Leap Day 2012, now with more nostalgia!


Photo off my bedroom balcony in Singapore, taken 29th of February 2008

The 29th of February! Such a monuments (though chronologically predictable and necessary) occasion warrants a post I have precious time to write, so instead of a well thought out, logical post I've decided just to ramble for a bit. That's so unlike me.

When did this happen last time

To get into the spirit of writing, I thought it best to check out what I was blogging about the last time it was the 29th of February. Given this happens every four years, I was able to ascertain I needed to look up the 29th of February 2008. No, I'm not a mathematical genius, I just used a calculator to deduct 4 from 2012.

What happened last time

Turns out, the post I wrote for the 29th of February 2008 was a rather unsalubrious rant regarding sites taking my blog posts and wrapping them in ads. No, I'm not talking about Google (haiyo!), I mean spam sites. Ironically, those that Google used to be infested with and are starting to slowly creep back.

Let's take a look! Step into the four year time machine!

At first spam bots harvested email addresses from search engine indexes of web pages, then when the concept of posting comment on blogs started reaching critical mass spam bots started pumping spam through those [..]

It seems to me though that blog spam in itself is evolving though. I used the word “though” twice in that sentence. When previously they mostly consisted of masses of links to get more Google juice, now they seem to be latching on web feeds that blog software exports and creating more and more junk blogs with this plagiarised information. Some of them try to pass themselves off as legitimate by creating faux introductions that go along the lines of “Hey I found this blog entry and it’s really interesting, here’s a summary!”.

I even took a screenshot of Camino showing one of the spam sites in question.

Blog spam

29th of February 2012

So now we return to the future, or the present, or whatever this period of time is. Einstein's Law of Relativity would imply that in this current time we would see it as the present, but had we stayed in 2008 we would have seen the present as the future. Right?

This reminds me of that episode of Star Trek Voyager with the USS Relativity where the first officer is trying to explain to 7 the idea that time travel is plausible if one understands effects often precede causes, and that temporal paradoxes can cause headaches. Wait, that was Captain Janeway, never mind.

So-called "True Trekkies" aren't supposed to like Star Trek Voyager, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching it growing up. That could be read as me watching it while I was growing up, or that I was watching the show itself grow up. English is such a clumsy language, one need only be a programmer or know other languages to be aware of this. Hey, at least we don't have seven different tenses! Right?

What was the photo?

So we finally come to the photo from the very beginning of this post. As I did while looking for previous blog entries written on the 29th of February 2008, I ran my master Swiss Army Chainsaw Perl script to spit out photos on my SLR backup drive taken on that day. I didn't take many, but one was that view above from my bedroom balcony at the time. You can view the full photo here, if you really want to.

Suffice to say, set homesickness mode to full! It was such a shock to have a quiet, dark bedroom when I came back to Sydney, I can tell you that much!

Another photo I had for some reason was this "screenshot" of installing Nvidia binary blob drivers for my FreeBSD tower.

The End

The irony hasn't escaped me that I spent my 29th of February 2012 post taking about the 29th of February 2008. That's fine, on the 29th of February 2016 I'll talk about the 29th of February 2012. Better make notes about Raspberry Pi for that day. The system works!

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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