Etikettarkiv: In English

Posts written in English

Good Talk 😘

The following conversation took place in Melissa’s overnight apartment in Stockholm where she was staying for the weekend between two photo shoots. I had fortunately been granted an audience in private with her, although she was slightly annoyed when I wouldn’t reveal the topic for our meeting.

I walked the streets of the capital accompanied by a light rain and eventually reached her address. I rang the door phone and the entrance was unlocked shortly after. After a few stairs I found the door ajar and stepped in. Melissa was out of sights, so I uttered a ”Hello!” while I took off my jacket and shoes. ”Hiya, come on in!” was heard from the main room.

I treaded carefully into Melissa’s realm and probed the furnishing for a place to sit. Her sofa was strategically cluttered with clothes and stuff so that only one of the three seats was available. Min plats, I thought and made myself comfortable. Melissa sat in her throne chamber, 1.5 meters above the floor on top of a massive king sized bed with drapes in gold and purple. I had seen Star Wars enough times to know that the battle would be at my disadvantage when my opponent had the high ground, but like Anakin I was blind and unable to accept my forthcoming defeat.

”What do you want to talk about?” Melissa asked as soon as I sat down.
”I just want to tell you how I feel about you.”
”I hope it’s good”, said Melissa warily.
”Too good”, I replied as I turned my sad eyes down to the floor.

Åkej, nu börjar showen, I took a deep breath to calm myself the best I could.
”Melissa, you are a bringer of happiness with a lovely smile and a contagious laugh. We laugh at the smallest things when we’re together and it’s never boring being around you.” Melissa gave her characteristic smile, as if I needed a reminder that what I had just said was true. I continued.

”You’re intelligent, not because you’ve studied at uni for years like me, you’re just smart. You’re great at arguing and expressing your thoughts and our discussions are always challenging and rewarding. Sometimes I just want to argue with you to see what tricks you’ve got up your sleeve.” Melissa seemed to enjoy the praise. I kept going. ”I’ve always thought that rational fights and passionate sex is much better than the other way around, and we do at least fulfill the first half.” I giggled nervously and closed my eyes to avoid looking into Melissa’s. I was such a cliché, how could I permit myself to be so embarrassing?

Melissa looked amused and then she asked ”What’s rational sex?” like she was trying to find a logical flaw in my statement. I scratched my cheek as I pondered. I soon came up with a witty response and now it was my turn to be amused.

”Think of the old kings during the middle ages. They used to marry wives they didn’t fancy, but would still fulfill their marital duties to hopefully father an heir to the crown, very rational and not passionate at all. Stannis Baratheon is a great example, and he died!” My confidence was skyrocketing, but Melissa was quick to parry.
”Stannis’ early death was him owing up to the facts that he let assassinate his brother and burned his daughter alive, not due to him being rational between the sheets.”
”You’re missing the point”, I muttered.
”Well, bringing up Stannis isn’t exactly helping your case since you both share a passion for grammar as well as religious femme fatales”, Mellisa laughed sarcastically.

My brief feeling of confidence and amusement was now completely gone and the embarrassment had returned, I attempted a feeble defense.
”A correct usage of language is important if you wish to be understood.”
”I suppose that working with compilers would make you believe that.” Melissa said dryly.

After two compliments delivered I had made zero progress, it was time for a foolproof recipe with guaranteed success.
”You’re the most beautiful human being I’ve ever seen. When my eyes look into your blue ones I wish that the moment we’re sharing would go on forever.” The well rehearsed line sounded as unnatural as if I would have read it straight from a script. Melissa replied mechanically with a ”Thank you” and smiled.

Komplimangerna rinner av henne som vatten på en gås. Hon är lika dum som gås också. Undrar vad hon gör av alla fjädrar? My thoughts were racing as I was trying to come up with something to tell Melissa that would release her from boredom. Having already broken all boundaries of sensibility I decided that I might as well go all in. I would win Melissa’s heart or die trying.

”I love you”, my voice was trembling. Melissa could no longer hide her discomfort. If we would have been somewhere else than at her place she would have fled the scene by now.
”Did you expect me to say the same words back to you?” Her response was serious and cold.
”A part of me just wanted to say it and see how it felt. I’ve never said it to anyone before and it doesn’t feel like a total waste saying it to you, even if you don’t feel the same. However, considering that you’ve said that you love everyone and their mother I’m a bit disappointed that you can’t say it to me.”
”I can’t tell you that because my love for you is of a different kind than the one you feel towards me. That if anything has become painfully obvious after your little compliment fiesta.”

I could not feel anger for her analysis was as flawless as herself. I was the silly goose. How could I expect a happy ending from this? I was starting to lose hope that she would ever contemplate the idea of her and me as belonging to each other.

”I’m like a dog, loyal and my love for you is unconditional. You’re like a cat, the cuddliest and coziest cat in town that everyone loves. But if someone close to you makes one mistake you run away fast as lightning, with your claws leaving behind scratch marks as the only evidence that you were there in the first place.”
”Mjau”
”Voff”
Melissa laughed. This was one of those little things. Others would not understand let alone find it funny. For us it came naturally.

We sat in silence for a while and looked at each other. Having no more beans to spill, I felt relief. I could just admire Melissa as she sat and radiated beauty. In that moment, living was easy. This was how it was supposed to be. But it was not to last. Snap back to reality. I had kept my feelings for Melissa a secret for so long and now those feelings were finally revealed. I could not believe her indifference as I showed my true colors.

”Now you know how I feel about you. I hope you will remember my words even at difficult times in your life. You’ve made it clear that you do not desire to share those moments with me.”
”I’d happily share those moments with you, but it seems to me that you want more from me than I’m willing to offer.”
”I’m willing to offer everything for you, why can’t you do the same for me?” My tone was irritable.
”You’re not good enough for me”, came Melissa’s snappy reply.
”Our chemistry is unparalleled.”
”We have no common interests!”
”Yes we do, music for instance!”, Melissa was unimpressed as she rolled her eyes and sighed.
”Disagreeing on which pop artist is best does not count as a common interest.”
”But you do at least hold an opinion. My other friends are as interested in listening to pop music as they are in listening to cosmic background radiation and some even prefer the latter.” The conversation was side-tracking, but it was nice to switch to a less intimate subject.
”You can’t really shame someone for their music taste…”
”At a minimum, they should be aware of the basics. I think some of them haven’t even listened to Taylor’s 1989 and it’s been out since 2014. HOW CAN THEY NOT HAVE LISTENED TO IT?” My fists were clenched.
”You should talk to someone professional about this”, Melissa said empathetically.
”Oh I’ve already discussed that issue as well as many others with my therapist. I’d happily give you her number, maybe she can talk some sense into you too.” Being spiteful wasn’t helping but at that time I didn’t care.
”If she’s supposed to help you feel better she doesn’t seem to do a very good job”, her rationality was painful.
”How can I feel good when you’re so impossibly stubborn. Have you at least considered that I have more högskolepoäng than any other of your love interests? And even though you are beautiful enough for both of us I can still bring six well-defined abs to the table. On a good day with good lighting they might even be eight. That must be worth something?”
”Not really, I remember when you compared gaining högskolepoäng to having fried sparrows fly into your mouth. You’re a nice guy, no one denies that, but your desperation is starting to become a bit too cringey.”

Melissa’s defiance was endless. My huge emotional investment was for nothing. This would be the biggest regret of my life. Next up was the blame game. I wanted to see if Melissa would take any responsibility for the damage dealt.

”If you hadn’t led me on then this conversation would never have taken place!”
”Led you on? In what way have I done that?”, Melissa seemed honestly surprised by the accusation.
”You’ve practically done it in every way possible. Sending cute little emojis and hearts in our text messages. Always asking for hugs cause you’re feeling down. You’re one big flirt!”
”Oh come on! You think that’s leading someone on? We haven’t even kissed!”
”Is that where you draw the line for flirting?”
”I don’t think you really wanna know.”
”You got that right!”
”Well, I’m sorry if I’ve been sending out the wrong signals”, there were no sign of remorse in her voice.
”It’s not enough just being sorry, you can’t be oblivious to the fact that you can make any guy fall in love with you with a single look.”
”I’m just being friendly and I expect that my male friends can remain just friends.”
”Like when you’re ‘just being friendly’ and invite me over to your place for the night and I get to sleep on the sofa and not share your bed… It is like when Anakin is given a place in the jedi council without being given the rank of a master. It is outrageous and unfair.”
”You know that I don’t understand your silly Star Wars references.”
”You have no valid reason for not watching the movies. If you don’t enjoy them for the lightsaber duels, which are magnificent, then you’d enjoy the manipulation of the political battlefield as dark forces turn a democratic republic into dictatorship!”
”I know plenty already of manipulation, thank you.”

I was exhausted. I didn’t want to squabble anymore. I just wanted to completely remove Melissa from my life. It was over.

”Jag går nu.”
”Have you already grown tired of our rational fighting? That doesn’t bode well for the passionate sex you promised me.” Melissa finished her sentence with a sneering laugh.
”You are not rational, you’re chaotic”, I said furiously.
”Darling, order is trivial, I mastered chaos long ago.” If she would have had a cigarette holder in her hand she would have been indistinguishable from a young Cruella de Vil.

I put on my shoes and jacket and slammed the door behind me with a sound that echoed down the stairwell hall.

Shortly after I had left the building Melissa went to lock the door. Filled with adrenalin she turned on the water boiler to relax with a cup of tea. A part of her felt sorrow for having lost a close friend, but the kick from playing the perfect game was exhilarating. All that remained now was the death blow. But before that she sent out a selfie to her remaining list of expendables, moaning about how lonely she was.

In the evening that day when I’d been home for a couple of hours and tried my best to numb the pain from my defeat with all the beverages the fridge had to offer my phone lit up. I opened Messenger and was presented with Melissa’s latest message.

Good talk 😘

My broken heart will mend in due time. A more severe problem is to find a replacement for the Fairphone which, due to a sudden impact with the wall, now has a broken screen. I am therefore much grateful for any recommendations on which my next phone model should be, leave your tips in the comment’s section!

Life Pro Tips

Hi! Little over 27 years ago I was born, happy birthday me. Little over 27 months ago I was feeling blue and reached out to one of my wisest friends. Among other things, he suggested  me to read the book ”The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin which I did. It’s a great book and since reading it I’ve been eager to create a list similar to Rubin’s Twelve Commandments of Happiness.

In this blog post I will present and explain the items in my own list. It is in no way complete or finished but by releasing early I hope to be able to accelerate its development, very agile. If you have any thoughts on how to improve this list then please go ahead and write a comment or contact me in any other way you find suitable. Without further ado, let’s get going with the list!

1) Be Eric

In Rubin’s list, the first commandment is ”Be Gretchen”. I have decided to put ”Be Eric” at the top spot in the list, but for different reasons. I like to remind myself to be myself. Silly as it sounds, but being me includes a lot of quirkiness which often is something that I might want to restrain to not seem too odd, especially with new acquaintances. All things in moderation of course, but because humour and wit is some of my biggest assets (apart from my impeccable physique) the sooner I can show the funny part of me, the better.

The title of my blog translated to English becomes ”Somewhere between the incomprehensible and unexpected” and I’m slowly coming to terms with that it’s often worth the risk of being incomprehensible to be unexpectedly entertaining.

2) Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.

This advice comes from Jordan B Peterson, clinical psychologist and professor, who wrote a list on What are the most valuable things everyone should know. The benefits of this advice might be obvious, because cats are furry and cute. Getting to pet a cat on the street is a huge privilege as cats can be quite picky on whom they allow to get close to them.

I myself are more of a dog person, but I do like and envy cats a lot too. I once wrote a piece about cats called Kattkungen (The Cat king) which in my opinion is one of my best blog posts (and somewhat underrated) so if you want to make me happy then please read that post instead of the remainder of this one. ;) It’s in Swedish but Google Translate does an OK job in translating it to English.

3) Don’t whine.

Another obvious advice, but one that I constantly have to remind myself about. As a student it is all too easy to indulge in complaints about weather, exams and expensive fika but I prefer having a positive atmosphere rather than sulking. At times complaining can be perfectly justifiable but even then they may be voiced with the company of a joke and a laugh. I feel that this one’s especially important when contributing to social media.

4) Don’t give up until you’ve failed.

This one has helped me through many dire situations as a student. Many times, I’ve felt overwhelmed with exams, reports and project deadlines. Many times, things have turned out to be not as impossible as they seemed at first. For me, I often slow down on the pace when my to-do list grows too large but still try to make some progress each day. Do the things that are the most fun to you right now, ask for help from your peers, don’t worry about tomorrow and don’t give up!

5) When you fail, improve and retry.

The good thing with university studies, and often times life in general, is that failure creates an opportunity to improve and retry. The happiness from succeeding in something you’ve previously failed in is often greater than if you would have succeeded on the first try.

6) Always say ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’.

So easy yet so important and impactful. I’m not a particularly chatty person and maybe that’s the reason as to why greetings makes a big difference to me. Now, saying ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’ is something most of us say multiple times a day, so what is my point? My point is that you should greet your fellow course mate when he or she sits down next to you, even if the lecture has already started or you’re in the middle of an exciting math problem. Why not say hi to the stranger that you meet in the stairwell on your way to work? And when you’re at work, say tjenixen (hiya) to the new guy at the department that you have no relation to. As for goodbyes, allow some time to make a proper farewell and wish your counterpart good luck on their journey ahead until you meet the next time. This is basic stuff, but there are times when I experience poor greeting protocol and it affects all of the following communication to the worse.

I sometimes struggle with this and apart from the fear of greeting a stranger I also find that eye contact is a key component to whether I take the initiative to greet a person or not. That is, no eye contact creates a mental block that makes it almost impossible for me to greet the person, but that’s something I’m working on.

This advice can easily be misinterpreted as ”only say ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye'” which makes poor conversations, so if you have a better suggestion on the title for this tip I’m all ears.

Final note

There are quite a few commands in these tips, ”do this” and ”don’t do that”. I just want to clarify that these tips are for myself to work on and remind me of things that I sometimes have difficulties with. It is not a call to you, the reader, to change your life. This list is just something I wanted to share with the world, and if just so happens to inspire someone else then that’s a great bonus. Thank you!

STEW 2016

This week I had the pleasure to participate in Swedsoft‘s Software Technology Exchange Workshop (STEW) and it was a blast! Or at least it was very informative, the food was great and the people were friendly. I listened to almost 20 different talks on various topics on software engineering so now I’m filled up with knowledge. ;)

To be able to digest all this knowledge I thought I could write down the most memorable notes I took and give some comments where needed. Of course, these notes, paraphrases and comments will only be a drop in the gravy ocean from STEW. Text in italics are things I thought I heard while unformatted text are my own comments and explanations.

Miscellaneous

It is all software. The electronics and mechanical engineers are lost! – Words from a CTO of a big company. Said with tongue in cheek, but gives a somewhat accurate description of how  some hardware industries are becoming more dependent on software.

Featuritis – 70-80% of features in the product are never used!

Model based [testing/development/systems engineering] – A trend during STEW was to talk about making all things model based.

5G

Sensors everywhere!

25.2 Gbit/s throughput – From an Ericsson experiment performed in Barcelona.

100x higher rate, 1000x higher volume, 5x lower latency, 100x more devices! –
Compared to, I assume, 4G.

Eiffel

The Eiffel framework was originally developed by Ericsson. It is a framework that ”enables technology agnostic enterprise scale continuous integration and delivery.”

Every change in a software project is an event.

Events hold references to other, previous events. This creates a real time directed acyclic graph.

Eiffel is used to document what we did, who did it, why we did it and how we did it.

With Eiffel you may store, analyze and visualize the documentation.

Eiffel is available on GitHub!

Jan Bosch – The hurricane

Mr Bosch spoke about speed, data and ecosystem. Focus was on speed, and he spoke very fast.

Increasing speed trumps any other R&D improvement! Speed beats efficiency every time.

Speed: … the ability to quickly respond to events, such as requests from customers, changes in the priorities of the market or new competitors, is critical to continued success. As the rate at which companies need to be able to respond is accelerating constantly, speed is a key factor. [1]
 

Facebook started in 2004 and gained 50M users in 44 months, Angry birds was released in 2009 and gained 50M users in 1 month!

Continuous delivery is for fegisar! – Not sure what this was about, but it spurred a lot of laughs.

Candy crush analyzes player behavior to increase revenue. – Is the player stuck? Is he/she likely to make a purchase to get unstuck? Use user data to your advantage!

C.I. needs to improve. […] Booking.com can rollback in 8 seconds!

You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.  – Steve Jobs

Bosch will release a book by Christmas, probably about speed!

[1] Bosch, Jan. ”Tutorial summary for speed, data and ecosystems: The future of software
engineering.” Software Architecture (WICSA), 2016 13th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on. IEEE, 2016.

Summary

To summarize STEW 2016, I will give a short list of pros and cons. Although I may not be able to put it to words, my overall impression with STEW is overwhelmingly positive.

Pros

  • Great way of bringing industry and academia together.
  • As a student I got to learn things that you simply won’t get to know in school.
  • Very good fika!

Cons

  • I would love to see more ”software companies” and not just the big dragons SAAB and Ericsson. Maybe DICE, Klarna, King, Mojang or Spotify can join in on the fun?
  • It was way too cold for comfort in the lecture hall, Vallfarten, at LiU.

 

My Kubuntu Setup

I recently had to reinstall Kubuntu 14.04 on my PC due to some driver issues which I wrote about in my last post. Doing so made me realize that I had quite a few tweaks made to the vanilla installation to get a pleasant experience. I also realized that I had forgotten many of my configurations and had to spend a couple of hours looking through blog posts and whatnots to  rediscover all my favorite settings. To avoid this hassle the next time I’m reinstalling, I’m going to list the most important settings to make Kubuntu the best distribution, by far.

Font Settings

The first thing that strikes me when booting a freshly installed Kubuntu is the fonts which not only look bad but also hurt my eyes, everything is so small. My current font settings are heavily inspired by this blog post, with the exception that I have increased every font size by one. I also increase the zoom level in Firefox for some sites, especially Reddit and Youtube go nice with being zoomed in once or twice, keeping your eyes relaxed and happy!

Font settings in KDE

Anti alias settings

The Anti-alias settings. I have no idea what this stuff actually do but this looks good to me.

Application and workspace style

From the screenshots above you can see that the style is somewhat darker than the defaults. This spurred from the fact that, IIRC, the default taskbar had a transparency effect that I didn’t like. Instead of removing the transparency effect I decided to do a full overhaul of the appearance. From the System Settings menu, enter the Workspace Appearance and make sure that you’re using the Oxygen theme in Window Decorations. Second, we need to change the Desktop Theme to Caledonia. There might be more than one way to install Caledonia, but I just downloaded this KDE theme archive and followed the installation instructions. After a successful installation you should be able to select the Caledonia theme from the list of themes in Desktop Theme settings.

Next up is the style for the application window as the default settings in combination with the Caledonia theme is very ugly, so let’s fix that right away. From the System Settings menu, go to Application Appearance->Colors and click the Get New Schemes button. From the list of schemes you should be able to search for a scheme named DarkRed and install it, done! DarkRed might work somewhat bad when filling in online forms as you might end up typing black text on a black background. Apart from that, it’s nearly perfect.

Turning Firefox into fire and shadow

When switching to a dark desktop theme, or any theme for that matter, you probably want to achieve a high level of consistency regardless of which program you’re running. When it comes to Firefox and websites you will of course not reach perfect darkness as some pages simply aren’t dark by design. Well, a small attempt to make Firefox look nicer is to install some visually enhancing add-ons and themes and do some magic for frequently visited sites. Install the add-ons Stylish, Customize about:newtab and if you surf Reddit, install RES and activate night mode. I’ve installed Stylish themes for Facebook och Youtube. My customizations to the about:newtab page consists of setting the columns to 5 and rows to 2, all to make some room for this background image. This goes along very well with the Dark Fox Firefox theme.

And finally some must-have packages

This is in no way a complete list, it’s just some of the packages that I usually install during the first hours so I might as well list them here just in case it come in handy sometime.

sudo apt-get install terminator emacs htop vim git

To wrap this up I leave you with a screenshot of my main screen! G’night :D

A screenshot, very nice.

It’s so beautiful…

FA adventures with Eric

Foreword
I began writing the draft for this post in English, and I think it’s for the best if a continue doing so. Sorry if bad English.

Tonight’s plan was set for a visit to a small café in central Linköping called Babettes Kafferi. On this very night the café had invited the authors of the book Kärlekens väg to come and speak about christian beliefs and animal rights. As I’m keen on the vegan lifestyle and don’t have that good of an understanding of christianity I thought it could be a very interesting evening.

I got the address and jumped on my bike and swooshed down to central Linköping. I had trouble finding the café and was running a bit late. What’s worse, I felt a sudden need to use a restroom as I’d been drinking lots of water which had now been processed and needed to get out.

Being unable to find the café, now being 15 minutes late, I aborted the search. I felt lost and didn’t know what to do now. I was just roaming the streets, which was pretty nice, feeling anonymous, walking without a purpose. This feeling was not to last though and eventually I thought that while I’m downtown I might as well go get an after work beer at some nice place, just like a real grownup.

However, I didn’t feel too hyped about the idea to start my after work session by asking the waiter for the restroom first thing after entering the restaurant, and by now I really needed to go. I remembered a tourist sign pointing to a public restroom. I tracked it (the restroom) down and standing in front of it I could read the directions: ”Press for entrance” – Okay, I thought as I pressed the button that made a big silver door slide open. I entered, and the door slide shut. The door only had an emergency open handle but I was looking for someway to lock myself in. I found another button that said it would lock the door, I pressed it and nothing seemed to happen. Apparently, you’re supposed to trust electronics for locking the door of a public restroom. Unimpressed, I wished for a hasp or a clasp or some other mechanical, trustworthy device.

Feeling a bit uneasy, I pressed another button for instructions, which were presented by a friendly female voice. This calmed me and I did my business, I was, however, not allowed to flush as that was to be done automatically after I had left the restroom, that did not make me feel less uneasy. After putting my hands under the tap in various ways I managed to get the water running to was my hands off. Finally, I was done. At last, I could flee this futuristic and scary place as a happier and enlightened being, everything went all right after all.

Back to tonight’s new bonus objective, a beer at Överste Mörner. I took a longcut to build up the courage I needed to enter the pub, arrived outside, checked the menu and then continued to walk down the street. I stopped. I walked back to the pub and this time I managed to get inside.

Greeted by the waiter I was asked if I wanted to eat. ”No, just a beer.” I replied and was directed to the bar. The bartender gives me a generic greeting and awaits my order. ”A Staropramen, thank you” because Staropramen is one not too common beverage that also has a bearable taste, or maybe it’s beerable. *rimshot*

I have bad hearing, but after a second try I catch the bartenders question and I show him my ID. ”Do I really look like 17?” I ask myself. The bartender tells me the cost, twice, and I pay in cash, even tip the guy 1 SEK. I’ve been served, and I start to wonder if I’m allowed to take place at a table or am I stuck sitting in the bar? Well, I really needed a table to jot down all my thoughts from this evening so I discretely search for a place to sit and hope for the best. The beer cost me 70 SEK and the place is far from crowded, I feel no shame for sitting wherever I want. I find a good spot, I am safe once again.

Sitting there, I can’t help to wonder what makes people go out to a place like this on a Tuesday night. It is quite cosy, but the music is drowned by all the murmurs from everyone. Prices are somewhat expensive, but maybe the food is really good, or maybe people have to much money. All these thoughts about food made me hungry, and I began feeling the need to leak again, it was time to go home.

I have school tomorrow.

And now I’m drunk, great.

And why didn’t that girl turn up that I had imagined to just magically crash down by my table, being super interested in me and what I was writing down. She was supposed to fix my ”Have no company for the hunger games movie”-problem. Oh well, that will be sorted in some other way.