Българо-english mesh-аница

Преди време се чудех как човек може да си забрави родния език. Отиваш да речем за няколко години в чужбина и после изведнъж говориш с акцент и си кълчиш езика. Чисто преиграване, мислех си, за да се направиш на интересен. Да си забравиш езика… да бе! Ама ей на – и на мен ми дойде времето.

Първо се почва с някой ежедневни думички – например station (произнася се стейшън) вместо спирка, bill (бил) за сметка, landlord (лендлорд) за хазяин и т.н. После полека-лека разни изрази се вмъкват в разговора – “book an appointment” (за записване на час при лекар например), “get a bus”, grab the trolley”, “make a list”, “pick me up later” … Речта често започва да се изпъстря с бисери от рода на “Ще ходя на shopping, така че направи list за продуктите” или “Book-ни appointment при GP-то, че днес съм много busy и ще ходя да плащам bill-овете.”

Не стига че разговорите се замърсяват с какви ли не чуждици, ами правописа също започва сериозно да регресира. Шлокавицата превзема азбуката на солунските братя и преди да се усетя, veche se zamislqm kak se pishat razni bukwi na kirilica.

Ех родна реч, omaina, and sweet!

Най-страшното е че процеса е съвсем незабележим. Започва се неусетно, по една-две вмъкнати думички в разговора, then постепенно тенденцията becomes worse. После се хващаш че не само казваш думичките, but also и мислиш на “чуждия” language. С времето not only езика става not that foreign anymore, а даже става все по-difficult да използваш родните думички, и much easier to pick their english (in my case) алтернатива. С влошаването на симптомите I’ve started to notice that even словореда ми morphed into some odd beast като for example да слагам глагола in front of подлога. The next phase is when I намерих за completely нормално да говоря in english with other bulgarians. It was so…. естествено, you know.

Fortunately the transformation is not (yet) напълна, така че there is still някаква hope left. Although, I must призная, it becomes increasingly трудно to fight the trend. But I still firmly believe that it is such предимство to know foreign languages. You know – not only матерния. Just have to be a little bit more cautious and not pick up too much of it. But you know what I mean, don’t you?!

Everyone loves Unix… or not

Every now and then when I’m looking for some obscure Linux command line syntax I run across forum posts of disgruntled users that complain of the complexity of the Unix command line. Contrary to this common perception the Linux (and in this sense all Unix flavours) commands are pretty simple. In fact the whole Linux/Unix philosophy is “Do one thing, do it well.” If more complex operations are required, then just use the same simple tools and chain them together to achieve the end result.

Following this mantra some experienced *nix (this is how all Linux, BSD and Unix flavours are denoted) users can do miracles with only a few lines of code. However despite this simplicity (or probably just because of it) it as equally easy to ruin a lot of months worth of work or even to get the the whole system down on its knees. Just a quick example – the dreaded “rm / -rf” command being performed as root.

Being involved in the IT for the last … many years (I don’t want to count them – it makes me feel older than I actually am) I still prefer the simple do-only-one-thing tools than the overly complex do-everything-under-the-sky programs (that breaks equally often). The simpler tools approach requires more technical knowledge than the simple “click here to start doing the stuff” theme often clamoured by the self-manifested “IT experts” or “Administrators”. The reason for my preference is not some kind of weird masochistic psychological disorder (Ok, this is not the ONLY reason), but the gratifying feeling I understand what is going on under the hood and the ability to troubleshoot the situation in the case things go wrong. Beside it is very satisfying to see the aforementioned “Administrators” scratching their head when their favourite “all-in-one” tool failed with some mystifying message. At the end most of them they end up being shown how to use alternative way of doing things… with alternative _simpler_ means.

Anyway, enough whinging about the admins and proclaiming how KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle will save the world and bring peace to all. The other reason I do enjoy Linux is the sheer fun when doing things even when doing them in the wrong way. A collection of true pearls of wisdom could be found in the so called “Unix Horror Stories” collection. For those looking for even more entertaining readings I would recommend the excellent “Unix Haters Handbook”. Beside the useful info there are few gems from “medieval” years of the Information Age history. Enjoy… and don’t forget to mount scratch monkey.

BBC consultation about on-demand services

This post is instigated by an article in Linux Journal called “Save the BBC from Windows DRM!”. The article raises few very reasonable concerns about BBC independance if media publisher decides to go Microsoft route to protect its on-demand content. Since I am currently living in UK and as such paying the TV License tax, I just could not miss the chance to say what I think about this issue, especially taking into account the money I must pay for the license (at the moment it is about 131.50 pounds for colour TV set per year). I am sure there are much better ways BBC could spent my money than just giving them away to a company known for abusing its monopoly to stifling inovations and smashing competition. I would rather prefer to see my money invested in improving the quality of the content and making it more accessible to the public.

As advised at the end of Linux Journal article I visited BBC Consultation page and filled out the questionaire. I also decided to publish it on my blog, to make sure my concerns will not dissapear buried under the usual bureaucracy typical for large organizations. Below are the questions and my answers.
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London under attack

To anyone who is concered about me and Tanya – we are OK. It seems that London has been targeted by terrorirsts. All London Underground stations has been closed and no transport whatsoever is allowed to travel in Central London. There are many people at work who can’t get back home due to the freeze. So far there are 6 explosions confirmed by british authorities. Most of them happened in busy central Tube stations and at least one blast happend in packed two-carriage bus. News media reports for hundreds injured and at least douzen dead bodies found near the explosions. Currently I’m at work but whenever I find more time to write I’ll post more information about the situation here in London.

Stay tuned.

The english wedding

Well, this was my first english wedding. As a best man I mean. And hopefully not the last one. I and Tanya were pleasently surprised that everything went so well. To be honest I expected the actual wedding procedure to be something like “Four wedding and a funeral”, but fortunatelly it was quite simple and not too mincing. The thing that amazed us was the hospitlity we were treated by the people – we felt just as we were at home with our close friends. The nature in Yeovil, Somerset is so close to the green hills at home… Surely most of these feelings were caused by the nostalgia, but apart from it the wedding was marvellous. I posted few pictures in the gallery (see here). You can see me wore a pink tie and to drink a pint of Guiness with Richard. But let me not forget to mention how beautiful the bride was and how much Rich and Ani loves each other. Tanya looked blindingly as always even with her not-so-little tummy. If you are watching the photos, please beware also of the excessive beauty here and there. Of course I didn’t miss the opportunity to capture the moment (me with the excess beauties on an urban background) just as Richard didn’t. For the chroniclers and my future autobiographic writers there is also a photo of me and Tanya, she – pure glamor and me – the incarnation of modesty 🙂 .

I’d like to thanks to Richard’s family and their friends for the warm welcome and for everything they’d done to make us feel like being at home. Thank you guys. I and Tanya are looking forward to meet you soon again.