Personal

Using JoikuSpot for 3G access from my laptop

I'm writing this blog post over a JoikuSpot 3G connection.

I travel a lot, so I often used internet over a Bluetooth/3G connection provided by my phone. I have a flat rate 3G subscription for that, but when I travel abroad it gets expensive of course. Even so, I've found that it was often more efficient to get my emails read to download them over a 3G than trying to get WLAN to work in every new location. Abroad it gets expensive, but I figured getting my job done rather than spending 20-30 minutes troubleshooting WLAN issues was worth it for my employer.

Actually, it is horrible how poor WLAN is still today on Linux. After all, this is something where Windows XP achieved quite decent usability in 2001, that is 9 years ago!

When I recently threw my Nokia E71 into the pavement in Stockholm, I had to buy a new Nokia E75. Since then my 3G over Bluetooth modem setup didn't work anymore. Today I decided to fix it. I went back to the source of my instructions. See, there's still an area in desktop Linux where the only way to make things work is to copy some scripts here and there. Then, after a while, I gave up. The PPP scripts just wouldn't connect. I have no idea what is different compared to the previous phone that (mostly) worked.

Getting home to Scandinavia

This blog post is just to list links and tips on getting home to Finland.

First leg: getting to anywhere in Europe

Being stuck in San Fransisco, my first problem has been to get just anywhere closer to home. Taking a boat from America to Europe takes from 6-15 days and is not significantly cheaper than flying. So the best bet is just to fly to Europe.

2 MySQL lessons for real life

Between following (from a distance) the talks at Fosdem and anticipating the ones at MySQL User Conference in April, I was reminded of 2 interesting MySQL talks that have had a deeper meaning to me than their original speakers probably intended. I thought today could be a good time to share these 2 stories that for me personally are filed in the "things I learned from MySQL AB and Sun" folder...

"If you can't solve the problem, try solving some other problem"

Cloning myself (at work)

I just wanted to post this note so there is no confusion or rumors popping up: In a recent meeting at Monty Program we concluded that with the recent additions to the community and engineering teams, the team is now in excellent shape, except for one thing: we have bottlenecks on the top. As a solution we've decided to split my current job in 2 parts:

COO: in charge of company operations and routines, who most will report to

VP of Community and Business development: will be a more "project oriented" role taking care of ad hoc things that need to get done. (Such as, setting up ODBA, arm wrestling with Oracle, productizing our offerings, developing also internal processes, etc...)

Management BS I don't believe in

I attended Open Ocean Capital's birthday party yesterday. It was in the Storyville Jazz Restaurant in Helsinki, with Katja Toivola and the Spirit of New Orleans playing. It was great to be at such a good live Jazz concert, something I have been missing the last years.

Mingling with business people I was reminded of 2 sayings that I often hear managers use.

Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

This saying was actually quite popular at MySQL. Just in case someone doesn't know how it is used, this saying is used against someone who points out problems or weaknesses in the company, especially if perceived as complaining.

New role for me too...

Some weeks ago I've resigned from Sun Microsystems, where I worked as a MySQL Telecom Sales Engineer. Beginning July 13th I will take on a new role in the MySQL ecosystem, as "Project Manager and COO" for Monty Program Ab.

Since it can be argued I'm moving to a competitor, and I was working in a customer facing role, upon resigning I had to immediately return my computer, phone, etc to Sun, and my login accounts, including email, were terminated. I've gotten some comments about this (like: "Is there no trust in the world anymore?" and "How can you treat anyone like that?") and I cannot stress this enough: This is normal, I expected it, indeed brought it to my managers attention myself. If nothing else, think of it this way: This precaution also protects me from any misunderstandings and/or false accusations. Besides, starting your vacation by returning your laptop and removing your email account isn't the worst thing to happen to you - try it, you'll love it :-)

This had in any case the side effect that I was not able to honor a long standing tradition of sending a goodbye and thank you note to a certain internal mailing list, because I cannot do that from my private email. (Also asking others to forward a mail proved to be problematic/sensitive in many ways.)

Hence, I'm posting the email I wrote here instead, so that both my former collagues and other MySQL community members can read it alike:

Dinner with Monty and others

So we had a very nice dinner with Monty and the Finnish "MySQL Ab alumni". It was to my surprise augmented by Sergei Golubchick, whom I had never really met face to face and was delighted to be seated next to. Also a first for me was to meet Pekka Nousiainen, from the MySQL Cluster team. Which is funny because I kind of work together with him on IRC and email, but we had never met before "in real life" either.

Before the dinner I had asked in a rather cryptic message people to share some MySQL memories on a separate page on this site, followed up a couple days later by Kaj's less cryptic message. I printed whatever had arrived before I left for the restaurant and read a few snippets out loud. I should say that Monty liked it very much and thanked more than once for such a nice thought. He said that hearing some of the things you had written brought back many nice memories for him, and between all the Swedish drinking songs there was a sentimental moment right there. Personally I also liked the "international connection" of enabling Monty's friends to participate in this kind of virtual manner together with us Helsinki bound people that actually were there face-to-face so to speak. After all, MySQL always was an international project.

Christmas party at the Widenius residence

Last Friday I got to enjoy the benefit of being a MySQL'r and located in Finland: We were invited to Monty, Anna and Maria for a MySQL Christmas party. Now that we are part of Sun, the company of course organises its own official Christmas party (who organises parties on a Thursday???) like all companies do, but a special MySQL party was still a very good idea, thanks Monty for inviting us. I especially enjoyed meeting some of the MySQL'rs who had recently either left Sun or happened to be on maternity leave.

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