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1. The woman at the front desk probably was indeed amazed by your
British accent. I'm telling you, that's one of your primary reasons
for moving to the states: easily impressed women.

[ed's note: Apparently, toting english banknotes is also a viable tactic
in getting women's attention, when you're in the states]

2. "Claim Jumper" was the restaurant we went to where they serve the "Ore
Cart". Anyone who comes to the US must eat there. It's generally one of
the conditions of your travel visa (if you happen to have one).

3. The front bumper of my car isn't shredded. It does have a few spots
where the paint has been scraped off down to the metal, but in general
it's not too bad. I could feasibly get away with some touch-up paint, but
I opted for the racing bra on the front instead. Damn truck drivers
with their big trucks that like to back into innocent sports cars...

I guess that clears that one up, then.


Fine, I'll update my .plan.

For anyone who's not paying attention, I was in the states for a job
interview. It was with a random company who do cool stuff with cool
toys. A purely Linux house.

So, anyways. I arrive in the US and a couple days later the boss of
this company [there're only 10 people in it] picks me up in his Jag,
that would be very nice if it had
1) A gear stick
2) 3 pedals
3) E-type written on it instead of XK8
But it was pretty nice, all the same. Guess you can't have everything.

In this oh-so-lovely car, we then go for a little potter from Rolling
Hills [near Palos Verdes] up to Beverly Hills, where this company
currently is, for me to have an interview. Except I end up camping there
the whole day, and they're only actually expecting to interview me for
an hour or so.

Which gave me ample opportunity to sit there, pointing and laughing at
all the people who were actually doing work. Mwahahaha.

At one point, I heard the comment "you'd better get a picture, it's the
last time you're ever gonna see him wearing a tie". Hmmm. Bonus points
for observation, there...

Going back slightly, the first thing that happened as I arrived in this
office was the usual round of introductions. First greeting I get:

"Oh, I love your accent".

And she sounded like she really meant it. You people scare me. Women
in this country can't even take American accents seriously, let alone
point out they love them.

After several more greetings, I get a comment "oh, so /you're/ the
embedded guy". Hmmm. Well, at least I knew what to be expecting when they
come to interview me...

Now, obviously it's hardly a "normal" day as such, but one of the first
things I get to watch in this place is the only lass there present
the only french guy there with a blow-up Monica, who comes with bonus
cigar. Mmmmmmm.

Which is topped only by the Clinton dildo that's under one of the other
guy's desks.

When it came for them to actually interview me, I guess it didn't go as
great as I might ideally have imagined...

"Can you do this: {mumble} ?"
"Uh... In theory, yes. In practice, I've never been able to afford one
of those toys, so I've never been able to try & install Linux on it."

[rinse. repeat. This being the focus of this particular intervew,
after all...]

"What old code and stuff can you show us that you've got?"
"Well, most of the stuff I did at Lehman is not exactly for public
consumption, and there's very little in the way of major coding projects
I've done outside of that. I'm helping on MSPhil's Secret Project X,
but I'm hardly going to be banding the source for that about..."

[although it should be noted that I've not exactly done much on project
X so far, and when they interviewed me I'd only just signed the NDA &

Right. Anyways. I hope I get the job. If they offer it to me, I'm going
there. Simple.

Later on, myself, the french guy, and another punter all wander [ok,
drive] up the street a bit to the Troubadour. It's this really nice
club, where the Flower Kings were on stage that night. I had a seriously
cool time.

The Flower Kings rock. They're sort of Pink Floyd wannabes, but with
more bass, and a slightly different following. That place was absolutely
decked out with the proverbial ageing rockers. Bunch of guys older than
me all toting black leather jackets and going about on Harleys. You know
the sort. Very seriously cool.

First off, getting in was a bit of an exercise. I hand the man on the door
my drivers license, so I can have a wristband and can then have a
drink. [That's a bloody good idea, if you ask me. You get id'd once,
and then the lady behind the bar just has to ask if she can see your
wristbands. Seems crap at first thought, but then's actually a really
good idea when you think about it.]

"You're shitting me"
"Uh... no, that really is my driving license"
"When were you 21?"
"Last year"
"When were you 22?"
"Uh... this year?"
"When this year?"
"Dagnammit. It's written on the damn card."

Eventually, I get in and have a drink. Mmmm. Bottles this time. Saves
all that pint hassle you people seem to have so much trouble with.

Following that, I end up crashing on {weird french guy's} sofa. I
didn't wake up with chloroform on my breath and a sore ass, so I guess
that's good.

Next day, hendersa comes to pick me up. Everybody listen up. His car's
bra on the front... It's not because he races it or anything decent
like that. It's because the bumper's shredded underneath it, and a bra
is cheaper than a bumper.

In the evening, we went out to this steak-kinda place. Met Mike Phillips &
his missus, "Lady Firedancer". They didn't scare me at all.

Can't remember what it's called, but they have on the menu, among other
things, the "Ore Cart". Which is just a trolley covered in dead stuff. Big
trolley. Lots of dead stuff. Yummy. I didn't have one, actually, as I
think it's just a little out of my league...

Anyways. That's all fun. Other notes about driving around in the US:
1) Just because someone's address says "Rolling Hills Estates", doesn't
mean you don't go in the gate that says "The Terraces". Bugger.
We only ended up driving round the hill 2 or 3 times because of that...
2) Instructions on the web are, at times, not perfect. We got within a
couple miles of home, before taking the "scenic route", which finished
at approximately the totally wrong place.


Anyways. I think I've probably bored the living f**k out of all of you by
now, so I'm gonna quit. Am going fire juggling in an hour or so anyways...


KDE3 is big. It took me all day yesterday to compile it, and that was
just how long it took to build. Not me messing about, that's just
compiling it.

Some notes:

It's all of KDE3 except kde-bindings, which wouldn't compile, and i18n,
which I don't want.

I built this against qt3, so if you have that on your system already,
great. If you don't, there's one in the kde directory; I leave it there,
as I have a qt2 install someplace, also, and didn't want to mess with it.

In the kde dir is also up-to-date versions of libxml, libxslt,
libaudiofile, and pcre [advanced javascript regular expressions]. It's
all self-contained, so you should be able to just run this.

Just untar it into /opt; it's in it's own dir, "kde3". Which you should
symlink to /opt/kde.

A suitable environment for running it could be:


[gamehenge:~/web/]$ du -sk ./kde3.tar.bz2
96512 ./kde3.tar.bz2
[gamehenge:~/web/]$ md5sum kde3.tar.bz2
e59f8e23da09302885907549d1d0f352 kde3.tar.bz2
[gamehenge:~/web/]$ bzip2 -cd ./kde3.tar.bz2 | tar -tf - | wc -l

Eesh. And you thought windows was bloated.

And a brief review? Well, it's a major improvement on the previous one,
although not as noticable as version two was on the original. It looks &
feels really professional [except the SIGFPE the first time kdesplash
runs. After than, it never happens again. Hmmm.]. I would seriously
consider putting this on "mum&dad's machine". It really is nice. I'm
not going to be using it, though, as it's not my "cup of tea", as it were.

It's a whole bunch lower on the resource usage than it used to be [like,
most of it doesn't even appear in top(1) anymore], and a whole bunch
smoother & prettier with it.

All in all, if it's your sorta thing, it's great. If it's not [ie,
you're a twm/blackbox user], then so be it.

When this .plan was written: 2002-04-23 13:14:28
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