20 December 2005


Bye, Blogger!

This is my last entry on Blogger. From today, my blog is hosted on my own site (yay!), Macedon Systems. For those who have been following the RSS feed, please update to the new RSS feed, available from the blog.
Apologies in advance if the feed -- or anything else -- is not working correctly. Please drop me a note in that case!

17 December 2005


Why are you so poor? - Healthcare.

Starting January 2006, a new healthcare system will be active in the Netherlands. The difference between public and private healthcare is going to be abolished, and everyone is obliged to have a basic health insurance which is the same for everyone. Those who want additional care can take a more expensive insurance. That sounds good, in principle. But in my opinion, this new system is total and utter s**t.
For example, I'm now suddenly required to be insured of my own. Previously, students who didn't live at home, because of their studies, could still be insured with their parents. The new system does not allow that anymore. All children over 18 are required to pay for themselves.
Okay, so that's a nuisance. But not really a good reason to detest the system, you might say. Well, the most important reason is indeed a different one. The "basic" health insurance, the compulsory part, contains too much stuff I don't need, but still have to pay for. For example gynaeacology, ergotherapy, or diet advice. On the other hand, only dentist costs for children under 18 are fully covered, if you're older you'll only be insured for specialist treatment. And the coverage I would like to have, for ophthalmologic care, glasses or contact lenses, etcetera, is - as far as I have seen at the insurance company web sites I've been perusing - only possible when paying for the most complete package, which includes psychological treatment, anticonception, and full means of alternative medication.
And so I'm stuck with paying almost 90 euros a month for a compulsory insurance I will - worst case (that is, if I need it most) - only be needing for 2/3rds, maximum. That will mean more work in order to provide me with income, and less extras. With thanks to the government.

16 December 2005


Holidays are near

Ahh... Almost done with this semester. Apart from the exams, of course.
Finally some real spare time to do a major house cleaning, update my news articles collection, play games with friends, write documentation, maybe even do some translating or update other documentation, ...
... and have some rest ;)

10 December 2005


Changing courses

It took me some time thinking about it, but I made the choice to fill in a request form to change my course list for my MSc studies. The 3D Computer Graphics course I'm currently taking is fun, but it's very unlikely I'll be able to finish it. It's not a compulsory course, not even a specialisation course for the graduation direction I'm aiming at, so it should not be that much of a problem. Finding a replacement course was a bigger problem though, luckily I managed to find a course on agent-based modelling which I hope to use in my graduation project.
And there's a course I planned doing which is not being taught anymore (at least not this year or next year) which I have replaced as well. The replacement course is on environmental philosophy, good for some general thinking skills, I hope.

I have also changed some other plans, mostly to restrain myself from doing too much other things, to make sure I have a reasonable chance to finish all my courses this year. I've already made a rough schedule for the next semester, including work, and everything seems to fit in quite nicely. I'll even have some more time left for other activities like my disc flight involvements or working on KDE. (Which reminds me I should not forget to add that Krita's manual is starting to get some shape. Whee :) )

02 December 2005


Hotmail? s/Hot/G/, please

I've never been fond of Hotmail, but when I got one of those addresses to maintain, I didn't really feel like setting up a new address in place, so I tried to customise it to my preferences. I gave up very fast when I realised how awkward Hotmail's quoting is, and that all line breaks are stripped from the painfully constructed signature as soon as it is appended to your message.
So I quickly changed over to Gmail and sent my most important contacts a change-of-address notice. The rest will come later (I'll keep on reading the old address every once in a while). Come on guys, webmail needn't be that annoying...

01 December 2005


More work, more fun

Yes, I'm still alive :)
My workload however has increased somewhat more, so there's not much time to post blog entries - although I've come across interesting stuff the past days. My time is currently being spent on getting my own courses done and on preparing the new x86 assembly project for first year's students.
Oh, and that one's getting more fun each day. My plans are to have them create a basic emulator for the 6502 processor (the one from the Commodore 64/128, the Apple ][, and more) on which we can then run simple programs with some x86 assembly tricks for input and output. Unfortunately doing I/O is not as simple as merely doing some memory fiddling, as that was handled by external cards, and we don't have the time to emulate those as well. Luckily one can call C library routines, so just pushing arguments on the stack and then calling printf is enough to get text on the screen. It's not the real thing though - but there are reasonable programs to write in textmode only, and it's a nice exercise. Of course, being able to run a C64 Basic interpreter would be very cool, but that won't be realistic I'm afraid.

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