Archive for August, 2009

My last night in Helsinki

Friday, August 28th, 2009

It’s my last night in Helsinki, at least this time around, so I thought I’d do a bit more exploring. Helsinki on the ground never seems to bear much resemblance to the map. Streets seem to vanish and re-materialise again later. Daf had recommended a place called Dong Bei Hu for dinner. After some wandering, I found it, and asked for a table for one. The staff looked me up and down and said they were full; I don’t know whether I was too scruffy to eat there or whether they were actually full, or both. So I was a bit hungry, and wishing someone would hurry up and port Urbanspoon to the N900. (Yes, I know I could have used the website, but I would also have been wishing Urbanspoon covered Finland in the first place. And I had forgotten eat.fi. More fool me.)

But very soon, I found the cathedral, which made up for being hungry:

It’s rather large and very beautiful. I went inside, but it seemed rude to take pictures of that. There was a café in the crypt, but they close at 17:00, for some reason, just when people might be wanting to have dinner there.

On the way back, I went into an Indian restaurant but nobody came to help me and I left after a minute or so. Then I found a Chinese place called Tang Dynasty who were helpful, and I ate there.

After that I came back to the hotel and started coding. I have to be at the airport at five, so I’m planning to stay up. Unfortunately, the fire alarm went off: it wasn’t an actual fire, but I’m on the ninth floor and I’m too sensible to use the lifts, so it was a long walk. The fire brigade came and walked around: they wear black uniforms with the city arms on the back (a crowned boat).

Ladies and gentlemen, this IS Maemo number five

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

I can finally tell you what I’ve spent the last year working on, and why I’ve been commuting back and forth to Helsinki. It’s a phone that runs Linux (a Debian-based distro called Maemo), and its name is the N900. I’ve been playing with it for months and I love it. Not only is it a phone and a Linux box in your pocket, it also runs robotfindskitten.

Quesadillas and theming

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Day: Woke up, went to the gym, came back, worked, and ~plexq made us some rather good quesadillas.  ~Fin made some lovely tag icons for marnanel.org to go along with the existing ones from rosequoll.

Theming: I would like to re-examine the Metacity theme format for GNOME 3.  To this end, I’ve been working on CSS theming for Metacity.  I have a reasonable first pass at it written, and several of the standard themes converted (and several more to do).  But it occurs to me that the people who would like to create themes and the people who would be willing to download and compile several experimental libraries are not necessarily the same.  To this end, I’ve created a wiki to demonstrate the system.  If you write CSS on a page whose name begins with Borders: it will display as the result of rendering that CSS.  There is a tour, which you should take first.

Please feel free to create your own themes, either from scratch or by making copies of the existing ones.  I was going to finish off all the sample themes before announcing this, and also to make a theme wizard that would put together a theme for you from parts (to show how the system is well-adapted to use with editors), but I decided it was better to release early, release often.

Of course, now that I’ve announced this, it’s sure to be vandalised; I’ll try to keep an eye on it, but if you could revert any vandalism you see, I’d appreciate it.  Let me know what you think of the system, either way.

Top fives: Ask me for my top five favourites of anything and I’ll try to give a sensible answer.  So far I’ve been asked for cities, words, puddings, foods, beverages, heresies, books, and Tetris shapes.  Since there are only seven Tetris shapes, that’s rather an easy question: the answer is all of them except “S” and “Z”.