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George Schizas Blog

Days in the life of a clone

Windows Vista Installed

Finally, after two months of having Windows Vista Ultimate RTM, I succeeded in finding the time to install them. I had to buy a new 500 GB hard disk first (because I managed to fill the 300GB one I bought previously!), but I have finally installed them. It took me about 20 minutes to actually install them, and about half an hour of researching what name I would give my computer. I finally ended up with the same name (Typhoeus), but I found out about a lot more ancient monsters 🙂

Anyhow, I’ve installed the bare minimum applications (Office 2007, 4NT, TextPad, Beyond Compare, uTorrent). I’m going to install the rest as it goes…

World of Warcraft – Burning Crusade

I’m installing right now the expansion to World of Warcraft. Through a weird sequence of events, I have it in my hands, almost 4 hours before it is officially released to the world! 🙂

Import and Export in .NET

A common task in making “integration” projects is usually the part where the programmer needs to open an external file, which is in a (very) legacy format and parse this file. This obviously results in large and boring glue code, which bloats the project and makes it scary.Enter FileHelpers, which really simplifies the whole procedure. All you need to do is make a class of your data (actually what one line is) and add one or two attributes. For example:

<FileHelpers.DelimitedRecord(vbTab), FileHelpers.IgnoreFirst()> _
Public Class BicFile
    Public Name As String
    Public Description As String
    Public Amount As Decimal
    <FileHelpers.FieldConverter(FileHelpers.ConverterKind.Date, "yyMMdd")> _
    Public OpenDate As Date
End Class

Obviously this simplifies everything and saves a lot of boring code. The program is open sourced, and it is also available in library format (so that you just add a .dll reference to your project). I wish I found that earlier!

Kallikantzaroi

For Christmas Eve: an old Greek folk tale:

There is a very old tree, the Tree of Life, that holds all of the earth on its branches and leaves. This tree is very deep down inside the earth, and all around the year, there are some small and evil creatures (kallikantzaroi) that try to cut the tree off, some with saws, some with axes, some with hatchets. They look like small demons (I think the closest thing would be goblins), some tall, some short, but all of them ugly. At December 23rd, when the waters are unbaptized (Christ is born, but is not yet baptized), they come up to the surface to tease people and generally have fun. They come into the houses and spoil what is not in order, they come and scare people that are walking by themselves in the night, and they are a general nuisance. They may not kill humans, but they can steal their voice, if they don’t answer some questions. At Epiphany (January 6), a priest comes and blesses each house with Holy Water. The kallikantzaroi are burned (kind of like vampires) by the Holy Water, and they rush back into the Earth. Meanwhile the Tree of Life has regenerated, so the kallikantzaroi have to spend the entire year cutting and sawing the Tree of Life again!

Creations (in English)

Ok, that was quick 🙂 I translated the original (circa 1991 I think) into English. Somehow I like the English version better. Maybe I’ve matured as a writer the past 15 years? Probably not. It’s probably that I grew up reading books in English or translated from English (and it showed). Somehow though, the original looks like a (bad) translation from the English translation. Maybe I should read more books in my native language?

Creations

I found a story I had written in the far, far away decade of early 1990’s, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and my only computer was a CPC 6128, published in a completely irrelevant site. The “proper” reaction would be to sue the pants off the poster (this is copyrighted content!), but obviously I won’t. This small story used to be published into scifi.gr, but since that site is now a placeholder for an half-installed wiki, I guess I don’t mind seeing it posted somewhere. Of course I did the proper thing now and gave this little story a more permanent home.
It’s in its original Greek right now, but some day (hopefully real soon now) I’ll make a translation. It shouldn’t be too hard, I think I might be more fluent writing in English than in Greek nowadays. I mean I’m sure all that Stephen King novels I’ve read must account for something. If any native English speaker reads this, please don’t laugh too hard 🙂

Christmas decorations

I started decorating for Christmas early this year. I just put a light row outside, wrapped around the porch. It doesn’t really show that much from the outside, but you can definitely see there are decorations there 🙂 I’m probably going to get more light rows, I think it’s not Christmas if you’re not paying twice the power bill 🙂

Windows Vista RTM

I’m downloading the final version of Windows Vista right now. I was a beta tester (pretty bad at that, I only filed 7 bugs or something), but it seems that if you submitted even one bug, you receive the full product, free of charge! I am going to buy Windows Vista (if not for anything else, for the extremely cool package) when they come out (and the Ultimate version, no less), but I have three PCs, two of which are going to require a “Client” Windows (I’m planning on switching the other one to Longhorn Server, or Windows Server 2007/8 when it comes out).

I saw an owl today

As I was returning home today, driving my car to park in the garage, I saw a real-life owl sitting in the street (just gravel really) looking around. I watched in awe for a minute, but before I got my cell phone to take a picture, my car’s lights obviously scared her off. Ok, I guess that was not as strange as getting abducted by an alien or anything, but when the most natural life you normally see is pigeons and stray cats, it’s a wonderful experience seeing real wild animals! It really points out I’ve moved out in a not-really-urban house! 🙂

New Books!

At long last, I just got my order from Amazon. Some 18 books and 3 DVDs 🙂 About time, too. There was no delay, but with the move(s) and stuff. I hadn’t ordered any books for about six months. I finished Narina, I was starting to read Stephen King’s “The Stand” again. I will finish it, but now I’ve got many more books to choose from.

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