Stranded on the sandless shores.

Oct 13

Its been a long time since i have last been here. Once every two years I drop by only to be amazed at the way things stay the same, and the way things change. From when i was four years old I have walked trough these doors, watched the people go by and looked at their faces. I never stopped wondering what their problems might be. What burden they carried. An illness ? A loved one in distress. Waiting for an answer, or praying that that answer will never come. Every time I stop and realise that ones health is not something to be taken for granted. That if it was not for this place my life would have turned out differntly. I do the things i do, live the way i live and am the one i am without ever having to stop an consider that it all might not have been this way. I take my health for granted, when i should be thankfull that i am alive. But then again : We should all stop and consider that once in a while. Imagine those less fortunate. Imagine those less healty. Imagine those to whom mortality is very mutch a thing on their mind. Over these last few years, as i grow older and wiser perhaps, the thing i have learned is never to take anything for granted. I have come to realise that EVERYTHING can balance on a sharp razors edge and can go just any way it wishes. Us mankind often thinks we are oh so in control of it all. We think we have things made and yett.. It can all change at the chime of a bell. Ritch, poor, succesfull, bumm, legal, illegal .. Healthy, sick, together or alone.. We sometimes must stop and think how it can all change. I see the people around me and think about their troubles. I find mysellf straightening my back, once again sliding into the roll of 'comforting example' that it can all turn out for the best. A warm smile to a troubled soul.. in who'se place I have luckily never stood before… but still. Life is a precious gift and so is our health. This year I look back at my life since I last was here and realise i should exercise more. My condition is hardly what it used to be and sports are way back on my priority list. I should do that more often, should relax more often. But so much to do .. So little time. Come to think of what i've been up to these last two years I realise that they have been the busyest of years in my life. The Ictopus project (many many stress !) Switching jobs and working at Harte Hanks (also quite an amount of stress) and in between buying a house, fixing it up, moving etc etc. When i look back at it all I believe I do deserve a break. Haven't had a decent holiday for two years… But we'll see how everything turns out. Perhaps a pledge that once in every day I put the books away, turn the screens of and have a cup of tea with a good book. That i give mysellf the chance to lean back, close my eyes and just listen to the silence around me. A promise to get up on a saturday and grab my bike and just cycle a bit more. Good intentions ? Perhaps … **** In other news the whole linux thing is slowly picking up pace. Before this I dreadded the Evil VI, but now i find mysellf writing this text in VI. Later on i can just copy and paste it into my blogg.. And I kind of like this simple effective interface. No need for extensive mark-up, Fancy GUI's and all that. Just a black screen with white letters. Me somehow like this. I'm starting to see the immense possibilities of an OS like Linux, and I am starting to see why people can get this fanatic over it. Reading trough these few chapters in the book it strikes me just how powerfull it is. I mean you can combine commands, let the output of one command be the input of the other and so on. I have only limited DOS knowledge so maybe thats it, but in Linux i have so far done things that are quite impossible in DOS. Combine it with the ability to run on run down computers and so.. And i'm starting to feel the magic. Imagine your peers buying the most expensive pc's , overclock them, cool them with water of even liquid nitrogen.. While you are still using that 486 laptop you can dragg around with you anywhere. Use VI or Bash to do your thing. Mail stuff from the command line. I mean , this is stuff i picked up in only two chapters. Ok you still need a good gui to 'get' most of the 'net' but as I allways say : Take a look at what you want to do and then check out what you need. I mean, if you can configure a fileserver, a mailserver, a firewall and so on just using a stupid terminal interface.. Combined with the power this OS gives you ? I would say : watch out MS ! I understand why Linux guru's love the darn thing. You can just dive into the config files and litteraly WRITE what you want it to do. Not happy with the program ? take tehe source and change it. The possibilities are indeed endless. I'm happy in my own little way that i found this first use for the shell. Amateuristic as it may be.. I'm happy to make the first step. After an escape and a Shift ZZ this little bugger will be stored on the drive. To experts this might sound lame. But for little oll me .. its kinda the first real steps into using linux for what i NEED. And as i posted yesterday.. Whenever I can USE something, i'm interested to learn in what ELSE it can do. No more pointless excercises. Time to let the mother work for the money.

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Enter sweet sandman

Oct 13

Ok , i just rounded up my little tri-annual checkup and have some time to kill. Class doesn't start in 3 hours and its not worth the while to drive all the way down to limburg and back. So after doin some walking about in Leuven i've landed at Groept and dove right back in my linux book. After the fairly interesting chapters i'm now down to the increadibly borind stuff. Man i do hope it gets better cause i'm fighting sleep like a dragon on fire. I strolled into the bookstore, checking out some books and cd's ( that i'll write down so i know what do download on Emule next time :p ) Plenty of IT related books but i know that @ home I have enough books around to defeat the next invasion of gian ants. Hmm. Must be the boring Linux chapter i'm reading right now that makes me so sleepy cause i allmost dozed off a few minutes ago. But i'm trying to lay of the coffee so Java will offer me no support in this one. One big latte this afternoon will just have to keep me going for the day. Outside we are enjoying the last rays of autumn sun and in between the long shadows the land is painted gold and green. As i sit here the world moves around me. People come, people go.. and for once I find mysellf silently waiting as time flows by. Well not doing nothing (studying, remember) but still. As the atmosphere of GroepT surrounds me for the third year in a row, i'm not surprised how much i feel at home down here. I walk the big spiral way to the top as commonly as my own stairwell. Plunge down in the cafetaria as i would in my own kitchen and drive trough the streets of Leuven as if i have been coming here for years. Well.. I have but.. thats not the point. The point is that the DISTANCE between Hasselt/Leuven is sometimes a bigger issue for those around me than for mysellf. Whenever I talk to people here and tell them where i'm from they go like : 'waaw , THAT far' while to me.. Leuven isn't at all that far. I mean , ok , its 45 minutes driving when its busy , 30 min's when i can push the envelope. But.. I don't see it as far.. I mean .. Thats what you get when you live in a backwater province like mine. When you wanna do something you just have to get around. It makes me feel a little 'metropolitan'. I shop in Maastricht, get my PC stuff in Aachen, study in Leuven. Try to grab a Cappuchino with a muffin in Antwerp once in a while. Even though we live in the city of Hasselt right now its funny that I'm still more on the road then home. So hey ! I get around ! Whats wrong with that. Leuven isn't far. Neither is Aachen or Maastricht , Antwerp is up the highway straight ahead. Whats the big deal anyway. I guess people see the journey from Limburg outward like some epic trek 'lord of the rings style' well I must disappoint you my friends. Its just a hop in the car and after a few years you get pretty used to it. (The innards of Leuven have become boring to me.. THATS how much I come here) With the week fully booked (have to go to Heverlee tomorrow and back to Leuven on friday and saturday) (not forgetting Antwerp on monday) i've seen quite a little peace of little belgium these days. Good thing for my GPS-lady (Mia) who helps me get around to where i gotta be. I would not now how to get to all those places just by mysellf. Hmm. coming to think of it I could come by train friday. It would be more convenient and i could just bunk out in the train for two hours. I mean whenever you have to travel an hour to get somewhere its WHAT YOU DO during that hour that makes it lost time or not. Suppose your by car, stuck in traffic and you stress up and eat your steering wheel for f*** 60 minutes striaght.. Then thats lost time. Spend that time listening to music, arranging your thoughts, or even listening to an Audio Book.. Its not really lost time is it ? Suppose your in a train 2 hours a day. You CAN spend that time reading, listening to music , working on your website or whatever. Its a little bit of a luxury to have 2 hours to fill in to your own discretion. The thought occured to me this morning when stuck in traffic. One does not control the situation one gets into , but we do control how we react in that situation. I could have been stressed up for losing time. Instead i listened to classical music on the radio and watched the sun rise over the hills around me while peeking at the people around me and wondering who they where and where they where going. Life is a big boardgame sometimes. You only have to make up your own game to play on it. Of to school it is my friends !

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I need a guI to make me happy !

Oct 12


Well : i'm finally getting round to some studying today and i've been digging trough the first two chapters of the book while trying out the info on my laptop and .. i can only conclude in this : Aaarg!!!!!!!!!!!!! I must say. this Linux thing is proving to be harder then i first expected. Ok , i know it was not going to be easy, but i never thought what a mouse-jockey i had become. Its all howdy dandy when you give me a nice gui and i can click my way into just about anything i want. But its harder when a silent prompt just stares at me from a dark screen. I read trough the manuals and think “when am i EVER gonna need this” and the next moment i find myself completely lost when trying to preform a simple task like copying or pasting a file using the console. Its starting over from scratch and its gonna take a lot of getting used to. But I don't have the luxury of falling behind. I have to learn this. Now that is just the thing. As you all know i hate toying around with things, just to toy around with them. I have to do something useful with them. I find myself BEFORE the point that i can use my acquired skills to actually 'do' anything, but I'm pretty frustrated to type commands down.. 'just to practice them' I hate moving meaningless files around just to get into the swing of it. Well no matter, it will be better in a few days. Meanwhile i have found a universal constant in Linux manuals. Whenever they give you ONE syntax, they give you 5 ! they all do the same .. but they give you the options just to confuse you. I mean , you don't give directions to someone saying. Drive this and that way / or that and that way / or this and this way / or this and so way. I mean : That person is gonna go bonkers on ya !. Well no matter. Back to chapter two. Oh yes ! just between the lines : I have found a way to work around my freezing keyboard problem ! until suse will give me an answer to my support query , I just retype the last two characters i typed, just before the keyboard freeze. And whaddajaknow ! It works . I read it somewhere on the Internet so i decided to try it out. am very curious as to what big-old-suse is gonna tell me. The error event that pops up into the event log is : "Linux kernel: input: AT Translated Set 2 keyboard on isa0060/serio0 so .. i'm curious if posting this on usenet will help me to find a real solution." *** In other news i'm dug into this small pocket book about hacking, viruses and espionage. I read something about the CARNIVORE program the FBI apparently runs on the email traffic all over the globe. Its actually quite scary. I mean not to dive into conspiracy theory's and all that , but still. Its pretty scary when you think about some gov-clecrk reading trough your e-mail.. and the concequences. http://www.rhizome.org/carnivore/ is a link i found on line to some kind of carnivore like program that constructs images from the data stream it intercepts (?) Its something realy freaky and i'm gonna check it out a little more. "Carnivore is a surveillance tool for data networks. At the heart of the project is CarnivorePE, a software application that listens to all Internet traffic (email, web surfing, etc.) on a specific local network. Next, CarnivorePE serves this data stream to interfaces called "clients." These clients are designed to animate, diagnose, or interpret the network traffic in various ways. Use CarnivorePE to run Carnivore clients from your own desktop, or use it to make your own clients." is the official qoute on the site. Cool enough to check it out. Imagine a picture of your face made up out of all the binary data gathered from the porn sites you surfed. Kinda cool to give to your parents. 🙂

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Is there an non-E-Existence ?

Oct 11

Thoughts are a turmoil. I am troubled by questions that I was not prepared for. Questions that made me stand and think. Questions that made me put things in perspective. 'Who are you'. 'Where are you going' 'Where do you come from'. Questions as simple that any soul can find an answer. And yett, questions as hard that there seems to be no answer for them. I was asked these questions by a friend, and again yesterday on an interview. The question who i was away from the keyboard caught me off guard. I was in no way expecting a question like that. I find mysellf troubled by the fact that i had to 'think' about who i was away from the keyboard. Over these last years my life has been focused on the virtual side of my existence. Learning , gathering skills and so forth. Not a day goes by withouth a connection to the internet. The world around me and the events that peek my interests are often found @ slashdot.org or on line. I communicate, live, breath on line. I was puzzeled by the inquiry to my 'off line' life. My non-E-Existence and i had to think about it a little bit. I do plenty of things that don't have anything to do with computers .. But i never thought people would value them so much as to ask for them. Well. When "AFK" dwindle down into a world that is very personal and private for me. I spend time with my girlfriend. Hang out with the select group of friends I have, go out, have a good time. I love to read. Allways dive my nose in a good book cause I despise TV. And quite frankly those books are OFTEN (but not allways) It related. These days one can find me totaly engulfed by the BENINI MISTERY (by Dan Brown), Introduction into phychoanalisis (by Freud) and on my PDA i'm reading "Shadows of the empire'. I love a good movie (preferebly some old one) and I try to relax the mind by talking a good stroll while listening to some relaxing music. Am i the outgoing type I used to be when i worked as a DJ ? Perhaps not. I love to crawl back in the dark corners of a tavern and watch the world go by. I love to watch people, love to meet people to. But I find a lot of happyness behind the quiet glow of the screen. The question also arose a fearsome image of mysellf as some kind of horrible lonely computer-nerd. I'm not that. Not that at all. Allthough i sometimes can understand that people want to hide from the off line world and curl up into cyberspace, allthough I understand that , when someone is facinated by the thousands of things the E-world has to offer, so much that you forget what lies outside.. I'm not that kind of person. I go to the library to study. Not because it's quiet there, but because there are people there ! I like to go out for a cup of cappuchino and write some entries for my blogg because there are other people there. When asked what i would like to do best : Dive into a good well founded IRC discussion about the issues of privacy on the internet , or play some football with some testosteron-infested-beer-drinking-burping-footballyapping dudes.. I would choose the first. I'm happy when plugged in.. but i roam wirelessly.

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