Going back to Linux

Last weekend I spend installing Linux on my laptop. Original idea was to try to Maemo SDK and try to create an application for Nokia 770. The SDK required Linux to be installed, so I freed up some space on the hard drive and burned a CD for Ubuntu installation.

Installation went surprisingly smoothly, after a few initial questions about hard drive partitioning, keyboard layout, computer name and user name and password a nice Gnome UI booted up with good resolution, sound and nice set of preinstalled applications.

I remember that using Linux as a user desktop just a few years back was a constant nigtmare of fine tuning endless configuration files just to make basic things work.  Five years ago I had to spend a day just to make a new modem work with my Debian installation. Now I got my home internet working with no effort at all.

Ubuntu has Firefox browser and OpenOffice preinstalled, so most of the things I was doing with my home computer were covered. Basic configuration of the system of course took some time. Installing RealPlayer didn’t work via UI, but downloading the latest version for Linux from Real web site solved the problem. Setting up WLAN was also quite simple – I had to install drivers
manually, but entering WEP key and enabling the inteface was easily
done via UI. Configuring Russian keyboard layout in addition to a defalyt Finnish one was also possible from the UI.

However playing a DVD movie proved to be not so easy. Ubuntu support
forums have pretty good explanation of what needs to be done to enable
DVD decoding, but simple installation of libcss didn’t help to achieve
the desired result. Playback of the DVDs was jerky, so after some
googling I’ve discovered that DMA should be enabled for DVD drive, new drivers installed for my video card and new video player installed. Unfortunately I still didn’t manage to get the same level of convenience of DVD playback in Linux as in Windows.

I am really impressed by the progress that Linux made in a past few years as a desktop operating system. Open source community has a great potential in developing such projects and I am really excited by new ventures of Nokia in this area – such as e.g. 770 internet tablet.

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Beijing – day two

12:13 15 November, 2005 Guards are everywhere
12:13 15 November, 2005 Guards are everywhere
12:33 15 November, 2005 Fish heads starter in a local restaurant
12:33 15 November, 2005 Fish heads starter in a local restaurant


15:12 15 November, 2005 Chinese restaurant
15:12 15 November, 2005 Chinese restaurant
15:26 15 November, 2005 Street in Beijing
15:26 15 November, 2005 Street in Beijing


15:55 15 November, 2005 Modern building
15:55 15 November, 2005 Modern building
17:03 15 November, 2005 Bicycle is a very popular transport
17:03 15 November, 2005 Bicycle is a very popular transport


17:08 15 November, 2005 Nokia tower and Pacific Century Place
17:08 15 November, 2005 Nokia tower and Pacific Century Place
17:36 15 November, 2005 Sanlitun Yashow clothing market
17:36 15 November, 2005 Sanlitun Yashow clothing market


17:40 15 November, 2005 Fake Marimekko
17:40 15 November, 2005 Fake Marimekko
18:26 15 November, 2005 Hotel wall
18:26 15 November, 2005 Hotel wall


20:26 15 November, 2005 Cheesecake for dessert
20:26 15 November, 2005 Cheesecake for dessert
09:29 16 November, 2005 Farewell message in Beijing airport
09:29 16 November, 2005 Farewell message in Beijing airport


12:02 16 November, 2005 Flying back home
12:02 16 November, 2005 Flying back home


First day was quite difficult – jet lag from flying eastwards is always the worst kind. Next day was much better – I survived the day long meeting and still had some time in the evening to shop.

Local malls and supermarkets are not much different from those you can find anywhere in the world. But local markets are really something. You can get virtually any fake products for really small amunt of money. The most important thing is to know how to bargain – original prices can easily be divided by 3, 5, 10, …

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Beijing – first impressions – 2

13:07 14 November, 2005 It probably means "yeild"
13:07 14 November, 2005 It probably means “yeild”
13:08 14 November, 2005 Park street in Beijing
13:08 14 November, 2005 Park street in Beijing


13:19 14 November, 2005 Press a button and wait for the green light
13:19 14 November, 2005 Press a button and wait for the green light
13:26 14 November, 2005 In a garden
13:26 14 November, 2005 In a garden


13:27 14 November, 2005 On a bridge
13:27 14 November, 2005 On a bridge
13:55 14 November, 2005 Revolution museum
13:55 14 November, 2005 Revolution museum


14:33 14 November, 2005 Entrance to Forbidden City
14:33 14 November, 2005 Entrance to Forbidden City
14:33 14 November, 2005 Guard at the entrance to Forbidden City
14:33 14 November, 2005 Guard at the entrance to Forbidden City


14:42 14 November, 2005 Wall of the Forbidden City
14:42 14 November, 2005 Wall of the Forbidden City
14:56 14 November, 2005 Women carrying logs
14:56 14 November, 2005 Women carrying logs



First impression of Beijing were quite mixed. After passing passport control I grabbed a cab to go to the hotel. From the airport to the city goes quite nice motorway. It looked like it was a foggy morning, but it turned out to be just pollution. On the motorway all signs were dubbed in English. Taxi driver asked 400yuans for a trip to hotel. Interestingly enough, the same trip back was just 100yuan.

When motorway entered a city traffic became chaotic. Just later, walking in the city I realised how chaotic it is. Traffic lights, lanes, priorities do exist in theory, but in practice it is not safe to cross a street, even on the green light.

Guards, police and army are everywhere. I’ve never seen so many people in the uniform on the streets of a city before.

You can often see groupls of people in similar clothes doing exercises in the parks or outside the factory buildings.

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Beijing – first impressions – 1

17:29 13 November, 2005 Beijing - 6315km
17:29 13 November, 2005 Beijing – 6315km
07:39 14 November, 2005 China border control
07:39 14 November, 2005 China border control


11:19 14 November, 2005 View from the hotel room
11:19 14 November, 2005 View from the hotel room
12:01 14 November, 2005 Chinese McDonalds
12:01 14 November, 2005 Chinese McDonalds


12:06 14 November, 2005 Wangfujing street
12:06 14 November, 2005 Wangfujing street
12:13 14 November, 2005 Russian books section in book shop
12:13 14 November, 2005 Russian books section in book shop


12:38 14 November, 2005 Tea shop
12:38 14 November, 2005 Tea shop
12:46 14 November, 2005 Wangfujing street
12:46 14 November, 2005 Wangfujing street


12:48 14 November, 2005 Biggest shopping street in Beijing
12:48 14 November, 2005 Biggest shopping street in Beijing
12:51 14 November, 2005 St.Joseph's church
12:51 14 November, 2005 St.Joseph’s church



When the plane was approaching Beijing a spectacular view opened to my eyes – endless kilometers of brown mountains, in some places covered with snow. Then the city appeared. It looked almost the same as if you were aproaching Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Frankfurt, except that all houses were really tall and there were many more of them. Also quite many industrial sites and factories could be seen around the city.

After landing we had to go to the bus and it was quite chilly outside – just +1 C.

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Leaving to Beijing

Sun 13/11/2005 16:18 Helsinki Vantaa
Sun 13/11/2005 16:18 Helsinki Vantaa
Sun 13/11/2005 16:21 Passport control
Sun 13/11/2005 16:21 Passport control


Sun 13/11/2005 16:24 Ubiguitous N90
Sun 13/11/2005 16:24 Ubiguitous N90
Sun 13/11/2005 16:39 About to try one of the best connections to Beijing
Sun 13/11/2005 16:39 About to try one of the best connections to Beijing



Warm Sunday evening in Helsinki. Usual routine, taking a taxi to the airport, e-checkin, security check, some shopping, passport control, money exchange. What’s different in this routine is that now there’s also blogging. Thanks to mobile Lifeblog 🙂

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Leijonan sydän in Aamulehti

Sun 13/11/2005 11:58 Leijonan sydän
Sun 13/11/2005 11:58 Leijonan sydän

Yesterday Aamulehti published an article about movie industry in Tampere. They mentioned also "Leijonan sydän" ("Lion’s heart") movie made by Karisma Films. If you read Russian, you can see weblog of  Alex Savin – co-founder and art-director of Karisma Films. Premier of their movie will be in Plevna theater in Tampere, on Wednesday 16th of November.

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Christmas mood in Helsinki

Sat 12/11/2005 13:47 Christmas mood in Stockmann
Sat 12/11/2005 13:47 Christmas mood in Stockmann
Sat 12/11/2005 16:44 Santa Fe restaurant
Sat 12/11/2005 16:44 Santa Fe restaurant


Sat 12/11/2005 17:14 November evening in Helsinki
Sat 12/11/2005 17:14 November evening in Helsinki
Sat 12/11/2005 17:52 Esplanadi
Sat 12/11/2005 17:52 Esplanadi


Sat 12/11/2005 19:39 Small treat for ourselves
Sat 12/11/2005 19:39 Small treat for ourselves


Even though it is just beginning of November most of the shop are
already in a Christmas mood. It was nice to stroll around the city,
have a cocktail and make ourselves a little treat in the evening.

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China

Yesterday I learned that I have to go to Beijing.  Travel agency did a great job getting visa in one day and purchasing tickets for a Sunday flight.

I’ve never been to China before, so it should be a very interesting trip. Getting my N90 and mobile Lifeblog ready…

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Defining my digital self

Today is a great day. First of all because it is Friday, but also because it is 11th of 11th.
So today I’ve decided to define my digital self and try to get all pieces of my digital personality together. From now on this will be the starting point.

I’ll start with the latest moblog that was created on my summer trip to Scandinavia –  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Scandinavia 2005 – that will be now available on http://lappi.typepad.com/lappi

My other digital pieces will come together over time and links will be somewhere here.

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