Hi! Do you remember blogs? Well, this used to be one. Now it just serves as an archive for my multiple Twitter accounts.

1 December 2004

This website guaranteed free of wolves.

I’m only quoting here; not committing to exclude anything from my blog. Wolves are cute, too. (But less widespread on Flickr. Uh, well…)

Oh boy, it’s already the first of December. Damn Time.

Maybe I should get a holiday in Paris for the year’s end. But the réveillons alone in Paris weren’t the greatest success for me last year. (And, besides, this year I’m obese. Can’t go shaking my fat around in Paris, can I?)

What’s in your [Google] search box?it must be bunnies or maybe midgets” (checking I wasn’t going to make a mistake in a comment I typed).

Sida : l’épidémie s’emballe chez les gays.

Voilà, j’ai fait ma part pour la Saint-Sida. Moving on.

Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (thanks to yom and via Daria): Apocalypse, 1990s style. The first two thirds are brilliant; the last is… a bit too Hollywoodian, too easy.

I know it’s hard to find a good ending for an Apocalypse story, but there’s no point in writing the beginning if you don’t have a worthy ending.

But it was still worth spending two nights reading it, no contest. (Except I’m starting to use British English words in my blog.)

Hesitating. Would there really be a point in buying a brand new iMac? How about just getting a second clamshell for use on my elevated bed?

I’ve got too much stuff (hardware and software) on my PC to switch altogether, so what would I do with a G5?

Alias 3.18–3.20: the show wakes up, finally some surprises, yippee. But there are only two episodes left already. Not very polite becoming really interesting again just in time for the season finale’s cliffhanger.

2 December

In fact, spending 1,500 to 2,500 euros in a big new iMac would be a leap of faith: bye bye my 3840x1024 pixels; bye bye the old Wacom tablet and all the software I, uh, own; switching to a Mac with a small LCD screen means I also say bye bye to graphics and webdesign.

Not that I would mind, but it’s a big jump into the unknown, and if I weren’t afraid of jumping into the unknown I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Ahem. This settles that, I suppose.

Damn, my keyboard’s numpad Enter key is dying. Is that a sign?

Or a vacation to London, in order to visit the Apple Store?

Ah, December, cold (I like cold), big coats, Christmas street decorations, department store windows full of toys, hot chestnut vendors, that peculiar year’s end atmosphere… No such thing here: cold, dead, dark and desert, not even a winter smell — maybe the lack of pollution. Pff.

Am I drunk or did Google switch the “images” and “groups” tabs? Every time I go and make a thumbnail, I end up in the newsgroups.

Did they do it on purpose so people couldn’t miss the brand new Gmail-styled layout?

— Your blog doesn’t say you’re so pleased about OS X.

— Let the world know Garoo wants to switch. All is contained in this sentence.

3 December

There it is, I’m in love — pity he’s only a fictional character.

By the way, if someone has an address where to buy an… a… a cult-follower’s disguise, like he wears in episode 4, I’m interested. A much better fad than the Matrix raincoat.

Funny how there are angels everywhere lately.

4 December

RSScache: I’m not a big fan of sending one’s readers to an external site, but it can be useful to bloggers paying their bandwidth, or whose feeds are generated by PHP scripts instead of being static XML.

It’s so unfair the whole promotion happens around Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson and Al Pacino, multitask acting and all, when the whole miniseries relies on Justin Kirk’s talent.

When Meryl Streep states she’ll never have such a nice part unless Tony Kushner writes for her again, I can’t wait to see how her characters will become so miraculously interesting in episodes 5 and 6.

iCal hates me. Cmd-N to create a new event; 30% chance that the title will be highlighted but inactive, so I’ll have to use the mouse before I type; 10% chance it is created as “all-day” and, after I unchecked the box, the end time is eight hours later, i.e. the next day, and it gets unbelievably complicated to get it back; and now it’s been beachballing for five minutes because I mistyped “45” in the year field, and the thing feels it necessary to update the whole display every time I change anything. Maybe I shouldn’t buy a Mac. (But then, the Windows equivalent, Mozilla Sunbird, isn’t much better.)

It’s usually in rich, decadent societies you see everyone spending all their free time, and all their money, taking care of their bodies, and showing them off. As in, say, California or Florida. Then why Brazil?!

As I discovered OS X, I found really weird the idea of the dock and Alt-Tab (uh, Cmd-Tab) working app by app, instead of window by window.

After twenty-four hours it was already one of the things I missed every time I came back to the PC.

5 December

Je saurai quoi répondre la prochaine fois qu’un client me réclamera SPIP-Agora.

Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick, and his Zeiss 50mm f/0.7 lenses [via]. Funny how I was thinking about this anecdote two days ago, because of an ad for a showing on TCM. This post makes me regret I decided against watching it — carried away by my deep dislike for Kubrick’s filmography.

6 December

Poor thing.

What a pretty, festive, jolly holiday.

When you can invest $2K in a 20” iMac, you can afford a standalone DVD player with a big TV. So what’s the point of the widescreen form factor and 1050-pixel vertical resolution only when most web pages are vertically oriented?

A Power Mac plus vertical LCD monitor and matching video card wouldn’t really fit my budget.

7 December

Oh, I know someone who made a little mistake uploading the free videos for his porn site — try comparing the 512 and 56 kbps Windows Media versions. Seriously NSFW. And not very kind of me to link rather than warn him, but that’s because I’m jealous.

This unnerving, throbbing certainty the idea you lost while you scanned on your Bloglines page was the idea of the century… And the guilt of not being able to brush off the aforementioned certainty even though you’re perfectly, reasonably aware that this idea didn’t have any more value than every other before… ARGH!

Fuck. Am I dreaming or I could have, for the same price, a PowerMac with two big CRTs (or even two small LCDs)?

Life just became so much more complicated.

8 December

Mmh, an unused iMac G4 for 750 € plus taxes. It’s quite less expensive, and I always preferred the lamp design over the giant iPod thing.

But buying a cheap G4/800 wouldn’t be a real switch. That wouldn’t work. Symbolically.

L’idée même d’homophobie tend à accréditer l’idée que le comportement homosexuel a la même valeur que d’autres comportements, alors qu’il est évidemment une menace pour la survie de l’humanité.Assemblée Nationale, December 2004.

Homosexuality threatens the survival of humanity, no less. If only it were true.

Alias 3.21–3.22: Grr. The genetically engineered clones episode was the worst of the show, despite Ethan Hawke; this one manages to be even worse, while contradicting it. You don’t decide, as you’re writing the 66th episode of a serial, that people can just take one another’s appearance just by wearing some latex.

But, despite this… what a fucking season finale.

9 December

10 December

11 December

Ah, the Judging Amy run on Téva is finally over. I’m free after three or four months of having to be stuck in front of TV every morning from 3pm to 5pm.

Here’s to hoping they don’t start season 6 three weeks from now, after the season 5 rerun starting from Monday.

Ripley 3.0.

I think the TV capture card crashes the computer. I don’t want to do without capture; does it exist as a Knoppix-recognized USB device? (I’d rather have staid with Debian Stable, but it’s hopeless with a brand-new PC full of recent components.)

12 December

The Matrix: Reloaded: first hour boring, second hour good. The Matrix: Revolutions: damn, closing what was supposed to be the great trilogy of the upcoming century with a carbon copy of Independence Day. They should rather have followed the false tracks that made the second episode’s ending interesting; it would have been such a better finale. (And I suppose the CGI guys made Neo give up on leather; too bad.)

Funny having a look at your blog’s statistics on Bloglines. Well, 14 susbscribers isn’t much. But I did announce here the French version of Bloglines, the RSS aggregator that doesn’t crash on Windows.

13 December

When Marine Lance Cpl. David Battle learned he’d either have to sacrifice his ring finger or the wedding band he wore, he told doctors at a field hospital in Iraq to cut off the finger.[via]

Ok, c’est un américain, un militaire, un con, mais comment un médecin, même américain, même militaire, même con, pourrait accepter ça ?

How is one supposed to do to listen to their four computers, and radio, and TV, on the same speakers or the same headset, without buying a $500 mixer?

USB FlashCard : and about time, too.

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman: the end is smarter than in Good Omens, but the 47852 pages that lead to it are… industrious. The bare minimum to entice the reader to go forward, chapter after chapter — the Exposition Fairy choking from lack of time to breathe. If it’s indicative of his style when he writes alone…

14 December

When I lived in the Paris suburbs, I could always tell myself that tomorrow something would happen that would change my life. Jumpstart it. Or finish it, even — just, something.

Here…

Okay, even when I lived there, it didn’t happen. But at least it could. There was hope, and there was, uh… the daily pleasures of life, shall we say.

Here…

15 December

Jet Set 2 : People : je ne m’attendais pas à grand chose, j’ai quand même été déçu. Quand je pense à toute la promo qu’ils ont faite dessus, j’ai honte pour eux — faire un navet, ça arrive, mais le survendre à ce point…

(Et voilà qu’on retrouve les mecs de DialH sur grand écran, maintenant, les pornos ne leur suffisent plus.)

Random music (a bit of a cheat, as Party Shuffle favors the better-rated songs, but that’ll do).

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams: what can I say? A classic, with good reason. (For those who wonder, as I did until yesterday: the book itself isn’t the Guide, but a novel set around the Guide.)

Greg’s Digital Portfolio – “Roll over image to see original[via]. You already knew that all magazines covers were edited beyond recognition, but seeing portraits before and after is positively frightening.

Al1jup, le vrai-faux blog d’Alain Juppé_?
Mais qui d’autre qu’un énarque serait capable de taper des “o” à la place des zéros ? Aucun informaticien ne pourrait faire ça sans avoir immédiatement une énorme poussée d’urticaire.

16 December

On my Azerty PC keyboard, if I think I might have hit Caps Lock instead of Tab, all I have to do is press Shift, just in case. On the Mac, I have to check if I did press Caps Lock, in which case I must press it again. And, since the light is on the key itself, that means lifting my hand away, putting my head down, and mobilizing a part of my brain that was busy somewhere else. All of that, every thirty seconds when I’m typing my TV schedule in iCal. It’s gonna drive me crazy.

The worst part of it is, I just realized I have never ever had use for the Caps Lock key. Time to remap my keyboard.

Replacing any keywith any other in Windows XP:: SharpKeys (now Caps Lock becomes Shift, and Scroll Lock is disabled).

Changing the behavior of special keys in OS X: DoubleCommand (now Caps Lock is disabled, and Enter becomes Ctrl).

Both freeware, of course.

17 December

18 December

The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown: if that’s what a bestseller is, I’ll never be a famous writer. According to IMDb, the 24 creator wanted to use the story in his show; as absurd as it sounds, it would be perfectly coherent — the book is exactly dumb like a 24 season. Minus the visual efficiency. A pain to read through, my head hurts.

And I can’t believe they didn’t think of getting a French reader to proof-read it. “Bezu Fache.” I hope they changed his name in the French translation.

19 December

In my day, when I was young and full of stars in my eyes, and of hope, and innocence, Christmas trees were gigantic — you could hardly see the top of them. Nowadays, the tree’s tip just scratches the ceiling. What sorry times these are…

As seen on TV, in the “why didn’t they think of it before?” series: Braun Multiquick Fresh System.

20 December

21 December

Where you find out that Google Desktop Search updates itself automatically, and I’m not a fan of the concept, but on the other hand it is indeed convenient, and with luck it’ll finally remove deleted files from its index now.

Everybody has their moment of great opportunity in life. If you happen to miss the one you care about, then everything else in life becomes eerily easy.” Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless.

22 December

There are times you wake up from a pleasant dream (perfect love, etc.) and you’re depressed you woke up. And times you wake up from an unpleasant dream (Berlusconi digging tunnels near all the subterranean malls of my school) and you’re depressed you dreamed it. And times you weren’t dreaming, but you still wake up depressed.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (compiling The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish and Mostly Harmless in a single big volume): it’s a bit uneven, not always up to comparison with the first book, and sometimes too much a repetition of it (particularly episodes 2 & 3, after which the author finds his second breath), but the whole thing is definitely quite worthy of your time. Certainly the best I read since my Visa card entered the world of Amazon.

23 December

24 December

Le pendule de Foucault, d’Umberto Eco, page 26. Bon Dieu, que c’est lourd. Et mal traduit, en plus (c’est-à-dire en mot-à-mot, tentation facile quand on traduit de l’italien vers le français, mais qui alourdit encore ce qui devait déjà être passablement indigeste). Ca vaut vraiment la peine que je m’inflige ça ?

But why is it exactly we keep “celebrating” Christmas even though it gets everybody bummed and depressed?

Vocal Lab helps you train to sing on key. It listens while you sing and displays the pitch of your voice on a graph, in real time.” Damn all those Mac programs you have to pay for. Shouldn’t all Mac community members help one another, rather than try and take advantage of each other?

25 December

My mother got an EOS 300D (a.k.a. Digital Rebel) for Christmas, and this little (well, big) thing impresses me. I’m so accustomed to my G3 (I mean the Powershot, not the iBook) that I didn’t think a digital camera could be quite so fast. Immediate. Magical. A camera, really. (A little on the cheap side, though, are the battery that can’t be charged inside the camera, and the LCD screen that can’t be used as a visor. That one’s really petty.)

Since she also had a 60-300mm lens in the package, I had the opportunity to see first-hand what a tele lens can do for portraits. And… well, I want one.

Fortunately, I don’t do much photography these days, and even less portraits, so there’s no hurry.

Foucault’s Pendulum, by Umberto Eco, page 56. Fuck it, fuck him and all his words and his sentences and his names and his dumping every cultural reference he has and the unbearable 1850s-style translation. That’s no way to tell a story, and you really gotta be terminally snob to want to read that. I have other things to do with my time, and I’m returning to more civilized material.

So I figure it’s not only on Absolutely Fabulous that all the writers forgot how to be funny anymore. What happened? Coke got unfashionable with the end of the century?

26 December

Meh? While I was very busy finding out that MSN allows you to videochat with several people simultaneously, and that a little cute Normandy boy took advantage of that to the extent of being insulting, a folder disappeared from my desktop. Gone, like that, my temporary links to blog discussions I was interested in. No more on the desktop, not in the trash, not accidentally dropped in a neighboring folder. Does Windows just decide to dispose of anything it finds named “temp”?

I don’t quite clearly know why I’m depressed, today.

It happens seldom enough to be blogged.

The not knowing part.

27 December

And why isn’t there any layout anymore and it’s all white, you ask? No, you don’t ask, nobody gives a damn, and it’s so nice to see how much everybody cares.

And why is the ad banner in the middle of the blog, you ask? Because the ad experiment is a failure, so as a punishment I’ll be putting ads all over the place, and maybe even enlarge them, until all paid-for clicks are consumed and we can all pretend that there never were any here. But then, nobody gives a damn either, and it’s so nice to see how much everybody cares.

Not that it’s related in any way, but there are days I want to put a content-less Flash animation back on garoo.net and open a barebones Blogspot just for the people I know. I’m done with the ego trip; I’m done with the writing experiment; I’m not sure I still have any need for an audience.

28 December

Hypercube² [via] : geez, I want one exactly, totally, perfectly like this one.

Hey, but why haven’t I ever decided to convert my portfolio into a blog with categories?

29 December

An iMac for less than $500 ? “This product is not going to be about performance. This is going to be the basics, but with just as much of a focus on software as any Mac could ever be.” If I find an old G3 iBook perfectly usable (except for the perpetually full hard disk), and if this new iMac is powerful enough to play DVDs, what’s the point of buying a traditional iMac for three or four times the price?

I hope the rumor is wrong, anyway: otherwise I’ll have to hesitate even more about which Mac to buy, and wait several months for that one to reach the market.

30 December

I’m a webmaster and a blogger, and googling my name only returns one result — a thanks page in a PDF internship report. Go figure.

Still recently there was at least my Wincustomize profile page, with a link to my site. Not anymore. Maybe I should fix that. Or maybe not: the idea that “Cxxxx Bxxxx” has disappeared off the face of the Internet isn’t quite unpleasant.

P.S. Oh, God. You can get to my site from Google Groups via… work personals I posted in another life. That’s not right, not right at all.

Call to the Unix gurus out there: still looking for a solution to my IM problems, I’d like to try a new option. Wouldn’t there be a way to run a text-mode ICQ client on my Linux server, and telnet (or ssh) to it from all the other machines (simultaneously)? There has to be to hook up to an existing tty, hasn’t there? At least there ought to be.

31 December

The Linux software Raid-1 documentations did include a warning, but I didn’t take the threat seriously: if both of the hard drives are IDE, one crashing can cause data loss on the second. It’s even worse if both drives are on the same channel — and, as it happens (against all logic), both SATA ports on my motherboard are linked to a single channel. More or less. Well, the BIOS configuration options are a mess, but the only way to make the whole thing works seems to be to have them both on the same channel.

Anyway, Linux’s software Raid management is great (replace the drive, boot the computer, and your data starts replicating automatically), but IDE is crap and I lost two folders. This time, those were data I already had on the former Ripley’s hard drive, so I could get them back, but I don’t know what I’ll lose next time — and there will necessarily be a next time, considering my replacement drive is still a Maxtor.

I didn’t bother configuring a Raid-1 array on Linux to have to buy a DAT backup system on top of it, damnit!

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