lunatechian (lunatech-ian)

one relating to, belonging to, or resembling lunatech

A witty saying proves nothing

And a witty error message does not look funny if it happens 5 times in 5 minutes.

and while I am in a ranting mood, what is the big idea in showing birthdays that have already elapsed

The above screenshots are from orkut - if you fail to recognize them that is

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Doc's Apachecon notes

Originally posted Sun, 23 Nov 2003

Doc Searls has posted his notes on Apachecon in his SuitWatch - November 20 (link gone, check the page on ). Though his newsletter does not cover the technical (read juicy) details iscussed at the con, he has included a list of blogs which have discussed Apachecon in full.

He has an interesting quote in his newsletter about Microsoft.

consider what Don Norman once said "Microsoft is a conversational black hole. Drop the subject into the middle of a room and it sucks everybody into a useless place from which no light can escape."
I totally agree with him on that. I have spent countless hours discussing Microsoft with my friends on what s wrong with them. Too much bandwidth has been spent on discussing Microsoft. One day I finally decided that the moment someone mentions Microsoft, I will go into IGNORE THE POOR FELLOW MODE.

However at Apachecon, Microsoft had no mass there.

Yet Microsoft has no mass here. It's more like a literal black hole--a subject that doesn't come up. When it does, it fizzles pretty fast. Here's one conversation I overheard:
"Did you hear anything about Bill Gates' speech on Sunday?"
That was it. End of discussion.

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Anti consumerism

Originally posted posted Thu, 13 Nov 2003

I came across an interesting essay, Consumer Angst, today. It mirrors very well what I feel about products that try to ride on advertising instead of innovation. Take Microsoft, also known as the evil empire, and Linux. Everyone (well almost everyone) agrees that Linux is more scalable and robust than Microsoft < insert your Windows version > . Yet, there is this amorphous resentment, this inclination to trust a glossy advertisement more than an impartial report by your IT department. Well, my bile seems to be spreading all around and getting out of hand, so I will return back to the essay.

The reason I like the essay is that instead of ranting (like me), he fleshes out the issue very well. Here is an excerpt from the essay

Here are some examples of the minor lies that are included n advertising to support the big lie:
"New!" - How can something be simultaneously new  and absolutely essential to survival? Or, given the thesis that new is better, the advertiser should honestly list the ways that the old new product failed us, thus setting the stage for inevitable disenchantment with the new new product.
Another of my favorite quote (and especially relevant in an argument between Linux and Microsoft) is
"It costs more, but it is worth it." By implication, things that cost more are worth more, and by negation, things that have no price also have no value. This is an appeal to reject the entire natural world out of hand.

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Rage against the machine

Originally posted Sat, 18 Oct 2003

This news article at BBC has a list of things that cause loss of data. The list reads more like The Foolish Things we do with our computers.

  • Laptop shot in anger
  • PC thrown out the window to destroy evidence before police arrived
  • Laptop fell off a moped and was run over by lorry
  • Laptop dropped in bath while doing company accounts
  • Stolen PCs rescued after three weeks in a river
  • Red wine spilt on laptop over dinner
  • Server rescued after running unchecked 24/7 for years under layers of dust and dirt
  • Computer thrown against a wall
  • Latte-covered laptop rescued
  • Laptop left on car roof as owner drives off

The article also asks its readers to share how they lost their data. The stories are funny. My favourite

My mother was so infuriated that she couldn't get something to print,  she proceeded to completely rip the keyboard and mouse out of the sockets and throw them out the window.
The worst I treated my computer was when I once kicked it to make it go faser. I realized later that a better way is to simply switch from using Windows to Linux :-)

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Personal ad as a periodic table

Originally posted Fri, 17 Oct 2003

This is really nifty. Good use of chemistry, DHTML and information design. This guy posted all the information about himself in a personal ad. He presented the whole thing as a periodic table. One cool hack. I will make one for myself too. See here for this guy's personal ad

addendum: 2 years later the link still works and I still have not made something like that for myself

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Do violent games inspire people

Originally posted on posted Fri, 17 Oct 2003

Ownt has an interview with the Running with scissors' Vince Desi. The interview was posted on October 7th 2003, but I did not blog about it then. Vince is an all around cool guy, not because he uses a lot of fu** and shit (which Ownt has not censored graciously), but because he has his head in the right place and knows a thing about computer games. In case you do not know, Running with scissors made a wonderful game called Postal, which has helped to bring cheer into a lot of stressed out people(many of whom are programmers). It has lots of violence (you can burn people and there is lot of blood). Here is how they describe themselves at their site

We are Running With Scissors, notorious video game developers despised by Senator Lieberman, the United States Post Office and the Australian legislature (to name but three), for daring to produce the tasteless and insensitive videogames POSTAL and POSTAL 2.
. My favorite quote in the interview is
Q: Back then did you think much about the fact that games could somehow "inspire" the player to commit acts that were portrayed in your game, or any game for that matter?
A: First let me say that if I thought we could make a game that would honestly motivate people to do things in real life, then I would make a game about fucking, cause this world needs more sex than killing that's for shit sure.

You can read the rest of the interview at Ownt. (link to's archive). Be warned beforehand if you have sensitive feelings.

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echoes from an abandoned blog

Before I got myself the domain, I used to have a blog at I have stopped posting to it completely (I use the JS account to read the blog of siome of the people ), but there are still a few good entries in it. Over the next few days, I will bring them into this blog. This suddent spurt in posts should not be seen as a burst of creativity ;-)

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