Well, the whole NATO Summit balagāns is over and I am sorta moving into LETA (just got my Powerbook G4 connected to a wireless network and will overcome my revulsion of Windows to use a pretty nice looking generic PC with a big bright Samsung flat display). Word has come that my MacBook (black) has been delivered in the US and I will pick it up when visiting there in January.
But back to NATO -- one of the coolest side stories is that the airspace over Riga was protected by a US Aegis guided missile cruiser, a system whose design was managed back in the 1970s by none other than The Godfather of the Latvian IT industry, Jānis Gobiņš. Gobiņš, a founder of Infologistik in Germany which in turn sowed the seeds for Softwarehouse Riga (later to become SWH Technologies, a/s Dati and finally Dati Exigen and Exigen Latvia), was a project manager designing the data processing systems behind Aegis, which can track and defend against dozens of differed aerial targets (missiles, aircraft, etc.). Since Gobiņš now lives in Riga, the Aegis cruiser actually came home to one of its founders during the summit :).
Meanwhile, I was in Stockholm for a few days moving my base of operations there to a new apartment (34 m2) that my wife bought close to the very hub of the Swedish/Nordic IT world in Kista. The biggest problem was assembling an IKEA wardrobe, which I did partially upside down (not discovered until disassembly was no longer physically possible). If there is a hell where tormented souls must do some unpleasant stuff for like, eternity, then one of the tasks I would assign IKEA furniture designers is to have to assemble their own stuff over and over and over...well, for eternity.
A theological aside -- I am a strict agnostic if not a total non-believer (in irrational stuff), and one of the reasons is that I could never quite put together the idea of a benevolent creator or intelligent designer and the rewards and punishments of the Christian cosmology. OK, like you don't accept a certain set of beliefs, are not saved and for this alone, you are condemned to some form of hell for eternity??? Gimme a break! OK, I could see roasting Stalin or Hitler's soul for say, 2 or 3 billion years, or even a billion for each victim, but, hey, eternity for a difference of opinion, just saying that Jesus was a nice Jewish kid who got into trouble and maybe not the Son of God and a Savior and, zap, off to hell forever?? Where is the intelligent in this design?
OK, that is the last time I mention these kinds of issues as they are way off topic. Just that IKEA makes one think about hell for some reason ...:).
The good thing about the crashpad that we now have in Kista is 100 Mbps internet as part of the rent. I must try it out to the fullest the next time I spend a few days in Sweden and am not putting together IKEA furniture backasswards.