High above the sleeping land, you can still see snow on the ice-covered lake shores, as white crescents, circling the northern rims of thousands little ponds.
This Sunday birds are already convinced that Spring is here, according all this vocal singing surrounding our house. Laura set up the flowers, I need to prune the apple trees. But this is fun. Getting the Ubuntu server email configuration back online was not as much fun — it took all night and is still only half-working. Tomorrow will be another very long day: wee hours flights (several connections) to get to London, then busy meeting day around pervasive games, then several connections to get back, again well after midnight. Could we just stay at home and do this all virtually, please?
Christy Dena from Sydney is today speaking about Alternate Reality Games in Helsinki. She is a co-author of ARG SIG Whitepaper, and has a good overall view of the development of this field. Rabbit holes, mailed mysterious objects, videos, quicky shown phone number in a fake tv ad — that is all some people need in order to dive into an ARG adventure. But what is it in human nature, that we cannot resist a (playful) challenge?
After arriving home late last night from Kuhmo (where the seminar was interesting and music good), I had time to vote in the Finnish parliamentary elections with Laura, trouble-shoot more the Linux Ubuntu upgrade which went wrong (see a previous post), and then get up before 6 am to catch the morning train to Helsinki. YLE1 radio station will air a long interview/discussion between me and Sonja Kangas from VTT around 1pm this Thursday (we talk about games and gender in programme called “Kaapin Paikka”). Me and Sonja were also interviewed for Helsingin Sanomat for a story discussing the “next next generation”, a piece related to Sony PlayStation 3 arriving to Finnish markets. We were joking that we soon learn each others views by heart, if this continues. Tomorrow will also be a “Helsinki day”: travelling into the Nokia HQ to listen Christy Dena from Australia talk about pervasive games — hopefully there will be some interesting discussions also. We recently were given a grant by NiCE to expand the study of pervasive games into Mobile Learning Environments project, something that we will work on with our Nordic partners. Wednesday will surprisingly be a day in the office, but Thursday will again be travel, as the GameSpace steering group will be in TeliaSonera’s rooms in Helsinki. A pretty typical week. Train trips will be the moment to do the work, reading, writing and doing review wor for journals and conferences, the usual stuff. Sometimes it feels good to stop for a minute, look at the snow-covered landscape, trees, an old building, and think about time, life, passing of generations, all this human humdrum. And then: continue, tracks taking from the past, into the future.
Arrived to Kuhmo today — an Eastern Finland town, close to the Russian border. Plagued by unemployment and loss of population, this place has reached some interesting results lately by focusing on culture. Chamber music festival and the academic event Ihminen & Kosmos where I will be speaking are some of the annual highlights. Kuhmo Talo is the local concert hall / event building where we today start by listening Kai Savolainen talk about nano-tech. Beautiful sun-set, clean nature, interesting programme — a nice combination.
My server moved today from its short-term temporary place in upstairs floor to the medium-term temporary place in downstairs media room corner. I would very much prefer to have it in cool, air-conditioned room where its noices would not disturb movie or gaming sessions, but at the moment there is no such room available. This time I attempt to have Ubuntu box to function as file and printer server as well as backup/web/Wordpress one, but lets see how it goes. Of my two HP printers, the multi-functional PSC 1210 seems to print just fine under Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, but HP Laserjet Series 1000 would not print anything, even if it is recognised and the driver appears to install. Well, there was some talk in the forums that upgrade into Ubuntu 6.10 might help, so here we go — this might be the last message going out, of course… See: EdgyUpgrades – Community Ubuntu Documentation
Ok, last night was a long one, but thanks to Miska from JettVision, who did good work late at night and tested that all rooms of my house now have a functional Internet connection. Yes, I now, I could have achieved this much easier with Wi-Fi, and that is what I’ll be mostly using, but our house was internally Ethernet cable-ready, so it would have been shame not to make use of this. Now, lets see when we can plug in our fridge to the connectors in kitchen, and see what groceries we need to bring home from the supermarket today…
I have now the projection wall and the rotating ‘tech tower’ mostly set up, but the sturdy table beneath it was not deep enough for my old CRT display. Well, it was time for a new editing screen in any case. My choice was Samsung SyncMaster 226BW — a piano black 22″ widescreen beauty boasting 2ms response time, 3000:1 dynamic contrast range and some clever new finetuning technologies. I must say my old photos suddenly gained new life. (The only downside is that my old media workstation is even more sub-standard now than it was before this…)