DIARY 2001















Thu, Aug 30

<00:43> My alignment code is actually starting to work with real data. This evening Tuomo and I amazed others at the hostel kitchen by baking Finnish pastry that looks like an earlobe, with a name that sounds like a slap on one. To our gr8 surprise, it tasted wonderful. The taste of Finland, that is. And I only have 24 days left here.

<17:28> Today I've felt the Programming High. That wonderful feeling, when you realize how smart and fast your code can be made when you recall the more obscure features of the language. One of the new F90 things I used today were vector subscripts. And the code seems to work better all the time. Of course new feature requests tend to result in bug hunts; one is currently underway, but since I'm missing the relevant experimental data, there's no hurry to fix it. ;-]

Sat, Aug 25

<00:53> Almost got my tickets to Finland, e-banking for my Swiss;-] account, and my code finished. That is to say almost, but I mean things are well underway. In fact the only thing missing from my project is an algorithm invented by my supervisor, and I should get some credit for its first practical implementation. I'm glad I found the F90 compiler and the supervisor got excited as well - he's a grand guru of F77.

Overheard at the hostel kitchen, this turned out pretty kewl: 405, the proof that it is possible to make an action film of just three minutes, with shoestring budget.

<02:32> Found a European mirror to download QNX.


To boldly go
where no mammal
has gone before..

Jurassic Trek

Or: The Finn Who Went Up a Mountain and Ran DownHill

Theme "No Jura, No High" by TeknoHog (with special thanks to Bob Marley)

Mon, Aug 20

<01:03> As is evident from a previous post, modern versions of compilers can make a person a one happy hacker. I finally managed to find a working copy of GCC 3.0 here. Just compiled Linux 2.4.9 and it works fine, after some weird problems with the PCMCIA package.

Sun, Aug 19

<02:21> No Jura, no high (as inspired by Bob Marley). Plans may sometimes change. The thick morning mist cancelled today's trek to the mountain Jura. Now there's a moth on my screen and I certainly didn't plan that either. Things happen.

Fri, Aug 17

<23:02> What a day. After a discussion with my supervisor, I got a FORTRAN 90 compiler. Sheer joygazm to me after some time in F77 hell. For these number-crunching applications it is definitely the best language, not the least because of a huge number of libraries available. The conversion from the F77 source is still not quite finished, fortunately I had left many features unimplemented. There simply isn't a decent dynamic, runtime allocation of memory in F77.

Before that, I had booked flights to Helsinki and on to London. Faced with the cheapest flight to HEL that was a return one, I then added a cheap (EasyJet) flight from Geneva to London. I'm not saying it's convenient, but it's not that bad. ;-j

After a hard day of hacking (I actually worked from 9:30 to about 22:00, with the usual breaks of course) I'm jacked out to read Penrose and Hawking's 'The Large, the Small and the Human Mind' and get a good rest for tomorrow. We're planning to get high (up to Jura) to celebrate Tuomo's 23rd birthday.

BTW, I've quit reporting Linux kernel upgrades. During my CERN employment I have upgraded to 2.4.7, and to 2.4.8 a week ago, and 2.4.9 came out today. Maybe I'll do that in the weekend (filesystem bugfixes are always nice) but there's a fundamental problem: how the heck are we going to brag about uptimes? [Some people have reported Windoze uptimes longer than the recent Linux release intervals.]

Sun, Aug 12

<20:01> The TGV is not exactly a 'bullet train'. At an estimated 160 km/h that was not faster than a typical Finnish train, but still the journey from Geneva to Paris was tolerable. I was disappointed to find no inertial dampers, but otherwise the suspension and tilting system made a positive difference to the Finnish thunderboxen.

Hence spent Saturday in the heart of Ile de France with Tuomo and Henri, they were there for the first time, and after the famous sights. After showing them the free views from the top of Samaritaine, I stuck with them for Notre Dame and Louvre. In the latter there was probably enough to see for a whole week, but at least we saw the lady who keeps staring at you no matter where you look from. Also the African/American relics and art were of particular interest, showing a lot larger scale of emotions than the simple (but stunningly) realistic Western pieces.

Split up as the guys headed for Eiffel and it was shopping time for me. Les Halles was conveniently situated for me. As I left the subway my eyes immediately caught the sign 'SHOE STORE' in fairly kewl neone tubing, and somehow I knew I needed not go further. Still took a look at the rest of the Halles, I had no time to go elsewhere as it turned out like a complex of several shopping malls. As the only meal that day had been a bread at the Geneva railway station, I spotted a place for take-away pizza and stuff run by some Chinese, AFAIK. Two slices were quite enough.

Not surprisingly, the best shoes I could find were at the initial SS and I also got a pair of trousers from nearby. The trip back was equally smooth, we also tried out the train's canteen which was not much different from the Finnish equivalent. The coffee was a lot better, of course.

BTW, the drawing on the main page (colours inverted) is the result of an artist who dragged me along to model near Louvre. Tuomo faced the same destiny which cost FRF 200, but I guess it was worth it. At least it would have been, had the charcoal drawing not been slightly damaged in my backpack :-/

Sun, Aug 5

<23:01> The sky above Geneva was the color of television, tuned to the start of a Simpsons episode.

"It's not like I'm clubbing," Willow heard someone say, as he shouldered his way through the crowd around one of the trucks that carried DJs and PA systems. "It's like my body's developed this massive bass deficiency." It was a Lac voice and a Lac joke. --Teknomancer

In A.D. 2001, Lake Parade was beginning.
The Finn: Onx bileet?
The whole of Geneva: Oh oui.

Can you imagine the entire city of Geneva pardeying? We couldn't either, so we had to go and see. The convoy of about 20 trucks loaded with techno/trance/house/hardcore started at Parc Mon Repos around 3pm. Tuomo and I joined the clubbing crowd, and those not clubbing made up the spectators around the streets. From the Britain I'm already used to the strong participation of grown-ups, a good thing that shows that attitude and personal preferences have little to do with age. The worm of clubbers moved to the beach opposite the Parc (w.r.t. the Lac) in some six hours, and the real pardey could begin. Finished some time after 3am, which makes more than 12 hours - OK there was 2+ hours of breaks. After that my feet were sore enough, knew I couldn't join the guys hiking on Jura the next day, but there were no more buses and I walked the ~7 km to CERN. :-j

In some ways it's the best party I've even been to. There's something special to be clubbing while slowly moving towards a target, out in the open in the middle of a famous city, while being watched, photographed and videoed by people around you. But during the night the scale of the event turned out a bit too large. 100 000 people is probably no exaggeration. It took more than 30 minutes to walk between the two ends of the party area, because of its size and the people density. Anyway, a special experience perhaps not far from the Love Parade of Berlin.

Wed, Aug 1

<13:12> Scheisse. She got me today. The game of Assassins is over for my part now. Sheer luck she knew me from meeting some time before. Fortunately I nailed my first target yesterday, so it's quite good for my first game ever. :-j Here's my death report:

In A.D. 2001,
War was beginning.
Paju: What happen?
Tuomo: Somebody set you up the water bomb.
Taino: We get signal.
Paju: What!
Taino: Main screen turn on.
Paju: It's you!
Hanna: How are you gentlemen!!
Hanna: All you target are belong to us.
Hanna: You are on the way to wetstruction.
Paju: What you squirt!
Hanna: You have no chance to survive keep your dry.
Hanna: Ha ha ha ...

Risto A. Paju