Fire in babylon ! ! ! !

Jan 31


I wanted to update last Friday but i was too shaken to make any sense of the words that blurted out. I don't know just how much information i am allowed to disclose about what is going on.. but its family related stuff and its pretty serious. When I drove to work I had my Ipod playing 'shuffle' when Sinead O'conners song 'Fire in Babylon' was on. And it just about covered the whole story. Maybe not the words but surely the way it is brought. To who want to know : Sit in a quiet dark room, alone and turn that song on.. LOUD , REAL LOUD. and then you get a little glimpse of all the stuff that went trough me during the weekend. Things in the world around me are shifting and tilting in impossible angles. When nature takes its course there is nothing you can do to stop it .. but still. If time is the fire in which we burn.. then there is fire in Babylon.

Age has draped its dark cloak over my shoulders and I feel the weight of worry draw phantom lines in the corner of my eyes. I feel old somehow.. no , not old , I feel i am aging. A part of my world is tainted with the ambers of mortality and its setting twilight overshadows the cloudless sky's of my soul. Not only I feel like I am getting older.. also the persons around me start to look at me differently. Being the Benjamin has given me the privilege of eternal childhood in the eyes of my elders and siblings. Only now do they start to realize I’m not a kid anymore. At the right time and in the right place I take up my place among the 'others' and make a crucial difference when en where it is needed.. I smile silently as I hear their surprised mumbles… 'He's not a kid anymore'. Tell me something that’s new. I've grown up a long time ago and my life was not always the playground you thought it was to me. I have seen my dire straights and have had my dark clouds.

I am stronger then you think and am gently getting fed up of having to prove it all the time. Respect and appreciation comes at the price of service i guess. I have given up shouting that I am no longer the child in me. I have given up trying to prove myself. I just let them slide and slip only to be the last and unexpected hand that stops them firmly from tumbling to their doom. My eyes lock gently upon them as i gracefully swallow my 'I told you so'. The one good thing about being underestimated is that you take people by surprise on a daily basis.

As the naive smile slides from my worried face I can only look towards the future in apprehension. I do not know what lies beyond the horizon but I already smell the burning rubble of what might lie ahead. As the shockwaves roll along the borders of my existence I try hard to keep my Mare Tranquilatis a true spot on the moon. Far away from everything and without the gravity of the whole situation to pull my hopes down…

I fight for my island of peace and try to find the subtle balance between getting involved and getting sucked in. Balancing on the event horizon of this inevitable black hole I fight the impossible demands that draw me in, and my conscience that would gladly tip me over the edge. I must stand my ground and find equilibrium between my own life and the one i came from. Between my own world and the world i sprang from. Looking for that one free zero-G orbit… As Babylon burns….

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Single point of Trouble !

Jan 26

I have just about had it. I won't go out on an all PC rant (again) but i must say i have just about had it. Every six months or so i go for a total redesign of my 'small' home network. I've just made up a little list what i still have to do since my last 'server-switch'. And i have come to realise i must be insane ! Sure , the complexity of my home network helps me keep my network-admin skills all sharp and fresh.. But the amount of 'workstation work' is enormous. Reinstall this , move that , download these drivers , update that etc etc. And this is presuming that the darn things will work properly (and the programs/system not going haywire). So I’ve decided it's been enough. I'm scaling down the whole shit and am going to switch to Linux or OSx where i can. I am setting up two pc's for sale and am going to round up all the hardware I don't need and yank it on Ebay or something. (so those of ya looking for a bargain : Point your ears my friends). The whole point is : You need computers to make your life easier. erm….. well , they are the one major source of trouble in my life. (they are the source of pretty much everything that is not nyana-related in my life) So its time to call in the cavalry and simplify the matters. ( So come over mr Jobs and give me one of those mini macs !). And where the Fuck is my Ibook !!!

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You cannot masturbate with transplanted genitals.

Jan 24

Ok , Its been a while and i must say its been a hectic week. But enough of that blah-blah : Blog is back. Hmm.. what have i been up to ? Enjoyed nice weekend with Nyana of course (non-computer related trips to the city combined with mega-server-stress cause I’m setting up a new server @ casa knight). Migration is stressful ! New mail server and old mail server are not the best of buddies, lots a data to be moved and i have drawn up another final solution in the 'what pc do it put where' department : Result : Reinstallation Galore ! (thank god for images). Promised myself to hook up my Linux system to a 17" TFT screen (no dual boot) So i'll just HAVE to learn. Friday : Went out (fun fun) Saturday : Morning : Got up and started configuring the new mail server (without a user manual of course) Its the quickest way to learn ( and to go from "I’m digging this" to "I’m losing it" in 15 secs flat). But two cups of cappuccino and one cd from faithless pulled me through : Result : mail server ready for use. Nyana dragged me away from the screen at 12:00 to go have a mega hot dog (jumzie !) and a trip into town. Mett up with a old friend of Nyana's (the girl gets more amazinly beautiful as the years go by) and had a little chit chat ( We'll call you !) and so on. Over to a friends place in the afternoon (fix up one f*** up pc, Evil Evil IE) and rushed towards Cherrymoons house in the evening. Ended up chatting about their and our wedding plans (i will not disclose ANYTHING .. top top secret) Very nice evening .. Nyana fell asleep in the car on our way home (she was not driving of course) and she is soooo cute when she sleeps in the car. Sunday ! Weekly dose of eggs and bacon in the morning combined with Cappuccino and two hours of Spongebob square pants in my pajama’s (sundays ROCK) Afternoon it was time to visit some friends (who are also getting married) and meet up with Karien. Chit chat about all kinds of everything (marriage/again and everything involved with that). Coolest quote of the afternoon : "If your genitals get transplanted to another person, that person can no longer masturbate because it is not his penis." Don't ask me how we got there it's just a nice quote. Had diner in a very yummie Pita Place we discovered in Hasselt (everybody should try it out) and maxed out in front of the TV (after i Told the new server to get bizzy formatting half a terrabyte worth of disk space). School starts next wednesday and that will leave me 'away from home' for two nights out of four. (not much left) So i do f*** hope my Ibook is going to get here ! Still no news from that front though. Even bought me an apple mouse this weekend (that is sitting on my desk , all alone.. it needs a buddy). Oh yea , snow has fallen outside. Wish i could go out for a walk but.. don't think so , still enough to do @ home :'( ..

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Happyness is not the default value.

Jan 21

We all think we'll live forever. we all think it will never change.

We all think everything is nice and good and that happiness is granted to us by default. We all think bad things happen to other people and never to us.

We are all wrong.

Today I stood by and watched somebody's world shatter.

I felt the core of her existence implode and watched the orbit of her universe shift forever.

I stood by and felt the icy cold shockwave pass trough my soul.

As all the hairs in my neck stood up I was amazed at how utterly useless and powerless i felt.

As debris rained down and the new reality set in I realized in horror how feeble the balance is.

We are all just one step away from the abyss.

Walking the tight rope of joy blindfolded by the arrogance that it will always be this way.

Hug the one close to you and tell them you love them. You never know what the next chime will bring.

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The big switch : A different view in teaching Linux.

Jan 15

The big switch : A different view at teaching Linux.


The first time I saw Linux was about five years ago, I believe it was a version 6.1 of Suse Linux. I remember being curious about the computer that was running it, and chatting up a colleague of mine (known as one of the company's uber-geeks) about what Linux was and how it worked and stuff. The story he told me dazzled me and for a while i really thought he was pulling my leg. He told me about a safe, secure and speedy operating system, that could run on machines varying from a “386” to a bigg-ass server. When I asked him what it could do , I knew he was kidding me, because he basically answered one word : EVERYTHING. My disbelief in an operating system that could be used for that enormous kind of diversity in purpose, gave him reason to explain to me just exactly how Linux was built, what the concept behind it was and how it was used. I sat down with him every lunch break for the next few days listening to his experiences with Linux and the things one could to with a “tux under the hood”. When the GNU license was explained to me, pointing out that the whole damn thing was free, I was ready to call the loony bin and have my friend planted in the funny farm. To those of you who come from a Win-world where Gates ( now Balmer ) is king and the only blue you see are the BSOD's on your computer, Linux DOES sound like an impossible utopia. And quite frankly , IT IS. There is one big big catch ! In order to protect its nest from predators, some birds make their nests high up in the trees. Natural predators do not have the ability to climb up so high without having to 1) Evolve some serious climbing skills 2) Overcome their fear of heights. And to those who are ready to make the switch to Linux , or are so fed up with the alternative there are some bounds to be broken. The big ass catch in switching from a “house of windows”' to “Torvalds Utopia” is having to drop the mouse. This trusty sidekick I have been using in my Windows based life for over ten years now (and that should be considered part of the human anatomy as an extension of the right hand) has been my palm-rest for almost half my life (i had an Amiga once, that one had a mouse too) To control an entire operating system via keyboard alone is too much to bare for some. They soon become 'ghosts in the shell'. And that shell is the other biggest scare of windows users. I started out with windows 95 where Dos was becoming a rapidly fading black-and-white-character-based memory. When i needed something i would just point and click. So when my Linux-geek-friend told me that i would have to unlearn everything i learned in a GUI enviroment, that i would have to drop my mouse and step into the dark void of bash.. I thought : I can do this ! Two weeks later, after hopelessly trying to understand the complex unix commands, getting trapped in VI once an hour and having to call for help to get me out, and basically getting NOWHERE.. I gave up. All the promises my friend had made, about what you could do with Linux , how fast it was , the great software you had etc etc seemed to reside on another planet. No way I could ever learn THAT. So I gave up and walked down the path of shame to my Windows workstation. Since then I have repeatedly tried to pick up Linux again. From downloading various versions to see which one i liked best, to actually BUYING three versions of Suse Linux, a lot of Linux books and taking classes about Linux in my local educational center.

And no matter where you go, or what you do : There are some things that are the same everywhere. Things you encounter when trying to work with Linux, and ways Linux is taught to students. I will some them up for they are the underlying fundamentals for this 'different approach' to Linux.

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