Friday, December 9, 2005
Sunday, December 4, 2005
After some moderate success on the learning slope, Kristian convinced me to try the green slope pictured above (or was it blue? Supposed to be an easy one either way). I was told that I looked rather freaked out after safely returning to the base camp but that it was somewhat decent attempt; go go go! Heh, things take time I guess.
Either way, it was awesome and I’m definitely going to go again soon. Especially as I shelled out quite an amount of money for skiing clothes but ended up renting the skiis, boots and other stuff.
I also brought my camera and a set of lenses (the 10-22, 24-70, 70-200 and 2x extender) though, since the weather was quite bad, I only used my recently acquired 50mm f/1.4 - the bokeh on that one is awesome, though it’s a bit difficult to focus correctly although that is a known issue.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I realized today that I haven’t blogged in almost three months.
In July, I went to the Desktop Developers Conference and then the Ottawa Linux Symposium after that. One busy week where I shared a room with Kay Sievers, good pal and now proud maintainer of udev (congrats Kay!). It was my first time going to one of the DDC and OLS conferences, and it was good to meet both old and new friends. Pictures here. Next up is the GNOME Boston Summit.
An old friend Søren, from Denmark, was in California so he stopped over in Boston for a visit in the start of September. We drove down to NYC, had a good Saturday night out clubbing with friends, hung out in the city on the Sunday. Labour-day Monday, we headed south for Washington DC for another 2.5 days. Pictures here.
I’ve upgraded to the Canon 20D and also acquired my first L lens, the 70-200 f/2.8L zoom lens. It’s awesome. Coupled with the 2x II extender I grabbed a picture of a full moon the day before yesterday, see below. For candid shots and low-light-photography (good for capturing people that has issues with fire alarms) I still swear to my copy of the Sigma 28mm f1.8, it’s pretty good, though I do admit that I miss a zoom and eventually I’d like something like this instead .
Mass Drivers License
I passed the written test last week and the road test yesterday, so now I’m licensed to drive here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and, for that matter, in the rest of the US. Compared to the tests I had to take in Denmark, some 11.5 years ago, this was a piece of cake. It is pretty fortunate that I finally got this done, as after one year in the US my Danish license will stop working and that is nine days from now. Btw, thanks a million to J5 for being my sponsor.
Been busy with new projects. I feel a little bit sad that this means that I’ve been slow to reply on mail on the HAL list, but this is also because life have been somewhat busy and trying lately. Fortunately Danny Kukawka and Richard Hughes have been helpful looking after the project. Also happy to see that GNOME Power Manager will soon enter Rawhide. I’ve been using g-p-m for the past few weeks and it makes the whole laptop experience better.
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
I left for sunny California (wasn’t that sunny though) very early Saturday and arrived back in rainy Boston (very rainy when we landed) very early Wednesday. I didn’t really have any specific plans for the trip so things just happened along the way which happened to work out very well. Spent Saturday night in San Francisco (notably at the Irish Bank and The Swig) where I met and chatted with a bunch of different people including one professional photographer (which was interesting as I like to think of photography as a new hobby for me). Sunday I left for Monterey and stayed there until Tuesday.
Spent most of Wednesday catching up on mail and on meetings / IRC; still got lots of mail and issues to attend to though.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Went out to Franklin Park Zoo this morning and took a bunch of pictures.
Most of them ended up pretty bad due to lack of light (thanks to the somewhat hazy weather here in Boston). I’ve uploaded some of the better ones in this gallery.
Been spending quite some time on a rather large gnome-vfs patch (it’s about 80k now) that enables gnome-vfs-daemon to recognize drives without having them in the /etc/fstab file.
There’s a bunch of other benefits including the fact that we actually show drive icons even when no media is in the drive and, of course, that we stop using /usr/sbin/fstab-sync in Fedora and instead use mount/umount/eject programs that can integrate nicely with the GNOME desktop. The latter is quite important, actually the point of this whole exercise.
The main benefit is that we can move all policy into the desktop - this means that we can write a GNOME-based mount wrapper that queries your settings from gconf about where to mount volumes (the mount point) and what mount options to use (e.g. iocharset comes mind). Of course, we have to be extremely careful in what options and mounts point we’ll allow. It will be almost trivial to write a Nautilus extension so this can be edited in a tab per drive/volume. This is planned too. While this sounds like a super-31337 geek feature it’s actually something that both Fedora and upstream HAL has gotten a lot of bug reports about. Another benefit is that we can actually put up meaningful dialogs if the mount/umount/eject fails. For instance, we may put up a dialog with a list of the applications that is blocking the unmount (of course, applications like these needs to be fixed so maybe not worth the effort).
Finally, we’ll be able to do lock-down much more effectively - for instance, administrators should be able to say “Require root password to mount external storage device read/write” (which is done by setting a mandatory gconf key) and we pop a dialog telling the user that we can only mount read-only unless the user authenticates (using the root password or other mechanishms is another discussion). While this sounds like a stupid feature check this out (search for “solder”) and also take a look at some of the discussion regarding what Sarbanes-Oxley is requiring from businesses.
Implementation-wise, I’m planning to use pmount as the backend for the GNOME-specific mount/umount/eject wrapper but right now I’m running into some issues with the privileged parts (that should trust nobody) insofar that they have to check things in gconf / HAL. Have to think a bit more about that and also email Martin.
So, this female Asian coworker (who has requested anonymity when I told her I was going to blog this, so can’t be specific gave me a set of chopsticks last week. They’re supposed to be easier to use than what they give you at restaurants.
I’m still undecided whether it’s something I should bring to a fancy restaurant, so I carry them around with me until that matter is resolved
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Went to the Cambridgeside Galleria tonight and picked up the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens. It’s awesome. Can’t wait for the sun to get up as it requires a bit more light than the standard 18-55mm lens that came with my Digital Rebel XT
Now to start thinking about a quick weekend get-away to try out this beast.
Been spending some time on D-BUS the past few days, got a patch for automatically reloading policy in and also some bitching about not breaking the ABI. John put out the 0.34 release that also includes glib/gobject goodness from Colin and Ross. Sweet.
Playing in the band
Friday, me, Kristian, Chris, Søren, John and clee went to this Somerville bar since it was country/southern rock night. It was pretty cool. So, I was standing out smoking, casual and minding my own stuff you know, and this old timer who reminded me of Johnny Cash came up and asked if I was part of the band. I had to say no but he insisted that I looked like a natural-born guitar player and gave me several addresses where to buy a guitar and encouraged me to start playing. I contemplated starting singing to get him on better thoughts
Fedora Core 4
The Amazing Fedora Core 4! is out. Go get it.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
So, I finally got round to finishing up and committing my NetworkManager VPN patch; here are the details. Also, since all the cool kids do it, I made a screencast to show how it works. Peruse it by clicking the picture below.
The next step is to add support for more VPN software, not at least so we can finalise the extension points (interfaces really) for how to integrate VPN software with NetworkManager. Things like OpenVPN and Openswan comes to mind. When that is done, we’re probably going to lock down the interface and keep it stable. You know, even so proprietary software vendors may integrate their VPN software with NetworkManager.
I had a very very nice time in Denmark; arrived on Wednesday the 1st of June, spent the evening at my moms new house in Trørød with my mom, my sister Maria and her husband and two kids. On Thursday my mom and I embarked on a journey to Fyn
to visit my sister Birgitte and family. It was awesome, Birgitte and co. lives on an old farm and there was a ton of motives which meant that I put good use to my new camera. I need to upload those pictures soon now that I got an account at flickr (again, like all the cool kids .
I returned to Copenhagen on Friday and met with a lot of friends at Vesterbro Torv - I think we were 10-11 or so. It was very nice to see so many of my old pals and it got very late until I returned home (in more than one sense). It was totally awesome.
When I got back to Boston about a week ago the weather had changed. It used to be cool. How did that happen? Now it’s about 90F (32C) and extremely humid. We have already had two thunderstorms IIRC. Thank god for AC - except that the one in my car is broken and the one in my apartment is extremely noisy. Oh well, can’t win them all
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Also, Bastien proposed to integrate his small tool for importing .PCF files from the Cisco VPN Client. So, today I added a button for this.
Yesterday, Marco arrived:
Not that it’s really anyones business but mine , but due to various, uhm, personal reasons I succumbed and started smoking again. I only smoke at nights though, not at work. Some day I will really stop but now just isn’t the right time… I did go about 13-14 days with a single cigarette. Bah.
I’m planning on meeting up with friends on the evening of Thursday the 2nd of June in Copenhagen somewhere at Vesterbro Torv. Drop me a mail if you feel like having a beer and hanging out! Hope to see a bunch of people! We should probably start at around 7 or 8pm at Obelix. Send me mail!
Monday, May 16, 2005
Friday night I felt like spontaneously visiting Revere Beach, MA
Tonight I just spent some airline miles so after spending $51 for taxes etc. I got this in the mail
OUTWARD FLIGHT: SK658, SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES
01 June, 10:40, Stuttgart Stuttgart Apt Terminal 1
01 June, 12:20, Copenhagen Copenhagen Apt Terminal 3
RETURN FLIGHT: SK655, SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES
04 June, 15:15, Copenhagen Copenhagen Apt Terminal 3
04 June, 16:45, Stuttgart Stuttgart Apt
which leaves the Saturday night in Stuttgart before I return to Boston on June 5.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
So, for some reason I decided to stop smoking last week. It was Tuesday morning on my way to work. I haven’t touched tobacco since and this is more than a week ago now.
The funny thing, however, is that it’s not completely clear to me why I want to stop. I’ve got a multitude of small reasons but not really any big ones. Part of my brain is trying to convince the other part about only smoking at night / at parties. I’m still clean though.
An interesting side effect of this whole ordeal is that my senses have improved. Somerville really does stink when the wind isn’t right
View from my study: City of Boston
It’s probably been helpful that while living in my new apartment, I’ve only smoked outside on the balcony and for the past 7-8 months I’ve not smoked more than about fifteen a day. To compensate and be nice to myself, I picked up a copy of Tiger which is installing on my good old Powerbook 12″. I’ve also got myself a mini tripod for the new camera which I used for capturing the (long-exposure) images above (click the pictures to view the full 3456×2304 images).
Now.. I’m guessing that all you people now think “It will be interesting to see how this continues”. I know I do..
Monday, May 2, 2005
Sunday, May 1, 2005
My mom and older sister, Maria, visited last week; we went to Niagara Falls (on a two day trip), Cape Cod and did other tourist things here in Boston.
Visiting Niagara Falls, NY early Sunday
It was absolutely great to have the girls visiting and everything panned out very nicely. Also, now I’ve also got the right gear in the kitchen to cook food (my mom remarked that it’s an useful asset in order to pick up a girlfriend)
Given I’ve lived here for about 7 months, I’ve been quite fortunate with friends/family visiting me; Dennis was here in December, Maz dropped by in January, the girls in April and it looks like Marco and Lars is coming in May. Yay!
Visiting Race Beach near Provincetown on Cape Cod
I’ve finally bought a new camera, the Canon Digital Rebel XT which is a very nice 8M pixel SLR camera. It nicely complements my (nowadays, rather old) Canon Digital Ixus V - one for serious pictures, and one for fun.
My view of Beantown through the new camera
Conferences / Travel
I will be at 6UADEC in Stuttgart, Germany and will also spend five days after that probably travelling around Europe (returning June 5). Also, I’m going to OLS in July and will probably fly up there with Blizzard in his small plane . Also, Kay is talking about visiting Boston just before OLS.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Had my car at the dealership for service; the headlights, horn and wipers got fixed. Cost me nearly $500, yikes. All this is part of the vast array of preparations for the M&M visit (Mom and Maria) who arrives on Thursday; looking much forward to that. Took off the top of the car for the 30 mile (50 km) ride back:
Note to self: Never ever again ride with the top down at 75 mph (120 km/h) when it’s 45F (7C) outside. It’s fucking cold.
Saturday, April 9, 2005
Played around with Camorama today; this software got some wicked filters, check my piece of art.
Monday, April 4, 2005
Inspired by the other Dave I sorted out my taxes tonight. Unlike Dave, I couldn’t really get H&R Block to work (since it determined I was in a special situation being a H1B alien and all), but after surfing a bit on IRS.gov I found a link to Turbo Tax which rocked. I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
After about 60 minutes of my time and the parting of $29.95, I had electronically submitted my federal tax papers and printed a copy of my Massachusetts tax papers for snailmail submission (for some reason, the Mass papers couldn’t be submitted electronically).
One really funny question during filling out forms and answering questions in Turbotax (btw, the UI wasn’t that bad actually), was whether I wanted to pay the optional 5.85% instead of the ordinary 5.3% Massachusetts income tax. TurboTax said that it was unclear why one would want to do that (go figure), so I opted for no. I later found some rather funny commentary on the subject . Anyway, the bottom line is that I’m getting about 70% of my US taxes paid in 2004 back. w00t!
Now to look into sorting out my Danish tax filings. Not so w00t!
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
I didn’t like it much and neither did this guy; in fact, to get this out of my system, I had to put one of my BBC Office DVD’s on
Monday, March 28, 2005
Had Friday off, so I picked up a copy of DOOM3. On Sunday evening I completed it after about 25 hours of playing (with almost no cheating). DOOM3 rocks. That is all.
In other news I wondered this morning what the proper Danish translation of “Denial of Service” is. krh proposed the word Betjeningsstop which sounds a bit too funny to me - I’m sure my good old collegue Martin Koch knows what it is (email me, Martin!).
Friday, March 18, 2005
Monday, March 14, 2005
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
Here is a less sober take on the recent democratic developments in Europe.
However. I’m not happy about this development at all. People should care more about freedom and the fundamental values of our society instead of just caring about themselves and the next reality show on the telly (that’s one for you Joey Punchclock!). Because, before they know it, they’ll have to pay a tax to some big corporation in the northwestern part of the United States to even watch TV.
Just like they do today to be able to exchange documents with the rest of the world.
Someone please explain how this is freedom.