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 …

Posted by Fahim at 6:05 pm  |  1 Comment