My cape and sword

Crying matadorIn the Walt Disney short animated movie Ferdinand The Bull the matador never get to show off his cape and sword. Sometimes I feel like the matador and want to show off my cape and sword (i.e. my programming skills), but for various reasons I can’t. The bull (i.e. the task at hand) might be too big, too small, or not even there…

Right now I’m pretty confident in writing custom Ant tasks and using HttpClient. It’s a pretty small bull, but not too bad.


About to buy a new laptop

I’m about to buy a new laptop. I’m still happy with my Thinkpad T60p1 even though it needs a service to get rid of some heat problems and this annoying display issue, which has become worse lately:

Anyway, the new laptop is not for me but for my wife, so that there is less competition about the one we already have! 🙂

One option would be to get me a new laptop and let her inherit the T60p, but I have an 1600×1200 pixel display now and the Thinkpad T Series models with 1920×1200 pixels are outrageously priced! I need some really good new business for 2GooD Productions in order to afford it!

Miguel de Icaza observed that Lenovo finally offers Linux preloaded on some machines but I can’t find anything about that on their Swedish web site. It would be good to avoid paying the “Microsoft Tax” the next time a buy a Thinkpad!

When my wife found out that Dell offers their Inspiron 1525 with the design below, she wanted one of those, and who am I to argue? I’ll make sure the specs look alright and pray that I can get Ubuntu running on it properly.


(Image is Courtesy of Dell Inc.)

1 At least if I don’t think too much about the issues with the fglrx proprietary graphics driver from ATI.

Happy 50th Birthday, LEGO!

In order to celebrate I’m a little tempted to start building something with my already old LEGO Mindstorms, or even buy something new, but I will attend to other projects today!

Project prioritization – Inspect and Adapt!

I try to avoid telling myself that I don’t have time for this or that. The truth is that it comes down to how I prioritize those things. I naturally try to put family and work first, but I also make room for my own projects and ideas. Some projects only take a few hours, others linger for a long time.

For example, I would like to register the really neat domain name and aggregate blogs on a certain topic connected to the domain name. I have promised myself (and my visitors!) to make a price database for my energy drink site. I have barely started working on my so called Holiday Project. I have not finished the support for tags on my site Folkmun. I would need to polish my Instant Messaging to RSS system Esagila a bit. There are other projects that are postponed indefinitely. All in all, I really shouldn’t bother thinking of new projects right now.

This blog is another project. I could have been working on any of the above instead of writing this blog post! It’s all about what I give priority to, and I’m not always good at choosing. I probably need to Inspect and Adapt, as done in Scrum. Speaking of Scrum, maybe I should create a product backlog for my projects?

On the bus, and not

I’m writing this on the bus on my way back home from work. The handwriting recognition on my Nokia 770 takes some getting used to but works quite alright. I’m thinking of buying a Nokia N810 but I’m not so sure.

Starting from this sentence I’m writing from the comfort of my study. The travel sickness chewing gum prevented me from yawning, getting a head ache and feeling sick, but my brain still feels foggy a few hours later, even after eating and taking a nap!

I won’t buy an Nokia N810 when I can’t use it on the bus. Damn travel sickness.

Maybe I should get a Macbook instead? 😉 I’m a bit tired of suspend/resume not working 100% correctly with Linux on my Thinkpad. The brand new MacBook Air seems cool but expensive!

Bus Watch, a quite useless idea

My route from Ronneby to work in Karlskrona usually include the bus rather than the train. In the mornings I wait for the bus from Karlshamn to arrive in Ronneby. It is usually a few minutes late.

A recent feature of the bus line is the onboard wireless network. (See also Webbsurfning pÃ¥ bussen in my Swedish web diary.) Yesterday and today I used my Nokia 770 web tablet to listen to web radio on the bus. Unsurprisingly it did not work without interruptions but I expect that web surfing or sending mail works quite alright for the moderately patient commuter. The first idea I got after trying this was to install a WLAN-equipped computer at the bus station to scan for available “bus networks” (very funny, right?) in order to log arrival and departure times for the WLAN-equipped buses. The SSID in the bus is called BUSSONLINEn, where n i a single digit, so they are easy to spot.

This would be slightly more useful if a similar equipment was installed at the Karlshamn bus station too, because it would allow be to find out the average time it takes for the bus to go from Ronneby to Karlshamn, and then predict when the bus arrives in Ronneby based on the departure time from Karlshamn. That way I would know at what time I need to be a the bus station in the morning with better accuracy than the timetable.

All in all, a quite useless idea! It also made me think of the cute Gumstix computers that could be used for this purpose. I still haven’t found a good enough reason to buy one of them.

I leave it to someone else to figure out how to abuse these networks. You don’t even have to be inside the bus to do it…

“Daily Scrum” at home?

I’m I crazy or not?

Me and my wife usually have a chat in the evening about what we’ve done during the day (“started painting the bedroom”) and our plans for the day after (“continue painting the bedroom”). When I realized how similar this is to the Daily Scrum, I smiled and started asking her and myself for impediments too (“we may not have enough paint left”).

I could call our common to-do list a “Family Backlog” too, if I wanted to take the analogy a step further… 🙂