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pne (661)

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Honourary member and involuntarily prolific poster. Self-taught Perl hacker. Language geek.

Journal of pne (661)

Friday February 15, 2002
12:16 PM

Looks like I'm really sharing

OK, while I don't have full official management approval in writing, Manfred did say "good that we got that sorted out" when he went past my office, in response to my email telling him about the arrangement I had made and the price of the room. So that should be that sorted.

05:55 AM

Looks like I'm sharing

Phew... after much discussion yesterday both on the mailing list and on IRC, it seems that I have accommodation sorted out for YAPC::Europe this year. Now I just have to run it past management, who are kind enough to pay for me, to check that the price is OK, but it should be since it's within the 75-99 euro price bracket that was on the booking form. If so, I'll be in the Mercure München Altstadt, sharing a twin room with Struan Donald aka mr_stru.

Thursday February 14, 2002
02:38 PM

Graciousness, part II (spoilers for Harry Potter vol. 4)

Ah! I see Harry finally decided to accept Cedric's advice. Good for him ;)

03:45 AM

Being gracious and thankful

I'm in the middle of reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and what I read this morning on the bus on the way to work made me think a bit.

The first thing was about showing gratitude. Harry asked Parvati Patil whether she would accompany him to the ball, and she accepted. (I was actually rather surprised that she had had no previous offer, since she didn't seem particularly unpopular.) I rather expected him to thank her afterwards for agreeing to accompany him, rather than making him look around still more, which seemed an uncomfortable task to him.

When he ignored her for most of the dance, I thought that not very nice, but I still would thought he should have had the decency to thank her after the dance was over.

The second thing I thought about was how Cedric Diggory wanted to give Harry a clue about how to find out the secret hidden in his golden egg. He said he did so because Harry had told him about the first Task -- that there would be dragons involved.

I suppose Harry should have graciously accepted this help from someone whom he didn't particularly like, and who probably didn't particularly like him, either. But he respected him for the help he had given him and was willing to return the favour.

I'll probably forget about those thoughts I have before I can apply them to my life, but I thought I'd jot them down here, at least. I'm fairly sure I could stand to be more gracious and thankful at times.

Wednesday February 13, 2002
07:48 AM

Sharing rooms

I wonder whether most of will end up sharing rooms at the hotel... and what I'll do. It might be interesting and will help keep the price down, but I wonder whether it'll lead to contortions getting the company to pay for it -- don't know whether hotels split double-room invoices into two parts. Would be pretty stupid if I ended up paying for half a double room and then not getting my money back after having planned on that.

Tuesday February 12, 2002
09:33 AM

I wish our company's firewall weren't so restrictive

At least letting ssh out would be nice.

09:31 AM

Hotels in Munich sure are expensive

So it looks as if the hotel in Munich may have to cost around EUR 160 rather than the price range of 75-99 which was originally advertised for standard rooms. At least, if I want to stay with and if they're all to fit in the same hotel.

Have to see what management has to say about that, since they're kindly paying my way.

On the other hand, Munich is generally an expensive place (as is Berlin, apparently), and the fact that YAPC is in September isn't helping -- and that Octoberfest starts soon after, even less.

Monday February 11, 2002
09:21 AM

What happened to trial subscriptions?

So I was wondering what Dr Dobb's Journal was like and decided to ask them whether they did trial subscriptions. No, they don't -- you have to pay for a full year in advance (though they'll give partial refunds if you cancel before all issues have shipped).

Sure, for some magazines, you can read articles on-line... but it's not the same thing. And I'm not sure whether it's a good judge as to whether you'll like a magazine, since whether you'll like a magazine is influenced not only by the content but also a bit things such as layout, paper quality, proportion of advertisements and so on.

And shortly afterwards, I got advertising material from the C/C++ Users' Journal (or something along those lines) with a "limited time only" offer for a subscription. Well, the blurb sounded interesting, but paying for two yearly subscriptions in the same month is a bit much for my budget. Especially since money is a bit tight now that my wife went back to school. (Though thy did offer a money-back guarantee if the magazine isn't great -- seems like a perfect opportunity for abuse: subscribe for a year and then say the magazine is crap and get your money back?)

So -- what's wrong with a decent trial subscription? Three months or whatever? So people have a chance to see whether the magazine looks promising without having to sink a lot of money into it up front?

(Hm, maybe it's due to the bad economy? Magazines who like to have cash to work with short-term?)

Friday February 08, 2002
09:48 AM

Writing XBase files in C

Been messing around a little trying to write XBase files in C. Mostly with the help of Erik Bachmann's excellent Xbase file format description.

Actually, it was a little fun. And after a little bit of trial and error, I was able to re-create the format of an existing file (which was the goal)... except that the header is not identical. There are a bunch of "reserved" fields which I fill with 00 but where the "real" file has some data, but I'm guessing that the bytes there are just garbage... that's certainly what it looks like with the field names (where one field looks like "foobar\0" and the next like "xx\0bar\0" and the next like "yyyy\0r\0").

Wednesday February 06, 2002
04:38 AM

Looks like it worked this time

I wonder whether I forgot to press "save" last time or something stupid like that.