Max Romantschuk's weblog – March 2004 archive

Heart Go Boom

Monday 1st of March, 2004 - 11:28 – Permalink

Charlie Demerjian of the Inquirer has written a rather informative piece called The INQUIRER Guide to Exploding Batteries. I probably don't need to explain what it's about, but have a look. I found it entertaining as well as rather educational.

A Collaborate Medium?

There's a story on Slashdot discussing recent news that nearly half of U.S. Internet users post content. The discussion seems to be indicating that a awful lot of people think that posting by the average Joe is a bad thing. Personally I don't agree.

Star Trek Fans Rejoice

Friday 19th of March, 2004 - 11:28 – Permalink

I for one expected technology to catch up with the Star Trek TNG Combadge sooner or later. It seems the honours should go to Vocera Communications. The size is not quite there yet, but the device works pretty much the same as in the TV series. Yes, I admit to being somewhat of a Star Trek fan, so sue me... Via Slashdot.


Wednesday 17th of March, 2004 - 13:14 – Permalink

Some laws are just sick.

'nuff said.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow!

Wednesday 17th of March, 2004 - 11:13 – Permalink

Talk about being made... Not many people have started making a movie in the privacy of their own home, and ended up producing feature film. Kerry Conran has. The film also looks like every geek's dream, I mean, how can you go wrong with giant flying robots, cheezy fifties-style sci-fi cliches and huge amounts of computer-generated video? Especially when it's cut like a comic book. Check out the trailer. I didn't regret downloading QuickTime for this one. Via Slashdot

Lets not jump the gun, shall we?

Monday 15th of March, 2004 - 11:24 – Permalink

No, I did not rush off to the hospital in order to experience the birth of our twins. Yet, that is. The truth be told, I did end up at the hospital on Wednesday (March 10th,) but instead of getting there really quickly I slowly, and very carefully delivered myself there in agonizing pain.

I woke up on Wednesday morning with a sore and stiff neck. Figuring it'll go away I went off to work, where I started having horrible cramps in my neck after half an hour or so. I figured I'd better take the day off and went home, thinking that a day's worth of rest should take care of it. Not so. A few hours later my head was ending up in an ever more tilted position, and any amount of staying put didn't seem to help at all. A quick phone call to the local health services revealed I'd have to wait until four o'clock to get treated. I figured it would be OK, as I didn't experience any cramps as long as I didn't move

When I finally got to the hospital I had to keep my head in a severely skewed position to keep my neck from cramping (try taking a really close look at your left shoulder aiming your nose in the direction you're looking. Yep, that's about it.) I went and asked the nurse at the counter what I needed to do to get signed up for a doctor's examination at four o'clock. It's at 1600 hours. she told me (It was around 15:50 at that time.) I told her I was aware of this, but I needed to know what to actually do in order to get treated eventually. You report here at 1600 hours. the nurse told me.

I sat down and waited, and after a few minutes the nurse comes up to me and asks: You've got your neck locked up, right? I confirmed this, and the nurse asked me to come back to the counter and report. I did, and ended up first in line to get examined. When I finally did get to see the doctor it took him around thirty seconds to diagnose the problem, after which I was sent off to get two shots (painkillers and muscle relaxants.) He also gave me a recepie for the same stuff in pill form, and wrote me the rest of the week off on sick leave.

So, that's why I haven't blogged for a while. No babies as of yet. It's still darn probable I'll be a dad any day now, though.

A sidenote:

I've never realized how important having your neck working properly really is. I was totally incapacitated on Wednesday. As it turns out, almost every possible movement you can think of involves the neck. Just try not to move your head all while doing everyday tasks for a while. Now imagine you'd be in severe pain every time the muscles in your neck contract... you get the idea.

Where Is My Gay Apocalypse?

Tuesday 9th of March, 2004 - 11:27 – Permalink

In an attempt to be completely unoriginal, and spreading memes in the process, I urge you to read Where Is My Gay Apocalypse? by Mark Morford over at Props to Petri//var/log/orava for brightening up my day. While you're at it, be sure to educate yourself over at Landover Baptist. And don't forget to get yourself and/or your significant other a "What Would Jesus Do?" Thong!

Thoughts on memes

Monday 8th of March, 2004 - 11:31 – Permalink

According to The Virian Lexicon: MEME: (pron. `meem') A contagious information pattern that replicates by symbiotically infecting human minds and altering their behavior, causing them to propagate the pattern. (Term coined by Dawkins, by analogy with "gene".) Individual slogans, catch-phrases, melodies, icons, inventions, and fashions are typical memes. An idea or information pattern is not a meme until it causes someone to replicate it, to repeat it to someone else. All transmitted knowledge is memetic. (Wheelis, quoted in Hofstadter.)

I ran across a rather disturbing meme today, featured (as always,) on Blogdex. It goes by the name of the The Mystery of Dalar. The thing which makes it disturbing is the fact that it's a commercial dressed up like a documentary. We're all aquainted with infomercials, but this one goes a bit too far... The thing is, the whole shebang seems to be fictious. If something is a commercial, it should clearly be labeled as such. Passing fiction off as fact in order to sell a product may be common practice by some, but Volvo should know better.

PS. Check out the Excorcist Bunnies... Yes, I spread memes, proudly so.

Baby-ETA: Unknown

A quick note on the yet-to-be-born members of our family: It could be any day now. If I suddenly go silent for a month you'll know why...

Buffer overrun?

Friday 5th of March, 2004 - 11:21 – Permalink

It seems the Internet wants to make up for last Friday (see February 27th,) and run me over with interesting stuff to post. I'll try none the less.

For people who are fed up with having a virus friendly email client I'd recommend this review on modern email clients ou there, for both Windows and Linux. Via Slashdot.

Honey, who was that moaning in the background when I called you earlier?

No one, baby. It's just one of those silly background noises you can download.

Scary cool technology... check out the comments in the Slashdot story, there are some real gems in there...

Your Concept Car

I like many of the ideas in the Volvo YCC. In a way, I wouldn't mind having a car like this myself, but I'd prefer a less feminine implementation of the concept.


Human robotics are slowly leaving the gee whiz factor behind and turning out actual applications. The Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton is a very interesting piece of technology, and not only for military applications. I suspect stuff like this will eventually replace wheelchairs and a bunch of different prosthetics in the forseeable future. Via Slashdot.

Last but not least...

... a little something I found on Blogdex.

Automotive Endeavors

Thursday 4th of March, 2004 - 20:27 – Permalink

A week or so ago, I noticed the bulb had gone on the left side headlight of my car. I finally got around to doing something about it today. I had previously consulted the owner's manual, and convinced myself that I was able to do the necessary replacement procedures myself.

So I went and bought myself a replacement bulb of the correct type, drove home, and got to work on the car...

The Good
I now know how to change the bulbs for my car's headlights.
The Bad
The instructions in the manual were a prime example of getting away with the bare minimum. I took me ten minutes to figure out the release mechanism for the bulb connector, which was indicated in the manual by two arrows... I presumed the arrows refered to the bulb connector's placement, not the fact that I had to press while pulling the connector. Argh.
The Ugly
As it turns out, the bulb was fine. It's the connector which is faulty. And no, I didn't break it. There seems to be a slight short-circuit which has bured the connectors innards to a nice crisp... Great.
I guess I should just be glad that I can still drive the car until I find the time to take it to have the necessary repairs done.

Old habits die hard.

Adding insult to injury it turns out that I had yet again managed to write 2003 instead of 2004. Please see the entry for February 3rd for explanations on the yet again thing.

I've said it before and I'll say it again... I need a better engine for this site. Fortunately I've already got one in the works, but it's still far from finished...


Thursday 4th of March, 2004 - 11:33 – Permalink

The server hosting this site decided to shut itself down some time last night, staying off until a few hours ago when it was manually restarted. Naughty server...

Refridgerated electronics, anyone?

Dave Curtis put his computer into a fridge. Crazy, yet strangely impressive.


Behold the Calvin and Hobbes Extensive Strip Search! I for one pretty much grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes (or actually Kalle och Hobbe, in Swedish.) You can do nifty searches for strips using a bunch of advanced criteria. Excellent. Via Blogdex.

Error Deleting File or Folder

Wednesday 3rd of March, 2004 - 14:30 – Permalink

"Cannot delete FILENAME: There has been a sharing violation.

The source or destination file may be in use."

Ever wanted to just kill yourself after seeing this little error for the tenth time in three minutes? Me too. Today I found a solution, amazingly I never thought of searching for it before. Process Explorer by Sysinternals will tell you which program is holding on to the file you want to get rid of, after which you can proceed with closing the offending program and getting on with your business. Sweet.

Better l8 than never.

Wednesday 3rd of March, 2004 - 12:25 – Permalink

I meant to post this stuff yesterday, but I ran out of minutes. In case anyone's wondering, all is well on the baby-making front.

Now then... Regard the Cybernet Elite-4 Zero-Footprint-PC. I don't know about you, but I can't help thinking Commodore 64... I would have thought the market for things like this had depleated into nothingness, but it seems I was wrong. I can't make up my mind on wether it's really cool or totally horrible. Depends, I guess.

Intelligent Writing by Disturbingly Muscular Men

Bodybuilders aren't exactly the kind of people one would associate with exceptionally clever writing, but the guys at Testosterone Publishning sure know what they're doing. Antti/ Geek Savant pointed at this excellent writeup on Navy Seals. Definetly worth a read. Also, if you "suffer" from the same kind of metabolism as I do, check out the Skinny Bastard Diet.


Monday 1st of March, 2004 - 22:34 – Permalink

Acute readers of my blog are already aware of the fact that I'm going to be a dad, and of twins none the less. This has mainly been a source of joy for the last 8 months or so, but today things took a rather unfortunate twist. My wife was on a standard issue checkup at the hospital, when the doctor asked her to say at the ward for a week. Basically everything is fine, but there were some signs of the possibility of a premature birth. Therefore they want to keep their eyes on things, and keep her at the hospital.

I find myself facing the undesirable situation of having to sleep alone in our bed. It's not like I can't, but knowing that my wife misses me and I miss her makes it all feel rather awkward. I know she's in good hands, but still.

Anyway, send your positive karma our way if you feel inclined to do so.