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Back In Belgium

Filed under: Life — Thomas @ 12:37 am

2004-10-28
12:37 am

So, a ten day stay back in the land of home. Arrived on Friday. Noticed I had turned ill on Saturday, fever and cold lined with snot. Got up fairly early and went to An’s house because Kristien is the best woman for this wedding. Hung around all day, meeting people, eating finger food and drinking. Then time for the wedding party. It was fun, and dinner was great. Good idea for possible future wedding – have dessert buffet until late in the night.

Sunday

Sunday was spent taking a walk in the forest and laying around being tired. Monday morning I took the train home, and about two minutes after I left the train I noticed I was missing a whole bunch of stuff. I left my suitcase on the train. Grumbled, went to lost and found, filled in papers, got phone numbers, and went home. Started calling around for the suitcase, asked the people at the end station to check the train again, found the suitcase, asked to fax to get it sent back, and so on. I was relieved enough to have it located and too angry at myself to protest to all the calling back and forth I had to do.

Monday
Still sick as a dog. During lunch, we got a call – my grandmother suddenly passed away in her sleep. Left me speechless. All sorts of stuff needed taking care of, so I wasn’t as productive work-wise as I was planning to be, and not as friendly to people as I normally try to be.
Went to the sauna with Jeremy, which helped my cold a little, and it was nice to go there and relax again, especially given the conditions.

Tuesday
Worked. Did stuff. Went to see Collateral with Peter, pretty good. Afterwards Peter and I crashed some party at the cinema. People had to show some ticket at the entrance of the party but we sneaked in easily inbetween the crowd. I’d never expect something like this of Peter – it’s nice to know someone like me gives someone like him the courage to do so :)
Took turns guessing what the occasion was, and Peter guessed correctly that it was a recruitment party for PriceWaterhouseCoopers. We got very depressed looking at the future elite of our society, had the photographer take our picture for the in-house magazine, ate and drank a little, then we left while taking some game with us.

Then I noticed I lost my cell phone. I’m turning into my dad. Went back in the projection rooms (which is good to know for the next time – we can easily see four films in a row if we want to), but it was already cleaned. Harassed cleaning crews, until my cell phone turned up again. Phew.

After that, went to my grandmother’s house to help out uncles and aunts with sorting out and sending out notice and invitation letters. It was nice to see how stuff like this is done, chaotic as it may be, and it was nice to see them still being able to laugh at each other. Went home at two with my tongue raw from licking stamps. I’m going to miss that big old house, damnit. Went back home at two.

Funeral’s on the same day as my best friend’s wedding where I am the best man. I timed the ride between the wedding church and the funeral church, and we figured out I should be able to make the trip from wedding.city.hall to funeral.church and back to wedding.church without missing a thing. What a week.

Wednesday
Finally got my new identity card. Worked all day. Had lunch with a good friend – the fun thing is that we exchange a voucher for a free meal each time we go eat together. Guaranteed lifelong friendship. Quickly dropped by record store and comic store. Bought eight CD’s (among wich The Blue Nile, a bunch of local stuff, and the Bloc Party EP, yay !) and the Star Wars box set. San Andreas not out yet, have to get it on friday before I leave. Managed to lose my debit card in the record store, but to be fair this time I lost it deep in my wallet. I went back and forth between the two stores three times. I swear/fear I will be my dad very soon. Worked some more and fixed some bugs again after calming the masses stressing out about perceived bugs vs. real bugs, and fixing some network overloading at the office.

Joined the gang for the Sports Wednesday I helped launch. We played volleyball, and I had a blast. Again an opportunity to think about friendship. I realized a) I miss friends like this and one day I will come back home and b) I really need to get my ass in gear and make sure we do similar stuff in Barcelona. So come on Benjamin, let’s play some basketball.

I hope the rest of the week will be slightly less disturbing in theme. Kristien, come on down and soothe my fears.

It’s out

Filed under: Fluendo,Releases — Thomas @ 10:11 pm

2004-10-19
10:11 pm

Finally. Our 0.1.0 release has arrived. There are bugs, but there are even more cool features. Today we used four machines to create a stream, everything from the GUI wizard. So after some French floating point fixing, we tagged the release and threw out packages.

Here’s the tarball. Knock yourself out and start filing issues.

Now excuse me while I go home and have some quality time with my overly neglected girlfriend who I dearly miss.

Work

Filed under: Fluendo — Thomas @ 11:45 pm

2004-10-18
11:45 pm

Spent the last weekend hacking with the boys. We were incredibly productive. I rewrote the perspective broker client factory of Twisted using keycards after getting some very good ideas on the bike ride home on Friday. And after a long hacking session that again taught me the value of good regression tests, I’m happy to have finished my keycard-based system that handles challenge-response nicely to log in to the server. Then over the weekend we finished up a whole bunch of loose ends, and Johan made some nice changes to the wizard as well. Still needs some UI love, but it will always need more work.

Despair
is when you have decided to release your project to the public at large, and your final testing hinges on having shippable packages, and you get stuck packaging a bunch of dependencies, where some of them have a crappy build with hand-rolled python code sort-of-using distutils with nice little globals and wrongly indented code (Which I thought was not possible in Python, but what do I know ?), and you want to strangle the maintainer because really, all you want to do is package YOUR project.

Ecstasy
is when you take those packages when they are built, and install them on all the different machines in your support department, and you start a few commands, start the GUI wizard, click some buttons, and everything starts up nicely out of the box, and the media player you are also a part of somehow plays the stream nicely. On all the machines. Yes there will be bugs, but the foundations are laid down nicely and we’re ready to go.

Music
My companion CD for the weekend was The Arcade Fire’s debut album. Quixotic little record, highly recommended (that goes for you doubly Jeroen, it slightly tops out Bloc Party).

Roundups

Filed under: Fluendo,General,Life,Music — Thomas @ 2:57 pm

2004-10-14
2:57 pm

Disclaimer: this is a week-old entry blocked by my use of umlauts. Flushing it again…

Weekend

Had a great saturday with people from the other company. We went into the mountains, climbed a bunch of trees, jumped off some platforms, swung from cables, and did all sorts of safe adventury stuff. Lunch was in a typical Catalan restaurant, with wine being served from the special caraffs which have a second neck to drink from. You’re supposed to tilt the bottle, getting a very fine flow of wine, and direct it in your mouth, then extend the arm as far as possible without spilling any wine. When you’re done, you get the bottle back to your face then stop tilting.

Needless to say, lots of variations on the theme were tried, with the climax being a couple pouring for one another without spilling a drop.

We were happy to have chosen the quad riding for the afternoon. On a quad, no one can tell when you’re drunk (Well, except for the poor woman who managed to land her quad off the road TWICE). The other half was not so lucky apparently – one guy managed to fall of a platform during the drunk tree climbing, straight into a bush. And some other guy managed to run fullspeed into a rope he managed to not see, and got catapulted back some ten meters.

Anyways, it was a good preparation for the very same activity at the same place for this weekend, which for obvious reasons (to the parties involved at least) I am not at liberty to discuss any further…

New employee

Fluendo wants to welcome their newest employee. Zoë weighs a good 3.2 kilos and is in perfect health. I’m sure she’ll be an excellent asset to the team. Congratulations to the happy mom and dad !

Telefonica

As other inhabitants of Spain can attest, sometimes dealing with Telefonica can be really frustrating. Both phone and ADSL went dead last wednesday. Called on Thursday. They called me back on Friday, saying it was probably a problem in the central switching station. By Saturday, the telephone was fixed, but the ADSL wasn’t. Tried to get into the help line for ADSL (since of course that’s a different line), keyed in my number, got disconnected with the message that there was no one available to take my call. Called again, keyed in number, got some waiting music and a message saying that everyone was busy. After eight minutes another voice said no one could take my call, and I got disconnected. Sigh.

Apparently Kristien had called as well, since when I got in the lady told me that she called. I was going to get a call back in the next 48 hours from a technician. Tuesday morning, I get a call. What kind of router I use ? A Nokia one. Yes, I’m sure it works. No, it’s not one of yours. No, it isn’t the fault of the router – it’s the third time this year you managed to turn off my phone and ADSL at the same time, so I’m pretty sure it’s not our fault. Yes, the phone works again.

Then the guy tells me that the telephone guy turned off ADSL completely in the central station. Why on earth did he want to grill me on the router then ? Anyway, he would have it fixed. During the day Kristien lets me know that it works again. And when I check, I realize that I understand WHY they messed it up in the central station – I had double the download speed as before. So it was all part of Telefonica’s cunning plan to give you double the speed in one week and no speed at all the next.

Anyway, I’m happy for this week.

Music

I had been impatiently pining for the new Interpol disc, “Antics”. When I finally got it the day it was released, I had two quick cursory listenings to it and was hugely disappointed. Nothing seemed to grab me.

This weekend I gave it another go, and I haven’t listened to anything else ever since. There is not a single bad song on this CD. And the emotion I thought lacking at first listen is all there under the surface. I love to be suckerpunched by music that way. Highly recommended.

Food

We finally managed to cook tartiflette, a typical Savoie dish which I love eating on skiing trips. It came out great, we were very impressed with ourselves. So were our guests, Jochen en Kristien. It was better than on ski holidays, though it made me long to have my feet stuck to a snowboard on a white mountain. Jochen made the dessert, impressing me with a stunning pineapple carpaccio with mint and sugar.

On days like this life just feels right.

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 7:37 am

2004-10-8
7:37 am

Tim, you obviously got the number one reason not to be at the GNOME summit completely wrong. If airhead celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears or Janet Jackson are going to be there, what better reason do I need not to show up ??

Now, if famous superstarts like Havoc, Dave, Owen, Miguel, Jeff, … would have been there, but maybe. But those girls ? No way will the make my GNOME desktop more sexy.

Jennifer Lopez on the other hand I wouldn’t mind having met.

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