OMG HI2U BBQ

I’m a big fan of shortcuts. I meet them everywhere and greet them nicely. On Internet Relay Chat, Instant Messaging, signs on the road and of course Short Message Service. The name already suggests it. The entire system was designed for short messages, so acronyms and other shortcuts are a must. There’s a limit on the number of characters you can send and when you cross that limit, you pay more. It’s understandable why users would want to cut back on characters and even words. Still, I find myself repeatedly writing full sentences.

That’s why I like T9 so much. Not only does it allow me to write messages faster, but due to its somewhat broad acceptance, I also receive messages with what I’d qualify as semi-understandable content. Shiny as it may be, there’s always a glitch. The revered triple dot combo… The two first dots are displayed accurately, but by the third dot it decides a different character was typed that’s not even remotely related to the key clearly marked with the number 1. So instead of receiving the glorious triple dot combo, I get the double dot confusion bomb. Was it an accidental double dot? Was it the combo? It can completely flip the meaning of the message! How can I tell if it was “No…” as in “No, sorry…” or “No.” as in “No way!”. Am I to reply as the combo suggests a continuation is in place or am I missing an abrupt stop of the conversation? This, of course, brings us to the mystery of the ever elusive exclamation mark, but that’s a whole other story.

Yet another reason to just call…

Knowing you’re bored #157

The other day, I found myself holding the N key in guidgen, trying to exhaust all 340282366920938463463374607431768211456 GUIDs. I didn’t count, but I think I got to around a 1000 GUIDs so far… I was just that bored. I guess I was hoping for a cool “OUT OF GUIDS” BSOD or something.

Press the N key

Ownage

Quake flagPah! I just got this cool Quake flag from a friend. It ownz! 😈

Bet that won’t help my rails, since I’ll be looking at it all the time. Still have to figure out where to hang it… Probably not too close to the screen 😉

Click on the image on the left for a bigger version.

Screen’s up

I went to see Fearless today. It’s nice, nothing too special. I can’t say I had a great time though. There’s just something about movie theaters that repeals me lately.

The video quality sucks. I keep seeing crackles, brown spots used to prevent ripping and black lines — early 90’s TV style. The sound quality isn’t that amazing as well. Not as rarely as I’d hope, it seems as if the non-existent computer playing the movie is passing its quota of CPU power. The surround speakers set also seems to go unused too many times. Should I even mention prices?

But I can live with all that for the big screen, the uninterrupted volume and the comfy seats. You pay for the experience just like with anything else. You pay, others pay, you get together and enjoy the goods. But some people reckon it’s not enough to keep the joy to themselves. They must share it with their friends. Loudly. Since when did it become a norm to talk in movie theaters?! Why do I have to find myself a new seat just so I can enjoy the movie quietly? Even after several undeserved polite requests, the noise just keeps on coming from every direction.

And they say piracy is the number one reason for diminishing profits… 🙄

Color practice

Red lightOn the way home today, I passed through several crosswalks. It was late, I was hungry, the bus was already waiting in the station and I missed every green light by a few seconds. Four good enough reasons for good old jaywalking, but I decided to be a good boy and wait. But it was worth it. When standing in the long line for the bus, with a recently acquired sandwich in my hand, I looked back and saw two cops come out of a rented car (illegally) parked right next to the last crosswalk I passed and start talking to two guys who failed the color test.

Big badaboom

BoomWhat’s the big deal with nuclear weapons? What’s with everybody wanting them lately? What’s wrong with plain old explosives? Far be it from me to understand the costs of either choice, but it does seem somewhat fair to assume that they are cheaper to produce and maintain. The warheads might be lighter due less mechanism requirements. So the rockets can go further or simpler rockets can be used. But even if the same rockets are needed, it’s still less research and development because more information is available, more professionals are in the neighborhood and it’s much easier to get around the airports in your handbag because everybody’s focus is on the nuclear weapons. Even more, “conventional” weapons (what’s with that distinction anyway?) are safer to keep around as there’s no radiation so there’s no need for as much shielding. If it’s cheaper and faster to produce, there’s an option to produce much more warheads. This allows spreading the attack wider and makes it harder on defense as it’ll need many more defensive missiles / rockets / guns / shelters / whatever. The fact is, I can never know which one is more efficient because I don’t have all the details.

That’s the problem with all of those “secret” stuff. You can never get the details you need to make your own calculations. You always have to trust the politicians that say they have the facts. But you can’t even be sure they have the facts. In fact, opposing politicians always claim their thesis is correct according to the facts. Some even claim the same facts but derive different conclusions, which they also conveniently call facts.

I am not sure I want all the facts of nuclear weapons freely available, but sometimes, even with simpler stuff, the secrecy overextends. Sometimes it seems like freedom of information only concerns keeping information already freely available as it is. I remember trying to figure out how come a local tax-funded television channel keeps buying new big-shot series no other channel has, right as their season ends in the USA. I had to use connections to get a “don’t worry, the prices are suitable” accompanied with a reasonable explanation why a tax-funded channel should have such series. I was kindly reminded our country is semi-socialistic and that even people who can’t or won’t pay for cable should get quality television. But we’re also semi-democratic, so why can’t I can get a copy of the budget? Though I have to be honest – I probably didn’t try hard enough.

Longer is better

The modern technological world is all about faster and smaller these days. New acronyms pop-up daily. It’d probably be an understatement saying an average technology related sentence contains at least 3 abbreviation of some kind, be it an acronym or just a simple abbreviation. It’s deeply embedded in us, there’s no running away from it. We are so used to it, we normally don’t even recognize an abbreviation when we see it. They are just normal words for us.

I really like exploiting this when I’m bored or when I’m writing long official documents, especially those I don’t want to write. Instead of talking or writing like every other human being on the planet, I expand every possible abbreviation to the longest form available. It drives people nuts. Not only do they need to read more, they need to think longer and reabbreviate the words. Some expansions, people don’t even recognize and have to come back for an explanation.

That’s the time abbreviations become a total absurd – when people don’t even know the original meaning. Then you get redundant definitions like YWMT (sounds better in Hebrew) which stands for yellow white marking tape. No one knows or cares the W in WMT stands for white. WMT is just a marking tape for everybody. So when in need of an abbreviation for a yellow marking tape, it’s just called yellow WMT or YWMT.

Welcome

Welcome to my blog. I’m Amir Szekely, also known as kichik. I’m a programmer living in Israel. Most of my computer time, when not at my workplace, I spend on NSIS, an open-source installer for Windows. I’ve been working on it for over 4 years and it has been quite fun.

I don’t know what type of posts you can expect to find here, only time will tell. I guess it’d include the occasional NSIS techy post, maybe some tips & tricks, some rants of a perfect world, movies, games, who knows… Just in case, I’ve setup a syntax highlighting extension, so I can share some NSIS codes here and there.

Name test
OutFile test.exe
Section
SetOutPath $TEMP
File /oname=test.nsi "${__FILE__}"
Delete $TEMPtest.nsi
SectionEnd

Installing this extension and the entire blog was a piece of cake. WordPress is very easy to use, with lots of DHTML and a smooth user-interface. I’m quite impressed. Took me a while to find a nice theme, but MistyLook saved the day.