January 7, 2010

Read Me First

While it is my third blog, I think it is my first one as a member of a community. And while I'm part of other ones, I'd say it's my first official step into the world of Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn-style communities (I grew tired of hearing Web 2.0 - hence the long term here). I am for the ones who prefer human contact. And since I do not consider bytes of data transmitted over a network to be such a thing, well... I've mostly kept away from online communities in the like.

However, I remembered how sometimes we are very susceptible (and reticent) to change and reconsidered my view on the matter. While it has not gone 2 pi radians the other way, I've become more open to the idea of sharing bits of thoughts with the online crowd.

Still reading? Good, carry on.The funny parts are coming. Grab some virtual bacon if you're hungry. I've heard they've got the best virtual bacon of the whole Internet.

First of all, I am a student in IT engineering. I am also a free software enthusiast and for some reason an art enthusiast too. However, I noticed that as soon as you mention something remotely connected to the vast domain of computers, the moniker "geek" is almost automatically attributed to the speaker.  So to sum it up, I am a geek.

Now you may be asking yourselves why you are reading this and what kind of information you'll be able to extract from my blog. Well, I plan to speak about software in general, with a touch of humor. Hopefully, it will bring smiles among the crowds.

My professional career consists mainly of Web development, going from visual design to programming. Which means I grew a very profound hatred for Internet Explorer (which is currently fading very slowly throughout the new versions of the browser - it's hard to heal the wounds). However, while I often verbally criticize it, I think that it has been made pretty clear on many occasion over the Internet why that browser is the source of frustration.

I also mentioned earlier that I was a free software enthusiast.  My first encounter with FS was rather bizarre. My brother was doing experiences with GNU/Linux in his room/lab/command center/gaming lounge and I was in my first steps of Web development with Geocitites PageBuilder (animated gifs made with FlamingText, Web forum and counter with Bravenet and only one browser : IE6) on my trusty old Pentium 166. One day, my brother shows me Mozilla. No, not Firefox - Mozilla. The one that took half an hour to boot. While I didn't fell directly in love with it (to be perfectly honest with you dear reader, I didn't see the point of installing another browser while the one I had worked perfectly... or at least it appeared like so). Nevertheless, I liked the way it integrated the page composer and the browser together so I progressively dropped PageBuilder for Mozilla Composer. It marked the end of3D rotating "@" symbols and FlamingText banners (I still visit this one once in a while for the nostalgia. I can't help it!).

I won't go into details on how I progressively started to use more free software on my computer and ended up switching to GNU/Linux, but I owe it a lot to my brother. He showed me more than alternatives programs - he was the one who indirectly introduced me to the concept of supporting multiple platforms. Not everyone has Windows, not everyone has Internet Explorer. And while I write this from a Linux user perspective, it is important not to forget that this goes the other way : not everybody uses Linux, and not everybody uses Firefox. Yes yes, I am aware of Mac OS. I will never forget my 3 years of working on that platform. But that is another love story. It doesn't end well anyway. I'll spare you the gory details.

Now every communication/language teacher tells us not to end our texts like this but once in a while can't hurt:

That's about it, thank you for reading!

What? That could be worse! I could have ended with this instead:


That wouldn't have been nice eh?  Seriously though, I'm done now. Until next time, live long and prosper!

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