Tue, 27 Apr 2004

Luckily an artist was looking

A few hours after asking for help to get the hackergotchi head jdub was requesting, jacobo mailed me a candidate which I really like. jdub, Keybuk, feel free to add/replace my current image with this one! (smaller version available here). I didn't have to give jacobo a photo to extract my head from, he even went ahead and found a suitable one (in tbm's Malaga gallery). Many thanks, jacobo!

Sat, 24 Apr 2004

On Jobs, Catalan, Saint Jordi and hackergotchis

As I hadn't written in a while, the stuff I wanted to reply to or write about had piled up. Unfortunately I have forgot about a few things, but these are fresh enough for me to remember and comment.

So I finally got the job I had been orbiting around for some months. It's quite Debian-related and while I have been in the office for a pair of days, the first impressions are good, the workmates are friendly and the work is interesting. I'm now working for the local government's Conselleria de Cultura, for the Lliurex.net project. If you remember LinEx in Extremadura, it's more or less the same idea applied in our area. Good stuff, but it's too early to say more right now.

I'm quite shocked at Amaya's latest blog entry, where she questions that the Valencian language is in fact Catalan, or at the most, a minor variation of Catalan. Apparently during her talk in Castelló, she asked the audience if a user list for Valencian Debian users existed, when we already have debian-user-catalan, and she was amazed when people told her "no, no, no". Amaya, *I* am amazed that being a linguist you have this view on the subject. Maybe you're just not informed enough on the subject. The only social group who supports this point of view is the Valencian right-wing nationalists, which have quite fucked points of view on a variety of other subjects, and their argumentation makes no sense at all. I guess the answer is in any Iberian history book. What is clear is that this stupid debate in the Valencian society is just weakening the Valencian language a lot, and as I see it, Spanish is quickly taking over the minoritary, native language in many aspects of life. Also, what is left of Valencian use is very contaminated with Spanish barbarisms and incorrections, which only takes a language to its spiral of death. Luckily, recent reports of the use of Catalan in Catalonia are a bit more encouraging and show that the health of Catalan in that territory is getting better every year.

Yesterday, Catalunya celebrated Sant Jordi, which is also el dia del llibre. My parents have the habit of presenting me with books. This year I got yet another book by Ferran Torrent, Un negre amb un saxo, and Toni Cucarella's Quina lenta agonia la dels ametlers perduts. I'll start devouring them as soon as I finish reading Sacco & Vanzetti, which is very interesting.

jdub, I wish I had a hacker head, but I really suck at GIMP or any image manipulation program. :) I'm glad to accept help though.

Triathlon season started

These have been some busy two weeks. Our plan to train a lot during the long vacation weekend two weeks ago was a bit disrupted by the rain. We managed to swim and run (under the cold rain), but our bikes had to stay at home until Monday, when back in Valencia we could do a long 100km training session.

Without much more training during that week, last weekend was our first triathlon of the 2004 season, which starts quite early this year due to the Olympic Games in September. The first race was important -the first of three races for the Spanish Triathlon Open-, and many people from other areas of Spain came to Valencia. The weather during the week had been bad, with rain and a lot of wind, and the sea was in quite a bad condition. When we were about to enter boxes, the organizers announced that the triathlon was going to be cancelled except for the Men's Elite category, which pissed us all. We had to run a shitty duathlon instead. On Sunday, Valencia hosted the European Triathlon Championships during which I and many of my teammates helped as volunteers for the organization. Seeing all the elite triathletes competing so near to us was exciting. Both the women and men races were very interesting, and while Spain didn't manage to defend their two 1st places of last year (for Iván Raña and Ana Burgos), Eneko Llanos got in second place, while Pilar Hidalgo came in third in women.

Watching these two races helped my training motivation a lot, which I was lacking quite a bit and will come handy for our next triathlon, next week in Fuenteálamo, which is a qualifier for the Spanish Championship next summer. It's quite unlikely I'll manage to classify, but at least I have the Eneko Effect on my side. :)

Thu, 08 Apr 2004

Vacation plans

It's been a while since my last post. After posting it, I got a few mails on the subject (some in agreement, others trying to explain me the situation in the eyes of the people in the other camp of the conflict). I also had a quite interesting IRC chat with Jody, which also helped me understand some facts in the current situation of Jews in general in the world. Jaldhar Vyas also wrote a paragraph on the matter. I won't comment too much on it, because this topic has been discussed to death during years, but just dismissing the accussation of "state terrorism" by Israel just because their attacks are "specific" isn't too accurate. For me, a bomb going off in a public bus and an entire army going into Jenin's refugee camp and destroying houses with their inhabitants inside is equally non-selective. The difference is, the first actions are performed by radicals, while the second was done by the army of a supossedly democratic and civilised country.

In the last two weeks, I've spent most of my weekend in duathlon activities, racing first in Silla, and then in Alicante. Next week, the triathlon season starts, when sea water is quite cold still. Luckily I've got my Orca wetsuit this year, so I'll probably suffer a lot less than last season.

I've also doing some work on the experimental GNOME 2.6 Debian packages, which are quite ok right now. The major issues are caused by a few packages missing from experimental, as they are held in the NEW queue of incoming.debian.org. Hopefully that'll be solved soon, but while we wait, we've created an APT repository which should soon contain all the packages that are needed to run GNOME 2.6 smoothly and are not yet available in the archive. One major issue before we even consider trying to drop the stuff in unstable is to do the gconf transition correctly: the goal is to move schemas files out from /etc. Joss has a plan to manage this both for GNOME 2.6 and GNOME 2.4 (in case it's the version that is finally shipped with Sarge).

Tomorrow I'll be gone to my town until Monday, I really need to stay away from computers for a while. During the vacations, we need to train quite a bit to prepare the upcoming triathlon and the many successive races in the next weeks. Too bad the weather is getting bad again...