mandag, november 27, 2006

Random rambling - 27/11 2006

It's 10 in the evening. I ougth to go to bed. Like I've ougth to so many times before (unsuccesfully...). Had my computer on in Windows 'cause I have some driving theory test on a CD my driving school forced me to buy for 100 DKK that needed Windows (FYI you aren't allowed to get a drivers license until you're 18 in Denmark). Hadn't got time to take another test so I turned of my computer and started to clean up my room and go to bed.

But I thougth: "I can quickly check my email & RSS feeds, before I go to bed", and turned on my computer in Slackware (*Sigh* bad me...). As soon as I logged in, one of my classmates IM'ed me to tell me that we had the two first lessons (math) off tomorrow. Nice.
Now it's 11. I'd like to have been sleeping ½ an hour ago. *Sigh* How do I prevent meself from stuff like that? It's a waste of time...

søndag, oktober 15, 2006


I like music and have ~30 CDs and ~7 LPs in my collection ranging from "Blå Øjne" (Blue Eyes, an awful danish pop singer. I bought it ~7 years ago to settle a bet about the lyrics of one of her songs. I lost...) to System Of A Down, but I'm mostly after what I call "Aesthetic Rock/Pop", a big blob of different music like Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ladytron, Bloc Party, The Postal Service, The Beatles, Elvis, Johhny Cash, &c., &c..

Yesterday I was walking down the downtown pedestrian-only shopping shopping street, I walked past a music/movie shop. Or partially past, because I remembered what one of my classmates had talked about back in March, when went on a trip to Slovenia with the school. We moved in with the slovenian students for a week, and as custom is, we were supposed to bring gifts for them. And said classmate planned to bring a CD, Kashmir: "The Good Life", which he said, was good music and you could find for cheap in any music store. So I thougth that I might just go in there, buy it and bring back a nice addition to my music collection, because I knew it was good music.

I didn't find that CD, but nonetheless ended up spending ~100$ in there... And then, 50 m down the street, I saw that CD on display on the street... And while waiting in line for the cash register, I saw another good CD that I had to buy... When I finally got home with my 8 CDs and 3 DVDs, my younger brother got a bit annoyed with me, because he's "secretly" planning to have more music than me...

The result of the saturday shopping spree was:

  • Music:
  • Bikstok Røgsystem: "Over Stok og Sten", danish dancehall/ragga, very crazy music, one of the members used to be a part of Malk de Koijn (one of their albums were called Sneglzilla, Snailzilla in English).
  • Bloc Party: "Silent Alarm", an english post-punk revival band
  • Carpark North: "All Things to All People", a danish electropop/synth rock band
  • Kashmir: "The Good Life", "Zitilites", a danish rock band
  • kent: "Kent", Våpen & Ammunition", a swedish rock band
  • Spleen United: "Godspeed into the Mainstream", a danish synthpop band

torsdag, august 24, 2006

Residents of the European Union: Stop the travelling circus

It costs European taxpayers approximately 200 million euros a year to move the Parliament between Brussels/Belgium and Strasbourg/France.

That is the reason why at the moment 895535 european residents have signed a petition, demanding that the European Parliament should only be situated in Brussels. I'm one of them. And if you too are a citizen of the EU, I will encourage you to do the same. May the Force be with the EU.

onsdag, august 16, 2006


Got this link from Jeffrey Zeldmans blog. I think it pretty much sums up what most of us have been thinking about Microsofts iPod 'killer'...

Magic 8-Ball Answers Your Questions Regarding Microsoft’s ‘Zune’.

Segway and the City


Ever since I heard about the Segway for the first time, I've wanted one. They're gemstones of UI design, with a remarkably intuitive control method: Lean forward to go forward and turn the handle to turn. Simply brilliant.

And it's getting better.

In the most recent issue of TIME Magazine (August 21, 2006), they have a one-page article about the history and, possible, future of Segway.

Segway recently launched a couple of new models, i2 and x2, replacing the older HT and XT. The x2 is available in a Golf version replacing the older GT, both of them sold as fun and green-friendly alternatives to traditional Golf Carts.

-and the City

The TIME article report on how the inventor was visioning about how city councils would abolish cars from city centers and how everybody would instead use Segways. A very interesting idea, that I have come up with myself, just without the Segways.

A city center without cars would make it a gazillion times easier to get around. Humans are, generally, less spacey, more flexible and use less energy on foot than in a car.

During my recent visit in the U.S., I visited Boston and I didn't notice any "Pedestrian Only"-streets, like we have in Roskilde and many other european cities. In Denmark, the main street is Pedestrian Only in bigger-than-medium-sized towns and a large part of downtown Copenhagen is Pedestrian Only.

In Roskilde there's often complaints about lack of parking space, and the best way to get rid of that problem is, in my opinion, to discourage taking the car. If there was an easy way to get your goods home, I think it would solve a lot of problems. That way people could just use public transportation.

lørdag, juli 29, 2006

Frickin' spam

I've never really had spam problems. Gmail have an excellent spam filter, and before I got Gmail, I never got any, ever. But now that I've begun blogging I've become vurnerable to yet another annoying internet misuse: Comment spamming. Except one comment, that I made myself, all of them contain a short standard message and a link to a page filled with commercial links. To counter that, I've had to turn on moderation and picture recognition before posting. It's sad that you always have to protect technology from misuse, be that viruses, spam or patent trolling. Got interesting ways to counter stuff like that? Drop me a comment.

mandag, juni 05, 2006

French exam, ugh

Phew, I have an oral french exam tomorrow, the last time I'll ever have to have anything to do with french. It's not that bad, my last regular grade was a 10 (the danish grades go from 00 to 13, with 11 being A+ (or what it's called (and I know 13 is higher, it's supposed to be)).
But I'm still a bit nervous, partly because I hadn't got enough willpower to read as much as I'd like, partly because I hate oral exams, too much personal contact and selling yourself for my taste (well, I am a geek, you know, just because I know how to work the system, I don't have to like it). Well, wish me luck, j'ai besoin de ça. (you too can make a cool cedille under your c, if you happen to use a decent windowing system (X, par example), just hold [Alt Gr] and press [,], release and press [c])

onsdag, maj 24, 2006

Thinkpad Rescue and Recovery - part II

It's been a long time since the first part as I've been busy with exams and tests lately, but now it's finally here. As you might know I've had some problems with my Thinkpad R50e. After installing LILO in the MBR I couldn't access the special recovery tools you get with a Thinkpad instead of a CD. It turned out LILO had overwritten the special MBR that gives access to the Recovery tools when you press a special button during bootup.
I tried a couple of different things and ended up with the Windows NT bootloader in the MBR with Linux and Windows Recovery Console entries added, plus a guide explaining how to access the recovery tools using GRUB. I folowed the guide. And it worked. Beautifully. I can access the Thinkpad recovery stuff, called the Predesktop Area, with options for resetting the harddisk from a builtin image and browsing the web for solutions using Opera (killer feature :P). The solution isn't perfect, I have to select "Thinkpad Rescue and Recovery" in the GRUB menu instead of just pressing a button, but it works flawlessly.
If you've had a similar problem, I hope this was any help.

søndag, maj 21, 2006

Thinkpad Rescue and Recovery - part I

I am the happy owner of a Thinkpad R50e (the cheapest model, I'm a poor student). It has a 1.4 GHz Celeron M, 2x256 MB RAM, a 40 GB 5400 rpm harddrive, a sucky, but not that sucky, Intel graphics card, b,g wireless, 10/100 ethernet and a 56k modem. A nice, cheap, sturdy machine, not incredibly powerful, but enough for what I'm using it for.

Instead of recovery CDs the Thinkpads have a nice feature called Rescue and Recovery, which is a small (few GBs) partition containing an image of a clean windows installation + some special IBM stuff and some other recovery stuff (like Opera :)). The partition is a FAT partition disguised as a Compaq Diagnostics partition, so that Windows won't attempt to do anything with it. You access it by pressing the blue "Access IBM" button during bootup. The keypress is catched by the special MBR Thinkpads ship with. The MBR also changes the type of partition to normal FAT, Rescue and Recovery need that to work.

All that is good and fine, except one small detail: I've overwritten the MBR in order to dualboot Windows and Linux. That means that I can't access Rescue and Recovery and that I wouldn't be able to reinstall Windows on my computer without using another Waindows CD, which I haven't got. So for a couple of days now, I've been looking for a way to access rescue and Recovery.

After reading a lot of articles, forum threads and most of ThinkWiki, I've tried some different things:

  1. Reinstalling the Windows NT bootloader. I had a theory that forcing the Windows bootloader to reinstall would recreate the original bootloader. It didn't. It didn't even touch the MBR, resulting in a LILO menu pointing to Linux and a Windows NT bootloader menu pointing to Windows and another LILO menu. Status: Problem not solved and too many boot menus, but I learned how to add Linux to the NT bootloader.
  2. Forcibly restoring the MBR: At some point I fell over the command fdisk /mbr. That command will restore your MBR, I was told and was hoping that that meant access to Rescue and Recovery. Except that that command doesn't exist in Windows XP, instead there's a command called fixmbr in the rescue console on the installation disk. The installation disk that you don't get, because you have (the inaccessible) Resue and Recovery. Luckily there is a way to add rescue console to your boot menu, and it worked perfectly. Including fixmbr. So now I have the Windows NT bootloader in the MBR pointing towards Windows and the second LILO menu and the rescue console. But it didn't fix the Rescue and Recovery. Seems like it's some special MBR only IBM knows how to restore. Status: Problem not solved, but fewer boot menus.
  3. IBM must have a solution: At some point I thought about looking for a solution on the official Thinkpad site. I found something that might had been able to solve my problem, except that it was a set of floppy images. Floppy images to put on a floppy disk and put into the floppy drive that doesn't exist. This was the first time I thought about giving up. It all just seemed so stupid. Shipping repair floppies for a line of computers that you made without floppy drives. Status: Problem not solved and beginning to lose faith + 'couple of hours behind schedule on the last physics paper this schoolyear.
  4. ThinkWiki to the rescue: Then I finally found a way to gain access to the partition using GRUB. GRUB is able to change the partition type before booting, so now I've constructed a GRUB config that should be able to boot Rescue and Recovery. Wish me luck.

lørdag, maj 20, 2006

Trying it out

Hmm, seems like neither the blog page nor the feed exists before you have posted the first blog. So I'll have to post something just to try stuff out. How inconvenient. I could just make a garbage post filled lipsum, but I think that's too boring, so this is the post I've made up for the occasion.