Exploring the World

Video call is here today

Many people have been wondering what kind of new invention is the Apple FaceTime supposed to be when there have been video calls for a long time already. I have been now using FaceTime some time, calling with Fangfang when we travel and today the whole family used it to talk with Mikko who is currently studying in Seoul.

FaceTime is really what they promise in the commercials and a bit more. First of all, it is just as easy to set up as they promised and it works extremely well. And it will give you completely new experience when you can have conversation and see the other person really in real time. And show something from your surroundings. The whole conversation becomes more engaging and interesting.

Video call is finally here and will allow you to spend more time with your family when you’re traveling here and there. Perfect invention for today’s world.

Enjoy the Octoberfest

Octoberfest beer

I couldn’t join Octoberfest this year (once again, maybe some year) but it didn’t stop me from enjoying my Octoberfest beer.

Light in the dark Autumn night

Light in the darkness

Autumn is typically very dark time in Finland, that is when we take out candles to bring some light to the darkness.

Crayfish

Autumn is coming and traditional crayfish season. And very soon I will be tasting first taste from this very good delicate.

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Sunset and clouds

Sunset

Sun is setting with completely calm lake, nice clouds creating quite a different looking sunset.

Some things still the same

I am flying with Austrian airlines to Prague via Vienna (flight operated by Tyrolean) and I am very happy to see that not all things get worse all the time when traveling. Some magazines were offered on thus flight and those were nicely put inside plastic folder, quite nice idea making them last longer and easier to handle in the small airplane. And there are still some drinks available and not just a boring can but a real bottle. How nice is that! And when traveling, it is important to eat well. How about some chicken salad, shrimps with rice and nice traditional Austrian apple dessert? I am certainly happy that I didn’t choose one of those airlines, which make you pay for a sandwich.

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Traveling style

I have been traveling quite many years now and certain things are happening every time. I pack on the last evening and almost every time, I also prepare everything on the last evening (ironing etc.).

For this kind of short European trip, I of course need to pack my suit but then I also need some other important stuff such as my Airport Express, which will help to create WLAN in my hotel room if there is only a wired Internet - hopefully there is as today most of the hotels will only allow one computer and I need connection also for my phones. Need to get online you know. :-)

Otherwise it follows the same usual path, check-in and print the boarding passes as soon as the check-in opens (try to catch boarding number 1 if possible; today I got 1 for the first flight and 2 for the second flight). Update relevant applications on the phone (make sure I have up to date itineraries with me and lounge locations etc.) and check that I have updated my music (and videos) for the iPod.

That’s it, pretty simple. Most of the stuff I take with me are always the same and some of those are already packed even between the trips. Just waiting for the next trip.

Something very boring, site moved

This time something very boring, post about technical stuff. :-D

Guess Who Am I and Fangcaoxin have moved, they have stayed the whole existence with DreamHost but it was time to get them renewed completely. First they got a new look (new Twenty Ten from WordPress 3.0) and then new home. The new home was found from VPS.NET and at the same time we moved our CDN from Amazon to Akamai. Hopefully, after all of these changes, the websites will be also quite much faster for our visitors from Asia (mainly China and South Korea).

Guesswhoami.com was originally registered on November 2005 and fangcaoxin.com was registered on August 2008. Both started their lives on DreamHost, moved from shared hosting to the Private Server, got upgraded many times and also took some of the optimizations into use (W3 Total Cache and XCache for example). In the end they were also running Amazon CloudFront as their CDN.

Well, we have relatives in China who enjoy our blogs (mainly they enjoy Fangfang’s blog as I am rather boring and do not post as often as my wife) and also photos about our life in Finland. Lost of photos online will usually result some kind of performance problem and eventually you end up looking for a CDN.

I was looking for faster CDN, which would have better presence (especially in Asia) as well. We had started from CacheFly, switched to Amazon CloudFront and I had tested also CloudFiles but nothing looked exactly like I wanted. But then I came across with quite interesting option, there would be possibility to purchase Akamai through VPS.NET and as everyone know, Akamai is the king of the CDNs. I signed up and noticed how much better Akamai is but what I noticed at the same time was how good was VPS.NET experience. Quite refreshing in today’s Internet so I tested a little bit to see how good they would be as a VPS.

And results was that I moved our blogs to VPS.NET. Now we are happily running one VPS hosting our blogs and another running our databases (powered with Fusion-io power). And our blogs really fly nowadays, we basically cut our load times to half.

And I have been testing with all the possible testing sites also the speeds from mainland China and it looks very good. Some might argue that our load times are better because the blogs are now located in Europe, which is partly true as it will give us benefit when we are writing new posts but main difference is also coming from the fact that VPS.NET is very well connected to Internet.

Why work so much just for two personal blogs? One reason is to make everyone happy, Fangfang can update her blog more often and more easily when it is fast and responsive. We will also get (hopefully) more visitors because our blogs are faster. And everyone in the family are able to see what we are doing and they do not have to wait until they get bored to see our newest photos.

And this is an interesting hobby …

I told you, this is boring post. Technical stuff. :-D

Preparing for being on the road

What happens with me before the usual business trip? Today is Sunday and I will be traveling on Tuesday, so it would be good time to check that everything would be good to go. Okay … I rather watch TV, there is Best of Top Gear running on BBC. :-D

What is the point of having an airport in the local area if you cannot use it? This time the flights from Tampere were about 2-3 times more expensive than from Helsinki, not exactly cheap in my opinion. So the good option is to drive to Helsinki airport and start the flying from there. The bad thing is that my flight back to Finland will land at 23:00 to Helsinki and then I need to drive back home. Positive thing is that driving by night is quite okay and the road is going to be quite quiet and nice without much traffic.

Quick trip like this (Tuesday, driving to Helsinki, flying to Prague via Vienna; staying overnight, having meeting during Wednesday and then flying all the evening back to Helsinki via Münich and then driving to home during midnight) doesn’t require that much preparation. I basically just need to make sure the suite is looking good and I have some clean shirts, and ironed. Which reminds me that maybe it would be good idea to check if shirts require ironing.

Oh, another Best of Top Gear episode … maybe I will watch it first.

New look for the website

It was time to renew the look and how this website works. I tried to make it also faster and hopefully it will be fast also from China.

Now I just should write more often here. :-)