Archive for the ‘Travelling’ Category

Two days ago I picked up my first totally personal laptop/notebook/netbook/whatever-you-wanna-call-a-pc-you-carry-around. I wanted something that was small and light(relatively) with enough performance to allow some simple (non-graphics-related) coding and doodling. Also, since I was sure I’d be running Linux on it compatibility was a big issue.

After doing tons of research that really wasn’t to much good, I decided to go for the Lenovo Ideapad u150. Mostly because it was cheap and I always had confidence (= good experience) with Lenovo machines in the past. Also, before reading further keep in mind that it’s a Japanese config, so there might be differences from the machines sold under the same name in Europe and the US.

Since it came without any form of optical drive, installation of Linux would have to be done using a USB stick. No problem, though, just format a large enough stick, grab the latest syslinux and write a MBR onto it, copy the files from your distro-iso and setup the correct files in the root dir.

I decided to go with Ubuntu for this machine. Normally I would have run Debian Testing, but I figured I could spoil myself with some support-wheels. Installing Ubuntu 9.10 was a breeze. Really, the whole thing went so smooth it was almost scary (=boring? ;) ).

A reboot confirmed that grub had recognized the win7 partition, which I’ll leave around for a while for the Lenovo diagnostics apps. Booting into the Ubuntu Gnome desktop I was pleasantly surprised that all the hardware (including fn-keys, wifi, bluetooth …) had been recognized and setup properly’ (except for one little detail, see below). Again, almost to easy to be all together comfortable…

The only thing that needs to be fixed is that sometimes the screen-brightness fn-keys wont actually change the brightness of the screen *lol*. Pressing them displays the nice little gui feedback and everything but sometimes the actual screen brightness just stays the same.. this I will have to look into.

The verdict: A very very nice experience indeed. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a decent, easy to handle and very portable PC.

Update 1:

Fixed the brightness keys issue with the solution described here:


Sometimes I entertain myself by randomly scrolling around and across google maps, following tiny roads and looking for interesting structures and shapes.

Today I came across this:

+44° 9' 17.85", -118° 13' 39.97"

+44° 9' 17.85", -118° 13' 39.97"

The site is located in Oregon, close to just about nothing, though there is a road leading up to it from a small private air field called Lockhart Airfield.

If anyone knows what it is, please let me know! :)


Posted on: August 23, 2009

This site is just full of amazing photos of life in the USSR, and of abandoned buildings, structures and places in Russia. Check it out, and don’t miss the links to other albums at the bottom of the page.



Posted on: March 10, 2009

最近、名古屋への出張が多くて、新幹線乗っています。新幹線と言えば?決まってるでしょう!ビールとお弁当! :)

So, after 4 very, very hectic days Mix08 is over. It’s been 4 days filled with interesting conversations and meetings, and I am very glad that I came for the third year in a row.

This year I did not have time to see that many sessions, and so I was very happy to see how fast the session videos came online. For those of you who could not attend, here’s your chance to soak up some of the content! Check them out at http://sessions.visitmix.com .

I’ll be leaving Las Vegas 8am tomorrow morning, and I just realized that tonight the Americans set their clocks forward one hour, switching to summertime. That could have ended in some interesting misunderstandings at the airport…

Anyways, need to get some rest before starting the long trip back to Tokyo.

There’s something nice about walking through the great check in hall at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, stepping up to the Invited Guests desk, showing your passport and here the person on the other side saying ‘Welcome back, Mr. J’. We’ve been expecting you.

Not that I’m such a regular visitor to neither Vegas nor the Venetian in particular, but since this is my third time at Mix, I assume their database records of previous guests picked me up. Nice conference start…

Actually the conference doesn’t start until tomorrow, but I had some appointments set up for the day before the event so i decided to come here a bit early. Every year at Mix, the people attending by invitation from Microsoft Japan gets together for a Japanese group dinner sort of thing. A relaxed little social gathering where the usual suspects gather to catch up on what’s happening in .Net development in Japan. I was very happy to see that this year the group had grown, meaning hopefully that the number of devs working with .Net (in particular 3.0/3.5) and Silverlight is growing too.

Other things worth noting, I did get a chance to discuss blue hair and table saws with Adam, age with Laurence and social experiments with Gilber.

Looking forward to tomorrow. :)


This blog has no clear focus. It has a focus though, it's just not very clear at the moment...

Dev Env.

Visual Studio 2008 Prof / NUnit / Gallio / csUnit / STools (ExactMagic) / doxygen / dxCore / TypeMock / TestDriven.net / SequenceViz / CLRProfiler / Snoop / Reflector / Mole / FxCop / Subversion / TortoiseSVN / SlikSVN / CruiseControl.net / msbuild / nant

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