Vegard Skjefstad

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Year: 2011 (page 1 of 18)

2011

As we’re lingering on the last day of 2011, it’s time to sum it up. As always I don’t really remember much, except for the really monumental happenings, so it’s time to once again dive into the archives for a short travel back in time. 2011 was the year that…

  •  I didn’t write too many entries, but at least managed to get passed the 80 mark. That’s probably were I’ll average in the years to come, the time of 200+ entries a year is long gone.
  • My employer, BEKK, took me and a bus load of other consultants to Helsinki, Finland, for a week of extensive management training. Helsinki is like Oslo in many ways, just larger and with considerably more Finns.
  • The sale of Android handsets exploded (700 000 Android handsets are activated each and every day now) and I released my first, and so far, only, Android application:  Where am I? I never followed up by adding features and fixing bugs, and the current Android Market rating kind of says it all. Works great on my phone, though.
  • I wrote a technical piece on Glassfish Production Tuning that was linked to from an Oracle blog.
  • The one-liners collection grew considerably, with new additions each month, or even more often, for at least half the year.
  • The site was redesigned again, for the first time with a three column layout. I’ve done a few tweaks since the big change back in May, but nothing major. Knowing myself, there might be another redesign coming within half a year.
  • I released a few new versions of my WordPress plugin; wp-days-ago. It’s not much left to do on it now, with the possible exception of making it easier to translate it to other languages. In retrospect I probably should have called it “Facebook date format” or something similar, just to make it more attractive.
  • My Android phone was used to take quite a few pictures and I even wrote a Android camera app review. Since then even more camera apps have been released, so maybe it’s about time to write a new review soon.
  • I spent as much time as I’d hoped to at the gym. I’m not sure exactly how many times I went, but I’d say at least 60 times. Thumbs up! My gym is a peculiar place and I wrote two entries about it, Fresh and Fit and The Gym Babes Cometh! Read both and get your ass to a gym.
  • HTML5 became mainstream. I wrote an entry titled HTML5: Going Offline that dealt with the new offline capabilities of HTML5.
  • Anniken and I bought a new apartment together. All the painting, cleaning and moving more or less consumed all our time for two months, but in the end the result was great and the new apartment is finally beginning to feel like home. The old one was made available for rent.
  • We also went to Spain with her family, which was a great trip. It was basically the only week this summer that we saw the sun for more than an hour at the time, because the weather during the rest of the summer was rather shitty. Personally, I don’t really care, but most people do. Pictures from the trip to Spain can be seen here.
  • A new, fresh drink was created: Awesome Autumn. Rum is a great ingredient in any drink, it seems.
  • Steam once again managed to sell me shitloads of games I don’t have the time to play. I will have a great collection the day I retire, though – if I actually have access to the games at the time.
  • I didn’t run as much as I wanted. Or, to be honest, I seldom want to run, but its great exercise. And let’s me honest here, I’m getting older and when you get older it’s even more important to stay in shape. That I bike to and from work does help (1375 kilometers (854 miles) of help in 2011 to be exact), but ever since we moved into the new apartment we are now very close to a park that can be used as a great running track.
  • One of my sisters got her third child, making me an uncle for the third time as well. Good stuff.
  • I managed to cross off three more items on The List: #15. Renovate an apartment or a house, #24. Participate in a demonstration and #93. Write on a wall. I’m now 1/4 through the list.
  • I voted in the election. Did you? If not, then remember that you’re not allowed to complain about anything for the next four years. So vote or STFU.
  • The site was integrated with some of the Google Rich Snippets, which triggered me to write reviews about all kinds of crap, from computer games to energy drinks.
  • I quit Facebook. It’s 99% noise anyway.
  • I moved from Spotify to WiMP. Spotify requires new users to have a Facebook account, which I thought was really, really stupid. WiMP, on the other hand, is a lesser service compared to Spotify, which made me backtrack and go back to Spotify in late December. What do I think of Spotify apps? Killer.
  • After a visit to a bar in Oslo with retro arcade machines I decided to try to build my own cocktail arcade table.
  • I think I saw most of the Formula 1 races. It was a great season, and I’m already anxiously waiting for the 2012 season to start. Only three months left.
  • Me and the guys went to the annual Oslo Whisky Festival and had a great time.
  • Google celebrated 10 billing downloads from the Android Market with some insane offers and I bought tons of applications and games.
  • I had some serious troubles with vbox and the site was offline a bit. Quite a bit of work, but I learn a lot in the process.
  • My music habits drifted from the alternative genre towards electronica, at least based on what I scrobbled to last.fm. Check out the entry 2011 in Music for more about some of the artists I discovered this year.

All in all, 2011 was a good year.

With this year’s wrapping-it-up-entry, I’ve decided to add a familiar twist: New Year’s Resolutions. I agree that it’s one of the more pointless things people do, but I’ve never tried it myself and decided to give it a go and see where it leads. It’s good to have some goals in life, and even though The List gives some pointers, goals with a one year window might be easier to focus on than the life long ones. So here they are,  New Year’s Resolutions 2012:

  • Run more. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll use more time on exercise, but the times I don’t really feel like spending two hours at the gym, I can jog for 45 minutes instead.
  • Smile more. This is probably The One Cliché, but it really has something to it: I saw a documentary about a paramedic a couple of weeks ago and the guy was smiling and friendly to everyone. And I’m not talking that kind of friendly that makes you want to punch the guy in the face. He managed to balance it perfectly and all I wanted was to be his friend. Yeah, I even think I had a slight man crush. This year I’ll try to smile more, not to attract man crushes, but to test the theory that it’s impossible to be in a bad mood with someone who smiles at you. To help get myself off the ground with this resolution, I’ll replace my current Gravatar with a much happier one soon.

It will be interesting to see how this works out. Will I be the guy jogging in the park with an insane grin on his face?

That’s it for 2011. See you all in 2012. Happy new year!

Here are the wrap-ups from previous years: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Stockholm, Sweden: Mikael Blomkvist, investigative reporter for the Millenium magazine, is dragged to court by billionaire businessman Hans-Erik Wennerström on libel charges, crushed and drained for most of his life savings. Financial rescue comes in the shape of Henrik Vanger, who promise Blomkvist plenty of money and Wennerström’s head on a plate if he can solve the mystery of what happened to Vanger’s niece, Harriet, 36 years earlier. During his investigation, Blomkvist’ path cross with Lisbeth Salander, crazy ass bitch extraordinaire, who he quickly realize will become a priceless asset in the search for the truth about what really happened to Harriet Vagner.

Movies based on books make me skeptical. Peter Jackson did an amazing job with the Lord of the Rings movies, but many others have failed miserably when moving a story from paper to the silver screen. The only projects that tend to crash and burn more spectacularly are movies based on video games.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo isn’t director David Fincher first attempt at making a movie based on a book. His massive success Fight Club was based on a novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, and this time he has taken on the first book in the Millennium series by the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson. In this novel-to-movie-adaption I have an ace up my sleeve: I never read the book. Neither did I see the Swedish movie adaption. So I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from the unbiased viewpoint of someone who has managed to stay clear of some of the most popular Scandinavian books this century.

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2011 in Music

This year, like last year, I’ve discovered a few new artists that I thought I’d share with you. It’s more electronica than last year’s list, which didn’t feature a single artist in the genre. The reason why this has changed in 2011 is that I’ve grown into the habit of listening to some chill electronica when I get to work in the morning. The office is almost empty, with the exception of one guy who I suspect is actually living there, for the first hour of the workday and an empty office and some electronica is a great way to start the day.

Everything, including the pictures, are nicked from Wikipedia, Last.fm and even Facebook.

Carbon Based Lifeforms

Carbon Based Lifeforms (CBL) are Johannes Hedberg and Daniel Segerstad, both born in 1976 and based in Göteborg in south-western Sweden. They met at the age of 15 and are still, amazingly, working happily together, almost 20 years later. CBL itself was formed in 1996, as an offshoot from other projects, but soon became their focal point, culminating in their first release on ‘mp3.com’ in 1998.

It is hard to categorise CBL’s music but the best description might be that of a groundbreaking mixture of acid, techno and house music. The term ‘acid/ambient’ has also been coined; perhaps a respectful nod to the great pioneer Brian Eno.


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Driving Home for Christmas

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Notodden bus station. Welcome home!

WordCamp Norway 2012

Once upon a time I made a piece of blogging software written in PHP. Inspired by Blogger, I named it “Bugger”. Childish, but an appropriate name: It was a buggy bugger. Still, it did its job well and since I was the one responsible for everything, I had a rather intimate relationship with the code, making the software easy to extend when I needed new features. Open sourcing it was never an option, though, anyone else trying to maintain the code probably would have gone crazy – the curse of many one-man projects.

About three years ago, I called it quits, buried Bugger and switched to WordPress. To be honest, I’ve never looked back. WordPress is, like Bugger, written in PHP and has, unlike Bugger, a thriving community of developers and designers who release tons of WordPress themes and plugins. I’ve written a plugin myself, wp-days-ago and I’m hosting my own WordPress installation on vbox-host.com.

In short; I like WordPress. Now I’m going to my first WordCamp in January next year. The first ever WordCamp in Norway will be held in Oslo, more information is available on the official WordCamp Norway site. The speaker list so far includes Isaac Keyet, John James Jacoby, Zé Fontainhas (all three Automattic employees), Magnus Jepson (WooThemes) and even a guy from my employer.

Right now there are only 58 54 48 tickets left so if you are an avid WordPress user, quickly grab a ticket – they are quite cheap – and get ready for WordCamp Norway 2012!

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