Hubert Figuiere
August 04, 2004 (link)


Wow. Looks like my blog has become weekly. That means I'm really busy, because back to unemployement time, I did it daily (week days). I really need to maintain a blog. That remind me sometime by the end of December 1999. That was the last week since the December 26th tempest was behind us. I was, like every morning, waiting for my suburban train at the Antony station to head to Paris for my work. This morning was unusual as the train stopped right after entering the station, after having heard a huge crunchy noise. I was not starring at the train until I heard that noise. Oh no. At that time I did not realised what had just happen, my first thinking was "Hell, how will I go to work now". I don't know why. But later during my journey (the train that followed stoped at the other platform, because they had no choice before being able to stop them all), I thought about what happened and felt really scary. Someone jumped on the tracks, right in front of the train. It was not an accident. It was a suicide ! I now remember how I felt that evening: scary. I know, I started to write something in vi on my laptop and I wanted to post it somewhere, some place where someone could read it. I could have posted it on my website, but I did not, and that was not the blog era. Nevermind...

And I got woken up by the phone ringing at 6:50 AM Friday. That was Stéphanie. She was already home (at 12:50 PM in France), and she wanted to explain me why ; she did not want me to be scared: a high pressure gaz pipeline exploded close to her office (1 km away, but this is not a metropolitan area) in Belgium, right next to the highway exit she drive thru everyday. With the emergency, they evacuated the building for safety, flames being 10 meters high. She went home. Apparently nobody she know got injured at all, and co-worker in Paris were worried because they got the news quickly. This catastrophe made 16 dead and 200 seriously injured people, that makes it somewhat important. And that was an accident caused by construction work.

Living alone is difficult when you are not used to it. I left my mom's home to live with Stephanie, sharing my life with her. I never lived alone, but when I was in school at INT, and this is different as I was seeing her once a week, at least. I was not for away. Right now, there is an ocean, and 6 timezone beetween us.

Since I arrived in Montréal, exactly one month ago, I spend a lot of time with my new friends, pphaneuf, dilu, mich and dcoombs, as well as all the other people at NITI. This help forgetting you are alone, but this does not help to spend the rest of the time alone at home. I'm really feeling insomniac. I thought that these insomnia where gone but not. That surely will not prevent me to be hyper, and to catch outing occasion, like having diner with other co-workers, going to concert at Franco Folies de Montréal

While I'm at it, I went at 5:00PM today at a concert of Pépé et sa guitare, a Québecois singer with mich, Francois and his girlfriend. J'ai eu bein du fun even if I did not catch all the lyrics. There are two other concert tomorrow I'm interested in: La Grande Sophie and Cali, some French artist I know a little bit (their music).

This week-end I met dom and plam from the AbiWord team. They stayed in Montreal for the week-end. We went to the Biodôme with wlach on the Saturday given how awfull was the weather. To bad they did not stay longer. No doubt I'll have to go down to Boston, if I can get a new passport with that optically readable stuff....

And I have seen so much movies lately that I don't intend to track the list anymore.

Again, I would like to thank all the people here that welcomed me so warmly: wlach for hosting me the first few days, pphaneuf and dilu, for the welcome BBQ party the first day, and for picking me up at the airport, as well as dcoombs who also take part of the delivery process. I don't know how would everything have happened without your help, and I really appreciate, sincerely.


Not hacked much recently. Just a little further on my rewrite of the RTF importer to handle text box. I rewrite the parser even more to handle keywords using a semi-generic class implementing callbacks. This make the code cleaner, but harder to debug. Seems to work beside a few major issues that show how hard it can be to debug callback based code. I'm confident, I just need a fast machine for builds to not waste time. Probably something for my NDF.

August 05, 2004 (link)

dcoombs: that sucks you did lose your tripod. At least you still have your camera. Don't drop it like I did !

rp: Before reinventing the wheel, have you looked at UniConf ?


Tonight I went to see La grande Sophie in concert at Francofolies de Montréal. That was great. But my right ear seems to suffer a little. I was to close from the loudspeakers on the right side of the stage. I had her song in my head for the whole day. It is strange: I have cross the atlantic to see French artists in concert. I have 60 pictures of the concert. I just need to have them processed and scanned. Maybe next week I'll have a gallery.

As a preview, here is a picture of Pépé et sa guitare taken Tuesday:

Pépé et sa guitare

Then I went back to the office in order to grab my stuff (laptop) and in fact, jnc, deniz, kjrose, cpirate and wlach were playing a cardboard game. I found that interesting, learned the rules and ended up playing with them. I missed the last metro so I just biked back home. I was lazy these last days as I was taking metro, my bike being at the office. I'll have to bike back at the office.

It is now 1:30 AM and I don't seems to be able to sleep. I tried for half an hour. And I'm tired. Damn insomnia. I'll try to reduce how much coffee I drink, probably make it less strong.


Looks like Evolution 1.4 APIs are not the best on earth. They are inconsistent as they don't work the same, being e-book (Address Book) or cal-client (Calendar and Tasks). And I seems to have problems with e-book. At least the exist unlike on MacOS X where Apple never publicized CALCore.framework APIs to use iCal. I hope the switch to Evolution 2.0 will solve several issues.


Henri Cartier-Bresson passed away Tuesday. He was 95 and *is* one of the greatest photographers.

August 10, 2004 (link)


I was getting really bored this week-end, and the weather being somewhat rainy, I ended up hacking more than usual at all. Working on the RTF import to import text boxes, I end up to the rewrite I always wanted to do, changing more and more code as it goes on. I really need to write this test suite so that we can run make test and check that no regression has suddenly appeared.

I ended running out of battery, and the AC adapter was at the office. I fetched it on Sunday but finally did not use it. And my importer still don't fully work.


Today I got back the pictures from GUADEC from the lab. Finally. It took me a few weeks to bring them to the lab, and a few weeks to get them back because I waited. I now have 8 rolls of slides to run thru the scanner... and my slide scanner is in France :-(

On Sunday, I went to Parc Mont-Royal to take some pictures as there is always lot of activaty there, people playing "tam tam" and dancing on rhythms. Looks like I was not the only one to have this idea. I'll post some as soon as I get them back from the lab and I get them scanned.


Today I tried to get my Quebec driving license but I couldn't because I didn't have a valid proof of address (like a bill or a bank account paper). They don't accept lease contract. Otherwise it is just a matter of going to SAAQ, filing some paperworks and paying some money. That's all, because I have a French driving license. I miss driving. I should try to have a occasion to drive (would have to rent a car, possibly with manual transmission).

August 11, 2004 (link)

I think a bet all the records: I woke up at 4:20AM and was unable to sleep again. I don't know why. I definitely woke up and headed to work, walking because at 5:05 there is no subway in Montréal. Thanks god we are not in winter, and the thunderstorm is over. I'm now alone at the office since 5:40.

Yesterday evening we went to Auberge du Dragon Rouge with the usual gang. Lot of fun.

August 16, 2004 (link)

This week-end was really enjoying. Sunday we went to Oka's beach with NITI for a company outing. Weather was really apropriate: hot and sunny.

But to counter-balance, this morning I decided to start doing some laundry at 7:00 AM and after starting the washing-machine, it started to do a noise we don't like and to smell in a way that make me think the machine would die. I really need to sort that out TODAY.

On Saturday, I after shopping a little bit (buying some photo stuff like a small camera bag and some film), I went to Mont-Royal. I ended walking at least 20km. At 1:00 AM, while going home, I broke my bike chain ! The bike is almost new. I'll try to get help from pphaneuf to fix it as he apparently has the required tools. Now I have a really good excuse to take the subway, beside my lazyness.

As a consequence, I'm feeling sucky today.

Marketshare matters

And this time, having lower market share is turned out as an advantage. According to The Register, this CD protection doesn't care about Mac and Linux users (think "everything but Windows") because the represent a so irrelevant number of customers. So you buy the CD and don't even get annoyed with a copy protection if you don't run Windows. Not even mentionning how easy it is to circumvent on Windows, because that may fall under the stupid DMCA....

August 23, 2004 (link)


I think my next camera will be a Canon EOS 20D. While not yet released, the specifications look really appealing as Canon finally decided to release a zoom lens dedicated for digital cameras and the does not sucks: the EF-S 17-85. It provide wide angle, USM auto-focus (which the 18-55 does not have). But since this is an EF-S mount, it does not work on the 10D and previous bodies. I was really tempted to get a digital SLR camera, even more since this shooting session at Violent Femmes concert, but the lack of decent wide angle lens at a decent price with USM just retained me. Now this is solved. I'll just wait for its release and a little bit more for the real use reviews. And pphaneuf lent me his EF 50/f1.8 to take pictures indoor with NPZ 800 films. Almost love it. I really need a fast lens, but since I still dislike non-USM, I'll have to go with the EF 50/f1.4 which is four time the price. I don't care, this is probably one of the best lens ever and I already have it for my 30 year old camera.

On Sunday, I went for a walk / shooting session in Vieux Port de Montréal. Sunny day, 60 pictures. I really need to get that digital camera. Film is beginning to cost me, even if I'm still retaining myself because it is film that I'm burning, not bits.

I'm a slacker, I still haven't made my digital pictures galleries from Guadec and Canada. Need to fix that.


Life activity level as sort of lowered, mostly because it couldn't have raised. I took the bad habit last week to stay really late at the office. I should not take that bad habit as sleep is going away in the mean time. This is not a life (given that I arrive at the office beetween 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM in the morning).

On Saturday we had a garden party at Deniz place. Most of the guests were coming from LiveJournal and knew each other this way, at least initially. It is amazing how you can create communities this way (sorry Pierre, our minds are crossing, I wrote that before I read yours).

This week, we plan to do a Kill Bill 1 & 2 show on the office video system. Maybe Tuesday.

I hate washing machines !

Thursday, the landlord came with the repair man for the washing machine. I started to change some parts, and ended up diagnosing a burnt motor. That was the smell and the strange noise I heard. He did not have the spare parts with him and promised to come back on Friday 10:30 AM with the motor. He did, started disassembling stuff, and ended up saying: "I need to bring it to my place because I can't fix it here right now. I'll bring it back to you tomorrow Saturday around 10:30 AM". I waited 3 hours for him to come, he did not. Slacker !

August 25, 2004 (link)


Never make me use Windows, for the sanity of the machine, and my. I had to use today the Windows XP machine shared with rdesktop because I needed to check some interoperability issue with ExchangeItEvolution and its Windows counterpart inside Outlook. I now understand why I never want to use Windows. And even better, Outlook is crashing continuously. Please, rescue my insanity. Back to Linux.


The 20D with the 17-85 IS lens is planned to be 2800 CDN + taxes. Yum. Given how much I actually spend on film, it'll probably be really worth it.

I also brought to the lab my latest rolls and hope that this week-end will have great weather for more shutter-bugging™.


Latest update. Monday, got my credit card, finally. This does not solve everything, but at least I can pay with it. And it is neither Visa or Mastercard. Who cares.

Tuesday: got my washing finally fixed. On the other side I tried to get a cell-phone, but Fido and their credit investigator seems to be clueless as they reject me unless I get with the pre-paid-scam. Not even with the safety deposit and credit-card billing. While I could understand they'd reject with French credit cards, I can't understand with an actual Canadian card since they are not taking the risk. Funny stuff: I called Visa and they told me that I have to wait 6 more monthes before they can do anything. So far as I can understand, none of them want to get 3% of most of my expense. That is a fairly stupid business decision. And the day finished by a Kill Bill marathon with a usual gang: 2 movies in a row. I had never seen them and definitely prefers the first one.

Wednesday: got my Quebec driving licence, at least the temporary paper since the real one will follow in the mail. Tonite is I, robot. Definitely mixed reviews, I'll give my opinion.

Open Source hacking

I'm a slacker, I haven't done anything on my open source stuff, beside directionnal work on ExchangeIt Evolution for which I get paid for. I'll try to do some in the forseeable future as I still have lot of stuff pending, including RTF improvement for AbiWord and USB Mass Storage wrapper for libgphoto2.

And I have almost finished reading pphaneuf crack book: Modern C++ Design. This book could make me introduce more insanity into AbiWord code base.

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