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Thursday, January 2, 1997
I have decided to read through the bible this year in an historical order
according the schedule distributed
by Warren Doud.
And while doing this, I will
attempt to colour code our wedding bible.
Yesterday, I read the first two chapters of Genesis.
The first thing God said was: "Let there be light", and the first
thing He did to us, was to bless us (verse
Of these two chapters, I found the
last verse the most remarkable, where it says: they felt no
Is shame not one of the most universal emotions, which we experience
almost every day. I do, at least. I think that this statements goes
further than the context in which it was placed, namely that they
were naked. For me it seems to imply that they were completely open
towards each other, with nothing to hide. They were
naive (in the positive sense of this word), not knowing evil.
Wednesday, January 8, 1997
Here is the picture that
I took on October 2, 1996.
Thursday, January 9, 1997
Everywhere I come, people are saying: `O, you are also wearing
a Chicago Bulls cap'.
(It seems there is hype in wearing woolen caps
over here. Must be the result of
the 15th Eleven city tour.) I tell everybody that
it for me more than a year ago.
Friday, January 10, 1997
This morning, I woke up around half past six, because
pushing me out of the bed. I was a little surprised by this, because I
hadn't heared her come. Lately, she often comes to us in the middle
of the night, and then we let her sleep between us.
At first it was me, who was more in favour of having children sleep
with there parents. Now it seems that whenever Annabel starts crying, it
is Li-Xia who goes to get her, while I think
it would be better to let
her sleep in her own bed. I am also better at bringing Annabel to bed,
if she doesn't want to sleep. As was the case yesterday evening.
It took me some time to realize that I could push her a little to the
middle, to make some space. After I had done this, I still could not
fall asleep. Not because I was uncomfortable, but because of all the
thoughts that were running through my head. Trying to solve complex
problems, related to for example the World Wide Web.
What is wrong about the World Wide Web?
That it is text based. HTML is a Hyper Text Mark-up Language.
But what we need, IMHO, is not a shared (and linked) text repository,
but a shared (and linked) data repository. The WWW should not contain
nicely formated text pages, but structured data.
But, I am afraid that we will be stuck with HTML forever, and that
we probably never will get anything better. Yet, everywhere
interfaces to databases are appearing, from looking up
telephone numbers to
What is lacking is a unified way of retrieving these databases.
But such a unified interface could be build, as is proven by the
many meta-search engines, which query other search engines,
and present the combined results. (Of course, then a meta-search
engine is never better than the best search engine it uses, and
not worser than the worsts.)
What is wrong about search engines?
They are one-way. Search engines can only be improved if
they would allow users to perform some ranking, or at least
have a method of informing the search engine that a certain
page is unreachable, indicating that it is wrong, or that
a page has moved. Most search engines are bad at detecting mirrors.
But again, this will only work if the users of the search engine
are willing to help. (I often get the idea that most surfers are
rather lazy. How often do you get emails about broken links in on
of your pages with instructions on how to repair them?)
What is wrong about Netscape?
When Netscape added their email and news reader interfaces to
their browser, they made them into separate components.
I think they should have integrated them. Netscape should
be extended with a build-in editor, such that local pages
can be edited.
Then the next step would be to turn into a integrated tool for
information processing, allowing you to combine incoming emails
and newspostings about the same topic into folders, with the use of a
few mouse clicks.
And even better, such an integrated tool should not work on texts
but in the data represented by the text, and allow you to choose
your own presentation. (I once experimented with a
for converting news threads into hypertext.)
The crows greeted me
Around 7, I got up and took a shower, while the others were still
sleeping. When, just after 8, I steps outside with my bike in
my hand, I was greeted by large flocks of crows flying into the
city over my head.
Thursday, January 16, 1997
Somehow, it always feel special when Li-Xia
and I go to the city
without Annabel, our daughter. Today, we had to bring a visit
to the townhall to complete Li-Xia's request for naturalisation.
She had to demomstrate to be able to speak and understand Dutch.
Although we had worried about this a bit, it all went okay,
and they will send the request with a positive advise to
the Ministry of Justice. It is going to take another 4 to 6
months before we hear the outcome.
Thursday, January 23, 1997
Around two we noticed a short power dip, just long enough to be seen,
but (lucky) too short for the machines to start rebooting. But within
matter of seconds, our systems froze, with messages that the
Network File Servers were unreachable. Everybody was coming out
of their rooms. It became clear, that the adjacent building, where
all our file servers are located (for historical reasons), was having
a power failure.
No, we do not have UPS's for the clear reason that power failures
are so rare in the Netherlands, that the cost for using them do not
compare with the added reliability. I have heared people saying
that adding UPS's only decrease reliability.
When the power came up again (after about an hour), I just could
continue working, after I had refreshed my windows. Many of the
people around me, needed to reboot their system, or their systems
had already gone into a spontanous reboot, and were hanging in the
reboot process. I am one of the
view people still using SunOS 4.0, instead of Solaris. Does this
proof that Solaris is less reliable than SunOS?
William Henry Gates III
Is this the man, who knows the road ahead?
His fans say yes.
Friday, January 24, 1997
There was some small rain this morning, so I decided to put on my
poncho (a waterproof garment resembling a blanket with a slit in the middle
so that it can be slipped over the head and worn as a sleeveless garment,
and having an integral hood).
I always feel a little silly when wearing this poncho which I bought
in Beijing during my honeymoon, and I am having this internal discussion
in which I defend why I wear it.
When I had just gone some two blocks, a person from one of the side
streets came biking just in front of me. Very soon, I felt that it
might be David biking in front of me. I did catch
up, but felt that he was biking just a little to fast to take-over,
so that I could check if it was him or not. It it turned out it was
someone else, I felt I would have had to continue at a higher speed,
otherwise it would have been to obvious that I took over for another
reason then that he was just going too slow. For that reason, I get
on biking just behind me. I became more and more confident it was him,
but it was only after the last turn near the building that recognized
him for sure. When, I told him, I had been biking behind him, and could
not make sure that it was him, he said he would have done the same.
He said he would not have recognized me anyway with my poncho on.
This story is really about being ashamed.
From the start of the week Susan has been making
Earl Grey tea from StMichael brand. Everytime, when I picked up the
smell of it (she uses my water boiler), I felt a yearning after it.
This morning she gave me a bag, and I made a pot of tea from it.
(The English do drink their tea too strong, I would concluded after
I saw how strong it got.)
Dune 7th book
Frank Herbert only wrote six books for his world famous Dune series.
It started of with his book Dune, which became a bestseller.
And after a long time, he wrote a number of sequels. And although
some people felt that these sequels were not nearly as good at the
first book, other people came to the conclusion that his works
became deeper and deeper. The last book, Chapterhouse: Dune,
ended in such away that many people felt
that there should have been
a next book. But Frank Herbert died shortly after the sixth book
About two years ago, I became very interested in figuring out the
story of the third book, based on all the details in the last
two books, and I made extensive notes. But I abandond that project,
as it was taking up too much time. Not so long ago,
contacted me with respect to this. And the funny thing is, that although
at that time, I was not able to give any good answers on what I thought
would be the story line of the seventh book, it seems rather clear
to me now. And so, I decided to write them
Wednesday, January 29, 1997
This morning I found Olin Shivers'
Dissertation Advice. I have been looking at it since, and
trying to come up with a single sentense for my thesis.
The decision whether I can write a thesis as the
outcome of my research in the TransCoop
project hasn't been taken yet. Before the end of
Februari a decision has to be made. I am not good at making decision...
In the past weeks I have been working on a short paper which with
a simple example tries to address the problems I would like to work on
(and which fit in the frame work of our current research). My head is
filled with ideas, but I have a hard time focussing them. Or in other
words, I cannot come-up with this title. At this moment, I strongly
considering to abondon the idea of getting a PhD.
A pregnancy test is a test with which you can test whether a woman
is pregnant. It is typical for our current society that people rather
trust a chemical test, then their own senses. I think that most
woman can feel it when they have become pregnant, even before the
day they should have got their periods.
December 1996 |