Saturday, April 26, 2008

The islands

Last sunday I went with my friend Thomas to the islands near Oslo. It is a nice trip, and the most amazing thing is that you can use the same ticket that you use for buses since the ferry is still part of the same transport system.
Don't imagine islands like caribbean islands, this is Oslo after all. These islands are small, cold and with a vegetation that is very different from palm trees and coconuts. But overall, they are very nice and very relaxing. I spotted a few places where snorkeling could be an option, so I need to get snorkeling equipment (I already checked and it costs around 2000NOK to have a decent equipment) and wait for the temperature to become a little warmer and then I'll go snorkeling and see what's out there.
The only problem in the islands is that it was forbidden to start fire except in two specific spots, so barbeques are out of the question. I hope I can go tomorrow again, if it's raining they may be very interesting.

Running in the mornings

I decided that the best I could do was to start running in the mornings, so I started running near 7am following the river trail. It is awesome, the air is really fresh and to my surprise is full of people running, doing exercises, walking dogs or simply walking. It is kinda weird, since it is still cold (for my taste), but the days are getting very bright and the sun is coming, slowly but surely. This experience reminded of what a norwegian colleague told me once: "norwegians are sun worshipers", which when said was weird since sun seems a very scarce resource around here, but now that we have a little more, people seems to be going out and doing lots of activities outdoors. And norwegians seem to even become more social and sometimes they even smile....
Anyway, coming back to the runs, I decided to start my days like that. Running, taking a shower and having breakfast. Totally perfect for me.... except that I have to do it slowly. Last week I overdid it and my body resented it, so I had to stop running for a few days. I plan to restart next week.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hey! Running in the rain!

They say there is nothing better for your body and mind that exercise and fresh air, so despite the fact that yesterday (technically today) I came home at 05:00 after a birthday party, I decided to go running.
It was amazing, I ran on the river trail which is very beautiful and it is a moderate level of difficulty. I went from my apartment all the way to the big waterfall near Grunerløkka. That took me about 15 minutes and it was just to warm up. After I decided to sprint the little hill next to the waterfall for a few laps... it was amazing, it was raining very heavily and it was very hard because the little hill is very steep, plus the added rain making it very slippery but it was totally worth it. It was a little painful, specially the last sprint but quoting a colleague from work: "pain is just weakness leaving the body"... I decided that I will try to recover the physical shape I had when I was 17/18 years old when I was able to swim 4,000 meters and play waterpolo for 2 to 3 hours every day. I'm not sure if that is a realistic goal, but it is for sure worth of trying it. I already found where to go swimming, I haven't registered yet but I think it is time to do it.
Well, to finish the running story the way back to my apartment was a little hard since it is completely up the hill, but I made it all the way without stopping so, little by little I'm regaining my shape.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Desilusiones, Heridas

Decidí escribir este post en español porque no quiero arriesgarme a escribir algo en inglés que puede no representar lo que siento.
Objetivamente, aqui estoy teniendo una vida bastante buena. No tengo mayores problemas en ningún plano excepto en el lado personal. Al principio no lo noté, pero ahora estoy notándolo cada vez más: los noruegos me hieren bastante fácilmente. Lo que es peor, no lo hacen intencionalmente es simplemente su manera de ser. Cuando creo que por fin puedo confiar en alguien, me encuentro con la sorpresa que esa persona ha estado ocultándome gran parte de sí. Digo que no es intencional porque los noruegos son bastante reservados y nunca dicen nada, pero cuando conoces a alguien y desarrollas una relación de "amistad", al menos yo espero que esa persona confíe en mí y me diga que es lo que pasa, no espero descubrir de sorpresa que lo que me habían contado no tiene relación con la realidad.
No sé si voy a ser capaz de soportar este tipo de cosas mucho tiempo más, ni tampoco sé si me voy a acostumbrar a ellas, pero de seguir asi me voy a tener que buscar algún otro país, porque de lo contrario voy a terminar volviéndome loco.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thinking about software patents and stupid things like that

Despite the fact that I love open source and that I love the idea of sharing knowledge, I worked 18 months for Microsoft in Redmond. I cannot say that I had a terribly bad time, I enjoyed working there and I enjoyed living in the small town of Issaquah.

However when I left (actually when I accepted the job offer), one of the points in my contract was to never divulgate or talk about what I learned about Microsoft technology. That means that after leaving Microsoft I cannot tell anybody what I know about how they do things on their products.

At some point that seemed kinda ok, after all I accepted the terms. However last weekend, it happened to me that I found a way to improve one part of a product very drastically. The irony is that I cannot tell anybody, nor can I tell to Microsoft people..... so that made me wonder, what the hell is wrong here?

I've been all these days trying to find an answer for that, but the only one that comes to mind is that preventing people from sharing knowledge in any way is the MOST STUPID idea ever!

I mean, our civilization came to this point precisely because people shared knowledge. Can you imagine somebody like Newton being requested not to express his ideas? (DISCLAIMER: I'm not comparing myself with Newton in any way, it's just to show the point). Or imagine Descartes being forced to shut up, or Voltaire, Pascal, Einstein..... it simply does not make sense.....

So to summarize, patents are very stupid specially if the patent system is broken and you give patents to everybody. Or if you are allowed to patent something, throw it into the basement and come up some years later complaining that people has "stolen" your precious intellectual property.... (if it was so precious, why the hell you didn't use it before?). Or even worst, if the system allows you to shut up people and generates ironies like not being able to tell anybody about your ideas not even the ones that showed you the idea in the first place.....
Please legislators of this lonely blue planet, don't listen to the "intellectual property" lies that you hear, just ask yourselves the same question that I've been asking me these past days: "How can I accept a system where I cannot tell what I think not even to the same person that told me the idea in the first place?"