Friday, December 21, 2007

End of the year

This year is coming to an end, I can't wait for the holidays to come. I'll head to Constanta for Christmas and then to Budapest for the New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Skills you need to succeed

In a column I read on BBC Bill Gates talks about the skills you need to succeed in the current society. The ones that I find very significant are ongoing learning and having a "curiosity about the world". Note that it's not guaranteed you will succeed if you have these skills :)

Nevertheless I keep trying improving on them: I started the fifth book from Harry Potter series (you learn a lot of magic from there :) and this one is in English (I read the first four in Romanian). Now I have to match all the funny translations of names (for example Snipes = Plezneala, Muglers = Incuiati).

Another event that attracted my attention recently was the Bali summit on global warming. The good thing is the talks there didn't collapse, but the bad thing is the progress is minimal. The arguing between U.S., E.U. and developing countries continue. Are we running out of time here?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Making solar energy cheaper than coal energy

Google announced recently they will invest/donate a large amount of money into research on how to make the generation of solar energy cheaper than the one generated by burning coal. They also plan to hire researchers in a newly created department at Google to study this problem. More here and in an interview here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What are my friends reading?

One of the cool applications I found on Facebook are those that let you show what books you read or are reading at this moment. The problem is there are multiple applications doing the same thing and I bet you cannot exchange data among them. Just looking at the profiles of my friends I saw three of them: Visual Bookshelf (the one I also use, being the first one I stumbled upon), Shelfari Books, iRead. I wish there was a monopoly in this domain :)

By the way, I finished the third book from the Harry Potter series. I started reading the forth one (the goblet of fire).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Waiting for the fiber-link...

I'm home, waiting for the cable guys to show up and install the new fiber-link internet connection. This is the second time I'm waiting for them, the last time they just didn't come :(. Poor services, but not much choice in this area: the cable operators just split the city building by building and they don't compete with each other. And I don't trust Romtelecom which is also offering internet services. They are more expensive and have an even poorer service quality record.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cultural events

We went to some nice shows lately. First was "Carmen" by Bizet, a nice performance of the National Opera from Bucharest. Next we saw "Happy Days" by Samuel Backett: a "tough" parable about what hope means. And finally, at Ateneu we saw a "camereta" concert (there was something like a half sized orchestra, strings only, plus a flute soloist). They played pre-classical pieces, mostly by Vivaldi, including the Four Seasons concerts arranged for flute. Interesting experiment, although the presto and allegro parts were hard to play on flute, they didn't sound as good as violin.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Java Puzzles

Yesterday I saw a very interesting presentation on some Java programming puzzles. Done by Josh Bloch (author of well known book "Effective Java Programming Language Guide") and Bill Pugh (professor at University of Maryland with extensive research in programming languages).

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Online social networks

I created myself a Facebook account a couple of days ago. I had previous experiences with social networks like Orkut and Hi5, but I was not impressed by what you could do in these networks. What makes Facebook different is the range of applications that you can deploy on your profile. The number of Facebook applications grew since they provided an API so that anybody can write such an application. Meanwhile Google released an API (OpenSocial) that will let you write an application deployable on any network that agrees to support this API (and a lot of them do, except guess who? Facebook). Let's see where this will take the online social networking buzz.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Recycle Bin

No, it's not the one from Windows :)
I couple of weeks ago I read some news that bins for recycling paper and plastic bottles have been placed in my neighborhood. So last week-end I recycled my first 6 plastic bottles. No giant leap, just a small step...

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I started (after a pause of two years) playing tennis with some of my colleagues. We're not that good at it, but after two sessions I can see we improved our play. And the team building is also good :) Last weekend I also went to see the semi-finals and the final of the Romanian Open, which was cool. There was also a demonstrative match between Monica Seles and Martina Navratilova.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Next Harry Potter novel and BPEL

I started reading the third Harry Potter and also started learning some BPEL for a new project. BPEL is not that fun (drag and drop programing in WID...) and will also not be that portable since another team in the project already uses IBM extensions.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Harry Potter

I started reading Harry Potter last week. It's nice and I'm already at the second novel in the series. I wonder when was the last time I read children stories. Could be "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" (a year or two ago)... That was a very nice and original one, go ahead and read it if you have the opportunity.

Usually I prefer to "consume" fashionable books and movies after a while. I still haven't seen Titanic :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vacation on an island

I'll be on vacantion next week on an island in Greece. It is called Santorini and it's famous for the volcano that created/destroyed it. Don't ask me what I would take on an island, cause I'm not going alone and I'll stay just for a week :) It's my first island vacation, but I hope it will be just the begining and I'll be able to stay longer next time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More questions and a book

I took a look at some posts from the beginning of this blog and I saw a post with this question: why do people write blogs?

I still don't know why, but I have more questions:
- why do people start blogs and abandon them? (they are just too lazy?)
- why do people read (lots of) blogs?

I'm reading a book by Neagu Djuvara - Amintiri din pribegie (Memories from exile - although "pribegie" doesn't mean exactly "exile", but I don't know how to translate it). This guy lived in exile during the communist era (from 1944 to 1990). He returned immediately after the 1989 revolution and is an active and well known public person although he's over 80 years old. He spent about 20 years in Niger, so the book gives an interesting insight into African affairs among other things.

Friday, July 27, 2007


I'm in Alicante (Spain) since last Sunday working on a new project for my company. I didn't see much of the town, just the turistic part around the harbour which is not very large, but it's animated in the summer. There's a lot of work to do, but we go out almost every night and try various dishes. Not to mention sangria... :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rolling Stones

Last night I've seen the Rolling Stones live in Bucharest (together with some other 60.000 people). Great show and what can I say: "I know, it's only rock and roll but I like it"...

Monday, July 16, 2007


Today I got back to work after two months. I had a surgery for lumbar disc herniation. The good news is that I had a lot of time for reading in this period. More to come on the books I read.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Alive and well

Wow! It's been almost a year since my last post on this blog... This means the real life keeps me busy. I didn't even had much time for reading. A week ago or so I finished a novel called The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman. Weird, but nice though.

As for computer science, I keep applying it every day :)