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General misconceptions.
Silly ideas.
Snarky comments.


A thing of beauty

While most '80s home computers had their unique charm, the Oric Atmos was the most beautiful one of the whole bunch. (Well, maybe not this specific specimen which seems to have dwelled inside a vacuum cleaner...)

Whether it is the pleasing color scheme or the compact form factor I do not know, but there is something about this machine that I find strangely appealing. Pity, it did not have the success it deserved.


Nokia 8110 4G - a biased opinion

2 min read

I'm all for retro products. And even though I've always been more of an Ericsson man than a Nokia fanboy, I thought that the new Nokia 8110 was a nifty idea.

There's a few reviews out there that blame the 8110 for it's lack of features, its clumsy texting, and the lack of apps. In my eyes, that's beside the point: The 8110 was never meant to be your "office in a phone".

Having said that, the 8110 is (in my humble opinion) still a useless piece of junk.

  • The firmware is unstable, and the phone needs to be reset several times a day. I'm not sure if this is a problem with KaiOS itself or if Nokia's own overlay is the problem.
  • Nokia claims 3+ weeks standby or 10 hours of talk time on a single charge. In practise, the phone needs a recharge after two days of (very) light use.
  • The charger needs hours to recharge the phone. That's ok if you need to recharge once or twice a month, but given the actual battery life this is annoying.
  • Connectivity is flaky. The 8110 connects to a Jabra headset via Bluetooth, but can't work correctly with the car's handsfree.
  • The phone can sync Google contacts and calendars, but the calendar only shows last month and next month, not the month we are currently in.

What does this mean? For me it means that after three days the 8110 ended up in the drawer. It's highly unlikely that I will use it a cheap travel phone as I had initially planned. Given the abysmal battery life I'm better off with my Blackberry Motion which easily runs 2 days on a single charge.

Again, it's not the Nokia's lack of features that is the issue. It's its incapability to live up to its own standard that's the problem.

Obviously, you mileage and opinion may vary.


Love 'em artifacts

1 min read

Audiophiles around the world insist that analog LPs provide a superior sound experience to CDs and (gasp) MP3 files!

Does this also mean that analog VHS1 is superior to Blu-Ray?

1. Comparing apples to oranges here, but is Laser Disc honestly superior to DVD?


Little known facts, part XIV

1 min read

The highest temperature ever confirmed on earth was 17.3 million degrees Celsius.

It was measured by Mrs. J. Heath in Shoreham-by-Sea when she accidentally bit into a tomato on her pizza con funghi on September 5th, 1978.


So worth it!

1 min read

The main reasons for getting a heart attack:

  • Idiot in front of you drove too slow/fast/erratic
  • Empty for ketchup
  • Phone battery dropped from 53% to 17% within 32 seconds
  • Couldn't shift into 5th
  • Typo on random blog entry


Looks like rain

When you look at the sky and see a big black cloud, you could reasonably conclude that rain is imminent.

But once you take into consideration past, present, and future weather conditions on all continents, combine this info with a detailed analysis of global weather patterns in the know universe, your prediction will probably become less certain.

Facebook, Google et. al. want to know everything about everybody. It's in their nature. Paradoxically, this wealth of information will sooner or later prevent them from making reliable predictions. The more they know in general, the less they know for certain. It's much like approaching lightspeed: The faster you go, the more impossible it becomes to actually reach the speed of light.

You want to mess up the mighty AI's algorithms? Set YouTube on autoplay and go on a holiday. Write a script that googles for random words. Once a week, go to a public library and log into your Facebook account. Cookie galore!

At the very least, this should lead to some very interesting online ads.


Let me like that coffee for ya

1 min read

I'm sure there's many good reasons why the picture of a slice of pizza will generate more "likes" than a witty comment about the state of the nation.

The psychology behind this behavior might be complex, the math is not: The significance of a message is always inversely proportional to its reach.

Case in point: A 10 year old who post videos about lip gloss on YouTube has more followers than the 100 leading philosophers put together.


Delicacies served with questionable grammar

2 min read

So, you travel to another country, find your way into a local eatery and have a look at the menu.

You could of course play it safe and simply order a plate of unsuspicious food. Some fish. A steak. Or maybe a pizza.

You could also live on the edge and go for one of the specialties. Depending on the country you are in, these specialties will most likely range somewhere between disgusting and horrendous.

Here's the deal with local specialties: They are ALWAYS EVER1 born out of some horrible calamity:

Hmm, I'm starving. Do I simply wait to die of hunger or do I eat this rotten fish that I just found in a puddle of mud, and die of food poisoning while simultaneously starving to death?

Oh no, the milk that the king ordered has turned into a pile of smelly, running goo. Do we beg for his mercy or do we sell it to him telling it's a fancy delicacy?

To cut a long story short, if someone asks you if you're interested in tasting a local specialty then get up and run for your life. (Thinking of it, you could also kindly decline which seems to be the better option with you being a guest in a foreign country and all...)

Caveat: Should you ever come to Norway do not try the rakfisk. Try the smalahove instead.

1. I do realize that this phrasing is grammatically questionable. Consider it poetic license.


Life hacks

1 min read

From time to time, life can be challenging. Repairing a broken down washing machine or tiling the roof after an autumn storm isn't everybody's cup of tea.

Fortunately, the Internet is rife with "amazing" life hacks that help you finish the most tedious chores in next to no time.

The logic behind these hacks seems to be that the most basic tasks of daily life are easier to achieve if you engage in some overly complicated 10 minute crafts.

One quick search in YouTube shows such fascinating hacks as:

  • Slicing a banana with a deck of cards (Part II: Clean a deck of cards using Lego bricks and a Chihuahua)
  • Build a makeshift vacuum cleaner using nothing more than a PC fan, 7 empty water bottles, 50 meters of aluminum foil and a diesel generator
  • Multiply two numbers using an ancient Chinese method than requires a 2 squaremeter piece of paper, a ruler, and 5 pencils
  • Turn a mars bar into a Q-tip


Your data will thank you. Not!

1 min read

I received a special invitation in my inbox today. It was sent by my dear friends at AliExpress and explained that I should backup my important data (a very good idea), preferably with a storage devices by one of their vendors (not quite such a good idea).

Given the somewhat suspect quality of the genuine Samsung gazillobyte SD cards you can buy from the Chinese website, I very much doubt that I should move years of holiday pictures to a $26.99 KingDian SSD drive.

What I am doing, on the other hand, is to backup my important data to, a zero-knowledge cloud storage platform. Hopefully, they do not get their hardware from AliExpress...