Wednesday, 28-Jan-09 22:46
Doctor Who continues

I've been trying to keep up with the old Dr Who episodes being shown on MTV3 Scifi (which is probably the only TV channel I really watch these days - sad or what?). I have to admit that I sort of understand why the show went downhill during Colin Baker's tenure (Doctor #6) - not because Mr. Baker's acting (he's rather convincing as a Doctor, though unstable), but because of the overall change of making the show a bit more action-oriented, and, well, look very 80s (didn't work for Galactica 1980 either). I really liked the calm scientist approach of Jon Pertwee (who probably is my favourite Doctor to date), and to some extent the eccentricity (and the scarf) of Tom Baker, who had some pretty entertaining stories. Peter Davison didn't really sit well with me - he just didn't have the "older than thou, by 900 years" -feeling which all other Doctors do exude.

But anyhow, Doctor Who is THE classic SciFi-series, and for good reason. And at least they tried to make aliens look like aliens, unlike certain franchises which just put actors in prosthetic forehead bumps...

It's also fun to see how computing technology has changed - during Pertwees time, computers were large rooms with blinkenlichts, then during 80s you clearly see common household computers generating computer displays for TARDIS and other computers. Perhaps that's why the newer ones feel a bit childish - I was a child when computers looked like that.

Oh yeah, and the theme music simply rocks, for all versions.

(By the way; MTV3 SciFi just restarted Star Trek: Deep Space Nine from Season 1, Episode 1 a couple of days ago. So if you want to see it, grab a subscription now. It's 3€/month in Welho, though you do need a package subscription, which will drive the price up. But if you've already got one, then this is a cheap add-on. IMHO it's completely worth the money.)

Thursday, 22-Jan-09 12:30
Family = Family + 1

If you follow my Twitter, Facebook or Flickr feeds, this is already old news, but what the hey - this is where it all began, so it's only fair to talk a bit more about this here as well.

Outi gave birth (without any fancy-pants anesthesia, local or otherwise. It just all happened too fast :-) ) a healthy baby boy (3650g, 49 cm - since everyone will ask it anyway) at 17:16 EET on the 20th of January at the Jorvi hospital, just moments before Obama's inauguration speech. Considering all the trouble we had, everything went extremely well.

I'm very thankful of all the good wishes that people have sent our way. It's almost addictive to hear it all, but I know that it will soon subside, and routine will set in.

We were lucky to get a family room at the hospital, so I've been able to stay with Outi and the boy overnight. Which is nice. I think it really helps, since the unfamiliar routines can be learned together and at least personally it is important to me that I don't feel left out of the experience. Besides, these are my first nights in the hospital since my own birth, so that's another kind of new experience. I've so far discovered that the beds are not very comfy: I've slept on more comfortable roots. And for those who are wondering, yeah, lack of sleep has not yet been an issue. I'm re-discovering the part of myself which in the army learned to sleep essentially in any conditions...

Communication is still complicated with essentially only one bit of communication (cry/no-cry), but we (all three) are learning, and hope to achieve wider bandwidth soon. The only thing that kinda worries me is that we may have overdosed on Deep Space Nine during pregnancy - we are pretty convinced that when he burps, he says "pah-wraith"...

Thursday, 08-Jan-09 21:52
Still standing

A year ago I decided to become semi-vegetarian, and by that I mean actively choosing non-meat/fish option if it's available. So I guess this is the appropriate time to review how that has affected my life.

In short, not much.

I lost some weight during last spring, but I gained it all back during Outi's pregnancy (oddly enough, I probably gained more than she did). My health is not better nor worse, and life is pretty much the same. More stress, but that's probably not the fault of the diet. Since the wife insists on eating meat every day, my vegetarianism is pretty much restricted to office and restaurants, but it's still about half the meals.

I guess the biggest concrete change is the fact that the queues to the vegetarian dishes are much shorter at the office cafeteria, so I don't have to hang around with my tray so much. And the fact that I've discovered a number of very good dishes I wouldn't have otherwise sampled. And yeah, my tolerance for badly cooked meat has gone down. Meat is still great, but since an average industrially made vegetarian meal is just as bad as an average industrially made non-vegetarian one, it's pretty much the same difference which one you pick. It's kinda like whisky or beer - if you don't consume much, it's nice to sample different kinds, experience new tastes and be a bit snobby about not drinking Budweiser.

The point being: it probably won't make a difference in your day, unless you get all ass-tight about it (or you live in a place where a vegetarian meal is the same as the regular but without the meat). But it does lower your overall impact to the world, so it's probably - aside from changing the lightbulbs - one of the easiest ways to do something. Just stand in the other queue, cometh lunchtime.

(Though not, please, in our office. I very much like the short queues. ;-)

Saturday, 03-Jan-09 17:23
Hooray for WMV, the media "standard"

Got a Windows Media file. All of my Mac players (VLC, Quicktime, Niceplayer, WMV player) failed: all the sound was crackly and video broke down heavily.

No matter, let's go to the source, I thunk. Next, I tried Windows and Windows Media Player running under Parallels, figuring that that should at least work. Picture is fine, sound is missing. Apparently there was some strange audio codec fault and I was dismayed, not really in the mood to debug a system which otherwise was running fine.

The only media player that worked was finally VLC on Ubuntu (under Parallels, again) after installing a bunch of restricted codecs - but that was only a single command (yay apt). The only problem is that it also crashes every ten minutes, but that I can live with. At least I got sound...

Come on, Windows Media has been around for years, and it's still possible to get files which sometimes work and sometimes not? Folks, just use MP4, since it tends to play everywhere - or if you're strongly opposed to software patents and that jazz, Vorbis/Theora is a good choice, because it's easily portable and does not require licensing. And VLC plays that fine, too.

On the other hand, I was kinda happy to see that Linux seems to enjoy better multimedia player support than Mac these days, even under emulation.


Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.



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"Main" last changed on 10-Aug-2015 21:44:03 EEST by JanneJalkanen.

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