Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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In the net today: A Joy of Tech cartoon with a christmas theme that is below their usual standard: Why say Mac-mas if you could say X-mas?

Apparently the ever-so-clever people at Mac OS X Hints discovered that iTunes will try to sort band names cleverly, ignoring any 'The's at the beginning when sorting. I mean this blatantly obvious feature has only been around for, um, months and they already discovered it! This is a good place to add then that it's even localised, so on a non-English system you'll get your local articles ignored - only - even though you're likely to have a non-trivial proportion of English named bands in your collection as well. Clever but not clever enough.

The very same people suggest using symbolic links instead of aliases. I don't agree either. It's preferable to kick Apple's butt so badly that they improve the way OSX handles aliases. Currently it seems like this: Aliases are invariant under moving or renaming your files (good thing) but they're not invariant under moving your system to a different hard drive. The opposite is true for (soft) links. AFAIR the alias mechanism allows for containing path information as well as proper information on the file. So why not use it? Also, I have the suspicion that the application they call Finder also creates worse aliases than the original. It seems that they don't contain network information, so I can't simply create an alias and mail / upload it to someone else's computer and (provided the network allowed this) he could click it and it would just work

Björn was interested in the P=nP question for his studies (quite strange for a psychologist, but promising!), so I dug a bit around on the web and found that the Clay Institute has a rather interesting and accessible page on the subject. This is hardly surprising as it is one of their Millenium Problems solving which can earn you a million US dollars. Even better they also have a popular science talk by Ian Stuart on the topic - our very own Ian Stuart as I could've said a year ago. It's almost to the day now that I left England to go back to Germany. Last year this time I was on my little detour via northern Italy on my way back. Time is flying.

December 16, 2002, 20:14

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