A few days in Helsinki

Written early in the evening in English • Tags: ,

Helsinki was mostly rainy, but I managed to spend some time outdoors with the Selonen family. It is always great to see Arto, Laura, Katri and Karita, who keep welcoming me to their home time and again. Karita had become even more outgoing than what I remember last time — she didn’t hesitate a minute that first evening to announce that Kimmo was going to read her a bedtime story. :-) And if running about outside wasn’t enough, they also got me jumping around indoors (well, once at least) with this weird dance game.

Thanks to the organizational skills of Antti alias “Pooka” I also got to meet all the Finnish NetBSD developers one night over a dinner at La Bodega.

A week in Frankfurt

Written early in the morning in English • Tags: ,

Well, I had never spent a week in Frankfurt before. I thought there’s nothing there (sorry). However, I was somewhat wrong, I guess.

During the days, Mark — a colleague of mine from NYC — was helping me find my way around the offices of the mother bank and to communicate with the colleagues in Frankfurt. In the evenings he was showing me that there is something to the city of business. You just have to spend some time looking around (as he has in the past) and have friends like Kirk who know these esoteric venues that you wouldn’t think to visit just by looking at them from the street (yeah, what was that about the book and its cover).

We also visited Mainz and Mark introduced me to some very welcoming friends of his, Karen and Helmut, who took us to a small village restaurant with excellent food and wine. Maybe it should be counted as an advantage of Frankfurt that you don’t have to go far outside to find some really nice places…

After all the flying is over today, I should be in Helsinki.

European style

Written early in the morning in English • Tags: ,

I’ve had a wonderful week in Freiburg, visiting my brother and his family. I wish I could make these trips more often. I felt so welcome — the kids were so enthusiastic about meeting their uncle that they kept telling everyone. I visited their kindergarten and their teacher knew immediately who I was. I just need to learn more German…

It’s been great walking about the neighborhood where they live and on some of the hillsides around. The Black Forest region is really beautiful, and the weather has been excellent.

Yesterday was so uniquely (southern) European: we walked up the nearby hill to an old Gasthaus and stopped for brunch. I guess we were a bit early, but soon the place filled with all the locals on their Sunday walk. We got a great table with a superb view down to the whole town, and the light breeze was keeping us cool in the sunshine. Can you spell p-e-r-f-e-c-t! As we were leaving, we took turns taking pictures so we could have everyone in at least one picture. A stranger stops us — to offer to take the picture for us, so that the whole family can be in one picture! (Not with my camera, so no link to a picture yet.)

On the way home we took a trail through the forest. It was great seeing how the kids were so excited about walking in the forest. They do so every week at the kindergarten, so it is a familiar yet ever interesting environment for them. No worrying about getting bored, I tell you.

In a couple of hours I’ll be arriving in Frankfurt. I felt sad leaving Freiburg, especially since we got to the train station a bit late, and there was no time for a proper goodbye. I had to just jump on the train as the doors were already closing. Need to plan that better next time…

Sightseeing in Karlsruhe

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

Klaus and Bernd are NetBSD developers in Karlsruhe, who took me sightseeing (by foot) around the city yesterday, and then for a well-deserved beer and other nourishment. I had never visited Karlsruhe before, dispite having driven past it a number of times. I think it was about a year or maybe two earlier that Bernd and I tried to arrange for a meeting, but my schedule kept changing too much. I’m glad this time everything worked out perfectly.

Arrival in Germany

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

It is now wonder that businessmen don’t complain a lot about the burden of traveling. Who cares if you have to arrive at the airport two or more hours early, if you can spend half of that time dining. On the plane you can then survive with a snack, instead of trying to operate a knife and fork in the tight space assigned to you. Not that the space is tight in business class…

After deboarding there is another excellent idea: the arrivals lounge. Unfortunately I had to hurry to a connecting flight, so I couldn’t visit it to enjoy a hot breakfast and a shower.

The second flight of the day (from London to Frankfurt) behind me I’m feeling a little bit well traveled for the day, especially after stewing for an hour in the sunny glass enclosure that is the Fernbahnhof at the Frankfurt airport. Here is a tip for anyone taking a train: go downstairs and sit by the tracks! It is nice and cool there, even if a bit noisy when trains arrive and depart. (more…)

No problems

Written late in the evening in English

Well, no new problems, anyway. Although what I thought would be a very short day (thanks to the extra hours put in yesterday) wasn’t. Fortunately there are only so many hours in each day, so sooner or later they all come to an end.

The vacation is getting very close now — I can already feel it!

Disturbing signs

Written late in the evening in English

I think a disturbing trend is developing as my vacation draws closer:

Yesterday as soon as I had left the office our OC-3 to London goes down. I do not even make it to Grand Central Terminal before my cell phone rings.

Today after market close one of the core switch blades develops bad ports. Adam and I just finished installing the replacement, and I’m on the train home.

I’m afraid to think of what’s in store for tomorrow…

(A very tired commuter signing off.)

Play nice with Markdown

Written early in the evening in English • Tags: , , ,

I’ve created a couple of small patches to improve how WordPress works with Markdown:

  • markdown-balancetags.diff

    The balanceTags function was preventing the Markdown autotags feature from working by thinking <http://server/page> is actually some sorf of an http tag. I didn’t want to completely disable balanceTags, so I added code to pass through http, https and ftp “tags” untouched.

  • markdown-first.diff

    The wptexturize function must be called after Markdown to avoid unwanted “texturizing” of preformatted and code blocks. The fix was easy once I learned that filters have priorities. The default priority is 10, so I modified markdown.php to install itself at priority 8.

I’m beginning to think I should import WordPress to my local CVS repository.

ISC mirror fixed

Written late in the afternoon in English • Tags:

Earlier this week all files mirrored from ISC were suddenly deleted by the Funet FTP mirror. The GW FTP mirror of BIND (and BIND 9) is a bit more conservative, so it only reported the fact that all files appear to have been deleted from the ISC server.

I finally had some time today to look into it, and I guess ISC upgraded their FTP server software (or configuration). It now ignores the -R flag in directory listings (for recursive listing of all subdirectories). I “fixed” the problem by instructing the mirror software to iterate through all directories individually. It’s painful, but there is no other option (no /ls-lRat file on the server).

The mirror at Funet has already retrieved the deleted files again, so we are in good shape on that front.


Written late in the morning in English • Tags: ,

Storing links in a database is an excellent idea. Storing links in multiple databases is not. To avoid having links all over the place to manage, I wrote wp-links.php for accessing the links table in the WordPress database. The idea is to be able to get lists of links as a “standalone” feature on pages that are not using WordPress, while still being able to manage the links through WordPress as well as use the links on the journal pages. (more…)