by Rob on

Okay… this is something that really only can happen to me!

After dinner I felt after having a beer. Dinner tasted well and the weather was so nice. So I walked to the nearby fastfood restaurant and fetched me two bottles of beer. Almost whistling I walked back home… to discover that I hadn’t my doorkeys with me… so I couldn’t get into my home.

So there I was… without my keys, without my cellphone to call someone. All was inside of the house.

Now in the past it was possible to open the frontdoor with a trick. But that was changed some time ago to make the house more safe to burglary. So these houses are now real safe, which is of course generally spoken a good thing…. but not now!

I really had not a clue what to do. And at that moment I wished we used silly things as putting a key under a stone or something…

Anyway, on a certain moment I looked up and noticed that the window of the room with computers was open.

I tried the small ladder we have, but that would have been too dangerous. So I asked some neighbors if they had a bigger ladder. And luckily one had…

This great guy climbed up the ladder and went through the window into the house to unlock the doors. I was so happy to be able to enter the house again. This is what they call “Noaberschap” in this area. The will to help others of the neighborhood…. and that is a good thing!!!

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by Rob on

In the last three weeks we (the developers of our company) had a Java/JBoss training of 9 days.

It was a very though training, but I learned a lot. Lets be honest, before starting this training I had only basic knowledge of Java. But during this training I really got a better insight on the Java platform and I have to say that I start to like Java more and more.

Of course this training was focused on Java and JBoss. Basically this course was about building webbased application with Java and frameworks as JBoss, Spring, Seam and so on. That sounds easy, but I can assure it is not. There are so many things related to it.

About the course it self there were good things and less things. The instructor was very good. A good sense humor and very expressive in his way of telling. I really like that.
The lunch was reasonable. The classrooms were lousy. No airco, too warm and no ventilation.

Nicest thing is that I could use my own laptop during the course. And because of that I have a very nice Java development environment installed now. Including Eclipse, Tomcat, Ant, Maven, JBoss, MySQL and Highview (and I may have forgot some :P). And that is a nice start.

What is also is nice is that I really can start to work with Java. I have my first official Java project :).

It was nice to have with some colleagues dinner at the Thai restaurant Bangkok. Don’t believe Anitha when she says something is not spicy at all…. it will still burn your throat away.
After the dinner those that were left over went for another beers, but for me it was really time to go home. I arrived around 23:30 home :).

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DVD’s and more DVD’s….

by Rob on

People that know me, know that I have a rather nice collection of DVD’s. And I buy on very regular base new ones. Some times a movie that is just released (in that case I really wanted the movie). But very often it are older movies which I buy cheap at the weirdest places as super markets or second hand fairs (online or not).

Recently it happens more and more often that I buy DVD’s that I already have
So has my friend Dave, who visited me this weekend, one of the “Back to the Future’ movies. And Sanne? I have for you a DVD of the animation movie Final Fantasy. I am sure you like it.

So I have been thinking about a away to prevent (or make it at least less unlikely) that I will buy DVD’s that I have already. The best way would to have a database with all the DVD’s I own with me. Caring me laptop always with me is a bad idea. But I have always my phone with me. Now is the smart phone that I got from Marion more or less a very small computer. So I looked for a small database for my phone.
I found something better. The program I found can read MS Access tables on my laptop and sent them by Bluetooth or USB in its own format to my smart phone. On the phone is a viewer installed to search through the table. A very handy solution…

And I found this way that I have a big pile of DVD’s that I have watched yet :)

I think I might do this as well for my “Suske en Wiske” boeken. I have many of them and I in the mood to start to collect them again :)

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by Rob on

Normally I don’t mind too much about people who smoke. There are only a few places/moments I do. Places where people eat, places where I sleep and early in the morning when I am just awake are examples when I really dislike smoking.
Apart from that I don’t mind it too much as long they don’t blow the cigarette smoke directly in my face. After all I am one of the few non-smokers who take smoke-breaks at work (it is always good to be away from your desk after having being concentrated at the task you are busy with.

But smokers do make me chuckle at times. Especially when they want to smoke and they cannot.
So I overheard a conversation where a woman claimed that when she would discover that she had no fire-lighter with her she would panic completely. And I heard many stories like that.
What makes me also grin is the way how some smokers react and respond towards non-smokers. As we they are sworn enemies. Always the same excuses… It is not proven that smoking causes cancer… Pollution by cars is more bad as cigarette smoke… And so on and on…

Smoking is addiction and that makes people react and illogical. And in the case of smoking it is for me often worth a good laugh!

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The strongest fighter I know…

by Rob on

This writing is dedicated to one of the strongest, bravest and optimistic people I have ever known… my mother!

Yeah sure, you may say. And maybe you right, we all like to think in that way of the people we care of and so you should. But there are some other reasons I make this statement about my mother…

Since I was 18 (and that is 28 years ago) my mother has problems with her health. In those many years I have seen her “fighting battles” that may have looked hopeless and I have seen her crossing mountains that could not have been taken.

Oh mom, I have seen the tears in your eyes, but I also saw the willpower and the strength in your eyes. And above everything your never lasting will to go on and your never falling optimistic view on things.

Mom, when I get the opportunity I will translate these words for you. You never understood strange languages as English. But I want you to know these words as you where always there for me. You were there when that bad accident happened to me and “re-damaged” my eye and I lost two of my fingertips (and well.. you know what happened more). You helped me to pick up the pieces again…
Together we stood when dad passed away… Yes, it was hard on all of us to see what happened in a few weeks to him.
When Joke and I after 13 years separated, you opened the door of your house for me. Gave me a home again and helped me to regain my self-confidence and start all over again.
You almost danced with me when I introduced you to Marion and you sworn to me that she was the right woman for me. That you would put me over your knee if I even dared to let her go (yeah right mom, you know how I love her… and what I did to get her back when things went for a little wrong without we could do anything about it….. and mom, your 43kg to my 105kg? ^_^).
You cheered with me when I found my new job.

And yes mom, now the things are really harsh on you. But I hope you remember what you learned me… that there is always a tomorrow and tomorrow the sun will shine again… even when you cannot see it directly.
This surgery you may be facing may be hard, but you can make it… a fighter as you can.
And you know, mom… one bad sign and I will grab my bags and I will sit at your bed as long it is needed!

For you mom… and for all the mothers and fathers out there who are as you!

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Last Friday at the Java/Jbos training the instructor told a story no one of us could believe. He told that Unix and C were made as a joke towards Professor Nichlaus Wirth, the creator of the programming language “Pascal”. Read here below about it…

“In an announcement that has stunned the computer industry, Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan admitted that the Unix operating system and C programming language created by them is an elaborate April Fools prank kept alive for over 20 years. Speaking at the recent UnixWorld Software Development Forum, Thompson revealed the following:

“In 1969, AT&T had just terminated their work with the GE/Honeywell/AT&T Multics project. Brian and I had just started working with an early release of Pascal from Professor Nichlaus Wirth’s ETH labs in Switzerland and we were impressed with its elegant simplicity and power. Dennis had just finished reading `Bored of the Rings’, a hilarious National Lampoon parody of the great Tolkien `Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. As a lark, we decided to do parodies of the Multics environment and Pascal. Dennis and I were responsible for the operating environment. We looked at Multics and designed the new system to be as complex and cryptic as possible to maximize casual users’ frustration levels, calling it Unix as a parody of Multics, as well as other more risque allusions. Then Dennis and Brian worked on a truly warped version of Pascal, called `A’. When we found others were actually trying to create real programs with A, we quickly added additional cryptic features and evolved into B, BCPL and finally C. We stopped when we got a clean compile on the following syntax:

for(;P(“\n”),R-;P(“|”))for(e=C;e-;P(“_”+(*u++/8)%2))P(“| “+(*u/4)%2);

To think that modern programmers would try to use a language that allowed such a statement was beyond our comprehension! We actually thought of selling this to the Soviets to set their computer science progress back 20 or more years. Imagine our surprise when AT&T and other US corporations actually began trying to use Unix and C! It has taken them 20 years to develop enough expertise to generate even marginally useful applications using this 1960’s technological parody, but we are impressed with the tenacity (if not common sense) of the general Unix and C programmer. In any event, Brian, Dennis and I have been working exclusively in Pascal on the Apple Macintosh for the past few years and feel really guilty about the chaos, confusion and truly bad programming that have resulted from our silly prank so long ago.”

Major Unix and C vendors and customers, including AT&T, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, GTE, NCR, and DEC have refused comment at this time. Borland International, a leading vendor of Pascal and C tools, including the popular Turbo Pascal, Turbo C and Turbo C++, stated they had suspected this for a number of years and would continue to enhance their Pascal products and halt further efforts to develop C. An IBM spokesman broke into uncontrolled laughter and had to postpone a hastily convened news conference concerning the fate of the RS-6000, merely stating `VM will be available Real Soon Now’. In a cryptic statement, Professor Wirth of the ETH institute and father of the Pascal, Modula 2 and Oberon structured languages, merely stated that P. T. Barnum was correct. “

True history or hoax? My first reaction was hoax, but I have to admit that until now I haven’t found a real proof of it being a hoax (and I have to say that I was too busy to dive real deep into it… which I will do when I have more time).
And lets be honest, this story sounds so unbelievable that I tend to believe it is true… Mostly the real weird and strange stories have a base of truth.

And like a colleague said, if this is true then all he worked on for so many years is based on a joke…. and that would be the biggest joke!

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Friends from old!

by Rob on

Today I was travelling back from the location where I have the Java/JBoss training back to my room. I was listening to The Wall on my iPod. And I heard the words of a song that I heard so many times before…

“Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?
Remember how she said that
We would meet again
Some sunny day?
Vera! Vera!
What has become of you?
Does anybody else here
Feel the way I do?”

Of course this song is about Vera Lynn, the famous British vocalist. But I realized that you replace her name by any name of friends you haven’t seen in ages and about you really wonder what have become of them. And I started to think of all those names from the past. I really wondered what have become of them…

Here some names (maybe some lucky browser hit will bring them in contact with me again :) )

Jolanda Huurneman
Ellen Post
Peter Siemerink
Tonnie Bouwmeester
Rita Nijland
Richard Honing
Elles de Cluys
Ellen Butter
Richard Langkeet

And so many others….

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Hello from Sweden

by Marion on

Sanne and I thought it would be nice to send some “thoughts” from Sweden.

We are having a wonderful time here. And one day we will go here too. I know that you are this week on a course for your job. And I also know that your mind may not be in a very cheerful mood, but know when needed I will back in The Netherlands very fast.

Here some of the beautiful sights we already saw in the few days we are here. I am sure there will be many more great things to see here for us. And I am pretty sure you would love it here.

I hope you don’t mind I loaded the pictures directly to your weblog, because that is the only way I can put pictures there I know of.

(Did you liked the pictures we sent you by mail??? We are thinking of you!)

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Roll on into the next week

by Rob on

On the way back to Amsterdam. The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day.

I feel kinda weird. Marion and Sanne are for 3 weeks on holiday to Sweden. They left last Friday and I already miss Marion. But she needs this holiday. She has a very busy and stressful job. She needs these breaks from it.

Me? I will have for the next 5 working days a Java course. To be honest, for what I have seen until now from it, I like Java a lot more as C. So I am looking forward to it, although I realize it will be long days. The course will be given in Amsterdam at the Wibautstraat. So for me it is easy to get there.

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A big shock…

by Rob on

When I left last Sunday from Haaksbergen to Amsterdam, I knew my mother was not feeling well. She got anti-biotics and for some reason her body acted reacted very bad on that. But for antibiotics you always need to take the complete cure.
So when in the train, I called my mother to hear how things were going, she already told me that it all got worse. That already gave me a bad feeling. And it made my arrival in Amsterdam harder this time, as I was feeling I should be back in Haaksbergen.

Today at work, I suddenly got a call from the home where my mothers stays to tell me that mother was taken to the hospital because they were very affraid that she was suffering for “bloed vergiftiging” (sorry, no English translation for that at the moment) and that they didn’t want to take a risk because that be lethal…
The told me that my brother already talked with the doctor and that he would have all the information…

So I called my brother and he was completely surprised by my call, because he wasn’t even aware that our mother was taken to the hospital.

So he made some calls and he found out that my mother was taken to the hospital because they didn’t want to take any risk for this “bloed vergiftiging”. My brother called the hospital and there he heard that my mother was not out of all the examinations yet. He would be called when all the information was there.

Back on my room I prepared for a quick travel back to Haaksbergen. Just waiting for the call with the news!

Begin of the evening my brother called. Good news… it was not “Bloed vergiftiging”, but it seemed that just anti-biotics didn’t go along with the other medicines my mother was taken. At the hospital they will replace the antibiotics by something that my mother can handle. She has to stay some days in the hospital to recover some of her strength.

Tomorrow I will ask my team leader if I can take of Wednesday afternoon, so I can travel back to Haaksbergen and work Thursday and Friday from home. That way I can visit my mother in the evenings.

So for now, end good, all good…. but oh, I feel like 10 years older!

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