Trans-Atlantic Communications

So I had been thinking about giving my mum a call this week. Let me explain that I don’t generally call my parents unless it is an emergency. When I first moved across to the U.S. from the U.K., my mum will call once a week. Then gradually, the calls went to couple of times a month, then once a month, and recently once a few months. Probably because I never call her back. Even when I was on the phone with her, I never can think of things to talk about. She would asked about how thing is going, I would just answer “Fine”. Strange? Perhaps, since Leah doesn’t seem to trouble chatting to her mum about anything and everything.

Anyway I digressed. The reason I was going to call is because since my visit to the U.K. last month and bought her a new computer, she had not give me a call. Even though I sent her an email about how to set up Microsoft Office on her computer with detail instructions and explicitly said that to give me a call if she runs into trouble. I was 100% expecting a tech support call from her but no, na-da, nothing, not a ring.

Anyhow, tonight the phone rang and Leah thought it was the DNC because they called earlier in the week and promised to call back later. It was my mum instead when I picked up the phone. Apparently they have finally sold my beloved car (but I forgot to ask how much they managed to sell it for). They are also going to sell their house and move to rental house/apartment to save money. Mind you, the current house has 4 bedrooms for the two of them! They bought it just when I finished college, looking for work, and I was staying there during that summer so we did need the space.

And apparently I misjudged her computer skills because she installed Office without trouble. Even managed to follow my instruction and converted one of her Access database to the new format too.

Crap! It’s 3:13 a.m. already! And I need to wake in just over 5 hours to go to work on a Sunday! If I go to some sort of haven/hell when I die I am going to ask for a refund for all the time I somehow lost…


Thanks to Nick who alerted me to ecto being mentioned couple of times in the first edition of the Make: magazine. The Windows version even makes its way into the magazine article. Here is a low resolution photos of the actual page from Nick.

Even after over a year of developing and selling the Windows version of ecto, I still can’t believe people are using my software for important work!

Fair or Not Fair

A lot of comments are being made on DrunkenBlog about the legal case Apple is bringing against the persons who leaked a copy Tiger (next version of OS X). Most of them seems to be in the theme of “they (the defendants) are poor students and can’t afford to defend themselves, so let’s go easy on them”, or “they didn’t mean any harm, suing them is too heavy handed by Apple”, or “Apple has made their point, these people have been punished enough already”, etc.

Speaking in a personal capacity (Adriaan, my ecto partner, had already made an ‘offical’ comment) I think everyone need to take responsibility of their own action. Whether you are poor, rich, young, old, illiterate, or educated; you are still doing wrong. Just because these people did not leak the copy of Tiger in malicious intend, that doesn’t mean they did not do wrong. If they were found guilty of their accused crime, their personal circumstances should, in an ideal world, be taken into account by the judge when sentencing is served. Not that we are living in an ideal world, mind you, but that is the concept nonetheless.

Of course one can argue that since they are poor, they are unable to hire attorney to defend themselves against a multi-billion dollars company that is Apple. Guess what? They should have thought of the possibility of being sued when they shared the file.

I doubt that if the defendants are middle aged software engineers earning 6 figure salaries, there will be as much ‘sympathy’ towards them as these young students. I think fair should be fair, no matter the circumstances.

In closing, I can’t honest believe the defendants are completely innocence about sharing any files on BitTorrent.

I made the foolish assumption that since I wasn’t a developer, and I had a copy that it would be ok if I shared it with 5 or 6 fellow mac fanatics.

“Foolish” is right and he admitted that he is a frequent BitTorrent downloader. So he must knows that once the file is in the open, there is no stopping at “5 or 6 fellow mac fanatics”. Blind trust is a great thing but the real world doesn’t work that way.

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