Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Heartbreak and J2ME

Do these terms belong together? Heartbreak and J2ME? :D Methinks they do!

Just like Warren Buffet who said, if he'd been present when the Wright brothers flew their first plane he'd have shot them down, I think if J2ME hasn't been invented and adopted, it'd have saved a lot of heartbreak.

You see, today I and my coding partner spent a few hours trying to figure out why our JAR file, working perfectly on the emulator, refuses to display images when deployed on a real phone, Nokia 6600. So what went wrong?

Lesson #1: ".PNG" != ".png"
Lesson #2: Don't use Windows Explorer to view your files. If you are unfortunate enough to do so, always, ALWAYS, show all extensions!
Lesson #3: "Grow" your software in layers. Make sure each function works on the phone before going on to make other functions!

Solaris vs. FreeBSD vs. Linux

On a slightly less heavy-hearted topic, let's talk about OS-es :D yay, my next favourite subject!

Did I mention we've got a Solaris machine now? Our very own living breathing Solaris machine. An old baby, for sure, but a Solaris baby nevertheless. After the initial excitement has quietened, I realised that I've completely forgotten Solaris eccentricities. You see, Solaris was my 'rude' introduction to the NIX* world three years ago, and since then I have moved on to FreeBSD for servers and Linux for desktops.

Well, it's like getting re-acquainted to an old lover ;)
I've been reading, and reading, and reading. It's interesting to actually do something else than read and work on the computers. Anyway, most recently, I've been reading Pope John Paul II's retreat spiritual exercises, given when he was still a priest in Cracow, Poland. Way long ago, when he was still known as Karol Wojtyla.

There have been so much new insights, about dignity of human persons, God's plan for each of us, and others of similarly 'spiritual' nature. For me, this period is what most people would call 'busy': I have a BIG deadline two days from now, i have a messed up thread of a dead relationship, i'm moving out of my old place, and i'm going home in three days time. Sure, I look busy. Yet, I refuse to think, or believe that I am 'busy'. I'd suspect that word is invented in a highly secularist period :)

The Holy Father, speaking in his retreat in 1962, wrote that work and suffering, are two things that can bring us closer to Christ. Although busy-ness is often an indication of how much one is 'working', too often it is a poor substitute for the fulfilment of our human destiny. For work in the truest sense involves service and love. And despite the antisocial that I truly am, I think not even my 'work' can delude me into believing that I'm too busy for anyone and anything else. For service and love are not going to be achieved by spending 24 hours of my time working and shutting out everything else.

Now at this point, I am terribly conflicted. Terribly conflicted because everytime the topic of 'busy-ness' comes up, I will remember him: he who claimed to 'sacrifice' much of his time to 'help' me despite his 'busy-ness'. No doubt he has good intent. I don't doubt for an instant that he believes what he says. Yet it is sad, truly tragic, to lose a friend because I no longer believe any truth in what he says.

I have not gone for communion in two weeks :( I missed Pentecost. I was sick the first Sunday and too slothful to go the next. And I'm not worthy. My falling out with him has led me to believe that I'm not worthy to receive communion. Everytime something there is something hypocritical or sadly deluded, I will always associate it with him. How can I be in a state of grace when I could not be at peace with one of my own friends? And I cannot resolve it with him, for I cannot very well tell him I think he's been hypocritical and untruthful with me. To be fair, I too have had my share of hypocrisy.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Field of Grounded Arms

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
  On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
  Nor sentry's shot alarms!
Ye have slept on the ground before,
  And started to your feet
At the cannon's sudden roar,
  Or the drum's redoubling beat.
But in this camp of Death
  No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
  No wound that bleeds and aches.
All is repose and peace,
  Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
  It is the Truce of God!
Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
  The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
  Your rest from danger free.
Your silent tents of green
  We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
  The memory shall be ours.

Henry Wordsworth Longfellow