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2000 (Fathom this!)


Helvetti’s X-mas makeover

Helvetti has a new christmas look.


Recommendations from HS’s classics automat

What Helsingin Sanomat's Klassikkoautomaatti recommended to me (Finnish).


Celebrity sighting, sort of

Oh yeah. Forgot to mention. Last weekend I was at Liekki, again. And guess who we saw? Thaaat's right!!! Mr. King of Design himself, Miika Saksi. He was going to the bathroom.


The best monkey won

Well, it appears that Curious George won after all.


Bush loves you!

George Bush Loves Your Poverty-stricken Ass!


Server back up

Finally, our server is back up with the content restored. I really sucked, not having any sites to work on, no blogs to publish. It really sucked.


Multiple hard drive failures

Last night, sometime between 12:00 AM and 4:00 AM, during a routine maintenance window, the server hosting my sites was shut down. When it was turned back on, it reported multiple hard drive failures. This means everything on the servers was lost. Read more


The eve of Helvetti’s launch

So, tomorrow's the big day: the all new, all better edition of Helvetti is being published. Yay!

We're having a big launch party here at Taneli's—er, I mean the studio. We've invited a lot of people. It's kind of a gamble because we paid no attention to who knows who. So it might turn out to be a real bust. Everyone sitting around looking bored, no one talking to each other. Ugh. Not a pretty sight.

Finns can be like that. Adults, I mean. The party culture used to be very formal. Small gatherings of friends at summer cabins are, of course, an entirely different matter. That results in drunkern debauchery. With the stress on the word drunken. Very drunken.

Mmm. Well, I don't think people will be shy and stand around like wall flowers at a dance. Everyone will have fun, but I'm afraid people won't mix. There'll be groups of people in which everyone already knows each other. Even though that's kind of boring, the groups tend to be sort of cold towards outsiders trying to enter the fray.

But I'm sure it'll all go well. Gotta buy lots of yummy good alcohol. I intend to shake off the dust on my dancing shoes. At least figuratively speaking. Party, here I come!


Blogger acting up

Haha! The baby really was spitting up the other day... No, I mean Blogger really was acting up. Sorry I moaned Pyra-guys. You're the best.


13 myths about the results of the 2000 election

13 Myths About the Results of the 2000 Election. This is very interesting. I don't really care who will win any more. It seems that the next president will have his hands tied by a pitched Congress and so his term will be both ineffective and inconsequential. I believe the only votes that mattered in this election were the ones for Nader and the Green party. Then again, I don't live in the US any more, so I won't have to live with the next president.


I still have to write my own essays

I'm writing an essay this morning on Machiavelli's The Prince. There's a lot of stuff on the net, but so far it seems I'll still have to write the paper myself. Damn those sites that offer free essays and college term papers! I wouldn't mind using one, but they're all so damn lousy. And Blogger is messing with my mind.


Partisan divide makes us say stupid things

As I've said before on this site, I really like Dave Winer's Scripting News. I respect Dave. He is thoughtful, pragmatic yet idealistic, and he has real integrity. Because of how feel about Dave, I weird to hear him talk about politics. Dave has been leaning republican throughout the on going elections in the States. What bothered me, was not, however, that I disagree with his politics. It was more about how he has said what he has.

He has defended Bush with inane hypocrisy. He has made silly comments that ridicule Gore. He has belittled important issues. Seeing someone as reflective as Dave, getting pulled down into the mud that is partisan politics, is depressing. I mean, linking to sites like this and making a sarcastic comment to prove one's point is just plain dumb, be you Republican or Democrat. I thought Dave at least, coming from the software industry, would understand how serious a problem something like ballot design can be.

I suppose the partisan divide makes us all say stupid things.


Women can’t sing rock?

Funny, I was just having this conversation with my brother and sister yesterday. Our discussion sprang from by my brother’s band’s guitarist’s opinion that women can’t sing rock. I agree with what Jack says about disliking female vocals having more to do with negative connotations. The preconception exists that a female vocalist means “chick rock” of something else that’s not just “rock.” I find the notion prejudiced. I mean, not all female bands can be stark raving mad man-haters who want nothing else than to destroy the entire male sex, can they?


Introducing Liekki

I was out on the town yesterday evening. Had some fun, though I have to admit, I don't remember all of it. After experimenting with new and exotic drink mixtures on Eemeli's new blender, Petteri came by and dropped us off at Liekki bar. Liekki is a new bar on Uudenmaankatu near Bar 9. The interior was a definite disappointment. The lighting is dim and the lamps are shaded and hung low on the walls. But because the bar is fairly small and it has a high ceiling, it doesn't have the romantic charm of Santa Fé, which is similarly lit, or the spaciousness of Blue Room.

We drank a round of Slash of Finger, which was invented on the spot for us. The drink was named after Markku's short film at the request of Konsta (aka Jimi Pääkallo). Konsta had told Markku that the drink would be on the bar for him, but we had no such luck yesterday.

I recognized Miika Saksi of smallprint.net and sueellen.org fame at Liekki. I wanted to say hello but felt a little too wobbly to introduce myself. We toyed with the idea of me asking for his phone number under the pretense of having a little sister who is a fan of his, but I didn't have the nerve to go through with such a implausible ploy. And what would I do with his number, anyway?


A whole lotta Helvetti

You know what? I'm tired again. I'm tired of how the new, yet unpublished Helvetti looks. We've gone through several design incarnations. Like this one and this one and a bunch of non-working sketches and drafts.

We can't leave it like it is, I mean, look at it! What are designers supposed to do when they look at their design so much that they begin to hate it?


Monopoly—the ultimate sport

Cool! There is a sport that doesn't require a super-human training regime—monopoly! The World Monopoly Championship is apparently has a long history, but this was the first I heard of it. I find it refreshing that there are competitive events for which the competitors don't have to give up normal lifestyles to excel in.

Of course, there's computer gaming, also a totally different kind of "sport". The most popular competitive computer game is Quake. I've heard you can even make a living as a professional gamer these days. At least the very best can. However, I find the image of a pro gamer sitting in front of the screen playing Quake eight hours a day a little unsettling, so I'm not so hot about that sport. It's different when I sit in front of my computer eight hours a day working. That's cool. Really, it is.


Newmedia.com folds

Newmedia.com goes under. I never did like them, but now I really don't like them. They're selling their assets, which includes their customer list—and I'm on it. Damn.


Userland’s new pages are Netscape-killers

The newly redesigned Scripting News and other Userland sites are truly causing me problems. Dave mentioned that they tend to screw around with Netscape 4.x browsers. It has something to do with tables, but I've been too lazy to actually look at the code to find out if it's nested tables that's causing all the trouble.

How my teetering Netscape reacts to the new Userland sites is a little unusual, also. Instead of crashing, which it does plenty of, it just briefly freezes up. Not that that's not annoying and can lead to a panic reaction of rapidly trying to switch between open windows and leaving the toublesome site (which does crash Netscape).

Dave says I should update my browser, but I can't! We've had IE4 on this computer, but that totally messed up everything. It makes changes to Windows and made running every program slow. We had to format our hard drive and reinstall everything. I've laso tried to update Netscape, also unsuccessfully.

The problem, of course, lies in that our computer is too old. We actually have another newer computer, but we can't switch to that until we get a new Internet connection. We have an ISDN line, but the ISDN card is so problematic that installing it correctly is a near impossibility. It's a matter of trial and failure. Even the computer repair shop people can't install the card correctly. In the end it's always a matter of luck.

So what we're waiting for is a new Internet connection. And that has its own catches.


Dismissing StarOffice and the rootless, undying image of Che

David Coursey dismisses StarOffice. I find the style that Coursey adopts and the language he uses a bit odd, though. He attacks StarOffice and, indirectly, the open source movement. What's odd about the article is how Coursey goes about discrediting StarOffice's significance.

Based on the fact that Coursey wanted to get a hold of a copy of StarOffice, but was unable to obtain one, he establishes just how marginal the software is. He alludes to the fact that StarOffice is trying to beat Microsoft at its own game by spreading FUD on "upcoming" and "soon to be released" vaporware.

On route to the climax of his article, Coursey goes for some additional credibility by using a tactic most-often seen in debates, in which you concede a point to the opponent. It makes you sound just plain reasonable. Coursey stoops--just barely--to admit that at some point in time, a few years ago, an alternative to Microsoft's Office "seemed like a good idea".

The real bomb Coursey drops totally blows me away.

I like open software for the same reason I find communism attractive, if totally unworkable. Wouldn't it be great
to live in a world where human nature was subservient to the common good? No homelessness, no crime, one for all and all for one. It would be heaven—OK, boring, too—if only it worked.


There are a few truths that every half-educated dimwit of western culture knows. These are learned on a very fundamental level and they lie dormant somewhere in the depths of the collective western subconscious. One of them is "communism is a great idea but it can't work."

Droves of Finnish teenagers are downloading Che Guevara icons for their cell phones without knowing who he really is. They are surprised when they learn who Guevara was and what he did. The most common reaction: ". . . He was a communist!?"

I'm neither disputing nor confirming the truth of the statement. I just think it's a dangerous symptom of collective ignorance. "No need find out about communism for myself, I already know the gist of it." Call it a product of sound bite culture, call it a remnant of the years of cold war propaganda. Either way, I find it disgusting that a "common truth" like this is used as proof of a point.

Coursey's language is filled with figures of speech that belittle both StarOffice and the open source movement. Coursey's tone is meant to be sarcastic and witty. What bothers me, is that his choice of words and manner are so blatantly used to prove the point he is trying to make. He has an opinion. He actually has good grounds for his opinion and facts that that back his arguments. Why, then, does he use such an indirect approach?


NY Times redesign

The New York Times is redesigning its web site. I like their current site better than the proposed redesign, but the new one, which they've posted for comments and review, is certainly more web-like. I also like the idea that NYT has offered up its new design for critique, letting users know about in advance, and giving readers a chance to voice their opinions. Of course, that doesn't mean they will actually listen to readers' comments and take them seriously.


Gift idea

Anybody wondering what to get me as a gift? I want this font. Very basic, very classic and I don't have any font that's anything like it. Myriad MM, I think I love you.


Internationalization and idioms

Dave Winer explains the expression "to drink the Kool-Aid." Dave often includes explanations of sayings or terms he uses in his articles. They've been quite useful and I think the practice will spread. Unless a site is catering to a very local audience, chances are that people from across the world won't understand the full meaning of idioms and expressions used (and taken for granted).


Webcams and community

Salon's story World wide webcam details the vision of Garland Simon, CEO of Cammunity.com, a web cam portal of sorts. She wants everything, everywhere to be on a web cam, all the time.

I have mixed feelings about web cams. They are a nice bonus when they show something I'm already interested in, like perhaps the workings of a gang of my favorite bloggers. An other web cam that sparks my interest is the ones that offer a kind of real-life soap opera. I haven't ever followed the lives of web cam celebrities, but I'm sure I'd be addicted in a second. I feel like I've missed out on the whole JenniCam scandal.

Still, most web cams just seem awful boring.

Home-made web cam enhanced serials, however, seem very promising. Any web cam feed with a storyline is infinitely more interesting than a plain old blurry and slow picture of an empty room. Multiple medias obviously add depth. Not only can you read my journal, you can also watch me writing it!

Taneli and I have been bouncing around ideas on how communities are made up, how people are entertained and what keeps them coming back to a café or club. We've been thinking how could we connect the Internet to a café in a meaningful way, so that it would extend a café's current role of a place of leisure and human interaction. We want to enhance interaction and foster a community. Web cams and open mic audio feeds are obvious tools (and "content" channels) that we've talked about, so it's exciting to see other people's ideas on what web cams can do and where they are going.



Also from kottke.org, metascene rediscovered. Metascene isn't a daily read of mine, but from now on it will be. It's aesthetically ascetic and purrs to me with a very pleasant voice. It also has the four magic letters in its name that spell 'meta'. Undoubtedly they'll soon become passé, but for now, they make me wanna hum for meta-goodness.


17 myths of graphic design

I gather that everyone is linking to the 17 Myths of Graphic Design. So of course I am too! I hadn't seen it before, so thanks Jason. I found it both entertaining and educational. Just what I wannabe graphic designer like me wants to read.


Interpretations of nature

Interpretations of nature from junior high, high school, and college test papers and essays submitted to science and health teachers (spelling errors preserved)

"When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire."

"H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water" Read more


Summary of The Misanthrope

Here's a good summary of The Misanthrope. Too bad I've actually read the play and don't just need a summary.


Last minute cribbing

Our history presentation on the Finnish language went well. I wasn’t prepared at all, but when sitting on the teacher’s desk on Friday at two o’clock, winging a presentation is not a problem. As to our Finnish class (actually called “mother tongue”) presentation on Moliére’s Misanthrope, it was bumped to Monday — today! I also have to hand in a paper analyzing the French comedy. That’s why I am now trolling the Web frantically for pointers on how to pull something together.

  • Have I mentioned I like britannica.com? It’s cluttered, but it’s also happening. Gives me the feeling that I can find all kinds of stuff. I like it.


Taneli got me addicted to NetBaby and I in turn addicted my brother and sister. It's awful because we can't play at home because of our phone bills. In Finland, even local calls are charged per minute. So surfing is actually a bit pricy. Finnish ISPs are way behind of the US or even Sweden. We are planning on getting a fixed wireless connection as soon as possible, so we'll have always-on wireless broadband access for a flat rate. The fixed-line comparative available here is ADSL, but it's really expensive. The mothly fee for home connections is USD100/month. And it doesn't even have a fixed IP-address, which we need to access our work's virtual network. I can hardly wait. NetBaby, here I come!


The beginning

I'm a great writer and an awful writer. And like many great and absurd projects, I'm starting this project to learn, both about myself and about the world around me. To start off, I want to say that I make no guarantees of quality of my posts, nor of the frequency of them. Great way to start a weblog, huh? Well, we'll see where this leads.

I also run... er, participate in a Finnish language weblog, Suodatin. Suodatin has had its ups and downs since the its inception in the beginning of this year. Suodatin's biggest hindrance is that I haven't told anyone about it. To my knowledge, it's the first Finnish blog ever. I like the notion of entering uncharted waters, but being the first also creates some problems. For example, there's no community to turn to shout "hey, look at me, I started my own weblog!"

The real reason I haven't told anyone about Suodatin is that I'm scared to. I worry I won't want to keep blogging Suodatin. I'm afraid people won't like it and that it'll show my own ineptitude. I don't know. I know I'm just a big 'fraidycat. I know I shouldn't worry about any of that. I know that I should throw caution to the wind and take chances. I know all that. I just need to do it. So that's what this is also all about. Breaking personal barriers, expressing myself without worrying it'll jeopardize my career. This is about a lot of stuff. I hope to see you on my journey.

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caught together