Yum

Vanilla Coke rulez. I think I’m going to switch from my “religion” which is Pepsi Twist…

Back to work

Although my exam period is officially over as of today I still have one exam on the 11th. A retry of the exam I blew last year’s second semester. And I have a lot to learn for that exam. A lot. But as usual life is not that simple.

I miscalculated my budget a little with all the spending I did lately so I’ve got some problems now. Financial problems to be more precise. But there’s a solution and it’s called work. So I’m waking up early tomorrow and I’ll try to finish a site for my french partner that’s long due to be finished. I love working in the mornings because that’s the part of the day I’m most productive. I hope I’ll succeed finishing that site…

Solaris

Solaris To test the DVD playback capabilities of my recently acquired PS2 I rented and saw Soderbergh and Cameron’s Solaris today. I like the movie. A lot.

I read the book quite a long time ago. I think it was back in the “dark ages” in the summer breaks between the 11th and 12th grade or the 12th grade and College. I’m saying dark ages because I didn’t have a computer back then and so obviously I was bored to hell. I don’t remember exactly but I think I read it really quick through two rainy days spending almost all those days laying in bed with the book in my hand. I can’t recall details from the book but I certainly remember Lem’s book as a hallucinating one. The movie’s take is a quite interesting one, a little different from the book (or at least as much as I remember of it). I really loved the movie visually, that cold medical kind of color combination of the whole space station really blew me. It was in a huge contrast with the smooth warm colors of the flashbacks and the vivid colors of the planet itself. Although Clooney is not one of my favourite actors he plays quite well and Natascha McElhone is interesting to look at as always.

I’m currently watching the movie with the director and producer’s commentary overlaid as it comes as an extra on the DVD which I rent for 60.000 lei (about 1.5 euros). At least I’ll know I saw everything contained on the disc. Well except reading the script which is included in it’s whole…

I think I’ll “include” this movie in my personal top of sci-fi movies alongside Blade Runner and Gattaca. This is how sci-fi movies should be made.

Those Z80 days

Reading a post in the Kit.blog about fractals and more specifically about trying to create fractals on a ZX Spectrum brought some quite nice memories into my head. And not about fractals because I was never fascinated by them (maybe because I never studied them more closely or because I was much too young when the fractal craze was on) but about the “creative work” I was doing at about the same time as Cristian was making software to generate fractal images on that less than 1MHz Z80 processor.

My trusty old CIP (CPU dead)

I was, like everyone who ever owned a Spectrum clone, badly into games. But I was always trying to create stuff and as I never learned the assembly language I was programming little games in Basic. I never finished any of them of course but I remember that the first part in creating any game was drawing it’s screen in Art Studio. Pheeew. I’m getting all nostalgic thinking about that piece of software and all the hours, the afternoons in fact, I spent in it. Drawing screens. And designing “fonts” fitting into 8 by 8 pixel grids. Even now I remember the POKE instruction which I had to use to switch the default font in Basic to the custom one created in Art Studio. So there I was, pimpin’ around in Spectrum Basic “modded” with my custom font. Who cared?

I wish I had the tapes with all those small proggies and most importantly those fonts and screens… But I was stupid and borrowed them after my Z80 died. Never saw them again… But obviously I never thought back then that there’ll come a day when I’ll be nostalgic over them…

Damn army service! Die, die, die!

Yesterday and today were some days to remember!

I’ve been expecting two packages with two gadgets yesterday and so I woke up at 10 AM (a personal record for me, really) and rushed out to the gate to check the mailboxes in a bath gown I took over my pijamas. I was wearing a cap on my head because it was rather cold in my room and besides it was raining outside. If somebody saw me… There was nothing in any of the mailboxes so I retreated to my room and went back to bed. I layed on my back for some time then got up and fiddled with my computer for a while until it was time for another mailbox check. Rushed out again (same costume) and now there was stuff in one of the mailboxes. In fact it was too much stuff…

First of all there was the announcement that the PlayStation2 I’ve been expecting arrived and I should go and pick it up. Then, there was a package addressed to someone else with the same last name as mine (mistake of the postman). And finally there was a small paper which meant bad news. Very bad news. The one piece of paper each and every young man in Romania is afraid of. “Ordin de incorporare” was written on it. This means that they’re calling you to do the mandatory army service (one full year if you do not have any superior studies, half a year if you have). Yeyks!!! Anyway, if you’re studying the moment you get the paper they’re not taking you but I got scared badly anyway since last year there was a huge scandal which resulted in my (and other’s) nerves being stretched to the max for two days. And this happened only because some fucker there at the unit didn’t want to accept our papers because he didn’t felt like accepting them that day… I’m getting nervous just talking about this. Typical stupidity. The point is: I got scared.

I went down to the post office and picked up my PS2 (more about this in a later post). After my parents got home I told them what happened and I said I’ll take a short trip to my university to get the necessary paper that confirms that I’m a student. I went down. Got the paper. Came home. Played my brain off. At least it was comforting to forget a little about it. I couldn’t get my new camera (the other gadget I was expecting) yesterday night (more about this in yet another later post).

And so, somehow, there came today’s morning when I woke up early and went down to the military unit one day earlier than expected, grinding my teeth with fear and expecting the worst. And I went in, the guy at the door told me a number for an office, went there, handed the papers to a lady, she said OK, and that was it! That was all! Well, after getting out of there I nearly screamed of happiness. I think I had a rather huge smile on my face.

I hope they won’t bother me again with this SHIT. At least not this year.