Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Identity: Email Migrated To @Sun.COM


Yesterday, I completed a most significant emotional step in the integration of MySQL into Sun. As about 75 % of MySQLers had already done prior to myself, I migrated my main mail account from MySQL's mail server to Sun's.

Yes, I am still reachable And I was already earlier reachable on @Sun.COM, in addition to my private But now Sun's email server is the one I use for both sending and receiving email. So this minor administrative step raises questions for me whether my signature should primarily feature my @Sun.COM email address, or whether I should remain Luckily (strangely? sadly?) Sun allows me to follow my own judgement on this one.

A reason for happiness is that I am reachable as "kaj" on both and This relieves me from the humiliation of constantly seeing a new, unfamiliar garbling of my last name. In Finland, we're of course used to foreigners not knowing the final three letters of our alphabet, "åäö". So I've been garbled to "Arno" on occasion in my adult life. Dropping the dots and rings is a more or less official misspelling custom of email addresses in Nordic countries, so while it still hurts my eyes, it's something I've grown accustomed to. However, the Germans misspell differently. They garble me to "Arnoe". While each country has its own customs, and I tell myself to be respectful of that, I still get frustrated every time my name is violated.

So please email me on a first-name basis. As, as, or as firstname@lastname.countryofcitizenship.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Football galore -- Inter using MySQL 5.1

Within minutes after Finland was just about to win 3:2 over Germany in the football world championship qualifications (but it ended 3:3), I got a bit of consolation for myself, my dual-citizenship son cheering for Finland, and my fellow countrymen using MySQL:

We have the next MySQL 5.1 Use Case article live, and it's about FC Inter Milan. No Finns playing there (but stars such as Ibrahimovic, Materazzi, Luis Figo, and Adriano). And, from a MySQL perspective, the interesting point is that FC Inter Milan is using both MySQL 5.1 Partitioning and the Event Scheduler in an innovative way.

Thanks Corrado Pandiani for the story -- let's hope your good Use Case inspires others!


MySQL University Session on OpenSolaris Web Stack -- 11 Sep 2008

Tomorrow, there's a particularly interesting MySQL University session coming up: The OpenSolaris Web Stack.

This session is presented by key experts outside the Database Group, but inside Sun:

  • Jyri Virkki, lead for OpenSolaris Web Stack community, Sun Microsystems

  • Murthy Chintalapati, Web Stack development, Sr Engineering Manager, Sun Microsystems

For practical reasons, this session happens three hours later than normal. To decipher that into a timezone which may be familiar to you, this means 9:00 PST / 16:00 UTC / 17:00 GMT / 18:00 CET.

OpenSolaris Web Stack is an OpenSolaris project and community building an integrated stack of popular open source web tier infrastructure technologies such as Apache HTTP server, MySQL, memcached, PHP and Ruby On Rails optimized for Solaris platform. This session introduces OpenSolaris Web Stack, its status and future development including addition of newer technologies such as lighttpd, Varnish etc., as well as the ease of use features for developers and deployers. We will also be discussing an experimental web stack IPS package repository and it could be leveraged to build and make available popular end user applications such as Drupal.

You don't have to register, but it certainly is appreciated if you do so, by filling in your name on the session Wiki page. That Wiki page also contains a section to post questions. Please use it!

Those planning to attend a MySQL University session for the very first time should probably read the instructions for attendees.

Finally, you may want to take a look at the complete list of upcoming University sessions.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Climbing Mt Blanc

Salle (MySQL EMEA Support Leader) just told me over IRC: "One has to be crazy to do the job Kaj is doing :)". While it may not be mandatory, it does help. It also helps me in my free time, where I just climbed Mt Blanc with my fourteen year old son.

Die-hard marathoners or mountaineers I recommend to scroll towards the bottom. There, I have an account of the exact times and heights of ascent, how to survive Refuge Gouter etc. But let's start from the beginning, in the spirit of the web comic "bored with the Internet".

It all starts with a leisurely walk up the Gran Paradiso, 4061 m.

The usual sight is the heels of my son.

A MySQL cap protects me against excessive Sun.

It also helps when it's snowy.

Valley panorama.

Specifically this view, of my son's heels, was next to mandatory as I was tied to him with a rope.

Taking off some gear near the summit of Gran Paradiso.

The final ascent to Gran Paradiso.

Waiting for crossing the tough spot.

View from Gran Paradiso (it's in Italy).

Alexander made it, too.

Father and son, and the Madonna. Austrians and Germans do "Gipfelkreuz" (a cross), Italians do madonnas.

A happy Alexander at Gran Paradiso. It was his first 4000 m high mountain, and mine too.

One step forward, and I would fall hundreds of metres.

I miss my 8 mm fisheye.


As long as we're on the glacier, we're tied to each other.

The glacier isn't exactly clean.

And it has plenty of cavities.

Next day! More exercises. This is close to Courmayeur.

Taking off the shoes afterwards is rewarding.

No, I didn't Photoshop the ski pole onto the ... toilet cleaning device.

The true adventure starts! We're heading up the Mt Blanc. Now, we're at Bellevue, waiting for the railway.

The train is driven by a cog wheel.

Alexander, in anticipation.

The first day (out of two) has 1500 height metres. And it was the more arduous one. Headache. Not fully acclimatised.

It's getting higher.

We're now on 3800 m height, in the Refuge Gouter. That's the one from which the ascent starts tomorrow.

The writing on the wall says in essence "if you come too late, don't expect to get a place to sleep -- and if you do, expect it to be on the kitchen floor".

First dinner serving 18:00, second 18:45. And first breakfast at 2:30 (for those going for the summit), second at 8:00 (for when weather doesn't allow you to go to the summit, i.e. those going back to the valley).

Alexander in front of the Refuge Gouter.

And myself.

Thomas and Abi, two of our three excellent guides from the DAV Summit Club -- the trip organising subsidiary of Deutscher Alpenverein.

Father-and-son bonding.

My son thinks either this picture ...

... or this one reminds him of the ZDF Wetterstudio, i.e. German weather forecast pic.

Beds at the Refuge Gouter are spartan.

Fellow DAV climber Frank admires the ZDF Wetterstudio.

I slept fully dressed: Trousers, outdoor trousers, three layers on top.

More father-son bonding.

It's now about 2:15 in the morning, in Refuge Gouter. We ate, took our gear, and made ourselves ready.

2:54 Alexander and Kaj leave from Pole Position, lead by our fearless Mountaineer Abi. About 40-50 groups right behind us, breathing in our necks.

3:50One group passes us.

4:00 -- 5:00 -- 6:00 One step after the other. Endurance. This is not the worst part; waiting yesterday was. That made it into the most demanding physical endurance test of my life. It combined the next-to-worst aspects of a marathon (not the last few km, but almost) with height related headache and nausea, as well as the next-to-worst aspects of hiking in the Finnish army: Limits in stopping to dress (because it's cold), undress (because it's hot), or cater for some other physiological needs (drinking, eating, or the mirrored processes thereof).

6:20 on Tue 2.9.2008 We're at the top, Mt Blanc 4810 m, as the second team! Whether it made much sense to hurry, is another story entirely.

Kaj at the summit.


Sunrise, put into larger perspective.

Sunrise was indeed impressive.

More of it.

And more!

And more!

Myself, admiring the sunrise.

8:30 we were back at the Refuge Gouter. We had some spaghetti, and left again at 9:30. And back at the cog-wheel railway, we were at 13:05.

Mt Blanc the following morning, from in front of our hotel.

Same thing, but closer.

Ahh, and a final note. We drove home to Munich with a navi. We meticulously followed its advice, only playing with the language, in which the navi bossed us around. And according to the navigator, this is the main road between Chamonix and Munich. (But we refused to "Do a U-turn, if possible!" on this road).Technology is great!