Sharovatov’s Weblog

Another interesting week :)

Posted in personal by sharovatov on 24 June 2009

First of all, I started attending Muay Thai group here in Moscow. Three days a week, 2.5 hours each training. Found that 6 months boxing practice that I had several years ago gave me decent double jab, which is great. And it was also a surprise that I was able to survive the first warm-up – obviously, regular jogging and weights lifting did their job :)

I also took a two-week vacation to have proper rest and take time on sightseeing – still haven’t visited anything in Moscow which is a shame. Hope to spend this time productively and also finish all my hobby projects.

During the last weeks I noticed how many people in Twitter and around the world were interested in Iran elections. Once I spent enough time studying colour revolutions theory, which is a clever (and well-practiced) way to divide and rule principle that’s been working for ages. There’s enough information on the internet about this (you can start reading here or here). I really hope that all those people with green avatars in Twitter care to read a little bit about what the background is. The whole situation reminds me of how world went crazy about Tibet in 2008, but nobody cares about Tibet now :) And I’m pretty sure that there will be some protests against 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Well, we’ll see.

Another interesting discussion I noticed on Twitter is about Outlook 2010 using Word engine to render and compose emails. fixoutlook.org shows us an interesting comparison screenshot of the same webpage displayed in Outlook 2000 and Outlook 2010. Yes, it’s a webpage, not an email. Would you spend hours on creating such email? I doubt. The only use case that I can see for such multimedia-intense email is for newsletters. So yes, Outlook 2010 will use the Word engine just as Outlook 2007 does – to create and edit emails. I’d love to be able to limit my emails styling to HTML4.1 and CSS 1. I don’t want javascript, flash, silverlight or anything else working in my email client. I simply want to read emails. Plain HTML plus some basic CSS would perfectly do for nearly any type of conversation. But of course, that’s my personal attitude.

There’s a couple links on the topic:

  • howto-outlook.com has a good FAQ and explains why Microsoft took the decision to use Word engine in Outlook 2007
  • reachcustomersonline.com gives a good review of HTML support  in different email clients and provides guidelines for creating good HTML email that will be displayed similarly everywhere

I also started exploring place where I live – found a river with ducks and ducklings and obviously fish (as there were two fishermen sitting fishing).

Here’re some photoes:

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Some news

Posted in personal by sharovatov on 25 May 2009

This week seems to be really interesting! At least it started so.

First of all, I’m starting a slight redesign + complete rebuild of CSS/HTML of our company website. I finally got time to make the HTML semantic and craft a proper CSS/JS. It will be fully cross-browser (trident, gecko, webkit and presto – all implementations with significant market share) and usable. You’ll see.

Tomorrow I’m attending OSPConf about ITIL and other interesting stuff, will create a separate blog post about this.

I’ve also started a couple of hobby projects that I don’t want to publish at the moment, but hopefully will finish them by the end of June. Fogbugz and beanstalk work fine, it’s really great that it’s online, I can switch from work PC to my laptop and just continue working.

Being a fan of all computerised stuff, I was thinking of getting an iRobot Roomba – nice vacuum cleaner robot. It’s going to be of a great help, but again I’m surprised by price difference – in USA roomba 530 costs $300, and in Saint Petersburg – $600. Sorry guys, 100% margin is too much.

I’m getting more and more news about widgets and gadgets, seems that HTML/CSS/JS will be a truly cross-platform environment for building web-service oriented software. In one of the future blog posts I’ll cover this in more detail.

I purchased custom CSS for my blog, so will have to devote an hour or two to modify journalist theme (the one my blog’s currently using) and make it look cleaner. It looks fine on netfront on my PSP, but could look better on S60 webkit.

Blogging gets more and more interesting! Damn, I’ve got 11 unfinished reasonably small blog posts (less than 10 Kbytes) and 4 quite big (more than 50 Kbytes). I should do my time-management better.

Hope things keep being that interesting! :) Have a good week, world!

Great week – Hosting issues, dvd-rw, beanbags, silly putty, windows7, laptop battery

Posted in personal by sharovatov on 15 May 2009

This week was really interesting – too much stuff happening at once.

Hosting issues redux

First of all, I’m moving to 1gb.ru hosting – they have quite good prices for standard virtual hosting and I don’t need anything more. As I’ve blogged earlier, I’m cross with my current hosting Naunet.ru because they’ve got squid installed as a front-end for all their servers, and they don’t even want to be flexible with their clients. When I emailed them saying that I can’t work with chunked encoding because of their SQUID, they said that supporting chunked encoding was not a priority issue for them. Awesome. So I looked at different options, tested few hosting providers and 1gb.ru seems to be the most reasonable so far. For unlimited traffic, standard LAMP + perl + 1 domain I’ll have to pay $50 for a year :) Going to change DNS records for sharovatov.ru domain tomorrow.

DVD-RW

I finally got to the computer store and bought a DVD-RW to replace my old CDRW. 30 bucks and now I can watch my movies on a TV – great. Don’t know why I didn’t replace it earlier.

Laptop battery

I have a really weird issue with my MSI Wind U100 laptop – it will charge only when it’s turned off. I just can’t understand why this is happening, it’s saying “plugged in (not charging)” in the battery properties. This is really frustrating because my company generously bought me this laptop only a couple of months ago. Fortunately, a girl from MSI service centre said it wouldn’t be a problem to replace the battery, however, I’ll have to wait for two weeks while the new battery gets delivered to their store from somewhere else (weird!). So it will be two weeks without a battery. This is especially bad since I’m attending OSPCON IT Project Management conference soon, and it’s awful to go to a conference without a laptop. *Still hoping it’s a software issue and can be resolved by updating BIOS or something*

Windows 7

Installed on both laptop and work PC and still can’t find proper words to describe how it’s cool! In few words: Windows 7 Ultimate RC works faster than XP Pro on my Core 2 Duo + 2GB RAM (and approximately at the same speed as XP Home on my laptop). And it’s UI is something I’ve never used before – really beautiful! All hardware was working right after the installation – and I’ve got 2 webcams, bluetooth dongle, wi-fi etc. All the software works without any problems. IE8 runs so smoothly that I don’t even bother using Chrome while on XP Google Chrome was my main browser for daily surfing.

Beanbag

Beanbags finally came to Moscow – beanbag.ru! For $70 you get a normal-sized beanbag and for $100 you can buy a huge one! Awesome! I’m thinking of getting a big one for sitting with laptop.

Silly Putty

My boss ordered me a pack of magnetic Silly Putty when he was in London. For some reason it’s sold for crazy prices here in Moscow. On Amazon.co.uk you can get 3” pack for £6.95 (350 roubles) and on handgum.ru you get the same for 1000 roubles (£20.00). Can’t wait to get it :)

And of course, as every other week, it was full of work for the great company I’m employed in – Real Russia Limited :)

Back to the blog

Posted in personal by sharovatov on 12 May 2009

It was a great week – went to Stalingrad for 5 days business trip –
did all that’s been planned. The weather was just awesome –
sunshine and 20 degrees centigrade all the time, so evenings with friends drinking beer or wine were really pleasant :) Went to one café that had “free wi-fi” label hoping to have some coffee and read my mail/twitter; but the internet quality was so crap that gmail couldn’t open so I gave up.

Then back to Moscow – and 9th May Victory Day – great holiday, cool parade (C400 was shown) and fireworks – awesome day.

Then hockey – Russia-Canada 2:1- and we’re world champions again :)

So after a great business trip and really great holiday I’m back to my blog, will soon publish a big post on chunked encoding support and other interesting stuff :)

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Some photos from Saint Petersburg

Posted in personal, photos by sharovatov on 14 April 2009

Just uploaded some photos from my latest trip using Windows Live Photo Gallery – quite a useful tool to organise, crop/resize and upload photos. I will post about this tool later.

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