Classics Never Die

I’m a huge fan of music, and frankly don’t know what I’d do if it weren’t for music; probably jump off a cliff or something.

The other night I was talking to my dad–I don’t recall what about exactly–and the subject ended up on The Beatles and some of their records. I mentioned how I thought Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was probably their best record (and, generally, the best record in history), upon which he jumped up, ran to his rack of vinyls, shuffled through them for a bit, and voila:

The original 1967 record. I felt like I was in heaven. A few hours later, I slipped the record out of its sleeve, put it on my dad’s old record player and listened. It was like listening to the Gods themselves:

There is just nothing like it. More pics at my flickr.


Posted by Lasse Havelund on August 19th 2007 at 1:11 pm

Free != Bad

It seems to me that a lot of people are of the perception that if something’s either free or cheap, it’s nothing worth wasting your time on. On the contrary, I’ve found that some of the best things in life are free.

We’ve already established that I’m an Ubuntu user, and that I’m a strong advocate of free software.

I recently discovered (Nick led the way) an artist called Josh Woodward, who, according to his self-written wiki page, “Taking the musical road less traveled, he’s chosen to freely offer his entire collection of over 100 songs on his website.”, which is exactly what he has.

I’m not someone who likes to sort music by genre, but his music can be described as happy folk/rock/pop rock music, and I’m loving it.

Other than releasing his music as mp3s, Josh also releases the guitar tabs and lyrics to his songs, making it easy for anyone to play his music and share it. You can also buy 3 of his albums at a mere $10 each—every penny goes to him. How awesome is that?

I definitely plan on shelling out $30 when I come back from the UK and get those babies in the mail; Josh’s music is inspiring, happy and plain awesome if you ask me.

I suggest you check out his website, download his music and check out the songs I like the best.


Posted by Lasse Havelund on July 7th 2007 at 11:35 am

Simplifying Searching in Amarok

When playing around with Amarok, I discovered a handy search feature with functions similar to the of Google.

Here’s your average Amarok player playing:

So… say I want to listen to Whiskey in the Jar (any of the bajillion versions I have)? I obviously type in “whisk jar” in my search bar, narrowing my search down to this:

My only problem is, that The Dubliners‘ album Whiskey in the Jar (which features the track), also has a bunch of other tracks which get in front, so I have to either grab my mouse, or press my down-arrow. Or so I thought. Instead, I can type in title:whisk and it weeds out the ones where whisk jar match on track titles:

Let’s say I wanted to listen to Metallica’s version instead. So what do I do? I append an artist:me to it, weeding out all the matches where ‘Artist’ doesn’t match me:

After consulting the Amarok handbook, I found that there were so many more things you could search for:

  • Encasing terms in quotation marks. Searching for whisk jar finds “Whiskey in the Jar”, whereas “whisk jar” does not.
  • Ability to weed out terms. E.g. whisk -lizzy would show all of my The Dubliners-related Whiskey in the Jar content, but avoid my Thin Lizzy version of it.
  • Search by author, genre, score, rating, title, comment and type (with the syntax author:*. Most likely most of the fields are available, e.g. year and so on).
  • Combine all the above at your wish; e.g. title:whis -comment:enc type:ogg will only find files with the text whis in their title, without the text enc in their comment and only of the file type .ogg.

Of course, to reset your search query, you can just hit escape and start over.


Posted by Lasse Havelund on June 26th 2007 at 1:41 pm

Is Linux Ready to Go Mainstream?

Oh, this issue has been raised hundreds of times, and up until now pretty much everyone has decided it hasn’t been yet, and I must say I’ve agreed up until now. But Linux is constantly evolving, and development is currently faster than it’s ever been. In my oh-so-humble opinion, it’s only a matter of time until Linux is a viable alternative to Windows, which your current Windows user will be able to switch to in a matter of days. Alas, it isn’t so (yet), but we’re definitely getting close.

When I first tried Linux ~2 years ago, I decided to go for the easiest distro at the time (Ubuntu—it remains the easiest), and even that had a lot of accessibility issues; it was difficult to install kernel modules (if you’re a new user, like I was), a lot of things felt clumsy, wireless support was pretty much non-existant and so on and so forth.

Now, since then, I’ve swapped back and forth a lot between Windows and Ubuntu, and I recently made the final switch to Ubuntu, and I haven’t regretted it once. I can also feel that a lot of things have been worked on heavily for the past two years; proprietary drivers are available directly from the Ubuntu repositories (you’re even asked if you want to install them if you try to enable Compiz—which Ubuntu 7.04 [Feisty] ships with), there’s tons and tons of documentation for it, there’s the endless number of IRC channels and community forums available—and even commercial support if you want to ensure that important corporate database server stays running. So WHY isn’t Linux more wide-spread?

After browsing digg, I read this—something that really warmed my heart for some reason. Our baby is growing up. It’s ready for its venture into the great world; beyond the realms of geekery.

I see big things coming.


Posted by Lasse Havelund on June 25th 2007 at 3:57 pm

Exam status

As everyone else my ages, I’m working my… nose off with my exams. These are the most important exams in my life—the equivalent of the English GCSEs.

So far, my grades have surpassed all of my expectations.

Before telling what I’ve gotten so far, I figure I should explain the Danish grading system.

Continue Reading »


Posted by Lasse Havelund on June 22nd 2007 at 2:52 pm

8 Random Facts

Alex has tagged me with this little meme with the following rules:

  • Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
  • Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
  • Players should tag eight other people and notify them that they have been tagged.

So, here goes:

  1. My computer dual boots Ubuntu 7.04 and Mac OS X 10.4.9,
  2. I spend way too much time on IRC,
  3. I am the happy owner of a Sony Ericsson K800i,
  4. I’m on Facebook,
  5. I play the guitar (electric and acoustic), as well as keyboard/piano,
  6. On Ubuntu I use Amarok, on Windows I use foobar2000 and on OS X I’m currently looking for a replacement to iTunes (any suggestions?),
  7. I’m a grammer natzee,
  8. I always use a big a screen resolution as possible, which means 1600×1200 on my current graphics card/monitor.

And for this I tag… Melissa, Jim, Rita, Peter, Paul, Joey, Harrison and last, but not least, Niklas. I expect to see a pingback to this post from each of you. GO!


Posted by Lasse Havelund on June 10th 2007 at 4:08 pm


Re-reading the old xkcd comics gives me a truly fuzzy feeling inside. Firstly, xkcd is the first (and only) web comic I can actually boast to have started viewing before it became popular (with the whole “sudo get me a sandwich” line. Though that one is pretty good.). And re-reading them is even better than reading them the first time.

For the ones of you that DON’T know xkcd (shame on you), I suggest you check it out. For the ones of you who do know xkcd… well, check out the old archives. Trust me, you won’t regret it

1 comment

Posted by Lasse Havelund on May 23rd 2007 at 3:52 pm

Update your feeds!

Now, I know some of you are subscribing to my various feeds–please update your links! They are now:

According to Feedburner, I have 38 subscribers on my regular feed–w00t ^_^;

No comments

Posted by Lasse Havelund on May 15th 2007 at 4:03 pm

When Will Game Developers Realise Flash is Not the Way?

I don’t game much (anymore), but I still consider myself somewhat of an enthusiast: I monitor the release (and hype) of new games and technology, and I occassionally test new games when they’re released. And in all my years of monitoring new releases, I’m yet to find a website which:

  • Doesn’t use Flash,
  • Conforms to web standards,
  • Hasn’t got annoying sounds playing, even when I don’t want them to.

As pretty as some flash websites might be, Flash is a huge hinder when it comes to a lot of aspects. Copy/pasting the contents of the website for instance, or linking to a specific part of the website. Instead, you have to go start at the very beginning, skip an annoying intro (if you can), navigate through hundreds of different pages to end up at a final page.

It’s the evil truth, and while I love most of their games, I’ve noticed that it’s particularly games distributed by Eidos Group[1] [2] [3].

Take a look at these websites. It’s quite easy to make just as pretty websites using nothing but HTML and CSS–Flash really isn’t needed. Flash, for instance, isn’t available on all exotic platforms[4], and in this way, all Eidos is actually doing is prohibiting its customer base from viewing its products. Look at the Tomb Raider site for instance (provided you’re not using an exotic/BSD platform–as you then can’t. Hah.). Pretty much everything on that site (except the sounds on mouse-hovers and stuff, but that’s my actual point. They’re useless.) could be done with nothing but CSS, HTML and perhaps a bit of JavaScript. It’s easy. The only thing I can see as a problem, is the compass. And sure, you could stick a small square Flash applet in there, and it would be fine. Or do a UserAgent check, and decide if Flash isn’t installed, you’d instead view an animated gif, or just a static image.

It really gets to me, because people don’t visit websites because they’re visually orgasmic–they visit them because they want the content, and what Flash does (in a lot of cases I’ve seen), is to move the focus from the content to the design–are game developers smart, knowing their games aren’t really that interesting, or are they just ignorant? My bet is on the latter.


Posted by Lasse Havelund on May 7th 2007 at 3:12 pm

Making the Switch

Ultimately. Well, not quite ultimately. However, after a trial period of approximately two weeks where I’ve been testing Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn, and I’ve finally found true love.

I’ve been using Ubuntu on and off since November 2005, just after the release of Breezy, where my initial interest in Linux was erected, and I quickly became accustomed to the look and feel, the speed of the terminal and the friendliness of the community—but after a few months of having used just about nothing but Linux, XP was calling me. Well, not so much XP—more Photoshop.

I left Ubuntu behind and moved on (but installed it on my laptop in the Summer of ‘06) on the desktop-side, and didn’t really look back. Since then, I’ve used Dapper and Edgy on my laptop, but I only use those for school, not enjoyment.

Needless to say, I was excited about trying Feisty when it was released (Beryl, XGL and whatnot), so I grabbed the LiveCD, stuck in the disk and installed it on a 16GiB partition. I loved it from the very beginning–its ease of use, its user interface (Emerald is sooo pretty) and just the general improvements that had been added to the system over the past 3 releases. I kept stuffing new data on my drive—amaroK, Pidgin, Wine, essential applications for any Windows to Linux convertee—needless to say I’d filled that partition to the brim within 7 days, and thus, I turned to gparted. To my horror, gparted destroyed my entire NTFS file system, and I left it for dead. Until today. I reformatted and re-partitioned my disk completely, which means Vista now has 50GiB, and Ubuntu has 189GiB (it’s officially a 250GiB drive, meh).

What I noticed upon the second installation of Ubuntu, was that it was a breeze–I’d installed the base system, texlive,, compiled irssi 0.8.11 installed and setup amaroK, setup Thunderbird and copied my songs from my Frets on Fire backup I had on a DVD disk. And all this in less than an hour. Amazing.

And now that I’m on Linux (for the 3rd time), I don’t think I’ll be looking back anytime soon. With a small partition for whatever graphic design work I need, I’ll be doing everything else on Linux from now on.

Update: I’m still yet to boot into Vista. Hell, I haven’t even got Firefox installed yet @_@


Posted by Lasse Havelund on May 6th 2007 at 4:27 pm