Good laptop, is there one?

I have had my fair amount of troubles with the new Lenovo T500 lately, and as the display also creates terrible headaches if I use it for more than couple of hours (yes, I got my eyes examined also — it is the display), I need to find a laptop that would actually work. Here’s a couple of requirements: it should have a good display (no back-light bleeding, bright, decent resolution, good viewing angles), precise keyboard for touch-typing, light-weight (but not necessary an ultra-portable, but the lighter the better, of course), powerful enough to handle at least some of the recent (if not the latest and greatest) games and media, and finally also carry enough battery power to keep on going for at least 4 hours on a row, preferably more. What options do we have? Apparently at least a few. Macbook Air is out (cannot handle the OS, and lack of connectivity & options); Lenovo has X301, which appears to be a great, lighweight machine, but it is also rather expensive. Sony Vaios have good reputation as stylish, powerful and quality PCs, and they have recently introduced a new Z series which appears to make a serious attempt to be all-around decent machines. Then there is the mixed bag of LG, Fujitsu-Siemens, Dell, Asus, HP/Compaq, and others — none really having any of their works in the news lately (which does not mean that they wouldn’t have the thing I am looking for — I just have not heard of them). A recent interesting device was X360 from Samsung, which is clearly a Korean attempt to compete with Lenovo X300/301 and Macbook Air, but has not got quite as stellar reviews. The price is much lower too, of course. So, here is my current top three — do you know of any decent alternatives that I have left out?

Current contestants:

Role of negative religious freedom in Finland

The Supreme Administrative Court in Finland today denied the Freethinkers access to the population registry data; there is an interesting debate surrounding the decision, involving discussions of what exactly is the special protected status that religious beliefs enjoy in Finland (as well as in some other countries) as compared to e.g. political beliefs. Political parties can get people’s addresses from the Registry to send their adverts, but non-believers will not be given similar right. The decision (which was a tight vote, 3-2) is here:

Tuleva yliopisto, The Coming University

This is again in Finnish (sorry!), but if you can handle the lingo, this is really interesting reading: Salminen, Suoranta and Vadén have published a free e-book that discusses very welcome alternative approaches to what we mean by “university” or “university reform”:

Hypermedia & games Masters open again

This is a Finnish degree programme, so in Finnish:

Tervetuloa hakemaan hypermediaan syventäviin maisteriopintoihin, pääaineena informaatiotutkimus, hakuaika 2.2.-27.2.09. Lisätietoja ja linkki hakulomakkeeseen on tarjolla täällä:

Spring lectures and visits

Looking at my calendar, I will again be talking in various contexts:

  • in 13/2 talking about games literacy and education in disciplinary didactics symposium (Ainedidaktiikan symposium) in Tampere;
  • in 6/3 talking about the profile of online gamer in drug medics day (Päihdelääketieteen päivät) in Turku;
  • in 16/3 acting as the examiner of Elina Ollila’s PhD thesis (about mobile game prototyping and evaluation) in Technical University of Tampere;
  • in 27/3 presenting a keynote about “good and bad in games” in the media education seminar, Tampere;
  • in 2-3/4 acting as the chair in the Playful Experiences seminar, Tampere;
  • in 23/4 presenting a lecture on ethics and good life in gaming in ITK conference in Hämeenlinna;
  • in 24/4 talking in a thematic seminar of games and education in ITK conference in Hämeenlinna.

See you in some of those — or elsewhere!

Office 2007 with WordPress blogging

I have finally updated to Office 2007, and learning its tricks takes its time. One nice feature I noticed was that it allows you to register your own blog and publish blog notes directly from within Word. Here is link to the instructions: They do not mention it there, but for WordPress you should choose MetaWeblog API (not Atom) for it to work. If you can see a picture below, then it also supports upload of pictures:

Test photo (taken from PS Home)
Test photo (taken from PS Home)

Ok, it supports photo uploads, but it does not scale photos. And it is not also possible to set the categories / tags from Word, as far as I can see. But nice to get this much, at least.

Vista no longer able to access CD or DVD drive

I suddenly had a weird problem with Vista today, that took some valuable time (more sensibly otherwise spent) to fix — here is a quick note if you face something similar. If a CD extracting program (e.g. CDex or similar) starts to complain about a missing ‘wnaspi32.dll’, check whether you are able to see the DVD/CD station in My Computer at all. If not, then you might have a corrupted Windows Registry (yikes!) But the fix to that is actually pretty simple: I followed these Microsoft instructions (the manual version) that relate to Windows XP, but the “delete UpperFilters entry” trick seemed to fix also my Vista Home Premium 32bit just fine. Link:

International Journal of Role-Playing

Interesting: after somewhat a long wait, the open access International Journal of Role-Playing has now got out its first issue. The journal page: – the direct link to the entire first issue:

Working on a wardrobe

Being a carpenter is not really my forte, but having a house of your own sort of comes with this sort of things. We had had the elements for ages, but now, during the holidays was the once-in-a-winter chance of putting the damned wardrobe together. Laura had the basic functional ideas, like combining Elfa shelving and drawer storage elements together with the sliding doors framework that was manufactured by Kirena. There is a surprising number of measurements, drill holes and other details you can get wrong in a simple piece of furniture like this one. But this is ready now — after just two days of work. (Only one similar one left to go…)


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