Archive for the ‘nerd stuff’ Category

Connection upgrade

before (1024/512 kbps)

after (Full-Rate 8, up to 8Mb/800 kbps, minimum 2048/512 kbps)

The tests were conducted over a wireless network at home on a MacBook.

A milestone in my life…

An era hs passed in my life. I have finished school. Yesterday I handed in the application for my Masters degree, which they will mail to me when it is ready. The official date of my graduation from the University of Helsinki / Department of computer science (Where, btw, Linus Torvalds also went) will be 31.07.2008. But all is done and finished.

If you want to read my thesis, you can find it here:
Christoffer Björkskog: “Visualizing social network activity on mobile browsers.” June 2008.

I am currently working for HIIT (Helsinki Institute for Information Technology) as a research assistant for the UIx (Ubiquitous Interaction) research group. We will have our third child in the end of August/beginning of September. We will move to Skutnabba/Pedersöre in the end of July, from where i will work remotely for HIIT at least until end of September

A Parrallel univserse

Parallel universes
I remember on 7:th grade when ajax was only a washing powder, 64Mb of RAM was extreme and you had to remember what sound card you had when you installed games. I was browsing the internet with some version of Netscape Navigator in school, looking for simpson wav files to set as windows sounds. Then i came to a page that had the subdomain www2 instead of www. I remembered i asked my teacher about the www2, (it was on computer class) and he said that we should stay on the internet and not go on astray to any other stuff. That felt spooky, i remembered that it felt like surfing on the internet in a parallel universe, it felt like the whole internet was made up of infinite parallel universes www, www2, www3 … wwwn where n->infinity. Of course, www is just a subdomain to, it can just as easily be or,, and you can have subdomains to subdomains to subdomains, just look at the server or, or

Tomorrow is the actual Roomba race

On thursday at 13 pm (helsinki time), the annual (this is the first year) Roomba artificial intelligence robot race will be held at the department of computer science at the univerity of helsinki.

You can follow it on the net

Although, i must add that when we tried to fix a couple of bugs this morning (our last chance to make changes) we just messed it up more. So i just changed it back to yesterdays settings (thank God for version control), and made a couple of changes “in blind” because we can’t test it. So tomorrow will either be a complete success or failure for us. So if you want to see a humiliated, or happy Toffe tomorrow, check it out.

Robot race school project

Hi. I’m taking an Artificial Intelligence course this fall. It was in that cource we made the eliza homework among others.

But the really cool thing with this course is that we are going to have a robot competition. The “robots” are Roomba vacuum cleaners equipped with a camera-cellphone.

RoombaNokia N80

Today at 4 pm (helsinki time) are the time trials held. Where each team’s roomba shall navigate on a track on time. (When we tested our roomba this morning, it got as far as through the second gate, sometimes it has performed better, and sometimes worse). But today are only the qualyfiers and you just have to pass the startingline in order to qualify for the actual race. We are group nr 10.

Roomba race track

The reace will be held on the same track with roombas competing against each other 2 on 2. It will be held on thursday at 2 pm.

You can follow the competition and timetrials from here
The races will be filmed and streamed, and the images what roomba sees will also be shown. So follow the link i gave you, there are instructions how to view it at the top of the page.

12 steps to better code

Joel Spolsky has on his blog a checklist how to make better code, as a programming company (development team).

It’s called the Joel Test

  1. Do you use source control?
  2. Can you make a build in one step?
  3. Do you make daily builds?
  4. Do you have a bug database?
  5. Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
  6. Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
  7. Do you have a spec?
  8. Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
  9. Do you use the best tools money can buy?
  10. Do you have testers?
  11. Do new candidates write code during their interview?
  12. Do you do hallway usability testing?

Give your team a point for each yes-answers to those questions.

A score of 12 is perfect, 11 is tolerable, but 10 or lower and you’ve got serious problems. The truth is that most software organizations are running with a score of 2 or 3, and they need serious help, because companies like Microsoft run at 12 full-time.

What has become of the world

maxtor 250 Gb IDE HdRemember the days when you had a 400 Mb hard drive and THAT was much. Today I went to to look for a new harddrive to replace one that had crashed in a couple-of-year-old computer. Well the smallest IDE (and the only) model that were in the shelf was a 320Gb hard drive fro 99,90€. I had to ask for a smaller one (since that much space is not required on that computer) and the smallest one they had was a 250Gb for 77,90€ which i bouhght. But man, the smallest is 250 Gb. I remembered when i bought my first external hard drive that was that big. And it felt like that that would never become full. Well it all depends on what you store on them I guess.
Well IDE has become outdated, and why buy small when you can buy big right. Sounds like a line from Super Size Me (Which i haven’t seen). I guess that if you want a smaller Hd you have to dig one out from an old computer … And it’s probably cheaper that way.

I remembery when we bought a 486 with 16 Mb RAM and 400 Mb Hd. And i was amazed when we later upgraded to Windows 95 and on the installation disk there was a music video by wheezer (Buddy holy).. Imagine, a movie on a computer. I showed it to everyone, and they too were amazed.

That was something then. Do you remember some specs of some old computer you were impressed by “back in the days”