.

But there's git-svn, so I don't have to. In addition to being an excellent conversion tool, git-svn also allows you to track and interact with a Subversion repository.

The challenge in this case is that the python-docutils repository only tracks the debian/ directory, not the upstream code. This approach relies on svn-buildpackage to combine the upstream source with the checked out code to build, which works. However, it makes it unnecessarily cumbersome to work on e.g. Debian-specific changes to the upstream code.

Let's see what we can do to improve the situation without influencing the whole team.

git-svn init --prefix=debian/ --stdlayout svn+ssh://svn.debian.org/svn/python-modules/packages/python-docutils python-docutils

git-svn init -R upstream --prefix=upstream/ -T trunk/docutils svn://svn.berlios.de/docutils python-docutils

git config svn-remote.upstream.tags 'tags/*/docutils:refs/remotes/upstream/tags/*'
git config svn-remote.upstream.branch 'branches/*/docutils:refs/remotes/upstream/*'

git-svn init -T trunk/docutils -t 'tags/*/docutils' -b 'branches/*/docutils' svn://svn.berlios.de/docutils .

git-svn fetch --all

NP: Queen: Queen II

Posted Fri 11 Jul 2008 11:21:07 CEST Tags:

I recently asked for input on document management systems and received a good number of replies from people. Thank you!

In the following, I present my evaluation of each of the systems in the order in which they were suggested. In all cases, I hope to be shown wrong!


Having been involved in Plone development for several years myself, I was a bit surprised when two people suggested it for my requirements. Plone to me is a content management system, not a document management system. It's optimised for portals with members publishing content on webpages, along with the occasional non-HTML file. Elaborate and advanced workflow definitions regulate the cooperation between contributors.

Here are the relevant points I found:

  • Its default storage (ZoDB) is excellent for content, but for plenty of large files, one needs to set up external storage. Alternatively, a tool like Reflecto can be used, but it requires reindexing of the Plone catalog whenever files are manipulated directly and not through Plone. I have not tried this, but it sounds like it's the wrong tool for the task.
  • Objects can have keywords (i.e. tags), but those cannot be defined on-the-fly, nor can they be edited via external storage or WebDAV. An ontology product as well as a keyword manager exists, however, and something could be implemented using lovely.tagging or similar
  • Plone uses AJAX very sparingly, and not at all for file management (although this is in preparation). So moving files between folders is painfully slow, all the more if you have to do it in bulk.
  • Bulk upload/download support seems to be available only via Flash or Java.
  • Even though Plone 3.0 supports revisions and version control, it uses an exclusive-access-scheme with locks, and lacks any form of merging support (binary versioning). Locks can be broken by others.

All in all, I am confident that a document management system could be implemented on top of Plone, but it would be quite an involved task, and the result still suboptimal.

Thanks to the folks in #plone/irc.freenode.org for their help and pointers.


Twiki is advertised as an enterprise wiki, and even though it supports batch uploads, its intended use case is to be a wiki: documents only exist in the form of attachments to "topics" (wikipages)

Nevertheless, it's worth to mention that attachments are stored on the filesystem and can be directly manipulated, Twiki will automatically detect changes. Also, a WebDAV plugin exists, but it's not been ported to Apache 2.0 yet.

In conclusion, I don't see Twiki as suitable for the job. However, I have been referred to someone who is using it as a DMS, and I am waiting to hear back from them.


There are two things I noticed almost immediately when I surfed to the KnowledgeTree website: right at the top, it says "Open Source Document Management Software" and "Try It / Buy It" next to it; well, I can deal with that, but then, on the product overview page at the bottom, I see them advertising "leverages best of breed technology: PHP, Java, … MySQL" and I suddenly feel very uneasy. It's not news that PHP and MySQL are very often chosen for projects, but to call them "best of breed" is like advertising your car to be built of the "best substances in the world": wood and spit.

NP: Pulp: This is Hardcore

Posted Fri 11 Jul 2008 11:21:07 CEST Tags:

I must have generated this list in a hurry, for I surely left out quite a number of bands:

  • Rocket Scientists

  • Queensrÿche

  • Neal Morse

  • Barclay James Harvest

  • Negua

  • Oceansize

Also, several people have responded with recommendations:

  • Cave in

  • Seachange

  • Agalloch

  • Green Carnation

  • Fates Warning

  • Pain of Salvation

  • Evergrey

NP: Rocket Scientists / Oblivion Days

Posted Fri 11 Jul 2008 11:21:04 CEST Tags:

I will never fly through or into or out of London Heathrow ever again. Excuse the following rant, I need to vent. And I am not going to do so in well-mannered words.

I had a three hour layover there today. Of those three hours, I didn't get to sit down at the gate (or in a pub) to wait five minutes because I was busy waiting for the bus to take me from terminal 4 to terminal 1 (a total of 1:10 hours time lost), spent another 70 minutes being scrutinised — or rather treated as a terrorist — by security, and scuttled through the endless corridors and mazes that make up this shithole of an airport.

I kept a tally: not counting repetitions by the immensely annoying PR announcements, my ears had to absord the word "security" 16 times during that time; "regulations" topped that with 23; I had to show my boarding pass 4 times, and my passport 5 times. I had to take off my shoes three times, completely unpack and repack my bag twice, and twice had to explain my intentions for (daring to) travel to Ireland.

But by far the worst were those 70 minutes of scrutiny behind the curtains. It all started in the regular security queue, when, after I had taken off my shoes and belt, emptied my pockets, saw my bag scanned twice, a security guard walked up to me and started to search me. He didn't say a word, he didn't excuse himself, suddenly he was just searching me and doing so not exactly in a very respectful way.

I then made the mistake to ask him to give me a break, out of surprise — the guy was giving me a treatment you'd usually expect from small-penis US cops getting their daily adrenaline just before hand-cuffing (or beating) a shoplifter. I was startled for a moment, but a second later I realised I should have kept my mouth shut. It was too late, he had already signal two others and before I knew it, I was escorted to their office where they took my data and announced that the officer had the choice to press charges against me for abusive behaviour. Hello, pot? Yeah, kettle on line two...

I asked what the reason for the charges were and was told that "these honorable people ensuring everyone's security at the airport have a right to their own security, and thus any form of abuse of violence could not be tolerated." It was almost like in the movies, and so I wasn't surprised when noone wanted to hear my story. I inquired about the guy's name and was refused.

At that moment I went into a trance and just started smiling, kept my eyes closed most of the time and answered their questions. For one, it seemed like the thing to do; in addition, it was probably the only way I could keep calm while exposed to this fucking security theatre, performed by a bunch of monkies in human clothing with a collective IQ below room temperature (Celsius, mind you).

This wasn't the first time that I had been searched and questioned and treated like a potential terrorist (if they keep doing this, I might just become one with the expressed goal to shove a cricket bat up the rear end of all those responsible for the fucking circus that airports have become these days). However, this time was by far the worst, and it wasn't even within the US — but then again, the UK isn't too far behind, I guess.

Someone previously agreed with me that Heathrow is a dump, but that Geneva weren't any better. I had to disagree, for in Geneva, and every other airport I've visited so far, there was at least a minute display of decency, sometimes humour, but in all cases politeness. What happened today at Heathrow was everything but, rather like the opposite of what I have come to believe would be the English Way.

I will not touch ground at Heathrow ever again, and I urge everyone to do the same. Stansted, Luton, London City — they may not be all that great either, but they aren't Heathrow.

NP: Agalloch / The Mantle

Posted Fri 11 Jul 2008 11:21:04 CEST Tags:

Dear Lazyweb: I am looking for a command-line tool to rip DVDs into .avi or .mpg files, and I want the subtitles to go into a separate file such that the movie itself is not tainted by the subtitles.

I looked at mencoder and transcode, but neither seems to do what I want, or at least it's not obvious from the manpages.

Does anyone know of a tool, or could tell me how to make mencoder or transcode do what I want? Let me know, please!

NP: Green Carnation / Light of Day, day of Darkness

Posted Fri 11 Jul 2008 11:21:04 CEST Tags:

top-aligned documents have the top 3mm cropped in the scanned image

Posted Fri 11 Jul 2008 11:21:04 CEST Tags:

last 10 questions answered negatively

  • migrate subtree from one repo to another
  • undo a commit
  • permanently remove a file
  • have to update to get new log entries
Posted Fri 11 Jul 2008 11:21:02 CEST Tags:

Following the week of Debconf6, I was one of eight leaving Oaxtepec for Mexico City, looking at several days to spend at will in the country. Some of us went by bus, others with a van to the airport to help one of our colleagues, but despite the two different routes, we arrived at the [Hostel Moneda](.. _lost mine in Thailand:) almost at the same time, checked in, had dinner, then ventured to the big square close to our hostel for an open-air concert by `Tijuana Nortec Collective`_, probably organised as part of one of the many protests going on in the city. As we could not find any drinks at the venue, we eventually wandered off to end the night over a last beer on the beautiful roof-top terrace of our hostel.

With big plans involving a rental car and driving it to Oaxaca on Monday, our group of four rose (almost) early, found and said goodbye to Michael Banck, who had come to the city with us the night before (he continued to refuse to join us, muttering something about having to catch a flight or a similar petty concern) and were about to head out the door if it hadn't been for Micah Anderson trying to catch our attention by whispering three times in short succession that "Jeroen is still asleep". This registered as "we have to go to his room to say goodbye" with Biella, Vagrant, and myself, so it came rather unexpected to hear Michael claim that Jeroen had in fact planned to come with us (and told Micah but none other in the group). Flexible as we are (and quick as he is), this didn't pose much of a problem, and before too long, five geeks left the hostel with backpacks for the metro for the car rental company at the airport. Next time, though, Jeroen... do tell a little in advance, and maybe to someone else but Micah. :)

When we were finally quenched in the car -- I still didn't get a new driver's licence after having `lost mine in Thailand`_, so I had to submit myself to the driving custody of Biella and Micah -- we [brushed by the local authorities](.. _our hostel:) and reached Oaxaca, a "romantic town" about 500km south of Mexico City, long after dark. With some difficulties, mainly due to the yearly teachers' protest for higher salaries, who were all camping out in the streets, we found `our hostel`_ and ended up in bed soon thereafter.

When on Tuesday the five geeks that we were finally managed to commence roaming the city, we had "fixed" the hostel's computer by popping in an Ubuntu Live CD, thus made friends with the other guests, eaten breakfast, written plenty of blog entries, and waited for the hotter hours to pass. The afternoon was thus spent ticking off the main tourist sites (such as Santo Domingo) and browsing around the old market. I am not that much of a market lover, but this Mexican market, although similar in spirit to the various Asian ones I'd seen in the last few years, was refreshingly different, mainly in stock and ambience.

Wednesday brought the first complications within our group, but in retrospect it's difficult to say what exactly went on. The plan was to touch down at a large, traditional market that kept switching locations with days of the week, but due to some moodswings I ended up being the only one listening to the directions (in Spanish) and directing our crowd to the north of the city, where noone knew of a market on Wednesdays, only other days of the week. While I was still trying to cut the losses and find an alternative, my group had decided to return to the hostel, which, given my mood at the time, seemed like a welcome way to get away for a couple of hours to sort out my thoughts.

Even though the five of us got along pretty well, I just do not like travelling in groups. On the one hand, everything just takes way longer, thus leaving less time in the day to do stuff. On the other hand, the dynamics are fragile, especially if the members do not really know each other, which was our case. We had too much fun to warrant bad feelings along the lines of "I wish I had gone alone", but I feel yet again reassured that I am made for travels in groups of two, at most.

In any case, Biella, Micah, and I later XXX Most of the afternoon I spent doing what I always do in foreign cities if I can: trying to get myself lost, which is near impossible in Oaxaca. Accepting the grid structure of the roads, I found a cute café and enjoyed a cappuccino, then headed for the hill in the northwest of the city, where I strolled between the observatory, planetarium, and amphitheathre (all of which were closed), finally ended under a tree to read Haruki Murakami's "Norwegian Wood" a second time around, and eventually linked up again with the rest at the hostel towards the evening.

I did not like "Norwegian Wood" the first time around, but in Myanmar, talking to the Portuguese traveller I met there, I could not explain what it was that I disliked. Thus, I promised to reread it and to try again to describe my problems with the text. Great reason to read a book, eh? Let's see how long I last (in the mean time I have finished and `reviewed it`_).

Posted Fri 11 Jul 2008 11:21:02 CEST Tags:

difference growing bigger.

mark is doing an experiment, if it does not work out, he'll just return to his money which cannot leave africa. jane silber is in charge of canonical, so she'll be responsible.

ubuntu currently financed through interests only, no risk.

mark is about business, about marketing. it worked, ubuntu is a hype and he hasn't spent much on marketing, it was all mouth to mouth propaganda.

mark is hbd, global venture capitalist (is it really global?)

Posted Fri 11 Jul 2008 11:21:02 CEST Tags: