Worst handwriting ever!

Sometimes when I tell people that I have the worst handwriting ever, they think that I’m joking.  So, here is some real proof.  This is a snapshot of the A1 paper which I used yesterday on a meeting.  This is me describing the shipping industry to a colleague of mine.


And that’s me not being limited to either space or time.  This is one of the most readable things I’ve ever created.  Mostly, because here you can see a diagram ,a list of things, and at least the first letters of the words that I was writing.  And, I haven’t layered topic over topic over topic, as I usually do.

The comment from the colleague in regards to this:

There are doctors with the better handwriting than you!

I know.  That’s why I touch type.

New wheels : Suzuki Splash

With me now working in Nicosia and Maxim’s school year about to start, the need for a second car has emerged.  We’ve been planning it for a while any way, it’s just that the priority of it raised recently.  Our Mitsubishi Galant is more than 13 years old now, and while it works fine, it’s probably not the best idea to push it into daily 160+ kilometers journey mode.

So, with that in mind, we bought a second car.   Olga picked it up on Friday and I’ll be using that for my daily travels instead.  The new car is a Suzuki Splash, which is very similar to Suzuki Swift, but in a different body.  Here is how it looks:



… and a bit of the front and back:

I’ve been taking it for a spin during the weekend, and I have to say that I am rather surprised as to how comfortable this car is.  It’s a bit slower to accelerate (1.2L engine and automatic gearbox versus 1.8L and manual gearbox of the Mitsubishi Galant), but once it gets going, it’s very stable.  I also expect it to need much less petrol, which is a definite plus for my daily trips to and from Nicosia.

Hopefully, it will last us as much as the Galant did.

Goodbye Easy Forex, hello Qobo

I’ve spent the last two and a half years working for Easy Forex.  I went from a consultant through senior web developer, team leader to the director of web development.  I’ve worked on a variety of projects and managed several teams.  I’ve had great fun and I’ve learned a lot.  (Thank you all!  You guys are awesome!)

But the time has come to make a change.  Today is my last day at Easy Forex.  Tomorrow is the first day of my new adventure – Qobo, where I will assume the position of the Chief Technical Officer.  Qobo is a Nicosia-based company that develops mostly web-based software for the enterprise needs.

I worked in this industry before, and I think now is a good time for me to return.

Upgrading Fedora 14 to Fedora 20 is always fun!

I’m upgrading my wife’s laptop from Fedora 14 to Fedora 20.  That’s plenty of fun!  I’ve done this before with other machines, but memory isn’t my strongest suit.  First, preupgrade fails complaining that there are no repositories anymore.  That’s to be expected, with even Fedora 18 being passed end of life.  The replacement for preupgradefedup – isn’t yet available for the releases that old.  Digging around I found a DVD with Fedora 19, which would work just fine, if only upgrade option hasn’t been removed from the recent Fedora releases.

So the only option that I see, except for a complete fresh install, is to follow the yum upgrade path.  Which is a bumpy ride, but it did get me to the destination before.  So here we go …

$ yum clean all
$ rpm -Uvh http://.../releases/16/.../fedora-release*rpm
$ yum upgrade
$ yum update
$ reboot

That’ll get me to Fedora 16. Try the preupgrade/fedup option to go to Fedora 18. If not there, repeat the above. Then go to Fedora 20. Jumping more than 2 releases at a time is not recommended.

Good luck!

GitHub contributions graph

After reading Mark Story‘s “Coding every day” post, I started checking my own GitHub contributions chart once in a while.  Until today, I haven’t noticed that the chart has two different modes.  One is your public contributions, seen by people who are not part of your organization’s and private projects.  Here is how mine looks. (Notice the “Public contributions” title of the graph).

github public contributions

Yeah, I know, pathetic.  And here is how the full contributions chart looks like, for me and people who have access to see my private projects activities.  The graph is for the same period. (Notice a simpler “Contributions” title of the graph”).

github contributions


Could be better, but not as bad anymore.  Now with that I’ll try to push more stuff to the Open Source side of things again.

International PHP Conference 2014, Berlin, Germany

As many of you already know, I’ve spent most of the last week in Berlin, Germany, attending the International PHP Conference 2014.  Here’s the short story:  it was another great event (yes, I’ve attended this conference before).  The conference seems to grow and mature.  There were plenty of engaging speakers and insightful topics.  If you haven’t been to one of these yet, and you are involved with web technologies in general or PHP in particular, you definitely should attend.   It’s worth every dime.

Now, for the long story.

Continue reading “International PHP Conference 2014, Berlin, Germany” »

Party hard!

Those of us who are of legal drinking age know how to tell a good party from the bad one – if you passed out and can’t remember most of the evening, then you must have had a really good time.  If you were home in time for evening news – you don’t know how to party.  All that is no news.  But, how do you figure out if a kid’s party was any good?  After all the youngsters won’t drink or pass out.  Well, here is one way to measure the fun.  Just count how many bones were broken?  Bonus points for having more than one per limb.

Maxim hand cast

Here’s Maxim with two broken bones in his left hand after a birthday party he attended on Sunday.  From what I hear, it was tonnes of fun.

Nobody knows how exactly that happened – it was in the midst of the usual kids’ fun at the playground, with lots of running, rolling, jumping, and so forth.  One person told me that this was during a reenactment of the TV show featured on the Discover channel a couple of days earlier, where horse were refusing to jump over obstacles, making the people riding them fall in spectacular manner.  For all those “don’t try it at home” warnings, I think, they’ve missed one on this show…

Code.org – Learn an hour of code

Maxim mentioned code.org to me a couple of times last week, but I didn’t have the time to check it out.  Today, however, he said that “Learn an hour of code” was his homework for the computer class.  That got me quite interested.  After all, I was exploring looking for an easy way to get him (and some other kids) into computer programming.  We’ve tried bits and pieces of online tutorials here and there, YouTube videos, and I’ve even took a swing at it myself – all for nothing.  It was all too boring and broad and it always required plenty of effort to get into.


And I’m happy to report – that’s where Code.org succeded.  These guys have found a way to explain things in a very simplistic manner, with immediate practical exercises, which utilize drag-n-drop instead of typing (even a seasoned programmer is rarely a touch typist in my experience), familiar surroundings of Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies games, and short, yet motivational explanations of core concepts by computer industry celebrities, like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.  There also a familiar gaming incentive to the experience, with badges and achievements, but those aren’t the core motivator.

We’ve spent about an hour with Maxim, going through tutorials and doing exercises.   So far, it was a perfect balance of fun and education.  But for me, it there was also another important aspect to this.  I could finally show to my son what I do at work (well, not exactly what I do, but close enough).  Explaining programming with words and showing bits of code and chunks of website never looked too appealing.  Now however he has a better idea.

And for the first time he is actually excited about programming.  So much in fact that I could barely get him to go to bed.  We had to make plans for tomorrow to continue to calm him down a bit.

Thanks code.org!  You guys have done an amazing job.  Keep it up!