Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back to Athens, Greece

Well after my return from Kuwait, I managed to spent some time back in Prague and visit most of the friends I've been neglecting for a long time. With Eva, we bought some furniture and I've spent like a week to put it all together. But at the moment, the kitchen, the bedroom and the bathroom are almost finished. Hurray!

And then the good news came and I packed all my stuff (two kites and few t-shirts) and headed back to Athens to spend nice and warm autumn here. I kinda got used to sun this year (spring in Greece, summer was exceptionally hot in Denmark, then Middle East and now Greece again). Staying in the same flat with Petr Novak. Gotta visit Acropolis this time!

My friend Petr Drobny aka 'drobek' (which means tiny, but Peter is almost 190cm tall) arrived and we went to Paros to catch some wind at Punda. We stayed at SunSet studios (place I can reccommend to everyone). No wind on Friday was not at problem as we rented 150cc quads and it was a lot of fun to ride it around the island.

Rest of the stay was great, wind was up to 20knots and we managed to do some small jumps as well. Only problem was my kite, a local guy who knows how to ride told me: 'This is EVIL kite'. True, if I do not watch it for a second, the beast is already going another direction and I shortly fly-follow. Well as they said Nobile High Performance, turns fast, high power, superior hang time. If only I could say I match those prerequisites. Neverethe less I also tested 2009 Cabrinha Switchblade, this is excellent kite for beginners.

Now back to Athens, working for the customer and occasionally trying to catch some wind at Loutsa. Which is always too strong for me, so the whole point of riding is to get to the open water and then spend like 2 hours trying to get back to starting point. But I will manage!

I'm off to have my first lesson of scuba diving.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kuwait, Al Kuwait

Ok, few days ago I moved to do some tasks in Kuwait. I flew with Fly Emirates and yey, what an Airline. On 1,35h flight I got served like a king. It was this huge Airbus (no, not the 380), and the food was delicious. Three courses, compare that to sandwich I get on 1.1h flight to Denmark with CSA (I still like CSA a lot though;) ).

First thing I really enjoyed was the TAXI ride from Airport to the hotel. Perhaps it was because I tried to look like I do not care (or better like 'I own the world' - which was btw another advise from my Danish colleagues ! They said, every Arab behaves like that :)) this guy has impressed me. Driving old Ford (but with at least 5.0L engine) we were in 140+Kmh (or was it Mph?) going on the motorway from one lane to another and honking everyone around. What a ride, say WOW!

Al Kuwait city centre from the Marina Mall.

During a day I was mainly working and because the sunset is about 6:30pm most of the pictures were shot at night when I wondered around the city. Hotel was great and I spent a lot of time in this place ;)

Hotel's pool on top floor (23rd).

Most of the week I was starving. Ramadan in Kuwait is a litlle bit more seriously taken (at least when it comes to people just visiting the place) then in UAE. If they catch you drinking or eating during a day (Iftar starts about at 6 pm) you pay fine of 1000 KWD (about 4000$) and you go to jail until end of Ramadan (about three weeks from now). I really tried my best to not to miss my vacation. So the first day I was very happy to see the hotel service to forgot to clean my room. There were some leftovers from the breakfast .)

In the evening I tried to explore the surrounding areas but at the first sight there is just nothing in Al Kuwait. Only a few people wondering around, lot of dust and heat. This is what the Mall looks like at 7PM. At 10PM it got quite crowded.

Yesterday I got little bit of tired of thinking of Al Kuwait as a bad place to live. I asked the people where the locals go, there has to be some markets right? So I went to Souk Mubarakia. And that changed my mind completely. Temperature got down to about 37 degrees at night so it was 'comfy' to walk around in my full cotton trousers.
The whole markets is consisted of hundreds of small streets connected together. Those streets are full of small shops of various kinds. Interestingly same types of shops are close to each other. From spice shops, dates shops, fish market, meat streets to all kind of groceries shops.

Gold district :0 I am not into gold, but this place is magnificent.

Dinning place, I've really enjoyed local fish with rice, Arabic bread, salads, mango juice and Čaj a lot. Eva would be proud of me for the way I cut this fish and got rid of the fishbones (she is the real master in this!). And all this just for 2KWD, I could barely walk after eating here, delicious!

On the streets one can see the REAL cars! In some way the time is ticking slower than other places. What I also found interesting were the people. Very friendly. And you go somewhere, you think there has to be something special because you see crowds of people there and when you get close, you realize they are just standing there. Talking and nothing more.

I even managed to get to the Liberation Tower and everybody told me it is possible to go up and see the city from the top. Well that turned out not to be so true. Anyway it is magnificent construction, tallest in Kuwait. I've enjoyed the markets a lot, bought a lot of junk (like night vision binoculars which of course do not work and zooming 1:1, but don't buy it if it was 3KWD).

Well, time to say good bye to Kuwait. My flight to back to Dubai is in about 4 hours, then transit to Amsterdam and then back to Prague, home sweet home. Full album is here.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

On the trip again, this time Dubai, UAE

There was not enough of wind in Denmark so I took the opportunity to try Dubai.

(the picture is pretty bad, I know)

People said things like this is not a good time to come here (temperature, humidity and Ramadan). A lot of that is true. Yesterday on the beach, I got new kite F-one Revolt 13m and was desperate to try it. But the wind was only about 5-7 knots (about 3m/s) and it was not flying at all of course. The water was so hot, it almost felt like a shower temperature Eva is used to ;) I tried to stay in the shade of the kite, but was sweating too much. By coincidence there was a 'ultimate survival' show on national geography that evening that showed how to squeeze a seaweed to get some water, will try that next time.

Then you get into taxi, and you get cold immediately. I think Taxis here are like public fridges. The temperature in it is close to zero. Everything here is air conditioned, so while you are in the building, Dubai looks like a great place, until you go out of course. Like trying to catch a taxi for 30 minutes makes you learn how to swear in Arabic. My colleague says, it is ok, you just get a shower three times a day. I agree.

My Danish colleagues also said a lot of other things that you cannot wear shorts on public, one cannot see womens face and more of that stuff. It took me several days of sweating in the trousers to figure out this is not true at all (they were just joking, like always). Dubai is actually quite open minded in those terms. People are very friendly. Just respect some basic rules and you are ok. It is Ramadan, so do not eat or drink on public as that is a sign of disrespect to those who are fasting them selfs. But takeaway is doable (just use the curtains in the hotel room).

Food here is great, you can pick from Indian, Pakistan, Japanese (I recommend Wagamama restaurant ), Arabic and many other cuisines. Price are affordable. What is really cheap is the oil (of course) and the cars. Friend told me a new VW Touareg costs around 110 000,- Dhs (around 20 000 Euro). Unfortunatelly you can't bring them back to Europe. Shops are huge, the only one I was to is Mall of Emirates, but that is enough.

I can't take photos, it is too humid here these days. This is the best I got to.

The temperature is close to 40 in the shade, I am heading off to Kuwait in two days. There is 50+, will see.

While in Dubai I met another Czech guy living in there. His name is Honza, he is kiting a lot, likes bikes and he is a great company, follow his story here. His friend is Passi (Finish guy, I hope I got it right) and he gave mi a ride in his Chevy Corvette. That car has 505HP and can do 0-100Kms in 3.6s (I witnessed it ;) With them I visited a place called Barasti Bar. One of the top rated bars in the world, check it out if you are in Dubai.

Ok, off to Kuwait now.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

and she said Yes

Well it is probably time to tell everyone. Nine years ago I fell in love with Eva.

Our life together until now was like a video game with all the ups and downs. However last time I was in Czech, we took the boat and in the middle of the Máchas lake she said Yes.

And now, the game is over :)

(thanks to my lovely family for the perfect gift)

Monday, July 21, 2008

something about me

so skip if not interested.

I've decided to post about me, mainly because I wonder how is it to read it when one gets older .)

so, at the moment I am 28 years old guy, living in Denmark and traveling a lot. Doing an interesting job and meeting a lot of new and intelligent people. Enjoying life with lovely girlfriend and I can't believe I haven't married her yet (got to fix that really soon). I also like Linux, Gnome, Python and Open Source thinking in general. and I love my parents (with all the quirks included ;)

The Job
Still when people asks me what do I do for living, saying "I work with computers" is probably the easiest way to go. However there is so much more to computers then just that, hard to explain though. At the moment I find the IT industry really interesting place with a lot of things happening (unlike Physis :)

I still dream about realizing my own business and slowly walking there. Yet many times I also find my self in the middle of million things (ideas/unfinished stuff..) but trying to reduce this lately (with various results).

Recently I started to enjoy the wind and a sea a lot. trying to catch up on some sports and health in general. My music taste is satisfied with streams from soma.fm and downtempo.org (I would like to know where djdusty is gone). Regarding movies, beside the regular stuff, the southpark online is worth it.

Otherwise, I still feel unwise yet a little bit more experienced. I think I have really great people around me and it means a lot to me.

So far so good.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the Fox did it again, Firefox 3 is out!

Ten years ago, when bugged Internet Explorer was dominating the web browsing area and was not aligning to the web standards and thus hurting everyone, a Mozilla was born.

Mammon slept. And the beast reborn spread over the earth and its numbers
grew legion. And they proclaimed the times and sacrificed crops unto the
fire, with the cunning of foxes. And they built a new world in their own
image as promised by the
sacred words, and spoke
of the beast with their children. Mammon awoke, and lo! it was
naught but a follower.

from The Book of Mozilla, 11:9
(10th Edition)
This is taken from Mozilla Manifesto:

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet. We have worked together since 1998 to ensure that the Internet is developed in a way that benefits everyone. We are best known for creating the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

Indeed, Mozilla succeed and brought back the Web Experience it should be. Now they are back with Firefox 3 which brings a lot of new stuff whether it comes ti user experience, performance or security. Just check out the new features.

Plus one more thing, ever attempted to make a world record and always failed? There is another chance today, head over to www.spreadfirefox.com and try to help with setting in new world record of the most downloaded software in one day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It is the WashingMachine!!

Many times I got bad talked by my girlfriend that not putting socks together is the main reason for loosing them. I was never sure, but I always had a weird feeling it has to be the washing machine, just never caught it, until today! I am really sure the machine ate one white sock! hahaaa!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Upgrading to Hardy Heron

With 7.04 version of ubuntu I was quite happy, most of the hardware worked and GNOME was already very usable and cool. I was looking forward 7.10 to polish some issues and be THE DISTRO for masses. I even got new Dell Vostro laptop with mostly Intel hardware.

Ubuntu 7.10 is quite cool distro which delivered some very nice features but many things didn't work. It was probably because most of the open source conferences where held at spring and then came summer and not much time was left to polish and test. Laptop was without a sound at all, email client evolution gave a lot of nasty bugs, cisco vpn client didn't compile and few more. Similar situation with friend's Dell Lattitude which also includes problems with Boradcom wifi driver. However over time I managed to get everything working (except for the integrated microphone). But I had a wierd issue with Cisco VPN client which corrupted my username in config file whenever I presses Ctrl-C on login promtp. The microphone and this was the only thing I was not happy about. Otherwise the system was fast (I never experienced "window refresh is being rendered" feeling like I regurlary get when working with MS Windows), stable and joy to work with.

However I discovered new version of Cisco VPN client is out, so I compiled and it worked.... for a few minutes. Then hard freeze, only holding power button for 4 secs (I wonder how many people know this trick and how many are pulling the cable) helped, something really happening in the kernel. I managed to track it to:
  1. recent upgrade of ubuntu kernel
  2. recent wierd behaviour of ipw3945 (likely after the kernel upgrade)
  3. cisco vpn client
  4. SMP system (as others suggested)
One of the solution was to upgrade to kernel 2.6.24 so I tried. I got new kernel (2.6.24-12), compiled latest Cisco VPN client ( and it worked. No more hungs. Nice, problems solved. Oops my sound subsystem is gone again. No wonder, there is new alsa out there and my system is inconsistent.

So I typed 'update-manager -d'

and updated my system to latest version of Ubuntu Hardy Heron, scheduled to be out in about a Month. Rest of this page tracks what is not working and possible solutions.

First I was very pleasantly surprised by the update process (very simple, not error given), system was updated and while being updated most of the desktop still worked. After update I rebooted (it took a little bit longer than 7.10 but this might just be only a issue of not updating the progress bar) and was presented with working GNOME environment, working evolution, working VPN client, webcam, wifi and sound ;) Just integrated microphone refuses to work. After I got home I discovered couple of more bugs, but something might be because it is not integrated yet (Gnome 2.22 is to be released tomorrow).

Current bugs preventing "THE DISTRO" syndrom:
  • #182284 - slow scrolling of webpages (Xorg going to 100%), seems to be fixed by installing xserver-xorg-video-intel - 2:2.2.1-1ubuntu4
  • #176090 - no LED activity for wifi (Intel iwl3945)
  • #200950 - wifi cannot connect to WPA+WEP based networks, likely bug with WPA supplicant
  • #183968 and #180766 wifi is renamed to wlan0_rename
  • #201326 - Shutdown button does not work
  • #188972 - Integrated microphone does not work
  • #201338 - Evolution crashed with SIGSEV in camel_exchange_journal_delete()

So lets see what mighty ubuntu team can fix before the Hardy Heron is out.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

bye Brussels, FOSDEM, I am back to work

Times flies, weekend in Brussels is over (actually it is Wednesday now already!) and I am back to work. I hardly managed to put some pictures from my Monday's tripping in the city on-line. By checking the google earth measurement feature I managed to walk over 15 kms with more than 14Kg heavy backpack, in the end of day I was looking for any excuse to sit down for a while. PSP is very handy in those moments.

Brussels is very interesting city, de-facto capital of the European Union, hosting many of its key institutions. It also has beautiful wide streets full of any kind of shops one can imagine. It starts to wake up at 10am and tends to live up until late hours in the morning. I had whole Monday to explore the city. This time I skipped Grand Place and Manneken Pis statue as I saw it last time I was there and instead walked the city from Palace of Justice to the St. Mary's Church and then down to central station and from there to Basilica of Sacred Heart, 6th biggest church in the world. I watched the Zeitgeist the evening before, so I find it kinda funny to see all those huge buildings built in the name of God which might actually be just a worshiping of astrology signs. By the way I can recommend Zeitgeist to anyone, very interesting movie, scoring 8.9/10 on imdb, so check it out.

After long time I also managed to get together with a very close friend, so thank you for everything.

FOSDEM'08 was great, as it was my first bigger conference I consider it a huge success. I've met a lot of interesting people, managed to visit a lot of interesting talks and learn new stuff as well. I hope to post some more articles about FOSDEM if time permits. Looking forward to next year. Btw, the GNOME party on Saturday and GNOME people just rocks!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Going to FOSDEM

I’m going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European MeetingWhile reading my favorite planet I noticed FOSDEM'08 is this week. As I am now living in Copenhagen which is relatively close, flights are cheap and I was always sorry I could not attend any real open source conference and meet the real people behind all this exciting stuff, I decided to go. As the conference is really close (this Friday) I have to act fast. Flights are sorted, now I am looking for some couch/sofa to stay at night, couch surfing seems like a great option. Agenda is really long list of exciting events and I spent whole yesterdays night just to try to pick some of them. There are still overlays but I'll try to sort it out as times permits.

So far I picked those:

10:00 - 10:30 Opening: Welcome
10:30 - 11:30 Opening: Tux with Shades, Linux in Hollywood
11:30 - 12:30 Opening: How a large scale opensource project works
12:30 - 13:15 Opening: Status update of Software Patents
13:30 - 14:15 LPI - LPI 2008 - a certification passage
14:00-14:45 Janson Perl6
14:30 - 15:15 Gnome Gnome Developer Kit
15:15 - 16:00 Gnome More Clutter - Animation Kit
16:00 - 17:00 CentOS Introduction to CentOS
16:15 - 16:30 - openSUSE - Builde Service Overview
16:15 - 16:30 - openSUSE - Builde Service Web interface
16:45 - 17:30 Gnome Elisa
18:15 - 18:45 Gnome GUPnP
18:00 - 19:00 CentOS Pluggable real-time monitoring with dstat

10:00 - 11:00 Chavanne Xen
11:30 - 12:00 openSUSE - Kernel, udev, D-Bus, HAL, NetworkManager and Friends
12:00 - 13:00 openSUSE - Suspend
12:00 - 13:00 X.org - Fixing X input
13:00 - 13:45 CrossDesktop - Farsight 2: Video conferencing made easy
13:00 - 14:00 H.1309 CentOS Introduction to CentOS
14:00 - 15:00 Janson Conary
14:30 - 15:00 openSUSE - One Click Install
15:00 - 15:15 talk - IOGrind: locating I/O performance problems
15:15 - 16:00 CrossDesktop - Deb Packaging Introduciton
15:00 - 15:45 Packaging - PackageKit
16:00 - 17:00 CentOS Hosting custom applications on CentOS 5
16:00 - 16:45 CrossDesktop - GEGL
17:15 - 18:30 Janson The Endgame
17:00 - 18:00 CentOS CentOS 5 and Virtualization

Event is happening at the ULB Campus Solbosh, so I can check what the studies looks like in Belgium. And I see LPI certifications are available, time to test my Linux skills. Now if I just manage my phone to sync to Google calendar, both Goosync and Scheduleworld are not working for me now.