Thursday, March 15, 2007

Drowning in the swamp of pixels

Yesterday it hit me hard. I 'just' had to fix up the logging of an application (which enables it to reconstruct its exact state after a crash). Unfortunately, it wasn't my application in the first place; I just had to 'fix' it. And all kinds of annoyances came together...

It was a shared office, meaning occasional meetings and all kinds of small discussions happening right behind my back. Pretty much impossible to build up any concentration in these phases, not even for reading blogs!

Then I had my laptop at 1024x768 and the local PC with 1600x1200 on its glass monitor. Problem: Apart from some silence I needed the big screen estate for actually getting all relevant code in eyesight. But unfortunately looking at that monitor only made me wonder what was wrong with my eyes; I couldn't actually focus on reading. In the old office it was just working for me, in this new one it didn't any more.

So I was getting desperate: To be able to actually getting anything done I needed to head back home to the fullsize LCD screen. The alternative would be to start massive notetaking, which is a form of thrashing and would just kill productivity as well.

I never experienced either workspace disturbances nor bad equipment that hard before, and now I am considering to buy another LCD for that workplace. Probably some silencer, too?

Friday, March 02, 2007


When aboard a plane, give me a seat and a window, and I'm happy. Give me a stewardess telling me to close the window so that the sun does not keep the guy on the other side watching the move, and I'm not happy.

Looking around in business class I notice that most people don't care at all that they're just experiencing mankind's dream come true. As Richard Bach said, this is aviation, not flying, and thus these people don't care just how they get to Cairo, only make it fast. And that happens to be by air. Since most of them aren't good at waiting for the arrival, there is also a lot of entertainment of diverse kind abord.

Who would book a flight just to be able to watch a movie? And yet that is exactly what happens: Sit down and turn on the flick, even one they wouldn't think of going to the movies for. Just because there isn't anything else to do. Remember: When you're bored, it's because you're boring.

The trick of flying isn't, by the way, to fling yourself on the ground and miss it, as Douglas Adams had it. Actually, that's orbiting. You need to stand high enough and throw yourself not directly to earth but a bit to the side, and voila, your in a rather elliptical orbit if you manage to actually miss the earth (and the atmospehere). Flying is simply to throw down enough air so that in exchange you can stay up.