November 2005

November 30, 2005

Spiekermann in 80s BBC clip on typography

Erik Spiekermann on type in a BBC clip from the 80s. Be sure to check out his post on the heritage of Nokia’s corporate typeface.


The disposal of a desk

Today I watched a man stuff a wooden desk into the garbage compressor behind my workplace’s office building. A desk! Into a garbage compressor!

When he turned the compressor on, the desk started slowly pushing itself out of the compressor. The man stood there, looking at it inch out, its legs grasping for something to hold on to.

After the compressor had run its cycle, the man pushed the legs back over the lip of the compressor’s maw, and the desk fell all the way in with a boom and a sigh.


November 23, 2005

Syndicating and sharing calendars, contacts, and pretty much everything

Ray Ozzie’s take on Really Simple Sharing (of calendars and contact lists). Russell has a few questions.

(Geez, what’s up with MSN Spaces’s URLs?)

One important thing to note is that the focus is on sharing personal information with specific people or groups, not the Web at large. The management of these “privilege groups” is tough.

Oh, and today I broke down and finally installed Skype.


Matias Tactile Pro USB — best keyboard ever?

Is Matias Tactile Pro USB Keyboard the best keyboard ever? I have no idea. Luckily, there’s a lot more to know about keyboards.

I like keyboards that make loud clacking sounds when you press the keys. You can get big old “clackies” from the Kyl�saari recycling center for five euros a piece.


Sataman hosting-toiminta Nebulalle

Muistan, kun Nebula oli ainoastaan pieni ja pätevä hosting-firma. Tänä päivänä se on varmasti edelleen pätevä, mutta isommaksi se tosiaan on kasvanut.

Koska Nebulan tiedotteihin ei ole ankkureita eikä permalinkkejä, on tiedote alla kokonaisuudessaan.


Satama myy hosting-liiketoimintansa Nebula Oy:lle

Satama Interactive on myynyt Sataman hosting-liiketoimintansa Nebula Oy:lle. Hosting-palvelun yhteydessä Nebulalle siirtyy noin sadan asiakkaan sopimuskanta. Samalla yhtiöt ovat sopineet hosting-palveluita koskevasta yhteistyöstä. Yhtiöt ovat päättäneet olla julkistamatta kauppahintaa. Kaupan vaikutus Sataman vuoden 2005 tulokseen on vähäinen.

Satama luopuu hosting-liiketoiminnasta keskittyäkseen ydinliiketoimintaansa, digitaalisten palveluiden suunnitteluun ja toteutukseen. Hosting-liiketoiminta tuli Satamaan vuoden 2004 syyskuussa ostetun Kuulalaakerin liiketoiminnan ja kesäkuussa 2005 ostetun G5 Digital Design Oy:n myötä. Hosting-liiketoimintaa on harjoittanut lähinnä Sataman Turun toimisto.

Satama ja Nebula ovat sopineet yhteistyöstä, jossa Nebula toimii Sataman kumppanina tarjoamalla Sataman asiakkaille hosting-palveluita.


What if the real Web 2.0 has nothing to do with WWW?

Abandon the Web has some interesting ideas on the evolution of the Web. The author (going by the moniker of J.R. Pessimist) poses five “paradoxes”, or problems with the Web today, and suggests, for one, that we need a whole new platform. World of Warcraft and Skype are examined as examples of alternative networks. Via Evhead.


November 22, 2005

November 21, 2005

Grass and rounded corners?

Whoa, check out the the grass and the rounded corners? Both presenting at next week’s Helsinki MobileMonday, Nokia and Opera seem to be sharing some grass-roots love.


November 17, 2005

November 16, 2005

November 14, 2005

  • Seaside is a Web application framework for Smalltalk.
  • Lisp-on-lines is a Web application framework for Lisp.
  • Paul Graham’s On Lisp is available in electronic format.
  • Hmmm. Hottest Blogger is exactly what the name says it is. But there’s something strange going on there…
  • Wow, this illusion is really neat!

November 13, 2005

Blake at Tavastia

Last night we went to Tavastia to see Blake. I felt a little guilty for not spending the evening with Taneli, who’s only in Helsinki for the weekend, but Roosa and I’d planned to go see Tuomo play already a month ago. Tuomo’s been a visiting bassist for Blake for the last few months, and we’d been waiting for Blake to play in Helsinki for a while now. We’d both just forgotten it was last night.

So, despite the fact that both Roosa and Vane had to get up early today for work and school, respectively (yes, on a Sunday!), me being a little sick, and one of my best friends being in town, we braved the rainy wind and blackness, and made our way to Tavastia.

I’m glad we went. I’m not too big on metal, but I can appreciate it. The first three songs I really enjoyed. Then I got tired, and just kind of waited for the gig to be over. To my untrained ear, I thought the band was pretty good. The singer had voice that reminded me a lot of Monster Magnet’s singer’s, and the face of an evil monkey from hell. He made terriffic impression. And, though I rarely pay any attention to the drummer, I thought this one was really good. Like always, I wondered what it takes to make it as a band.

There were two other bands yet to play, but we weren’t about to stay for them, so after Tuomo came to say hi, we left. We did see the first song and a half of Stam1na—an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m still smiling at the memory� It was one of those things that I couldn’t understand in the least, and for that reason found thoroughly absurd and silly. Maybe I should take back my claim of being able to appreciate metal�


Nested comments vs. out and out branching

I don’t like threaded discussions. Not in forums, not anywhere. But the way Phil Ringnalda’s blog comments nest is a neat solution that doesn’t take away attention from the general discussion. It provides replying-to context without spreading out the comments by branches. While it still isn’t perfect, I’m not sure there even is a way to have reasonable “discussions” among crowds, online or off.


Akateeminen vs. Amazon

Mietin, olisiko halvempaa ostaa kirjoja Amazonista vai Akateemisesta, jonka kautta voi tilata myös kirjoja, joita ei ole liikkeessä myynnissä. Vertailun tekee työlääksi se, että Amazon kätkee postituskulut tilauksen viimeisimpään vaiheeseen.

Vertasin verkkokauppoja tänään, ja yhden kirjan otannalla Amazon vaikuttaa edullisemmalta.

Pehmeäkantinen Moneyball maksaisi 22 euroa Akateemisessa, ja Amazonista tilattuna, edullisimmalla postituksella, 17,20 euroa. Kirjakohtaisesti ero on aika suuri.

Asiaan liittymättömänä, osoite “” ei johda Akateemisen kirjakaupan sivuille, vaan johonkin epämääräiseen työpaikkailmoituspalveluun. Ärsyttävää, tuo squattaus, varsinkin kun Akateemisen osoite on


November 11, 2005

Ajax-based “Web desktops”

Ajax-based “Web desktops” are sprouting up like mushrooms. What’s funny, is that their functionality is basically the same as Netscape’s customizable portal back in 2000.

Cribbed from Techcrunch’s round-up, the newcomers are Netvibes, Protopage, and Zoozio. Then of course there’s Google Reader and Microsoft’s Start (or is that Live?).

While I really liked Start at first, Bloglines fairly quickly won me over. It’s better as a feed aggregator, at least. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, but I was impressed that, despite being hard to find, there is a way to export feed subscriptions as an OPML file.

  • What’s the difference between Upcoming, Eventful, and Zvents?
  • Blogscient claims to provide a bird’s eye view of the blogosphere. The user interface is much clearer than Memeorandum’s.

November 8, 2005

Free sheet music

Free sheet music. Taneli and I thought a lot about sheet music on the Web back in 2000. We had a business plan worked out, and a lot of ideas on neat things to do with the sheet music. Phase one would’ve been to offer music in the public domain for free.


Memeorandum, the automatic blog newspaper

Memeorandum glues blog posts and news pieces together as newspaper-like frontpages. Unfortunately, my first look didn’t impress me. Wired talks to Gabe Rivera, the creator of Memeorandum.


November 7, 2005

  • JSON is a lightweight data-interchange format meant to be easily used with Javascript. Useful for tranfering data for Ajax. There are two implementations for PHP: JSON-PHP and PHP-JSON (as a C extension).

November 3, 2005

But I keep quiet

Karkki ambles into my room in the morning and tells me she has stop drinking.

“My body is falling apart. I’m sick all the time, my back hurts all the time, the joints in my spine are all loose, and now my hips are starting to crack. Our family has a history of bad backs. One person became paralyzed. I don’t want to be paralyzed. Twenty-thirty years from now I don’t want to be paralyzed. If I’m a drunk and a bum, that’s okay, but I don’t want to be paralyzed.”

I don’t like this talk. I always feel like reticent when I hear this talk. I think of how it’s partly because I don’t want to face my own drinking. Whenever a smoker talks about quitting, I get this panicky feeling like I’m going to be left alone, the last one smoking. But part of it’s also how I don’t like how people are so absolute. In the morning it’s “I’m never going to drink again,” but come evening the thought’s gone and there’s a half-full pint of beer in hand.

People fooling themselves. Eating their words. I don’t want to do this. I have a drinking problem, okay. I want to do something about it, okay. But some part of me wants to leave it at this. By swearing off drinking and then succumbing… The most immense thought in the world is “I will never smoke another cigarette for the rest of my life.”

I want to tell Karkki it doesn’t have to be either or. That her body’s falling apart is not only because of drinking. That there are reasons to why she (we) drink so often. But I keep quiet. For the first time since I can remember.


Last night, some time ago

Markku and I go to two Asian food stores and stock up on many different kinds of rice, beans, noodles, and spices. We make a huge pot of bean stew and another of basmati rice, and take it over to Bulevardi to a dinner party. Everyone sits on the floor and eats homemade pea soup (with lentils and curry), Karjalan piirakkas, and huge cubes of vanilla icecream topped with jam made out of berries Minttu that picked last fall. Wine is plentiful, there are new people there, and some drama, too: roommates screaming “either I go or you go” at each other.

Elexa talks with an absolutely gorgeous Finnish boy who lives in London. He has black hair and he plays the guitar. His Argentinian friend, who Karkki talks with, also has black hair. I talk with a cute girl with short black hair. She blurts out things she immediately regrets because she is trying to flirt and has had a little bit too much wine.

We go to a bar. And then to another one next door. And then to another one, around the corner. Then I leave, and walk alone to another bar. I meet Jyri and Joonas. Joonas places a gob of used snuff on Jyri’s mobile phone, which is lying on the table. Jyri retaliates and flips the gob into Joonas’s beer. The last call comes as we watch the gob dissolve into the beer. Joonas looks at both of us and starts drinking the beer. I go to get some paper to filter the coffee-colored beer through, but the damage’s already done: we go to a kebab place next door and Joonas sicks up in the bathroom.

It’s two-thirty in the morning and the line to Lostari is a mile long. We go to wait in another line to another establishment, just down the street. A girl comes up to us from the front of the line, asking us why would we ever want to go into a place like this. “We like lines,” we answer in unison. She says she’s going home, but she stays with us. She asks us if we’ll pay her coat check. “No,” we say. Joonas tries to get her to go home with him. She declines.

Elexa and Karkki arrive and join us, cutting everyone behind us. Then Masa and Minttu arrive. Now there’s some grumbling from behind us. Then two young men fly out the door and fall to ground, their arms wrapped each other. They roll around on top of each other, each of them trying to land a blow. A doorman runs out after them and pries them apart. The smaller of the two needs to be held down, he’s flipping out, bad. More people stream out of the bar. One guy yells “That’s the last time you’ll be poking my sister,” to the boy being restrained. The guy’s let go, and the fight seems over—until the other brawler comes up and offers his hand and asks to make peace. The smaller guy punches him in the face. Two other guys scream at the doorman to let go of their friend. Another doorman comes out, tells the two friends to shut up. One of the guys punches the doorman.


Reasons Why It’s Hard to Be Your Friend

You start crying in the middle of a conversation and won’t (or can’t) tell me why. You won’t accept consolation or talk about it. And later, you dismiss me, and act as if I’ve caused your tears, and I feel awful, like I’ve done something terrible (and sometimes I have, though I never know it—you never tell me—at the time). And you still won’t talk about it.

You get angry or annoyed with me and give me the silent treatment. If there are other people around, you act normal: you talk and laugh and joke around. But everything I say, you ignore. I’m not in the room for you. Aggressive silence. I try to respect your feelings; if you don’t like talking with me, it’s okay, I know it doesn’t have to happen that moment. I know this, yet I still sometimes try to push you; it’s only because it’s hard for me, and I’m confused.

I react very badly when you say things like: “All my friends hate you for this.” When I think about this later, I realise it’s no different than me talking with my friends about something that bothers me. I know that you’re not talking shit about me, and that your friends who don’t know me, they take what you say as it is, venting and frustration. And what does it matter to me what your friends think about me? But the way you say it, in the heat of an argument, it cuts like a knife. This is my problem, I know. I can’t bear the thought of there being dozens of people out there who don’t like me before they’ve even met me.

We communicate differently. We both miss each other’s hints and non-verbal signals. You come to talk with me when I’m busy doing something else and I don’t want to talk. You get upset if I don’t listen to you; you get upset if I say I’m not in the mood to talk. This is not your fault; this is how it is between people.

You refuse to see me as I am. Instead you want to see me as black and white. For or against. Right or wrong. Love or hate. It’s not like that. Why I say that sometimes I wonder if I can be your friend, I’m not saying I don’t want to be your friend or that I’m not your friend. I’m saying that our friendship is hard sometimes; that I don’t get you; that you don’t get me. This is the truth, though it doesn’t mean I’m lying when I say you’re one of my closest and best friends. Can’t you see that the truth is both of these, and it much more. The truth never ends, it exists and fluctuates constantly, it’s what I say and what I don’t say, what you feel and how you react. The truth is slippery and treacherous; not because it hurts (though it does, most of the time), but because it’s unfathomable, a house with so many rooms that they can’t all be imagined at once. I can only act on what you say and how I feel. I can suspect and guess, but too many guesses is like walls and mirrors that makes it impossible to see how the world outside really is.

  • Mice sing to their beaus, they just sing so high, humans can’t hear it. It may be that lab mice haven’t learned to sing as well as their wild cousins.
  • Schizos get illusions, they just see them where they aren’t.
  • Bret Easton Ellis sets himself in Lunar Park. The Random House site has sound clips of Ellis reading and being interviewed. Did you know that in 1987 Ellis dined at the White House as a guest of Jeb and George W. Bush, both fans of his work.

November 2, 2005

Commodore’s unsung history

The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore is a fascinating read. Well, the first sample chapter is (pdf version also available). There’s also excerpts of chapters 12 and 19.

Via Retromania.


November 1, 2005

I want to see The Omega Man again

I remember seeing The Omega Man (1971) when I was a kid, and being really scared. It seemed to me then that the world of the future would be a permanently overcast wasteland desolated by nuclear apocalypse.