I wrote my first post, Noulakaz.net Weblog online!, on 16 March 2004, exactly five years ago. Since then, the following took place:
- I wrote 456 posts,
- containing 146,141 words,
- received 6,115 comments (13.5 comments per post on average),
- with 438,726 words in them (exactly 3 times more than what I wrote myself.)
I would like to thank all of you who have contributed to my blog. I sincerely think that without your insightful comments, it would have made no sense for me to continue writing.
Someone once asked me: “How can I create a successful blog?” I gave that a thought and rapidly came up with: “A successful blog is one which is read!” with its corollary: “A successful blog is one which is read because it has interesting posts!” and its uber-corollary: “A successful blog is one which is read because it has interesting posts which prompt people to leave comments!”
As this is a special birthday post, I’m going to revisit some posts I wrote from 2004-2006 (say 2 per year to keep the length of this post reasonable.) They are not necessarily interesting but they count for me:
The European Union had just fined Microsoft 497.2 million euros (more than Rs 15 billion at that time) for using its monopoly to hinder the progress of competitors and this was my first anti-Microsoft post. Of course, I was already a geek at that time having founded the Linux User Group of Mauritius around 2000 but still…
Since then, nothing substantial has changed. Microsoft is still hindering the progress of humanity by harming competition and Bill is still one of the richest guys on the planet. Fortunately, we Apple fanboys and *nix geeks have found a way to limit our exposure to Microsoft and we are very happy. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people suffering…
Naturally, the title refers to Quentin Tarantino’s two masterpieces as well as the infamous William Henry “Bill” Gates III.
Our son, Kyan, who is four now, was born in the morning and I wasted no time making the whole world aware! In a certain sense, this was a first. It was the first time (I think) that a dad in Mauritius blogged on the birth of his son on the very same day he was born! And I have to tell you all that that photo was made using my previous film camera, a Canon EOS 500N, and I had the film developed on the same day, dashed home, scanned the photo and wrote the post. Things are much simpler now with digital cameras but I’m sure Kyan will love that story when he’ll be a bigger boy.
Interestingly, Kyan was a name Christina and I came up by simplifying Keanu (Reeves.)
I left the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce & Industry on the 28 and started at the University of Mauritius as a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering the next day on the 1st of March.
The reason why I left the MCCI was that I felt I had done everthing that I could have done there and that I wanted a fresh challenge. The reason I opted for the UoM was that I really wanted to be in an environment full of intellectuals, both academics and students. Unfortunately, I got bored after less than three years. I was disappointed to discover that some academics were not really intellectuals. I was also disappointed to discover that some students did not really care about acquiring knowledge. And I was also disappointed in the lack of support and facilities exiting there for academics to do their work properly.
So, last year, I decided to quit the University and try to obtain a visa for the USA. Of course, that didn’t work out but I never thought about going back to UoM. I belong elsewhere I guess.
Liverpool is the most successful football team in England and I’ve been a Liverpool fan for at least 20 years now. On 25 May 2005, something magical happened: Liverpool won the Champions League for the 5th time after having been down 3-0 at half-time.
How? By combining the brains and brawns of two special persons: Steven Gerrard and Rafael Benitez.
The match was practically lost at half-time. And then something happened: the Liverpool right back got injured. Normally, when this kind of thing happens, a manager tends to ask a defender to come on. But Benitez did differently. He introduced Hamann, a midfielder, to mitigate the effect of Pirlo et al and asked Gerrard to help the (now) three man defense cope with the AC Milan attackers. And Gerrard did something only a handful of players throughout history can do: he did everything. He headed. He tacked. He marked. He passed. He shot. And he scored. From every position on the field. And, of course, he won.
Zidane was god. Gerrard is next to godliness. Zidane says so. And who am I to argue?
I finally got an Apple computer after years and years of craving. When I was still at college, I discovered screenshots of the NeXTstep operating system and it was love at first sight. When Apple acquired NeXT and Steve Jobs announced that their new operating system, Mac OS X, was going to be NeXTstep and Unix based, I knew it was time for me to make the plunge. And still it took some years before I actually did it.
But now, after having used a Mac for about two and a half years, I can say that there is nothing comparable on the desktop: neither from Microsoft and, unfortunately, nor from the open source world. In fact, I can safely say that Mac OS X is the best desktop operating system ever and Linux (et al.) is the best server operating system which can be easily obtained and installed on commodity hardware.
I love both.
I don’t like watching Indian movies a lot. I feel most of them have feeble scenarios and I find the actors very caricatural (the actresses are beautiful though…) So, I had a somewhat distorted image of India, partly caricatural (because of the films) and partly frightening (because of what people have told me of India over the years.)
But when I went there, sponsored by Data Communications Ltd, for the ACM Inter-Collegiate Programming Contest to accompany three UoM students, I found out that India was just a great place to visit! I loved the people, the food, the trains, the auto rickshaws, everything! And I loved the fact that I felt practically at home all the time even though I didn’t understand a word of Hindi.
Incidentally, I have just watched Slumdog Millionaire and I think it is a very good film. Not exceptional but very good and which gives a relatively true image of India as far as I know.
Once again, thank you a lot for your participation on my blog. Let’s hope we’re all still around in 2014 to celebrate the 10th anniversary. (Tomorrow, I’ll do the same exercise for posts written from 2007-2009.)