Friday, October 26, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
With sunny days come shiny red, delicious tomatoes. It's the season for tomato salads. It's so simple and quick to prepare, fresh and juicy, and easy to digest, that I could eat one each day. Tomato salad is definitely my favorite summer time dish.
Ready in 10 minutes
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
When your screen suddenly goes off and any attempt to restart your computer ends up in a whining sounds like "whiiii shtAK!", it most probably means that your hard drive crashed. If you had no backup, you've just lost all your data!
Philippe Starck is a world famous French product designer. His most famous product is undoubtedly the Juicy Salif. You know, the aluminum lemon squeezer that looks like Tintin's rocket with longer legs. Starck said that it was actually
not meant to squeeze lemons (...) but to start conversations. One day I almost bought one, but I had second thoughts: I felt I do not have the right house to put around it.
A fascinating person
To be honest I am usually not really attracted by what he creates. I tend to like his Aprilia Moto 6.5 motorbike, although I suspect that not too many bikers like it. But in general I don't like much what he does, however I think that he is a fascinating person.
A few years ago he gave an inspirational talk at TED (the ideas worth spreading) about "Why design?". To explain what is the essence of product design, in 15 minutes and with great humor, he is going through the last 5 billion years on Earth and the successive human mutations, and finally he opens the door to the next 5 billion years on Earth. You must see Starck playing the "primordial soup" and the appearance of life, it is priceless. I listened to the talk many times and it still makes me laugh. Give it 15 minutes!
Useful and beautiful
Some times ago I was in need of an external hard drive to backup my data (what a weird idea, isn't it?). Among other brands I checked LaCie hard drives. LaCie is a French company that has been investing massively in product design since its early days. Each of their products received intense attention from industrial product designers. This is something that counts for me.
I was nicely surprised to see that Starck contributed to their product line, and even more because I liked his product immediately. The product shapes an informal magma enclosed into a strong protective box. A very practical aspect is that its USB cable is embedded into the shell, so you never have to look for it.
This informal magma recalls the valuable data we store into hard drives, like personal information, administrative documents, projects files, music, photos, videos, etc. The strong aluminium case around it tends to inspire protection and safety from external aggressions. But what about a threat from inside? Hard drive is not a fully reliable technology. It is very sensitive and sometimes it fails hard, destroying all your data. So I think that here the design somehow mislead the user.
There are two kinds of people: those who do regular backups and those who never had a hard drive failure.
I once lost plenty of data after a hard drive failure. When your screen suddenly goes off and any attempt to restart your computer ends up in a whining sounds like "whiiii shtAK!", it most probably means that your hard drive crashed. If you had no backup, congratulation, you've just lost all your data! When it happens it's clearly a shock. You think to your ongoing work and all your valuable data. That's gone. Especially loosing your ongoing work is a pain, it's like loosing your ID and credit cards.
But after all, surprisingly, I felt lighter. It's hard to explain but I felt relieved. Maybe because I realized that this data was not so important. Maybe also because I was relieved from the fear of loosing my data, since I did not have it anymore!
Since I do regular backups and I also invested into a large SSD drive. Solid State Drives are still pretty expensive but they are much more reliable. In addition they are significantly faster, so they bring a clear boost to your computer. A good investment I believe.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Tomboy is a neat note taking software, combining simplicity and power. It works on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. A very interesting feature is that tomboy makes it super easy to link to other notes (like in a wiki, but better) and recognizes many URLs. So from one note, you are just one click away from any resources you like: another note, a web page, a file on your computer, an email, etc.
It's hard to navigate through long notes
After some time of usage I have a few rather long notes. I naturally organized them into sections and subsections. Sections are marked by a header with huge and bold font, and subsections with large and bold font. The same way HTML pages would render H2 and H3 headers. However navigating between sections by scrolling is not practical and a waste of time.
It's easy to write Tomboy add-ins
So I decided to write a Tomboy Addin that would scroll for me. It will display the Table of Content in a menu, and will jump to the selected section or subsection. Simple, yet powerful.
The add-in is available under GNU LGPL license. It means that you are free to use it, to modify it, to redistribute it, including modified copies; as long as you grant the same freedom to the others. You will find the source code at github/tomboy/branch/TableOfContent. To use it, you can also just drop the compiled TableOfContent.dll (rename it as TableOfContent.dll) into
- for Linux:
- for MacOS X:
- for Windows:
I hope it is useful to you too. Enjoy!
There have been over 2.000 downloads of TableOfContent.dll. It let me think that the add-in is widely used and well appreciated. Thanks!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Crawling cables at home are like rats: ugly, always in your feet and gather load of dust. To power a laptop or an iron, I have been for a while somehow tolerating an extension cord getting out of below the sofa. It looked like... a rat. On the other hand IKEA rats are so soft and cute. It gave me the idea to hide the extension cord box inside a "Gosig Råtta", the IKEA rat.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Sunday, October 21, 2007
On 10/21/07, an Anonymous Fellow wrote: Hey, I was thinking of tango this morning, I think there are three rules of it: * keep the weight on your own feet * both look at the same direction * keep connection by putting shoulders together
It seems like a definition of Love. Isn't it?