2003 11 30

Base | Media | Books


Impressed into insignificance

Atonement (Ian McEwan)

Atonement (Ian McEwan) - cover

Reading this book, I couldn't help but feel that whatever I will ever write myself will never amount to more than an exercise in futility.

It is a surprising read on many levels: the story is dark, but gripping. Several times, drastic turns of the narrative happen in the middle of a paragraph, tripping me up and having a truly exhilarating effect: it is anything but predictable and thus extremely compelling to keep turning those pages.

Then there is the self-referential structure and the overlapping viewpoints (the same events told more than once, but from different characters' points of view): highly technical, yet not obtrusive in the least.

As the back cover says: "By the end of that day the lives of all three [main characters] will have been changed for ever." Very true. You never see the changing event coming until it hits you square in the face. The rest of the book I spent reading in a single, drawn out gasp of shock. Shock at what happened and the ever increasing magnitude of the impact it is bound to have on the lives of all involved.

On another level, it gave me a glimpse of what life in England was like just before and during the start of the Second World War. There is enough material to give even the most reluctant history student reason to reconsider.

I picked this book up at a whim, but I can heartily reccommend it.

2003 11 26

Base | Home


Why I love Ikea

I just realised this evening why I love Ikea (we recently made some sizeable deposits towards the Royal Bank of Ikea): it aides enourmously in maintaining the illusion that I actually know how to work a screwdriver and end up with useable, nay, even nice-looking stuff.

In reality, the stuff is so cleverly designed and instructions are written (or drawn, rather) for an audience so incredibly handicraftically challenged that it would be an achievement in itself not to be able to put together this furniture. That has never stopped me from claiming some of credit before, though, and I ain't about to start today.

Base | Home


A new office

I just finished putting together the last drawer in my new office, as shown on the picture here. my office

Before this, I had a permanent claim on the dining room table. I got that at the time I got my ADSL and wireless networking setup installed, because before that, it was dial-up only, hooked on the only phone wire in the house, which is in the attic. There is a bigger office up there, which will remain in use for storage of books, computer gear and assorted junk which I plainly refuse to throw away.

demonstration of the desk units on wheels Anyway, this is the new setup. Note the ergonomic setup of desk and laptop. Plus ample storage space. Not much in it at the moment, but I will be filling up those cabinets quickly enough, I suspect.

Those two smaller cabinets are on wheels, so they can be arranged for extra desk space. One of them has a seating cover on it, so it could even be used by a visitor.

2003 11 25

Base | Career


Compufficient is now a registered company

Audrey drove me to the local Chamber of Commerce for me to register my new company. Filling out the details with the lady there was quick and easy enough (I knew what to expect in terms of administration, which helped) so about 20 minutes later I became the proud owner of a one-man company: Compufficient.

The business I intend to get is to provide consulting and training with regards to efficient use of computers. The target audience is mainly small businesses (that can't afford permanent IT specialists on staff) in the high-value services sector, where knowledge of IT is not inherent to the line of business.

Examples would be the legal profession, real estate agents, recruitment agencies and many types of consultancy.

Much more work to do, about which I am bound to write here more often, but for now I am just enjoying the feeling that I am officially my own boss as of today.

2003 11 02

Base | Navelstaring


Toolbox section

I have just added a section to the sidebar that is to hold references to my entire toolbox: there will be a list in alphabetical order of every single tool (mostly to mean 'piece of software') I currently use.

I am going about adding items to the list pretty much as I go along, so it may be some time before it is really complete. Nevertheless, it ought to grow substantially over the next few days.

As it is, I am not ordering the items in any other way besides alphabetical. In future, I might add subsections, such as for Firebird extensions.