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Diary, September 2006

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Sunday, September 3, 2006

Andy going to the movies

When I went to catch Andy from the weekend care (where he stays once every four weeks), I heard that they went to see the movie K3 En Het IJsprinsesje in a movie theater. This might have been the first time for him going to a movie theater.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Chinese Wooden Puzzle

I took the puzzle, that I wrote about on July 29, to my office, and I have been playing with it in the past weeks. I also started to write down the solutions, and today, I created a page with the solutions I found so far. By the end of the day, it contained 24 solutions. It now takes me about one minute to find an alternative solution. I have been thinking about a program that could find solutions, but so far, I do not have any idea of how to approach the problem.



I created a Hyves profile.

Discovery Channel: Fireworks disaster

This evening, we watched the episode of "Blueprint for disaster" about the firework disaster in Enschede on Discovery Channel. The documentary did not contain much new information, and I also found the presentation some what confusing at certain points. They often used a split screen of an animation with real footage. And some subjects, as to why the fireworks detonated, were not touched upon at all. On the otherhand, a lot of attention was paid to who or what might have started the initial fire. I thought that this series was the conditions that allowed a disaster to happen, and not about crime investigation.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Playing Go

This evening, Annabel, Kelly (a school friend of Annabel) and I, went to the University to attend the weekly Go playing session in the "theatercafe" of the Vrijhof. There were quite a lot of people, including some new. I played a 13x13 game against Martijn, because he wanted to play with Edze. But when Edze arrived, he wanted to play with someone else. I watched Martijn playing against Willem, a new guy, who I already played against in Apeldoorn on Sunday, May 21. Annabel and Kelly only played three games on a 13x13 board, and then ran around.

Friday, September 8, 2006

YouTube: Moonlight sonate

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Data loss

Last Friday, I decided to do something about ester, because Annabel had been compaining that she could not install the lastest version of MSN. It indeed I have had lots of problems with it, due to fact that the primary partition, the C-drive, is only 1 Gbyte big. Next to the C-drive, there are two half Gbyte partitions (drives E and F), a 9 GByte partition (drive G) and a 20 Gbyte partition (drive H). Drive D is assigned to a separate hard drive, a seagate ST51270A that came from annabel.

My idea was to shrink some partitions, after having move the data to the H drive, and then enlarge the primary partition. First I moved the data from the D drive, and only afterwards, I realized that it was of no use, because it was on a different hard disk. Next I moved the data from drives E and F to drive H. I downloaded the Partition Resizer and installed it on drive G. I used it to shrink partitions for drives E and F to 256 Mbyte (the minimum possible) and next, I increased the size of the primary partition (for drive C). Everything went smooth, and Windows 98 SE started without problems.

Next I got the idea to move the partitions for drives E and F to the end of the drive, wrongly assuming that the would still be assigned to the same drive. I first needed to defragment drive H, which took quite a long time. I thought that shrinking the partition for drive H would be only an administrative matter. But I was wrong, when I discovered that the surface checking took much longer than expected. The surface checking went without problems. It was already getting late, and I decided to go to bed.

On Saturday, when I switched on the monitor, I discovered the program had encountered IO-errors on the disk. Then I realized that there were some serious problems. Instead of restarting the partion resized and giving it a second try to finish its job, I started up Windows. Windows was having some serious problems with drive H. It did recover some part of the directories, and I thought it could still access most of the data.

I decided to leave drive H as it was, and to create a single large partition of the other partitions. I copied all the data from drive G to my Freecom mobile drive, which took about one and half hour, mainly because the computer only supports USB 1.0. I use Fdisk to remove all, but the last secondary partitions and Partition Resizer (copied on a floppy) to extend the primary partition. And finally, I copy all the data from the mobile drive to the C drive. Next, I have a look at drive H (which is on drive E), only to discover that at most 2 of the 15 Gbyte data that were on the drive have been recovered. I feel that I have been very stupid. I should have backed up the data from drive H before I made the modifications. This is the worst data loss that I have encountered so far. There is not really any important data on the drive, because I already had moved all important data to lixia, our newest computer. But in a way, I felt quite nervous not knowing which data I had lost. The rest of the day, I spend looking at tools for recovering data from a corrupted drive. I did not discover any free tools.

Today, I spend some time looking at the computer again. I did copy some of the accesible files to the primary drive. Going through all the short-cuts, I concluded that I installed many programs on drive H and that a large part of the data should have been installed programs, including some Myst games. Again, I looked from some freeware recovery tools, but did not find any good ones. This was not a very happy weekend for me.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Special apple

This morning, I got a small apple that grew on a tree in the garden of a colleague of mine. He has two apple trees in his garden. One had about five apples and the other about fifteen. Although that the apple was small, it tasted quite nice. I was happy that he shared it with me.

Curly kail

This evening, Li-Xia had fried some curly kail for dinner. One week ago, they were already selling curly kail at the open air market in the city. Quite remarkable that it is available so early. Maybe it has something to do with the weather.

Data recovery

This evening, I downloaded PC Inspector smart recovery and ran it on drive D of ester (which is mapped to the second hard drive in that computer), to see if I could recover some of the lost data. (In the mean time, I also found some Freeware recovery tools, some of which look interesting.) The program required more than 2 hours to scan the whole hard disk, and finally found 150 images (jpg) files, some of which were broken.

Next I tried "PC Inspector File Recovery". It ran much faster, but took a long time dealing with the bad sectors at the end of the disk. But it did find a lot of files and directories. I also saved all of those. It took a long time, also because the mobile drive is kind of slow. I have to wait till tomorrow for the results.

Maastricht 148

During the time that I had to wait, I looked through the book "Maastricht 148", a book with 148 photos made by Kim Zwarts from around the city of Maastricht. (I bought this book on October 2, 2004. The pictures are taken from locations he marked on a map of Maastricht. I used Google Earth to discover the locations where the pictures were taken from. (Just today, the resolution for most of the Netherlands was improved.)


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Data recovery (Part 2)

This morning, "PC Inspector File Recovery" had recovered 2605 files in 215 directories with a total size of 108 Mbytes. It is clearly that some of the files are junk, and that it is less what I remembered was on the drive. I am afraid that it will take me a long time to analyse all these files and to see what I really want to keep.

This evening, I downloaded Restoration. This program runs rather fast, but it is clearly less advance. It finds a lot of files, but it also seems that there is a lot of junk between them. I also analysed the data on the former H drive. Looking at the files that could be covered, I concluded that it looks like that I did not lose any of the data that I was afraid to have lost.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sharia law in the Netherlands

Yesterday, our Minister of Justice, Mr. Donner, made a statement, that if two thirds of the Dutch population would want to install Sharia law in the Netherlands, that this should be possible. This statement was greated with many responses from all kinds of people. Some understood him to support Sharia law. Today, he explictly that he did not support Sharia law and that he was aware that it was inconsitent with our constitution. Yes, indeed the introduction of Sharia law in the Netherlands would imply the abolishment of the constitution and a total reform of our state. It would even mean the abolishment of the monarchy. There is indeed a rule that states that the constitution can be changed if there is twice a majority of two thirds in both chambers. He said that this was the ultimate consequence of democracy. But is it really true that two thirds of the population is sufficient to abolish democracy and the separation of political powers as we know it?

Playing Go

This evening, Annabel and I went to the university to play Go. When we arrived there was nobody and because we had brought a set with us, we started to play. Soon others arrived, including a boy from a small village, who had come by train. He was in one of his final years of highschool and only had started playing Go about four months ago. He had only played through internet, but it appeared he had already become much stronger than me. I see this more often, people who first learn to play Go through the internet, and then soon become relatively strong. He won from Ton.

After our game was finished, I played against Rob, who is about as strong as Ton. He gave me six stones ahead, and at the end of the game I won with 66 against 61 points. Annabel played against Araldo with nine stones ahead and lost with 24 points. If said that if she would have spend one extra stone to a corner group, she would have won.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Maastricht 148

Yesterday, I continued my investigation on the locations where the pictures in the book Maastricht 148 were taken, which I started last Monday. First I made a 1200 dpi scan of the map in the front of the book. This resulted in a grey schale gif file of about 55 Mbyte. I did smooth the image a bit, to remove the printing raster. With the help of that image, I started to search for more locations. During the afternoon, I also started drawing the border. I looked up the Keyhole Markup Language and created a KML file based on some examples. I also discovered the possibility of a ground overlay and used this to project the map (based on the scan) in Google Earth. It took some experimenting to adjust the border. A perfect match seemed not to be possible. This helped a lot with finding more locations.

Today, I continued my research. I also discovered that the first page in the book (after the title page) contained information on when the pictures were taken. I entered this data in a small program to generate parts of the page about the book. This is the Google Earth folder with the locations found.

Peanut butter sandwich

This afternoon, I fed Andy small pieces from a peanut butter sandwich. He almost finished a whole slice of bread. This is quite an achievement for him, and I was very proud of him. It looks like he is finally starting to chew is food. Several times he started to have a gag reflex, but did not vomit.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dietary supplements

Today, we received a letter from our health insurance company that they are no longer going to compensate for the dietary supplements that Andy needs. I hope that this is just due to an administrative problem, because otherwise we have a serious problem. At the moment he uses Tentrini Energy Multi Fibre, which cost € 73.44 per box of eight 500ml packs. At the moment he uses (at least) 800 ml per day, which is almost 15 Euro per day. The fact that there is a Dutch non-profit organisation for people having problems with applying for compenstation for dietary supplements (called SPVD) shows that we are not the only one having this kind of problem. We have been trying hard in the past years with the help of specialists and the teachers of Andy's school to normalize his eating pattern, but we have made one some progress at doing this.

The whole evening, I worked on a complaint letter based on an example document that I found on the website of SPVD. When I wanted to print it out, I realized that we are still out of ink, so I had to resort to using manual printing, e.g., writing the letter by hand. Luckily, I have a good handwriting, but still it took some considerable amouth of time.

We still have about 14 packs of 500 ml, which means we have sufient food for another week. But next week, we will have to pay for ourselves. It will be refunded if the health insurance company decides to grand the compensation.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dietary supplement (Part 2)

This morning, shortly after eight, I phoned with the secretary of our GP, and she told me that we should bring the letter that we received to them. It looks like they did not send in an application, but that the application was send directly for our drug-store which normally supplies us with the dietary supplement for Andy. But than it is still strange that our insurance company did not contact our GP or send us a letter explaining that we should ask our GP to send an application meeting the proper requirements. For some years our government has been pushing the health insurance companies to become more competative with the idea that that would result in a cost reduction. I am afraid that the quick denial of our insurance company has been one of the consequences of this push.

Li-Xia visited the office of our GP and was told that on Thursday we can collect a letter that we can give to our health insurance company. Next she went to the office of our health insurance company and delivered the letter that I wrote yesterday under the condition that she would get a receipt.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Playing Go

This evening, Annabel and I went to the university to Go. We had brought our own set with us, but when we arrived, there were already five persons waiting for us, including Rudi with three sets. They jokedly remarked that we were late. They were watching at a picture about a sports day for employees. The caption says that the two man in the picture are spending their time in between soccer games. They are playing Go on a small 9x9 board. The funny thing is that no one recognizes these two men and that the position at the board looks quite interesting, as if they know very well what they are doing.

After some more people arrive, I played a game against Willem. I started with black. He won with 74 against 58 points (without Komi). Annabel played against Marcel (who at the same time also played with Taco). She got 9 stones and 50 points ahead, but lost with nine points.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

North pole slowly disappearing

Scientist are shocked by an Artic summer ice anomany. It seems that now almost possible to travel by ship to the North pole, because the usual four meter thick permanent ice sheet as broken up. The cracks are clearly visible on satellite images acquired from 23 to 25 August.

Dietary supplement (Part 3)

This morning, I went to the office of our GP (as agreed on Tuesday) to collect a letter. Instead I was being told that they tried to contact me yesterday to ask my health insurance company which form they needed to fill in. I went back home and Li-Xia and I went to the office of our health insurance. There we talked with Mrs. T. Kelderman, who after we had explained everything, gave us the form to be filled in by our GP. I filled in those parts of the form that I could fill in, wrote a small note, and gave everything to Li-Xia for her to bring it to our GP.

At the end of the day our GP phoned to tell us that he feels that Andy's pediatrician should fill in the form. This means I have to catch another form tomorrow and bring it to the hospital and ask them to let our pediatrician fill it in.


Interestingly shaped head

This morning, I found an image on a website with some African man on it. (The name of the file seems to suggest he is an ambassador, which is strengthned by the fact that there is a flag in the background.) The man has quite an interstingly shaped head. It is not that I want to make fun of him, because to me he seems quite intelligent, its just that I am little facinated by the shape of his head.

New paintings by Billy Foley

This evening, I went into the city and did have a look at Beeld en Aambeeld to look at the latest exhibition of painting by Billy Foley. There where twenty paintings on paper of him. He is using far more colours than in the previous years, still I find the paintings more interesting than I had thought at first. Each painting costs € 1050. My favourites are: "19.11.05 no3", "22.03.05", and "12.10.05 no2".

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dietary supplement (Part 4)

This morning, I went to collect the form that Li-Xia to our GP yesterday. Then we went to the hospital where we arrived around half past eight and went to the pediatric department. We talked with one of the secretaries and gave her the form to be filled in by Andy's pediatrician. Looking in his file, we discovered that on September 7 a request had been sent by him for the continuation of the dietary supplement, describing the reasons why he needed. It looks like the did not receive a reply from our insurance company. It seems that the insurance company has rejected the request, because not one of the required terms was used. The pediatrician gave as a reason that Andy has a poor motor development in his mouth. Apparently, the insurance company is expecting one of the select terms to be used. I think that the expression "serious swallowing disorder" (Dutch: "ernstige slikstoornis") best fits Andy's condition. But yes, to what extend it can be called serious, because he can swallow something. I am afraid that I have been too honest in my letter of last Monday, and that the request will be rejected after all on formal grounds. I did check his weight in his file and discovered that it was 20.1 Kg the last time we where in the doctors office. This means that he did not gain weight, but even dropped half a kilo. He did grow about 1 cm. Luckily, yesteray evening, Li-Xia discovered another box with 8 packs of Tentrini Energy Multi Fibre, and it seems we also still have some cups of Clinutren 1.5. Which means we do not have to buy anything ourselves yet.

I found some document which states that term "serious swallowing disorder" does include mental causes, in case there is a serious chance for malnutrician. (RZA 2002, 1 CVZ 22-11-2001).



Yesterday evening, my boss was one Dutch television in the quiz show Met het mes op tafel ("With the knife on the table"). All candidates get 750 Euro at the start of the quiz and they have to play some kind of poker game with the correct answers to the trivial pursuit like questions being asked. But what makes this quiz show unique is its format and the presentation by Joost Prinsen, a well known Dutch actor, who played in many children programs. It is played inside a bar, with a female bar tender and a piano player, who also join in with some of the musical questions. Joost Prinsen presents the show in a very relaxed manner very unlike most other quiz shows. My boss lost the game with the last question, which was: "What is 840 divided by 7 divided by 3?" The other player very quickly responded with 40. My colleagues decorated the room of my boss with post-it notes with the number 40 on it.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dietary supplement (Part 5)

Today, we received a letter from our insurance company stating that they received my letter (from last Tuesday) and that they will respond to my compaint as soon as possible with at least within six weeks. Li-Xia bought some Brinta and some whole milk, which we are trying to give to Andy tomorrow.


Sunday, September 24, 2006


This morning we made some pap from the Brinta and the milk (which Li-Xia bought yesterday) for Andy. At first he resisted, but he finished about half of it. Later on, he wanted to have some more, and Li-Xia gave him some more.

LISP interpreter in Fortran

Today, I got a question how to implement a LISP interpreter in Fortran. An interesting question. Long ago, I made some attempts to implement a LISP interpreter in Fortran, but I never got very far. Actually, it is not very difficult. Firstly, you need to implement a representation for S-expressions. Secondly, you need to implement the interpreter, which consist of simply hardcoding the interpreter given in the LISP 1.5 Programmer's Manual.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Dietary supplement (Part 6)

This afternoon, Li-Xia went to the office of Andy's pediatrician to get the form, and she brought it to the office of our health insurance company. There she asked for a copy of the form. When I read it this evening, I discovered that our pediatrician used almost the same description as he did in his application of September 7 earlier this month, which immediately gave me the feeling that this application will be rejected again on the same grounds. In the evening, I wrote a letter to him, explaining about this. I also send an email to SPVD (a Dutch non-profit organisation for people having problems with applying for compenstation for dietary supplements) to ask them for advice. Today, Andy again did eat a slice of bread at school and he also finished a plate with Brinta pap. Tomorrow, I am also going to contact Andy's dietician.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dietary supplement (Part 7)

This morning, Andy finished a plate with Brinta pap, just like he did yesterday evening. I contacted the dieticians at the hospital and around noon I was phoned by one of the dieticians and we talked about the situation. I informed her about the actions that I already had taken. She was happy with the improvements that Andy has made so far, but she agrees that Andy will still need some extra liquid formulea, and she will contact Andy's pediatrician and try to convince our health insurance company that Andy does need this. She also told me that the Clinutren 1.5 is much cheaper and more appropriate than the Tentrini Energy Multi Fibre, now that he starts to eat more and more other foods as well, and think that it should be no problem to convince the health insurance company that he needs Clinutren 1.5 (or one of the alternatives).

Around a quarter to two, I was phoned by the pediatrician of Andy to talk about the letter that he wrote. He did not remember exactly which form he had filled in (yes, doctors have to sign many forms every day of many different patients). He affirmed that Andy does have a serious swallowing disorder and that the dietary supplement should be paid for. He explained that what he wrote was to describe that Andy does have a serious swallowing disorder. (I understood this, but was afraid that someone at the insurance company, using a list of terms, would not arrive at the same conclusion.) We concluded it was best to wait until the formal response of the insurance company, and that we would take further action next. (The dietician had not contacted him.) He is willing to do what ever is needed to get the necessary dietary supplements for Andy.

In the afternoon, Li-Xia bought one pack of eight packs for € 73.44 from your drug store.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

PhD defense

This afternoon, I went to the PhD defense of Cornelise Vreman-de Olde, the wife of Bert, and a good friend of us. I was suprised to meet some old friends that I knew when I studied at the university. (Pictures of the event.)

Losing from Martijn

This evening, Annabel and I went to the university to play Go. When we arrived, only Martijn was there and I invited him for a game, which was possible because I had brought a set with me. I started with nine stones ahead, and I lost with seven stones. Afterwards he told me that he tried to let the game end in a break-even, but that he failed, because I made some serious mistakes in one corner, losing too many stones at once. Annabel played against Rudi, while he was playing against Marcel. She got nine stones ahead and lost with many points.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Step up

This evening, Annabel went to see the movie Step Up with seven girls from her class. She saw the movie at Cinestar. She went there by bus, but could drive home with the parents of one of her friends.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dietary supplement (Part 8)

This morning, we received a letter from our insurance company stating that our request for dietary supplements has been granted from a period of one year starting at September 6, 2006 under number 9985624360. It seems to have been an administrative matter after all. I think we should still continue in our efforts to give Andy more and more normal food.


Going into the city

This afternoon, Li-Xia, Annabel, and I went into the city. We first went to Camel for lunch. We sat outside and ordered the usual. After July, also September is going to the hottest in recorded history (about 300 years).

Next we went to bookshop De Slegte, where I (at 14:24:04) bought the student edition of the "van Dale" dictonary, thirteenth edition, copyright of 2004. ISBN 90-6648-029-7. The "van Dale, GROOT WOORDENBOEK DER NEDERLANDSE TAAL" dictionary is considered to be the standard dictionary for the Dutch language. Usually, it sells in three volumes. This one volume "student" edition is printed on thin paper, has XXVI plus 4295 numbered pages, and weighs about 2.5 Kg. At home I found the first printing error on the "first" page, the inside of the cover, in the section explaining the fonetic symbols. In the example (the word "gal") the fonetic character for the long a-sound is used, while the fonetic character for the short a-sound sound have been used.

We also went to photo gallery Objektief and looked at the exhibition "K750i Down To Earth" with pictures taken by Tjabele Heier placed on stones on the floor. K750i refers to the Sony Ericsson mobile phone with a 2 mega-pixel camera with which he has taken the pictures. All the pictures are from objects found on the ground.

Next we went to Beeld en Aambeeld to look at the latest exhibition of painting by Billy Foley. (I already saw the painting at September 21.) Six paintings have been sold so far. My favourite paintings are still available.

A question

Last Wednesday, I received an email from some asking me if he could pose me a question with respect to sociology and systems engineering. I sent him a reply that it was okay, and waited anxiously for the question. Yesterday evening, I emailed him again to ask if something went wrong. This morning, he replied that he needed some more time to state the question.

This months interesting links

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