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Your softly spoken words

Release my whole desire,
Undenied,
Totally.

PortisheadUndenied

Today I’ve received a really awesome gift! Jayme Bulhões, got me two photos of me on his wedding (1st of May of 2007)!

On this first one, you can see the gang!

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They were all my colleagues when I entered Critical Software, almost 3 years ago. From the left to the right:

Inês Melo, Bruno Ramos, Marília Bulhões Campos, Jayme Bulhões, Ana Luísa, ME, Marta Umbelino and André Barbosa.

Inês Melo is in human resources, Bruno Ramos is still on the edgeBOX, Jayme Bulhões is also still on the edgeBOX, Ana Luísa is still a secretary, ME, well…. I’ve moved a lot, and now I’m on the Embedded and Real Time business unit, Marta Umbelino, whom I think used to be on the Dependability business unit, but has moved a long time ago to a bank in Lisbon (she has a math degree), and André Barbosa (he dates Marta Umbelino), the guy who seated in front of me (although he entered Critical about month later I think), and is still on the edgeBOX. Good memories come from the gang, but not from the project, as far as I’m concerned 😛

This next photo is prolly the one that best describes Jayme Bulhões! A funny guy altogether 🙂

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posted by André Lemos in People,Photography,Work and have Comments (7)

there’s still a little bit of your taste in my mouth

there’s still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
it’s still a little hard to say what’s going on

Damien RiceCanonball

– Hi everybody!
– Hi Dr. Nick!

So.. Yes… No updates *shrug*

Updated my computer, so now I am tri-booting Windows, Linux and Mac OS (Tiger, waiting for Leopard to get stable). And boy oh boy, does Tiger fly with a Core 2 Duo E6600 *nods* . Here’s a shot for the suspicious:

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Let’s see… I’ve received the photo manipulation I’ve ordered from deviantart.com. The author is Marisa Duque:

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So you can see how big it really is. No… Dad and Auntie T, she is not my girlfriend.

And tomorrow I’m having Software Quality Assurance training over at work, so hopefuly tomorrow I will become a Software Quality Assurance Engineer *shrug*

bye

posted by André Lemos in Computer,Photography,Work and have Comments (8)

Do I know you from somewhere?

Why do you leave me wanting more?
Why do all the things I say
Sound like the stupid things I’ve said before?

MadonnaSkin

Yes… I do listen to Madonna, and I have a perfectly good reason for it. When I read the 3 books of Lord of The Rings, a colleague had borrowed me Ray of Light by Madonna, and besides being a good album (really different from anything else she has done), I always link the musics from this album to passages of the LOTR book, which feels kind of magical to me.

I know I have been quiet for a while, so now I am going to give you a BIG entry (will talk about work, some stuff I bought, music, new albums coming out, gymnasium, and I think that’s about it). Not some usual rant, just some facts. It’s lots of stuff, so bear with me.

This first item, is about my job. I didn’t want to put this news in here, because it will become public eventually (perhaps in December?). Like, I’d say, many of you already know, me and my work colleagues get evaluated twice a year by someone who out ranks us. This year I got two good news! 🙂

  • got EXCEPTIONAL on my evaluation
  • I am going to be promoted in January (IIRC) to Project Manager

Though I was already wondering that my promotion was due, I wasn’t really expecting that grade on my evaluation, because I think I would’ve deserved it much more on the previous evaluation, but no harm, no foul! Of course now I am proud of this achievement, and want everyone to call me André Ventura EXCEPTIONAL Lemos, but I don’t think that will work. I am also really very glad that on “technical skillz” I got EXCEPTIONAL, with a remark saying that this is my strongest point! *YAY*

The EXCEPTIONAL (yes… upper case all the way), means that I’m receiving a fatter bonus, and everyone at Critical will know that I got this grade.

The promotion, well… It means a salary increase and a very nice word for my curriculum vitae.

Oh… I also got my new cell phone from work. I chose a Nokia E50, that I am loving so far! PHONE LIKE FORM FACTOR (how unusual these days), very small, very light, Symbian OS, really huge battery life, so I’m happy). I know that E51 is out, but I don’t care.

See how thin it is (no, it’s not my hand):

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So… More news.. Let’s see….

Today I have bought the whole Zero 7 discography. I was at FNAC just browsing along when I noticed the The Garden album that looks real pretty! And I’ve thought to myself, well, I already have this album, I’ve downloaded it from the Internet, but I like Zero 7 so much, that I should really support them! So I went and bought their 3 albums:

I honestly think they deserve my money because I love all of their albums, and I’ll be doing this for other artists (not the whole discography of course), like Charlotte Gainsbourg (I have already bought 5:55, but it was a gift for my Auntie T), Natalie Walker, etc.

I also advise you to buy the DVD set Völkerball by Rammstein. I think I’ll get it myself. It has all the songs I love from Rammstein, on a live concert.

While at FNAC, I’ve decided to also buy some new headphones, because I honestly think that the ones that come with the iPod just don’t cut it! Since I already knew which ones to buy, I went straight for the kill, and bought me these Sennheiser CX 300 headphones:

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I already knew what to buy, because I have read so many good stuff about them in so many places, specially because of their ear-canal design (that’s why they look funny).

What are in-ear-canal headphones? Unlike standard headphones, which use relatively large drivers (speakers) and fit on top of or around your ears, or earbuds, which use fairly small drivers and sit loosely in your outer ears, in-ear-canal headphones use very small drivers and actually fit inside your ear canals (thus the name canalphones). In fact, using either rubber eartips in various sizes, or foam eartips that expand to fit any size ear canal, canalphones are designed to seal your ear canals closed, blocking external noise—much like a pair of earplugs. In fact, many canalphones look and fit just like earplugs.

Taken from playlistmag.com

Couldn’t have described them better. You can see on the above photo 4 more rubber pieces. Those are used the replace the ones already on the headphone’s tips so they can fit comfortably inside your ear-canal.

Advantages:

  • really great sound quality
  • music doesn’t have to be so loud
  • very comfortable, and won’t fall off easily

Disadvantages:

  • since all the outside is so isolated, you can even hear anything rubbing on the headphones cable if you’re concentrated
  • you feel like your ear is being anal probed when you put them (though after it’s really comfortable)
  • I might fall asleep with them because I can lie in bed with my cheek on the pillow without them hurting me (thanks DAD for the DNA)

You can see things this way: Regular headphones are like a person shouting to you from a distance, while in-ear-canal headphones are like a person whispering to you in your ear. Well… Sort of…

So after I got home with my new headphones, and three new albums, I’ve decided to rip them so I could store them with a much better quality, and so I could listen to them on my iPod.

Better quality… So what do I mean by that? Should I rip the albums with a lossless format? Nah.. That would be just a bit too much, and then I wouldn’t be able to hear the musics on the iPod, so I’ve ripped them using LAME with a VBR and Joint Stereo.

What does that mean? Well… If you’re not in the mood to follow the links and read up, I’ll try to explain this real simple.

VBR: Your MP3 has a bit rate (128 kbps, 190 kbps, etc…), which define the quality of the sound, and of course, the space it will occupy on your hard drive. With VBR, instead of having ONE bit rate for an entire track, you’ll have a variable bit rate throughout the track, depending on weather the sound being played benefits from it, or not. So better, will sound better, and worst won’t try to sound like it is better. Got it? *shrug* The process is really cool. While LAME rips the track, you can see a bar chart showing you what’s the rate being used on that particular frame of the track, so it was really cool to watch the ripping process of Radio-Activity by Kraftwerk. I really felt geeky! Long story short, I had some frames going all the way to 320 kbps (crazy sound quality, I don’t think a human can tell a difference that high), and 32 kbps (prolly during sound gaps).

Joint Stereo: When your LEFT channel and RIGHT channel have exactly the same sound, they get mixed together, so that the same sound can be reproduced with less information (and less space).

there.

So after doing that, I started ripping all of my CDs collection using the same standard (The Fat of The Land by The Prodigy is being ripped as we speak).

OH OH OH OH And FYI, She Wants Revenge have a new album called This Is Forever! OH OH OH OH And FYI, Goldfrapp are going to release a new album on the 25th of February called Seventh Tree.

So… What else can I talk to you about… (you got THIS far? If you have, put a comment below, because else I won’t believe you :P).

School is doing fine, but if I fail my exams, I’ll just run away and start a new life in Holland or Mozambique, or whatever. Useless crap. I learn more in 5 minutes at work, than in 24 hours of school. *SIGH*

Oh… And went to the gymnasium today, and rowed for 2 Km with a difficulty level of 8 (the maximum is 10, and to simulate a rowing boat, it would be a 2/3), biked for 15 minutes (about 5Km IIRC), and did some push ups on the machines, as well as some abs work.

posted by André Lemos in Me,Music,Studies,Work and have Comments (8)

It starts in my belly

Then up to my heart
Into my mouth I can’t keep it shut
Do you recognize the smell

GoldfrappLovely Head

Hey there,

First, and foremost: fuck fuck fuck

I haven’t posted recently, because I have been busy studying, only to find out today (the test was supposed to be tomorrow), that this test had all the stuff that we learned, PLUS, the stuff that we ARE GOING TO learn, so… Yeah….

I asked for 2 vacation days at work so I could study for this test (besides the 2 days that we’re already entitled to), only to find out that I am not going to do this test. Well… But not all is lost, I’ve caught up with the subjects, so it’s ok, though today I’ve had an awful day. So you can have an idea, I had lunch at 11:20 at home, so I could go right away to the school’s library to study. *shrug*

Anyways…. Critical really is turning into GooglePlex! Now they are going to provide a mini-bus to take workers from down town Coimbra to the headquarters! Freakin’ awesome I’d say! I wish I could use that, but I live a bit far from the pick up points.

So yeah.. Kind of tired, and I WANT to get up early tomorrow morning, so I’m going to take a shower (yes… I am one of those that take showers at night, as opposed to in the morning), perhaps hear some songs in bed, and go to sleep.

posted by André Lemos in Studies,Work and have Comments (2)

today

today
the words don’t mean enough for us to say
for us to say
today
to steal the moment that we gave away
we gave away
gave it away

I was kind of bored at work, so I’ve decided to go to the bar to have a _plastic cup_ of water. On my way up there, I’ve come across a colleague of mine that was in the same situation, and so we decided to go to outside to get some fresh air.

When outside, I’ve remembered the bicycles Critical had on the garage, and decided we should go for a ride, and so we did. We’ve actually found a pseudo-BTT track near by, and had some fun over there. It was great to blow off some steam, and give the bicycles some exercise 😉

About an hour after I got to my place, my Project Manager asked me if I wanted to go play foosball. Sure… why not? I do suck a very lot at foosball, so after losing 2 games in a row, I played ping pong for a while (it even got me sweating!) .

I’ve also found out that Critical will be wanting someone to go to Angola for 6-12 months to work as a sysadmin on a fat pay check. Now that would be fun for a change! I wish I could go. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh and they asked me if I wanted to go to Holland, but this time for 5 months. sux.

Speaking of Angola, this is alma-lunar, I don’t think she reads this blog either, but here she is:

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Not very happy about how these turned out, but since I haven’t been getting any feedback, I won’t do a proper scan, because it’s too late, and I have to wake up early tomorrow.

Ps.: the lyric is from Zero 7Today

posted by André Lemos in People,Photography,Work and have Comment (1)

Small updates

I forgot to mention some more stuff on the previous entry.

  • Critical wanted me to go to The Netherlands for 2 months, had to turn down because of studies, which sucks
  • A consulting company called me to ask me for how much would I be wiling to go work to Lisbon coding Perl (apparently there aren’t enough coders in Portugal to cover for the demand)
  • Happy birthday to Marta Mancelos

And since I said I’d post a new photo on every entry, and well… Not even 24 hours have gone by since the last post, I’m going to post something different:

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Apparently I’ve loaned the camera to someone (I think it was Anya) during a meet in Sintra, and she prolly didn’t rewind it properly, so there. Two fotos overlapping. The one with my uncle I took on his (and my moms) birthday.

That’s me on the photo, and then my uncle, and you can also see Edgar Almeida holding his camera 🙂

posted by André Lemos in People,Photography,Work and have Comments (3)

One more step towards Googleplex!

Well yeah…

After all the good news, it was time for the lunch break (Critical puts together a lunch every month to get everyone together from every site in Coimbra, on the headquarters), and while there, we were presented with some new stuff:

  • two foosball tables
  • one ping pong table
  • one pool table
  • two really neat bicycles with shock absorbers on the front wheel! w00t!

And to top that, I’m going to see Sérgio Godinho live in Coimbra with my mom (Critical will pay for 50% of the tickets) 🙂

posted by André Lemos in Music,Work and have Comments (2)

And the good news continue

I was, and am, at work, when a guy from the systems infrastructure came to me, and said

“Here’s your 3G card!”.

YAY! So now I have truly wireless and mobile internet via 3G (TMN), being paid by my employer 🙂

In other news, I won’t be attending the Radical Weekend, because I don’t feel like attending it alone. sux.

posted by André Lemos in Me,Work and have Comment (1)

Yay Bonus!

This is turning out to be a very nice month financially wise!

First, I am told that from this month on, I will be receiving fuel coupons every month, each with a value of 120€. And now, I’ve found out that the performance bonus has hit my account this month (it’s like a 15th month). YAY 🙂

posted by André Lemos in Work and have Comments (3)

Recommended music – 24/Sept/2007 und Car und Werk :B

Elis ReginaUpa neguinho

AudioslaveJewel of the Summertime

JamiroquaiWorld That He Wants

Pink MartiniSymphatique

José CidO Caos

Nat King ColeUnforgettable

AntiloopStart Rockin’

Natalie ImbrugliaBig Mistake

MadonnaLittle Star

GoldfrappPaper Bag

AND:

Peugeot offered me, free of charge, brand new rear shock absorbers and ball bearings, just because I was complaining of some rear noise! w00t!!

Critical will from now on give me 120€ worth of gas every month 🙂

posted by André Lemos in Car,Music,Work and have No Comments