Lisa's birthday party

On Saturday, I went to Lisa's birthday party at her place. Here are Egidio, Luigi, and Lotta.

Time to eat!

Lisa discovers that she's been signed up for the 2005 Stockholm Marathon!

Michael & Egidio.

The birthday girl tried on my hat.

So did Lotta.

Another good shot of the birthday girl.

Lisa's kitchen. The interior of Lisa's apartment gives one the impression of a summer cottage or ski chalet. It's big but also cozy.

Stockholm Horse Show

I went to the Stockholm Horse Show on Friday night. It was a lot of fun.

Snow photos taken last week.

Here's a snow photo from last week. This is right out in front of the IBM headquarters in Stockholm.

Here's a close-up shot of newfallen snow beside the path between the bus stop and my office.

This could be IBM's winter greeting card.

The snowplow doesn't seem to make this sidewalk a high priority.

Here's a recent sunset as viewed from the hill near my home.

There is a sheep pasture beside the hill. You can see children playing on the hill in the background. The cluster of buildings behind the hill is where I live.

Sunset over the SAS headquarters across Brunnsviken.

A snow-covered fence.

A Christmas tree set up by Brf. Ecoparken. For my first two years in Stockholm, I lived in the apartment in the upper right corner of the the building in the background.


Here's the view out my window. The candle in the reflection is sitting on the windowsill next to the camera. I can see at least five reflections. It's a three pane window, so these are the reflections off of the inner and outer faces of the panes. The sixth reflection must be there, but I guess it's too faint to see.

It's a lovely sunny day outside. The temperature has risen above freezing, so the snow is melting and falling off the roofs of the buildings in large chunks. With any luck, the snow on the ground will melt completely before the temperature drops below freezing again. If it freezes while there is still liquid water on the ground the result can be a surface quite treacherous to walk upon.


Sick again

I've got a nasty sore throat this morning, and my whole body aches and feels cold. I guess I'm down with a cold again. I thought the sauna yesterday would help but apparently I wasn't able to fight off this one. This is the second time in three weeks that I've been sick -- I haven't been very lucky this winter. I'm working from home so that I can be close to all the amenities that make being sick easier to bear.


Not feeling so well

It's a dark winter afternoon outside. The sun set hours ago. That's the price of living in Sweden: short days in the winter. I started to come down with a cold today. I have a sore throt, muscle aches ad chills. I took a break from work and sat in the sauna in the recreation hall for a while. Now at least the chills are mostly gone. Tonight I'm going to Inger's place to practice Rueda with a bunch of Salsa friends.


My Philips Vesta Pro is working again.

I disassembled my webcam and tried to find out what was wrong with it. With the plastic casing removed, it is basically just a circuit board, a CCD and a lens. I made the mistake of resting the naked camera on top of an aluminum can while it was plugged in. The metal of the can made a short circuit on the circuit board and the computer prompty rebooted. Note to self: don't do that again. The vertical syncrhonization problem persisted after the computer started up again. But the next day, the camera started working fine again; I haven't seen the problem since. I have no idea what caused the problem in the first place, or what fixed it. Oh well -- at least it's working now.


Snömilen 2004 - 56:01

I ran Snömilen today. It was a lovely day: the sun was shining and the temperature was a few degrees below freezing. The race was fun and challenging, with snow-covered trails and some fairly steep grades. I finished in a time of 56:01. I'm #144 in the result list. In the photos below, I'm wearing #208.


Here are a few more snow photos.

What passes for product documentation at Microsoft

Microsoft part # 731-01157, Office Mac 2004 English DocKit, $40. It's a tiny 30-page Getting Started pamphlet.

When one orders a documentation kit, one expects documentation, and not just one piece of documentation, but a whole kit! Product documentation is more than just a Getting Started pamphlet. A kit consists of more than just one item. This is not documentation. This is not a kit. It is not a doc. kit.

Microsoft should either include this pamphlet with the CD or eliminate it entirely. It certainly should not be a separate orderable part, and it's definitely not worth forty dollars.

Snow in sunlight

The sun has finally come out, and with the newfallen snow still clinging to everything, it's absolutely beautiful outside!

Well, I may have been mistaken about the snow melting right away. More snow fell during the night, and the temperature was -4 C this morning. Here are a few photos I took on my way to work this morning.


My Philips Vesta Pro USB webcam is having problems. It seems to work okay for a while, but the longer I leave it on, the more jittery the picture becomes. Any ideas?

Last night we had our first snowfall this year in Stockholm. This morning, everything looked much brighter outside. The snow continues to fall, but it will probably all be gone in a couple of days. The temperature is 4 C. Here's the view outside my office.


World Community Grid

Backed by IBM, the new World Community Grid announced today is an ambitious effort to harness the power of grid computing for the public good.

Here is a brief desciption from WCG's web page:
World Community Grid's mission is to create the largest public computing grid benefiting humanity. Our work is built on the belief that technological innovation combined with visionary scientific research and large-scale volunteerism can change our world for the better. Our success depends on individuals - like you - collectively contributing their unused computer time.
I downloaded and installed the WCG agent software. While it's running, CPU usage is near 100% and my ThinkPad's cooling ran runs non-stop. The emphasis on the colors orange and blue in the client program suggests to me that the software was designed by the same people who wrote the downloadGrid client -- another grid computing project from IBM.

A screenshot of the World Computing Grid agent performing work for the Human Proteome Folding project.

Currently, the software runs only on Windows/x86. Given the prevalence of this type of computer, it makes sense to release the software for this platform first. One hopes that the developers see the wisdom of porting the software Mac OS X, Linux, and other platforms. The WCG Forums have some discussion about this.



Inger, Veronique & Erik




Here I am wearing a cowoboy hat.

Finally, here I am posting the live photos to the web during the party.