Default html editor in Vista

Another small tip, in case someone else wonders about this: it appears that you cannot change the default html editing program through the “Default Programs” tool in Vista (if you select e.g. MS FrontPage, it will also use FrontPage to open and show all html files, not only to open them for editing). I did find that you can set the editor by going to Internet Explorer, selecting Tools > Internet Options > Programs > HTML Editor. After that, your default “open file” action will be set as in “Default Programs” and the “edit file” default as set in Internet Explorer. (This is silly, btw — this kind of action defaults should obviously be set in OS settings not through settings of some single app, shouldn’t they?)

Syncing three kinds of calendars

There are three main types of calendars that I need and use:

  1. the standard desktop calendar app (the one with the best interface, accessible also when offline)
  2. the mobile calendar (handy when making notes in the meetings, on the road etc.)
  3. the online, shared calendar (essential for groupwork, accessible from any webtop)

The challenge currently is that there is no single, seamless solution for a regular user that would (affordably) provide all these elements so that they would be automatically synchronized together. I tried to move away from MS Office and Outlook which is senseless bloatware and resource hog if the only thing you need is the calendar (I use Thunderbird as my PC mail client). And Google Calendar does nicely its job as the shared online calendar service. However, if you are using Nokia mobile phones/symbian devices, it is very difficult to do without Nokia PC Suite, and it only supports sync to Outlook (or Lotus Notes, and other MS calendars). There are workarounds where you use your phone’s GPRS data capabilities to sync the mobile phone over the air to Google Calendar, and you can integrate Thunderbird/Lightning calendar then to Google Calendar, but if you have couple of phones and no flat rate plan to some of them (like I do) then doing every sync over the air does not really make sense. For the data carrier and slow access reasons I do not prefer to load online calendar to a mobile browser and access the mobile calendar that way.

Google Mobile Sync Comic Strip
Google Mobile Sync Comic Strip

I was finally forced back to Outlook – Google Calendar Sync – PC Suite – Nokia/S60 combo, as I did not want to pay and install for extra software just for this (and we already have the MS Office licenced provided by our university to staff use). If you have found a better way to keep these three types of calendars synchronized together, please let me know.

Mia Consalvo's visit

Mia Consalvo visited us today, and gave an interesting talk on the casual games, players and game cultures — something that relates directly to much of the work that our team has been carrying out in similar areas. We also had an opportunity to continue with coffee and cinnamon buns afterwards, discussing about the similarities and differences in the contexts of doing game studies in the US and here in Finland. Fascinating! Tomorrow more of Mia, as she will be acting as the opponent in Tanja Sihvonen’s thesis defence in Turku.

Forthcoming: The Player Barometer 2009

Here is a snapshot from our games researchers’ rooms — Juho Karvinen, the research assistant of Player Barometer/Pelaajabarometri 2009 is here faced with the grim reality of manually handling a survey sample size of 4000 in the form of traditional mail survey forms & envelopes. (Results from the survey hopefully will be coming in the autumn, and then provide us with more information about who really plays and what & how much in Finland today.)

Pergola project continues…

As you might remember, I spent the entire last summer vacation building a terrace and pergola into our garden. As these things take their time, this job continues this summer, including some additional constructions to support vines and other plants. The entire thing also needs to be painted (you cannot paint fresh preservative-treated wood as it contains too much water — now, as it is one year later, it is possible). We will be using Valtti Non-Slip from Tikkurila for the floor and Tikkurila Aitamaali for the upper parts. More photos in Flickr:


IT in the garden

Lying in our garden swing, I can currently see six wifi access points — that’s urban nature for you! 🙂 Comparing LCD screen and paper (Luontokuva magazine), it is clear that traditional paper is still far superior when reading anything outside. The screen in AA1 is very good, but still very pale in sunlight. Wonder if e-ink/ebook reader screen would make a real difference to the benefit of IT? At the moment — closing this webtop and app is the best way to relax, so: enjoy the summer, everyone!

Mia Consalvo's visiting lecture

[Here is the info bulletin in Finnish about Mia Consalvo’s lecture in 22nd May in room B3108 — the lecture itself will be in English, welcome!]

Professori Mia Consalvo pitää pelitutkimuksen alueelta avoimen yleisöluennon perjantaina 22.5.2009 klo 12-14 otsikolla:

Hardcore casual: Game culture Return(s) to Ravenhearst

Luento toteutetaan tilassa RH B3108 (Pinni B).

Professori Consalvo on tunnettu pelien ja Internetin tutkija joka toimii nykyään Ohion yliopistossa (USA). Hän on erikoistunut digitaalisen mediakulttuurin ja teknologiakulttuurien kysymyksiin. Hänen tunnetuin julkaisunsa on pelikulttuurien suhdetta huijaamisen käytänteisiin tarkasteleva teos Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames (MIT Press, 2007).

Mia Consalvo vierailee Tampereella informaatiotutkimuksen ja interaktiivisen median laitoksen pelitutkimusryhmän sekä Pelikulttuurien synty -tutkimushankkeen kutsusta.


Mia Consalvon kotisivut:
Pelitutkimusryhmän kotisivut:
Pelikulttuurien synty -tutkimushanke:

Professori Frans Mäyrä: email frans.mayra[at], gsm 050 336 7650

TYT games education

I will be teaching a course day tomorrow that is dedicated to games literacy and targetted to teachers. In addition to lectures, I will be putting emphasis on discussion and trying things out in practice. Most of my test game examples are coming from the games literacy site that we recently released:

But here are also direct links to certain games:

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