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24
Oct

Development of the global food prices

“These outcomes are not only ethically disturbing, they are also failures of optimal allocation of according to economic principles”. The quite interesting article on the major effects on the food-prices in the last decate (“The food crisis: A quantative model of food prices including speculators and ethanol conversion“) shows step by step, why speculators and the increased ethanol conversion are the main drivers for the fluctuating and increasing food-prices recently. It disproves the widely shared opinion, that speculations do not effect the food price and shows the enormous impact of the increasing demand of bio-fuel and the subsidies in the US.

All in all an interesting read and a great collection of facts.

11
Oct

The ultimate baby jogger part II

Now it’s decided. After quite some research and thinking of what could be the best jogger for us, we decided to buy the TFK joggster III with Multi X carrycot. And so we did. After all the reading, I got the feeling, that for jogging a fixed front wheel might be the best, but for the city a wheel, which can move, even better. Both we have for our joggster and without a lot of hassle, the wheels are exchangeable. The carrycot can be used in different ways and the nicest is, that the little one will be able to look at us, while we are running. In the normal set-up, and most other strollers she would look to the front. But until we can start running with it, it will still take a while.

After using it now since a month I have to say it was a good buy. We have some trouble with the breaks, as they don’t run as smoothly as they should, but I hope, that they can fix it. Latest when we start running it has to be repaired, but at the moment it is still acceptable. Let*s see what they say, when we actually complain. :)

28
Jul

WorkTracker for Harmattan

In the last couple of days I worked on a small application, which will track your working hours. As many of you might have the same problem, who want to track the work-time and remember what you did, I thought I would make it public. It will be for free in OVI-store soon. Until then, here is a screenshot :)

Features so far:

  • Start, pause and stop the time tracking
  • Application counts the hours, even though it is not open
  • Add comments according to what you did
  • Weekly overview

Stay tuned (if you like) :)

19
Jul

The ultimate babyjogger Part I

Hui, it’s been a really long time, that I haven’t written anything. In the running category it stayed empty, because after the 100km there didn’t happen anything too exciting regarding to running. Two marathons, one 55, but nothing comparable. The experience of the 100 was fantastic and lasts long, but since then we are thinking about THE new challenge, but we haven’t decided yet. I would like to do a triathlon next year and I have ordered a road-bike out of this reason. Let’s see how much time I will have to train, as we are expecting a little one in September.

And this opens the actual topic I wanted to write about today: the perfect baby jogger. I started now looking around and finding myself still in the dark :) Just looking in the internet doesn’t feel right, as some products just feel cheap, when you see them, even though they are pretty expensive. My favorite for now is the Quinny Speedi, which felt pretty robust and the handle & wheel easy to adjust. It doesn’t need any extra equipment for maxi-cosy and the dreamy, which sounds easy as well. In my tour through the shops I haven’t seen one, which is comparable.

Goal is of course to keep on running and training. Right now I’m still searching for a live-demo of the babyjogger FIT. Hunting for a shop around Munich to have a look, but I haven’t been successful so far. It promises, that it is not as big as the Quinny and smaller, when you pack it. Uff…hard decisions, but let’s see…will keep you posted.

6
Oct

Appdownloader – the next steps

I was asked about giving an update on the status of the appdownloader, what is planned in the near future or has been changed already. Besides the bugfixes and small enhancements, like saving the user-credentials, some bigger improvement-ideas came up during the summer. Most of it is in proto-type stage, but once implemented properly it might add some value to the application itself and the process of downloading and installing applications on Fremantle.

OCS-compliant backend implementation

At the KDE Akademy in Tampere, we had a good talk about improvements in the OCS REST API. When we started with the server-side implementation of the application, we took the open-collaboration-services into use and we adopted it to our needs. The same did another project around MeeGo, so that we met in Tampere to to find a solution to this and to get our changes upstream. We had a really good discussion and at the end it seemed, that everybody was satisfied. What a rare situation ;) Now we are going to change to that new API. The server-side is almost ready, but the client-side would need to be adopted to the new API. This is the first goal.

Changing the library

One possible idea would be to change to the libattica library, so that we could contribute to the OCS project even more, than API discussions. This would bring more stability in parsing of the xml content and further on the client side, as we would have to go along the standard the whole way.

Installation

The installation part should be made easier and faster as well, ideally without being tight to the Application Manager and the slow updating process of apt. The idea is a slight change in apt itself. Initiated by Marius Vollmer (apt-side) and with the help of Niels Breet (server-side), we are working on a way to speed up the update of the repository for apt. The idea is simple. Instead of making apt download, extract and work on the whole packages file, the idea is to get just that part of the repository that is necessary and useful from the user’s perspective. This information would be offered by another REST API on the server. The scenario, step-by-step:

1. Browse the applications by browsing them through the appdownloader.

2. Once you have clicked on an application to be installed, the appdownloader saves the application name, and sends it with all stored application-names to the server

3. The server creates an optimised list of the meta-data of the requested applications and further of all applications, which are in any relation to them (dependencies, conflicts, etc).

4. For the modified apt, this information will be enough to download the packages accordingly and resolve the dependencies.

Starting from there, it should help to improve things, like installation of more then one package at a time, speeding up the discovery and installation of packages, etc.. This would give the appdownloader as well some more meaning than just being another front-end for the content you can get anyway on the web-site.

I think all three steps are important. The first two ones for a seamlessly functional application and the latter one for improvements in the installation process. Goal is to have some proto-type, based on x-apt as soon as possible. But feel free to discuss the ideas and come up with further suggestions.

28
Aug

Masokistin Unelma 2010 – The 100 km experience

Now it’s done. Last Saturday we ran our 100km run in Helsinki and we arrived. Annika made it in 11 hours 39 and me in 11:46. It was tough but not as hard as expected. We started with a really steady speed of 6:30-6:40 min/km. The rounds were 1,8 km, so that we had always a chance to eat and drink something regularly. The finish ultra-runner Johanna Renqvist gave Annika some hints before, and the most important was that we should take some energy every round.

source: Pertti Eho

source: Pertti Eho

First it went well and we started running with a group of five “first-timers” of the 100 and the time past by really fast. Soon we had already 20% of the run, surprised that it went that fast. The pace was good and the energy-level ok. Even though after 30 km I felt the differences of running such a slow pace. It is almost like another discipline than normal running and unfortunately I did not take enough energy at that time. The first marathon past by and after 45 km I had a big down. My feet-muscles were hurting, I felt a bit dizzy in my head and the idea, that we haven’t had done the half yet made me just feel sick. My minimal goal was to reach the 60 km, so that I thought I would proudly fight to that goal and be happy that I reached at least the minumum. The feeling went worse and I did not feel like eating anything. After 50, half a round of walking and Annika’s support, I forced myself to eat bananas, a snickers, to drink a red bull and – poco a poco – I felt like a new person.

The 60 km mark past by and we still followed the pace we set at the beginning. “Just” a marathon left! A distance I know, I can imagine! Great! :) Annika’s stomach was a bit upset, so that I got some chance to walk a bit more. I felt good and we both could not believe that we were running for so many hours. The legs and feet still hurt a bit, but this was expected :) Everything fine so far. But I didn’t learn out of my first mistake, and again I didn’t provide my body enough energy. At 75 I felt that I had to give up. I was down and I felt miserable. Head dizzy again, and I didn’t feel like part of the real world again. Annika asked me, what the issue exactly is, to help with a massage of the legs or giving me more to eat or whatever would make me running again. I realized that it wasn’t one issue I could name. I felt at my physical limit, finished, down. I told Annika that I would try to run until the end of the round and then to give up. During that I remembered the first down and I thought I could throw some more energy in and see what happens. I took bananas, a red bull and a snickers and did not really believe what happened. I felt fresh again and ready to go further. The people, who were watching must have thought, that I took some drugs or doping or so :) We ran our pace again and faster. We made one 11:15 min round then and everything felt fine.

The second marathon at one day and we were still running after 9 hours and 50 minutes. WOW. It felt somehow unreal. And we went on. Little by little I felt more and more tired, and I felt that Annika fresher and fresher. This was amazing and I was stunned. At around 92 km, she went to the bathrooms again, and I was happy that I could walk for some time. When she came along, she looked almost rested – me, I didn’t :) . As we were sure now that even I would make it, she went on in her speed. I followed and did not walk any more. Even though I ran rounds around 12:30 min, she could go 7 min faster on these few kilometers. My respect!

After 11:39 hours she made it, I arrived at 11:46 with a overwhelming feeling of having accomplished something special. I got my diploma, some strong shot and I laid down for a while. I didn’t have ANY energy left and felt bad, cold and just finished. I had blue lips and was shaking. Some power-energy stuff, of one of the organizers made me going to the bus again, but when I was sitting I felt again really bad after a while. We left the bus and took a taxi. The legs were hurting that night, but I was proud and well off already on Sunday!

It was an amazing experience, and at the end less hard then expected. I learned my lesson, that I have to eat something ALL the time. The exhaustion at the end, came along with the low energy level. It is nice to see, what the body can go, as long as you throw in the energy it needs. Annika surprised me with her strength. She helped me not to give up! Nice that we could share this experience! But now: what next? :) First of all we’ve planned at least one 55 km run in November and maybe one or two other marathons. For the next year it would be nice to train for some endurance event again. I would like to try a triathlon, but the equipment is so expensive. We will see and keep you up-to-date ;)

16
Aug

100 hours…

…and a bit to go before the 100 km run next Saturday. It was quiet here in this blog in the last couple of weeks, but this was mainly because of my vacations, which were full of nice stuff, but basically so full, that I did not find time to post anything. My plan to write more about my trip wasn’t as successful as I’ve had planned.

But now there are just a couple of days before our 100 km run. Finally I stopped my experiments with new shoes etc and went back to my old ones. My calves were pretty stressed after doing my normal running distances too fast with the feelmax shoes. I had to stop the training for a couple of weeks and I didn’t want to take the chance. Maybe after the 100 I will try again and increase the distance slower. Otherwise I continued my intensive training until the vacations. During the traveling I ran two marathons, one in San Fransisco (3:44, it just felt great) and last week in Finland (4:07, bad conditions and a looooot of hills). Now I just rest until Saturday, besides maybe a short run once or twice this week. I’m nervous and curious to see how it will go. That I will write down here :) My first goal is to reach the 60 km and then step by step to the best case, which would be a time under 12 hours. Let’s see.

18
Jul

Leaving Vancouver

After an amazing week in Vancouver we now start our way down to San Francisco. First stop will be Seattle and from there we are going to hike close to Mt Rainier. Sonn we are back on the road :)

14
Jul

Cowboy-life in Alberta

Saturday and Sunday we spent in Nanon, south of Calgary at Annika’s aunt’s family and got to know the life there. One special thing is the cowboy-culture there. On Saturday evening we saw a local rodeo – and it was crazy. Even kids around 13 participated, everybody got hurt, but anyway it was fun to see. And yes, they wear cowboy-hats, cowboy-boots and big buckles. It felt like being in a wild west movie. Further we went to a church service, which serves more as a community thing over there, than the traditional duty of participation in the catholic church. Sunday we played with the kids in the sun and were invited with the family to a huge barbecue. It was really nice! We enjoyed every moment, and it was great to see how Annika’s aunt is doing here. Monday was mostly driving. 15 hours back through the mountains. It was fantastic. Now in Vancouver spending with Annika’s friend Bruce. But this is worth another entry. And I will add photos soon.

10
Jul

Close to Calgary

After we arrived yesterday at the airport, we directly went to the car-rental and checked out, which car we would get. We booked the smallest one available, in the hope, that it would be enough to go through the western part of the country. When the guy at the car rental then twice asked if we are really sure is a small one is enough I got a bit nervous. But at the end it was a biiiiig Ford Fusion, with 5 doors, air-conditioning etc etc :D it was so funny. But on the way we saw what he meant. Here it IS a small car. For us it was so much better than expected and really comfortable. So the 13 hours to Calgary were nice to drive. We drove in shifts and with a couple of breaks. It was especially nice, when the sun came up in the morning and we could see how incredible special the landscape is – the Rocky’s in all their beauty. Rough mountains, with glaciers on top! Don’t know how we will digest all the new impressions of the following two weeks :)

Now we arrived at Annika’s aunt’s home. They moved here one year ago and the kids are speaking perfect English. That makes it for me so much easier, than 1 1/2 years ago, when I meant them the first time. It is wonderful here. Tonight we will see some rodeo! See and not participate :P Looking forward to it. Will add some photos these days.