Saturday, June 25, 2005

More updates on my Fin-life

I haven't blogged in a while, and I think that's bad. I'm going to see about finding a scheduled routine to provide some balance to the whole "blogging experience".
  • I played airsoft (read: run around with scary real-looking guns that shoot plastic BBs) and was a little freaked out at how realistic the guns looked and felt. It's still an avenue for running around without being bored or negatively stressed. I will see about getting pictures from the guy whose camera I borrowed. I play again tomorrow morning.
  • The USB-powered GPS unit my supervisor loaned me to play with (he uses these in his side business to monitor the whereabouts of heavy equipment like trucks and those mechanical tree harvesting thingers) looks to be working nicely under Gentoo Linux. I had some problems with packages conflicting (without them saying so), but things are working now. Note: gpsd conflicts with gpsdrive for those interested.
  • I biked around Varkaus and found some cool stuff like a sand castle park. The idea is that there's this big pile of sand, and some city worker will occasionally form short, compacted cylinders of the stuff so you can carve them up into stuff. Pictures to be posted on my Flickr stream.
  • Finnish grocery stores are nuts. They're not grocery stores, they're everything stores. Like a Real Canadian Superstore and a Loblaws combined. Think of a Costco or Club price without the focus on bulk, and instead on variety of stuff. By this I mean that you'll find saws and axes next to the clothing and sauna-stuff isle. Two isles over are the fruits and vegetables. One isle over on the other side is the electronics area (lots of cameras, cds (LOTS of 80s metal) video games and other stuff), and next to that is the magazine stacks - with porn. Crazy. Oh, and the other half of the grocery store has food. And a lot of beer. Pictures also up on Flickr.
  • My uni-skills are also advancing! I've found new nuts and bolts for the seat post, and things are looking good. I can go in a pretty straight line over flat ground for a while now, but freemounting isn't so reliable.
  • My laptop fainted on me on Friday. I've been having problems with ACPI and my laptop not being able to shut down properly when I run "shutdown now" - it hangs after saving random seed. The command "halt" seems to do the trick, but I haven't looked into what the difference is between the two commands. Anyway, my computer didn't turn on the other day as I think something became gummed up in the cmos, so I cracked open the case and fiddled with the cmos battery to reset stuff. Things worked, but I don't think it's so awesome that it happened in the first place.
  • Newest software I'm using these days:
    • Tomboy is an awesome application for taking notes. Before this I used plain text files, but Tomboy makes the process smoother, with really nicely integrated searching (I know, I could use a script and grep stuff, but I like this) and hyperlinking from note to note.
    • f-spot is an open source attempt at Adobe Album. Organizing my collection of photos is a huge pain, and this tool is a very welcome addition in my strive to do so. There are some features lacking, but it looks to be growing up and maturing nicely.
    • Inkscape is a pleasant rediscovery for me. While I used it a bit a while ago, it is really starting to be a shining addition in my toolbox of website design (note that if said toolbox was real, it would be made of cardboard, and be very small). Mocking up designs is really easy and the workflow is smooth. I'm looking forward to better layer management though.
    • I'm using the Blogger "mail-in" feature experimentally in a comparison to see if I like it better than going through the Blogger portal.

No comments: