Skip to main content

Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Rst2pdf 0.92 released, now has a website.

Just re­leased rst2pdf ver­sion 0.92. Rst2pdf is a tool to con­vert re­struc­tured text to PDF with­out re­quir­ing mul­ti­-hun­dred-megabytes of soft­ware. It sup­ports styling, mul­ti­ple page lay­out­s, font em­bed­ding, vec­tor im­ages, and much more.

Al­so, now it has a re­al web­site: http://rst2pdf.ralsi­

Try it out and let me know of the ob­vi­ous, hor­ri­ble bug I for­got to fix (hap­pens in most rst2pdf re­leas­es ;-)

How I Prepare to Speak

This is the pro­ce­dure I use to pre­pare for speak­ing at con­fer­ences. It may work for oth­er­s, it may not. It may be good, it may be bad.

  1. Be asked to speak

  2. Be un­­sure about it for a few days

  3. Be asked if you are go­ing to move your ass and do it al­ready

  4. Think ti­­tle

  5. Send pro­­pos­al at dead­­­line +/- 48 hours

  6. Spend the next week or two think­ing of can­­celling

  7. Fig­ure out what the ti­­tle means

  8. Spend the next N-1 weeks un­til the con­fer­­ence with a con­s­tant di­a­log in your head about what you should talk about

  9. Turn that con­s­tant un­or­­ga­nized di­a­log in­­­to a lit­­tle sto­ry

  10. Write down the sto­ry head­­ings in slides

  11. At­­tend the con­fer­­ence

  12. Sit in the back while you pol­ish slides

  13. Start talk­ing

  14. Show slides

  15. Stop talk­ing

Sea Moderno, Escriba en Argentino, Jefe.

Sor­ry, span­ish on­ly!

El prob­le­ma es que el es­pañol es una lengua vi­va, y co­mo to­do aquel que ha vivi­do tan­to, se es­ta ponien­do se­nil.


En Twit­ter me aca­ba de de­cir el ami­go Per­ri­to esa frase re­donda, cer­ra­di­ta, im­peca­ble, cual cu­lo de muñe­ca Yoli-­Bel­l. Y tiene razón. Por eso yo no es­cri­bo en es­pañol, ni en su cuña­do sec­tario el castel­lano, yo es­cri­bo en ar­genti­no.

Y eso no quiere de­cir es­cribir "que hacé cabeza, a cuan­to la bir­ra" ni "el alazán se re­to­ba" sino sim­ple­mente es­cribir mas o menos co­mo sueno en mi cabeza, lo que no es tan fá­cil co­mo pare­ce, pero si no lo pien­so mu­cho me sale. Si lo pien­so, sale otra cosa, que será mejor o será pe­or, pero es otra cosa.

En­ton­ces, venía di­cien­do que yo es­cri­bo en ar­genti­no, porque el es­pañol es­tá viejo. Porque el con­cep­to mis­mo de "así se es­cribe el es­pañol", "así se habla en es­pañol" es viejo. Es la idea de que hay una mesa en Es­paña adonde se sien­ta una can­ti­dad de gente (¡al­guno que me cae bi­en, in­clu­so!) que de­cide que de un día para otro de­cir ced­er­rón es­tá bi­en y antes es­ta­ba mal. Ced­er­rón, oíme, por el co­do dere­cho de Kali (el del medio), es una señal de que el con­cep­to es­tá mal.

Que haya una mesa adonde te di­cen que aho­ra al que nace en Aus­tria hay que de­cir­le aus­tri­a­co sin acen­to, es un in­sul­to, es co­mo si en tu ofic­i­na un día te po­nen un car­tel que dice que el edul­co­rante se abre del la­do de la "E" de Equal Sweet, y que si lo abrís del la­do de la "t" es­tá mal y sos un bur­ro.

Es leg­is­lar la nada, es dec­re­tar lo in­útil. Es la con­fe­sión de parte que me rel­e­va de pro­bar que son in­útiles de to­da inu­til­i­dad. Es de­cir "¡Ten­emos mu­cho tiem­po al pe­do, hag­amos que só­lo no lleve nun­ca acen­to!".

Re­pu­di­en es­o. Re­pu­di­en la au­tori­dad au­toasig­na­da de ve­tus­tos cat­e­dráti­cos de la metrópo­lis en quiebra, y hablen en ar­genti­no. Y si les di­cen que hablan mal, mán­den­los a la con­cha del pa­to, que es­tá bi­en di­cho en per­fec­to ar­genti­no. Y si no sos ar­genti­no, bueno, no im­por­ta, no te co­bramos los dere­chos.

Speaking at Ubucon-LA on June 2!

I will be speak­ing at Ubu­con LA this next sat­ur­day June 2nd. The ti­tle is "De­vel­op­ing apps for Ubun­tu One" and I ex­pect it will be in­ter­est­ing, awe­some, en­ter­tain­ing and full of amaz­ing spe­cial ef­fect­s.

Ei­ther that, or a reg­u­lar talk. Hope to see lots of Ubun­tu Users there!

A Naked Singularity

Cover for A Naked Singularity
  • Au­thor: Ser­gio de la Pa­va
  • Rat­ing: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • See in goodreads


Post­ed the re­view in my blog: http://lat­er­­man­ager­s.­­b...

But here it is any­way:

Ser­gio de la Pa­va is Neal Stephen­son with law and bull­shit in­stead of com­put­ers and sword­s.
—Rober­to Alsi­na

But there are al­so swords in A Naked Sin­gu­lar­i­ty!
—Le­vi Stahl

A while ago I fin­ished read­ing "A naked sin­gu­lar­i­ty" by Ser­gio de la Pa­va.

If you have not read it, stop read­ing this now, take a week off and read it first. You may love me for telling you that, or you may hate me with the in­ten­si­ty of a thou­sand sun­s, but I doubt you will find it in you to say "me­h" af­ter you do.

I will try not to go in­to plot de­tail­s, even though it's per­haps im­pos­si­ble to spoil this book. If I told you how it end­s, it would not make any dif­fer­ence. If I told you about the chim­p, or about the Ca­sio Carousel, it may not mat­ter. Or maybe it was a mon­key, and the Carousel is done by Sony. Which it is, in the book. By Sony, not a mon­key. I think.

Re­mem­ber that kid in school that could tell the best jokes, and he did those fun­ny voic­es? De la Pa­va writes in fun­ny voic­es. And he breaks your heart with fun­ny voic­es. His book does­n't me­an­der, it goes straight and quick, de­ter­mined and in a hur­ry right out to the mid­dle of nowhere, then keeps go­ing, goes of­froad, keeps go­ing, runs through a few wall­s, and comes back here, by just go­ing and go­ing. It has a mo­tor, it has a rock­et en­gine, it nev­er blinks.

This book is os­ten­si­bly about a lawyer stray­ing his path. It's prob­a­bly writ­ten about some­thing else. I have this strange feel­ing that most char­ac­ters are imag­i­nary, even though they talk and feel very re­al to me, who am writ­ing this and thus am sup­posed to be more re­al than they are. It's hal­lu­ci­na­to­ry grit­ty re­al­is­m. It's po­et­ic and tech­ni­cal. It's bull­shit as an art for­m.

Which is, re­al­ly, what at­tract­ed me to it. The di­alog, the mono­logues, are to reg­u­lar bull­shit like fine din­ners are to hot dogs. Ser­gio de la Pa­va may be the finest bull­shit-­giv­er in this blue plan­et of ours (take it from one dab­bler in the art), and we are all lucky to have him writ­ing.

And yes, it has swords in it.

Contents © 2000-2023 Roberto Alsina