[ I recently wanted to locate this essay, only to find it in the web archive. I believe that it deserves preservation and maybe a lot more visibility ]

Friday, December 17, 1999; by Luke Tymowski.

A few minutes ago, I learned that I am now (in practice no less) absurdly poor.

I was at my machine, surfing, when I got a phone call castigating me for not paying my phone bill. I was looking for work — a job doing Windows database programming for corporations using Visual Basic, a language in which I had no say in the design. I’ve called it paying the rent and putting food on the table, or living. Living is what we have to do to keep paying bills. It’s a viscious circle, working to pay bills and buy food, working to live, living to work. It’s very cool.

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“Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.”Zawinski‘s Law

I shared something with a good friend of mine at Evernote, which made us observe that this makes the Evernote platform yet another Inbox for us to check for messages daily. We got the observation a little further and one could say that:

Every software as a service platform expands until it can support messaging among its users.

Instant or not so instant does not matter that much. But it seems to me that those who do not, do get replaced by competitors who support it.

[ Note: I’ve submitted this review for Social Network Analysis for Startups on O’Reilly’s site for the book also ]

The book is read very quickly if you decide not to work on the examples. Therefore it is a nice introduction to the subject, especially for people who do not want to go through Sociology or Graph Theory books.

It has very many typographical errors. This is the book from O’Reilly that I have submitted the most typos ever.

My major concern with the book is that although it uses NetworkX for an introduction to Social Network Analysis for Startups, the authors themselves say that NetworkX is not good for say 2000 nodes and above. And yet we are in an era where Startups get considered seriously after acquiring hundreds of thousands of users. And no the final chapter on Big Data does not really help out because it is not in the same pace as the previous ones. For example where would I go to find centralities for a 200K node network since NetworkX does not cut it? This is what the intended audience of the book wants in the final chapter. Or so I feel.

Σε κάθε εκλογική αναμέτρηση εμφανίζεται και ένα κόμμα που ευαγγελίζεται το νέο και το διαφορετικό. Κι όμως όταν προσπαθεί να επικοινωνήσει μαζί μου (και με άλλους δυνητικούς ψηφοφόρους φαντάζομαι) δεν είναι παρά ένας σχηματισμός που επικοινωνόντας δεν διαφέρει σε τίποτε από τους προηγούμενους.

Σχηματισμοί που συμπαθούσα (Φιλελεύθερη Συμμαχία), που δεν συμπαθούσα (ΔηΞαν) ή πολιτικά αδιάφοροι (Κ. Τουρνάς) με σπαμάρανε (η ΔηΞαν συνεχίζει) σα να μην τρέχει τίποτε (προς τιμήν της ΦιΣ βρέθηκαν και δύο άνθρωποι που προσπάθησαν να με βγάλουν από τις λίστες τους, χωρίς ολοκληρωτική επιτυχία). Τώρα είναι η σειρά της «συνομωσίας του καλού» να με σπαμάρει:

Η κυρία Μαριάννα Αντωνιάδου ζητάει την ψήφο μου αποστέλλοντας mail σε διεύθυνση της μορφής postmaster@ (που σημαίνει πως η λίστα δεν έχει περάσει ούτε ένα στοιχειώδες χτένισμα).

Ναι κοιτάω λεπτομέρειες, αλλά αυτές κάνουν την διαφορά εδώ. Δεν είστε κάτι νέο, παλιό είστε και βρήκατε χώρο να εκδηλωθείτε.

– «Μα είναι νόμιμη η αποστολή του mail». Και λοιπόν; Αυτό νομίζετε πως σας κάνει λιγότερο σπάμερ στα μάτια μου ή λιγότερο ενοχλητικούς. Θυμηθείτε την κριτική που δέχτηκε ο θεμελιωτής του «νόμιμου άρα ήθικού».

– «Μα κάπως πρέπει να επικοινωνήσουμε το μήνυμα μας». Θα περίμενε κανείς το κόμμα των innovator και της συνομωσίας του καλού να μην καταφεύγει στις τεχνικές του παλαιού, του κακού και του ξεπερασμένου αλλά να βρει αυτό τον νέο τρόπο που δεν έχει σκεφτεί κανείς.

Bottom line: Για εμένα δεν είστε κάτι νέο, ούτε καν στο περιτύλιγμα. Και αρκούν τέτοιες λεπτομέρειες για να μου το δείξουν. Όπως και παλιότερα για τους άλλους σχηματισμούς.

ΥΓ: Για να μην ξεχνιόμαστε

Φέτος ο Άγιος Βασίλης μου έφερε ανάμεσα στα άλλα ένα dotPad. «Γράφεις με πένα», είπε ο φίλος, «πάρε χαρτί να έχεις». Το χάρηκα πολύ κι ας είναι κατηγορία stuff white people like.

Όμως ο φίλος με την κίνηση του μου θύμισε το πιο συγκινητικό δώρο που ξέρω: Το οποίο ούτε το έδωσα, ούτε το έλαβα. Το δώρο πήγε σε ένα φίλο που μέσω μιας ΜΚΟ δίνει κάποια λεφτά σε ένα παιδάκι στην Βοσνία. Και το παιδάκι αυτό του έστειλε κάποτε μία γκοφρέτα. Θυμάμαι που συζητάγαμε τι κόπο μπορεί να έκρυβε από πίσω της η αγορά της και μόνο.

Η δικιά μας γκοφρέτα είναι που περπατάς φίλε.

/* What follows is a revision of a comment I left on Facebook when a friend asked me whether Livescribe is worth the trouble. My friend is a graphics artist with a world best seller under his belt.*/

– Is it worth it?

I have the Sky WiFi model (2G). Yes and no. WiFi connectivity at home has been problematic and so far I have changed WiFi channels twice and «forgotten» the network once to make it work.

The pen is longer and fatter than what I am used to (hell, I’ve cut my Rotring Art Pen 4cm shorter). But this does not seem to cause any difficulties in handling it because to me the pen seems properly balanced.

If I were you, I would try to have one. I suppose that you make rough sketches and drafts all the time and the ability to have them converted to PDF automatically is handy. Integration with Evernote is something cool and I do not think I would use Evernote if not for the Sky WiFi.

However keep in mind that it needs its own paper (google Anoto pattern) and so far any paper that I have seen is ruled, including paper that you can print on your own. A cool feature of Anoto printed paper is that the pen recognises both the notebook and the page number of the notebook when you see it listed on Evernote. Helpful when you want to track something from the PDF back to the physical.

Ink is also another thing. You have two color choices: black and blue ballpoints of medium size. It is quite possible that refills for the Faber Castell Trio multifunction pen match but I have not checked yet. And I think they are also black and blue only.

It is not what I imagined it to be for me, but I think I will not use a sketch / paint program for drawings that I need to do for presentations and / or documentation for the next year or two.

The fact that you can record audio while you scribe is really cool for presentations. You can also play, pause, stop and even replay from a certain point of your notes and downward.

/* I am posting this right after sharing a sketch with two coworkers who are away from me */

All you zombies


Following a discussion with a colleague, I read «All you zombies» by Heinlein:

I felt a headache coming on, but a headache powder is one thing I do not take. I did once and you all went away.

I cannot really describe it, you have to read it especially if you like sci-fi that deals with time and time-travel paradoxes.

/* Now listening */


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