Well, what do you know?

It’s been almost a year to the day I’ve posted here. There’s this principle I firmly believe in: don’t write when you don’t feel like doing so. I originally set this up as a sort of work blog, and I must say there hasn’t been that much I felt like sharing with the world at large.

Things are different now tho. I left my job at the College of Europe and joined Namahn. And we have a new rugrat, Anna:

Anna in haar park

Still not sure whether I’ll be posting here much, but you never know.


So I sent out this mailing last week. Wasn’t in to deal with the ensuing mails, but I’m steadily working my way through the replies and the out of offices now.

We don’t get any personal mails back complaining that our newsletter is spam, and this time got only one message form an automated spam thingy:

Internet siuksliu filtravimo sistema “Mail Security” uzblokavo Jusu issiusta laiska, laisko tema: College of Europe Development Office Newsletter 4 – October 2005
gavejas: […]

Jeigu tas laiskas yra ne siuksle, pakeiskite jo tema/turini ir persiuskite dar karta.


Subject of the message: College of Europe Development Office Newsletter 4 – October 2005
Recipient of the message: […]

If your message isn’t a spam, change its subject/content and send the message again.

Tee hee. So in other words: if your message isn’t spam, please send a different message?



Check Page Rank

Waiting for the deluge

I don’t know about you, but I still get that frisson whenever I send out an e-mail newsletter.

I just now pressed the “Send” button for our Development Office’s fourth newsletter. Countless thousands of people will receive a mail I personally sent in their inboxes. Some of them won’t even read the mail because their spam filter will have intercepted it. Some of them will delete the mail outright. Some of them will give it a cursory glance and then delete it. Some of them will read it and actually click on the links.

[note to self: include table of contents next time, it’s become a little too unwieldy]

And then there will be the flood of e-mails back.

“Please remove me from you mailing list” and “Please note my e-mail has changed” and “Person X has been replaced by person Y, please change your database accordingly”. We haven’t received any “Why am I receiving this” or “Stop spamming me” since the very first newsletter, so that’s pretty good. To the contrary, we get “thank you for the interesting newsletter” and things.

And of course, we also get more than our share of “mailbox full” and “out of office” mails.

Which is what I’m now waiting for. Anxiously. Because the first “out of office” mail is a sign that the mailing has actually been delivered to people.

Yes, I know I could check the mail server, and I’ve been down to IT to do just that. But I don’t trust technology sometimes.

update 18:23 …aaand we have impact 🙂 The very first mail I received back:

Returned message. The size of sent message exceeds the max. spool size, 10.0MB, of X’s.
Powered by 3R Soft, Inc.

More 404s


I’d put off going through the 404s (see a previous post) for a couple of days, and to my horror I was greeted by hundreds of errors when I finally got to the 404 folder this morning.

Hundreds! I thought something had seriously gone wrong with our website, but no: some eejit inadvertently entered our domain name when he/she tried to download an entire collection of porn from some German Scheisse-movie site.


So what I though was going to take ma at least an hour or two, turned out to be finished in about ten minutes or so.

Which is good news. Because it means I’m now going to take a stab at implementing the Event Calendar on our site. Not simple by anyone’s standards, what with the site being such an amalgam of technologies and hacks. And I’ve about two and a half hours to do it.


Another year, another opening

Has it really been a year since I last attended an opening of the academic year at the College?

Why, so it has. Imagine that.

Of course, last year I had no official role there, and now I had: I was to take a couple of picture for the internet. To put online while we waited for the official photographer to send us the official photos.

Well, I was a model of restraint. Only a little over a hundred photos, including some last-minute ones at the reception of Javier Solana with students, of professors and ex-professors, and of (weirdly) a numbe rof professors and the rector of a Turkish university. 

“You,” they said, “take pictures of these people”. And so I did. Never mind that I’m not a photographer or anything. Ha!

And I still haven’t properly said hello to someone I knew at the College almost two decades ago when I did student jobs here. Last year I introduced myself to her and she was more confused than anything else; this year I didn’t have the heart to walk up to her and say hello.

Next year!

Meeting delayed

Great stuff.

I had a meeting at ten, but things being as busy as they sometimes are, my meetee didn’t make it in time. So I had some time to burn waiting for her.

It didn’t seem a good idea to start something difficult like, say, the event calendar on our website, or the new intranet because I had no idea if whe was going to be five minutes or half an hour.

So I attacked my Unread Mail folder. Good thing too: there were a couple of absolutely-needed-to-look-at-them-rightaway items in there. And I’m back to 0 Unread Mail.

Which is nice.

Mmmm… stew

Irish stew tomorrow in Garenmarkt. I’m only sayin’


Web stuff library

Time to get a couple of reference works in, to wit:

  • Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville  [O’Reilly, 0596000359]
  • The Design of Sites: Patterns, Principles, and Processes by Douglas K. van Duyne [Addison-Wesley, 020172149X]
  • The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett [New Riders, 0735712026]
  • Defensive Design for the Web by 37signals, Matthew Linderman, Jason Fried [New Riders, 073571410X]
  • Bulletproof Web Design by Dan Cederholm  [New Riders, 0321346939]
  • Eric Meyer on CSS by Eric A. Meyer [New Riders, 073571245X]
  • More Eric Meyer on CSS by Eric A. Meyer [New Riders, 0735714258]
  • The Zen of CSS Design by Dave Shea, Molly E. Holzschlag [Peachpit, 0321303474]
  • Web Standards Solutions by Dan Cederholm  [friends of ED, 1590593812]
  • About Face 2.0 [Wiley, 0764526413]
  • DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith [friends of ED, 1590595335]
  • Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug [New Riders, 0321344758]
Yep. Yepyep.

Presse (encore)

Amusant: l’histoire de l’ancien du Collège qui était plus ou moins le seul témoin de la défaite historique des vins français (ou plutôt la victoire des vins californiens) en 1976—Paris Winetasting Author Visits Valley.

Et encore une ancien, à Malte cette fois: New EU representative in Malta takes over.

Et un troisième ancien, Horstpeter Kreppel, vient de prêter serment au Tribunal de la fonction publique de l’Union européenne.

Et encore: Loukas Tsoukalis (ancien et professeur visiteur!) devient un des trois “special advisers” du nouveau Group of Societal Policy Analysis de la Commission.