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

1 August 2005

Further Tales of the City 1 & 2

More and more boring. Either the novels have to be amazingly well written, or they were just in the right place at the right time.

In fact, with the non/life I live, if the Western World’s values weren’t so screwed, they’d consider me to be valiantly treading the path to becoming a Wise Elder — and what a noble endeavor that is.

Qui connaît un […] à l’adresse […] ? Il a envie que je lui casse la gueule, mais je ne peux pas sans savoir qui c’est. (Maintenant je sais que j’avais une bonne raison de commenter les séries dans le minilog au lieu du blog.)

P.S. Ah ben non, je sais qui c’est.

«  Si je vous zappe, c’est peut-être que je vous ai zappé, ou peut-être que vous avez utilisé un mot interdit sur dialh, c’est la loterie 50/50. » Au moins ils ont eu l’honnêteté de valider ma nouvelle CV… ce qui veut peut-être dire qu’elle n’est pas très claire.

2 August

I received an email yesterday from a communication agency (well written, well personalized, no problem at all with the contents) offering me to be among the select few blogs to publish viral marketing videos, starting with a shoe brand (since the message was nice and polite, I might as well protect their identity). Oddly, they totally ignore the hint in my reply: “true, if I announced that […] offered me shoes so I blogged about them, it’s certainly generate some buzz.” Yet I refrained from being too subtle, didn’t I?

I guess they got the target wrong (well, actually, that’s for sure — who’d respond to a sneaker ad on garoo.net?), because I’m a little bit past being so flattered to be contacted, or so happy to be the first to publish a new video, that I’d be giving them advertising space for free. This is not a Skyblog.

What would it have cost them? Thirty euros? And I just happen to need a new pair of shoes, my Reeboks died two weeks ago.

Meep.

A scroll ball? Splendid.

Buttons on the sides? Uh, sure, but they’re just where you had to squeeze the old mouse in order to lift it while clicking, so it’s going to be a bit confusing. (Or maybe they’re even still needed for that, and only moonlight as buttons, I’m not quite sure from the page.)

An invisible right button? How dumb is that? You spend twenty years getting non-geeks used to single-button mice, and when you finally add another you make it invisible, so that your users will be puzzled by the 50% chance of a contextual menu appearing?!

Argh, and I was gonna buy a Wacom tablet when I came back from vacation… am I really going to spend fifty more euros for a mouse? Argh, argh, argh.

And why do I need both? Because I use the pen with my left hand, and the mouse with my right hand, so Wacom’s included mouse and its scrollwheel are useless for me.

Let’s say I’ll first buy the tablet, and then wait for a month to see if I still need the mouse. Plus, it also gives me time to read what the first users think of it. Because, technically, there are several ways for that concept to fuck up (not only at the left click / right click leve, but also the scrollball getting clogged like an old mouse).

P.S. Apple Matters: “Mighty Mouse can be used as a single- or multi-button mouse depending on the user’s preference.” But I don’t think they intend it to replace the default mouse for a while anyway.

P.S. And on the ‘Design’ page [via]: “A tiny speaker inside Mighty Mouse produces button-clicking and Scroll Ball-rolling sound effects.” What. The. Fuck. Plus, if that does mean that buttons arent mechanical at all, how do you rest your hand upon the mouse without clicking? (With a speaker and a tactile zone, don’t be surprised it doesn’t come in a wireless version.)

P.S. I hope I’ll be able to see and touch one in Bordeaux, but if there’s really no mechanical button, as seems to be the case, I doubt I’ll want to buy it (even though I like the idea of using the side buttons for an all-mouse access to Exposé). They should just had copied the Microsoft Starck mouse, replacing the scrollwheel with a trackpoint.

P.S. I don’t get it — on the Quicktime VR it totally seems to be articulated just like the current mouse. But then why did they need to put a speaker inside to produce “button-clicking sound effects”?

P.S. Even if clicking is mechanical and the tactical zone only determines which finger is touching the mouse, it still implies you’d only touch the mouse on one side when you’re clicking. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve always got two fingers on my mouse — one on each side — so I definitely can’t see how their system would determine which side I’m pressing (since the sensors clearly don’t quantify pression, they only detect contact). No, really, that can’t be ergonomic.

P.S. AppleInsider: clicking is indeed mechanical just like the classic mouse, and sensors determine whether you clicked left, right or center (the scrollball doesn’t push into the mouse either) and, since they only detect contact, the main button has priority and you have to lift your index off the mouse for a right click to register. Sucks. I’m sure it’s a habit one can very well learn, but it’s just dumb to have to get used to that (and also pay for $50 worth of wireful technology) just because Steve Jobs doesn’t want a split mouse body. I’ll be just fine with the Wacom tablet and MaxiMice. Pfft.

Flickr Interestingness [via], the most commented / linked / favorited pictures. Finally!

Only it’s missing a feed…

Annals: “Either the parents of my childhood really were as grown-up as they seemed, or they just faked it better.

Vista and More: “Vista will include a very lightweight background agent that records all kinds of real-world performance data — start up and shut down time, how long it takes for windows to open or resize, how long it takes applications to launch, things like that. If it detects a marked decrease in performance, it can look at the software that has been recently added to the system to help you zero in on the apps (or spyware/viruses) that are costing you performance.

MaxiMice [via] [via]: emulate a scrollwheel (or -ball) by pressing Alt, or moving the cursor toward the window edges. Works surprisingly well — who needs buttons on their mice anyway?

P.S. No, in fact, it only works with Safari, and messes up NetNewsWire.

3 August

Finalement, ça sera Rennes–Bordeaux via Nantes. Pas de TGV, donc moins de problèmes pour caser les bagages et une économie de 35 €. Ca m’arrange, je n’aimais pas l’idée que Paris soit une correspondance — je préfère ne pas y aller du tout que d’y passer une demi-heure.

« Votre récapitulatif de votre commande (sic) par SMS. Plus la peine de noter la référence du dossier pour retirer les billets en gare. Envoyez par SMS [la référence de votre dossier] au numéro 63635 (0,35? + le prix d’un SMS) pour recevoir le récapitulatif de votre commande. »

Ah, que leur système de commande par internet est bien fichu, vraiment conçu pour servir l’utilisateur au mieux. Pourquoi vous embêter à la noter sur un bout de papier (voire, l’enregistrer d’une façon ou d’une autre dans votre téléphone, si vous êtes devenu allergique à l’encre) alors que vous pouvez envoyer la référence de votre commande à un numéro surtaxé pour qu’il vous réponde la référence de votre commande ?

« Vous n’avez pas déjà payé, hein ? Vous avez bien fait, il ne faut jamais payer les billets d’avance. »

C’est le gentil monsieur de la gare qui le dit (une chance qu’il ait encore été à son guichet — c’était à un quart d’heure près — vu qu’il n’y a pas de distributeur automatique à Smallville ; je ne savais pas qu’il pouvait y avoir en 2005 des gares sans distributeur automatique). Je ne sais pas quels étaient ses arguments dans le détail (si ça se trouve, il a juste peur de donner son numéro de carte bleue sur le internet), on n’a pas débattu vu que j’étais d’accord avec lui sur le fond — j’ai pris la voiture pour aller chercher les billets cinq minutes après les avoir réservés sur le web parce que, d’un côté, réserver sur internet est plus pratique que de discuter avec le gentil guichetier (qui est rarement gentil, je ne pouvais pas prévoir) pour avoir le bon billet et que, de l’autre côté, je n’ai pas particulièrement confiance dans la SNCF, donc je préfère donner ma carte bleue au même moment que je reçois les billets.

Le même monsieur avait d’ailleurs l’air tout surpris que j’aie noté la référence de ma commande sur un bout de papier. Il doit voir en voir passer, des cons gens, à son guichet.

Mine de rien, cent euros l’aller-retour plus quarante euros de bagages (oui, d’accord, j’aurais sûrement pu économiser un peu plus dessus — et encore, pas sûr, c’est du Distri-center, quand même), il n’y a pas si longtemps c’était mon budget mensuel. Et ça n’inclut ni hébergement (gratuit) ni les frais sur place (c’est les vacances, je sens que je vais avoir la flemme de cuisiner). Pas étonnant que je ne sois pas parti en vacances depuis longtemps.

Two days ago, coming back from groceries, I wondered why skin was torn out on my knuckles. I remembered today, plugging my external drive back: the iMac’s frame is really treacherous.

4 August

Queer as Folk 3.14

Whatever. And there’s two seasons left of that crap.

Multiple backgrounds from the future in today’s Safari. Coming soon on garoo.net (and every other macblogger’s site), no doubt.

TUAW: “The Mighty Mouse has only been out for a day and already it has gotten drunk and made a ‘questionable’ life choice, but it is an inanimate object and it can do with its scrollball what it wishes.

IBM ScrollPoint Pro: Well, it does exist. And it’s purple.

With both PCs and the air conditioning turned off, it’s weird finally hearing the Mac’s fan.

Chatalog [via] lets you store your iChat logs with your mail, where you’re organized and everything’s Spotlighted.

The concept is very interesting; I can’t talk about implementation because I don’t use iChat. But if it’s only converting logs into HTML e-mails and SMPTing them to your account, maybe it’s a bit expensive for what it does.

The idea of leaving my room for three weeks weirds me out. I guess it hasn’t happened in… uh… since the field trips in England, and that was… well, ten years ago. Phew.

And it could be worse — I’m going with a laptop.

Here I am in Bordeaux. Now that it’s done, I can finally thank Matt for lending me his apartment while he’s busy doing things for the world more important than what I’ll ever do for a neighborhood. (I was that close to be stuck having to go to a hotel, though, because I had a false address. Well, actually, his name is on the building’s speakerphone, so if I had had nobody to phone I’d have reviewed all the doors in the street and finally found it — thanks hence to Fabrice and Pierre for sparing me the effort of trying my keys on every door on the street with eleventy kilos of luggage on my shoulders).

There’s a three-and-a-half-page blog post in my notepad, that I wrote along that horrendous train trip that led me — but inj a totally excusable way, you’d understand if you’d been there — to brutally and painfully murder a sixteen-year-old girl who was telling me of her July vacation. ut I can’t be bothered to type it, so I’ll probably never publish it (I could scan it once I’m back in Smallville, but you couldn’t ever manage to read it — which could make a fun contest, actually).

5 August

Sloooooow. I’ll have to resist for three weeks the urge to run and buy an iBook at the mall. Particularly now that I’ve got enough money on my account.

6 August

As expected, no Mighty Mouse at the Fnac (or even any mouse or keyboard at all), but a first contact with the PowerBook 17” widescreen. Rowr. And the two-finger scrolling, magical.

It’s so weird living right in the center of a real city, a two-minute walk away from the shopping district, five-minute from gay bars, ten-minute from a store open until 10pm, ten-minute from a cruising park open all night…

If I’m not careful, I might get used to it. And I know that was Matt’s machiavellian plan from the start.

Lost 1.19–1.22

What’s more corny, more cliché than a death and a birth in the same episode?

(Farewell, Boone’s sexy arms. But sexy arms coming out of wifebeaters are actually commonplace in Bordeaux.)

7 August

One day Steve Jobs was driving in his black Porsche with his finance executive, Susan Barnes. […] She was in her late twenties, smart and even-tempered and quietly self-confident, which were all advantages in dealing with such a fierce-willed, emotional boss.

Alan Deutschman, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs.

Heh, reminds me of someone(s).

His personality thrived on scarcity and adversity but struggled with abundance and ease. Obsessive perfectionists are in constant need of severe constraints and hard deadlines. They need strict budgets. They need limits that force them to choose, commit, and move on. Otherwise they can be paralyzed by their powers of self-criticism or, alternately, overwhelmed by the excess of promising ideas that they can envision.

Alan Deutschman, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs.

Those Ryan Philippe pictures must have been linked everywhere already, but I can’t not.

8 August

A walk by the river at 6:30pm, big dripping armpit sweat marks, finally realizing I’m down South (for me it doesn’t register as South if there isn’t a beach). I should have bought more wifebeaters, but didn’t think I’d dare wear them.

9 August

I think I’ve gotten a sunburn on the lips.

By popular demand of one person (or I think so — can’t find that comment back) here’s my travel blog: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5 and page 6 (all in French).

I’ve sacrificed many megabytes of hard drive space to the drivers for Matt’s printer / scanner, so you’d better take the trouble to appreciate it (and decipher it, for starters).

11 August

Le fan de Natasha St-Pier qui doit habiter à l’étage en-dessous a intérêt à être pédé et mignon, au moins.

Quant à celui qui essaie d’apprendre à jouer de la guitare…

Maintenant que mon pansement spécial anti-ampoules “technologie avancée” a fusionné avec ma peau, je suis censé en faire quoi ? Si je l’arrache, l’orteil va venir avec.

Oups. Ca ne doit pas se faire, de lancer une lessive à 21h30 dans un immeuble, surtout aussi mal insonorisé.

Mais il y a un brouhaha impossible toute la journée, tous les locataires semblent être des jeunes, je ne peux pas croire qu’ils dorment à cette heure. Le silence total qui règne à partir de 21h signifie forcément qu’ils sont sortis. Tous, sans exception. Hum. Les gens sont bizarres, dans le sud.

Au fait, pourquoi personne ne semble regarder la télé ? Je ne l’ai regardée qu’une fois depuis mon arrivée, mais moi c’est parce que je suis en vacances et que j’essaie de me couper de mes habitudes habituelles.

13 August

Lost 1.23–1.24

Pffrtt. (Except for Delenn.)

15 August

Le linge ressort de la machine comme amidonné, qu’est-ce que ça veut dire ? Il faut mettre du Calgon ?

Starship Table. The horror, oh, the horror.

16 August

17 August

20 August

Lost 1.25–1.26

They dared go through with the red shirt routine — but considering what we’ve been through I don’t know why I’m surprised. As for the rest… whatever (at least we’re rid of it for a year).

Are you on the same island as I am?

21 August

Heidi believes that Steve’s view of the world has a clear hierarchy. Steve himself is at the top. Then there’s Larry Ellison, who’s almost like Steve […] Then there’s a thin layer of reasonably smart people […] Then, at the bottom, there are great masses of bozos, who make up the vast majority of the population.

The irony about Steve Jobs is that he strives obsessively to make products for the masses but he is often mean-spirited when one of the little people dares to engage him in a conversation about his work or his products.

Alan Deutschman, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs.

22 August

Another of our teenage fantasies soiled. Those people just can’t show any respect.

Alan Deutschman, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs

The book, not very pleasant to read, full of digressions and repetitions, focuses on Steve Jobs’s dark times, from being fired by the Apple board to coming back triumphant — and, despite its flaws, it’s a must-read if you’re interested in any of its topics (either Apple, NeXT, Pixar or star CEOs).

The contents are worrysome: Steve Jobs isn’t only described as a psychotic tyrant (which everyone already knows he is) but also this close to imcompetent, as a CEO as well as a visionary. The Macintosh? Not his project, he didn’t really believed in it but took it over because that’s all the board would let him toy with (that part isn’t in the book, I read it somewhere else). NeXTstep? All he was interested in, according to the author, was the sleek black machine, and he never quite realized that its real strength was the OS. (And I have some trouble fully believing that one.) Pixar? In that case, too, he only wanted to sell machines, and it’s only a miracle that he didn’t fire the five-person kernel, led by John Lasseter, before it met the success we know.

His only quality would be his charisma: being able to attract, manipulate, consume (and throw away) the most talented individuals in every domain, and then knowing how best to sell what they made — except when his ego takes precedence over reason, which happens all too often. Scary. And it’s hard having faith in Apple’s future after such a read.

Here’s to hoping the author was very biased against Jobs — but looking at the evolution of the iMac or iPod lines would rather validate his theories (and I was only recently wondering why Apple had stopped making cute, fun designs like my old clamshell… not zen enough, this style dates back to before his return). One thing’s for sure: if the depiction is accurate, then Jobs will go to the greatest lengths to prevent OS X from ever running on anything but a white (or aluminium) monolith with an half-eaten apple on it.

 

He seemed locked into a cycle of stunning success leading to egotistical excess and hubris which set him up for failure followed by denial, humility, and then the insight that would return him to success once again.

24 August

Google Talk’s Windows interface looks nice, I’ll have to try it. And I can’t test it out in iChat either, my clamshell has Panther, with the non-Jabber version.

Sure thing is, Gmail beta invites are going to be all the rage again. Between Google, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo and small brand-less Jabber servers, who’d you rather trust your messages to?

But, on the screenshots, where are the ads?

P.S. Download Squad:

Google also tells us that they don’t yet have solid plans on making money with the service, but plan on using it to drive users to Gmail.

Just when I was about to complain that the Windows client’s “Email” button seems hard-wired to Gmail, which is inconvenient for that category of geeks who like to use Google products but still want to keep their own e-mail address.

Well, there’s still a Jabber TLS server sporting the capacity and reliability the world expects from Google — and I read that even the VoIP part works with iChat (not that I have any need for that, though).

P.S. You can’t send messages to offline contacts, you’re redirected to Gmail instead. Sucks. That’s a definite deal breaker for me.

25 August

I don’t know whether SMS was created by autists or zen monks, but it’s terribly difficult to make something as simple, and impossible to shorten further, as “I’m fine, thanks, I hope you are too, and you’ll keep as good a memory of this moment as I did, and won’t resent me for it being only one night. Big kisses.” fit into 160 characters (especially as French is longer than English). I spent hours on this message.

Together For Eternity! There should be a way to get some people’s wealths confiscated.

Merde alors, il n’y a qu’à Paris que les gros cinémas passent les films en VO ? La province, c’est l’autre pays du DVD ?

26 August

Je devrais rentrer en début de semaine prochaine — arg, Smallville ! Si jamais quelqu’un voulait me proposer une escale à Paris, ce serait le moment.

27 August

You can only fully understand the value of Exposé the day you bind it to a mouse buttons. (This is not a Mighty Mouse endorsement; I took my PC’s Microsoft trackball with me on vacation.)

29 August

Vous pouvez arrêter de faire les morts, hein, je sais que jamais personne ne me prêterait son canapé pour trois jours, ne vous en faites pas.

After three weeks on the old (and late) clamshell, I’m almost feeling agoraphobic in front of the 1024x768 pixels on Matt’s laptop.

30 August

Eric Guého en tête d’affiche de la reprise parisienne de Torch Song Trilogy… J’ai beau imaginer facilement comment on a pu penser à lui, l’idée me donne des frissons (et pas dans le bon sens).

31 August

I miss Quicksilver so much I almost wanna go back home — how can billions of people live without it?

Collary: is Apple France going to implement the “Test-drive a Mac mini for a month” promotion?

SyncToy v1.0 for Windows XP [via]: that could be everything iSync isn’t (i.e., a simple, straightforward solution to synchronize two directly connected computers) but, coming from Microsoft as a PowerToy, I doubt it.

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