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Ralsina.Me — El sitio web de Roberto Alsina

Damnit, lost my ranking!

This site is no longer an im­por­tant re­source about hinges, says google. :-)

If that makes no sense for you, read this and maybe that

What is flexibility

Ok, a rant.

A word you see a lot on the free soft­ware (what­ev­er) cir­cles, is flex­i­bil­i­ty.

In par­tic­u­lar, peo­ple al­ways like to say how a cer­tain pro­gram, or op­er­at­ing sys­tem, is flex­i­ble.

For ex­am­ple, some peo­ple say gen­too (or GNOME, or KDE, or fvwm) is flex­i­ble.

Poor mis­guid­ed soul­s. They should say they are con­fig­urable.

Flex­i­ble does­n't mean con­fig­urable!

A flex­i­ble pro­gram will han­dle many dif­fer­ent con­di­tions with­out us­er in­ter­ven­tion (or with min­i­mal in­ter­ven­tion). The metaphore is that flex­i­ble ob­jects are bent with min­i­mal force.

Kudzu (or Knop­pix's hw­con­fig) is flex­i­ble.

Re­com­pil­ing your ker­nel to stat­i­cal­ly link a new driv­er is in­flex­i­ble.

If you think that just be­cause you can man­u­al­ly re­con­fig­ure your sys­tem in­to a bazil­lion dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions, your sys­tem is flex­i­ble, then you sure­ly agree that mar­ble is flex­i­ble.

Af­ter al­l, you can turn mar­ble in­to many dif­fer­ent stat­ues, all dif­fer­en­t!

No, sil­ly put­ty is flex­i­ble, be­cause you can shape it in­to dif­fer­ent forms eas­i­ly and quick­ly and with lit­tle ef­fort.

If in or­der to change the ink set­tings on your print­er you need to cre­ate a new print­ing queue, or print to a file and per­form a mag­ic in­can­ta­tion with a .ps file, your print­ing sys­tem is not flex­i­ble.

In fac­t, the on­ly re­mote­ly flex­i­ble print­ing sys­tem on Lin­ux is CUP­S. The rest are rigid, in­flex­i­ble and bad at their work (at least the ones I know).

If in or­der to ac­cess a de­vice some­one tries to use you have to re­con­fig­ure your sys­tem, or down­load more stuff, or hunt for a driver, or re­build your ker­nel, or re­com­pile ap­pli­ca­tion­s, your sys­tem is bro­ken.

If you think that your sys­tem is flex­i­ble just be­cause af­ter ap­ply­ing force to your sys­tem it per­form­s, you are wrong. Your sys­tem is rigid, and you are the flex­i­ble buf­fer that is adapt­ing, it's like a bake­lite rod wrapped in rub­ber­foam. And you are the foam.

You know, when you take an in­flex­i­ble ob­ject and you try to make it adapt to some­thing, it breaks. That's why in­flex­i­ble soft­ware is bro­ken so of­ten.

Since al­most ev­ery­one has this sil­ly idea about what flex­i­ble mean­s, I will prob­a­bly start us­ing mal­leable or plas­tic in­stead.

Thank you very much, try the veal, I'll be here un­til thurs­day.

Strange w3m screenshot

I tried the w3m tex­t-­mode web brows­er. It sud­den­ly start­ed dis­play­ing im­ages in­side my kon­sole win­dow!

How the heck did that hap­pen??? Not even the w3m web­page sug­gests it can do that :-)

And yes, that's just a plain old kon­sole (it works on xter­m, too), and I am run­ning w3m-0.3.2.2-5

Aggregate all KDE/Qt blogs!

Some­one wih good band­width should do it.

Like Plan­et­g­nome, on­ly about some­thing in­ter­est­ing ;-)

Double feature at the Electric

Some­times, on sat­ur­day af­ter­noon­s, I am a cheap bas­tard. When that hap­pen­s, I go to the Elec­tric.

The Elec­tric is an old cin­e­ma, that shows two movies (usu­al­ly 6-­month old re­leas­es) for $4.50.

That´s 4.50 as in pe­sos. Rough­ly 1.5 Eu­ros. As I said, on sat­ur­day ater­noon­s, I am a cheap bas­tard.

The pro­gram­mer there is prob­a­bly a crotch­ety old geezer who has seen 89000 movies in fi­ty years, but the pair­ings he comes up with are a thing o beau­ty.

Right now, you can see Se­cret Win­dow with Tak­ing Lifes. Or Hi­dal­go with a Den­zel Wash­ing­ton movie. Or Start­sky & Hutch with Mas­ter and Com­man­der (!?!)

I chose the first menu, armed my­self with a ra­dioac­tive-yel­low drink called Pome­lo Neuss, and pre­pared to see Mr. Depp get weird.

I had read rather bad re­views of both movies, and was sur­prised to like both of them.

Se­cret Win­dow

I must con­fess I have read al­most ev­ery­thing Stephen King pub­lished (noone has read ev­ery­thing he pub­lishe, in­clud­ing him), and liked, when younger, a lot of it. I had­n´t read this one, though.

It´s a un­usu­al movie. The open­ing through-the-mir­ror shot is damn good, and makes lots of sense in the end.

Depp is a dis­turbed in­di­vid­u­al. Here he plays a crazed per­son.

Tak­ing lives

It fea­tures An­geli­na Jolie´s naked breast­s. That´s an au­to­mat­ic two-s­tar movie at least. It´s al­so not a bad thriller, al­though it has enough plot holes to drive a truck in­to them.

The dou­ble fea­ture (spoil­er­s)

Amaz­ing­ly, both movies are about the same sub­jec­t. In one, a man con­tains two soul­s, in an­oth­er, a soul so dis­likes his hu­man ves­sel, it re­for­mats it in­to oth­ers through mur­der.

The clin­i­cal term for the first case is schizophre­ni­a, for the sec­ond there is­n´t one be­cause it on­ly ex­ists in fic­tion.

The idea of a per­son loathing him­self so much he wish­es to be­come some­one else ap­pears for ex­am­ple in Les Mis­er­ables. Here we have Jean Val­jean as a psy­cho.

Jean Val­jean is shown good­ness by a priest, and de­cides to be­come good, and he be­comes a re­spect­ed man, then he is shown evil in law, and be­comes a fa­ther, and a fugi­tive.

Here, the as­sas­sin is shown con­tempt by his moth­er, and be­comes a her­mit crab, changin hu­man shell­s, be­com­ing some­one else for a few years at a time, over and over.

And Javert is played by Jolie, look­ing damn good in dis­crete white blous­es and black suits (she should keep dress­ing that way).

In Se­cret Win­dow Depp is ha­rassed by him­self, and ends the movie by em­brac­ing his oth­er per­son­al­i­ty, and is, in the end, thor­ough­ly hap­py with him­self.

As you can see, the char­ac­ters in both movies are vic­tims of self­-es­teem is­sues, of dif­fer­ent kind­s.


I am writ­ing this on a pub­lic com­put­er, and the key­board is stick­y. In par­tic­u­lar, the d of­ten fail­s. So, some let­ters may be miss­ing.


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