Monthly ArchiveDecember 2005

life &Technology I use 30 Dec 2005 01:59 pm

Panagiotis first software !!


Baby Panos loves the PC. He just can’t keep away from it.

So today, I whipped up a little vb app for him that shows pictures of animals and plays the sound that animal makes when he clicks on the picture. He LOVES it !!

I must admit, he hasn’t got the hang of the mouse just yet but he’s almost there, managing to click on a few pics and hearing the sounds. I think his favourites are the dog and cat.

Maria has some tips on improving the app so I’ll get them into version 2 pretty soon.

Projects 30 Dec 2005 07:57 am

Da Vinci’s 6 principles for Thinking



An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.


A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.


The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience.


A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.


The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination; whole- brain thinking.


A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena; systems thinking.

Technology 23 Dec 2005 02:22 pm

Books: New Idea in the works

stavros boxes of books

I have many many books. Probably over 2000. I have a really hard time knowing what I actually have and where it is so I’m working on a new idea utilising ISBN and XML and an old barcode scanner I have to catalogue ’em, link ’em, tag ’em, sort ’em, chuck ’em etc.. Im considering using Ruby and MYSQL for this one. Should anyone else be interested in teaming up with me on this new child of mine, just send me a mail and I’ll send you a brief.

Technology &the net 23 Dec 2005 01:52 pm

Blogging as a Social Tool – Gnomedex 5


There’s a lot of cool videos over at Chris Pirillo’s blog from his latest event Gnomedex 5. One I thought was particularly appropriate to mention was Blogging as a Social Tool – check it out.

work 15 Dec 2005 09:13 am

Greek ECDL Testing Farce

45 days ago
IMS: “Are you sure your team don’t want the Greek test?”
Me: “No. We prefer to be tested in English thanks.”
IMS:”Ok, but it might be a little different, like you won’t get the results straight away”
Me:”Is that the only difference? No problem, we can handle that, go ahead and book us.”
IMS:”Great. 11:00?”
Me:”Great !!”

Am I wrong in thinking that when one takes an examination, one should expect an absolutely perfect examination environment? I mean perfect not only in terms of the physical room as such. I also include the exam paper/interactive test/questions/answer format/delivery format.

Well, today was just perfect for proving how NOT to run an ECDL test.

Today was also perfect proof of how to throw your reputation down the toilet and also perfect for trying to prove how very professional you are by not admitting you made a mistake, didn’t prepare enough and pretty much didn’t deliver what you were paid to deliver. Oh, and before I forget, you also preferred to blame someone else. You are also to blame. We are expected to pay you therefore you are responsible for making sure the test goes off without a hitch, thereby ensuring that those being examined perform perfectly based on thier knowledge. Your testing techique should in no way hinder the candidate – today it did. It did on at least 3 occassions per candidate. I stress that these candidates are power users who have influence on other users. It will take some doing to convice the rest of the team to sit the exam based on the Power Users’ experience.

While we decide how to proceed, can you please proceed in cancelling any further scheduled tests we have.

I wonder if we should charge you a consultancy fee for helping you iron out your problems.

Technology 10 Dec 2005 02:34 pm

I need one of these


I know, “Sorry, I ran out of battery” is a lame excuse. Battery charge is finite. Daylight is not. This ubergadget is just so essential to me. I can’t count the number of times I’ve run out of juice on my phone or laptop at the most inconvenient times. Considering we have over 340 days of sunshine in Greece, you can’t help but want to take advantage of the rays. The Voltaic Systems Solar Panel Backpack is a bit pricey at $229.00 and I wouldn’t want Panos to use it as a stepping stool like he does with my current backback, but it really is a must have for me. I hope to pick one up soon so those that need to reach me can reach me when they need to.

Explaining &Technology 10 Dec 2005 02:01 pm

Explaining: RSS

Like email, but for websites. It’s a way to get new content delivered to you automatically. When a site gets new content, your RSS reader (a program that retrieves RSS): receives a notification.

Most sites with dynamic content have a little RSS button that helps you subscribe to that sites RSS feed. For example I have an RSS Feed on this site.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”

The BBC has a great page explaining what RSS is

Popular RSS readers

Technology &the net 08 Dec 2005 10:24 am

GPR$ Rip Off


Am I cheap or am I simply not a fool?

Is it me or are blackberries just not selling in Greece? I’ve had one for about 6 months but never turned it on. My feelings towards the daylight robbery that is GPRS bandwidth are well known. A Vodafone rep recently came in to the office to try convince me convince my users to subscribe to Blackberry service. His pitch was really pathetic. No mention of the benefits of using such a service nor any mention of communication / productivity gains, full time availability etc.

No, his sell was basically this: “Get in on the deal now because we’re barely keeping up with demand. We’ve got thousands of requests a day and almost can’t manage. We’re surprised you haven’t subscribed yet”

I remember thinking then, “Gimme a break ! Who is this joker !” – My response -“GPRS costs too much – how can you expect me to justify such costly bandwidth rates when compared to ADSL or even dial up. Sure mobility is a factor but is it worth 1000%? Bring down the prices and we’ll subscribe. Until then we’ll stay wired.” –

Sales rep, duly sent packing.

When i pay 8 bucks to host a website and they give me a 250 Gb transfer rate/month and compare that to 30bucks a month for 10mb on Vodafone GPRS – can u help but feel ripped off ? No thanks – Den tha Paro !!

A few months on and just I don’t see those thousands of subscribers tapping away at their Blackberries on the streets of Athens. So much for the demand they couldn’t keep up with. Maybe it’s me wearing a blackberry user filter lens.