CSGQ: CSG1 Quarterly
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Quick questionnaire answered to define the plane I'm on. You might say three points would be suffice, but then again it's not a plane strictly speaking, but rather some surface :-P

Which one? 
Beatles
or
Rolling Stones?
 X
 
Metallica
or
Megadeth?
 
 X
Nirvana
or
Soundgarden?
 
 X
C
or
C++?
 X
 
Perl
or
Python?
 X
 
Latin
or
Ancient Greek?
 
 X
Vim
or
Emacs?
 X
 
Coca Cola
or
Pepsi?
 
 X
Apples
or
Pears?
 
 X

Photo by P.Lipovtsev, 2012

On computer books

Despite much talking here about Macs and Linux, the first systems I've learned were Microsofts; I got almost every book from Microsoft Press printed by Russian Office during the 90s - Matt Pietrek, Helen Custer, Adrian King, Jeffrey Richter, David Solomon; I keep MSJ paper issues with Paul DiLascia columns. And one of the most valuable reads on Windows for me was the help accompanied to the most useful (and still beautiful) Windows program - WinDbg (from Debugging Tools for Windows), freely available to developers. The help goes in form of CHM - compiled HTML, and while there are plenty of options to read it on various operating systems (iChm for example, for Macs), I was (partly irrationally) eager to have it in more common format, such as PDF or plain HTML, to access it on most of the devices I own. After several (unsuccessful) tries with PDF and other options (such as Calibre), I've decided to convert it myself into single HTML file, with the little help of Perl script, hhmerge.pl (1.5K). I'm very occasional Perl coder, and usually can't figure out an array walk without access to Google (despite having Camel book, O'Reillys, in paper), so use it with caution. I did convertion in several steps, such as:

  • Decompress the CHM, with 7-zip, on Windows system; I know, native utility hh.exe should do it as well, but in my case all tries with it failed.
  • Prepare header and footer for the script, simply taking them from random of multiple HTML files resulted in decompression.
  • Tweaked the Perl script so that it takes only relevant data from original files, without prologues and epilogues, matched across all the sections.

The result is here (3M); it's a pretty large HTML actually. However, further processing it with Calibre (to MOBI) and then Amazon (to AZW) gets much nicer result. Yes, I own Kindle Touch :-P


On mobile phones

My last three mobiles:

  • Nokia 3510, the dark blue one with orange sides
  • Nokia X1-01, the black one with dark grey back; this lasted for only 2 years
  • Philips X1560

I use mobile for calls, SMS and music listening (mostly for the latter); can't stand touch-screens, for me they are all completely wrong. I own one Android device though, Sony Xperia E1, which is ironically positioned as an audio player (Walkman edition) with dedicated button, and I found it entirely incapable to do so - constant sound glitches and navigation just awful; the only pro for this model is cost, bought it for less than $100 new for seldom use with WhatsApp messenger. Ha-ha, eventually it died, after only one year of not-so-heavy use, won't buy any other from Sony again. Nokia X1-01 would do a perfect phone for me except it was broken from the very beginning, I even got its PCB replaced under warranty with one made in Romania (original came from India), and still had a reboot once a week. Despite this I occasionaly picking it over my Philips, which is almost as twice as heavy. X1-01 has a decent MP3 player (to my taste), but you have to sort the songs on the SD-card; I'm using nice piece of software for this named fatsort, which works on Macs as well (site). Necessity of song sorting is fine with me; I hate the elaborated media players that crawl within IDv3 tags, listing songs by artists, albums, etc.; it's just getting in the way for me. I'd say people from Sang Fei got it right, X1560 has all the virtues and none of the vices; you can manage your playlist as you like, such as adding files from an arbitrary folder ("Options" then "Select" on folder). And of course X1560 has killer battery life - 2900 mAh, which gives you 10-15 charge cycles per year!


Decemlineata Transitio

I grew up mostly in 90s, but always have been fascinated by 80s; here's my playlist for the edge of the decades. It sure misses big names (and my favorite one of all time, Tears For Fears, but then I'd have to place it at least three times; their "The Working Hour" holds maximum playing count in my library), and for others the records included are considered weak by the public (yeah, "Sirius"; but those three songs in a row starting from "Turning Tide"... just can't get enough of Maire Brennan's voice!); I'm finding these records close to each other and connected somehow in my memories for the time.

  • Billy Idol - Rebel Yell
  • Simple Minds - Sparkle in the Rain
  • The Jesus And Mary Chain - Psychocandy
  • Sigue Sigue Sputnik - Flaunt It
  • Clannad - Sirius
  • My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything
  • B-52's - Cosmic Thing
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees - Superstition
  • Jesus Jones - Doubt
  • Curve - Doppelganger

Random pictures


Me on Retro Game Show, Moscow. Photo by S.Rozhkova, 2014

1 Constructive Solid Geometry

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