New iMac G5

Today at the Apple Expo in Paris, Apple announced the new iMac G5. The new iMac incorporates an IBM PowerPC 970FX microprocessor. That's one nice looking machine.


Twice around Edsviken

I rode my bike around Edsviken yesterday afternoon. When I got all the way to Sollentuna, I realized that I had dropped a 500 Krona bill somewhere along the way. I thought I might have dropped it while getting dressed so I kept going around the lake until I got back home. Not finding the money at home, I went around Edsviken again to look for it. I didn't find it. So someone out there is 500 Krona richer now. C'est la vie. At least I was rewarded with nice views along the ride. The sun was just setting as I rode my first lap around the lake; and the moon was just rising as I reached the North end of Edsviken on the second lap. The view of the nearly-full moon across the water was quite lovely. I noticed something during the ride: I have more strength and stamina biking since I started running. Hills that used to be dificult to climb are now easy, and I can keep going strong where before I would have downshifted. It's a gratifying feeling to realize that I'm making progress.


Drivers license

I picked up my drivers license at the post office today. It's one of the new EU-style licenses. Now I just need to buy a car. Car ownership in Stockholm is particularly expensive. When the expenses for gasoline, insurance, and parking are added up, it can cost 3000 SEK per month to operate a car. And that doesn't include the cost of the car itself, or maintenence expenses. Plus, I'll still need to pay about 600 SEK per month for a local public transport card, because I'll still need to be able to ride the subways and busses. Having a car won't make this expense unnecesary. Considering all this, I'm not sure that I'll even opt to buy a car. I may choose instead to rent a car those few times when I really need one.

Sankt Eriksloppet

I signed up for Sankt Eriksloppet. It's a half-marathon (approximately 21 km) on 11 September. This will be my first race of any length, and my first time to run that far. I've run 12 km (around Brunnsviken) several times, and a bit longer once. These days I'm trying to run around 8-10 km three or four times per week and ride my bike for an hour a couple of times per week.

The past few weeks, it has been a bit hard to stick to the regimen. I go dancing at least twice per week and I'm putting in some overtime at work to complete a technical manual I've been writing. After this week the book will be finished and I'll be able to devote more time to training.

Lotta says I should get new running shoes. Perhaps she's right. The shoes I have now are $30 Brooks shoes I've had for years. They're not particularly bad, but I don't think they're really designed for running either.

I know I'll finish the race, but I 'd like to do it comfortably, so I really must keep the training up. The point of signing up for a race is to set a goal and work toward it, improving my fitness along the way. If I finish in under two hours I'll be very pleased.

A nice view from the red subway line.

I went downtown on Sunday. It was a lovely day. Here's a view of Kungsgatan.


Skype coming to the Mac

Skype is coming to Mac OS X! An early beta version is in limited testing now, and will be publicly released soon. AppleInsider has more information and screenshots. I've used Skype on my ThinkPad, and I'm pretty pleased with it.


Is beach-volleyball sexist?

Aftonbladet reported yesterday the opinions of Margaeta Winberg, who complained that the olympic sport of beach volleyball is sexist. Apparently, she believes the outfits worn by the women atheletes are to skimpy. The dress codes for men and women are different, as in many sports. Reader response was mixed, but the vast majority disagreed with Margareta.

Perhaps Margareta wouldn't complain if all atheletes were required to compete in the nude, as in the original olympic games (I suspect that if the olympics returned to this tradition, there would be no problem selling all the tickets!). Because the sport originated on the beach, clothing similar to beachwear is appropriate. Being traditionalists, the olympic authorities obviously decided that the game should be true to its roots.

Women and men are sometimes held to different standards. If one of the women competitors stated a desire to wear shorts and a t-shirt, I doubt that she would find much opposition among the olympic authorities. But some standards must be enforced. If the men were allowed to compete bare-chested as they have requested, would Margareta demand equal top-free rights for women?

I haven't read anything suggesting that an athelete has complained about the dress codes. The atheletes aren't upset about the dress codes -- only Marageta is.

Mozilla Sunbird

After reading about it on Slashdot, I tried out Sunbird, a great calendar application from Mozilla.org. I was quite impressed with the program. I was able to subscribe to my iCal calendar, published via WebDAV from my Mac at home. In this way I can see the calendar entries defined on my Mac at home when I'm using my ThinkPad in the office or on the road. That's very convenient. The pretty new icon was designed by Mark Carson.


Swedish drivers licenese

Thanks to the friendly folks at Vägverket in Sollentuna, I now have a Swedish drivers license. I took the driving test this morning in a shiny new red Volvo S-60. That was one nice car.
With the inspector sitting in the passenger seat and giving directions, I drove South on the E4 from Sollentuna to Kista. I drove around in Kista for a bit and then went back North via small residential streets. The trickiest part was driving in trafic circles. I think we must have gone through six or seven of them. The US doesn't have many traffic circles, so I don't have very much experience with them. I think the time I spent driving in France this summer helped.
I was a bit nervous because I expected the inspector to ask me to drive in trickier situations, but it turned out to be quite easy. I suppose there wasn't any need to be nervous. After all, I've been driving for more than 15 years, and I've found my way around the small roads in Caen and Toulon. After that, Stockholm seems very civilized and orderly.
I don't really have my license yet -- I just have a piece of paper that is a temporary permit; this permit is valid until I receive my license, proably in a couple of days. For security's sake, I will have to pick up the license in person from my local post office.


More flowers!

Stockholm archipelago

It was very relaxing and peaceful to spend some time outside the city. The Stockholm archipelago is beautiful.

We practiced La Rueda quite a bit. There were about 6 couples.

We ate lunch outside because the weather was so lovely.

Here's the view from Inger's summer house on Ljusterö. I went there with a bunch of salsa-friends for a weekend of dancing and other summer fun. When the sun was out we did some swimming and wind-surfing.



I did the skid-driving course this morning. It was fun and informative. I drove a Volvo S40 with the Skid-Car system. It consists of a frame that holds 4 outrigger wheels beyond the car's wheels. Each of these is controlled by hydraullic system so that the instructor can raise or lower the front or rear of the car, simulating the loss of tire-road contact experienced in slippery conditions. I drove both with and without ABS enabled, so that I could feel the difference and practice controlling a skid with both. I think I could benefit from doing this course again so that I could get even more practice. I now have the all-important halkintyg required for taking the driving test.


I met a former neighbor and some of her school friends on the rocks overlooking Brunsviken. They were toasting marshmallows and shared a few with me. Yummy.

Sunset over Brunsviken.

Sunset over Ulriksdals slott.


Djungelsalsa at Årsta

I went to Djungelsalsa at Årsta this evening. It's so called because it's dancing out of doors, in the "jungle."

The dancefloor is in a metal gazebo-like structure that can be covered during inclement weather.

Here's Inger being camera-shy. :)

Elias and Linda having fun with the photographer.

Some folks on the dancefloor.

Flowers at Inka's place.



I met Kevin, Åsa, and some of their friends for a few drinks at Medborgarplatsen. Those who remained at the end of the evening grabbed a bite to eat at McDonalds.

A word about anachro-syndicalism

I was reading Daniel's lovely weblog when I stumbled across a link to SAC. I read their manifesto, and I have to say: these anarcho-syndicalist guys are nuts.

Private property, freedom of association, and freedom to trade are basic rights. Capitalism is merely a system that arises through the natural expression of these rights. People will barter, trade, buy and sell no matter what governments do. People create markets. It's just the way of the world. The more that government does to put restrictions of the natural exercise of essential liberties, the more unjust and illegitimate that goverment becomes.

Sure there are acts of injustice perpetrated by the powerful against the weak. A proper role of government is to ensure that this doesn't happen. But this is not best accomplished by limiting the freedoms of everyone.

It is proper that those who work hard succeed and that those who are lazy fail.

Yes, government can provide a safety net so that the poor are looked after. But there should be an incentive to work. There is something very wrong and corrupt with a system in which people who sit on their asses all day live as well as those who work hard. One gets the distinct impression that these anarcho-syndicalists just don't think any inequality should be allowed to exist. The trouble with this line of thinking is that it assumes people will work hard even if they don't have a personal incentive to do so.

A system that rewards hard work, innovation, and personal responsibility is one in which every person has an equal opportunity to live up to his potential. Not everyone will have the exact same standard of living. This is the way things are, and the way they are meant to be.

It's interesting to see how my political philosophy has evolved since I moved to Sweden. My early adult life was spent in the United States. There I took freedom for granted, and blamed the many social problems on a failure of the political system. But after having spent a few years in a country with more socialistic politics, I must say I have a deepened respect for the American system. This is not to say that it's perfect -- far from it! Every democracy on the planet has a slightly different approach, and they're all imperfect. The important thing is that people continue to improve on their democracies, step by little step.


Here are the new shelves I put on the wall in the kitchen.. In a small apartment, one must make good use of space. These shelves give me more storage space in a place where I would otherwise not have anything (except perhaps a painting). I decided to put primarily stainless steel and stoneware on the shelves. This gives the shelves the appearance of more than mere storage -- it's art!


The Office of Tomorrow!

Cubanismo @ Fasching

I just got home from seeing a Cuban dance band, Cubanismo, at the jazz club Fasching, downtown on Kungsgatan. It was fun and loud. The band had 14 members, including a guitarist, bassist, pianist, three percussionists, three singers, and a horn section. Fasching was completely packed though, so there wasn't much room for dancing.


The new table is in place

Here's a photo of the new table. I've put one of my displays on top, but I'm not sure if I will add the other display. It's an old 20-inch Apple Trinitron CRT and is very heavy. The table is supposed to be able to hold 50 kg, but I'm not sure if I want to risk it. As you can see, I am using an old Tivoli Systems mousepad. I usually prefer not to use a mousepad, but in this case I don't have a choice: the optical mouse doesn't work on smooth glass.

I plan to buy a Power Mac G5 and a 23" Cinema Displaylater this year. I think they'll match the table very nicely. I may even get two of the 23" displays if I have enough money. If I do that, I'll probably need to put the G5 under the desk. I really must find a way to reduce some of the cable clutter. Perhaps some of that flexible plastic conduit would fit the bill.

Once I have the G5, I won't have much need for the old Power Mac 8500. Right now it's acting as my router/firewall. Because of space/noise/energy considerations, I think I'd rather implement a simpler solution, perhaps using an AirPort Extreme Base Station. I suppose when the time comes, I'll either try to sell the 8500 on eBay or give it to charity. I remember when I first bought that computer. At the time, it was a remarkable computer: it had a 120 MHz PowerPC 604 processor, 128 MB of RAM and a 9 GB Ultra2SCSI hard drive. I remember thinking I'd never need a faster computer, more RAM, or a larger hard drive. How a few years has changed my perspective!

I got a great deal on the system because I was working for Apple at the time. I recall that I paid only $3000 for the computer and $1200 for the 20" display. What a deal!


Vika Lauri / Inge table

Inspired by Åsa's purchase of this cool table, I went to IKEA today and bought one for myself. I also got some nice wall-mounted shelves for either the kitchen or the entryway -- I haven't decided yet. It's a miricle that I was able to lug all this stuff on the bus and subway. I'm really looking forward to having a drivers license!
I have put the table in my office at home, and begun the task of rearranging the rest of the office to accomodate the change. The new table is slightly lower than the one it replaces, and therefore doesn't have sufficient room underneath for my nice EFG filing cabinet. I'll either have to put something under the legs to prop up the table, or place the filing cabinet somewhere else. Right now, it's taking up space behind my chair, but it's taking up a bit too much space in my tiny little office (a converted walk-in closet).

Photos taken with Åsa's camera

In Åsa's weblog you will find a few photos I took using her new camera. The three photos I took begin with the one captioned "Solnedgång på Göteborg." I joined Åsa, Kevin and Jonas at the Göteborg restaurant near Åsa & Kevin's new place in Hammarby Sjöstad. I really like their new place and the neighborhood.