Lars Wirzenius: Random thought, 2006


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Random thought: Usability design for hungry users

As I write this, I'm very hungry, not having eaten anything for 16 hours or so. I just clicked on the wrong button in Xchat, changing user modes the wrong way. No biggie, it was easy to fix. It still prompted me to realize that user interfaces need an automatically triggered mode to handle users that are hungry, tired, drunk, or otherwise less than accurate with their mice.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Random thought: IRC mugshots

On big IRC channels, it'd be easier to remember people if it would be possible to attach a picture to the nick. Something like this would make a possible implementation without changing the IRC protocol: one could define a URL pattern for each network and channel, and the client would look up the picture using the pattern. So for #debian-devel, I could have a pattern, and then the hackergotchis would be used, if they existed. (Later, perhaps, a could be created, for all Debian people.)

I've no idea how to present the pictures in the UI properly, without making the text lines too sparse. I'll leave that for someone else to figure out.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Random thought: Bzr book outline

While cleaning up my hard disk, I found the beginning of an outline for a book on Bazaar (bzr), the version control system. I wrote it one weekend this summer, when I felt I had lots of free time. I don't, and won't, for the foreseeable future. Therefore I'll dump the outline here in my web log, so that perhaps someone will be inspired to write it for me.

The Bazaar distributed version control system

For most of the 1990s, the free software world relied on CVS for version control. It was the best free system for the purpose. During the early 2000s, a number of new systems started getting into public knowledge. One such system is Bazaar. This is the outline for a book to explain how Bazaar is used in different kinds of scenarios. The book is not a reference manual: the software's own documentation is best suitable for that; this avoids having to constantly update the book.

The book is structured as a series of case studies of common scenarios, starting with the simplest one, and getting increasingly more complicated. This approach allows the reader to quickly learn the things they need for a particular kind of situation.


This chapter explains what version control systems are, and gives a summary of their history so far. It explains various basic concepts, such as centralized versus distributed, but briefly; these will be expounded on later in the book. It compares Bazaar to other well-known systems. It explains the cumbersome naming history of Bazaar. It explains how to install Bazaar by referring to the website and to the package repositories of various Linux distributions.

Quick overview

This chapter is intended for those with some experience with other version control systems, such as Subversion. It gives a quick run-through of the central concepts of Bazaar, and how to do common tasks on the command line.

The web page project

This is the first case study chapter. It explains how to use Bazaar to keep track of changes to a web site. A web site only changes linearly: only one version exists at a time.

My little program

This chapter explains how to use Bazaar to maintain the source code for a one-person programming project. The program has a stable version, which gets bug fixes, but no new features. There is also a development version, which gets the new features. Sometimes a bug needs to be fixed in both, and Bazaar can help with this.

Additionally, sometimes it is not clear whether a new feature can be implemented cleanly, or there are several possible approach to how it can be implemented. Thus, the chapter also explains these so called feature branches.

Further topics for this chapter include making releases, and using repositories to avoid excessive disk usage.

Tight teamwork

This chapter explains how to use Bazaar when the one-person program becomes an internal project in a company, with a well-defined set of developers. Thus, we discuss how to set up a centralized branch in a way that all the developers can commit to it.

Distributed free software development

This chapter concentrates on a typical successful free software project, with contributors from all over the world, and the problems that this involves. Thus, we discuss how to publish a branch for anyone to see (but not change); how to share changes (patches/bundles) between developers; how to co-ordinate the development of the whole project (at least from the version control point of view).

Switching a project to Bazaar

That's it. If you write it, please send me a note when it's published so that I can get a copy. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Random thought: Web design, typography, small screens...

Even people with good intentions can get things wrong. This article talks about the importance of typography and information design in web design, but I can't read it without making my browser window larger...

I don't wish to rant specifically on the above page. Actually, I think it's author has a properly positioned heart. It is, however, a poignant reminder of a common problem I have.

My laptop has a 10.6 inch screen. It's very small (and cute!), and it's never a problem, except for one thing: web pages that think they know better than I do how wide they should be, how big the font should be, and just blindly assume that I'm fine with either resizing the window or getting a bigger screen.

Of course, this was a problem with the 14 inch screen of my previous laptop, too. And it was often a problem with the 20 inch screen I had when I used a desktop, unless I allocated an entire virtual desktop for a maximized browser. So perhaps it's not dependent on the screen size, after all.

(I'd be happy to do experiments, if anyone wants to send me a couple of 30 inch TFT screens, though.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Random thought: My dad on Net Neutrality

People sometimes ask me what my father does for a living. Saying that he's a telecommunications consultant is very clarifying: people tend to assume he sells modems to companies, which is, er, rather incorrect.

He's just released a Powerpoint slide show about money flow in Net Neutrality that gives a taste of it.

The interesting part of that slide show is that it's based on actual research into how money flows, or would flow, in the ISP world rather than telling decision makers that they do should do the right thing.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Random thought: It's not junk if someone else wants it

I wonder if anyone is organizing swap meets for computer stuff in the Helsinki area, and if not, whether anyone would like to organize one. Perhaps in Otaniemi, which probably has the highest concentration of computer geeks in the country, and therefore the highest concentration of lots of junk piled in corners, waiting for the day it becomes useful. Couldn't find anything in a few minutes most-popular-search-engining.

I'm looking at my own corners, and there's a few things I might want to get rid of...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Random thought: Rockbox fonts

I installed some extra fonts to my Rockbox installation in my iPod, and now I have a nicer user experience. Happy now.

Rockbox really rocks.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Random thought: *MY* iPod works with Linux

ESR famously claims that iPods don't work with Linux. I beg to differ: I bought a used one yesterday from a friend, and it worked the first time. I put in some MP3s on it with gtkpod, no problems. I don't know what the level of automatic desktop integration, playlist syncing, and so on is, but it was quite easy to put music onto the device.

I then put Rockbox on it. That process is not entirely streamlined; in fact, it is not something I'd encourage a normal user to attempt. It wasn't so difficult for me, I only managed to wipe out one other unrelated hard disk's first partition.

Having said that, the process was pretty straightforward. Rockbox is ugly, and the font is too small, but it seems to work well enough, and it doesn't require using any special software to add or remove audio files, it's just a USB mass storage device.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Random thought: Linux 15 years, in English

I made a quick and dirty translation of the text of my talk at the seminar for Linux 15th birthday. In fact, it is probably better for me if nobody reads it, I didn't have time to do any cleanup of the text.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Random thought: The good stuff

The nice thing about keep track of when you watched a video (DVD) last is that you can fight of boredome by doing top twenty lists. Here's the twenty movies I've watched the most times.

  1. 2005-12, 8 times, Thin Blue Line
  2. 2006-03, 7 times, An Ideal Husband
  3. 2006-09, 6 times, Love actually
  4. 2006-03, 6 times, Roxanne
  5. 2006-02, 5 times, 'Allo 'Allo (1-2)
  6. 2005-08, 5 times, Tomb Raider
  7. 2005-08, 5 times, Groundhog Day
  8. 2005-08, 5 times, Charlie's Angels
  9. 2006-05, 4 times, The New Guy
  10. 2006-04, 4 times, Harvey
  11. 2006-01, 4 times, Wild Wild West
  12. 2006-01, 4 times, El Dorado
  13. 2006-01, 4 times, Dead men don't wear plaid
  14. 2005-11, 4 times, Ten things I hate about you
  15. 2005-09, 4 times, Lethal Weapon 3
  16. 2005-09, 4 times, Freaky Friday
  17. 2005-08, 4 times, You've Got Mail
  18. 2005-08, 4 times, When Harry Met Sally
  19. 2005-08, 4 times, A Knight's Tale
  20. 2005-07, 4 times, Shrek

Based on this, I conclude that Debian hackers born in the 1960s mostly watch romantic comedies (7/20), action comedies (4/20), plain comedies (4/20), or British TV series (2/20). Accordingly, we should try to get Nora Ephron or Richard Curtis to come to Debconf7 to give a BOF.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Random thought: Linux 15th birthday seminar

On Monday, there was a seminar in Helsinki in celebration of Linux's 15th birthday. I gave a talk about Linux's history. It's in Finnish, but if that doesn't deter you, see the paper and slides (which have very little text).

Monday, August 28, 2006

Random thought: Thoughts, random

These thoughts are somewhat more random than usual.

I have an urge to start a business. This is going to require reduction in my Debian commitments. To begin with, I'll unsubscribe from -devel and -project, and probably -vote. I hope I won't need to drop any packages. Who knows, not reading the might even re-motivate me on doing Debian stuff. I might even start taking the new Python policy seriously and disregard that it seems to make everyone stupid.

Tallinn, Estonia, is pretty. Or at least the Old Town is, I haven't visited anything else. The two Italian cats I met in Tallinn were very pretty, too.

Coming up with names for programs and companies is quite difficult at times. I want something that Google can easily find; I don't want to repeat the SeX mistake again.

My photography hobby is rather dormant. It's so dormant, I can't even justify buying a new camera. This doesn't motivate me to work on Lodju, my photo organizer, unfortunately. It'd be cool to find someone who would really like to work on it. There's a few basic decisions I've made that prevent me from jumping on the F-Spot bandwagon.

It's raining. It's finally raining. This summer is finally complete. Just in time for autumn.

"Getting Things Done" might actually work for me. It feels weird, though, to seriously read self-help books where the author keeps reminding the reader on every second page about his twenty years of management consulting experience. If it had been a web page, I'd have closed the tab.

I need to seriously think about having more fun. All work and no play makes liw a raving, raging, violent lunatic.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Random thought: Save Caps Lock!

I like the Caps Lock key. My fingers automatically turn it on whenever I need to type more than three consecutive upper case characters. For example, when I type C code, and need to define a new FILE variable, hey, there was Caps Lock. Or a NULL constant. Or, heck, EWOULDBLOCK.

I touch type. I spent a lot of time and energy in the 80s to learn to touch type. Using Caps Lock is fully automatic, to me, and it is quite a helpful key.

(This log entry is part of the "Save Caps Lock" campaign brought to you by the International Society of Caps Lock Fanciers. No upper case characters were hurt in the production of this entry.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Random thought: TDD doesn't eliminate debugging

Martin, I know about TDD, thanks. It is great for preventing all the kinds of bugs you expect to make (or make again), and can write test cases for. Been using it for years. It's part of what I meant when I said "every now and then a bug slips through, and then I'm screwed". It doesn't, however, help, when something really unexpected happens.

For example, who would have expected beforehand to write a test case for the Pentium floating point bug? Not just a test case of whether floating point arithmetic works at all, but a test case specifically for the small number of special cases in which the original Pentium failed.

It's for the unexpected cases where you really need your debugging skills. That's what the book is good for.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Random thought: Seminar: Linux 15 years

There's going to be a small seminar on September 4 at the University of Helsinki CS department to celebrate Linux's 15th birthday. See the official page for more information; in Finnish only, I'm afraid. I'll be talking about the early days.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Random thought: Quick! Press 3, click mouse button, press A, press 4, keep mouse button pressed...

I am in a murderous mood. Every time I see movement, my right index finger twitches. My head keeps jerking left, right, up, down. My ankle hurts because I almost twisted it, turning suddenly around when I heard a noise from outside.

Today, instead of doing a bit of work that I left undone on Friday, and going to the gym, and making a nice meal, I ate leftovers and played Quake 2. Finished it, in fact. I probably died a hundred times, but eventually I got the bastard. Now I'm frustrated.

I don't actually feel anything from the first paragraph. My ankle got hurt because I was trying to catch a bottle that fell off the table. However, I do feel frustrated.

As I told before, some time ago I started looking at modern computer games, or rather, modern first person shooters, in single-player mode. I had a friend demo me a representative selection, and then got myself an authentic copy of Quake 2. I've now finished it, and I'm not entirely happy about the experience.

The actual playing was OK while it lasted. The game is highly playable, the controls are easy, they quickly feel natural, and the game reacts to them very well. The only thing I never really got the hang of was jumping, but that was rarely necessary. The place with the three stones sliding around in water was quite annoying.

Playing Quake 2 consists mainly of two things: shooting everything that moves, and solving small puzzles. The puzzles are mostly of the kind where you need to run around in buildings and twisty little corridors, all alike, and find a button to press. Not highly challenging, but if you miss one, you may have to run around the place an extra time or two, and that takes time, and gets quite boring.

The shooting was also a bit of a puzzle, at times, since in order to not get shot yourself, you can't just stand in one place. In the ideal case, you can figure out a way to deal with the opponents from a safe place, throwing grenades around a corner or something like that.

Mostly, though, you just shoot.

Aim and click. Aim and click. Move about a bit. Aim and click. Aim and click. Move about. Aim and click. Continue until the thing blows up.

The computerized opponents do get smarter, and a bit harder to kill, as the game progresses. The final big bad guy is really hard to kill, took me a dozen attempts. That turned out to be surprisingly unsatisfying.

There is a storyline in the game, but it was pretty much irrelevant. There are several stages, and at each stage you need to do certain tasks, and as a result, you can go to the next task, or the next stage. All the tasks are "shoot everything" and "press a few buttons in the right order". Oh, sometimes you have to collect some items, too, and take them to places.

Now that I've finished the game, I wonder if it was all worth it. I spent quite a number of hours on the game, and what I mainly got out of it was some adrenaline boosts, and those weren't enjoyable. They're addictive, even highly so, and every time I had to stop playing (to do work, or sleep), it required a lot of willpower. I wanted to continue, even if it wasn't fun. I hate being addicted.

I can't deny having had a bit of fun. The feeling of being able to do things, to run tirelessly for hours, to overcome obstacles, to vanquish my foe, all that is fun, and gives a certain satisfaction.

That satisfaction is feeble and fleeting. As soon as I re-focus my eyes, get up from the couch, and look outside, I realize that it was all for nothing. I haven't really accomplished anything.

I'm a hacker. My life revolves around doing things with my brain, and having them affect the real world. I make software that other people use, and their lives get better, even if only a little. Every time I fix a bug in Debian, I improve the world. Heck, even just finding a new bug from piuparts log files gives me a nice, warm feeling in my stomach.

I realize people don't play games to improve the world, and that's all right. I don't watch movies or read fiction to improve the world, myself. Computer games are a form of entertainment, and as long as they're fun, and you're enjoying yourself, they're fine. If playing makes you happy, be happy, and I'll be happy for you. I am not judging you in any way, I'm expressing my own feelings.

I can't seem to get enjoyment from computer games, or at least I didn't get it from Quake 2. I got an adrenaline addiction, and a high frustration level. I do get distraction, something to take my mind off things, but I can get that from, say, romantic comedies, without any side effects.

Thus I conclude that I am better off not playing first person shooter games. I suspect that no computer game is going to be particularly good for me.

For many years now, I've played a bit of tetris, or Mahjongg, or a solitaire card game, when I wanted a bit of distraction. Those never were satisfying, either. While I did get distracted, somewhat, for a while, they didn't really work for that, either. Watching Lord Arthur and Miss Mabel get each other works much better. If I solve solitaire, nothing has changed; if I watch An Ideal Husband the nth time, at least I've felt something beautiful.

A surrogate emotion is better than an adrenaline addiction.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Random thought: Catching up with the last fifteen years of gaming

When I was young, about 1992, I played through Wolfenstein 3D. It was great fun. When DOOM came out later, however, I found it to be boring. It was a better game than the Wolfenstein one, but not so much better that I wanted to spend time on it. I never even looked at Quake, or any of the numerous newer games released since. Partly this was because I had converted completely to Linux, and most of the games didn't work on it. Partly, however, I didn't really care, since my favorite games were C and Python.

I have friends who play a lot, though. I even know a game design professional, Ville. Recently I asked him to to show me a good selection of games, primarily first person shooters. I saw, and played, Quake 2, Quake 4, Far cry, and Halo. They were all quite impressive, and pretty enjoyable, with Ville giving me advice all the time. Since Quake 2 works on Linux these days, I bought the CD-ROM and installed it.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work on my laptop. It doesn't make any sounds at all, and sounds are fairly important for the game play. It does work on my desktop machine, so I've played it with that, despite the mouse trouble I have: my optical mouse seems to be incompatible with fast paced game playing, or possibly it is the surface of my coffee table. Either way, occasionally (and usually during a fight) the character starts looking straigh up at the ceiling and rotating along the vertical axis several times a second. It takes a couple of seconds to fix this. Not very good for survival.

I'd fix it by trying a new mouse or getting a mouse pad, but I'm not sure I enjoy a first person shooter game enough to spend any effort on that. I've now played Quake 2 for a number of hours, and died a dozen times I think, without advancing very far. As long as I can spend time lazily shooting at alien monsters, I'm happy, but running around in mazes or figuring out which magic buttons to press in which order (after running through the maze to find them), has begun to bore me already.

The fact that I find the quick pace of game play during close combat more frustrating than rewarding isn't helping.

I will probably occasionally return to Quake 2, because the immersion in a glorious 3D world is so enticing, but I probably won't ever become enthusiastic.

There's other kinds of games, of course. Foobillard, for example, gives much of the same kind of "wow, it's like the real world" experience to me than Quake 2, but I can take my time aiming before shooting. Also, of course, billiards balls don't shoot back.

Unfortunately, I had to purge foobillard from my machine because it is too much fun, and I'd start a game (or a series of games) every time I had to wait for a compilation. One minute of fixing code and starting make, fifteen minutes of playing billiards, is not a good formula for productivity.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Random thought: Understanding, accepting, agreeing

"I can understand why he said it."

"Why do you defend him? How can you of all people agree with him?"

In everyday language, to "understand something" is often interpreted as "agree with something" or "accept something". Usually, that is also what is meant, but it would be better if it weren't. There is a subtle difference between these meanings, and it is annoying when this is lost in the communication and misunderstandings happen.

For example, I can definitely understand the urge of breaking into computers without permission. It is an intellectual, technical challenge, and there's the intense thrill of doing something you're not supposed to be doing. However, I do not, emphatically do not, agree, accept, condone, or otherwise suggest that it should be allowed. On the contrary, crackers should be taken out and spanked.

Let's agree to understand and accept this subtlety.

On the other hand, if making a point, it's good to know that not everyone understands subtlety, especially not all the time. Making the distinction clearer can prevent unnecessary disagreements.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Random thought: Dick and Ollie

My friend Dick rarely asks anyone anything. If he needs some information, he looks it up himself, on the Internet, in a book, from source code, or wherever. Only after spending considerable effort himself will he ask someone else. He takes this so far that he'll get very upset if you give him the information. It ruins his day to get derailed, and then he sulks the rest of the day.

My other friend Ollie, on the other hand, always asks immediately when he has a problem. Either on IRC, by e-mail, by calling on the phone, or by shouting over a cubicle wall. He'll even run to the other side of the building to find someone he suspects has the answer. Only if he can't find anyone with the answer will he start looking for the answer himself.

Both Dick and Ollie are smart. Both are successful in their careers and both are regarded well enough by their colleagues, but only Dick is considered an expert.

Looking things up yourself is slower and harder, in the short run. You spend a lot of energy finding the little bit of information that solves your immediate problem. On the other hand, you learn things on the way. You learn about things related to or surrounding the immediate bit, and most importantly, you learn where to find more information. You might even learn that the bit you're looking for is the wrong bit, and there's an altogether different way of looking at the problem that lets you do things in a much better way.

There's nothing wrong in asking questions, but on the whole, it's better for yourself to try finding the answer yourself first.

In a hacker culture, where being good at something is valued exceptionally highly, someone asking frequent questions is often considered annoying. Doubly so, if they seem to be an Ollie.

Don't be an Ollie. Do yourself a favor and be a Dick.

(This entry was written some time ago, in reaction to a certain someone's umpteenth question of the day, and seeing people responding simply with Google's domain. I've postponed publishing it because I didn't want to attack that person directly.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Random thought: Nettiaddressi tiedostomuodoista

This is in Finnish, since it internal to Finland. Sorry.

FLUG, FIMUG, FUUG ja Linux-Aktivaattori pistivät pystyyn nettiaddressin sen puolesta, että valtionhallinto käyttäisi vapaita tiedostomuotoja. Kannatan. Menkää lukemaan ja allekirjoittamaan: addressi.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Random thought: Simplicity in web browsers

I like simplicity. I want things to be as simple as is sensible, but no more, and because of this, I tend not to particularly like web browsers. Web browsers are extremely complicated beasts, and to a large degree this is for stupid reasons, like having to support any kind of broken markup. I think the world would be better if web browsers would simply not display pages with broken markup.

However, web browsers also have other things that irritate me, even if ever so slightly. For example, there's way too many buttons and other elements in their tool bars. Compare the following four screenshots of Mozilla, Firefox, and Epiphany, with their default configurations in Debian, with the version of Epiphany that I have configured myself.

Mozilla screenshot

Mozilla: six real buttons, URL box, throbber, four bookmark buttons, plus widgets for rearranging or otherwise manipulating the toolbars themselves.

Firefox screenshot

Firefox: six real buttons, URL box, Google search box, throbber, two bookmark buttons.

Epiphany screenshot

Epiphany: nine buttons, throbber, and URL box on a separate line.

Epihany à la liw screenshot

Epiphany à la liw: four buttons, URL box, throbber.

Now, I admit that I'm a bit of a power user, and don't need quite as much hand-holding as a novice, but still, does anyone need a bookmarks button in the toolbar? People who make bookmarks often will quickly learn to type control-D, and those who do it only rarely don't need a toolbar button, they're happy enough with a menu entry.

And why do Firefox and Mozilla need a button called "Latest Builds"? How is that interesting to anyone except Mozilla developers?

Me, I prefer my setup. Four buttons plus the URL box. All buttons are easy to hit with the mouse, no need to hunt and seek the right location. Besides simplicity, my configuration saves on vertical space, which is pretty important for us laptop users.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Random thought: I've finally touched OS X

I played around with a friend's Apple Powerbook for a while today. It is nice, weird, confusing, and intriguing all at the same time. This was my first real experience with Mac OS X, but it was clear that the user experience is quite different from what I'm used to with GNOME and Linux. Some things were clearly better, others clearly worse. For example, Safari's "back" button and the window close button are right next to each other so it was easy for me to repeatedly accidentally close a window when I wanted to go back.

It would be quite interesting to see what it would be like to use OS X as my primary computer for real, for a month or three. I don't think I it would be quite interesting enough to buy an Apple laptop just for that, though.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Random thought: Mice hands

Jordi writes about the lack of left-handed mice. I feel his pain, having been there.

Many years ago, I decided to start using a mouse with my left hand, even though I'm primarily right-handed. The basic reason was that with a normal keyboard, you have to move your hand a long way over the cursor keys and the numeric keypad to get to the mouse. With the left hand, it's just there, a few centimeters away. Much nicer.

The fact that I could use cursor keys or the keypad while using the mouse was an added benefit.

About ten percent of all people are left-handed, and that's a pretty hefty piece of the entire market. If I were a mouse maker, I'd do my best to satisfy it. If I was a radical type of person, I'd suggest a letter writing campaign.

Incidentally, it only took me a couple of days to switch mouse hands, but I never got as quick and precise with my left hand as I was with my right hand. I don't think it is acceptable to tell left-handed people to just switch to using a mouse with their right hand. (These days, I only use my laptop's touchpad.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Random thought: GNOME Typing Monitor induces housework

I have a tendency to sit statically for too long when using my computer, and this hurts my back. To force myself to have breaks, I use GNOME's Typing Monitor, set at a five minute break after 60 minutes of use. This seems to work fairly well.

An unexpected result of this is that those frequent breaks are a great time to do housework, like putting things in their proper place, wash some dishes, or such. Nothing major, but a little bit every hour makes a significant difference.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Random thought: LotR

A few years ago, the New Zealand government agencies for tourism and immigration created a series of three advertising movies, known by the acronyms FotR, TT, and RotK. As proof of truth being stranger than fiction, they were generally mistaken for real movies, perhaps because they're excessively longer than normal ads. For whatever reason, they were shown in movie theaters in many countries, and a bunch of people saw them. I watched only the first one in a movie theater, though, and skipped the two others.

To further promote truth's strangeness, the movies are not only available on DVD, but they're available on DVD in so called extended versions, with even more footage. For a lark, I borrowed all three from a friend, as extended versions, and have now watched the first one.

I must say that these are the best ads I've ever seen. I've also been heavily influenced: I spent half an hour browsing NZ immigration rules and job ads. Alas, there doesn't seem to be much interest in a Linux programmer there. Pity, it seems to be a very photogenic country, and I have tens of thousands of shots left in my camera's shutter.