Friday, December 8

I'm getting ready to rule the world

Me and my faithful companion are getting ready to rule da world!!
First impressions:

  • i should not have waited until 24 to get my first lego. It proved a killer to build the first demo robot, but I'm getting there - took me about an hour of building, at it wasn't even that complicated

  • Lego was really smart to preupload the first demo program unto the brick

  • I have a LOT of pieces, but only connectors and such. And they are all either gray, white or black. Really not very fashion conscious

Next project: the scorpion.
Oh, and the name for my first robot is Fredo! He wants to rule the world too. Photo here.

Wednesday, December 6

Cum o sa ajung sa nu mai stiu sa vorbesc romaneste if I keep this up

Cand il auzeam pe unchiul meu plecat in Australia de vreo 15 ani vorbind romaneste super stricat il dispretuiam profund. Cand le auzeam pe capsunicile venite din italia/spania vorbind romaneste cu accent italian/spaniol imi venea sa le bat. Sad news is ... I'm getting there. Am ajuns sa vorbesc intr-o romgleza perfecta atat cu ceilalti romani de pe aici cat si cu cei de acasa. Ca este romgleza ar fi cum ar fi, dar deja am ajuns sa traduc din engleza in romana. De exemplu, in loc sa zic ca un lucru "n-are sens" eu zic "nu face sens" din "it doesn't make sense". In loc sa zic "de exemplu" sau "totusi" imi vine sa zic "for example" sau "nevertheless". Nu mai vorbesc de "however" , se pare ca imi place cuvantul asta la nebunie. Si cel mai si cel mai penibil este urmatorul lucru: Am ajuns sa spun un lucru in engleza (vorbind in romana) si dupa aia sa traduc in romana. Vezi commentul de aici . Cretina cu idul "carutacufraieri" sunt eu, evident. La postul cu dl prof. Andrei initial am scris "may he rest in peace sau fie-i tarana usoara" Acuma imi vine sa scriu "wtf is going on sau ce se petrece?"... AAA!!!
Rezolvare? Sa nu mai citesc carti in engleza? Sa citesc numai in romana? Sa ma controlez? Oh, how?!?!
Note to self: Control control control control.
Sau ca steve ballmer: developers! developers! developers! developers! (vezi youtube)

[black mamba]

How windows helps with your eye-hand synchronization

Start up your computer.
Select Windows from your Grub menu.
Select Windows again if you have installed your hacked macosx.
Wait for Windows to start.
Login by entering your username and password.
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del FAST!!!
Select Task manager.
Repeat until computer seems to be breathing again:
- Select unknown process.
- Press End Process (bottom right of window).
- Press "Yes" on "Are you sure ... ?" (to the left and higher)

[black mamba]

Tuesday, December 5

Pentru domnul profesor

Dumnezeu sa-l odihneasca pe domnul profesor Eduard Andrei. Desi nu am inteles niciodata materia pe care a predat-o, mi-a ramas in amintire ca unul dintre cei mai drepti si cu adevarat DOMNI profesori pe care i-am avut.
Fie-i tarana usoara.

Monday, December 4

Lime ju

It's late late at night and we [Marian, Cristina, Ioana, Andrei and I] arrive in Singapore from a blizzard beaten Bucharest. Corneliu is here to pick us up and we head over to our home for the next six months. Both our real-estate agent and the landlord's agent are there to greet us and to proceed with the necessary formalities. It takes about three hours to get everything counted and signed, and the agents are gone. It's just us in the house, tired but anxious. I am hungry [as usual] and so are the others, so we go to a nearby food court to get something to eat. I have no idea that these are foodcourts and that they are supposed to look like they do. In my mind there's a constant bewilderment followed by wtf preceeded questions. We finally order from the waiter (she's called "auntie" - not because she's related nor because she's a waiter, but because she's older - it's not in any way arrogant or impolite, but I find it truly annoying). Our order includes our drinks also. I decide not to go safe and I order "lime juice", since I had never drank it. The auntie brings me back the juice, while first asking: limeju?limeju? We finally figure out that it's for me, it's mine!!! It tastes ok, also has some sort of plum in it. But most of the times as I later found out, it's not made from fresh limes, but from fresh (?!) concentrate. Nevertheless, whenever my order of lime ju gets yelled over the foodcourt it brings back dark and cosy memories.

[lime ju]

Saturday, December 2


Oh my god oh my god people!! 'Tis here my friends! On a sudden whim of mine before the last two exams, and also inspired by Cristina who went home to study/relax/sleep, I decided yesterday to go shopping!

What started out initally as a hunt for the perfect moisturizer [dun ask why or how or whom - I'll talk about it in another post] ended up with the following:

  • One vitamin e moisturizer from the body shop - I don't know how much good it will do, but nevertheless

  • One passion fruit incense oil

  • ONE LEGO MINDSTORMS !!!! I was planning to get it after the QE, but I got it anyhows, since buying it earlier promised that I was going to get out of my zombed state. Well, I'm not out of the zombed state, I am 440 sing poorer, BUT I WILL BUILD THE BEST ROBOTS THERE ARE!!!! ... After the qe that is, right now I've only opened the box then put everything back in. Two more exams, one on monday and one on tuesday [i haven't studied anything for the latter] and I will be in robotland, photoland and climbland ... in no particular order!

[Lego mindstorms]

Thursday, November 23


Tagged by puck via bookaholics, I must write now what books I would take with me if I were to leave the country for a long time. I have hands-on experience with this, so I will say here what books I took with me when I left. So, in no particular order, since I am not at home right now [YES, I am wasting time at work to post in a blog!!!!], here goes:

  • Lumea vazuta de Garp, John Irving [RO]

  • Cider House Rules, John Irving [EN]

  • The Remains Of The Day, Kazuo Ishiguro [EN]

  • Diavoliada, Mihail Bulgakov [RO]

  • Maestru si Margareta, Mihail Bulgakov [RO]

  • Matusa Julia si condeierul, Mario Vargas Llosa [RO]

  • Un veac de singuratate, Gabriel Garcia Marquez [RO]

  • Toamna patriarhului, Gabriel Garcia Marquez [RO]

  • Stupid White Men, Michael Moore [EN]

  • 1984, George Orwell [RO]

  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Price, J.K. Rowling [EN] - for the kid in me

  • Picnic la marginea drumului, Arkadi & Boris Strugatki [RO]

  • a handful of computer books

Before you ask how much my luggage weighed ... A LOT!!!! But I got off with a smile, and the fact that I was flying on the 31st of december, which I think impressed the somewhat pissed-on-life ladies at the check-in counter.

PS I seem to have forgotten some books, I hope they don't get really upset and start a revolution or something (my room already looks ravaging!)

[Lime ju]

Monday, November 13

About censorship

Quoting from the MDA site, answering the question "why must there be censorship":
"Censorship is practised in all societies to some degree and in varying forms -- whether by community groups, industry bodies or government agencies. In Singapore, censorship exists to protect the young from unsuitable content as well as to maintain stability and harmony in our multi-racial and multi-religious society, while allowing more choice for adults. Our surveys show that Singaporeans generally find censorship standards acceptable. For example, in the recent Censorship Review Committee 2003 survey, more than 70% of the respondents were satisfied with our content standards.
Of course, censorship alone is not sufficient. Whether we are able to maintain the moral tone of our society depends largely on the industry, artists and the community and on what society as a whole considers to be acceptable standards for media content. Hence it is a shared responsibility among the various stakeholders, with censorship being complemented by public education for greater media awareness."

So, there must be censorship because everybody does it and because 70% of the population said that they are ok with the censorship standards. Sheesh!!! Cogito ergo sum.

I found this site after (malaysia railways ticket purchasing online) had banned access. I did not know that ktmb was indecent in any way ... the trains are kinda slow though :))

Sunday, November 12

Ce sa imi aduca mama de acasa

[bloggin': wishing well ]
1. gentile alea doua care arata foarte bine, cel putin in amintirea mea
2. povestea lui m., jurnalul fericirii si arhipelagul gulag
3. un borcan (sau mai multe?!) de zacusca
4. toate cdurile de muzica clasica pe care le posed
5. rezerve pentru stilou
6. cozonaci
7. paine din amsterdam
8. branza telemea

Thursday, September 28

Your turn now

Many a time went drunk or hungover to class? Nooo?! Sure you didn't ... Never felt that whatever that guy is saying is going to kill you if he keeps at it?
Well ... here's one for you: it's their turn now. One of them is high in class!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 25

They say this is me

Here is what they say about me. Or more, about how I view myself. High masculinity? Average Femininity? AAA

Wednesday, September 20

Lost it

I lost it. I can't believe it, but i lost it. It fell out of my backpack in the gym. Now I can't find it. I am feeling very very distressed... My mom will be very dissapointed in me. I fucked up (again). I lost my appetite (THAT is something you don't see every day...) Here's a portrait. You will be missed... Chances of finding it in Singapore stores: ZERO (it's a 2004 model ...)

Tuesday, September 19

Vista scary

What i didn't get is : is it scary in its complexity .. or just because it is a dome like construction doomed to fall? (something like the Khumbu Icefall??) Brrr.... Here's the full article.

Tuesday, August 15

My way or the highway

why is it that every time i decide to start writing it's raining horses outside (and yes! i left the windows open again)? must be something to do with my depressive gene ... maybe everytime it starts raining i get depressive and feel the need to write?
anyways, the post title says it all :) I realised last night that the two great women that contributed to me being a whole, extraordinary, funny, smart and MODEST person today (that is, my mother and my grandmother) also contributed to two of my major flaws (by some - greatest goods by me). My mother spoiled me rotten ... even though sometimes she tried to hide the spoiling. And my grandmother always allowed me to do whatever i wanted, whether it was climbing trees (and falling from them or being stuck HIGH up there) or not eating (i had - and still have - a awful dislike for boiled eggs ... in those times boiled eggs is what little kids got for breakfast, among other things - like cheese). This led to me being what i am today and to the title of this post.
So, here's to my grandmother and mom!

Monday, August 7

Moving to Antarctica

That's it!!! I am moving to Antarctica!!! Or to any other continent where it does not rain!!! This is the first day I left the windows to my room WIDE open such that fresh air enters my room. And of course, it's raining cats and dogs and horses!!! So when i'll get home the carpet that is right beside the window will be SOAKED! SOAKED!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 2

To write or not to write

One of the things that really bugs me about research is that at some point you get to writing. Yes!! The horrifyin' friggin' thing I think most computer scientists just lurrrrve. I personally hate it. It's not like writing in your blog, you cannot be funny or ironic. You cannot be mean to other people's work. You must be polite and condenscending. You cannot say "try but fails" .. you must say "attempt". That's when you're writing a research paper. It's even nicer when you have to write a documentation about your program/product. "The list of steps necessary for installing this or that is" AND SO ON.... and on .. and on.. And then you have windows or linux .. and different commands for them: since i use linux, it's almost obvious that any other student who will be using my program in his/her homework will use windows... AAA
Writer's block.

Edited later: 3 new articles from Joel
about mapreduce, functors
How dell does business
Private offices vs open space for programmers

Friday, July 14

Ha ha

Yes .. it's friday. .. 16:46 ... mmmm... weekend ... mmm
Deci se apropie momentul in care trebuie sa-mi strang lucrurile si sa o intind frumusel de aici.
Mi-am pregatit pentru weekend un paper si o carte de rasfoit. Nu mi-as fi pregatit nimic daca n-ar f i venit seful acu vro ora sa imi dea paperul si sa imi zica sa caut cartea la biblioteca. Dilema: daca mi-a zis sa caut cartea la biblioteca, asta inseamna ca trebuie sa o imprumut? Si sa o citesc? sau doar sa o las acolo frumos sa stea si sa se umple de praf (dar eu sa stiu sa o gasesc)? Dupa o scurta evaluare a situatiei m-am hotarat sa ma duc sa o iau. Si sa o si citesc. Uf. cand m-am intors am constatat ca ar mai fi trebuit sa iau o carte :D Mi-am notat numarul si gata. Si am printat un nou paper la imprimanta de jos. Hotarata ca atunci cand ma duc la toaleta sa ma duc sa iau si paperul. ... :)) Fatalitate. Acum mi-am adus aminte de papaerul meu. Sper ca nu moare de singuratate sau de frig acolo jos. Toate cele 15 pagini cred ca isi pot tine de cald. Este clar ca intru in indobitocirea de weekend.
Diseara tre sa ma duc la "Graduation dinner" adik cei din NUS climbing team (din care fac/o sa fac si eu parte) le zic la revedere studentilor care au terminat. Adik asa cum am terminat si eu acu' un an aproape si o sa mai termin o data in 4 ani. Care este :)) Localul este Brewerktz (au berarie proprie) o alegere putin ciudata avand in vedere ca eu stiam ca aici lumea nu prea bea. NU e adevarat!!!! Nici nu e ca acasa intr-adevar, dar cei pe care ii cunosc eu chiar beau. Alcool that is. Nu stiu .. poate sunt singaporezi get beget si nu first or second generation din china. Trebuie sa analizez problema.
Gata 16.55. Nu zic la revedere si nici weekend placut ca ORICUM NU CITESTE NIMENI!!! HA!

Monday, February 20

The importance of ISO

Well well ... the time has come for all good men to realize the importance of ISO. Why?! Well ... it's really kind of simple. I decided that Sunday morning would be the best time for us to go to Chinatown and make some fabulous pictures of asian goings. Like you know, temples and stuff, an empty stall ... wonderful, beautiful and close to my heart things. We left home at 7, arrived around 7:30 in Chinatown, found some wonderful subjects... we even went to a fruit and fish market in the basement of Chinatown complex! And when we got home ... surprise surprise! I discovered that the last time i took some pictures of the flowers around the apartment, i set (and forgot to change) the iso to 1000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The results are shown below. Moral: the iso just caused me another trip to chinatown ... on Wednesday morning! Alas!

Test posting from MacOs Tiger

Just to see if this works

Friday, February 10

Fifth rule

As the days go by this blog is turning more and more into a blog about silly computer issues/stupid research issues. I guess this is what it really boils down to in the end.
However, I have a draft for the fifth rule. It is the fifth rule only in sequence, because in importance I think it is the most important one. And the rule is ... well ... this is why this is a draft :)


Funniest thing I ever read today: "In spite of what may be stated in this content, "WinFS" is not a feature that will come with the Longhorn operating system. However, "WinFS" will be available on the Windows platform at some future date, which is why this article continues to be provided for your information."

Friday, January 27

Internet Explorer tabs

Why, oh why doesn't Internet Explorer 6 have tabs? You know, the "Open link in new tab" option? Everyday I find it more and more annoying that this feature is missing from IE. Sure, you're going to say ... it's in IE7... but i want it in MY IE. NOW!
The research student with 25 IE pages opened in the taskbar.

Thursday, January 26


This blog comes probably a little late, since i've been a little (if not entirely) away from this world. This is to salute the initiatives of introducing type-safe constructions (i.e generic) into programming languages like Java or C# (one thing that puzzles me though is how long will it take until these 2 prog. languages will merge? and if they do, what will the new language be called? Microsun? JavaPound? JPound? ). The introduction of the generic structures allows for type-safe structures and also for code reusability. So, hooray for generics! For more information on generics, check out these sites: C# and Java.

PS1. I wonder if the partial concept is also in java (this will be my next blog)
PS2. Check out the new article from Joel .

Tuesday, January 17

Buridan's ass

"A hungry, thirsty donkey is sitting exactly between two piles of hay with a bucket of water next to each pile, but there is nothing to determine him to go to one side rather than the other. So he sits there and dies." Yes ... l'embarasse du choix... The problem, however, does not lie in the choice problem with which the ass is faced, but rather in the simple question: why does the ass not drink if it's thirsty or eat if it's hungry? From whatever bucket or hay stack?
The answer is even simpler: because the ass wants to die. If the ass would want to live, instinct would take over the mind and the ass would eventually eat/drink, probably from the first stack/bucket he sees.
So, when faced with two possibilites from which you most positively cannot choose, the answer is simple (but still has 2 possiblities :)) ) : a. Either go for a third choice or b. choose the one on the right.

Tuesday, January 10

Why do little girls wear make up?

And walk around the house dressed in their mom's dresses and wearing incredibly big for their feet high heel shoes?

Pick thy roommates

So ok, you've packed your bags, you went to the airport, shed some tears (if there was anybody there to say good-bye and good riddens), got on the plane and flew to wherever you decided to pursue your graduate programme. Out of all the unknown or unsettled matters, one is especially important: where are you going to live? And more importantly, with whom? Now there are many alternatives to living quarters, but two stand out: either you live in the school dorms or you rent an apartment.(Psssst! If you are one of those rich guys that can afford to live by themselves, this post is NOT for you!!).
The school dorms are pretty ok, but sometimes an off-campus apartment is cheaper and nicer. If you have decided on that, one half of your task is over. What you have to do now is decide about your roommates. The basic question that arises now is this: friends or strangers? If you go with point A of the choice, it is very important that you MAKE SURE YOU HAVE LIVED WITH THOSE PEOPLE BEFORE!!! Having lunch with them everyday, sharing your secrets, talking (and agreeing) about life principles, sharing jokes and office gossip, going shopping aso is not enough! This is because in all these activities you get to see only what that/those person/persons want you to see: their outside image. You can really get to know them either by: a. going through serious or life&death situations with them or by b. seeing them in their most private moments (i.e in their den - living quarters). If you have the bad luck to have chosen friends as roommates and to see afterwards the cruel blunt truth, do not despair! There are other suckers like you! The best thing you can do (if you cannot move out) is to do the best damage control you can for your friendship. Do not let it sink (even though if you take a real deep look at it, it's really not worth it) because if you do, you apartment life will turn into a real shit :). Oh! And if your roommates were the only friends you made in that foreign country ... MAKE NEW ONES!
As days go by, I am starting to think that the best roommates are strangers. You do not know what to expect, but you have no expectations either.

Sunday, January 8


Since we finally managed to have our network installed, and it seems to be working pretty fine, I will soon start the blogs on photography as well. Cheers!

Candidate rule

I am posting this as a candidate rule because unfortunately I tested it only once. So: If you plan on pursuing a graduate programme, NEVER EVER engage in life threatening activities just before you leave your country to go to your new university. This is what I did, and I am actually proud of it, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone (I'll publish the story as soon as I can translate it into English).