All the blogposts you’ve missed because i was too busy doing other stuff

It has been quiet on my blog. Well, quiet.. It has been a ghost town on my blog. HAR2009 is mainly to blame. Being a main organiser of a hacker-party where thousands are invited is, as it turns out, a tad bit time-consuming. Not that i haven’t had the inspiration to write more blog posts, on the contrary. Instead of writing those posts, let me just summarise some of the posts I could have written had Earth’s rotation been a bit slower. Just so you can appreciate what has gone unwritten.

Side by side: Halting state vs Daemon

Of course, it’s unfair to compare serial-novelist Charles Stross with debuting author Leinad Zeraus, but the similarities in both books struck me. Where Stross succeeds in telling a story of a society in which technology has such a central role that it could make or break civilisations, Zeraus fails. Don’t get me wrong, Daemon is a nice read if you enjoy fiction with correctness on nerdy matters. But where Zeraus is quite literal on incorporating current-day technology, Stross succeeds in interpolating it to a not-so-far future where things indeed go awry. Ah well, as said: comparing any sci-fi author to Stross is unfair, the man is a genius!

HAR2009 gains momentum of a run-away freight train

Yes, I could have written blog-post after blog-post about how awesome HAR2009 is going. We’re booking succes after succes, to such an extend that is almost terrifying: where is the normal chaos, disaster and governmental sabotage that plagued previous editions of these events? We can’t do anything wrong it seems. Our PR is so good, even if you’re only slightly tangential to the hacker community you must’ve heard of it (and personally, i’m very much flattered that people seem to think Rop Gonggrijp is writing those witty little articles on the HAR2009 website, while that was actually me; I mean, for someone like me growing up on hacktic, that’s quite the compliment). Ticket sales is outside of any charts, and sponsoring is coming along nicely. HAR2009 is gonna be a blast!

PostgreSQL rocks

What can I say: PostgreSQL rocks. There’s a whole bunch of new, nifty features comin up like hot standby, parallel restore, column-level security, sliding windows, recursive queries (those are not new actually) and more. Meanwhile, the community just remains a blast to hang out with as witnessed in Brussels for fosdem 2009. To top it all of, i’m seriously planning a first Dutch-Belgian PostgreSQL User Group (dbug) meetup, so if you’re interested keep an eye out on that!

A bit of a step back from GroenLinks

Reading all that, one might think all is well and swell. Unfortunately, with all this activity I became a bit stressed, overworked and burnt-out. So I had to scratch some activities from my list, urgently. It was just not healthy anymore. Now, I had to stop being involved in lots of projects, but most near to my heart has been the treasury of GroenLinks Den Haag, as well as my chairmanship of the ICT workgroup of GroenLinks. To start with the former, I’ve had to make a serious consideration: what was I getting out of it. I won’t go into details, but I felt that the position generated too much frustration, while the reward was too small to just shrug it away and move on. I will remain active doing the technical stuff for GroenLinks Den Haag though.

Now, for the ICT workgroup its an entirely different story. The group is marginally active (although a recent case led to success in the press), and getting it on track will require quite an investment of time. Time I do not have while organising HAR2009. I announced quite early on (around August 2008, when it became clear that my involvement with HAR2009 would go beyond the occassional volunteering) I would have to take a sabbatical from the working group. However, I plan to be back in full effect after HAR2009 for that particular part of GroenLinks.

Project multiverse concludes and continues

Meanwhile, a group of students led by Melvin Rook started a project named ‘multiverse‘, designing and developing an idea I have had in the back of my mind for a while: an open, distributed virtual world. The core concept is that anyone can throw in a server to host part of the virtual world, plus there is no single point of failure. A failing node will not bring down the entire virtual world, only the part of it hosted on that particular machine. What I hope the project will accomplish is to have a truly open (open-source as well as open-access) alternative to such commercial ventures as second life, which are entirely controlled by a single company. The students have finished their project, but the project is not finished. Luckily, some of the students decided to carry on and create a community around the project so it can mature. The nomination for the free software awards will probably help there too.

And all the rants

Last but not least, you’ve missed all those rants about cheap German mice that make my cursor hover all over except on the link i want to click, smokers and other scum in Bink36 who conspire to make my workplace unworkable, companies such as eneco, KPN, xs4all and T-Mobile, the general state of public transport these days, all the bullshit on the news, designers with pixel-fetishes, apple, and much much more.

It’s too late now though, so this is it. Enjoy it, it was written to last some time: I don’t expect to be able to spare a lot of time writing elaborate blog posts in the near future.

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