Older blog entries for pphaneuf (starting at number 265)

"Now I have to kill you."

For some reason, I'm often in the position that Dilbert finds himself there. It's not out of sheer genius (HAHAHA! yeah, right) or anything like that, it's just a question that people don't seem to tilt their heads quite enough (except [info]dcoombs, he's got that down to an art!).

Syndicated 2006-11-28 10:59:34 (Updated 2006-11-28 13:12:08) from Pierre Phaneuf

Plotting and Scheming

Ouch, that was a bad week. So, of course, I didn't write.

There was this moment, at some point, where the root causes of my annoyances here were coming together before my eyes, and I could see that they weren't specific to particular companies or individuals, but a product of the whole system, and that, therefore, there was precious little chance of avoiding it. They're not intrinsically negative things, but similarly to apenwarr, I like small and responsive, rather than big and stable.

In France (and most of Europe in general, it would seem), things are optimized for stability, from the top-down. They have a strong, controlling state, unified almost all the way down, with cities having a little control (not much), and the bulk of decisions emanating from the center. Have you ever wondered how such enterprisey things as the WS-Deathstar ever see any use? As far as making money and keeping things the way they were, they are doing a marvelous job, actually, but when it comes to things like "making a difference" or "doing something I could give a flying fuck about", well, it's rather less than stellar. For example, do you know Bull? No? Never heard of them? It's the premier European IT supplier, something a bit like IBM, but for Europe. They have such giant customers such as Dassault Aviation, EDF, Total, Boehringer Ingelheim, La Poste, SNECMA, France Telecom, T-Com and the SNCF. What, you've never heard of most of these either? I can assure you, they're all gigantic, half of them are or have been nationalized at some point, and the system will roll on forward whether you know about them or not! I do think there is change coming, but the timeframe is in the decade, I would say. I'm not that patient!

At first, I didn't know what to do anymore, and that left me very sad. This being a systemic issue means that finding another job wouldn't do it. Starting my own company wouldn't really do it either, as I'd have this system to deal with (and more pressingly, would quickly have serious problems with hiring).

That last thought kind of surprised me, though, in another way. Previously, I didn't want to start a company. I didn't want to do management, didn't want to deal with the business end of things, and I was rather afraid of the risks. I just wanted to program. But in the last few years, I did management (and actually enjoyed it, I reluctantly have to admit), I got interested in business, probably from hanging out with apenwarr, even if it wasn't to his scale. And ironically, this project of moving to Europe had me face my fear of risks, where I didn't know where I'd work, where I'd live, how I'd get to stay in the country and other such things. So, oddly enough, I'm now considering doing something I can't do here, but only because I have come here!

Now, I'm not just packing up just yet! I still want to travel around Europe some, and I can do a good amount of the early work on just about any potential idea for a startup from here. So I'll be doing that.

For the shorter term, there's a trip to see some of [info]azrhey's family for Christmas, and possibly a short trip to Barcelona for the New Year, getting pick-pocketed and all, as the tradition requires. And I've discussed some idea of going to Copenhagen to see [info]skjalm, which would be very nice.

I also met two hot girls on the train, Hungarian and Italian. See, it's not all that bad around here, hehe!

Syndicated 2006-11-27 16:53:42 (Updated 2006-11-27 16:56:49) from Pierre Phaneuf


In what's otherwise pretty bleary times, I finally have confirmation that my car has been sold! Only have to cancel the insurance and such...

Syndicated 2006-11-21 15:46:36 from Pierre Phaneuf


I'm watching 24 season three with [info]azrhey here, and I have this to say: they have a pretty damned sweet workstation OS and network infrastructure.

Syndicated 2006-11-19 17:34:18 from Pierre Phaneuf

Lose-lose situation.

Sometimes, I'm scared I'm going to forget, but other times, I remember and I'm scared.

This morning, in the train, for some unknown reason, I remembered extremely strongly how I felt at [info]denizsarikaya's service, how I had a beautiful text from a favourite person (who couldn't make it) in my shirt pocket, but I was just stressed out of my mind, and couldn't possibly get up on there and read it.

[info]dcoombs, at least on some levels, you're a better man than I.

Syndicated 2006-11-13 17:29:06 from Pierre Phaneuf

Hacking on Quadra

When run on Quadra, Valgrind tells me the following:

More than 100000 total errors detected. I'm not reporting any more. Final error counts will be inaccurate. Go fix your program!

Sir! Yes! Sir!

Update: Thank goodness, it's now down to a number I can count on my fingers.

Syndicated 2006-11-11 19:49:35 (Updated 2006-11-24 09:25:16) from Pierre Phaneuf

EDF bites

"With great power comes a great power bill." — apenwarr, paraphrasing Spiderman's Uncle Ben.

For those interested in power management, Eric Boyd recently posted some research he did on power consumption of various things in his house, along with cost calculations. Of interest, he looked at what a number of devices consume when in "standby mode" (such as a TV turned "off" or a sleeping laptop).

Google is also looking into reducing their power bill (note that this is for their offices).

Syndicated 2006-11-07 21:39:58 (Updated 2006-11-10 10:03:02) from Pierre Phaneuf

Scared now!

I was hacking on Quadra, generally feeling disgusted about Windows (Microsoft apparently officially decided to tell POSIX to fuck off in the latest version of their development tools), and I finally managed to get things in a decent shape, so I played a little bit. Then I just remembered something.

If I recall correctly, when we made that game, we made sure it could be played without a mouse. 'Cause, you know...

Those were the times. :-)

Also, someone remind me to kill Rémi when I see him.

Syndicated 2006-11-04 01:50:15 from Pierre Phaneuf

Help wanted

I'm currently hacking on Quadra. More specifically, I'm porting it to SDL, which is allowing me to port the game to Mac OS X, which is all rather awesome.

Except for one tiny detail. Compare the icon of Quadra with, say, the icon of a typical Mac OS X application:

Um, yeah...

So, I was wondering, dear lazyweb, if someone could help me out and create an icon for Quadra? I'd plan on using it on multiple platforms, such as Windows and the various Linux desktops, so I figure that if I had a 128x128 PNG file (with alpha channel), I'd probably be able to convert this to the various respective icon formats. The "Quadra" at the top was a bad idea, I'd just envision a few stylized tetrominos on a transparent background. Feel free to give it a try and send me your submission by email (which you can find in my profile).

Thanks in advance!

Syndicated 2006-11-02 17:24:03 (Updated 2006-11-02 17:40:51) from Pierre Phaneuf

I laugh at the Canadians, and envy the Australians

It is All Saints day today, which is a holiday in France. And since they're like that, my workplace is closed Thursday and Friday as well, so I'm on a five days weekend here, which I am at the moment using to hack on Quadra from the comfort of my bed. Accordingly, I am not wearing pants.

I stumbled upon the programme, which is giving me a severe case of missing the OLS. As Jonathan Corbet has said, going there would be an exercise on pain, having to choose between all these interesting talks. Maybe it's best that I don't go, that way I avoid tearing my hair out.

Syndicated 2006-11-01 16:14:47 from Pierre Phaneuf

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