Opting out of Dutch telemarketing

It’s 19:00, you’re at home and relaxing with the family. The telephone rings and someone does his or her best to sell you something that you REALLY don’t want. The only effective way to get rid of the caller is to be nasty, as these telemarketers are paid and trained to be irritatingly persistent. In any case, your perfect evening is somewhat blemished… As is the case in many modern countries today, the Netherlands has an opt-out or no-call list.

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alt.gil.die.die.die

Anyone who knows me even moderately well knows that I adore Python. However, once again it seems that nothing’s perfect. Python uses a global interpreter lock, or GIL, to ensure that multiple threads don’t mess up interpreter state too badly. This means that only the thread that holds the GIL can run the interpreter at any specific moment. In investigating possibilities for the next generation of DeVIDE, I was considering threadifying the whole deal in order to enable the user to steer processing pipelines whilst they’re processing and in order to detach the GUI completely from the processing backend.

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GMail Favour

If you feel like doing me a favour and you have a gmail account, login, click on “Help” at the top right, then click on “Contact Us” on the left and then on “Suggest a feature”. You could also just go directly to https://services.google.com/inquiry/gmail_suggest/ of course. Now check the “Customize ‘From:’ address/create an account alias” box, fill in your email address at the bottom and click on “Submit”. Maybe YOU are destined to be the user that breaks the Camel’s back, or something.

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One small step for the TU Delft, one giant leap for Charl-kind

WHOOHOO! My Ph.D. thesis has been officially approved by my advisor and by my promotor. Now it just has to get through the 5 external examiners and then, if everything goes according to plan, I will be standing in that scary little room across the road in a few months trying not to get verbally ripped apart by the opposition. I really must remember to acquire a set of asbestos underwear for the occasion…

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New A64 server

I finally caved in and upgraded my sweet little Celeron 300A Linux server. Yesterday, after a brief planning phase, Paul and I jumped into his souped up Toyota Corolla and tore, Ronin-style, through the streets of Delft on our way to Informatique in Bergschenhoek. Wallets considerably lighter, we returned with several items of brand new hardware. My little Celeron server has now been upgraded into a somewhat less timid Athlon 64 2800+ Newcastle core (130nm) on an Asus K8V-X motherboard with 512 MB PC3200 DDR ram.

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Lush, OCaml and more, part deux

In a previous blog entry, I did some extremely informal benchmarking with Lush, OCaml, Python and C. I’ve now added two new Python tests: one with Psyco, a JIT-like solution that takes almost no effort to add to existing code, and one with Pyrex, where one can code extension modules in a language that looks just like Python but has types. These modules are then translated to C and compiled into Python usable extension libaries.

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Ubuntu 5.04 preview on Stoeptegel-1

I needed a machine to install Oracle 10g on and although my 300MHz Celeron Ubuntu 4.10 server (with 192M of RAM) is just perfect as fileserver and mini linux playground, those specs just don’t cut it when a real man decides to slap Oracle around for a bit. Well, stoeptegel-1, my previous 3.7kg weighing 2GHz P4 Northwood (768M RAM) laptop seemed just perfect for the job. I cleared out a 12G partition and installed the brand spanking new Ubuntu 5.

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Hyperlinked AVIs and PowerPoint 2003

In my new life as PowerPoint 2003 flunky, I experience many and exciting adventures! My latest adventure involved hyperlinking AVI movies (encoded with the MS-MPEG4 codec) to images in a PowerPoint presentation. Clicking on the hyperlinks would result in a “Media Player” dialog box popping up with the helpful message “There is no driver installed on your system”. After clicking OK, the movie would play perfectly in spite of the awful implications of having no driver installed on my system.

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