A Change of Address

In a couple of weeks I’ll be leaving Tel-Aviv for the East Bay.

Funny: I’m too busy with the move to write anything remotely intelligent about it, yet feel compelled to post a notice of it.

Reading “Mein Kampf”

Hitler’s seven-hundred-page screed […] is so unreadable that, despite its ubiquity during the Third Reich—more than twelve million copies, often given as wedding presents, sometimes in gold-leaf editions, were sold—it is unlikely that most Germans actually cracked the book open.

– Sally McGrane, Diffusing ‘Mein Kampf’

Apple could put the entire text of ‘Mein Kampf’ inside the iTunes User Agreement and you’d just click agree.
– John Oliver (source)

The Perils of Unicode

Discussing some Unicode issues at work, I recalled something that happened to me in 2000:

I had just landed my first programming job, converting a software from storing bi-directional texts in visual order, to storing them in a mostly Unicode-compatible logical ordering.

To assist this immense task, my boss, who was big on printouts, made sure we had a printed version of the Unicode specifications. It was a behemoth of a hardcover, rivaling the Encyclopædia Britannica in size.

I ceremonially placed the specifications on some noisy server, and left it there, never to be opened.

One morning, I noticed the above mentioned server to be even noisier than usual, an issue I tried to solve by gently kicking it.

Off fell the Unicode tome, missing my leg by a centimeter. I then noticed it dented the server’s case, which made it touch the hard drive mounted inside.

Upon examination, that hard drive was found to be no longer functioning. It was also found we had no recent backups of it. Luckily, no one knew what that server was doing in the first place.

tl;dr: Unicode kills hard drives.