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Tag: blogging


What would you do if 80% of your blog is owned by the
_companies_ of your Ph.D. students? First, try to talk them into
selling some of their blogshares back to the public. If this fails,
threaten never to post on your blog again until the share-price has sunk
deep enough to force them into selling. If this fails also and if you
see that the price only goes up no matter how long you remain silent, it
is time for more drastic measures. Luckily, blogshares allows the owner of a
blog to issue new shares, thereby flooding the market and stabilizing
the price. I was forced into this twice this week (the two horizontal
lines in the diagram) : on monday I issued another 5000 shares dropping
their 80% to 40% but today they acquired again 50.1% forcing me into
issuing another 1000 shares… Clearly it would be fun if more of
you out there would be buying shares of this blog (I will stick to the
1000 shares I got by claiming the blog) but I will keep on issuing new
shares whenever one player acquires more than 50%. All of this
blogshares-stuff is a bit surrealistic. In less than one week the
share-value went from 0.76 to 62.73 and the total value of all public
owned shares from 0.00 to 377383.00 and at best I wrote one reasonable
post in the same period. Oh, the stress of having to maintain an
acceptable level of postings in order to preserve the property of the
shareholders of your blog…
As if this is not enough, some
bloggers start feeling guilty because they cannot maintain their rhytm
of updates in times that they feel sick or tired. Here's what Bitch Ph.D. wrote yesterday

I think I need a break from blogging. Well,
actually I need a break from a lot of things, but blogging is optional.
Plus, I really just have nothing of substance to say right now. I hate
to be all drama-queeny, and fuck, maybe I'll change my mind if the
meds kick in tomorrow. Though actually I think they're working in
that I still feel shitty and anxious but
it's—just—manageable enough for me to function at a sort
of minimal level. Or maybe that's a placebo effect. Who the hell

Anyway , the point of this post other than to just
say I feel incredibly shitty is to be giving myself public permission to
be a shitty blogger for however long it takes until I actually want to
talk again.

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I've added a few side-bar links just for fun. One is who links here which is described to

Who Links To Me – for the ultimate
narcissist within you

and if you click it you get
_some_ of the pages linking to this weblog. Not that it is so
important but it is pleasant to see that some real people (as opposed to
spiders) look at this page and at times this is needed just to carry on

Another link I like is blogshares. On its homepage its purpose is described

BlogShares is a fantasy stock market for
weblogs. Players get to invest a fictional $500, and blogs are valued by
inbound links.

Much to my surprise my blog is
valued to be worth $3,793.32. I'll be happy to cash this in and
start a brand new blog anytime! Unfortunately, so far nobody seems to
have bought a share of @matrix, so please do, I think it's a good
investment if you look at the current growth rate. A more sobering
figure is that my present market share is a mere 0.000195188 %…

(added febr 2007) : clearly i’ve given up on
such things (though I’m presently worth 5 times more)

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irrelevant list

there is no way to recover from the previous post, allow me a slow
restart by listing some of the a-typical things done this week :

  • Ate more chocolate than during the last five years

  • Drove the car more than during the rest of the year (minus

  • Didn't do any bicycle exercise

  • Only checked email in the morning (at best)

  • Didn't do any math (apart from helping

  • Didn't go in to university at

  • Drank even more coffee than usual

  • Regardless, felt exhausted every evening

  • Did far
    less web-surfing (but managed to find
    on academic blogging)

  • Cooked fast and way too
    cholestorol-rich meals

  • Ate even more chocolates

Fortunately, the semester (and teaching)
starts tomorrow!

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one week blogging

So far I
found it rather easy to post one or more messages a day as I was
installing a lot of software or trying to get things working and was
merely logging my progress for future reference. These notes are useful
to me but probably not to the rest of the world. Another thing I noticed
is that I’m using this blog sometimes as a replacement for my
Bookmarks, merely listing interesting web-pages without too much
personal comments. I will continue to post both install-logs and
bookmark-logs but in addition I want to write (say weekly) a lengthier
post on a specific topic with more background, more details (such as
screenshots) and more personal comments. We will see how this works out
in the coming weeks…

Another thing that slightly
worried me is that people visiting my homepage and clicking on to my
blog may expect entirely different things there. But this cant be
helped, I’m sitting on an OSX-cloud at the moment but no doubt this
will change quickly. Beginning of february I have to give a talk on
Combinatorial Game Theory and soon afterwards the
Non-commutative Geometry Master Class starts in which I’m giving
a couple of courses, so mathematics will become more dominant in this
blog from next month on…

On a
blog-tech matter : I found a quite good editor pMpost
which is meant to write pMachine-blogs offline and upload them by one
click. It also synchronizes categories etc. on login. Further, it has a
spelling-checker but the thing I really like about it is that you can
save texts as a draft and continue at a later time (sadly, it remember
the date/hour when you start your post so when you finally submit it it
will be posted at the starting- rather than the posting-day. Still,
there is nothing that copy/paste cannot solve. I hope to use this
facility when (read if) I’m going for a more in-depth post. Another
matter that I will address to as quickly as possible (probably over the
weekend) is teh layout of this site. The main annoying thing is that the
text doesnt resize when you increase/decrease window width. So I will
address this matter first and probably leave a personal layout and
color-scheme to later. Fortunately, I did find a good site containg a
lot of CSS templates for pMachine weblogs. Another site I’ll have to
investigate over the weekend is pMtemplates. But don’t expect too much from the
layout-side, I still have other projects to worry about : SSL, WebDAV,
streaming iTunes, getting on Ethernet-DVD player to work and so

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iHome – a long way to go

situation at home is not that atypical : 2 adults and 2 children, each
having their own (Mac) computer but living in a relatively old house
(end ’50ties) with all electricity recently redone but without any
ethernet-cables. Fortunately for Macintosh users there is for years the
wireless Airport network and that is how we can connect to the net all
at the same time : a first generation Airport basestation
(graphite) connected via a router to the cablemodem together with
Airport cards in most computers. But surely we should be able to get
more out of this network than that, (or can’t we?) and that will be one
of my main projects this year, to see just how far one can stretch it
with minimal investments and using OS 10.3 (Panther) and open
source software.

Surely, a major reason for our poor
use of possibilities is ignorance. Up till recently this was the way one
would go about to get a file printed (we only have one USB-printer
connected to the eMac in the living room) : take a Sony-memory stick
(called the lipstick here) and get the file on it, go to the
living room, start-up the eMac, tansfer the file via the stick to your
homedirectory and print it… Only recently I found the obvious bypass
to select ‘printer-sharing’ (in System Preferences/Sharing) on
the eMac so that one can print directly from any computer provided the
eMac and the printer are both turned on.

Can one do better? Yes, one can provided one is willing to buy a
new Airport Extreme basestation which has a USB-port. Connecting
the USB-printer directly to the basestation, the printer becomes a
network-printer of sorts. As the eMac and a recent G4iBook needed
already an Airport extreme-card I bought a new station hoping to recycle
the old graphite-basestation as a wireless bridge which can be used to
extend the range of the basestation (again in the living room) so that
the full garden gets covered (which may come in handy this summer) and
Apple-documentation certainly gave the impression that this might be
possible. However, Airport-extreme stations (third generation) and
graphite Airport stations (first generation) seem not to be that
compatible. In fact, it is impossible to connect them either wireless
(which should be the only choice given our house) or via roaming.
So whereas I upgraded the network substantially (at least in principle
for as long as there are still (normal)Airport-card computers using it
one cannot make use of the increased dataspeed nor of the increased
security) at the cost of a perfectly working basestation for which I
have no immediate use (maybe I found a way out but I’ll check it out

So, there is a lot of work to be done this
year and much to my surprise there doesnt seem to be a good book about
this type of problem (so what do other people do with their networks
???) so maybe there is a point in blogging my (slow) progress

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a blogging 2004

As it is probably better to run years behind than to stand eternally still, I’ll try out how much of a blogger I am in 2004. If you want to read more about blogging, Rebecca’s pocket is a good place to start. She has written an essay on the early days of
the weblog
, an article on weblog ethics and a couple of (pretty obvious) tips for a better

But let us not talk about ‘better’ or ‘ethical’ at this moment, I’m just starting out. Give me a couple of weeks/months to develop my own style and topics and I’ll change the layout accordingly.

For now, I’ve taken the free blog-tool pMachine which uses only PHP and MySQL on the server-side so I should be able to get the layout suited to my own mood shortly. A major advantage of a weblog over a homepage is that you can feed it to programs called news aggregators by subscribing.

The program can then be tuned so that it ventures out on the net at regular intervals checking whether any of the blogs it is subscribed to has new material and reports back with the running title and opening lines.

If more people would turn their homepages into weblogs, the frustrating job of checking (usually in vain) whether their pages has been updated could be left to the aggregator. For now, I’m using Rancheros’s NetNewsWire as my Mac OSX news

Okay, now it is time to make some final preparations for endyear, but tomorrow I’ll wake up to become a blogger