Archive for April, 2006

David Weiss: A Tour of Microsoft’s Mac Lab

Friday, April 21st, 2006

David Weiss: A Tour of Microsoft’s Mac Lab

Drool…Mactopia! has been located!

A rack with 150 Mac minis, controlled from a 30″ Apple display that “rotates like butter” :-D…OMG times 150!!!

Guess Redmond, Washington, 1 Microsoft Way can be a very pleasant place.

Now I want to go work for Microsoft.

dr.dk › DR1 › Michelles mission › Programmerne › Michelles mission (4)

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

dr.dk › DR1 › Michelles mission › Programmerne › Michelles mission (4)

Macspot: Mine!!!A link to the TV show that featured yours truly is up now, stay tuned for the streamed media. You have to watch for something like 15 minuttes to catch a glimpse of me, and later, me and my trusty companion, my beloved Apple PowerBook G4 12″ aka. K.Job.

Yes, KB-Hallen features a free and fast Wi-Fi connection 8-). “You are using a mobile phone to get a connection right?” “No, it’s Wi-Fi!” “It’s what?” “It’s wireless Internet! It’s build right in. And guess what it’s free”.

The future is now, Wi-Fi is becoming pervasive, much like running water. When I went to Vingsted Center in Vejle for the “Yearly Gathering” (årsmøde) of Dansk Flygtningehjælp (The Danish Refugee Council) last week, they had Wi-Fi as well, and once again I was the only user. But 3G is dead like ahem 3G, long live Wi-Fi.

You can also catch the re-runs of show 4.

Michelles mission
DR1, Thursday the 20-Apr-2006 @ 14:20
DR1, Monday the 24-Apr-2006 @ 09:05

ESA – Venus Express

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

ESA – Venus Express

OK OK…Since I always comment the NASA robotic missions, it’s sort of a disgrace that I have ignored the successful VOI (Venus Orbital Insertion) manoeuvre of the Venus Express mission last week. Congratulations to ESA on another success – things are shaping up, and I’ve almost forgotten the disappointment of the Beagle 2 Mars mission.

I must admit that I sort of fail to see the need for a mission to Venus. The Venusian surface, below the heavy cloud-cover has already been mapped, in quite a lot of detail, by one of the few NASA missions of the early 90ies.

But I welcome any science, and it is a real mystery why Venus is such a hostile environment, it’s amazing how “sweet a spot” Earth has hit in it’s orbit of the Sun, the “life as we know it” zone seems to be extremely narrow.

ESA has caught the Podcast wave, and Vodcast? That’s the first time I head that term – I guess that it covers Video Podcasts – really just call it a Podcast or maybe V-Cast – I really hope that Vodcast doesn’t catch on – it just sounds bad?

Mentally disturbed donated expensive computers to children

Monday, April 17th, 2006

Translated from an article featured in Vejle Amts Folkeblad 23-Apr-2005

The police is pleading with children and adolescents, who have received expensive gifts, to return them to the Vejle police station.

By Mie Sparre,

The parents of a couple of children alerted the SSP department (co-operation between school, parents and the police that works to prevent youth crime) of Vejle police, because they had discovered that their sons suddenly had a laptop worth 12-13,000 kroner, and a brand new MP3 player, in their possession. The boys claimed that they had received the gifts from a strange man who had been standing at Nørretorv in Vejle, outside McDonald’s and that he gave computers, MP3-players and other expensive electronic gadgets away to the accidental passers by.

This sounded just a little far-fetched, but after some investigation the police has discovered that the boys were indeed right. It has also been established who the strange man was.

It has turned out, that the man is a formerly successful businessman who has been hit by mental illness, that for instance had manifested itself in the form of extreme generosity. It is believed that the man had purchased several computers of the Amitech brand, and that he had planned to donate them away.

Follow your conscience

The man has now been committed for treatment, and the expensive gifts has, through the intervention of the police, been returned to his family.

But should other parents experience that their son or daughter suddenly is listening to music from a brand new MP3 player or is surfing the net on a fancy laptop, the items could come from the same incidence. And detective Peter Krogh, Vejle Police, urges that you follow your conscience and deliver the goods back.

Gifts can be delivered to the guard at the Vejle Police Station, Skolegade.

Vejle Kunstmuseum – architecture and technology

Monday, April 17th, 2006

I just visited the newly reopened Vejle Kunstmuseum (Vejle Museum of Art), and it was a very nice experience. The museum has been modernised and has had a new wing added. The new wing has been designed by the Utzon architects, and the way the entrance has been wedged between the old building and the new wing with an open spacious and very light colonnade is very successful, it extends the perspective towards infinity, now I’m dreaming of a “historic Vejle axis” flanked by trees on both sides, that would extend towards the beautiful Ådal. Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen, because the view soon will be blocked, I hope only partially, by a new housing complex.

Notable items from the collection includes one of the largest compilations of Rembrant sketches and a large collage style painting with faces of famous, and not so famous, Danes, you can really spend a lot of time just looking at this picture trying to identify the people.

Digital "guides" from Vejle KunstmuseumMore surprisingly, the museum is making good use of new technology by providing the visitors with the possibility to take a guided tour using a type of portable digital player, that resembles an iPod shuffle. The device is called PICKUP and it is produced by the Swedish Company dataton. The PICKUP device is extremely rugged, I suspect that it’s quite expensive.

This is how it works. Some of the exhibited items has a small infrared receiver “eye”, called a hotspot or transponder, located next to them, if you point the player towards one of the electronic eyes, and press play, it will load a spoken interview where the item is being discussed. Very clever indeed, I didn’t discover the devices until I was about to exit the museum, since admission currently, and for the remainder of 2006, is free, so I went back and revisited the exhibits walking away from the item being discussed, listing to the discussion “in transit”. I expect this to become a mainstream feature in museums, and as music players evolve I expect that the information will be streamed over Bluetooth to your iPod.

Being a geek I’ve spend too much time discussing the technology, the museum is it self worthwhile paying a visit, the number of artworks owned by the museum is limited, but the selection and quality of the art is quite high. Recommended, if you’re going to LEGOLAND consider making a pit-stop at the Vejle Kunstmuseum, as I mentioned admission is free for the duration of 2006, so you can’t use that you can’t afford it as an excuse.

Highly recommended. And great to be able to tag a museum review with technology, I think that it’s deserved. Now why didn’t I come up with this idea (well actually I did – last year – remember that I’m from the future ;-))

Related links
Vejle Kunstmuseum
dataton
dataton PICKUP fact sheet (1.6 MB PDF)

Another fine mess?

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Logo Vigtigt.dkMichelles Mission

Suddenly I found myself in a crowd of 5.000 Danes and Swedes of Kurdish origin, flashing my PowerBook with the DR cameras rolling. Considering the flak DR has taken over indirect promotion of Apple, this could end up on the editing floor (I certainly hope so).

And now I’m also left with at least one major question? Am I a sell-out? I hope that I haven’t misrepresented Dansk Flygtningehjælp and all our volunteers.

Anyway, it’s been interesting to see how professional media-people work, we can most definitely learn a lot, taking more than a year to produce some professional PR material is not cool!

More important…I actually managed to do some networking, and talking to well-integrated Danes of other ethnic descend (ny-danskere), was a welcome relief. I believe that Netværksgruppen i Mjølnerparken should try to co-operate with people like Foreningen Akademikere for Etnisk Ligestilling.

BTW. The possibility that I’ll be on TV – again! – and, almost to the day, one year later, is making my close relatives, well mostly my mother, worry.

User:Kim Bach – Reboot

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Reboot8
User:Kim Bach – Reboot
Just signed up for the reboot8.0 event, #130 on the list of participants. Yay! A Wiki? What a 21st century idea!

The list of participants and keynote speakers is shaping up, and it sounds great that there are so many female speakers and participants.

Let there be light…The computer WILL be the network…It’s the dawn of the participation age…

YAWN – Yet Another Wiki Nuisance: Introducing WiKim

Monday, April 10th, 2006

So did I, or the world for that matter, really need another Wiki? Introducing WiKim (sry, couldn’t resist that)

I’ve decided to take the why-not, or because I can, approach.

Hmm…I think I’ll start out wikifying my seriously outdated IT-Ordliste Anno 2000 seems like a potiential driver of trafic? For proof that I’m a “media-ho”, look no further.

Status over Linuxforum 2006 – teknik dagen

Monday, April 10th, 2006

Som lovet, en noget – OK OK MEGET – forsinket, rapport fra Linuxforum 2006 – teknik dagen.

Jeg fulgte følgende sessioner:

Google Maps — Organizing the World’s Information, Geographically
Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger på Intel Macintosh
Webapplikations udvikling med TurboGears
Digital Video Recording with VDR
Evolution by committee: The changing face of PC storage
“Something funny happened on the way to 2006”

Jeg må indrømme at jeg ikke var helt så meget oppe på mærkerne på teknik dagen, jeg er nok mere interesseret i aspekterne ved brugen af Open Source i det offentlige, end nørderi, men det er da dejligt at se hvor mange deltagere Linuxforum tiltrækker.

Lidt af et scoop at høre om Google Maps fra “manden selv”, Lars Eilstrup Rasmussen, og successen med at lave avancerede netbaserede APIer og de såkaldte AJAX teknologier. Det er imponerende hvad folk bruger Google Maps til, lige fra det seriøse til det kuriøse, som “If I dig a very deep hole, where I go to stop? Another stupid application for Google Maps…. Google Maps er seriøst kewl, og jeg har anskaffet mig en API nøgle og har leget lidt med det.

Det var også interessant at høre hvor skeptisk Lars Eilstrup Rasmussen havde været overfor om det var muligt at få Google Maps til at fungere i en browser hvor al klientkoden er JavaScript. Produktet Google Maps er baseret på, er en traditionel C++ applikation. Det bedste Google Maps har gjort for AJAX er at vise hvor meget der kan lade sig gøre med teknologien.

Apples Henrik Rye brillierede med en demo af Mac OS X Tiger, jeg var specielt imponeret over Spotlight, og den integration der er mellem Spotlight og f.eks. Safaris RSS feed manager. Det var da også interessant at høre Apples repræsentant sige at Apple ønskede at være “de bedste til Open Source”, det lyder ikke helt troværdigt, og direkte forespurgt på hvorfor visse ting der havde været Open Source ikke længere var det, blev der henvist til Cupertino. Apple er mest med på Linuxforum for at vise flaget, men jeg er nu meget glad for at de er der, jeg håber at de også er der i 2007. Jeg er dog ikke uenig i Groklaws udsendte kommentator der bemærkede at Apple er “freeloaders”. Jeg har dog siden erfaret at Apple faktisk arbejder aktivt for at optimere GCC, og at Apple har givet noget tilbage til Open Source communitiet. Ellers kunne man nyde performance på de nye Intel Macs, de “hamrer deruda'”.

Den mest spændende session var nok gennemgangen af TurboGears, det lyder rigtig smart og velegenet til at udvikle well-engineered webbaserede database applikationer. Og husk at Google hyrer Python folk.

Gennemgangen af VDR var hæmmet lidt af at taleren ikke var særlig karismatisk, men det er et imponerende produkt, der dog ser ud til at være et work in progress.

Alan Cox stod for en gennemgang af optimering af low-level optimering af disk adgang, det har nok aldrig interesseret mig ret meget, men Alan Cox er en autoritet, og han gjorde det lidt tunge emne noget mere forståeligt.

Den sidste session jeg fulgte handlede om det skudsekund der blev indsat ved årskiftet til 2006, det betyd faktisk at uret den 31-12 talte: 23:59:59 23:59:60 00:00:00. Sessionen blev givet af en yderst veloplagt Poul-Henning Kamp, det var en velkommen kontrast til de noget tungere tekniske sessioner – ægte nørderi på den “fede måde”.

Herefter var jeg voldsomt træt, og orkede desværre ikke at deltage i de mere sociale arrangementer senere på dagen.

Jeg er mest ked af at jeg gik glip af IBM vs OpenSource, friend or foe, det lød til at der kom nogle meget interessant udmeldinger fra IBM, bla. at de ikke planlægger at skifte deres desktoppe internt til Windows Vista. Tænk hvis dette smittede af på de store danske banker? Det ville være en ændring der ikke er set siden bankerne besluttede at skifte fra OS/2 til Windows NT.

Alt i alt var Linuxforum 2006 et fantastisk arrangement, og jeg glæder mig allerede til næste år. I år savnede jeg noget om Ruby on Rails, men det kommer jo nok til næste år.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Windows on Macs provokes a stir

Friday, April 7th, 2006

BBC NEWS | Technology | Windows on Macs provokes a stir

Windows on the Mac? Is it really a Mac then?

The announcement by Apple that they will officially support dual booting Windows and Mac OS on the MacTel boxes with the introduction of a beta of the Boot Camp tool, and that it will be even tighter integrated in the next version of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, has the Macintosh related web-sites buzzing.

I think it’s a natural step by Apple, especially considering that the hackers already had accomplished the dual-boot challenge. I must admit that I’m surprised, but it only shows how pragmatic a company Apple is these days, and the shareholders are celebrating the revived interest in APPL.

Being a regular frequenter of Macintosh related web-sites, I can tell you that this was a feature that was requested by a lot of people.

What do I think about it? Well, choice is great for customers, and the Apple hardware is the only one on the market that supports all three mainstream operating systems, Linux, Windows and Mac OS.

Apple really have a lot of options these days:

  • Stop developing Mac OS, and still have two choices of Operating System
  • Selling off the computer division must be a lot easier now
  • Making Mac OS available as a commercial alternative to Windows

And there’s many more that I just can’t think of right now.

It will, as always, be interesting to see what Apple will do, it’s quite clear that they’re hedging their bets. For now it sounds like support for Mac OS from Apple is as strong as ever, and that the next version, 10.5 Leopard is on track, and according to the rumours it will be impressive, including a complete rewrite of Finder. 10.4 Tiger already delivers on many of the features Microsoft has been promising for Vista, even the ones that has been de-scoped for the first release.