Moving my blog!

May 20, 2009

Good day, everyone!

I am glad to announce the opening of my new blog, which is now located at! Please, come and visit me.


Dissappointed in WP anti-spam

April 23, 2009

Today I was really dissappointed by the WordPress anti-spam protection. I would guess that they are still using Akismet (?), but it does not matter – I still get a lot of spam-comments like “hey, we got stuff, come and buy”.

Of course, this can be explained by the fact, that all of those undetected comments are in Russian and are not supported by WP’s defence. No, it cannot be explained like that. Why? Come on! It is 2009 and I expect such well-known brands as WP to support and protect both English blogs as well as all the other languages. I do not care how they do it – they simply have to do it somehow. Why do I have to come here and see tons of new spam-comments turning my blog into a dump of ads? There is, obviously, no answer to that. And not to mention the famous bug of WP spam protection, when it could mark the author’s comment as spam too. Been there, done that 🙂

On the whole I really thought that the times, when people had to mess around with configurations and come up with hacks to get Russian language to work were gone. Looks like it is too soon to celebrate 😦

Finland Part 2: The Arrival

September 16, 2008

So, it is already the 16th September. I guess that it is time to write some new information about my adventures in Finland (Tampere to be exact).

I went to Finland by ferry with a friend of mine. Andrew was very helpful during the day, since I had no trouble with luggage and there was always someone to speak with (== !boring). So, when we were on the road about 20 minutes from Tampere I called one of my tutors (tutor – a person, who is assigned to evey new international student, who has to help you in every way) to inform him about my arrival. He offered to meet me on the train station and so we did. It was a nice Finnish guy called Kristian. Anyway, the first thing to do was to go to TOAS and get my dorm key. It was nice, but very slow. I mean we waited for 20 minutes even though there was no queue. Anyway, I signed the contract and got a place at Keskisenkatu, TOAS location 700 (code name “Sepontalot”). They gave me a key and even a key holder for it (the key holder had “TOAS” written on it and on the package it said “Made in Taiwan Made in Taiwan Mad….” 🙂 ). My tutor left at this time and me and Andrew headed for Keskisenkatu street. Found the dorm quite quickly. The location was great – right across the road there are S-Market, Nordea bank, R-Kiosk, a pharmacy and a bus stop. Everything very close. We got the luggage from Andrew’s car and went to the third floor of the G block. Opened the door and saw a corridor. Two other guys were already living in the place – I arrived last. The apartment is really nice. One toilet (toilet + basin), one bathroom (shower + basin), kitchen and a balcony – those are the shared areas. Each of us has an own room, which is approx. 12-14 sq. m. big, which is quite roomy for me. In every room there is a bed (+matrace), a chair (a really crappy one 😦 ), a desk, a small book shelf and a dresser. There are 6 power plugs in total in my room, which is quite nice.

All-in-all, the TOAS dorm is not a luxury one, but still a very decent one. Next time I shall tell you about registration at the university and the orientation week we had (25.-29. Aug). Stay tuned.

Finland Part 1: The Preparation

August 11, 2008

/* Leaving Tallinn in 9 days */


Some of my readers are well aware of my plans to study in Finland. In fact, the current situation is that I am departing to Finland on 20th August. And today is 11th August. So, at the moment I can say the following: I have been accepted to the University of Tampere. The programme name is Software Development (Master’s degree). But, I want to tell the story from the beginning…

So, the whole thing began when in early autumn 2007. I started thinking about a Master’s degree. I began seeking for opportunities. One thing was clear from the beginning – I wanted to study abroad, not in Estonia. Long story short – I found out that the perfect place for me to study is Finland. Big thanks to Sergei, who pointed out several advantages of studying there. The reasons are:

  • Finland is close to Estonia, so travelling back and forth won’t be a problem (2 hour boat ride to get from Tallinn (the capital of Estonia) to Helsinki (the capital of Finland)).
  • Finnish language is somewhat similar to Estonian.
  • Finnish universities do not need you to know Finnish before you arrive in Finland (for example, Germany wants you to obtain a certificate confirming that you know basic German)
  • Studying at Finnish universities is abso-diddly-utely free (there is a 85€ student union fee per year). Also, you have to prove that you have the money to live in Finland (6000€ on your bank account or a work place with a minimal salary of 600€/month).
  • Finland is a metal country! That is just what I need! 🙂

So, the next thing to do is, obviously, to find some universities that I am going to apply to. So, after some research, I decide to apply for three programmes in three universities in two towns:

The next thing to do: gather everything needed in order to apply for those programmes. The check list is pretty much the same for all universities:

  • TOEFL / IELTS test report. I did TOEFL. i do not know why, but it simply happened. The test was in early January 2008, so I received my test score in early February (this is crucial – always remember that it takes 15 working days (== three weeks) to receive the results. Anyway, I scored 112 (IIRC), which was enogh to satisfy all universities’ requirements.
  • Bachelor’s degree certificate or an equal degree certificate. This was unclear for me, since I was still studying for that one. I mean that I shoud’ve received it in late June and the aplication period ends in March-April. I had to email the universities and ask what I should do. Everyone replied that it is not a problem and that I should send them a document from my university confirming that I am supposed to get a degree before 31st July. No problems here.
  • My record of studies. No problems here, but, again, since I was not done studying it did not contain three subjects, so I had to attach a list of subjects, that are not yet complete.
  • Two letters of recommendation. That is easy. I made even three – from my boss at work and from two teachers from my university.
  • A letter of purpose. No problems here too. You have to write why do you want to study at the university. That is it.

Well, that was basically it. No other documents were mentioned in the application requirements. Except the University of Turku – they wanted to get a copy of my secondary school diploma and a copy of grade list for the secondary school. Well, after some thought, I made those copies (even though I think that this is pretty strange – I am applying for a Master’s programme and they demand secondary school junk).

Anyway, I gathered all the papers (and believe me – that is a hellish load of papers) and sent them all to Finland. And then was the most horrible period of time during the whole process of application – I had to wait and see if I get into some university or not (well, I know that I am perfect, my friends know that, my parents know that… but the problem is that those guys at the Finnish universities did not know that :D).

The first one to reply was the University of Turku. They said that there were not enough documents to prove my educational background (what a pieceload of bullcrap). They did not even says what was wrong, so the “you hve 14 days to protest” phrase sounded like they were just messing with me. Well, I didn’t like that programme that much anyway.

The second reply came from TUT. They thanked me for my time and hoped that I am not too upset about the fact that I didn’t get into to uniersity. Now that made me feel like I’m a dumbass. I had one last chance to get into a university – UTA, or I’d have to try again next year.

Finally, the letter from UTA arrives. What a relief. That was one of the best moments in my life, actually. I can’t remember being so happy when I found out that I got into the Estonian Information Technology College.

Ok. The letter said that I was “conditionally” accepted. “Conditionnaly” meant that I have to send my diploma to UTA by 31st July. Anyway, I filled out the agreement form and sent it back UTA.

I had several things to do while being here in Estonia:

  • I needed to get to a dorm. TOAS is the organisation that deals with dorms in Tampere. So I filled out a form on their website and some time after that I received a notification that a room is reserved for me and that I should pay the 225€ deposit fee. No problemo. I received the letter on 27th June I believe and a few days earlier TOAS added a note on the website, that there are no dorms left – that made me worry a bit. So, anyway, now my deposit is confirmed and I can say that I have a room in Tampere to live in 🙂
  • I needed to send a copy of my diploma to UTA (to get rid of that “conditional” word). Which I did right after I received my diploma.

Well, I think that that is it. Nothing else to say. I am now an accepted student of the University of Tampere. I have a room in Tampere and the next deadline is 1st September, by which I will have to enroll (which is preceded by TAMY student organisation registration).

All in all, the process is quite complicated, really. But, I want to thank Ms. Kirsi Touminen from the University of Tampere, who helped me a lot during the application process.

I hope that I will have the will to continue this series of entries about Tampere, Finland and UTA. And now I am tired of writing. Maybe I forgot something, but I hope that i will remember that by the next time I am going to write something about Finland. Thank you for your attention.

Hehe Text Editor: so it begins

July 31, 2008

So, today I will start telling you about a very simple text editor I am making just for the fun of it. The thought appeared to me while I was extremely bored just “stumbling” sites. I thought – “Hey, instead of wasting your time doing nthing why don’t you make a simple text editor and log the whole proccess in your blog?”. And that is basically it. I wrote up some code. The main window and stuff and that was it.

Anyway, some thing I want to achieve during this “session”:

  1. Tabbed documents
  2. Support for large documents
  3. Windows context integration (like Noepad++ does)
  4. Code highlighting
  5. Code folding
  6. Code structure
  7. Autocomplete for functions and variables

And maybe something will be added later. This is a very minimalistic feature list for me right now. Next time I’ll show you what I’ve done so far.

Asus Eee PC 4G

March 17, 2008


Я таки сломался… Слабохарактерный я… В субботу пошёл и приобрёл Asus Eee PC 4G чёрного цвета… Опишу свои первые впечатления:

1) Новенький Асус обошёлся мне в 4990.- крон. Не то чтобы очень много, но и не мало. В общем, считаю, что цена для него подходящая.

2) Ось. Задумка интересная. В общем и целом оно представляет собой модифицированный Xandros, с двумя режимами – простой и (!) сложный. Простой – это измученный IceWM с табами, где распиханы всяческие иконки. Приятно и понятно, но уж очень просто (мне такая простота ни к чему, а вот для обычных пользователей, кому нужна только почта, чат и фф – очень даже удобно). Второй режим – это, собственно просто KDE. Вот и всё. В общем неплохо, но тоже не ахти (я предпочитаю гнома). Ну да ладно. Не наше это дело. Самое то главное – с этим счастьем свободного места – “аж” 1 Гб. Маловато, честно говоря. Посему начал я думать как бы всё это дело зачистить и оптимизировать. В общем, на следующий день я пришёл к выводу, что лучшим выходом будет грохнуть линь и поставить ХР. Что и было сделано. Всё очень просто. Берётся nLite и из дистра винды вырезается с корнем всё ненужное. Что имеем в итоге – дистр винды (образ, то биш) на ~150 Мб. Пишем на диск, подключаем внешний ДВД (у меня старенький, купленный в своё время за 100 крон) и начинаем ставить винь. Что интересно – перед процессом инсталла надо зайти в БИОС и переставить флажок OS Install из Finished в Start. Уж не знаю зачем. Так надо В) И итоге процесс установки занял около 30 минут (с моим стареньким полуработающим ДВД). Вуаля – винда есть, ставим драйвера и всё работает на ура! Только вот с ACPI пришлось повозится, ибо винда русская (другой не нашёл) и в реестр прописала ??????? ???? вместо Главное Меню. Пришлось ручками править и только тогда инсталл прошёл успешно. Свободного места теперь – 3 с хвостиком Гб. Эклипс уже поставлен и даже сносно работает.

3) Ходят слухи что есть у проца режимы работы – 630 и 900 и что по умолчанию стоит 630. Надо будет опробовать и посмотреть 900.

4) Экран расрешением 800х480. Нестандартная штука, посему могут возникнуть проблемы с играми, однако есть утилитки, позволяющие эмулировать 800х600 и 1024х768 (читай сплющивают картику). Хотя это и не суть как важно.

5) Ради интереса поставил Quake 3 Arena – работает, курилка. Без проблем работает. И разрешение 800х480 поддерживает и идёт безупречно. Загрузки быстрые. Я в шоке В)

6) Если кого-то смущает размер харда – 4 Гб, то не расстраивайтесь! У Еее есть SDHC/MMC кард-ридер, в который можно вставить карточку на несколько Гб. У нас в Эстонии можно купить на 16 Гб всего за 850 крон (я уже это сделал). Или на 8Гб за 300-400 крон. И будет вам счастье – вставили карточку и пусть она там стоит. Если же мало 16Гб, то можно внешний хард подключать – у меня есть на 100Гб. Тоже всё прекрасно пашет. Конечно, тогда теряется весь смысл “мобильности”, но это так, для тех кому 19Гб мало (16 на карточке + 3 на харде самого Еее). По мне так этого позарез должно хватить. И фильмы туда скинуть можно, и музыку и ещё много чего. К тому же такой метод хранения данных очень хорош тем, что очень просто вынуть карточку и использовать её в любых других целях (или просто записать на неё фильмов и вставить обратно в Еее).

7) Из нарицаний: а) туговатые мышкины кнопки, но, наверное, разносятся и б) экран маловат (хотя это объясняется ценой данного аппарата).

8) Насчёт цены. Для меня цена в итоге оказалась следующей: 4990 за сам прибор, 100+ за ЛАН провод домой, 130 за мышку (захотелось мне для него мышку купить) и 850 за 16Гб карточку памяти. Итого: чуть больше 6000 крон. И, могу сказать, что оно действительно стоит того. Покупкой очень доволен. Осталось только найти ему достойное применение В))

Visual Studio 2005 not showing data sources sometimes…

January 9, 2008

For quite a long time I have been bugged by this bug (;)). I have a solution with several projects in it and some of the projects have data sources. The problem is that sometimes when you switch to another project (e.g. by opening this project’s file in the editor) the data sources are empty. Now, there is a simple trick which can help resolving this problem (restarting VS doesn’t help). Open up the .xsd file from your project tree and rename anything there. Save it. Rename it back and save it again. Now your data sources should be once again visible in the data sources view.

Hope this helps someone.