Monday, April 26, 2010

Not my day

Today I went to a job interview at Tata headquarters. Unfortunately, the position required mastering Java programming. I know basics of OOP, I've programmed in C++ (Java is based on it), but I've never programmed in Java. Interview finished.
I was down for the rest of the day.
I hope next time have more luck. Finding a new job is not easy here in this days.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My first girlfriend

I told PushyCAT about an idea for my blog, and she said she'd thought the same before, so I offered her a (fair) deal: She could talk freely about the idea in her blog, but I would decide her next article's topic. We agreed.
(Don't tell her, but I conceived that idea --and the deal later-- because I wanted to see other kind of topics in her blog.)
But she insisted in picking the topic for my next post. ("That's not fair" I thought, but I conceded, knowing she was going to decide an embarrassingly title. "Quick payback" I thought later.) And she selected the topic you have read.

My first real girlfriend was Marilyn (real names have been changed to protect the innocent from jealously people LOL). She was 18, a brunette girl. We met dancing a complete disc of KC and The Sunshine Band. Marilyn liked music (as me), and she was a fan of Queen. She was an intelligent person but not a nerd. I could say, a good girl, but Marilyn had a main defect: she usually didn't show initiative to do things or solve her own problems.
Our relationship was quite short and I decided to finish it.
After that experience, I put my eyes on blondes. LOL.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

CD rot

In the previous article I wrote about the musical meetings I did many years ago. In these meetings, I burned a lot of CD-Rs for my valuable collection. I thought a burned CD-R could last a hundred years. I was wrong.

Two or three years after the meetings, a friend asked me for a song I had in my custom CDs. I found the disc and proceeded to extract a track from the CD (a process called ripping).
Suddenly, the ripping software showed up an increasing number of disc read errors. I was surprised because the disc wasn't scratched. So I ejected the CD and put it near the window. I saw a brownish discolouring at the edge of the disc. Then I remembered when I studied the CD manufacturing process, if the CD's laquer coating fail, the air corrodes the reflective layer (changing its color), destroying it, and making the disc useful only as a frisbee.

You cannot imagine the horror expression drawn in my face. I started to check ALL my collection of CD-Rs. Some CDs looked good, but others (fortunately just a few discs) had the infamous CD rot. The affected discs showed up the same read errors in the last tracks (at the disc's edge).

If you have valuable CD-Rs burned years ago, take a look on them...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Burn baby burrrn!

Ten years ago, I used to organize meetings with some friends (sharing the hobby of collecting music) and everyone presented their new adquisitions (new CDs or mint vinils), and the others guys copied the musical stuff to their computers (thru a not trivial process called ripping). At that time, the only way to obtain scarce discs.

Today, no meetings are necessary: we (the old friends) put the name of the performer (or title) in any internet search engine and we have a lot of sources with files available for download (no more rippings). Mainly mp3s sources. Unfortunately, I don't like mp3s files. My ear is able to detect artifacts inherent to this type of compression.

My friend Rod (from the old meetings) told me about a website that contains many music in lossy and lossless format, and (this is the best part) members post stuff every day.
A lossless format is a compressed file, but unlike lossy mp3s, the compression doesn't affect the quality of the original sound.
So these days my CD writer has been very busy burning a lot of discs.

PS: Burrrn (with three Rs) is the name of a small program able to read lossless files and burn them onto a CD-R.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My FB friend Carmen told me about a website dedicated to books: Actually, it is a social network for readers. I must confess I'm not a good reader (even in Spanish), but I signed on and added the few books I have read in the past. And I planned to start reading a book in English (in an effort to improve my limited vocabulary), so I could add this new book to the list, and comment it later.
So, I'm open to receive book suggestions... LOL.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The old but reliable transistor radio

In case of earthquake, blackout (or another emergency), I listen news and information using a venerable transistor radio instead the modern mobile phone or mp3 built in radio. Why? Because new gadgets are dependent on AC power (internal batteries need recharging when exhausted), and usually AC power is down in an emergency. If the battery is out, the only hope is a spare one, but often gadget's batteries aren't standardized!

Even if the transistor radio's AA batteries are dead when an emergency happens, it is possible to open a TV or DVD remote control and use their batteries. I wonder if young people know this simple but important facts...

Before the last earthquake, transistor radios were not abundant in some stores (because people prefer the new and beauty mp3 players). Now it is impossible to find pocket radios. People have rediscovered the convenience of an old and simple transistor radio.