Kristian Kristensen’s Blog

The Practicalities of My Studies at WVU are Coming Together

Posted in Misc by Kristian Kristensen on the June 30th, 2006

It’s been awhile since I wrote someting about my exchange studies at WVU, so here goes.

I’ll get housing on campus, I don’t know where yet, but have payed the deposit and are waiting for an answer from the Office of International Programs and the Housing Office.

I’ll be getting a parking space on campus near the Law School, which’ll cost me $165 for a year. That seems quite okay. A friend of the family, who lives in the US, will help me buy a car. This’ll mean that I’ll be able to get around and hopefully see a lot while I’m there. Remember Washington D.C. is just 3,5 hours away, New York around 6, and Chicago around 7.

I’ll depart from Aalborg on August 11th, and arrive at West Virginia University on Sunday, hopefully in my new car :-) On Monday and Tuesday there’ll be International Student Orientation Day, and I’ll sign up for courses and get everything in order. Thursday the 17th should be first day of classes.

I got my Visa from the American Embassy last Tuesday, which was a relief. A Visa is just one of those things you can’t do without!

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    Rules, Rules, Rules

    Posted in Code,Misc by Kristian Kristensen on the June 29th, 2006

    Via Deldy on Dotnetforum , I found this link, which contains a rules on all kinds of subjects, but mostly related to computers and software development.
    You’ll find rules on how to email, do software project management, hire programmers, etc. Very nice ressource!

    SSW Rules to Better …

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    MySQL and Typo3 Woes

    Posted in Misc by Kristian Kristensen on the June 29th, 2006

    I spend some hours yesterday debugging an error for a client of mine. Over time his site running on my box had slowed down to a turtles speed. First we thought it had something to do with Typo3 4.0 and its use of both memory and modules (although those two concepts are closely linked in the Typo3 world). But our tries were unsuccessful. It seemed a stronger medicine was needed.
    During this debugging I of course tailed the syslog, anticipating something would show up. And it did. Rather consistently actually. The MySQL daemon would consistently moan: “1016 – Can’t open file ‘.MYI’ (errno: 145)” for the cache_hash table in Typo3. Information from this site lead me on the track for mysqlcheck, which can be used to check and repair corrupt tables. Running it on the clients database solved the problem, or at least it wasn’t as slow anymore.
    I kept tailing the syslog the rest of the day to catch any other problems, and indeed some of the other Typo3 sites had the same problem. Sometimes MySQL would just barf out the above error. Running mysqlcheck solved the issues each and every time.

    Now being able to do that is great, but I can’t help to be a little worried. Should it really be neccessary to run mysqlcheck as a cron job every night, to fix these corrupt tables? And who is actually making them corrupt? It seems that the tables getting corrupted are those related to caching in Typo3, especially cache_pages and cache_hash.
    Maybe someday I’ll get an answer.

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    Graduate Party, Exam, and yet another Party

    Posted in Misc by Kristian Kristensen on the June 28th, 2006

    On Saturday I attended the graduate party at my institute. It’s a tradition that all the graduate students arrange a party, and for a small fee the students, who are not graduates and thereby left behind, can join. The menu is simple: food and free bar! This years theme was “Hawaii”, so people had dusted off their nasty hawaiian shirts.
    After the main course desert was up. And just to be a little different the organizers had rented an ice cream trailer with ice ad libitum. So pretty quickly a line formed, see the picture. Some of the local companies had sponsored the party, which meant that there was enough money to get a band which played for 3 hours.


    It was a fun evening/night, and I enjoyed talking to all the people I started with at Aalborg University. It took me an extra year to find the right education, so I still have a year to go, before I can graduate.

    On Tuesday I had an exam in Systems Development Philosophy (SF). The examination was based on an essay, which each student had written during the course. And with a base in this the rest of the syllabus was discussed during the exam. I had written about Remote Procedure Calls, and argued that it has a fundamental problem: it tries to abstract away the network, but sooner or later the programmer has to deal with the network anyway, which ruins the point of abstracting it away. So we talked a bit about this, and how the syllabus relates to distributed systems programming in general. I got to talk about Service Orientation (add an “Architecture” if you wish), so all was good. We also touched on the concept of Quality, which is discussed in the book used for the course. One of these quality aspects is divides quality into functional, aesthetic and symbolism. I was asked to define each. Functional is easy, how good the stuff/thing works. Aestehtics has to do with how well it looks (think Mac). Symbolism has to do with how easy it is to get girls, if you have the stuff/thing. I think the censor liked this last point. She said, it was a very precise definition :)
    Apparently things went well, because I got the grade 11 :-) This is cool, because most of the discussion was based on what I’m planning to write my master thesis on. Reading the book for the SF exam also started some thinking, and I have some notes, which I will use later. Eventhough this course was not as technical as my thesis will probably be, I think the notes will be usable.  I might blog about some of these issues later on.

    After the Exam me and most of my fellow students headed over to Nork (the dormitory where I used to live, before I moved out, because I’m going to the States), and we barbecued, drank beer and watched Brazil beat Ghana, and France beat Spain. All in all a nice evening, and a good way to say “have a great summer and see you in January”.

    So, on Monday I’m going on vacation in the States with my family. We’ll be visiting some good friends on the east coast, and spent a week there. After that we’ll fly to the west coast, and drive along Highway 1, visit Las Vegas, and generally just have some fun. We’ll return and I’ll be in Denmark for just about 3 weeks, before I fly back to start at West Virginia University.
    Exciting times indeed!

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    Get/Enable Glass/Aero in Vista Beta 2 on a Toshiba M200

    Posted in Microsoft,Misc,Windows Vista by Kristian Kristensen on the June 24th, 2006

    I’ve installed Vista Beta 2 on a seperate partition on my tablet. However, I haven’t been able to get Glass (the transparent windows), which comes with the Aero apperance/theme. That was until I read Scott Forsyth’s blog. He describes some of his difficulties in enabling Blass on Vista Beta 2, and refers to this article on Neowin, that describes how to disable the check that determines if your hardware is good enough for Glass. After following Neowin, and entering the “Visual Apperance” item on the “Personalize” menu in “Control Panel”, I could select “Windows Vista Aero” in the box, and lo and behold I had glass!
    I looks great! Really smooth, and Flip 3d (WinKey – Tab) is very cool!

    The success didn’t last for long however, apparently my hardware isn’t fast enough, or I used to many system ressources, so Vista disabled Aero/Glass – the DWM process which Aero uses occupied around 150 megabyte of RAM.
    But I’ve felt Aero/Glass, and now I cannot go back. I look so forward to the release of Vista.

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    Changes Abound

    Posted in Microsoft,Misc,PDC by Kristian Kristensen on the June 22nd, 2006

    I’ve updated my blog with a new design courtesy of Ian Main; the theme is called Green Marinee. I also installed a Gallery to put all the pictures I’ll take during my time at WVU; you’ll find random pictures in the sidebar on the right.
    I’ve also inserted the posts previously found at my old site. These old school posts are from the day when editing HTML in Notepad would constitute a blog. So with these included I now have blog posts more or less frequently since January 2001. That’s pretty big! You can find them all under the category OldNewsOnZianet.

    A funny aspect of these old posts is that they illustrate my transition from Linux Lover to Microsoft Lover :-) My first exposure to .NET is here (introduced by Don Box, which later appears in my blog, when I meet him at PDC), a brief on my first Microsoft conference is also here.
    Ah, the memories…

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    My Trip to Copenhagen

    Posted in MSP,Microsoft,Misc by Kristian Kristensen on the June 20th, 2006

    Late sunday I boarded a plane for Copenhagen; the serious purpose was to visit the American Embassy and get my Visa in place for my exchange trip to the US, the less serious to visit a friend of mine, who moved to Copenhagen 2 months ago. At 10 o’clock on Monday I had an appointment at the embassy, I arrived in appropriate time, got checked in, and got ready to wait. And wait I did! I sat for an hour until my name was finally called. The nice lady at the desk asked me 3 questions, and that was it! So now I have a Visa for my exchange trip. Super great!
    After this more or less boring wait, I called Henrik W. from Microsoft Denmark, and asked if we should grab a cup of coffee. Henrik was up for it, and even upgraded the coffee to lunch at Microsoft in Hellerup :-) We chatted for a bit, and I got up to speed on some of the things happening in MS. I also met Rene Loehde – the architect evangelist – and we talked abit about his screencasts.
    After this I met with Lars and we took a walk in the city, ending the day in Tivoli, where we had dinner at “Perlen“.

    And today I got up at 4:30 AM (yawn) to catch a plane from CPH to AAL at 6:40AM.

    All in all it was a great mini-trip, where I got my Visa fixed, got to see Lars’ new place, and visit the guys at Microsoft.

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    New Phone Arrived – Qtek 8500

    Posted in Microsoft,Misc by Kristian Kristensen on the June 20th, 2006

    Late last week the post man rang the door bell, delivering a package with my new phone: the Qtek 8500. the::unwired has a review.

    All in all it’s a very cool phone! And so much more mobile than my I-mate JasJar. The form factor is great, and it’s very light. The design is very sleek, and has some nice bragging details.

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    The DPE Team in Microsoft Denmark

    Posted in MSP,Microsoft,Misc by Kristian Kristensen on the June 4th, 2006

    Visiting I found a page with all the members of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Team in Denmark. It contains a short description of their work duties, their blog, and favorite blogs. Henrik W. Hansen - the ADE – lists the Danish Microsoft Student Partners as his favorite blogs, which would include me :-) The only thing missing is a link, so my page rank will get a boost!

    Via the page I also found Bo Drejers blog, the only one I didn’t have in my blog roll. The reason: Bo Drejer hosts his blog on MSN Spaces, and isn’t aggregated in the main feeds found at Anyway, subscribed!

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    Get the Office 2007 Beta

    Posted in MSP,Microsoft,Misc by Kristian Kristensen on the June 1st, 2006

    Henrik WH blogs on the availability of Office 2007 Beta for Students. Check it out.

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