Updated IceS

Written late in the evening in English • Tags: ,

I was surprised to see a new version of the old IceS client — after all, it wasn’t supposedly developed anymore. The reason I’ve packaged it is that it supports streaming of MP3 data. My Audiotron doesn’t handle Ogg Vorbis, which is the only format supported by the new IceS client.

So, to stay current on the version, I’ve upgraded the ices-mp3 package to version 0.4. It adds FLAC support, actually, so that might be a reason to upgrade. Note that it transcodes the data, though, so you’ll need the CPU power to decode FLAC and encode it to MP3 (using LAME).

New wml package

Written late in the evening in English • Tags: ,

I recently had some time to go through all the packages I maintain to see what version upgrades would be needed. One long overdue one was www/wml.

It wasn’t an easy upgrade, though. Since the software apparently hasn’t been maintained for a couple of years, it took some work to make it work with the pkgsrc framework. It seems that we expect more recent behaviour from configure scripts than what was available 3-4 years ago.

I got the software to compile, finally. I just hope I didn’t break any functionality. I don’t have a wml-based website to test with anymore.

Updated Privoxy

Written at lunch time in English • Tags: , , ,

I have new versions of Firefox running on my computers, and I was busy adding block images rules on each one. I thought this was less than ideal, so I decided to give Privoxy a new try. I saw that a new version is out, so I updated the www/privoxy package as well. Apart from getting more up-to-date filters, there’s a memory leak fix and I could also enable threads for parallel request handling.

Business as usual

Written late in the morning in English

While people are commemorating the tragedy of 9/11/2001 today and certainly for years to come, this year it is also more “business as usual” regardless of the date. I’ve just finished setting up network connectivity to the NASD for a new application, and for this afternoon I’m on standby for (of all things) a Disaster Recovery Test conducted by ADP Brokerage Services Group. Since I was to be working today anyway, I also scheduled some hardware maintenance of my own.

I think this is a good development: things do move on — it doesn’t mean we would forget about the past.

I had a couple of tweaks in my private copy of mstream to keep stream titles shorter, and it had been working great for a couple of months. So I released a new version and called it 1.0. It does everything I need now. Enjoy!

Hannu visits

Written early in the evening in English

Hannu visited me for a few days, on his way to San Francisco. Also a member of the “people not seen often enough” club, it was great to have him. I just wish Teija would have been with him.

The great thing about visitors is that I get to play tourist, too, in my home town! We went to several places I had never visited before:

  • The City QuilterHannu was picking up some fabrics to bring back for Teija. The staff at the store were absolutely wonderful, and really knew their product selection.
  • Cathedral of St. John Divine — I even used to live nearby, but never got around to visit back then.
  • The Bronx Zoo — Lots to see, but I’d recommend visiting during cooler weather. Not just to save yourself, but the animals won’t be hiding as much either.

The other great thing about visitors is that it is a great reason to arrange for some time off from work…

Now that I’m using a threaded version of Perl, I get to find out what doesn’t work with it… I’ve upgraded p5-Image-Imlib2 to version 1.03 to bring in threaded Perl support. I’m glad that a version upgrade was all it needed.

Goodbye to Finland

Written early in the evening in English • Tags: ,

Yet another vacation is over, and I’m returning home. It’s been a relaxing two weeks, even with all the traveling. It has really been great that I had enough time to visit all over Finland (in Helsinki, Ylivieska, Kauhava and Lappeenranta).

Unusually I took a bus from Lappeenranta to Helsinki. I would have taken the train but it turned out that there is track construction going on, so no early trains were running. On the bus I had this woman, Anu, sitting behind me with (as I was to find out) her recently adopted dog. I thought it was overly demanding for the dog to sit so close to other people so I thought I’d let it sniff my hand. Since we were in Eastern Finland, it should be no surprise that a conversation between me and Anu continued until she got off the bus in Porvoo. And we seemed to arrive there in almost no time at all.

Back in Helsinki I had lunch with my friend and business partner Panu. He also qualifies for the “Top 10 People I Don’t See Often Enough” list.

So here I am at the airport hotel, waiting for tomorrow’s flight. As a nice surprise, the hotel has a WLAN for its guests, so I can chat on IRC and IM. However, it is going to be a long day tomorrow with a 5-hour layover at Heathrow, so less chat and more sleep is in order.

By the Saimaa

Written at evening time in English • Tags: ,

On Monday it was off to Lappeenranta. My parents took me here on the RV, and then had some vacation of their own driving back to the west side of Finland. I’ve been staying with my dear friends Hanna-Kaisa and Tapio, whom I haven’t seen in just too long. Hanna-Kaisa took me on the “usual” tour around town, visiting book stores and other places (like the new phenomenon called Lidl). And after a long (or short) day at work, Tapio would be in the kitchen (or by the barbeque) with Hanna-Kaisa, putting their secrets about Italian cuisine to work.

Otto also took me for a quick visit to the university to see a telecomms closet (the home of irc.lut.fi, no less). It happened that everyone I was planning to visit at the university turned up at that closet. Go figure… it is not next to the cafeteria or anything. Well, that just left more time for a relaxing drive around the nearby islands of lake Saimaa in Otto’s vintage Cadillac. I took some pictures about another ferry being obsoleted by a bridge.

Another frequently visited spot in Lappeenranta is the marina, with its floating beer bars. Lahi took me there — not for a beer, but for ice cream — on one evening. Next time I have to remember to go there for lunch to enjoy a vety (and perhaps a beer).


Written in the mid-afternoon in English • Tags: ,

On Wednesday I took a train to Ylivieska to visit my parents. The great thing about being up north was that it didn’t get hot or humid. In Helsinki the humidity got to be a bit much at times, but in Ylivieska we would just lounge on the balcony, safe from rain (not that there was too much of that), sunburn and mosquitoes. We did leave the balcony a couple of times to walk around the town, for instance to the store for some new potatoes and smoked salmon and sourdough rye bread — Finnish delicacies at their best.

For the weekend we drove here to Kauhava, but surprisingly (at least to myself) I didn’t really feel like I would have to visit here anymore. It has always been more about visiting my parents anyway, than visiting the house where I grew up.