DIARY 2006














Fri, May 26

<23:47 EEST> I've recently been rather 'socially tired' due to the frequent theatre rehearsals. This has urged me to find solace in more geeky activities: Today I've migrated both my web-serving computers away from Apache in favour of Lighttpd.

It started a couple of days ago when I decided to give yet another try at bringing ye olde Mgt, the 486 laptop with a mighty 8 MB of RAM, back to life in the land of unix. Experiments with Debian and embedded Gentoo didn't work, there was still too little proper RAM to use. Anyway, I got to tinker with a light PHP-capable webserver, and it seemed good enough for my 'production' machines too.

I've fancied similar light httpds since using Boa back in 1999, and I think they are philosophically better and saner than the huge monolith of Apache. Other examples of the light ones are Tux and Thttpd, and they all share an ideology of using the select system call, instead of forking like mad. Stuff like PHP can be handled unix-style with separate programs, and the FastCGI interface is, in my experience, just as transparent and fast as Apache's mod_php.

There's also the simplicity of configuration which makes it more reliable in my regard. Starting with a tutorial, it took me something like 10 minutes to set up a server. This including user authentication, uploads, and other fancies. It's also great to start over with a fresh configuration rather than try some kind of autoconversion from my sedimentary apache files.

On another note, what would a What's Up entry be without a little movie review?-) From the numerous films I've seen lately, this time I would like to highlight Night Watch 1 and 2. Together they form a nice, complete story where familiar fantasy elements are mixed into a modern action story with some really nice twists, effects and photographic style. There's a third one underway and I'm a little afraid that it could turn out just another stupid sequel, but we'll see.

Sun, May 21

<22:20 EEST> It's that time of the year again when Jyväskylä gets to enjoy loads of free art performances. This year my tiny contribution was to be the bass section of the Kenoosis choir, of the upcoming musically spiced comedy of Kansannäyttämö. Saturday also happened to be the christening day of my nephew, which meant a rather hectic shuffling between a day in Tampere and the evening full of events.

The discordian atmosphere of Yläkaupungin yö was completed by the infernal hypothermia due to Lordi's hard rock victory in the Eurovision song contest, the last bastion of kitschy schlager. While I'm not particularly touched by the event, the general feeling of seeing ossified institutions reinvent themselves is a fresh breath of hope for mankind.

Of the many performances I witnessed, I happened to focus on three different bands more than anything else:

Wed, May 10

<01:52 EEST> Finished the massive reading of David Brin's Kil'n People. It's been a messy time for me, and thus exploring through a convoluted mesh of characters and concepts a few pages at a time, now and then, hasn't been the smartest thing to do. Still a bunch of interesting ideas and clever writing.

Aave-Cadillac played a short warmup gig on Tuesday at Välisaarirock and then a more proper one on Friday night at the Voionmaa staff party. We had a number of new songs and vocalists with very little practice together, and naturally I didn't expect the best, but some of the pieces managed to groove exceptionally well. Such as The Beatles' Come Together, for which I'd found a pretty funky electric piano sound in my Korg (Amp Driven Wurly, combination B000). Later that night I went to a house party at Juha M's place near Korkeakoski, and it turned into yet another weird JYT night with the usual dancing organism.

Tue, May 2

<02:14 EEST> What's up are Good Vibrations. I thought the world should know that I finally invested in a pair of legendary headphones, the Koss Porta Pro. They had been on my mind for a long time, roughly since I got my Korg last autumn, and last Saturday I walked into a store to get my pair. It's amazing what kind of sound you can get from these light, small and 80s kitchy looking phones. As expected, there's a little too much bass to my tastes, but in every other way they are unforgivingly accurate. And I'm probably too used to crappy midrange-boosting phones anyway.

That Saturday I was DJing at JYT's spring party at Kirjailijatalo, meaning I had to take my full sound system with me. JPW Mini Monitors quickly reached their distortion limits when converting the upstairs lobby into a dancefloor. Fortunately you didn't need quite as much sound pressure as you would in something like Ilokivi, so it was manageable. I also had my tiny stroboscope with me, to many people's great amusement :)

In fact there's not much more to my life these days than JYT issues ;) I've seen the musical Ruusun varjo twice, due to serving at the ticket counter. My impression of the production is an overall very professional feeling; it's not necessarily a good thing, because the idea of professional theatre involves certain mainstreamlining. That said, I still find it more intriguing, touching and 'artistic' than most professional productions.

As for more direct contributions to local theatre life, I've found myself committed to technical and supporting roles in a total of three plays from spring to early autumn. And there are further plans awaiting :) Gigs with my blues-rock band Aave-Cadillac are also coming up pretty soon.

Now about the movies I've seen lately... one that stands out positively is V for Vendetta. While I have strong doubts concerning movies based on comics, this one turned out a pretty decent 'smart action' piece. It had lots of details that I happened to find intriguing, such as the story's foundations in the history of Britain and the use of one Tchaikovsky overture. With the nice company I had, it was a perfect cinema outing ;)

Risto A. Paju