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Explaining Freedom (and Leningrad Cowboys) to a 5 year old

As we were driving the 9 hour trip to visit our parents, the childrens grandparents, for New Years, my wife at some point decided we had enough of childrens songs and inserted daddy's favorite CD: the live recording of Leningrad Cowboys Total Balaika Show in Helsinki, 1993. This historical and amazingly weird outdoor concert is perhaps best explained by you simply watching a few Youtube videos from the concert, but it brought together a Finnish punk band turned Soviet Union parody and the actual, very much official Red Army choir aka Alexandrov Ensemble. Wikipedia has more details, but just to underscore the historical backdrop: in 1994 they also performed in Berlin, while the last Russian troups were leaving Eastern Germany.

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Backup scripts for DAR

Nowadays you can buy small network attached boxes to function as small home-office disk servers so cheaply, that most of the time I take backups by having a couple of those lying around the house. But for many years I used to backup my personal Linux desktop by burning CD's and then DVD's.

The challenge with backing up to a CD/DVD is that you easily have more data to back up than fits on one disc. The TAR utility was created for tapes and completely lacks any capability of splitting itself into parts. What's more, with TAR you create the archive first, and then compress it, so it is not possible to know in the TAR phase when you've actually reached the size of your CD or DVD, and in the compression phase it is generally too late.

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Reflections on MySQL conference - Part III: My own activities

To round off my memoirs from the MySQL conference 2011, I'll just write down for the historical record my own activities.

MySQL awards

With the community picking up tasks that used to be handled by MySQL AB, it somehow has fallen on my lap to drive the selection of winners for the annual MySQL awards. This was the second year we did it and we have settled on a format where the winners are chosen by a community panel consisting of 2 previous years winners, plus the conference chair(s). I think having the community nominating and voting the winners have brought forward some truly deserving and sometimes also surprising winners, and it has been a pleasure to be involved in this process. I feel privileged to be part of a process channeling so much goodwill and respect from the MySQL community to the winners.

This year's winners were already published here previously.

Xtrabackup Manager BoF

Together with Lachlan we did a BoF on Xtrabackup Manager. There was a good group of people turning up. I didn't write down the name, but someone offered to participate by creating a browser based user interface, which XBM doesn't have yet. Peter Zaitsev stopped by for a word of encouragement even if he was also going to another BoF at the same time.

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Back to work: 1st week as Senior Performance Architect at Nokia

As some Facebook friends already guessed from my status updates this week, my 9 month paternity leave is now over and I've survived my first week back in work life, waking up at seven in the morning! This is just a personal-life blog post to let everyone know what I'm up to, (For those asking: Ebba is doing fine, she recently started to stand up and even takes steps if I hold her hands.)

During the past months I had many interesting conversations and ideas of what to do next, but in the end Nokia was the company standing out with a very interesting offer. So as of last Tuesday I work at Nokia as Senior Performance Architect in the Mobile Solutions division, better known as the Nokia Ovi web services.

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It's a girl!

Last Saturday I became father to a baby girl - in addition to our 2½year old son.

Those of you who are my former collagues from MySQL, you know about the generous Scandinavian 5 week vacations. (Which in MySQL were practiced globally.) I have decided that now is a good time for me to enjoy another Scandinavian perk: long paternity leave. I will be home with the rest of the family until approximately next February :-)

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I'm interviewed today on Radio Vega at 16:00, or not...

I may or may not be interviewed on the Swedish language Radio Vega. The background to this confusing statement is that the Finnish government today publishes a report on the use of open source in Finnish companies and associated risks related to that. I was a contributor to the report since Monty Program is a Finnish open source company. I guess since I speak Swedish, the reporter had scheduled a telephone interview with me after the press conference.

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Using JoikuSpot for 3G access from my laptop

I'm writing this blog post over a JoikuSpot 3G connection.

I travel a lot, so I often used internet over a Bluetooth/3G connection provided by my phone. I have a flat rate 3G subscription for that, but when I travel abroad it gets expensive of course. Even so, I've found that it was often more efficient to get my emails read to download them over a 3G than trying to get WLAN to work in every new location. Abroad it gets expensive, but I figured getting my job done rather than spending 20-30 minutes troubleshooting WLAN issues was worth it for my employer.

Actually, it is horrible how poor WLAN is still today on Linux. After all, this is something where Windows XP achieved quite decent usability in 2001, that is 9 years ago!

When I recently threw my Nokia E71 into the pavement in Stockholm, I had to buy a new Nokia E75. Since then my 3G over Bluetooth modem setup didn't work anymore. Today I decided to fix it. I went back to the source of my instructions. See, there's still an area in desktop Linux where the only way to make things work is to copy some scripts here and there. Then, after a while, I gave up. The PPP scripts just wouldn't connect. I have no idea what is different compared to the previous phone that (mostly) worked.

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Getting home to Scandinavia

This blog post is just to list links and tips on getting home to Finland.

First leg: getting to anywhere in Europe

Being stuck in San Fransisco, my first problem has been to get just anywhere closer to home. Taking a boat from America to Europe takes from 6-15 days and is not significantly cheaper than flying. So the best bet is just to fly to Europe.

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