iTunes or Radio Paradise?

I’ve got my iPod (the 20-meg, click wheel model), but I often forget it home these days, and not really even miss it. What’s the problemo? Well, first of all, this is clearly a life-style issue. If your days are filled with meetings and seminars from morning to evening, there is not so much opportunity to don those earplugs (even if there is the temptation, sometimes…) Also, if you are almost all the time surrounded by computers with broadband access, there are so many other and more comfortable ways of listening to music than a portable with headphones. Also, I admit, I do not seem to have the patience to build playlists, so my iPod is in permanent shuffle mode, which is interesting to start with, but I have head all records in my collection several times over the years. Online radio stations, on the other hand, have people to search and programme their shows with classics but also with new finds from music frontiers that I cannot keep up with. On yet other hand, my favourite net radio, Radio Paradise, plays that kind of golden-oldies-tilted eclectic mix, that is probably just reveals how middle-aged I have become. 🙂 -From yet another point of view, skimming through SHOUTcast, I find it rather difficult to find really good net radios. Nevertheless, if I were forced to decide, I would probably choose net radios over iTunes. But most flexibility you’ll undoubtly get with the combination: your own collection as the home base, net radios for variety.

research in wiki

Thinking about the strengths of new media forms is an interesting undertaking. Are there new possibilities opened up by new applications and services? Or are traditional means actually still better? Is new media actually just old wine in new flasks?

After some days of experimenting with my OpenWiki, I think that wikis are Internet like it was planned in some of the early, utopian visions (for the better or worse). Collaborative projects are clearly the forte of this tool, as projects like Wikipedia prove. Thinking about it, my own wiki might best be used to gather together some research resources I have find useful, particularly as our facilities like Digital Library do not work yet like they should. (There is work undergoing there, too.) A wiki is perfect for this purpose, as anyone can add or correct entries in it freely.

digital photography

The pictures I took in San Francisco/GDC are finally online: — While working on them, I was overall disappointed both to the technical quality and also to the quality of them as photography. Travel photos are probably generally one of the lowest species among their kind, but still there should be some reason behind every picture one takes, and that idea should be communicated through the image. A mass of blurry, unrecognizable shots has no value whatsoever.

Partially as a reaction to this, I revisited the reasons behind my interest into photography. I bought my first “systems camera” in 1980, if my memory serves me. There is one bookshelf filled with photos, mostly in collage-like album books from those active years (1980-1997). After that, other interests have taken precedence. A good photograph, like any other activity if well done, takes time. I remember spending hours after hours training my drawing skills, then those of photography, then spending most of time writing; and the quality of output has indeed some kind of correlation with that investment. It really is simple like that.

It is Good Friday today, and enjoying the day off, we drove into south, then walking a bit around Nokia. I took a quick series of black-and-white photos around Nokia’s church and Hinttala museum: (shot number nine is Laura’s, btw.)

Canon IXUS v3 that I used does not have much of a zoom, and its possibilities for manually configuring the image settings are rather limited. But, as you can see even from these scaled-down images, a 3-megabyte CCD and DIGIC processor does rather nice work on conveying the textures and shades when you have proper daylight and can use the ISO 100 setting.

Currently, I am considering of upgrading either into Canon EOS 300D or 350D, since my old EF lenses would work with those bodies. The reviews I have read seem promising, too:

Any comments or user experiences of those, or competitive models are most welcome.

easter-time for pagans

It is almost Easter, and I am already getting into mood. Taking time to walk outdoors, enjoying the sun, sensing the first smells of approaching spring. In Lapland, where I come from, seasons are a powerful force that sets the pace of your life more than anything else. When spring comes, life starts anew. Winter is time for some mental hibernation at least, recovering of powers, and summer is one huge wave of life: 24/7, you are extremely awake to everything that happens. As the sun does not get down at all, there is no need for you either. At least when you are very young. Nowadays, here in Tampere (c. 900 kilometres south), things are not the same, but still the transition from snow covers of winter into the warmth of summer is much more dramatic than in many other areas of the world. Easter is to me – a techno-pagan of a sorts – an important break in the rhythm of the year, and gateway into rebirth. My family are Easter Orthodox Christians and for them Easter is the biggest celebration of the year. Suits me, too.

demons in machines

Today, I changed my ADSL router from a Telewell to a Zyxel. The aim is to get rid of the network breakdowns; I heard that several Telewell models have been plagued by a disorder where they jam after some days of sustained connection. Zyxel should not show those symptoms, or so I was told by a support person at Saunalahti, my ISP. The minor operation lead into 4-5 hour reconfiguration of my LAN, firewall and Wi-Fi settings, but now everything seems to be working again. Oh dear. There would have been some important matters to take care for during this weekend, but now it is probably too late for those. But weekends should be reserved for relaxation, at least in the traditional society, prior to this current liquidation of work-leisure distinction. But managed to see Constantine (the movie) finally. Comic book adaptations used to be terrible, but as with X-Men, I find myself rather enjoying this, as that sort of entertainment on the demonic it is. Well, back to writing some horror history stuff for a Finnish book project.

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