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Hacking in another language

I recently had the opportunity to do some hacking in the Czech language. It turned out to be very worthwhile even though I couldn't achieve what I wanted.

We had some guests staying with us from the Czech Republic. One, who brought their laptop along, spoke only a little English. Hence we had some fun trying to get their laptop connected to our network and then the Internet.

First, there was the Czech keyboard. Some letters are in different locations. So when you're typing passwords you type the wrong thing without knowing it.


Need a new desk calendar for the new year? Then why not make your own dodecahedron one. Download the template, print it, cut it, fold it, glue it and voila. Happy New Year!

Dodecahedron Calendar

My Amazon Thinks I'm Geek

OK, it's not quite in the same league as My Tivo Thinks I'm Gay, but my latest personalised recommendations from Amazon contained an odd suggestion.

Lord of the Rings

So I finally got around to reading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Which is presumably pretty late in life for a geek. It took me nine weeks to get through the whole thing. Basically three weeks per book; I borrowed it in three parts from the library. On the whole, I was a little underwhelmed.

I found the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, to be quite long and slow. At the end of it I was wondering what all the fuss was about. Heresy, I know :)

Melbourne Planetarium

We visited the Melbourne Planetarium today. It was very cool. They even had Fisher Space Pens (background) in the gift shop, so I bought myself one. Very cool.

The Modern Child

We watched a quiz show on TV tonight. One of the questions asked for the name of a common communications device. Naruto jumped in with "comlink". The correct answer was "telephone".

Patent #3

I received news today that my third patent has been filed with the USPTO. This is all done through my employer, so they own the rights, but my name is on the patent.

My employer recognises the patent system is hopelessly broken, but like most companies invests in patents (I get a bonus) to build up a defensive portfolio. I wonder if (when?) the patent system will collapse under its own weight. Certainly it will be a while (a few years) before my patent is actually processed and awarded (or rejected).

Programmer Types

Hacknot has a wonderful list of programmer types. Have a read and then see if you can recognise any in your workplace.

I've seen Arrogant Arthur, Essential Eric, Incompetent Ian, Quiet Quincy (although I'm not convinced this is a bad one) and X-Files Xavier.

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