A bit of Wisdom

I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel something lacking in the blogosphere. I read a lot of blogs and sure, it's both fun and educational, I'll give it that. But it's often very shallow. Short pieces of text about some recent event which the writer has probably thought about for maximum a week. What I want is a little more contemplation, ideas which have matured from decades of experience, some deep thoughts. In other words, I want a bit of wisdom.

Now, wisdom is hard to come by, even in the real world. And even when you find it you won't always recognize it as wisdom. It can certainly feel a bit elusive that way.

But there is one blog that I read occasionally which I think offers a bit of wisdom every know and then. It's the raganwald blog by Reg Braithwaite. Somewhat surprisingly Reg's blog is mostly a software technology blog and I certainly don't expect to find any deeper thoughts there. Once in a while you can find some good advice on such blogs but anything out of the ordinary. But Reg has learned some hard lessons over the years and seems to be a contemplating man so he has some very valuable things to share. Although most of the things he says is phrased in terms of programming, software development or management many things are generally good lessons that have much wider applicability.

I will refrain from throwing out quotes here, instead I'll give a list of some of my favorite posts raganwald: What I've Learned From Sales, Part I: Don't Feed the Trolls, What I've Learned from Sales, Part II: Wanna Bet?, R-E-S-P-E-C-T and Still failing, still learning. I'm sure there are many more, I haven't read all of his posts. Also, many of the more technically oriented posts are very worthwhile reading, in case you're interested in the subject. Maybe I'll talk about that another time.


End Credit Music

Which piece of music is the most important in a movie? Well, I'm a film score buff so I wouldn't start ranking the music but there is one piece of music that gets an awful lot of attention from the studios. It's the end credit music. It's the music that sets the mood when you leave the movie theater and you will carry with you when you've finished seeing the movie. So naturally quite a lot of thought go into getting the right kind of mood into that piece of music.

I usually don't write lists on this blog but today I give you a list of some of my favorite pieces of end credit music.

What's my criteria for good end credit music? The crucial thing is the first twenty or thirty seconds of the piece. It has to suggest the right kind of mood which has to be in accord with the rest of the movie. It doesn't have to be a very good song, for instance, I don't particularly like Wake Up but it's beginning fits very well in Matrix, and that's what's important.


iPod woes

It's supposed to be the best mp3 player on the market. For me it has meant nothing but trouble.

Where I work, at the computer science department at Chalmers, we have a very nice tradition to buy a gift for any person who successfully defends his or her PhD thesis. This spring it was my turn to get a present from my colleagues and to my delight they gave me a fifth generation iPod sporting 30Gb of memory and the capability of showing movies. Awesome. Or so I thought.

It all started when I unpacked my brand new iPod and plugged it into my computer. For once I had actually read the manual and did exactly what I was told to. Yet after a short moment the player became unresponsive and it seemed like there was no way I could get it to do anything with it, even turn it off. This is why one of the first things I learned about my iPod was that it has an equivalent to Ctrl-Alt-Del, a key combination which reboots the player. So after rebooting things went fine for a while.

Unfortunately I've needed the rebooting feature quite a lot. It often happens that when I plug the iPod into my laptop it just freezes. But this is not the only annoying thing it does. Often when I've synchronized it with my laptop it seems like the iPod was totally erased! I can't see a single file, music or otherwise. The first time this happened I was quite alarmed. What had happen to all my music?

Fortunate things work much better when I synchronize with my wife's computer. First of all the iPod doesn't hang or lose all it's music. But what's even better is that it restores all the music that seems to have been lost. I think what happens is that the file system on the iPod becomes corrupted when I sync with my laptop and my wife's computer can somehow repair it.

What am I doing wrong? I'm running both the latest ITunes and firmware on my iPod and I haven't fiddled around with it in way that could potentially be harmful. I'm playing strictly by the book.

It seems there is a short term solution to this and that is to only use my iPod solely with my wife's computer. I find this rather unsatisfying as her computer is painfully slow and it makes me very impatient. I guess I'll have to buy her a new computer :-) But at the end of the day, I'm rather disappointed with the instability of my iPod. I had quite high expectations on the ease of use and robustness and it has failed miserably in this respect.

Steve Jobs, if you read this, please fix the software on your music player so that it doesn't behave like a Windows computer from the 90's.


Super Villain

Your results:
You are Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom
Mr. Freeze
The Joker
Lex Luthor
Poison Ivy
Dark Phoenix
Green Goblin
Blessed with smarts and power but burdened by vanity.

Click here to take the Super Villain Personality Test

Apparently I'm Doctor Doom.

If you want to take the test yourself try it out at the "Which Super Villain are you?" quiz. Found via Andre Pangs blog.