## Deathspiral…

It is not often one gets to witness the end of an era, and it’s probably a commentary on both my age and the time I’ve been in the industry that I’ve been witness to several…

Be that as it may, however, it’s been quite some time since I’ve been witness to one as sad as this.

Nokia has been struggling for some years now, trying to fend off the upstarts who initially snapped at its heels and eventually started to overtake it as a company, providing more capable and able handsets with more consolidated product lines and much more modern interfaces.

Part of Nokia’s problem was that they’ve been stuck in a backwards compatible API (mostly by choice) and took too long to recognise the problem and develop an upgrade strategy. They eventually bought “TrollTech” (the company behind KDE’s QT widget set) but, again, took way too long to mature their exit strategy.

Now, in the age-old mind-set of “when you’ve hit rock-bottom you start digging” Nokia has started digging…

On Friday 11 Feb 2011 they’ve announced that Microsoft will become the new provider of Operating Systems (in the form of Windows Phone 7) for all Nokia smartphone handsets. Thus fittingly ending a series of fairly stupid moves with an absolute humdinger and finishing the Finnish era. Or at least start to.

Update:

Can you say “ouch”?:

Yes, yes… It’s all very cryptic and very melodramatic, indeed. I’m sure you’re all really impressed.

Though, spare a thought for those poor buggers reading this via the RSS feed to Facebook, and not on this blog. They’ll be even more in the dark…

But, to return the… <dramatic pause> promise.

Here’s the link to the Widgets I use to display my “Currently Reading” (as well as my “Previously Read” section) as well as the badges I display on the blog:

Do with them what you will…

## Of WordPress, Plug-ins and Widgetey Things…

I’ve finally decided to re-hack my Template/Theme on JADB and get rid of two points of contention (AKA “I need to fix this at some stage”), the “Currently Reading” and “Snippets” “Badges” sections in the sidebar.

I suppose there’s no point in having dynamic sidebars if you don’t do something, erm…, dynamic with it, is there?

I have managed to now stop using “Custom Fields” in posts to populate the “Currently Reading” section (it had the advantage of time-stamping the posts with the primary book I was busy with, but it was also a bit of a schlep to keep up to date) instead just updating the widget directly…

I’ll put them up for download on WordPress’ Website as soon as my Plugin Access had been granted.

## Zapiro for Government Tribunal

The real tribunal that’s needed in South Africa is not one to protect the public from the media, but rather to protect the public (including the media) from the government…

And people like Zapiro seems to be at the forefront of that action. In this cartoon, he asks a very important question, and one I would love to have seen answered…

Wishful thinking, I know…

## Sans-Serif Fonts in Texinfo

Brett Hutley, in a post on TeX, LaTeX and Texinfo mentioned that he likes setting his documents in a Sans-serif font in Texinfo.

This intrigued me, but I could not get it to work at all. Until I actually read the Texinfo log message, of course.

Just in case I ever forget how I did it, here it is:

@c %**start Sans-Serif
@c Sans-Serif does not work too well yet. Drat. Needs some work...
@c @set SANSSERIF

@ifset SANSSERIF
@tex
@sf
@setfont@secrm@sfbshape{11}{@magstep1}@endcsname
@setfont@chaprm@sfbshape{11}{@magstep2}@endcsname
@setfont@titlerm@sfbshape{11}{@magstep3}@endcsname
@setfont@ssecrm@sfbshape{11}{@magstephalf}@endcsname
@end tex
@end ifset
@c %**end Sans-serif Fonts


This is currently commented out, since it breaks all kinds of headings, indexes and other miscellaneous mark-up rather badly, but it is a beginning…

And hopefully this saves someone else a bit of frustration as well…

## Cold Wind Blows

Sun don’t shine ’round here no more,
since my baby walked on out that door.
She broke my heart, make no mistake.
All I did was give.
All she did was take.
But don’t you know,
where she goes,
the cold wind blows.

Well, my baby told so many lies.
I couldn’t see through my blinded eyes.
Took the flowers I gave her
and strangled them with weeds.
But don’t you know,
where she goes,
the cold wind blows.

I ain’t gonna cry no more.
I ain’t gonna cry no more.
I ain’t gonna cry no more,
cry no more.

Sun don’t shine ’round here no more,
since my baby walked on out that door.
She broke my heart, make no mistake.
All I did was give.
And all she did was take.
But don’t you know,
where she goes,
the cold wind blows.
The cold wind blows.

I ain’t gonna cry no more.
I ain’t gonna cry no more.
I ain’t gonna cry no more.
I ain’t gonna cry no more.
Ain’t gonna cry no more,
cry no more.
Gonna cry no more.
Ain’t gonna cry no more.

Yep… ‘Tis o’le Gary from Dark Days in Paradise again…

What makes this interesting enough to post, though, is not merely because the sentiment expressed is indubitably true, but because it seems to hold true for a much shorter period than one would have though during the “Dark Days”…

I can still vividly recall the sentiment from the last couple of months — still remember the raw emotion — but the memory is becoming ever more distant.

Without even realising that it had happened, one stops “crying” and one start realising that the sun had never really stopped shining — that the gloom had lifted sometime while one was not really paying attention — and that it is now fast becoming a truly beautiful day!

## Cansa Shavathon 2008 – The orange version

Saturday became take 2 of the Cansa Shavathon 2008, and I decided to go orange for that one.

To be honest, I think I much prefer the green version…

## Cansa Shavathon 2008

Yes, yes… I’m very well aware that the real Cansa Shavathon Day for 2008 is only on the 16th… My company had decided, though, that today would be an opportune day for that.

I’ll post some more photos of the other poor victims when I get them, but some of me for the time being.

Of course, since I don’t have much that can be shaved off, I decided to go green…

I think green kinda suits me… Maybe I should stick with it? :-)

## Catch-and-Release…

He had been quite happy in the aquarium, for quite a while. That was before, of course. But there was a time he’d been quite happy indeed.

He could remember a time before the aquarium, swimming free. It hadn’t always been fun, not always comfortable, but he could remember the feeling of swimming wherever he had wanted to. But but that was another life; before he had been caught.

He could remember what it had been like when he had first been put into the aquarium; remember how she would come and coo at him, looking so joyous at having him there. He now wasn’t sure but it could have been the novelty of him being there, but, still, he was quite convinced that she’d really been happy to have him in her life, in her aquarium, there in the beginning.

But that had been before: before she’d sometimes forget to clean the tank, occasionally not feed him, not clean the filter. Of course he’d forgiven her that; she’d been so loving in the beginning; surely it was all just an accident…

But then it happened; he saw a brochure for a marine aquarium! But he couldn’t live in one of those! And there was certainly no chance of another aquarium fitting into the room! Maybe, he thought wistfully, she was just looking. Maybe she was just curious…

Then the day came; he heard her say that she was going to release him… At least she wasn’t just going to flush him down the toilet; she claimed to still care for him too much!

Well that was all in the past, he thought, it was all behind him. Right now he is in mid air; he wasn’t back in the water yet but he was out of her hands. He doesn’t know what is waiting for him beneath the calm-looking surface, but he had no choice but to go find out.

Maybe it would be an adventure, maybe happiness awaits, maybe death, he doesn’t know.

But he does know that the next one will have to work a hell of a lot harder to catch him…

## Justice

It took long enough, very nearly two years in fact, but finally the guilty have been brought to book.

Now I am a cynic and frequently expect the very worst from humankind. A stance far too often reinforced by the actions huimanity as well. But some days, quite seldom unfortunately, a faint glimmer of hope appears for the species.

Don’t worry, it won’t last… Mankind will do something for me to lose faith in them before the day is over. But for now, for a brief moment…