On social networking

Kit asked in his latest entry about his reader’s opinions regarding social networking and I thought the subject was worth a post in my own blog. So here are my purely technical 2 cents. Wait! Wasn’t this entry about social (you know… people) networking? Never mind.

I use 3 social services mainly for fun and to please the geek in me. These are: del.icio.us, Audioscrobbler and Flickr. Heavily using the bookmark manager (even integrated it with my site), passively but continuously using the music profiler thingie and less the photo service, but less here means that I don’t post to it. I browse it extensively and this is where the social networking part comes in: I use tags to discover stuff that i’m interested in: snowboard, cats, etc and leave comments if I see something that I like. del.icio.us is even cooler: after posting a bookmark there’s a chance you’ll see “and X other people” and clicking the link shows the list of X people who bookmarked the same thing and might or might not have the same interests as you do, and you can browse their bookmarks. You can also do the old fashioned tag browsing as with Flickr or you can dig into the popular links section to see all that’s cool and trendy on the Net, and slap your IM friends with an “oooh, that’s so old” reply when they send you a certain link a day or a few hours later. :) I’m not really into Audioscrobbler because it’s really shaky, I mean it’s got looong downtimes where nearly nothing of interest works on the site. I guess they have serious problems scaling with their ever growing user base.

I briefly tried LinkedIn (recommended by Gabriel) and Orkut (after finally receiving a much sought invite from Gabriela) but I didn’t find anything too appealing in either one. The accounts are there, at least if they haven’t deleted them due to inactivity, but I never re-visited the sites after the initial subscription process.

All right, I’m off to add some deliciously social bookmarks…

RDS Baia Mare sucks

Yesterday I was home in my (extended) lunch break and as I was downloading something right before my eyes the speed went up to something around 90kB/s. What the!? It stayed there for a few minutes, the files were flowing in and then it dropped back to 30kB/s which is still double the speed I get during the day. I thought the guys at RDS were messing around with their config and something went wrong but as I got back to work I opened the RDSLink page and there it was. Good news. Great news in fact.

It looks like they tripled the transfer speed of my subscription and lowered the price by 10 bucks! Oh Lord! As you can imagine, János, once nicknamed “download boy” was in a complete joygasm. But it didn’t last too long. Because exactly what I’ve been expecting happened: I was still at work at around 7:30 - 8 PM (that’s what I get for those extended lunch breaks) when all the kids finish their homework and get on the Net and so the cable modem at my workplace desynced and stood like that for a good 45 minutes or so. And I know exactly why this happened: their infrastructure sucks. Ass. Oh, and phone support was busy or not answering. Right on! I knew they started having problems right after Canal 7 was acquired by RDS and they raised the speed to 256kbps last year. That’s why I was strongly wondering how will they support 768kbps… They didn’t.

As I’m writing these lines the speed is back to the old standard of 15kB/s during the day and 30kB/s by night (as I saw in the download logs). I’m wondering if this is happening nationwide or only in our wonderful little town? Because if it’s the latter case I’ll be reeealy pissed!

A unique entry

Notice that this entry was posted on 05-05-05 at 05:05:05. And notice that the calendars will show 05-05-05 again in exactly 100 years. Also notice that today is thursday which is the 5th day of the week. This combination will occur again in about 7000 years. OK, I admit that I wasn’t awake at 5 in the morning to post this but instead I tweaked the post’s timestamp for the full effect. Anyway, at least I posted this 30 minutes before 5 PM…

A bit depressed

Yesterday I met with some ex-collegues from the company I worked at during the year of 2001 and I realized that everybody is in a better financial state than I am currently. I can only blame myself for this because I attached myself professionaly to a certain person far too long even if I knew that it was a dead end partnership. But at least I got out of it a month or so ago, marking the end of my so called freelancing era and considerably reducing my monthly income. Almost to the limit I could say.

I haven’t made any long term plans (how characteristic) so the future is quite uncertain now but for the moment I’ll be staying at SoftZone. It’s really nice there (I’m drooling over my 17” LCD each and every day) and besides it leaves me a bit of spare time which I’m using to focus on my more or less personal projects. Expecting something good to emerge.

Until then I’ll just continue playing that familiar game called “surviving those damn monthly payments”.

Biking around the town

Finally some activity today! I mean physical activity, because since the snow went away I haven’t done anything that required muscles and actual physical effort.

Ioana had a great ideea today: she pulled out two bikes (her’s and her brother’s) from the shed, we blew off the dust that gathered on them over the years, pumped some air into the wheels and off we went! First we cut through the streets around her house, then we rode around the park, paused, rode some more around the park and then we headed back home. After getting off I felt like in the good days back in the winter: tired but great, feeling that I’ve accomplished something.

This brings me to a question I wanted to ask here on the blog: what do you recommend? What should a snowboard enthusiast do during the summer? There are a few options that came through my mind: rollerblading (never tried it), skateboarding (I think I’m a bit too old to start breaking my bones on the concrete) or biking (yes! - but I should invest in a shiny new bike). For the moment I think I’ll stick with biking (on the borrowed bike) but does anyone have any other ideeas?

Don’t hesitate: shoot me a comment!