Archive for November, 2006

A serial number


<4805207> r u there?
<InOsAK> yup
<4805207> hi i’d like to ask u
<4805207> i need a serial for windows
<4805207> u have any?
<InOsAK> why are you asking?
<4805207> i thought u might share it
<InOsAK> allright, I’ll look for it
<InOsAK> G37L0-5T4ND-BUYY0-UR53L-F4N0R1-61N4L
<4805207> it doesnt work


Oral exam date


I’ve finally learned the date of my oral exam: 15th December, 4pm.

How not to advocate Linux


Must remember this:

(…) whenever anyone discusses computers, the stereotypical Amiga user will always claim that the Amiga is a better, faster, cheaper, more user-friendly computer than any other, ever, and any opposing view is treated as treachery, oppression, and a declaration of nuclear war. Some Linux users are using the same tactics.

Reason for me not to apply


Today’s letter to a recruiting agency.

Dear Mr/Ms XXXXXX,

I am not writing to apply for the advertised position. I would like to point out excessive number of typos in the advertisement, including a mistake in the title: it’s “programmer”, not “programer”.

Other mistakes include:

  1. industties (industries)
  2. solutins (solutions)
  3. diffrent (different)
  4. qalification (qualification)

Low quality of English in the advertisement is repellent. It’s also the reason for me not to apply for this position. I believe that you can significantly improve the feedback once you correct them.

Kind Regards,
(my name)

I’ve successfully moved my sites to Dreamhost


It was pretty easy. Access to the shell is very convenient, I could avoid downloading and uploading large files via my slow DSL; I moved them directly between servers instead. Database migration was also pretty easy, shell access was helpful again.

I’ve changed domain delegations yesterday’s night. Changes were effective this morning. The downtime was quite short and it was only the night hours.

I’m happy about the migration:

  • my sites are now independent from the company servers
  • I can run Django applications there
  • The new hosting is fast and has a lot of space
  • I’m always happy having new toys that work

Dreamhost has approved my account


I’ve sent them a fax with my other credit card number and they approved my account. I’m not sure about the payment. The money seems gone. The account seems working. I thought they would return the money and I would pay again with the credit card. However, they have approved my account even though the credit card numbers didn’t match.

The billing tab shows $0 account balance, all functions seem to work. If nothing happens, I’m just going to enjoy the new hosting service.

Poland vs the Polish


I’ve heard that there is a stereotype of Polish people being reliable and hard-working. I wonder, if Polish people perform so good abroad, why is their country performing so bad?

It’s not uncommon that good musicians can form a mediocre band, or that mediocre musicians can form a good band. Similarly, Polish people would gladly work hard in Poland if they worked well as a (huge) team and their work was rewarded appropriately. However, this would require the whole society to follow certain rules.

Lemme give an example of the road signs. I was driving a car down a six-lane street (three lanes in each direction). It was straight and there were no crossings. Suddenly, I saw a speed limit sign: 50km/h. WTF? I could safely go 130km/h there. OK, I thought to myself, I’m going to obey the rules. I slowed down from 80km/h to 50km/h. Whizz! A car passed me. Whizz! Whizz! Cars were passing me one by one. When a police car passed me, I accelerated to catch up with it. The police car was going 70km/h under a 50km/h speed limit.

I never obeyed this limit again.

You get such things all the time in Poland. If you try to follow the law, you’re doomed. You will be ripped of with taxes, you will be crippled and just watching people whizzing past you.

What to do then? Well, in order to survive, you need to disregard the regulations, exceed the speed limits and cheat on taxes. Everybody does it.

“They can’t put everybody in prison, can they?”

I would have had hope for better life in Poland if the authorities would be getting smarter. Unfortunately, every government gets dumber and dumber! Current government is so dumb that you wouldn’t believe. Moreover, they haven’t kept a single promise.

I considered running my own business in Poland. I had an idea that might work. I finally decided that I don’t want to do that in this demoralized society.

I rather go someplace else, where there is a point in working.

Dreamhost’s vicious circle


I wanted to buy a two year hosting on Dreamhost. I’ve heard very good opinions and it’s possible to run Django on it (although it’s not officially supported). Parameters are excellent, the price is low, I decided to jump in.

The beginning was easy: a registration form, secure on-line payment with Visa card (an eCard in my case) and I could instantly sign in to my brand new Dreamhost account.

Suddenly… an e-mail came.

We’d like to thank you for signing up for our service! Your account information has been submitted and is currently pending approval of our payment information.

If you are paying by credit card, please print out the authorization form at:

…and fax it to us at (a phone number). The amount to fill in on the form is (the price). We regret the inconvenience this causes, but due to he amount of credit-card related fraud we incur we are forced to equire fax-back authentication.

I visited the fax page which said that I should rub the pencil over the credit card, so the embossed imprints are “copied” to the paper. I examined my eCard. No embossed imprints. The last sentence of this e-mail said: “If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask”, so I wrote to Dreamhost.

OK, so here I go asking. I’ve paid with an eCard, which is a version f Visa card. I can pay with it — I’ve successfully done it the past. The thing is, my card does NOT have embossed number, name or expiration date. Well, it’s a little embossed, but I’ve tried rubbing it with a pencil and it’s unreadable.

My credit card has been charged and that’s OK. I just want to use my account. I can fax the form, but you won’t be able to read anything from the fax.

What should I do?

Their on billing was quick to answer.

Unfortunately since this account has been flagged, our credit card processor requires the fax rubbing. If your card is flat or an e-card,
then you’ll need to use a different card. I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience but it’s a requirement we must meet.

I can understand that. I do want to use a different card. However…

Impossible payment on Dreamhost

I wrote them about the problem.

I don’t see any way of making the payment again.

I cannot do it in the panel because it says: “You may not make a payment to this account at this time. You may only make payments on approved accounts.” My account isn’t approved, right?

I cannot re-do the registration because it says: “domain “” is already in our system!”

What should I do then?

It’s hilarious. They respond quickly (usually on the same day), but the answers are like this:

It looks like your account requires approval by our billing department before we can activate it.

Please go to this web page and print out this form…

Fill it out, imprint your credit card and fax it to us and we can process it and enable your account.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

I think I’ve found an error in the Matrix. A hole in the system. Something that was never expected. They want to help me. When I ask a question, they answer. However, the answer always regards just one side of the vicious circle, and it doesn’t help me out.

My last email (so far) to them says:

I would gladly do that, if only I didn’t pay with an eCard, which doesn’t have embossed imprints, which makes it useless for your faxing procedure.

I want to cancel the first payment and pay with a credit card which has embossed imprints.

This is a vicious circle:

The original sin:
I payed with an eCard -> I can’t send the fax;

The circle: {
I can’t send the fax -> my account isn’t approved;
account isn’t approved -> I can’t pay with the credit card;
I can’t pay with the credit card -> I can’t send the fax;

Is there any way out of the vicious circle?

I hope there is. Otherwise, I’ll have to die, be born again as somebody else, sign up for Dreamhost with a different identity and pay with a credit card.

And furiously rub the pencil over it.

Something opposite


A long time ago, computers were not connected in any way. They were autistic and boring, but they felt lonely, so people worked hard and implemented network connections.

Hooray! It was possible to send a message from one computer and receive it on another!

Unfortunately, it soon turned out, that the network connections could be maliciously used, so people started implementing something opposite to the network connections: firewalls. Personal firewalls for Windows 98, in-build firewall in XP, everybody built a fortress around his computer.

Computers were autistic again, but a little less boring because this time it was possible to browse some web.

Somebody thought that maybe computers could be used for something more than web browsing. A new generation of software was born. The software, that makes something opposite to what firewalls do! The software, that pierces them! It can actually send and receive data! Wow!

Wait, didn’t we have this already in the beginning of the ’90s? Eh, never mind. We’re happy now.

Given that everybody installs now software that circumvents firewalls and allows to control their computer remotely, we are more and more concerned about people’s security. I’d like to suggest doing something opposite to what Skype does: second generation of firewalls. Let’s build a laserwall, let’s block Skype, remote assistance tools, p2p programs. Let’s block them all! It will not only improve people’s security, but also stimulate the market to produce next generation of software, that pierces our laserwall.

It’s natural: invent the network to exchange data, fight the network with firewalls to improve security, fight the firewalls to order exchange data, then fight the ones who fight the firewalls to get the security back.

What’s next?

Organizing presents for Christmas


Since I remember, I’ve always had to participate in two Christmas Eves. One was at my mother’s parents, other at my father’s. I’m sick of looking at the watch so I won’t be late for the other Eve and I’m sick of traveling by bus in a cold winter night.

An attack is the best defense. This year my GF and me are going to organize the Christmas. It turns out, there will be 17 people. Sheesh. Traditionally, everyone would give a present to everyone. With 8 people, it’s acceptable: everyone buys 7 presents. However, buying 16 presents is a little bit too much. I decided to manage this part. I’ve written a tiny program that generates a graph of giving presents.

darmowy hosting obrazków

This part was easy. The harder part is that there will be people who should buy each other presents, but they hardly know each other (although they are from one family). Normally, it ends up with buying crap. My idea for it was that everybody will answer few questions; everybody will get some information about people whom she/he should buy a present. I’m no master in making such surveys, but I had to, so I did it.

  • What are your two favorite colors?
  • Are decorative/non-practical things OK for you?
  • What’s your foot size? (lol, this one is definitely heading toward socks)
  • What are your current interests? (e.g. photography, trainspotting, etc.)
  • What’s your favorite period in western culture? (e.g. middle ages, renaissance, etc.)
  • What are your two favorite movies?
  • What are your favorite music bands (or composers, performers)?

Questions are fairly easy to answer. They should give at least a glimpse of one’s personality and help choosing something more personal than an aftershave. I don’t want to get an aftershave anymore.

The biggest problem is with grandmas. Firstly, they don’t use e-mail which makes communication much harder. I can’t just send an e-mail. I have to call them, but they’re not home, so I have to remember to call again, then I learn they don’t have time because they have guests, so I have to remember to call yet again, then listen to complaints about that the whole organizational thing is unnecessary and they only want to buy presents to their closest relatives and ignore the rest, then I start to ask questions but they interrupt asking for specific items that they should buy, then I explain the purpose of the quiz, insist on asking questions and finally get the answers. Then I have to read them answers from other people (why can’t I just copy and paste?!), but they interrupt and ask if they should buy one a John Scofield album, so I have to explain that if one likes John Scofield, she/he probably has a bunch of his records already, but it can be considered a milestone of one’s musical taste, so they can buy an album of an artist similar to John Scofield, then I have to clarify that it’s not that they’re supposed to know every performer in the world, but if they want to buy their grandchildren a present, it’s always good to go and learn a little bit about their taste. Finally, they say “all this” is hard. 47 minutes over the phone per grandma.

I understand that letting new information into a one’s brain is painful for some people. Well, getting an aftershave for Christmas the nth year in a row is also painful. That’s gotta stop. Let’s shift the pain a little bit.

Luckily, the younger members of the family like the idea. They are also quite surprised that anyone asks about their interests. Nobody did that before!