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about me:

lives in Multimix City

languages: javascript, python, c, ruby, lua

likes: computers (speciality artificial intelligence) are my passion, astronomy my religion

favourite books:"The night of wishes" by Michael Ende (that's the author of "Never-ending Story"), "Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien and the Hitchhiker series (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) by Douglas Adams.

favourite movie: Creature's comfort

favourite quotes:

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.
~ Albert Einstein


They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
~ Andy Warhol

Coding is a great activity because you can solve problems all the time and you can see your achievement in the form of the working program which really always gives me a great deal of satisfaction :) In winter I play the piano and go sliding and in summer I enjoy going swimming as much as I can. It's so refreshing for the whole body and I love the view that the sun, the blue water and the green plants create. Like Gini and Karl, my two wonderful kids and Antoin, my wonderful husband I am very concerned about nature. I love the sea and I like to go hiking in the forest. In our garden we have two big maple trees next to each other and nothing is as relaxing as lying in our hamoc looking up to the "forest" of beautiful green leaves!

Sara Tux' blog on life, the internet and everything

[sunflower]


Hello and welcome to my blog! I am Sara, mom to Gini and Karl and married with my wonderful husband Antoin. Like them I also like computers, linux, electronics and robots. In my blog you can read more about what I am thinking about the internet, life and the world in general. Enjoy reading!



[Gini Tux]


 

August 5, 2013 : MOOCs

Well, I haven't written for a while. Sorry. Maybe I have just been to busy with all my online courses. It's really so wonderful to learn about new topics.

For example I never new how interesting neuroscience is until I took Idan Segev's coursera course "Synapses, Neurons and Brains". For nine weeks I couldn't wait for Sunday morning to arrive to watch a new lecture and learn more about how my brain works. I definitively will continue learning about neuroscience now that the course is over but I'd love to take more courses with prof Idan. He's such a wonderful professor!

To my own surprise I also enjoyed taking an "Introduction to Psychology" course. I had suggested to a friend that it would be great to take a course together and she then talked me into taking the psychology course. At first I was skeptical but Steve Joordens from the University of Toronto really is a professor that can motivate students very well and I really enjoyed this whirlwind tour through psychology with him. And I can't believe how often I now comment on events in the news with "in my psychology class we learnt x and you can see this in action now in this news article...

I also loved the "Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps " course that was offered by three professors from London, UK. There we students were introduced to processing by getting an interesting new program highlighting some new skills for graphics and audio every week for six weeks. Somehow the course was as if it was made especially for me. :) And now I have ideas for programs for weeks and months to come.

There were other courses that I took and most of them were great. Of course some were too demanding timewise or required prior knowledge that I didn't have. But all the professors I have encountered so far have been very motivated.

I really love taking MOOCs (massive open online courses). Learning new things this way really is quite addictive :)
How about you? Maybe we will meet at Coursera (or in any other MOOC)! Just drop me a line! :)



 

March 16, 2013 : The talented bluefin tuna

Many years ago I read the quote "According to the laws of aerodynamics, the bumblebee can't fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know anything about the laws of aerodynamics, so it goes ahead and flies anyway." and felt inspired by it. I know that nowadays people respond that science now has discovered how bumble bees do it and so their flight isn't mysterious or at odds with science anymore. That's true. Still I think these people are missing the point. The purpose of this quote isn't to show that science is wrong or to discredit science. The purpose is to make it clear that just because some experts or authorities say that something is impossible simply doesn't mean it is necessarily so.

But perhaps it is better now to cite the example of the talented bluefin tuna. Physically the tuna is too weak "to swim as fast as it does, to turn as compactly as it does, to move off with the acceleration it does". But scientists don't claim that it is impossible for the tuna to do what it does, no, they say that "these fish actively create and exploit additional sources of propulsion and control in their watery environments. For example, the tuna use natually occuring eddies and vortices to gain speed, and they flap their tails so as to actively create additional vortices and pressure gradients, which they then exploit for quick take-offs" (from p. 143 in "Mindware" by Andy Clark). Isn't that fascinating? And if tuna fish can do this, can't you do this too?!

So whenever you try to do something that others claim to be impossible think of the bluefin tuna and don't give up!



 

February 24, 2013 : Soundation.com

Well, I have become a Courserian now (don't worry, I stay udacious too ;) and just gone to class to Professor Steve Everett's "Introduction to Digital Sound Design" class. His lectures really were excellent and I also appreciated that he introduced us to lots of free programs. Click here to read my short article on one of these programs, a free online synthesizer called soundation.com.



 

January 14, 2013 : Writing text backwards

A reader who liked the upside down text asked for text that is just written backwards without being upside down as well. So here it is:

Enter your text here:




Here's your text now written backwards:



There are many different ways how this can be achieved. There's an interesting article by Edward Mann where he is describing 10 different ways how you can do this and also looks at the different performances of those different ways in different browsers: Ten ways to reverse a string in JavaScript.



December 31, 2012 : My internet surfing habits and social media revisted

When I started to use social media a few years back I spent a lot of time on the sites. And when I heard about a new service I was quick to sign up. It was new, it was exciting. On twitter I would find a lot of links to new sites that I found interesting and on facebook I met a lot of my old classmates. But then there came a lot of SEO marketing spam on twitter and a big fatigue on facebook.
And now some time later? Many sites like koornk.com don't exist anymore. Many other sites I never visit anymore and have even forgotten that once I created an account. I still try to go on identi.ca from time to time as I liked the service but there's usually not much activity there anymore. I still try to go to twitter and facebook from time to time but I am simply not that interested in it anymore. Many of my facebook friends have left the service, some deleted their accounts outright while others simply don't go there anymore.
And other services out there that are touted by the media like quora, pinterest etc.? They might be nice to be on but at least for the moment they are not for me, I have moved on.

At the time twitter and facebook were new and exciting I also used to read lots of newspapers and magazines online. That has changed too. The same reason: it became boring. There were too many articles that were just written too quickly to get an article out and after a while I found it too annoying and moved on too.

So how do I spend my time online now? I am still on the internet as much as before, maybe even more. Last year I spent some time on codecademy.com upgrading my css/javascript/jquery skills. It was fun! And they have recently introduced groups which sounds promising too.
At the moment you can only have discussions there but there are a lot of possibilites to make it more interactive in the future. But even if it stays as it is it's probably more interesting than those other services.
I see groups and forums in a network that is about a topic I am interested in as much more appealing than a more general site like facebook that lumps all of my friends and acquaintances of different interests together in one place. And it also feels a lot less creepy as sites like codecademy only know about my coding interest but not about other things in my life so I am more willing to share.

For the reading part of my internet surfing I must say that I read blogs a lot more now than I used to. And I read pdf or html books online a lot these days. There are so many free books out there that I guess I could spend the rest of my life just reading without ever running out of interesting material. Have a look at hackershelf.com if you need a place to start.

Happy new year 2013!

December 27, 2012 : long time no see

I haven't updated this blog for a long time now. Sorry for that. I'll try to write more often again. And I'll try to change Gini and Karl's world section so that it truly becomes a site for (aspiring) makers as nothing is as satisfying as making and creating something yourself!

March 14, 2010 : Barbie and Science

Did I ever mention that I don't like barbie? It's because for me she stands for a beautiful but stupid girl. Unfortunately in Gini's class there are a lot of girls now that are barbie crazy. So for a while Gini got into barbies too. As I think that kids don't really see what grown-ups see in barbie I didn't object that Gini was playing with them as long as she also had other interests. I tried to explain to her why I don't like them but let her comb their hair and dress them. Like all the other little girls in her class did. And then one of those little girls mentioned that one needs to comb their hair often to be beautiful for the boys. What?! You can believe me that poor Gini heard me say a thousand times afterwards that beauty comes and goes and a boy who would only love her because of her pretty face definitively isn't worth to spend time with. It's your character and your intelligence that counts.

I also happened to mention one afternoon to that girl's parents that we were going to the science club. Of course their reaction was forseeable. "That's rather something for my son", the father snapped immediately. I just smiled back and told them that everyone is welcome there and that we enjoy going very much.

You probably can imagine that I sometimes wonder if we are back in the middle ages and if emancipation ever happened!

I think that girls can do equally well as boys in the natural sciences as well as engineering. Unfortunately in most of the western world this is not so. Girls often do very well in school in general but far too often they avoid everything that has to do with technics or math.

I am far from suggesting every girl should become a scientist or engineer, I don't want to push people in directions they are simply not interested in. But I think that for girls it is a lot harder to stay interested in technical or engineering subjects as society clearly pushes them in the opposite direction and you always have to fight to stay afloat.

At least for now Gini put away her barbies. And she told me that "barbie and science don't go well together". How true!





December 23, 2009 : Santa video

We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year 2010.
I really love watching this Santa video. It's so good that I can watch it over and over again.

Santa's workshop



October 11, 2009 : ted talk about sustainable design ideas from nature

One of the many Tech talks that I really found impressive was Janine Benyus' talk about 12 sustainable design ideas from nature. I really find it so fascinating to think about the fact that nature has the answer to so many of people's problems about how to design things better so that we can again live with nature and don't destroy it. It seems that if you just open your eyes wide enough and are truly open to nature's secrets you can find ready made solutions to all the world's problems.
In her talk Janine Benyus says that it is important not only to learn about nature but from nature. In software some design principles from the natural world are already used e.g neural nets but in hardware and other things people have been building so far we are still lacking.
She says that we need to asked three main questions. First, how does life make things (without heat, beat and treat), secondly how does life make the most of things by adding information to matter and thirdly, how does life make "things" disappear into systems? Then she is introducing 12 design systems that are in use or researched today.
Clearly an amazing talk. We really should look more to nature to figure out how to do things best. And I think it is high time that more interdisciplinary work is done. I think there is still enormous potential in combining subjects that now usually don't talk much with each other.
Aren't we living in interesting times?



August 29, 2009: Ted talks

I really really like watching those TED talks videos. Of course you can't learn that much about a subject in a 10 or 30 min talk but I find it quite inspirational to hear people talk about topics they are passionate about. And with all those depressing news on the economic recession out there those talks give me hope that there are still people who can change the world for the better because of their devotion.

Ted talks



July 12, 2009 : Honda's video: "Failure: The Secret to Success"

There is a video made by honda that I want to share with you:

Failure: The Secret to Success

I really love this video and have watched it lots of times now. I found it by chance some months ago when I was looking at videos of the asimo robot. And now I always watch it when something goes wrong. I like it because it shows that everyone makes mistakes once in a while and that mistakes are inevitable on the way to success, no matter what you do.

June 20, 2009 : Writing upside down

Some days ago a twitter friend posted a message that was written upside down. Of course I was very curious to find out how he did it. A short google and I came across several sites that let you write text and convert it. You can then paste it into twitter, identi.ca, facebook... (Just remember to enable javascript.) Here are two of them:

http://www.sevenwires.com/play/UpsideDownLetters.html

and

http://www.en.fliptext.net/

Update August 11, 2012:
In fact it is very easy to bring this effect to your own webpages if you are using firefox (somehow I didn't get it to worj on other browers though):

<style>
.rotatetext {
-moz-transform: rotate(180deg); // firefox
-o-transform: rotate(180deg); // opera
-webkit-transform: rotate(180deg); // safari
-ms-transform: rotate(180deg); // IE9
}
</style>

while you write in your html code:

<div class="rotatetext">
write upside down text
</div>

That's it. Try it out:




Here's your text now upside down:



So what are you waiting for?
Have fun trying it yourself!




April 12, 2009 : Happy Easter



April 11, 2009 : Black screens..

On this weekend I had the stupid idea that it might be nice to upgrade my computer to the newest version. As I am running a rather old gentoo version I am unable to run the newest firefox and so all those new flash things on the internet are unavailable to me unless I use Opera or work on my mac mini that we bought a couple years ago but so far didn't use much.

But well, as there is so much I really care about on my computer I decided to try the update on an older laptop first. And as all the world seems to use ubuntu now I decided to go for it. So quickly I downloaded the newest stable version, ubuntu 8.10. I inserted the live CD in the computer and booted. A screen that let me choose my language appeared then after a short while everything went black.

Okay, another try. Finally I found out that clicking Esc, F6 and removing quiet splash got me into verbose mode.

Now I could see that I got a Buffer I/O Error on device sr0. I tried acpi=off, nolapic with F6 and safe graphics mode with F4. It didn't help. Finally I found a forum entry where someone adviced to burn with the dao option because this looked like a Cd burning error.

So I burned everything a second time. Booting the computer with the new CD showed no more errors on the screen. However the screen still went black after a short time.

Investigating my black screen further gave that it was an X11 issue. With ctrl+alt+F2 as soon as the screen turned black I was able to communicate with the computer via the console. I tried to edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf but to no avail.

At that point I was ready to give up. So I downloaded and burnt the newest (2008.0) gentoo LiveCd. And what happened?! The same problem! Bummer!

It's seems that there was a problem with X11 in 2008. Trying the gentoo 2007.0 version resulted in a working environment. So did the ubuntu 9.04 beta LiveCD.

I am glad that all distributions have LiveCds now for testing first so except for the time wasted for trying those defective releases there was no damage done.

So now I am waiting for the stable ubuntu 9.04 and the next gentoo release. And in the meantime I decided to play around much more with my mac mini. Apples seem very delicious to me right now!



March 25, 2009 :

Recently I discovered that some universities actually have some of their lecture online on youtube. Here are some of them:

Stanford:
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=stanforduniversity&view=playlists

M.I.T.:
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=MIT&view=playlists

Berkeley:
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=ucberkeley&view=playlists

Yale:
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=yalecourses&view=playlists

There are probably many more. I am really so amazed about all the knowledge that you can find on the internet for free now!

As I heard of the Stanford's lectures first I looked at them most intensely for now and somehow I was drawn into watching professor Mehran Sahami's lectures on Programming Methodology using java and the acm library (and eclipse as the development platform). They are really great. Mehran is a great teacher. He explains everything very well and concise and it is always fun to listen to him. The only sad thing is that he doesn't run Linux on his laptop (in the first lectures he is using a Windows laptop and later a Mac). But well, different tastes are a good thing! :)
As I am so much more used to learning out of books or articles on the web watching those lectures is quite a change. But it is definitively interesting. And even though I already know how to program in other languages (e.g C, and yes, as a kid I also started out programming with BASIC :) I still could learn something about programming in general which makes me think that it's time well spend.

February 11, 2009 : Update on my web2.0 experience

Well, since I started using all those social network services almost 5 months have passed. In the meantime I have tried out some other services but it seems it is twitter that I use the most. It's the service where I am most likely to get engaged in a mini conversation. And by reading the articles that the people I follow post I get more information about things I find interesting.
Twitter also seems to have the most people. At least that's what I was missing on fidj.it and rejaw.com, two other microblogging sites, even though I must admit that I haven't spend too much time there.
identi.ca which was an almost 100% twitter clone but open source at the beginning recently changed its design and added new features. As I really like the new design (it looks very clean to me) I decided now to give identi.ca a new try and spend more time there. The founder Evan Prodromou seems to be very engaged in his project and while it probably isn't as "populated" yet as twitter there is a lot of activity ongoing which makes going there worthwhile.
Among those new features that were created are groups now. When I looked through some of those groups and also thought of the groups of facebook I had the thought that maybe in the future those groups as well as forums on other sites that are popular for a specific topic will become more important than a search in google when you are looking for information about a special topic or are looking to buy something. At the moment all those groups are still in their infancy but they have the potential to tell me more accurately what to do or buy in my specific situation than a google search. So while many people are talking about the big power google has gained I can at least envision a "natural" competition for them in the future.

Until next time,
Sara

PS: I'm on twitter as tuxgirl and on identi.ca as ginitux. I look forward to seeing you there too!

December 31, 2008 : new products I am dreaming of

Well, it's the end of the year and as usual newspapers, magazines and blogs are busy looking back or predicting what's going to come in the new year. There are articles with lists of the most innovative companies in 2008, the must haves in software and technology and so on.
After reading through many must have lists thinking that I don't really need any of this I started thinking about what I would really wanted.
Was it that I was getting old and therefore had no wishes anymore? Sure the iphone has some appeal and from time to time I still need a new computer or a new camera. But at the moment there is nothing out there that I really feel I must have.

As a child I was dreaming of many products that are a reality now. I was always frustrated of the difficulty to order e.g. English books in my local bookstore. Or I got frustrated when it took weeks to exchange letters with my friends. All this has changed now: with the internet it is so easy to order books and other items world wide and be in touch with friends who are on the other side of the globe in a mouseclick.

When I played around with the rudimentary graphics program of my first computer (an Atari 1040ST) I wished so much for a graphics programs with the capabilities of The Gimp. You can imagine how pleased I was to discover The Gimp ten years later!

So I can say many of the product wishes of my youth have finally materialized. But of course there are new things I can think of now. Here are three ideas (the first more personal, the other two with more universal appeal) that randomly came to my mind:

First after thinking about graphics programs and the Gimp I was thinking of Blender, the free 3D graphics suite. And yes, when I play around with Blender I sometimes can't help thinking that it is still as rudimentary as the first graphics program I was using. Don't get me wrong, Blender is a great program and gets more and more sophisticated with every new version but still the learning curve is very steep, it isn't exactly a program that would be famous for its ease of use (I never tried out Maya or other commercial 3D software but everything that I read about them leads me to think that they are as difficult to use so what I write here applies to all 3D programs out there so far!). I dream of a program that really makes it easy to get a story idea into an animation, a program that isn't in the way to create new stories quickly and easily, so easily that everybody can use it without having to spend months to learn it!

Another useful invention would of course be a search machine for things. In the family of a friend of mine they have a kind of calendar and each time after my friend has found a certain amount of things her loved ones were so desparately looking for she gets a special treat she can choose. So I think this is a problem that is more universal. And while that treat thing is of course a great idea I would still prefer a machine that could find those things for me. I could imagine a machine that stores the names and photos of everything my kids have and all the things must have a little gps device inside and whenever something is missing we just need to ask the machine. But it would be very hard work to give all things precise names and put gps devices on them. So there must be a better solution out there.

Finally the third invention I am looking for that I think we all could need is a kind of a time machine. No, not to travel in space and time but a machine that produces more time. And the time it produces can only be spend with your loved ones! There is so much equipment out there that claims to help you make your work more efficient. But all it ever managed is that we have to work even longer hours. I see so many people who work all day while their kids are in school and they still work in the summer when their kids go to summer camp. And then one day their kids are big and move out and the parents never really got to know them, never build a relationship with them. I think this is very sad indeed. So such a machine surely could be helpful too.

So where are the creative and innovative people out there who create such new products that we really need instead of programming yet another facebook or twitter clone?!

I wish you all a very successful, healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year 2009!

Sara

October 13, 2008 : tuxpaint

On one weekend every year we have a big meal with our families and this year it was our turn to host them all. Among our guests were my cute litte 5 year old niece Clara. She had not been introduced to computers previously but now the general consent was that it was the right time. As she loves drawing and painting it was naturally that we thought of letting her try tuxpaint first. And she loves it! The first five minutes she was a bit clumsy with the mouse but then she had grasped the concept and the rest was easy. Tuxpaint is a very intuitive program that she understood immediately without much further explanations from us.
In case you haven't heard about tuxpaint before: it is a paint program for children with very nice features. Of course you can "just" paint, there are enough brushes and colours you can choose from. But you can also e.g. stamp nice images into your picture or paint a rainbow with the magic button.
Some years ago my creator Katja already wrote an article on tuxpaint for linuxfocus.org that you can read at: http://www.linuxfocus.org/English/March2004/article333.shtml
And the tuxpaint page is: http://www.tuxpaint.org/
Thanks to Bill Kendrick for writing this great program!

October 05, 2008 : plurk versus twitter

As I've already said in my previous post I am in the mood of trying out all kind of social networking sites. As I like twitter I thought it would be nice to find something similar. So plurk came next. When I signed up the site immediately suggested some people I should become fans of (the equivalent to following in twitter). So I decided to follow them. But well, somehow I cannot really get used to the timeline they use. With twitter I find the messages I find interesting much much easier. Why? Because they are all visible at once. In plurk messages also must be so short as in twitter but still you need to go over them with your mouse to see them completely. And with the timeline you never see all new messages at once if you have been offline for a while. And I am definitively not a fan of this karma points that kind of try to pressure me to plurk often in order to avoid negative karma. But while I think I could still get used to all this the feature I am really missing is a search for interesting other plurkers. Yes, they have a button to show you interesting other plurkers but unfortunately their opinion of interesting and mine are as different as can be. Twitter for example let's me search for keywords in the name and short bio of others and with tweetscan.com I can also search for keywords in other people's tweets which means a whole lot to me. I simply don't have enough time to invest hours and hours reading through this interesting plukers list to find someone I might want to follow. And admittingly without knowing other people on plurk already I feel a bit out of place there. Only three of the many people plurk suggested me to become a fan of decided to become a fan of me too. And other people I became a fan of also didn't bother to become a fan of me. So for me the people I have met on twitter are a whole lot nicer! I haven't completely given up now because for some unexplainable reason I like those three people who decided to follow me (even though I found at least one of them on twitter too) but so far I find twitter a lot more appealing.

October 03, 2008 : My web2.0 experience

At the moment I am in the mood of trying out all kind of social networking services. True, a few months ago I said this is not for me but now I feel that trying out something new and getting new impressions and maybe new ideas can't be too bad.
So I opened a facebook account. A friend of mine had invited me a couple of months ago so of course it was obvious to start with that. After creating my account I typed in all my friend's names and email addresses by hand. I found it too much of an intrusion of my privacy to hand facebook over my email password as I didn't feel like changing it afterwards and I have a natural distrust of all those services and sites. This is no special critisism of Facebook however as most (or all?) of those social networking services offer this feature. And I had extra created a new email address that I only use for my social networks (of course this makes it harder for friends to find me but I really care about security!)
Ok, hurrah, after searching for my friends a handful really had facebook accounts already! So I sent them friend requests and they accepted.
Hmm, some people only have very few friends there while others have hundreds! At the beginning when I saw that some people had so many friends I also felt like I needed to try to find everybody I have ever known. But when I was about to send a friend request to still another person I hadn't been in touch with for years I stopped thinking, why am I doing this? I said to myself that I know where this person lives and if I looked in any of my older address books I could probably even find his phone number. But in all those years I never really felt the wish to contact him, so why now? So I finally stopped.
I think people on facebook are very different. There are young people who add everyone they get to know without thinking and this is fine for them. They are young, they have lots of time and they don't have so much experience. And then there are people who just "collect" friends. You see when I was a teenager I was writing letters with a lot of girls from all over the world. And there I also had pen pals who had over 100 other pen pals. They were collectors, some of them very organised, they sent me a card to fill out with my name, birthday, interests and hobbies and then they wrote letters to me accordingly. While other people collect stamps or autographs they are collecting pen pals or now facebook friends. Of course nobody can keep in touch with so many people, especially not on a deeper level. When I was a teenager for a short time I had around 75 pen friends. But I realized soon that there were only around 5 I was really exchanging very personal letters often and around 15 other people that I really liked, all the rest had just become pen pals by chance and we stopped writing soon and now I don't even remember their names. And finally then there are those on facebook who really try to have only real friends that they want to be in touch with for ever.

While it is nice to send virtual (growing) flowers, sea garden creatures and bears or read what others are doing right now I must admit that it starts to become a bit boring. Anyhow these are my friends with whom I correspond anyhow. So while it is a nice platform and might help to stay in touch I don't feel it is really necessary in my life. Maybe I am too old already?! Scary...!!!
I finally also created a fan facebook page for tuxgraphics but still need to find a way to promote it. So I'd be happy to see you as a fan there!

Next I tried orkut, a social networking site from google. I created an account, joined some groups and looked at the profile of their members. Oops, a few days later I had a comment in my scrapbook (don't remember if this was really the name, anyhow I mean the corresponding feature to Facebook's wall). And it was from someone I remember I had looked at his profile. A bit later I found out that people get a notice who looked at their profile. Had I known this had I never looked at any of those profiles at all, I would have been much more cautious at least about what profiles to look at... To tell the truth I was so upset that I decided to delete my account which is no problem with orkut.(I read that in facebook you can deactivate your account but this wouldn't really delete all your data, well, haven't tried it out yet). Maybe I was a bit too quick in deleting my account, now I know to be cautious and usually first read a bit about a service in wikipedia before I am joining. What I liked about orkut was that you can check out how your profile looked for friends and for the public. Then I didn't value it so much but now after more experience I do.
In facebook I of course am a member of the multimix city network, this was almost automatically done so by facebook. At the beginning I had my profile open for other multimix city network members to see but since a friend started writing more personal messages on my wall I decided to make it more private and only viewable for friends. However I have no real way to verify if it really is.

Okay, next on my list was myspace.com. Without knowing much about social networking facebook and myspace were the two names I had heard about. So of course I needed to create an account here too. I didn't like that they wanted a post code. Why do they need that kind of information? Isn't it enough to provide a name and country?! Well, I finally decided to create an account nevertheless. What a strange site! None of my friends has a myspace account and I didn't look at too many other profiles yet or tried to contact anyone (after the orkut experience I felt a bit shy for a while) but I had almost as many friends there just after a few days like on facebook! How does this come? Well, right from the start Tom was my friend as well as "A place for Mulimix City Citizens". You are able to delete them at any time but when you don't know anyone else that would be really sad of course. Okay, 2 friends. I joined a group and shortly after that a computer shop owner whose profile is full of all the products and services his shop offers wanted to be friends with me. I happily accepted. Next came a heavy metal band. As I prefer working on an old firefox browser flash player doesn't work here (it's usually very helpful as it keeps those unwanted advertisements on the webpages I am reading out of my sight) I didn't have the chance yet to listen to their music. Okay, okay, I could go to my other computer and try it out there but... So what should I do? I remembered that in my teenage years I really liked "Iron Maiden" for a while. So why not be friends with this unknown band? I accepted that friend request. And I accepted all the friend requests that followed from bands of all kind of musical flavours. Anyhow I like music in general. But to be honest it starts to feel like spam to me now.

I don't know exactly when but during the last four weeks when all this happened I happened to come across an article that quoted someone saying that homo analogous was someone who still thought email was great and had never heard about twitter. Hm, I still think email is a great way to communicate with people and when reading that article I had never ever heard about Twitter before. What was this? I am really so grateful Wikipedia exists and knows all the answers! It's kind of a mini blog. In 140 characters you can tell the world (or better your "followers", the Twitter name for "friends") what you are doing. Quickly I created a twitter account. For a few days nothing happened. I didn't really know what to tell the world. Then I tried it out and tweeted a few times. Next I looked at other tweeds and finally chose one to follow. It seems I made a good choice because after that followers started to arrive. Happily I decided to follow their tweeds too. It is strange, I have read so many articles with people saying they never found out why Twitter is so great but at least up until now it's the service I clearly appreciate the most. You don't need to send a friend request, you simply decide to follow someone else whose tweeds you find interesting. And yes, even though I only really choose one person myself I find those people interesting who decided to follow me and I enjoy reading their posts. Of course it's too short a time to call them friends yet but that's not the important thing. They give me new ideas and perspectives.
Yes, spam unfortuantely exists on twitter too. I had two people following me who had already stopped following me by the time I checked on their profile and I could see that they just wanted to get attention to their bad products. Fortunately you can block those users but like with email spam you can't stop them to create a new account and do it again.

Well, as I am writing this I am aware that there are thousands of other services waiting for me to try them out. Still undecided which to try next.

Have a nice day,
Sara

PS: I just noticed that our fridge is buzzing around quite rhytmically today. Does it mean he is on myspace too? Or is it rather a sign it is coming to its end of life?



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