Archive for August 6th, 2006

Tables: A new spreadsheet for OSX

A year ago I was blogging about the fact that there aren’t any truly accessible spreadsheet applications for Mac OS X. MS Office costs a bundle, and NeoOffice/OOo is slow and unoptimized. It was never designed to be an OSX app. Enter Tables. That’s how an OSX spreadsheet should look like! I will be meeting its developer tomorrow at WWDC.

Kill, or Be Killed

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility whatsoever if a wacko uses the following as an idea to terrorize others. I simply write on my personal blog/journal one of my dreams, as I usually do. Instead, I give the rights for a movie to whoever is interested.

At my home’s provence, Epeiros, the old ladies say that “Sunday’s dreams can come true if you don’t reveal them by 12 PM”. I am not a supersticious person but I wish I had remember that disturbing dream earlier this morning, just so to elliminate any possibility of coming true…

So, I was in a mall. Lots of people around, going about their everyday lives. Sudenly, the mall is stormed by about 30-40 people with guns, baseball bats and big wooden sticks. They surrounding us. And they shout: “Kill, or you will be killed“.

If you put your hands up, you are going to be killed. You better start running. Fast.

If you place your arms to your chest with your fists looking at each other, it means that you are willing to kill. You are spared, and you suppose to immediately grab anything that can be used as a weapon and start chasing the people who ran away.

In my dream I was one of the people who ran away. I tried to stay ahead of the violent crowd, but this was becoming increasingly difficult. You see, the 40 people became 100, and as they moved through the town they became thousands. And then they moved to the next town, and then the next… Dead bodies everywhere I go…

At the very end of the dream, after having many people chasing me (and after unsuccessfully hiding in the woods), I fell from high ground to the sea, got into a small fishing boat that was parked near the coast. And then I woke up.

Think about it. This is a case of mass hysteria that while in the beginning ignites through fear, after your first 1-2 kills it becomes “easier” to kill. This is a deadly game with no hope finding who started it all. And the weapon is the human psych itself. It is like a psychological chain reaction that it can’t really stop once it starts. It transforms humans to wild animals in a rampage. If an individual decides to break away from the mass violence, the others will kill him because they are afraid that they will be killed if they let him go. There is no let go of anyone…

The reason this dream disturbed me is that I have never thought of any such psych possibilities in my awaken life, neither ever read about it or seen it in a movie. And I am not a violent person either, I could never physically hurt anybody. But now, I have second thoughts about my subconcious’ agenda… Where the hell does it get such ideas? While I was one of the people who run away and never hurt anyone, I can’t understand how it could create such a nightmare scenario in the first place.

Computer History Museum

I don’t know why I become so sentimental about computers. We were at the Computer History Museum yesterday (my third time) and we saw all these old computers again… The Crays are marvelous: the “Apples” of its time. And the BeBox next to the 20th Anniversary Mac and the Cube… Or the Eniac rack… Or the Enigma machine and the IBM RS6000 that beat Casparov. They all make me wanna cry, old and romantic eras going away without ever coming back.

If you are visiting the Bay Area, the Computer History Museum should be the first place you visit. Leave the Golden Gate Bridge for later.