June 30, 2003

Well, I completed all the work on the first project I was doing for Martin – the one where I developed a web interface to generate text messages with a given font, color, size etc. on the fly. It took about a week of tweaking to get it to the exact stage where it was useable and Martin seems to have liked my work and I am gratified by that :-) He even asked me to do another project for me – which is actually an extension of the first one since he wanted the additional feature of being able to place an image (resized if necessary) on the generated image with the text message and to be able to specify the position of the new image. I have been working on that particular project over the weekend and have a working demo. So the work goes on.

In the meantime, I’ve also been dabbling with a lot of stuff on the domain itself. I had been told that my host supported add-on domains and that it was possible to purchase an extra package which would let you have 50 add-on domains and 50 parked domains along with my current domain. So I got that package since I wanted to add a few additional domains on and have so far been having nothing but problems with the adding new domains. It seems as if I chose the wrong time for it because the host server had just gone through some problems and it wouldn’t initially create the DNS entries correctly for any new add-on domains. One good thing though is that tech support for my hosting company seems to be very responsive (except of course on weekends :p) and they fixed that problem as soon as I let them know about it.

I then discovered that FrontPage Extensions were supported by my host but not on add-on domains :p In trying to find out where the problem lay, I messed up one add-on domain completely and so had to try and recreate it and guess what? The server control panel will not allow me to do that since there is a DNS entry for that domain already on my host’s server and of course, I have no way to modify the DNS entry! So I’ve had to submit another helpdesk ticket and it being the weekend, of course nobody has responded yet. Ah well, the joys of being a geek :p

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Posted by Fahim at 6:22 am  |  8 Comments

June 29, 2003

Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur

I said it wasn’t going to be an entry about love yesterday but unfortunately, I can’t promise the same today :p You see, I watched a Hindi movie yesterday after a long time and as always, it gets me thinking of love, what it means, how I look at it, where I am as far as love concerned and so on and so forth. It’s inevitable with Hindi movies since almost always they are about love or have a touch of love somewhere in them :p But on to the movie itself – it was called "Chalthe Chalthe" and that means something like "on the way" or "during the journey". I loved the movie since it was in a way different from other Hindi films which concentrate on the love story for the entire movie. Here, the love story was the first half and then the problems the lovers face after they are married and the realities of love was the focus of the second part.

Hindi movies are famous for "borrowing" from Hollywood flicks and so I have this sneaking suspicion that this might be an adaptation/localization of a Hollywood movie but if so, I didn’t recognize the original. But I did love the love story – the protagonist falls in love with a girl on the first meeting and she seems to like him too but he loses her phone number and can’t contact her. He searches high and low and finally finds her after a week or so and by that time, she’s engaged to be married to a childhood friend – it’s an arranged marriage as is common in South Asia. Of course, the girl has been brought up in Greece and her family is in Greece (though the story starts in India since the girl has returned to India for something or other ..) and now she has to go back to Greece. The guy tries to tell her that he loves her but she says that they’ve known each other for such a short time and that he’ll forget her eventually and leaves.

The guy decides that he must follow her since otherwise he’d spend his whole life wondering what would have happened if he’d tried to stop her. He gets on the same plane as the girl and the flight gets rerouted somewhere due to bad weather in Athens – which is where they both are going. They spend time together while waiting for the flight to Athens and this was the bit I found interesting – the guy does several things (like jumping into a wishing well to retrieve a coin that the girl had thrown in) just because he realizes that she wants it and of course, as I might have mentioned before, to me that is what love means – doing what the person you love wants, even if that might not be what *you* want. In the end, he drives her to Athens since she is desperate to get home, even though he knows that doing so will only part her from him sooner. Of course, this being a Hindi movie, things end happily during the first half and while they do have fights and problems as a married couple, things do end happily at the end of the movie as well since they realize once again that they love each other very much and can’t live without each other :-)

So what has all that got to do with me? I did enjoy the movie but it also simply revived my love for love – if that makes sense :-) I also realized that while I might be insane in a way to look for that kind of love in today’s world (or in any day’s world perhaps .. I don’t know .. I’ve lived only one life and even that not fully <g>), that the search itself is what counts – even if I never find that kind of love because like the protagonist saying that he’d always wonder about the "what if" if he didn’t go after the girl, I too would wonder about the possibilities if I didn’t go in search of love. At least, that’s the way I feel …

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Posted by Fahim at 6:47 am  |  3 Comments

June 28, 2003

Quo vadis?

Sometimes I sit down here and I end up with a totally cryptic entry that really means nothing to anybody except for myself and perhaps a handful (or less) of others who might actually know what I’m talking about. But such entries must be made if this is to be a chronicle of my thought process and my progression through life. Unfortunately, besides the title, I can’t seem to think of much that makes sense to go into this entry :p But let me try to put my thoughts in some sort of coherent order …

I am back again to the cyclical nature of my life and breaking the cycle and also to the whole idea that all of this (meaning my life) seems to have too much of a pattern for it to be really random – or could it? I don’t know .. It’s just that I do see certain patterns and I do see the usually direction that each cycle takes and I’m wondering how things will go this time – sometimes I think that once a cycle starts, I’m just eager to get it over with – just to see if it ends the way I think it would or differently (as I hope it would) … This actually is kind of like the way it goes with my writing – once I get an idea in my head and decide to write (I mean fiction – not my journals or any of my non-fiction) I just can’t wait for things to mature – I simply have to sit down and immediately write it out so that I can get to the end. Life imitating fiction (writing), who woulda thunk it? :p

I made an effort to break out of the current cycle yesterday and out of three concurrent threads that I could distinguish as part of this cycle – I think there were changes made in at least two threads, in different ways. Am I out of the cycle though? I don’t think so … It’s just that certain changes have been made, differences introduced – it’s kind of like travelling back to the past where even the tiniest change might trigger off a cascading sequence of responsive changes which might totally change the future … I’m hoping the deviations would make an impact on the cycle and how it proceeds. But then again, I’m not totally sure these *are* changes or that they are enough – because there is this other branch of SF which says that the past is not some fragile system which could be offset by a single, tiny action – that it will self-correct to achieve the future which has already resulted in some way or another because the future had already happened (wrap your mind around that one :p) if you were able to go back into the past to change it. This school of thought says that let alone a butterfly’s wing beat disturbing the winds of time, not even a nuclear blast could do it – that things will somehow continue on the way they used to. But that’s a topic for another day and all this cryptic stuff has gone on long enough as well … :p

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Posted by Fahim at 6:25 am  |  No Comments

June 27, 2003

The founts of wisdom …

Ayn Rand’s "The Fountainhead" is giving me a lot to think of and also has provided some insights into myself, the world around me and the way I look at the world. It sometimes surprises me immensely to see my own philosophies reflected in somebody else’s writings and to hear something that I felt only as a gut-feeling expounded upon and explained so that I myself can come to understand the why’s and whereto’s of my own feelings and reactions. I finished reading a chapter yesterday which was a revelation, an epiphany in its own way though there was nothing new in what I read – just the way it was presented.

I’ve always been an individualist – I don’t believe in doing something a certain way just because the rest of the world does it that way. I always want a logical reason for doing something a certain way and it doesn’t matter to me that people have been doing it that way from time immemorial, if it doesn’t make sense to me, then I don’t do it that way. I don’t want to make money so that I can lord it over other people, I don’t help others so that I can feel superior to them – everything I do, I do because *I* want to. I know that a lot of people don’t like me going against the grain (including my own parents) but put that down to simple dislike of that which is unusual – out of the norm. However, Ayn Rand puts a new spin on it – she proposes (and I won’t quote her words here but rather, try to put things in my own words the way I understood it – for my own clarification) that people who lie, cheat, ruin and destroy others (all of this on the sly of course) just to be famous or to be accepted/admired by others are selfless because they put others before their own self – that years of dinning into our collective consciousness about altruism and selflessness has resulted in this. That these people are willing to put their own self through the tortures of knowing how despicable they really are just so that others will see them as kind, honourable and altruistic. She also states that a truly selfish man (or woman) cannot be affected by the admiration or approval of others because it doesn’t matter to them at all – that anything they do is purely out of their own selfish desire to please themselves. So I guess that does make me a really selfish person – and in a funny way, it makes sense too :p

But the strangest thing was that I’d been thinking about the very same thing in a different light earlier on in the day (before I read that particular chapter in the book). I was thinking about my friend Robin, he’d bought a new notebook computer and he was going around showing it to everybody and while thinking back upon that and how I probably hadn’t seemed very interested (because a notebook is a notebook – you can see how well it performs but after that I really can’t admire it like a work of art :p), I was reminded of the time I got the P800 and how he went around showing my phone to everybody when I couldn’t care less if anybody saw it or not – because I bought the phone because I wanted it .. not to show it to others or to impress others. Now don’t misunderstand me, yes, I’d show it to a few people that I really liked (if I knew that they were geeky enough to enjoy it :p) but I really don’t buy things or do things to show it off to other people – only because *I* want it. And this too ties in neatly with what Ayn Rand had to say.

Of course, I kept on thinking along the same lines and realized that this might apply to me in another sense too – I mean relationship-wise. All of my relationships so far have not really worked for me (and no, I’m not going to launch into another one of my rambles about how I perceive love and how I don’t think that love the way I think of it might not exist .. so keep on reading <vbg>) and I suddenly realized that this too might have something to do with the same philosophy that Ayn Rand describes. Would I find happiness with somebody who wants the approval of the world or at least, can’t stand upon her own mental feet as far as what she wants is concerned? Because I would always be the kind of person who was frowned upon by society and if my partner wanted the approbation of those around us, she’d never find it and neither she nor I would truly be happy in such a relationship. And if she wanted just to please me, I’d get irritated after a while because I’d want to know what she really wanted and not see a reflection of what I wanted in her. Again, I’ve dimly known this and have always looked for somebody who was like me – somebody who understood themselves completely and wanted to live life first and foremost for themselves. However, I’d again understood this only instinctively – not as a reasoned thought arrived at after due consideration …

All of this actually leads to something else I mentioned a day or two ago – about "who writes the script" and whether life is actually a series of concerted scenes in a drama where you are just a player. My life has a tendency to be cyclical – certain things happen in a certain order and I see that they are happening again in exactly the same mini-sequence that they always seem to, and I’m beginning to think that maybe this insight that "The Fountainhead" has suddenly shown me might be what I need to break out of the cycle and find a new direction .. or maybe I just think too much :p

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Posted by Fahim at 6:10 am  |  No Comments

June 26, 2003

The interesting, irritating interview …

I attended the interview that I was talking about yesterday and found that there was almost nobody there that I did recognize – I still am not sure whether that was a good thing or a bad thing :p Of course, that also dispelled my first paranoid theories that it might be some kind of a test/trap to see what I would do :p The guy who interviewed me turned out to be somebody that I didn’t remember but he seemed to remember me from the few visits that I’d paid to the old sister company’s offices. But I digress ..

The interview started off well enough but I realized that it wasn’t going to go well when the guy started asking me theoretical questions off a piece of paper :p Now, I respect people who are truly knowledgeable but when somebody thinks that they have the right to gauge how much you know based on some questions and answers that somebody else provided, I get irritated. Yes, I have a bit of a superiority complex – or something :p Anyway, I answered a few of the more general questions and then he started getting specific about syntax and exact methods to be used by specific objects/components. I immediately told him that I wouldn’t know the answers to any of that since I usually code with the help open and that since I work with several languages on any given day, I don’t bother to remember the specifics for any language.

What I didn’t tell him was the fact that I’ve also followed Holmes’ words in Conan Doyle’s "A Study in Scarlet" – "I consider that a man’s brain is originally like a little empty attic, you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it." I am not sure how long ago I’ve read those particular words (and no, I didn’t remember them verbatim just now, I looked it up in my copy of "The Complete Illustrated Sherlock Holmes" :p) and have followed them to a great extent – only thing is that I treat my mind more like a living room with interchangeable furniture :p When a new guest comes in for a longish stay, I put in furniture that suits him but for a casual visitor, I don’t deign to change the furniture at all :p

But I’ve rambled on again – the interviewer didn’t take too kindly to what I said and said how "everybody" codes in several languages and since .NET has multiple languages and they are all similar, I should be able to answer his question. Of course, what he didn’t take note of was the fact that I’ve worked mainly with only one .NET language – C# and that all the languages that I’d been working on recently (which I’d told him about earlier) were not .NET languages. So I told him plainly that if he wanted somebody who’d been spoonfed on the syntax and theory of .NET, he was wasting his time with me but if he wanted somebody who would do the job well and deliver on time, then I was the guy he was looking for. Of course, this being Sri Lanka and everybody being a little bit self-important (is that the case everywhere else? I’m not sure – I’ve found people willing to listen to reason a bit more in other places even when their ego has been bruised …), I don’t think he took that kindly (but I might be being unfair to him – I don’t read people correctly at times …) and I think his opinion of me would be either "bluffer" or "know-it-all-good-for-nothing" :p

There was more along the same vein – he told me that my methods would not work in a corporate environment, I told him that I’d already worked for a multinational with branches in over eight countries of the world and that they found me to be faster in coding on a new development environment after two months than consultants who’d be developing for the same environment for years – which incidentally is the truth .. that company hired me at a substantial salary increase from my then employer :p But this gets to be boring and repetitive since it was all in the same thread. I did tell him as I was leaving that I understood where he came from because he has to gauge my abilities based on what he knows and it is difficult to know whether I’m truly capable or not but I told him to ask some of my clients/former employers if he has any doubts. He gave me the usual bromide of "we’ll call you …" etc. But what do I think? I think I’ll never hear from them again :p

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Posted by Fahim at 6:24 am  |  No Comments

June 25, 2003

Who writes the script?

Have you ever wondered if your life is an elaborately scripted play or show like "The Truman Show"? I know I’ve talked about this possibility in different ways at different times but sometimes I just feel as if certain things have a pattern in the way they happen and that there are certain roads in life that you can take and almost be sure of their outcome. Yes, I’m being cryptic again :p But I’m just rambling again since "The Fountainhead" has been making me think a lot about how I act and react to the world and the people around me and that in turn made me look closely at the things which are not controlled by my actions – or at least not directly so.

It’s no secret that I’ve been looking for other employment for a while now. I’ve had some disagreement with my boss in the past and felt that he didn’t really want me there (I mean in the company) and that he’d eventually get around to asking me to leave and so I wanted to leave before that happened. However, I seemed to have no success at all at landing a new job – I’d go for interviews, they’d sound very interested, call me back and say "We are extremely interested and will get back to you" and then hear nothing from them at all. As Goldfinger in Fleming’s book says "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, thrice is enemy action" :p Of course, I don’t really think it’s enemy action but I’m left wondering what to think when it happens so frequently.

Of course the latest was different – somebody who’d interviewed me and said they were very interested, calls me out of the blue just when I was beginning to think that maybe I should settle in at my current place of work because things had kind of worked out between my boss and myself and so many others had already left that I was beginning to feel sort of guilty in leaving myself since it would be like rats leaving a sinking ship – and I didn’t want to be a rat :p Anyway, they call me after almost a year and say that they are interested and whether I am and that gets me started on leaving all over again (and I totally decided to be a rat – yes, I’m fickle so sue me :p), I went for another interview and they simply wanted me to do a Brainbench test and let me even choose the test. I chose the .NET Framework test since it was apparent that that was what they wanted most <g> and it really didn’t matter to me much as to what test I took – I don’t do too well on programming tests since my style is different to what people expect – I haven’t been taught any of these languages and so don’t know the "theory" behind them :p

I did the test and it turns out that it is almost totally theory and nothing about actual coding. I realized how little I knew of .NET framework theory but since I don’t really need most of that stuff to code a good .NET application (which I’d already done several times already), I wasn’t really worried about it but I knew I wouldn’t even hear back from them – and I haven’t so far and I don’t think I will either (that brings up a whole new rant about courtesy but I’ll let that go for now) :-) But then I apply for another job on Sunday and I get an e-mail confirmation on Monday and a call yesterday asking me to come for an interview today …

The catch? The company is a sister/child company of my company :p I hadn’t known it at the point when I applied since the company name on the advertisement was different but when I got the e-mail response, I saw the domain name and it was the old domain for the company and I was curious as to what was happening – whether somebody working for that company was using their company e-mail address while working for a different company or if they were changing names since that particular company had been having financial problems for a while now. So I asked around yesterday (before I received the call from them) and learnt that this was some sort of a venture under a different name by the sibling/child company of the company I currently work for. I didn’t get the exact details but it turns out that this is indeed an organization affiliated to the organization that I work for and that they are/were in financial difficulties … Then I get the phone call asking me to come for an interview … and what did I do? I accepted :p

It was mostly to see what was going to happen since I’m kind of going with the flow on this one. I’m also curious as to whether anybody at the other company noted where I worked and they are waiting to see the look of surprise on my face when I go for the interview since I know quite a few people in the new company – if the top management is the same as it was when under the old name (yes, I know, not mentioning names makes this whole thing totally confusing :p) If so, they are the one’s who are going to be surprised since I already know who they are :p Or maybe, I’m being totally paranoid and they are totally unaware of what’s happening and just called me in for an interview … Anyway, I guess I’ll find out what next when I go for the interview today – so more details tomorrow …

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Posted by Fahim at 6:16 am  |  1 Comment

June 23, 2003

Rand’s Brand :p

I was unable to make the entry about "The Fountainhead" today in the morning as promised yesterday (mostly due to me getting so busy that I found I had no time for blogging in the morning – but more on that at my other blog <g> and so I will move on …) so here is that entry – delayed maybe by about twelve hours but still finally here :p

I’ve had Ayn Rand’s "The Fountainhead" in my library for close to ten years now I think. I bought the book because of the blurb on the back cover which claimed that it was a great love story – or in the words of the cover itself "The Fountainhead is about ambition, power, gold and love – a love so firm that it triumphed like the hero’s massive stone towers over slander, separation, jealousy and the cruel assaults of those who sought to destroy it". Me being the utter romantic that I am, could you fault me for buying the book? :p Of course, once I did get home with it and got ready to read it, I read the blurb on the inside cover and this talked about Ayn Rand’s philosophy of "objectivism" which the book called enlightened self-interest. This seemed like such an oxymoron – it was like saying positive selfishness – that I didn’t feel like reading the book after all. So, I put the book down, then took it up again but again put it down and so on till a few weeks ago when I decided to give fantasy and SF a rest for a bit and read something new … and turned to "The Fountainhead".

The book captured my imagination with almost the first chapter – I liked the character of the protagonist – Howard Roark – immensely. Like most of the protagonists I really like, I could see bits of myself in him. In fact, in this case I went so far as to see a lot of myself in him and a little bit of myself in his opposite, Peter Keating. At the same, time, I could see the same mixture reversed in Robin – one of my closest friends :-) Not that that explains anything to anybody but this kind of brought home to me how real two of the very first characters you meet in the book are. Some of the other characters have captivated me just as much – probably because all of them are so complex … their motivation is not so cut-and-dried as would appear with most characters in books but instead extremely complicated and in some instances entirely hidden from the reader till later on since you don’t get a glimpse into their mind but just a front-row seat to their actions :-)

I could probably go on and on about the book and even spoil the story for somebody who might actually want to read it … but I won’t :p Because for one thing, I haven’t finished reading it and so don’t know how I myself feel about the book as a whole but for another, I’d like you to read it if all I’ve said so far does arouses your curiosity :-) So go on, take a look at the book (which I realized just a little while ago had been written as far back as 1947 :p) and see what you think – if you enjoy complex characters and some fine storytelling, you might just enjoy the book …

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Posted by Fahim at 6:22 pm  |  No Comments

I wanted to make this entry today in the morning and discovered why I haven’t been writing as regularly as I used to – I just don’t have the time anymore once I get done with my e-mails and the rest of the stuff I do in the morning :p So I guess I’ll either have to learn a new routine (such as making my entries in the evening when I get back from work) or start getting up even earlier. Since the former is much more easier than the latter and I tend to be extremely lazy, I guess I’ll go with the former option <vbg>

I completed coding on both my PHP projects yesterday – at least the major work is done but there of course remains just the cleaning up, tweaking. I’d already set up the demo for the client for whom I was doing one app and I was going to set up the comments system today and run it through some live testing but I got so busy at work that I never got around to doing that. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to find some spare time to do that since I do want to get that comments system going.

In the meantime, it looks as if I’m getting more clients via Geek for Hire :p Actually, there was only one new consultation and I had to turn that down in the end due to ethical considerations but Nigel suggested another project for the mobile phone market that looks pretty interesting – especially given that I have a P800 and have been itching to code for it. I promised Nigel that I would look into the possibility of what he wanted to do but alas, I got no chance at all to do the reference that I intended to do and so that’s another thing that I will have to do tomorrow. I did change the business model that I use at Geek for Hire since I realized that asking people for a consultation fee up front was not going to work :p So now, I simply ask people to submit their consultation and if we can come to some sort of an agreement on the work to be done and the payment, then, we get to the payment part … Now that I think about it, that seems more sensible anyway, duh :p

At work, I’m supposed to get back to Visual Studio .NET and C# since we’ve become interested in a collaboration tool called Groove. The tool is supposed to be used in Sri Lanka to link up all the different organizations working on achieving peace in Sri Lanka and to engender communication between the different groups. I’m supposed to be one of the support people for the tool and I was immediately interested in the possibility of creating a blogging tool to be used with Groove (since Groove allows plug-ins, or tools as they are called in Groove) since the collaboration aspects would allow multiple people to work on the same blog and that sounded like a neat concept :p I found out that there is already a blogging tool for Groove but it works only with Blogger and so I was all ready to start working on a new tool which would work with MT, B2 or any other server-based alternative working with the Blogger/Metablog API or even work standalone like Blog … till I discovered that the Visual Studio .NET support of the Groove Development Kit (GDK) extends only to Visual Studio .NET 2000! They still don’t support VS.NET 2003 – and this with Microsoft being one of the partners in the Groove venture!! Ah well … they do say that they’ll have support for VS.NET 2K3 soon and so I guess I’ll have to wait till then if I want to do any development with Groove …

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Posted by Fahim at 6:05 pm  |  1 Comment

June 22, 2003

Welcome back, Kotter :p

He’s alive!! Yep, I finally come out of hibernation/hiding :-) One of my favourite quotes from Stephen King is something to the effect that time is a pony – that it sometimes trots, sometimes canters and sometimes gallop … These days, the pony seems to be galloping full tilt as far as I’m concerned since I just don’t seem to even notice the passage of time. I thought it was maybe a couple of weeks since I’d last written here and while it is essentially so, it seems to me that I’d effectively stopped updating on a daily basis much earlier than that. I’d thought that I had nothing to write about (at least that’s the justification I used to give myself whenever I happened to think about it ..) but when I decided that I was going to start updating this page regularly, I suddenly had stuff flowing through my mind without any conscious volition and I had enough for not one entry but maybe two or three :p

So what’s been happening? I’ve been busy with a lot of stuff and I won’t bore people to tears by reiterating all of the work and coding related stuff since I’ve already made an entry on my development blog about all that :-) Let me just take a moment to say that I do hate project proposals – I love writing but I can’t seem to think of project proposals as writing … they are just too dry for my taste. It’s a good thing that I intend to cut and paste from old proposals for most of the work I need to do :p
In fact, things have been so busy that I haven’t had the time to really do the stuff I enjoy – except for coding (and reading) of course :-) I bought around ten DVD’s on one of my DVD buying sprees week before last and how many have I watched so far? One! And this is I who manage to watch at least three or four movies a day when I’m not busy that we’re talking about. Ah well … I guess I’ll eventually watch all of them since most of them seemed pretty good and these aren’t movies that I had watched before and wanted to add to my collection but rather ones that I hadn’t seen before – some I’d heard about or seen the trailers and some I hadn’t heard of at all :-)

While no movie watching is going on, I do seem to be reading at a rate. The book I’m currently reading is Ayn Rand’s "The Fountainhead" – the characters and the story has just got me spellbound and I’m usually unable to put the book down even to go to sleep. I’ve stayed up till 1:00am on weekends (that’s very unusual for me since I usually am in bed promptly by 10:00pm give or take an hour) because I wanted to know more. It’s probably going to be a long ramble if I were to launch into a discussion about the book though and so I think I will save that for my next entry and stop for now and give my fingers a rest :p

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Posted by Fahim at 6:47 am  |  No Comments

I haven’t written anything in a long time have I? Partly it’s been due to an extremely heavy workload but it’s also been due to the fact that I’ve been guilty about the fact that there hasn’t been any appreciable progress with the next release of Blog :p However, I see that that’s not going to happen for a while now and so I’ve decided to start posting again both here and at SM as often as I can – even if there is no Blog related news – just to keep the sites running and whoever is interested (if there are any faithful readers :p) updated.

So what have I been busy with if I’m not coding Blog? Well, at work I’ve been handed the new task of writing project proposals for the company since both people who used to do the job have suddenly decided to leave one after the other. So, I’m left with a task that I positively hate :p While I don’t mind writing stuff, project proposals just make me want to gag due to the amount of BS that you find people putting in there – I just can’t do that. I’d rather state the reasons why we should be hired clearly and concisely instead of writing reams and reams of hyperbole that nobody would read anyway – but that’s the business world for you .. or something like that. Anyway, I just got done with one such proposal (my first actually) and will have to start work on the next on Monday.

In the meantime, I’ve got my first real, paying client from Geek for Hire :-) So I’ve been working on that project during the evenings and my spare time. It’s an interesting PHP project since it’s an area that I’d not covered in PHP before – in fact, I’d not even been aware that you could do something like this with PHP before the project came along and now I have a pretty strong liking for PHP just because of the versatility it’s shown :-) So what’s the project? It’s a set of web pages to create an image on the fly based on user input text and a font, font size and font colour specified by the user. I completed a demo for the client a while back and have been working away at the final product for the last couple of days. I’m pretty happy with the way it’s turning out and hope the client is too :-)

Finally, I’m doing another project whenever I have a bit of time to spare – again in PHP but also utilizing mySQL. This one’s a remote commenting system for Blogs (or anything else as well, if you want to use it that way) similar to the service offered by HaloScan, YACS, Ennetation etc. Is it any different from any of the previously mentioned services? Not really – except that the implementation may be slightly different since I’ve not looked at any of those services for ideas :p But the reason I wrote it was so that I’d have access to multiple commenting systems without having to re-deploy the same commenting script that I’d been using in multiple directories. Plus, since then a friend who has no access to PHP has expressed interest in a remote commenting system as well and so for the moment the system is just being developed for those reasons :-) In the future however, I might consider using the system a bit more broadly since it does allow multiple commenting systems under multiple owners and will have fairly extensive configuration options ranging from template based page design to an obscenity/swear word filter to smiley support … but all that is for the future, first I must get the basic system up and running :-)

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Posted by Fahim at 6:30 am  |  1 Comment

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