Friday, December 30, 2005

What's this business with Narnia anyway? Am I supposed to know what it is? Is this like the three musketeers or something? Or is it the new Harry Potter?

Am I too old for this? Or too young?

What's going on? I totally missed it.

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Bookmark and Share Friday, December 30, 2005 7:11:42 PM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [12]  

The Official and Unbiased pashabitz.com Online Stores in Israel Reviews - Part II

a) www.maximus.co.il - I ordered a keyboard with English, Hebrew and Russian fonts on it's keys. (Now, make sure you understand that complicated order) Received a confirmation email that my order was processed and will be delivered, that email had the exact (and correct) description of the ordered product. Waiting for like two weeks (!!), nothing in the mail. So I call them up, and some dude, who really wants to help, just can't correctly email me the post barcode with which I can pick up the delivery. Anyway, the keyboard arrives, lo and behold, it's not what I ordered. You guessed right, it has everything (the keys, the board, even that funny cable that connects to the PC), just not the Russian fonts.

I call them up again, not without disgust in my voice, and what does the guy tell me? "Oh, you ordered a keyboard with Russian? We don't have that".

So I returned it. At least that went okay.

"Very bad" on the Bitz scale.

b) www.noacomp.co.il - ordered earphones with a microphone (the kind you use for skype and stuff). It took more than two weeks to arrive! What's that? "Not good" on the Bitz scale.

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Bookmark and Share Friday, December 30, 2005 6:51:35 PM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [5]  
 Monday, December 26, 2005

Always ready. Motto of the Soviet Pioneers Youth Organization.

 

My Official Packing List (Microft Excel 2003 based, of course) contains exactly 62 items.

Here, as a free-of-charge pashabitz.com service, I provide a pictorial overview of some of the most important, must-have items for your next South America journey. With commentary, by me.

 

          IMG_1713.JPG           IMG_1717.JPG

South American Handbook 2005, a.k.a. The Holy Bible (pictured left). Don't leave your El Calafate dacha without it. If you don't know Pucon from Bacon, start here. Also wonderful for holding out doors when it's windy and for making chairs for smaller children higher so they (the children) can reach the table.

The IRiver hp120 (pictured right) hard disk based MP3 portable player. Mucho musical can be packed in this wonderful device, for those long 20-hour bus rides. Connects via the ubiquitous USB port. Also can store porn. But no screen, that's in the later models, so you can't watch it on the go. Will be stolen from me pretty quickly.

 

IMG_1710.JPG    IMG_1721.JPG

Shoes, a pair, size 43 and one third. Lock, with combination.

Great for walking, slightly running, and other land based activities. May be admitted to a good restaurant with, though not without a bribe.

Locks - don't take the ones with keys. You'll lose them or drop them inside an active volcano (and then they're lost anyway). Instead use an unbreakable three digit combination, giving you, hmm, 10-bit strength I guess. Unbreakable.

Dexamol (tm) pills, yellow. Great for ass pain tze-tze fly stings mixing with cheap rum head ache.

 

IMG_1703.JPG   IMG_1709.JPG

Biffe de Lomo money, in local cash. Provided by the big Or, to pass as-is to the waiter for the fattest peace of cow there. Order pre-written on the envelope.

Real Old-City-Jerusalem crosses, David Shields, plates with pictures of Fish and Chips. Or was it Fish and Bread? Hand out to your local friends you'll acquire along the way, as a sign of gratitude.

 

IMG_1716.JPG      IMG_1720.JPG

I (pictured left), will carry the goods.

Plastic cup, plastic plate (medium depth), matching colors (in support of the Dutch national football team and the orange growers).

Knife, fork, spoon.

Will be used for eating meals on a trek. A trek is a place you go where there are no people everyone's a tourist, so no one makes food for you.

 

                  IMG_1719.JPG

MasterCard with the "Hever" consumer club membership. Nothing like flashing it at the strip club doorman in Ushuaia and getting the 5% off because you're a vet.

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Bookmark and Share Tuesday, December 27, 2005 2:46:33 AM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [8]  
 Thursday, December 22, 2005

I've been telling everyone who's willing to hear for a while now, that I'm sure that despite all the latest hype, Barca will not win the Champions League this year, that they'll lose to either Chelsea or Liverpool, and that one of the last two will win it all eventually, probably Liverpool.

The first reason is that I had a strong gut feeling about it.

But like they say where I work, "'Gut Feeling' is a name of a fish, and they eat that too". Or something.

The real ultimate and undisputable reason is that Liverpool (and to a lesser extent Chelsea) stand for everything evil in football and Barca stand for everything good. The former play a negative, joyless kind. The latter play the kind of football that makes you love the game in the first place.

Where's the reason, you ask? Simple. Evil always prevails. And more than that, nothing I want ever happens in football. Never.

 

So anyway, yesterday I watched the Barca-Celta game and I'm officially changing my tune.

I say Barca will win the Champions League this year. There's just no other way.

I got this thought when I noticed how much the players, Ronaldinho mainly, are watching themselves during the game. They realize perfectly well how great they've been playing lately. And they know how everything can just crumble down in the knock-out stage. So they don't want to get injured. They won the Liga last year, and they can have it won easily this year, it's just not enough this time.

 

I'll be rooting for Barca come February.

And if they lose, well, they might as well cancel that whole football thing. It's just not working.

 

--*Update*--

Effie Arditti corrects:

"...So now lets take a look at some statistic facts:
Chelsea FC – 19 matches in the league till now, with aggregation of 41-9 in goals...
Please tell me, is there any other word accept excellence to describe it ?
This is evil ?? this is a negative football ? ..."

Indeed, that is correct. I guess I'm just overwhelmed by excitement watching Barca lately, so I 'm being emotional. That's all there's to it I guess. Emotions. Football is pretty cool that way.

Liverpool still suck though.

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Bookmark and Share Thursday, December 22, 2005 7:08:07 AM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [8]  
 Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Holy cow, this is why I wouldn't put an internet connection where I work.

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Bookmark and Share Wednesday, December 21, 2005 3:39:25 AM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [564]  
 Saturday, December 17, 2005

Amazing site. Just scroll down.

And the Norwegians say that Swedes are dumb.

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Bookmark and Share Saturday, December 17, 2005 8:22:29 PM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [11]  
 Wednesday, December 14, 2005

PR-Wire, Rishon LeZion.

Today at 09:00 Jerusalem Time (GMT +02:00), privately held pashabitz.com agreed to a deal with privately held Sammy Burekas to purchase one "Cheese Burekas". Terms of the purchase were not disclosed but the deal is reportedly worth 6 New Israeli Shekels in cash and cash equivalents. The cheese burekas, which sources estimate to include the "also put an egg inside?" option, will become a fully-owned subsidiary of pashabitz.com.

Says Pasha Bitz, CTO of pashabitz.com "This move enables pashabitz.com to further strengthen it's position among global leaders in the field of cheese burekas consumers, and proves our strong commitment to the morning baked goods market segment".

Industry analysts have been touting a potential IPO in the making for pashabitz.com, that could come as early as Q2 2007.

The recent acquisition joins a row of recent mergers for the Modiin, Israel based company.

 

About pashabitz.com

A known leader in the HTML-based products market, pashabitz.com is privately held and employs 1 workers across the globe.

Investor relations: Pasha Bitz, pavelbitz@gmail.com

 

About Sammy Burekas

A maker and distributor of Burekas (cheese, potato, pizza, Bulgarian), Pizza Malauach and various other baked goods and refreshing beverages, Sammy Burekas operates multiple stores across Israel.

Investor relations: Sammy Burekas (owner and CEO).

Want to join me as partner in a cool new startup?
Get in touch: pasha at cohai dot co

Bookmark and Share Thursday, December 15, 2005 4:44:20 AM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [6]  
Check out this 360 commercial on Google Videos. It got banned by MS lawyers.

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Bookmark and Share Thursday, December 15, 2005 4:18:35 AM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [4]  

If I weren't flying to Buenos Aires in two weeks I'd be playing with this shit all day long.

Get an intro on the LINQ project and VS DSL tools.

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Bookmark and Share Thursday, December 15, 2005 4:13:46 AM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1]  
I highly recommend reading this book - The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam by Barbara Tuchman. So cool, I almost prefer taking the bus to work because of it.

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Bookmark and Share Thursday, December 15, 2005 3:25:15 AM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [10]  
 Saturday, December 03, 2005

The day before yesterday I felt the urge for some Chili Con Carne. So yesterday I went over to all recipes and a couple of hours later I was finally feeding.

Turned out muy delicioso.

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Bookmark and Share Sunday, December 04, 2005 12:10:13 AM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [13]  

This I wouldn't expect. I registered my domain a while ago using Yahoo! Domains. Back then in was 9.95$ a year. A couple of months ago they started offering a domain for 2.95$ a year. So you'd think I'll be able to switch to the 2.95 plan starting with the second year, right? Wrong. They won't let me switch, they'll just automatically charge me 9.95 for every folllowing year. Now if I really want to switch I have to cancel my plan, which will release the domain to the wild (and we all know how many people out there want the pashabitz.com real bad), wait for some undefined amount of time until it becomes available and then register it again as a new customer.

I even emailed their support (which is not easy, let me assure you) and got such a laconic reply I'm not even sure it wasn't all computer-generated.

The correspondence went sort of like this:

Me: "I'm on the 9.95 plan but I see there's a 2.95 plan now. Can I switch starting with next year?"

Yahoo! Support: "No, you can't. We'll charge you 9.95 forever, until the world ends."

M: "But don't you see how moronic this is, you bloody fools? You realize I can switch the hard way right?"

Y: "Hmm. 2.95 is a limited-time new-customer offer, you have to pay 9.95"

M: "Are you even listening to me? Why would you treat an existing customer worse than a new one?"

Y: "The price is 9.95. You have an existing plan. You'll pay 9.95 once a year. Okay?

   Please fill out this quick survey:

   (1) Was Yahoo! Customer Support helpful to you? (a) Very (b) Not (c) Guess so

   ..."

 

You get the point.

This is all very Israeli-type service, but very not USA-type service. That's the surprising part of it, for me.

And anyway, why can't Yahoo! give me that lousy 7 buck discount? They make like a bejillion dollars a month. Their market cap is 50 to the 28th power. They *buy* small countries every day just to "enter new markets". Be damned if I understand.

Want to join me as partner in a cool new startup?
Get in touch: pasha at cohai dot co

Bookmark and Share Saturday, December 03, 2005 11:54:02 PM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [21]  

Zap are really providing a great price-comparing service, I use it all the time.

But of course this is Israel, so I always wondered whether the store reviews are real. I'm sure every online store out there, would log on and post 500 favourable reviews of themselves, if they could. Can they?

Hearing some awful user-experiences from people I know, and having purchased some stuff online myself, I wanted to help fellow customers and also share the love for places of business that are doing a great job. So I decided to post some store reviews on Zap. Turns out they have a Stalinist review regime over there. Guess they figured the Israeli head out too. You must provide a digitally scanned copy of your purchase receipt in order for them to post your review of a store!

I don't own a scanner, and who does anyway? Like I'm going to look for a scanner somewhere, go there, remember I don't have the receipt, go back home, find the receipt, go to the place with the scanner, scan the receipt and email it to Zap just so I can review an online shop. I don't have that much love to share. Not to a website, for sure.

Now they're obviously in a dilemma: they want the user-generated content, and they can loosen the controls so it'll be easy to post a review, but then the info will be very unreliable (that may work in Norway, not here). Or they can make you go through hell so that almost no one will post reviews, but the small amount of data that's available is very trustable. They went for the latter.

 

But I still want to help you out with your online shopping (and you already know I'm very trustworthy) so I'm going to put up some short reviews for google to index:

The Official and Unbiased pashabitz.com Online Stores in Israel Reviews

a) e-net - ordered a Nokia phone, received in two days, no problems at all. "Totally Happy" on the Bitz-scale.

b) Mardanit - ordered a memory chip for a PC, same thing - delivered in two days, no problems. "Totally Happy".

c) Yarden PC - a graphics card for a PC. Fast delivery, no problems. "Totally Happy".

d) Master PC - an LCD screen. Had a few time-wasting phone calls with their orders department. For some reasong they were having problems with my credit card (listen, my credit is respected worldwide, don't be thinking nothing funny). But then after 3 or 4 days the screen got delivered as should. "Just Happy" on the Bitz-scale.

e) Photofilm - bought a compact flash memory card. Arrived in two days. No problem. "Totally Happy".

 

And remember: the spin stops right here.

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Bookmark and Share Saturday, December 03, 2005 11:09:58 PM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [18]  

Ever wanted to manually control what build-events run when you build in Visual Studio?

For example, if you want to register the output in GAC or something, but not always, only when you choose to do so.

At first I was thinking about flipping some boolean environment variable and then testing it in the build event code. But later I decided it's better to define a new build configuration and test for it. To test for the build config - use the ConfigurationName macro, like this:

if $(ConfigurationName) ==DoStuffConfig echo doing stuff

if not $(ConfigurationName) ==DoStuffConfig echo not doing stuff

Now, if you want the special code to run, switch the configuration to "DoStuffConfig" (you have to create it first, of course).If you don't want it to run, switch to some other config.

Only problem is, switching the configuration takes a while on a big solution (30 seconds or so). Is there a better way?

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Bookmark and Share Saturday, December 03, 2005 10:37:24 PM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [4]  
Hey, I just read a whole (beginning of a) news story on terra.com.ar without using the dictionary even once!! It's in Spanish, yo. Cool.

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Bookmark and Share Saturday, December 03, 2005 10:30:46 PM (Jerusalem Standard Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [17]