Jan Joris


I don't get to write here too often anymore. It's not that I don't want to, just that my job doesn't let me me see the light of day, often quite literally. Over nine weeks, I've only been home one, spending the rest of it in France (two visits), Germany (three visits), Italy, Switzerland, USA (two visits), and Canada.

On the bright side: I've built up impressive mileage with both KLM and US Airways, and, admittedly, the Memorial Day weekend in San Francisco wasn't too bad either.

UPDATE (in Dutch):
Ze hebben de foto van jou in San Francisco hier in kleur midden op de afdeling gehangen en het is een soort "Mekka" geworden. Ik zie de hele dag al collega's langslopen die van "Oh" en "Ah" gaan en toch maar roepen dat zij ook zo'n baan willen. Ze zijn overduidelijk het bordje "nooit meer thuis" vergeten er naast te hangen, maar hilarisch is het wel.
Jan Joris

Jamón :-)

Last spring, we adopted a pregnant cat. That turned out very gratifying indeed, but also quite demanding, as we spent countless hours caring for mother and kittens. I'd want to do it all over again tomorrow, but in all honesty, we simply don't have the time, nor the energy.

And we don't have to: this year, Tieleke found a pregant sow, named Dolly. She was conveniently located at the children's farm across the park, and the adoption was merely a financial transaction, not requiring any loss of sleep or vet visits. We adopted her on Friday, and on Sunday evening she farrowed ten lovely piglets.

I'd like to think of 2005 as the year we successfully outsourced our spring adoption process, but then again, my job could be having a bad influence on me.
Jan Joris

Cat? Dog?

Lately, Tijgertje seems to be going to the dogs. In order to discourage him, I flushed while he was drinking, but that just adds to his enthousiasm ("Oh! More fresh water! Neat!!!").

What gives...?
Jan Joris

Reviving the dead.

Since starting my new job, I'm heavily into vmware, mainly to see if we can use it to lock away our own employees in a secure environment. And also, of course, to have unadulterated fun with OS dinosaurs :-)

This weekend, I figured I'd install Windows 98, to try and revive some old friends that didn't make it during the Windows XP migration. First, I dug up my original, legal, carefully kept, Win 98 CD-ROM, which I paid for twice (my bad, other story). Then, I installed happily until the "Enter your registration key" screen. Oops: where did I stick that? In one of the scores of boxes in our garage I figure. Damn :-(

Enter our friend Google: in 0.16 seconds it retrieved a working key. Duh!

Tell me: why does the industry put a 0.16 second delay between a twice-paying, law-abiding, key-losing, obvious idiot and his installed software, while all the unscrupulous smart guys get their install CDs with registration key already printed on the lousily hacked together label?
Jan Joris

Stel... (dutch)

Nee! Het bestaat echt!


En dan potverju geen mail accepteren op postmaster@steldatikhetloodjelegreddenmijnnabestaandenhetfinancieeldanwel.nl.

Daar ga me eens flink over beklagen bij de eigenaar! Is er dan niets meer heilig?


En nog geen drie uur nadat ik dit schreef, verdween de website... In DNS is www.steldatikhetloodjelegreddenmijnnabestaandenhetfinancieeldanwel.nl nog steeds een CNAME voor www.interpolis.nl, maar op die site is blijkbaar de virtual host de nek omgedraaid. Duh.
Jan Joris

Oeps! (dutch)

Naar aanleiding van mijn vuige insinuatie:
We suppose he has had some bad experiences with people in the past. Is it unfair of me to hypothesize that my ten year old nephew has played a part in this? I know for sure that I wasn't such a careful cat handler at that age.
schrijft mijn schoonzusje:
Nu ik het even doorgelezen heb moet ik natuurlijk wel even kwijt dat jullie neef altijd (echt waar!) lief is geweest voor Tijgertje. Daar kan het niet aan hebben gelegen.Volgens mij was het eenzaamheid. Overigens was hij naar ons idee al direct na aankomst als kind neurotisch.
Waarvan akte!
Jan Joris


One of the things I'd really like to do, is to get me one of those fancy schmancy WiFi-enabled webcams, and point it at the cat door. That way, I'd always be able to check on my darlings, even from halfway around the globe (yes, I know I'm nuts, thank you).

I'm halfway there: the webcast is working, the camera is still out of budget. Have a look at the mock-up anyway!

Note: sacrifice of first-born on Redmond altar compulsory. Webcast is glued together with spit and silly putty, and might fall apart any moment. Currently supports 5 simultaneous 273 kb/s streams during carefully selected phases of the moon.


I took the webcast offline, mainly because it required yet another PC to remain on permanently. If I find a Linux encoder, I might run it permanently on one of the servers that's on 24/7 duty anyway.

By the way: in the one week that it ran, the webcast generated around 200 hits!
Jan Joris

Work at Google?

Today, I did a perfectly innocent Google search on Radia Perlman, and to my bewilderment, under Sponsored Links, it came up with "Google is hiring expert computer scientists and software developers!".


Yes, I do want to work at Google, very much so indeed. It's just that I've deemed it unpractical long, long ago. Still, kudos for finding me.

Are you fellow nerds also being found by Google? Or do you at least sometimes get the eerie feeling that "Google is reading your thoughts"? I know I do.
Jan Joris

Hyundai Python sketch.

Our car broke down this weekend. It's such a thoughtful car: it goes out of warranty this tuesday, so I still had all of today to take it to the dealer.

Me: My car is flashing red lights on the dash. Is that serious?
Dealer: That means expensive stuff broke. We can fix it for you tomorrow.
Me: That's fine. Today is the last day of warranty, so the repair will be free, right?
Dealer: Sorry, can't do that, it'll be out of warranty tomorrow.
Me: Ah, I see. Well, better fix it today then.
Dealer: Sorry, can't do that, we're all booked for today.
Me: Are you saying that my three year warranty just shrunk by 24 hours?
Dealer: Certainly not. If you'd have called us on Friday, we'd have fixed it today.
Me: But it only broke down on Sunday!
Dealer: Very sorry. We feel for you. Better luck next car. Bye now.
Me: *** BLANK STARE ***
Dealer: Bye now.
Me: I'd really appreciate if you'd fix it today. Really, really, really A-P-P-R-E-C-I-A-T-E that.
Dealer: Well. We could have a quick look I suppose. No promises, though.

Five car repair men materialized out of thin air, went onto a wild dismantling binge, and took out approximately 700 parts in just under 45 minutes. The eldest reappeared...

Repair man: The #678 thingy was stuck between the #677 and #679 thingies!
Me: Ah. What do you recommend...?
Repair man: We'll have to bloody unstick it!
Me: Much obliged, thank you.

And off he went, unsticking. Another 45 minutes later, my car reappeared under their hands.

Me: That's very kind, thanks for helping me out on such short notice! Is there a charge?
Dealer: Have to check. No, it's still in warranty, the repair is free. Is there anything else we can do for you?