Still not over the weekend

Tired now, tried to get an earlier night, but it was just too hot to sleep well, so I am grumpy and trying to cure myself with coffee. Have some new things I want to read up on, namely a web technology called Ajax (which I don’t really understand yet, but basically it does some of the twizzy javascript things in gmail) and Tomcat, which allows Java applets to be run on a server. It is something that is used at work that I don’t understand, but I might have a bash at setting up on my webserver if they let me (which I suspect they might just). If I can, there may be an interesting announcement in a few weeks about something new on the site, won’t spoil it until I get myself motivated to do it.

Long Lazy Weekend

Not much to report, mrsfb’s brother A came to visit us, we took it easy, went out for a meal, played plenty of console games, generally took it easy. Good fun. I found a real console bargain, picked up four old games for £20, Tony Hawks Underground, TOCA Pro Racer, Wave Rider, and the unexpected star of the show, NHL Hitz 2003. Very good sports game, beautifully done. And not bad at all for a fiver 🙂

Google Talk

Well, signed up to it. Very easy to get online with it, and to start using it under Linux, which impressed me greatly. Have it running in GAIM on there. One thing I do like is that if you reply to an e-mail in gmail, it adds the person as a potential contact immediately. I suspect partly with Google Talk that it is something the financial sector in the states had suggested they do, and they have done so in a very cheap and effective manner. Their share price went up 2% in the states within a day. Nice.

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Feel good factor

Well that was a useful evening, watched the third episode of Lost, which is moving at a beautifully slow and brooding pace. Wrote a couple of shortform ideas for a writing project I have on the go at the moment. And set up a new website, well just the start of it. It is somewhere for me to place programming stuff which I have written.

So that feels quite good 🙂

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Waiting for various things to run and work here

So just a quickie. Watched Lost last night, up to episode 2 thus far, hopefully getting to see 3 tonight. There are plot holes, corny acting, yadda yadda yadda. And yet I love it. Something that gets me about a tv show with a proper sense of brooding mystery. It doesn’t quite have the shine of a Twin Peaks, not yet anyways.

Speaking of which, the remastered DVD box sets of that are due out soon, and may have to go on the flotsky shopping list. Can’t wait frankly.

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Nice mellow weekend

Quiet one with mrsfb on Friday night, then Saturday my niece T came to visit. Fun day catching up, then mexican food and lashings of Singstar in the evening. I am better at being Beyonce than all reason would dictate. Lots of good fun.

Today my sister E leaves the country for good, she is moving to a new life in France with her husband. I’m going to miss them a hell of a lot, but I’m happy for them, going off to do something new in their lives.

The Shamanistic Factor to Technical Support

We have built computers, in part, as a reflection of ourselves. They have brains, they have memories, several parts of a computer are our own electronic version of a human. When we make a human, as well as passing on our genetic data to that child, we are also passing on an element of soul, not just through education, but that spiritual attachment to one another. So in creating, building or installing a computer, do we achieve the same in a tiny way? Pass on our “computer genes” in some small way, in what we build, what we choose to purchase, or perhaps more importantly, what we put on there ourselves?

The first thing we do with a new computer is to teach it a language. Either you install it yourself, or someone has for you (consider that adoption in my book 😉 ) Then you decide how you want it to look, put your favourite programs onto it, copy over data you have stored. Having created, you set out to teach it, then nurture it in your own image.

What I am interested in here is does this process imbue the actual machine itself with some sort of soul?

Technical Support is a role I did for about 2 years. Knowledge is all important, as is hands-on use of computers, and lots of it. Yet about a third of the time minimum, I wouldn’t touch a computer. I would talk to the user, stand near their computer. And it worked. What didn’t work before, did now. It wasn’t anything I did myself, except be in the vicinity of the machine. The machines liked me, and would behave for me. Partly because I had set them up myself.

Now I can break this down into lots of sane rational factors. Of course having my presence reassures the user. I would encourage them into thinking through the steps they had taken to arrive at the problem, repeat the process with me. When they thought about it, they themselves could often see the stage they had missed or followed incorrectly. And there are several more straightforwards reasons like this.

The darker more mysterious area is where things don’t work in any rational way. Why do reboots make things better? Well, don’t things look better generally after a little nap? But also I could walk over to a “broken” computer (in user terms, I’m not claiming to be Uri Geller here) and just encourage it to work. I can’t explain it any better I’m afraid.

So if the computers have this little element of soul, did this make me a channeller of souls, a shaman to computers?

Probably not. However, if someone ever asks you why it worked when they did it the same way every time, put your coffee down, lower your voice, and tell them that…

I have a dream…

Last night I dreamt about a word. Keope. I also dreamt about it a week ago. An odd dream, all about searching, both in the literal and spiritual senses. And technological, can’t explain it, but it was all very important.

Anyways, in last nights dream I met a journalist who had written about keope, and hadn’t got to the bottom of it, but encouraged me to keep searching.

So I came into work today, and get onto google. First hit, It is in Italian, but it has an english part. I was very excited now. Looked at the first page, and it becomes apparent that they make floor tiles. Nice ones I’ll grant you, but it is hardly a spiritual awakening…

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