Berlin, Germany, I was there.

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So me, the wife and the kids drove down to Berlin, Germany, Europe. We stayed at a shitty hotel that could have been nice, but the prostitutes and the rude staff kind of ruined it for us. Driving down was awesome. We took a lot of bridges and one boat. Berlin is a nice town to drive in. Everyone is super friendly and has lots of patience. Another thing you need is a sticker for your car that say it’s environmental. If you dont have it you might be fined 40 eur per day inside the city limits of Berlin. I did not get caught even once. Mohahaha. Also we took the u-bahn a lot. The U-Bahn is great. I wish we had one in Eslöv. The food in Berlin was wishy washy, until we found the gay-housing area two blocks from our hotel. There every restaurant where great. And there where no prostitutes there. We saw a lot of sights in Berlin. I was at the curry wurst museum. I like Curry-Wurst. I did not buy a single thing to circuit-bend or play on. But I got a super-ugly Hawaiian shirt at urban outfitters. And KaDeWe whoops every other shopping mall I’ve ever been to. My kids discovered crepes. They had a lot of them. I bought fabric made sauerkraut saft. Horay. I broke a phone at Starbucks at checkpoint-charlie. At least Starbucks is consistent in it’s coffe-making. The zoo we where at was nice, but the cages where to small. The first museum we went to was awesome. Wish I would remember it’s name. We also went to the zeppeling hangar that they built a tropical island inside. The name of the place is called that was ok. but Staakow RULED.

End of mind-stream. Soon some semi-regular stuff.

A little rant about Swedish toll

Toll in Sweden are taxes on foreign stuff imported. I have no big beef with paying taxes. Taxes are how we keep our society going. Sure the elected officials could be more efficient in smarter way’s but that is not really the issue here, most of the money go to the places where they should be. So when I buy something from America or any other non EU country the Swedish Toll office takes the value of that thing and adds tax. Usually 25% of what the thing costs. That’s all fine and dandy, but then the post office adds a seemingly random amount that they label “speditional fees”.

Let’s take my last international purchase for example, it was 75 USD (freight included)
75 USD is 543.05 SEK
Value was declared on the package and I got a letter home telling me I had to pay to pick my package up. Strange thing that I have to go somewhere to pick something up that the freight is already payed for. The amount I have to pay is 201 SEK. About 37% of the value. tax in sweden is usually at 25%. So when I was eager to see why the amount differd so much.
The value declared on the parcel was 75 USD, I don’t really think you have to pay toll for the freight, but the toll-officials don’t know that that was included, right!
At the specification 138 SEK is toll and taxes. witch is 25% no problem there. Then the postal office takes 63 SEK because toll was payed, in the spedition-fee. That’s the extra 13% add on the price. So I guess what really happens here is that I get to pay them for making me pay the Toll. I shouldn’t have to pay for the parcel being sent around. That was already payed for. I’ve searched for information on what I really pay for on the web, and asked postal workers. I still have no idea where those extra money really goes.

Dropboxing for fun and profit

Dropbox is the shizzniz!

For those of you that dont know what it is, it’s a virtual drive on the internet that syncs stuff between your computers, and or other ppls computers depending on your settings!

I use it for like, if I find a new Linux distribution torrent at work, I can download that Linux distributions torrent file to my shared dropbox folder called “torrents”. Then microtorrent at my server mac at home (with the raided disk’s and all) finds it and downloads it. With a little luck I have a new Linux distribution to try out when I get home from work.

I also use it for a little project a friend of mine and I are doing. A development folder where everything is shared. It’s like source control only easier. (and it takes some time to synchronize, but we’re not in a hurry!)

The first 2 gigs are free, but if you invite someone you get 250 megs more. All the links in this blogpost are invites from me.

How to succed in coding optimized programs.

Most people cant be race-car drivers, yet they can drive a car. Same goes for programmers, most optimization of the code is today done by the compiler. So there is seldom any need to manually optimize loops or fiddle with the small things. This however does not excuse giving up optimization or making your program to work as snappy as possible. Here are a few steps, I will explain them after but these are good to copy paste into your word-document, print and put near your computer.

  1. Choose the correct algorithms for the problem you are solving.
  2. Write readable functional and documented code
  3. Test (on the hardware you are gonna run it on)
  4. Analyze the test’s and find the weak-spots.

Choose the correct algorithms for the problem you are solving.
This might seem obvious, but it’s not and it is the step you’re gonna correct most of the time. There are in normal software development to many variables to keep track on to choose the correct algorithm the first time. This does not mean you’re a bad developer. It’s just life.

Write readable functional and documented code.
In this step, don’t pre-optimize, don’t write hard to read code just because you can or want to show off how smart you are to the few other that could be reading the code you write. The longer it takes to understand the code you are writing, the longer it will take to fix bugs, and the slower bug fixes and new features will come to the user of your program. Now who do you really care about? think about it! Why document you ask? well, because if you write in plain English (or whatever your preferred tongue is) you explain what the code is supposed to do, if someone finds out that it doesn’t do as described the bug is probably there. Coders who say “all you have to do is read the code” has it all wrong. Think about it like a destination and driving instructions”. If you only get the instructions like this: “take a left, walk 2 houses, take a right ….” without the destination clear someone who knows the destination and how to read and write instructions wont be able to fully understand.

Test (on the hardware you are gonna run it on)
You probably have a decent to really fast computer. Do your users have that? do they need to? If you’re writing for a microprocessor or mobile-phone or similar. there is one thing I can tell you, DON’T TRUST EMULATORS. There is always small but crucial differences on running on your computer or on the actual device. It could be they way you’re holding it, the way it reads from file-system. What I’m telling you is that there is no substitute for testing it on the hardware the costumer is gonna use your program on. The sooner you test it on hardware the sooner you’re gonna find the things about your program that sucks, and you’re able to fix them. The sooner the better!

Analyze the test’s and find the weak-spots.
Did you choose the correct algorithm to solve your problem? is there a performance bottleneck somewhere that you didn’t thing of? Fix it.

Most importantly do this for every feature added. If your writing something for a platform other then the one you are writing code on, test on hardware as often and as soon as possible or you will fail.

This was a nice little Saturday morning rant. I should do this more often, I was actually angry while typing. And I borrowed a lot of the language from a book I’m going to review in a little while!

Dear Korg, what I wish for xmas is a kaossilator 2 with these features:

Same size.
Larger touch pad.
A new and exiting color.
More sounds, preferably 4 banks.
No LED’s (that are for other products)
Be in the same price-range as the current one.
A tad better LCD to better show of the new features.
Patch editing, at least let me turn of those reverbs/delays/echo’s.
Multiple recording layers, that could be turned on and off at a whim.
Audio in, so it could be used as a looper for other audio sources as well.

I know it’s a little late Korg, but I’d be satisfied if you pulled that stupid German kaossilator movie of off the internet.

Thank you in advance.

Listening to new music every-day.

When I was a teenager I read or got told that your music taste stagnates when you reach 22. That is, you wont listen to anything new, atleast not anything in a new genre when you grow older.

This scared the shit out of me and I promised myself that that would never happen to me.

It hasn’t, but I wonder if it is because of this fear that has made me expand my views or if it is because even though the genres are the same, it is the same type of music I listen to?

Don’t get me wrong, I used to listen to blackmetal and the likes, now I’ve been into breakcore for a while with small doses of grindcore to supply my appetite in distorted guitars.  And I listen to brand new music on my way back and forth to work. I’ve been streamripping from for a long time so I have a lot of music that is totally new to me. And I have like 2h of traveltime every workday.  While that radiostation isnt as rigid in it’s specification of breakcore (but there are some noice, gabba, digital destruction,  booty bass etc) I have a feeling that there is something in common with all the genres and music I like. I have a feeling that there is nothing new, just disguised in different ways, and that I have not moved a bit forward at all since I was a headbanging teenager.

How about that?  Wouldn’t it have been awesome if Pandora could have told me what tag’s I have been listening to over the years and try to get a fix on my taste?