Lars Wirzenius: Personal life, 2005


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Personal life: Programmer survival skills

I have a talk today at the Jyväskylä university about programmer survival skills. My talks page has the original Finnish slides, the link in this log entry is to the quick translation to English I made.

Note that when I make slides for a talk, they don't always contain the entire presentation. For example, there is no indication in the slides that I removed my tie after the first non-title slide, or that that slide was presented in a very monotonous voice, because I wanted to create an effect. If the slides don't make sense, it might be because they're missing something important.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Personal life: Where I hack

My hacking place, Nov 2005

This photo shows my current hacking place: a nice comfy armchair, a laptop on a lap tray, a table for various things I have use for while working, and a place for headphones, USB disks, power supplies, cables, and various other paraphernalia. This is much nicer than sitting at a desk, I find, for most things.

I've burning a lot of data on DVD-Rs lately.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Personal life: Talked about programming

Last week I was invited to a company to give a lecture on programming, and was allowed to pick my own title. So I picked Kaikki, mitä ikinä tarvitsee tietää ohjelmoinnista, lukuunottamatta joitakin lähes yhdentekeviä yksityiskohtia ohjelmointikielten syntaksista ja semantiikasta, tietokoneiden toimintaperiaatteista, ynnä muista sellaisista turhuuksista, which is in Finnish, the English translation would be Everything you ever need to know about programming, except for some almost inconsequential details about programming language syntax and semantics, how computers works, and other such frills. That should teach everyone to not let me formulate my own titles.

The PDF is available; unfortunately, only in Finnish, since the talk was in Finnish, and I'm too lazy to translate it now.

Giving talks can be a lot of fun, but I guess it matters that I don't have to do it very often these days, and that when I do, I get to talk about things I know about or otherwise want to talk about.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Personal life: Quest for Sun '05

Finnish summer contains quite a lot of sunlight, except when there is heavy rain. Finnish winter contains quite little sunlight, even when it doesn't rain. The human body reacts to the lack of sunlight by stopping to do some weird chemical stuff, which for some people results in seasonal affective disorder. While I doubt I really have SAD, I do get awfully moody and ineffective. The cure is to get enough strong light that the body restarts the chemical stuff (gotta love that scientific talk). If real sunlight is not available, special bright lamps can help. I have one and it does help, at least a bit.

This winter I want to have the real thing. On November 22, I will go for the Quest for Sun '05 by going to Spain. More specifically, I'll be staying in Madrid, at a friend's place. I don't have any other concrete plans than enjoying the sunlight. I know it's not going to be particularly warm, but it's the light that matters. I hear Madrid has some nice museums, and I would love to meet local Debian/Linux/free software people. If there is a LUG or something that would enjoy me babbling about something, I might have time to prepare a talk, but just going out for dinner or a drink would be fun, too. Mail me at

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Personal life: On getting cats

For some years now, I've been thinking that I want to have a cat, or maybe two cats. I've read cat books, and talked with friends who have cats, and generally concluded that it is something I want. This week, my friend Anu finally took me to the Helsinki animal shelter, who take care of abandoned cats (and other animals) in the Helsinki region.

This was my first visit to an animal shelter. I've been to zoos and pet shops, and there's a huge, almost heartbreaking difference between them and a shelter. In a zoo or pet shop, I am a customer; in a shelter, I am a potential benefactor that can save lives. A zoo caters to my need for entertainment, a pet shop to my need to own, but a shelter triggers just about all the protective and care-taking urges I have.

And yet I could not take final step and adopt. I reserved two beautiful, black cats, one lap-jumpingly social, the other a bit shy but friendly. After thinking about it for two days, I am still unable to take the responsibility, to change my lifestyle and habits, and adjust my plans for my future to involve two cats. I guess that means I suck.

At least I can do some things with money. The shelter is a private association and runs completely on donations, so they're understandably always short of cash.

Having pets has been a nice dream for me. It is sad I could not realize it, but some dreams are best left dreams. Maybe in a few years I'll have changed and can reconsider.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Personal life: Data retention directive petition

Signed a petition against the EU data retention directive.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Personal life: [VAC]

I will now have a two week vacation. That means I will be less than 14 hours a day on IRC, or reading e-mail. In fact, I've directed all Debian list mail to a particular folder so that I can read it all after my vacation.

My financial situation doesn't allow me to travel anywhere, so any burglars reading this can just stop rubbing their hands together. I'll be home as usual, just doing something else than sitting in front of the computer all the time.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Personal life: Today in the past

Today, six years ago, I started work at Wapit. Today, four years ago, Wapit was bankrupt and I had my last day there. Today, three years ago, Keko Technologies was bankrupt and I had my last day there. On the whole, however, today is a good day. The two years at Wapit were quite an exciting and educational adventure and I'm glad I did it.