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Diary, August 1999

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Friday, August 6, 1999

The door of our shed (Cont'd)

Lately, I had noticed that the paint on the door of our "schuur" showed some cracks. Today, I decided to repair it again. I removed some of the paint, put some lute in all the seams, and sandpapered it. Then I painted it four times. I had laid the door flat on a table, and because it was a rather hot day, the painted dried up very nicely. Again, I very much enjoyed doing this. For the first time this summer, I felt very relaxed, almost coming to terms with myself.

Then, at the end of the day I discovered that there was some paint on my shorts, which would not come off. This made me very upset, as these shorts are my favourite shorts to wear at home.

(In and around the house)

Monday, August 9, 1999

Shopping in Utrecht

The "Oudegracht" in Utrecht is a canal, but it is very different from the canals typically found in Amsterdam. On both sides of the canal there is a road with many old store houses. What makes it different, is that there are embankments on both sides along the canal. The cellars of most store houses extend under the roads, and have doors immediately leading to the embankments.

At number 121 there is a 'De Slegte' bookshop in one of these store houses. Literally, the whole building from the cellar to the attic is filled with books. Directly, at the entrance there is a winding chair going down to the cellar, where you can find the the computer science books under the part of the cellar that extents under the road. At the back of the cellar there is another stair leading to the ground floor. Right above this stair there is a stair leading from the ground floor to a room on the "one and half" floor. From this there is a passage to another room, more to the front of the building, which has a balcony along two sides. by means of two small stairs you go to the second floor, which extends to the front of the building, mostly containing second hand books. From the second floor there is another, rather narrow, winding stair leading to the third floor. Halfway this winding stair you can get to the balcony mentioned above. From the third floor there is a stair leading to the attic. Whenever you come to Utrecht, you should visit this extraordinary bookshop.

Today, LiXia and I visited Utrecht, and of course I went to the bookshop. To my surprise I noticed that they were selling `Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language' for about 12 dollar. That's almost one third of the original price. I would almost conclude that this book by Hofstadter does not match with GEB.

(Random memory. next visit.)


Tonight they showed the movie Shadowlands a dramatization of the love story between C.S. Lewis and J. Gresham on TV. I already had seen this movie before in a movie theatre. I also bought the sound-track and listed to it many times. It was funny to recognize where they used which part of the soundtrack. I missed the opening scene, which is definitely very beautiful. I enjoyed the move as much as I did the first time, which I regard as a sign of quality.

But at the end, I felt that the characters were played a little too perfect. Of course, a movie does not leave room for much of the daily interactions between people, but exactly that fact can make movies very unreal, too romantic.

Saturday, August 21, 1999

Too many hits

This month, I already got more than 77000 hits to my homepage, and some 90 million bytes of data were retrieved. That is almost 4000 hits per day, and almost 2 milion bytes per day. To be honest, these figures worry me a lot, because my provider only allows 150 million bytes to be retrieved per month. I am afraid that one of these days I will get an email stating I draw too much traffic, and that I have to pay more, or otherwise my pages will be blocked.

the Internet is a strange place: you have to pay, in order to be read. Let assume that an average author earns about 4 dollar cent for each printed page in a book. That is about 10 dollars for 1 million characters. If I would have published my pages in the form of a book, I could have earned 20 dollars a day, or 7000 dollars a year. Instead, I pay about 50 dollars a year. Not that I mind much.

Wednesday, August 25, 1999

eXtreme Programming (XP)

I came across a ad about for the book Extreme Programming Explained, and found a whole site dedicated to eXtreme Programming (or XP for short) by one of it proponents. One of the most controversional, yet revolutionary ideas of XP is: Producing all software in pairs, two programmers at one screen.

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