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Installing Ubuntu 12.10 on a Macbook Air

Posted: October 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

After reading pages up and down about rEFIt, and efi-grub, and how you have to resort to the command line to install debian on a Macbook, I just installed Ubuntu 12.10 almost exactly as if I was installing on a Windows laptop. I opted to keep the Mac OS partition to be able to install firmware upgrades and have a backup, but you can also choose to wipe all:

  1. Shrink the Mac OS partition with the Mac OS X disk tool found in Application > Tools > Disk tools (or something to that effect): It doesn’t look like live shrinking is possible, but you have to choose the physical disk, click on “partitions”, and then add a partition. I “added” free space. In my case I was not successfull shrinking unless I gave the Mac OS partition at least as much free space as it had in use (it used about 29 GB, and I could not shrink it to less than 60.
  2. Insert your USB stick with the Ubuntu install on (follow guides on how to make a USB install medium).
  3. Reboot holding down the “alt” key on the keyboard and choose your USB partition to boot from.
  4. Choose to install, follow the install guide, reboot and enjoy your new Ubuntu install!

After installation it did not finish shutdown properly, it had no problem booting again after that though.

Default OS will be Ubuntu, but you can choose Mac OS by holding in “alt” at startup.

Most hardware (including wireless) seems to work fine, but there are probably tweaks to apply, such as SSD optimizations and buttons ([alt]+[F4] to close windows don’t seem to work).


Logo for you sir! – First logo using 99designs.com

Posted: August 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Some weeks ago I ended my first logo-browsing marathon on a site called 99designs.com.

99designs-logo

99designs is an internet design “crowdsourcing” platform for hosting design contests. You post a design brief about what you want designs, choose a prize (from 99 USD and up, depending on what you want designed), and designers from all over the world post their complete design entries. I held my first contest for my employer, Western Norway Research Institute.

While I did get some valuable tip from a couple of articles (exratione.com, quixey.com) that I read before starting the contest, I had unanswered questions, that I now can answer and share with you, some of them repeat what the linked articles says:

  • The prize you set doesn’t only affect the number and quality of design entries, it also affects the time you have to spend going through amateurish, silly entries. I spent 310 USD which is just a little more than the minimum, to be listed higher, and several of the designers who entered submitted entries that I simply eliminated on sight. If you spend more, hopefully you’ll spend more time evaluating good quality, creative creations, although the amount of bad entries might rise too.
  • You get new entries and designers by making a good brief, having a high prize, and most importantly inviting designers. I spent a lot of time writing individually to the ones I invited, then I gave that up because it took too much time. I invited 57, and 13 of them gave entries, but others have invited 200. It seems the more you invite the more designers will join, but don’t invite unneccesarily, then you’ll waste both your and the designers time.
  • The best way to get new entries is to give feedback, especially individual feedback. Simply tell the designer what you like and don’t like and what you’d like to see improved. I was vert conservative with four and five star rankings, keeping the good designers in the loop.
  • If you know what kind of font you like, then specify, if you know what you want to use your logo for then specify and ask specifically for the designers to provide those uses, f. ex. provide thumbnail (for Twitter et. al.), favicon (for browser), black and white version, and different use of the logo colors. I mentioned favicon and twitter, but out of the 282 entries, only one included favicon. This means that I don’t see if the logo is suitable for favion use, and unless the winning designer is kind, I’ll have to aquire or make the favicon separately.
  • Don’t start your contest on a weekend. The last couple of days will probably in any case be the most active ones, but you risk having a very slow start if you start on a weekend. I started mine on a Friday just before noon, got the first entry after 1,5 day and the second entry after 3 days. Next time I’ll try to start on a monday afternoon.
  • If you are active giving feedback and inviting designers, I do not believe paying for being highlighted is worth it. Better spend those money on the designers.
  • Guarantee your payment when you get the opportunity.
  • Blind or not to blind: you might think that making the contest blind is mostly for the designers to feel more comfortable because they don’t have to worry about being copied. What I experienced with my open (non-blind) contest is that the designers seemed to copy each other too much. A lot of the entries used colors and ideas that I myself had only rated with three stars and didn’t really like that much. Such “un-creativity” would probably be avoided with a blind contest, but on the other hand, the designers also used elements from each other that improved their own work. Such elements can also be steered with feedback, however.
  • You can look for color inspiration at Cssmania and Colourlovers and specify them in your brief or comments.

I’ve also suggested some improvements to 99designs, that you can vote on at uservoice.

And lastly: here’s the logo that won the competition:

Winning logo for kxg.no

Winning logo for kxg.no


The easiest way to preserve your apple juice, or a really easy way to make cider

Posted: October 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: [:en]food, [:nb]mat, [:nn]mat | Tags: , , , No Comments »

Early morning cider swig
Drink! Photo: Brendan McMahan.

  1. Buy a pressure cask from Speidel, or use similar cask that can tolerate 10 bar pressure.
  2. Add freshly made, clean, uncontaminated apple juice made with really clean ingredients and tools. Seal cask.
  3. Place in a room of about 20 degrees Celsius temperature, and make sure pressure goes up. When the pressure has reached about 5 bars you can move it to a colder room, but it should eventually (within a month or so) reach 9-12 bars.
  4. Leave for about nine months.
  5. Enjoy your very low alcohol, sweet, clear, sparkling cider!

(Norsk nynorsk) Korleis sidre eplene dine (på mitt vis)

Posted: October 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , 2 Comments »

Sorry, this entry is only available in Norsk bokmål and Norsk nynorsk.


Sigmund Freud died more than 70 years ago – books take on new life 70 years after their author die

Posted: September 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Sigmund Freud died on 23rd of September 1939, 71 years ago today. But his works already entered the public domain on the 1st of January 2010.

Sigmund Freud
“Sigmund Freud” by One From RM, some rights reserved.

I was going to share ‘Parapraxes’ from Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis (1916-1917), because it is part of my Science and Technology curriculum at NTNU, Trondheim. The other evening though, it dawned upon me that the English works of Freud probably haven’t been made freely available yet, because most of the Freud translators lived much longer than Freud himself.

So, instead of giving Freud new life on my blog, I’ll thank Project Gutenberg for Dream Psychology, point to a digital ‘Parapraxes’ that probably isn’t in the public domain, and let you know that if you want to help Project Gutenberg, the easiest way is to join Distributed proofreaders.


VPN using SSH and Firefox (SOCKS5) to surf through your university or work network

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Most Norwegian students are fortunate to have access to a wealth of academic information through their univeristy network. This includes dictionaries, e-books and journals.

As a student at NTNU I also have this access, but as I’m almost never actually on campus i need an easy way to access them outside the university campus.

What follows is an easy way to access your university or work network and browse the internet through it using OpenSSH and Firefox. It can also be used as a weak proxy solution. You will have to have SSH access to your the network you want to browse through.

This is meant for you fortunate people who use Ubuntu Linux or a similar Linux distribution. If you’re a Windows user, you can see my Buzz post about the topic for instructions.

Establish your VPN

  1. Open a terminal window. Type in: ssh -D 9999 ntnu-username@login.stud.ntnu.no
    (9999 is the port Firefox is connecting to, other available ports may be used.)
    Replace “ntnu-username” with your own username.
  2. [Enter]
  3. Type in your password and push [Enter]
  4. Let the terminal window stay open. ssh should be running as long as you need your VPN.

Configure Firefox

  1. Start Firefox
  2. Go to Edit > Settings > Advanced > Network > Settings
  3. Choose “Manual proxy settings”
  4. In the field for SOCKS you write: localhost
  5. In the field for port to the right you write: 9999
  6. Ok, save, and so on. Now you should be set to surf through your VPN. Only in Firefox though.
  7. Good luck! Remember that if the VPN channel isn’t active, you wont be able to browse the internet in Firefox without reversing the changes you did to the connection settings.
The proxy configuration dialog window in Firefox

The proxy configuration dialog window in Firefox.


Understanding the Fjord1 time tables

Posted: July 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: tourism | Tags: , , , , , , No Comments »

Having worked in the middle of tourism in Sogn og Fjordane county (I managed a regional destination company for about a year) and receiving many couchsurfers coming by public transport, I often get to share the frustrating task of deciphering the time tables of Fjord1. I have thus found it useful to make an explanation of the codes used.

So if you ever are so fortunate to visit our beautiful fjords, glaciers and mountains, and would like to do so without your own means of transportation, you might find this explanation useful.

S: School days, which means: Monday to Friday from roughly the middle of August till the middle of June, except public holidays and school holidays. School holidays are hard to find out about and could vary from municipality to municipality. To find out about them, you could search for “skulerute” and the name of the municipality.

D: Daily
* / ** / *** / A / e: Look for explanations, will usually make limitations in time. Remember to combine all limitations.

1 = Monday, 2 = Tuesday, 3 = Wednesday, 4 = Thursday, 5 = Friday, 6 = Saturday, 7 = Sunday

H = Sunday and public holidays

X = Except

DX3 thus means every day except Wednesdays. Public holidays have their own time tables and are thus always excempt. Usually timetables for public holidays will be the same as for Sundays.

Oh, and there is an online service for the timetables. Try ruteinfo.net or rutebok.no.

At the tourist information in Balestrand

If you understand the time tables you might not need help from guys like these.


Jog mapping – the productive way of working out

Posted: May 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , 9 Comments »

Perhaps inspired by french barefoot jogger and entrepreneur Loic Le Meur, and the fact that during six weeks of travelling I only got to work out twice (and swimming in the shallow pools of The Flamingo doesn’t work that well), I started jogging every day last week.

My somewhat untraditional (or rather traditional?) running shoes

My somewhat untraditional (or rather traditional?) leather running shoes

Having to attend my two last lectures of STS in Trondheim, I was stranded in the remote town of Klæbu. With six days of reading inbetween lectures, there was plenty of time for jogging. Thus, to not feel too alone I brought my newly acquired Holux m-241 GPS logger with me for my jogging trips.

The utilitarian that I am, my biggest problem with working out has always been that it’s not immediately productive. You only produce muscles and good health, and seemingly for no tangible purpose (I know there are many, the reason why I work out anyway). There are many ways to solve this problem. You can work out by chopping wood, carry things, cycle to work, etc. In Klæbu I found another way: Jog to make maps!

This is jog mapping (or map jogging): While working out is your primary goal, your secondary goal is to improve Openstreetmap. To do this you have to jog where Openstreetmap has poor coverage or needs improving, and you need to bring a GPS logging device. Now your jogging will have a real useful, tangible  purpose, as it will help Openstreetmap improve!

At the same time you’ll really get to explore the area, and as you map it you’ll get familiar with all the paths and possible routes for your jogging. If you’re especially couragious and go jogging into peoples yards and gardens, you might also make som friends (and enemies). When you start running around houses and parking lots to log their location, you’ll eventually end up in the local newspaper too.

Luckily Openstreetmap wasn’t very well covered in Klæbu, so the Tuesday I arrived, the map looked something like this:

OpenStreetMap before jog mapping in Klæbu.

OpenStreetMap before jog mapping in Klæbu. (This screenshot has a different style than the following because it has been grabbed from Cloudmade.

And now, it looks like this:

OpenStreetMap after jog mapping for six days.

OpenStreetMap after jog mapping for six days.

Oh, combining mapping with your daily life and social activities isn’t anything new, there’s always a mapping party!


Roadsharing, getting there

Posted: March 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

I have long been thinking that Facebook probably would be a good platform for car/ride sharing similar to MitfahrerzentraleGoLoco or the failed Norwegian Haiketorget, and since we discussed it at work today, I had a cursory look if someone have already implemented the idea, and lo and behold:

The two first look promising, but what I’d really like is for bewelcome.org to provide this and integrate with facebook, twitter, buzz and not least provide apps for iPhone and Android with location awareness. That last point is probably the killer feature here.


Communism is still alive!

Posted: April 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , 2 Comments »

Did you think the times of the hammer and sickle wee past? That communists has to become socialists or other halfbaked, pink, moralistic partis to gain power? That Cuba is the last dying outpost of a political philosophy that is good in theory, but brutal and bloody in practice?

Well, you are wrong!

Familievennleg kommunisme

These posters and other beautiful posters for the communist party decorated the streets of many a city in Moldova. Here from an evening in Soroca. Photo: Guttorm Flatabø.

The communist red color, the sickle, hammer, democracy, European union, beautiful girls, pop music and big growling, corrupt Russian speaking party bosses are all combinable, and have been in power the last eight years in what was Europe’s poorest country, Moldova (now beaten only by Kosovo).

From being av corrupt chaos democracy with a dominating russian mafia accused of kidnapping young girls for prostitution, Moldova has become a communist democracy with an economy well prepared for the world economic crisis. Moldova has been less exposed to the international financial system and haven’t loaned their country away.

On the 5th of April, parliamentary elections were held in Moldova, and the communists received even stronger support than at the last election in 2005, with four more members for parliament. They thus keep their majority, but the vote for president can be blocked by the opposition so that a re-election could be the end result. I visited the headquarters of the communist party in Chisinau in the middle of March to see if I could get some souvenirs from modern communism campaigning. I was received by a smiling and batiful Vera who found me a good bunch of posters, cds and stickers (photo coming)

Vera, a real communist

Vera Balahnova ved sida av ein byste av Lenin utanfor det moldovske kommunistpartiet sitt hovudkvarter i Chisinau, hovudstaden. Vera tok vel imot meg og gav meg flotte suvenirar frå valkampen.

I only need one piece of each for myself, which means that there are really nice posters, cds and stickers for the ten first who send me an e-mail with the name of the President of Moldova the last eight years. Remember to include your own name and address and send the e-mail to  post@guttormflatabo.com