Lumia 920 – first month

I have been upgrading my electronic equipment and as a part of that, I ordered a Lumia 920 from TeliaSonera. It arrived on the same day as it was launched in Finland, on November 22nd. I have been an iPhone user since two years, and I really have liked it, especially after the bad experience with my Nokia N97. That was an advanced phone for the time – that's why I bought it – but the interface was quite terrible, especially the touch screen.

Now, because Nokia is still a Finnish company and they have about one more chance to survive in the market and Lumia 920 is that chance, I thought I could be a little nationalistic and buy one. Now I have some experience with it.

It's big, maybe a little too big, but how could a small phone accomodate a very nice 4,5 inch screen? The Windows 8 Phone OS is good. I have found most of the iOS apps in need/want in a WP version. Nokia Music – who needs Spotify anymore? The camera – very good, as expected, but not as extremely good in dark conditions as advertised. Map applications are much nicer because of the large screen, and the inbuilt Nokia map and navigation apps are very convenient to have.

So, all in all, I can recommend Lumia 920 as long as you don't want a small phone.

I promise I will blog a little less about gadgets during the beginning of next year (which starts in 4 hours), and more about for example Geodesign.


Upgrading iMac memory

I got me a 21.5″ iMac in January 2010. I bought the cheapest model, and it has served me well. I also run Windows on it, using BootChamp. Very convenient. The Windows partition is too small, I need to make it larger, but I thought I’d wait until Windows 8 comes out, then I’ll install that and also do some autumn cleaning on the Mac side. Actually I would like to wipe the hard disk clean and reinstall everything, but that is probably too complicated I guess. My experience with Macs is still not very large.

Anyway, before I make these changes I thought I’d check how much an upgrade of the memory (now 4 Gb) would cost because the machine is noticeably slower than a year ago. Apple=expensive, I thought. Not so, however. I got 16 Gb of RAM from Multitronic for 80 euros! Who would have believed that?

So I got the RAM today and exchanging the old memory for the new took 10 minutes. Also this was quite surprising, taking into account how sealed everything normally is in an Apple product. Now the iMac is happy and fast again, this was a very good investment.

For my next laptop (the old one is 4,5 years but still good due to the SSD disk I installed last winter), I’m dreaming of a 13 inch Macbook Pro Retina. These are not on the market yet, but there are strong rumors that it would come on the market this autumn. If it comes and isn’t too expensive (it has to cost less than 2000 euros for me to be interested), I’ll consider buying one next year. Or then a normal ultrabook of some kind. Or maybe Microsoft Surface?


Blog posts recovered

I had decided to transfer my old blogs (from late 2009 and 2010) from Drupal to this WP-powered site during Christmas, and now it’s done. I started off with a sql dump (password lost so I couldn’t access it in Phpmyadmin) and the first step was to get a program which was able to read it. After some research, I tried Word and Excel, and to my surprise both worked, even if the result was not perfect in any way.

Then I needed to get the date for the blogs, there was just one long 11 digit number which I guessed was some sort of a code for the date and time. I found the Unix time converter which was able to convert the time code into a date and time, one date at a time. I’m sure there is an algorithm out there that could be used in Excel for converting several dates at the same time, or?

Finally there was the cutting and pasting of blog posts from the Word document, one by one. Word retained the formatting and HTML code but Drupal had put some extra characters there which needed to be erased. The date and time I also had to enter manually.

All this took me almost ten hours, but what are holidays for? Now I’ll use WordPress in the foreseeable future, together vid the Canvas theme from Woothemes.

Lyckad bloggimport

WordPress är underbart! Jag startade min bloggarkarriär i februari 2007 och bloggade i några år på under bloggadressen Sedan skaffade jag en VPS (virtual private server) och började blogga i Drupal istället i 14 månader. VPS:en var litet jobbig att adminstrera för mej som inte kan nånting om Apache och inte riktigt har motivation att lära mej det heller, så jag gick över från den till webbhotellet som har fungerat riktigt bra i några år.

Problemet är att jag skötte överförandet av filerna litet klumpigt, så jag har bara en rå sql-fil med innehållet i den bloggen som jag visserligen får in i Excel men inte på något lätt sätt överfört till den här installationen av WordPress. Bilderna kom inte heller med. Så under julhelgen kanske jag försöker rekonstruera texterna i den bloggen manuellt. Men innehållet i den första wordpressbloggen (förutom bilderna) imorterades verkligt elegant med export/importfunktionen i den här installationen av WordPress. Trevligt att ha en dokumentation över vad man tänkt nån gång. Och ATT man tänkt…

Visit to ASU

I had the opportunity to visit Arizona State University during the last week of October. The journey there was just as troublesome as I feared, but my stay there was rewarding.

The reason for my traveling there was the Decision Theater ASU built 6 years ago – Novia UAS where I work is planning to build something similar, but in a smaller scale. The Decision Theater (DT) at ASU cost 7 million USD when it was built and employs around 10 people, and many students work there as well. If we get financing for something along the same lines, I guess we are talking about less than 10 percent of that amount, and 3-4 people, max.

Apart from talking with Chief Operating Officer and Interim Director Sandy Epstein and a few other people at the DT, I also met the former Director, George Basile, with whom I was in contact already 2,5 years ago. The discussions strengthened my own thoughts about the direction in which our university should develop the concept and also gave me some new ideas. I final discussion with Clark Miller of the Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU made the pieces fall in place for me.

It was amazing to see how a large university had been able to renew itself in less than 10 years, ASU calls itself “A New American University” and that’s not only marketing speech. A small university like the one I’m working for could be even more agile, one would think.

From ASU

Geografiska informationssystem – bara ett verktyg

Det finns de som säger om GIS att "det ju bara är ett verktyg". Och de har alldeles rätt. Det är ett verktyg på samma sätt som statistik, vetenskap, interkontinentala missiler eller internet är verktyg. De är alla verktyg som har potentialen att ändra vår syn på världen.

Den förstärkta verklighet som förmedlas via min Iphone och Layar gör "synen på världen" ännu mer konkret.