chexum is currently certified at Master level.

Name: Janos Farkas
Member since: 1999-11-12 12:22:36
Last Login: 2007-09-02 12:06:26

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Homepage: http://claimid.com/janosfarkas

Notes:

I like linux kernel coding, at least as much as I can do, TCP/IP programming, some kernel fixes (networking, filesystems), created romfs, and I love being a PC news junkie. [/diary/]

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Work

I have a new job, after staying at one for seven years. Most of my coworkers gradually disappeared from the old place, so I also started looking around in the job market a few months ago. I had a few interesting interviews, many in English and/or abroad. You could ask what's so special in an English interview, but I've grown my knowledge of that language sitting years before a CRT, so sometimes I probably have a difficult to understand accent. But because most of the time I have few problems *understanding* people in English (well, except maybe the mumbling), I mostly forgot to tell that I need some practice smoothing off the unintelligible parts of my speech.

Well, for a while I thought that caused one of the prospective employers to back off. But thinking about it, maybe they disliked something else, since I talked to quite a few people -- or maybe they all thought they won't understand me on the phone, and voted me off :)

Another letdown was when some thought I will not be able to cope with interruptions and switching tasks. One would think spending a few years as a sole system administrator would be a bit hard to bear without that capability... But that's life, when you know what turned off them, that's the problem, when you don't, it's as much irritating :)

Anyway, all of that was in effect a very positive experience for me, I've met some people I should have recognized, but I was unprepared for such encounters. There really were a company I'd really like to be at. Too bad they did not chose me, but so be it.

I've also flown where flight attendants didn't know what a GPS was (is it using laser?), so they agreed I can use that on-board.

Development

I've slacked off in the last few years from projects I'd like to follow, but my free time was diminishing week by week. I hope I get back where I wanted to be. For the better, many of the free software projects are so usable out-of-the-tarball, that it's sometimes difficult to feel there are really things to be done with them.

Work

I'm having weird problems with making a simple bootable Linux CD. Probably just didn't get enough sleep in the last few weeks, it should be an easy task.. It's a P133 laptop I'm about to recycle for Linux, finally. It's a real relic, noone wants to use it, its battery depletes in around 5 minutes, has LCD screen, no ACPI, broken PS/2 connector, no touchpad, no USB, etc.. It cannot even read rewritable CDs, so I must test on other machines, mainly mine, and constant reboots are making me feel like a slave in the MS empire.

Sleep

Will do. We just got a new bed and a little home reorganization was done late in the night. It's really more comfortable than the older one which was moved to the parents' house in the weekend. But more testing is needed :)

Weirdness

I clicked on freshmeat's "Take me to a random project", and it took me to Pseudo Random Number Generator Daemon. Random, indeed.

rbultje, what you mean by 5.1 surround is probably AC-3, which is handled perfectly by liba52 (AKA a52dec, ac3dec). The downsampling is also standardized, and is done in such a way, that the two-channel "stereo" output can be decoded by any decade old Dolby Surround receiver to get to a bearable imitation of 5.1. That is, Left, Center, Right, and one Surround, going to two rear speakers. The .1 is just a low-pass filter away :)

With the majority of consumer gear, it is not easily said that discrete 5.1 is better or worse from Dolby Surround-style faking of it... And the latter is not really different from a good stereo amplifier's sound, if you are listening right at the "sweet spot". Dolby Surround largely does what your ears are doing. Yes, you can find some missing details with advanced systems, but you decide how much does it worth...

Interestingly, the reason most older DVDs had 5.1ch and 2ch "mixes" of the sound is that one is a bit more "optimized" for Dolby Surround decoding.. Nowadays you are hard pressed to find anything lesser than 5.1, even for re-released movies originally recorded in 2ch or less(!). But, more interestingly some movies shot even in 1968, like "The Planet of the Apes", "2001: A Space Odyssey" were recorded in 4 channel systems at that time according to imdb.

English

schemata is the plural of schema? These rules of English plural seems very awkward to me at times. Yes, I know, they really are, but this is a rant :) Those who wanted stigma pluralized as stigmata are probably striving for the same elegance and (semi-)correctness that hackers do when inventing words like mouses. Defining correctness, when left to dictionaries, is just carving them in stone, but apparently this interweb thing will allow for more flexibility for changes in language.

Just an example, why these irregular plurals disturb me; you spell solos (plural of solo according to Wikipedia) and not soloes because it's Italian or Spanish word. In contrast the plural of Magyar is apparently Magyars, yet, this is the name Hungarians use for themselves in their own language, and its plural is "magyarok". But to add to the confusion, "a group of magyarok", or "some magyarok" would be incorrect, since this native plural is not used in this construct, but mostly in constructs with definite articles, like "those magyarok", "the magyarok are loud".

Ok, it's obvious, Greek words, and their knowledge is a bit more entrenched in the current English than Hungarian words; but IMHO it would be sensible not to rigorously enforce some of the historical ballast it accumulated, and try to let the language find its own ways to advance. Or, call the Hungarians "magyarok" as defined please :)

Work

The Progress database collapsed at work, and it took most of the day to recover from the last backup. Yes, the backups are fine, and less than a minutes worth of transactions were lost, but this is the second time in a few years this Progress thing detected an internal error caused by normal, but uncommon operation, and refused to start the database again. All this for heaps of money. Yes, probably we could pay much more, and have someone able to recover from this mess. At the risk of sounding a bit hypocrite, no free software bug (or user/admin error) would leave me so helpless than bugs and arbitrary internal errors in proprietary systems.

Are they after me?

I like Tor, which seems to me a lighter version of Freenet, which, in addition is working. It is not designed only for anonymous publishing, it also allows normal TCP connections, somewhat anonymized, and TCP connections between two anonymous party. The "somewhat" part is there only because there is not really humongous crowd of anonymizing servers yet, but it's still very nice.

Travel

Among other stuff, we just got back from a camping trip in Transsylvania. Politics aside, it's a beautiful place.

Politics

The sorry state of European software patents, which just proves the politians are there in for their money only, got me thinking sideways. Free Software clearly improves the working conditions, and ultimately the life of its users, as it adds to choices. As such, this is much more significant for me than stuffing the pockets of anyone else, including mysterious irresponsible corporations and their mighty stockholders. As a consequence, it should be an utmost priority that Free Software should be Free to develop and use, that is, unhindered by "intellectual property", (mainly so called patents).

Any "inventor" who claims their superior priming-bubble-sort is allowing a software vendor to compete more efficiently should get a reward from said vendor, yes. From proprietary vendors (vendors of arbitrarily restricted software), that would be royalties, from Free Software vendors and developers, the reward should be the Free Software itself, which the inventor is free to sell/support. What I mean if there is a possibility of patenting algorithms and other intangible ideas, then so be it, but the use of them should be free for Free Software.

I don't find this principle much different than the current exceptions about some governments ability to copyright items, and probably use "inventions" as they see fit (for weapons development maybe?)

Oh well, this pre-federation Earth sucks.

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