Erik I

My public writing. You can reach me at

Filed under #lifeInNorway, #observations and #howto

(Might apply for other Scandinavian countries and certain other countries as well, see video of Swedish people waiting at the bus stop at the bottom of this post. )

As you walk into the bus, scan the seat rows.

  • Some seats are prioritized for elderly and disabled. Stay away unless the bus is empty anyway.

  • Try to find two empty seats next to each other, take one, put your bag in the other.

  • Generally within reasonable limits try to contribute to an even distribution of peiple in the bus.


  • If you see a friend (who's not extremely close friends,) or someone you know, smile and say hi or nod.

  • If you cannot find two empty seats, pick one based on the following list:

  1. Someone you know

  2. Someone else

Take with a grain of salt, and always apply common sense. Also it is a bit short; I wrote it in around 15 minutes, on the bus.

BTW, avoiding people on the bus is seen as polite, even if you know them.

Will try to get back with some advice on how to pick a seat on the train (if you can get one, that is 😎 )


Filed under #observations, #risingearly and #lifehacks

Another work day where I wake up early. But I've made a change to my early morning habits:

The plan is now:

  1. Get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes clock off
  2. Press snooze
  3. Get dressed
  4. Go downstairs
  5. Turn off the alarm
  6. Make coffe
  7. Press play on the podcast I am listening to
  8. Start browsing Instagram
  9. Stop browsing when podcast episode finishes

The second last item on that list might sound weird to almost everyone else but I can forget looking at or even thinking about Instagram for days or weeks.

That might sound great for someone who struggles with addiction to social media, and I guess it is less annoying and dangerous,but also means I miss out on a lot of what is happening.

So for now I'll try this to see if I can include a healthy dose of updates from friends and family.


  • it helps a lot that I have decided well in advance what the first 30 minutes of the day will look like
  • it works reasonably well, my brain turns on (possibly related to an interesting podcast)
  • generally my brain seems to respond well to spoken words while I'm doing something else
  • Instagram ads generally have a lot better targeting for me (it took 12 long years for Google to realize I was not looking for scammy-looking dating sites)
  • writing blog posts takes more than 5 minutes, I guess this took 30 minutes
  • it is now 0522

I've been trying this for less than a week, so add a pinch of salt, but I feel I'm into an habit that can work well for a few weeks.

Filed under #observation, #lifeInNorway and #lifeOnTheInternet

Today the orange forum is discussing “matpakke” (link to vox article about matpakke.

As usual it seems other peoples boring routines are more interesting than ones own boring routines. Which is kind of understandable since it is less boring the first time.

And to be clear: matpakke is probably a good – but boring – idea.

Filed under #opensource and #observations

I wrote this the other day:

Also you can ask 20 honest developers what they think AGPL means and get 3 or more wildly different explanations, at least if you include “I've no idea except it also works lver the network”.

Besides the typo I immediately also go a message that I could stop spreading FUD and instead point people to

Which I have hereby partially done by adding that link.

My point still stands: developers don't know what the AGPL means, and here are two, just from the replies to my comment:

Edit: I should point out that I find these to be very reasonable and not too far from my understanding of AGPL.

Is it not “if you take AGPL code and run it on your server and make it available to other people, you need to give them the code to whatever you're running”? saagarjha

It's the “whatever you're running” that gets complicated if you're using the AGPL code in conjunction with a bunch of other code to deliver some service to customers. What are the rules around how that other code is allowed to interact with the AGPL code before it has to be made available as well? ghaff

And this is just the beginning. I think I've even seen people moving to AGPL while claiming that it wouldn't affect its users at all (the project in question used to be MIT licensed IIRC.)

While I personally think most software should be licensed under permissive licenses such as BSD, MIT and Apache I haven't seen any problems with AGPL.

It is however clear to me that the FSF has some work to do to get people to understand what the AGPL allows and doesn't allow.

Filed under #java and #dotnet

I got a couple of questions about Java, the answers became so long I decided I could rather post them here.

As usual everything here is a draft, otherwise I wouldn't have time to finish it.

(Questions modified to fit the format.)

Why did Java become your favorite language even if you didn't like it from the beginning?

About ten years ago I worked simultaneously on Java and Delphi and PHP and had some experience with Javascript (coded a map viewer in JS and SVG) as well as a little bit C from school etc.

This was just at the time when Maven became popular and our tech lead introduced it despite some unhappy sounds from our boss.

At that time we lost days of work (and used a top consultant for three days) first hunting dependencies for Delphi then having to install them in the right order and with the correct incantations in between.

I also had plenty experience with hunting for typos in Javascript and PHP. Remember this was 10 years ago, long before Babel, Typescript, linters and what not.

Java on the other hand just worked. No squiggly line meant it would compile. Hunting for and manually updating dependencies became a thing of the past as we introduced Maven, and even with Ant it was OK compared to the mess that was depencies in e.g. Delphi.

The difference in ergonomics when coding was also day and night. With Java and a good IDE typing was reduced, typos were gone, all information you want would be available reasonably quickly (even if this was back in the days of spinning disks), and the refactoring story of Java was one of a kind back then and second to none even today IMO.

The last thing I disliked about Java was the insistence on xml heavy frameworks as well as the fact that the setup we used at that place took two minutes to restart and had to be restarted for code changes to take effect.

At that time though I started to rely on automated tests for business logic which cut down on server restarts and I also learned to use the debugger in my IDE which meant I could finish troubleshooting without restarting the server.

And why only for a decade?

I still like it a lot. It is still my favorite ecosystem. All the xml is gone now from all mainstream frameworks. And I sometimes miss Java features and editor features even when I program in C#. And yes, I too liked Java even better after Java 8.

Meanwhile I can now program C# without selling my soul ;–) Both dotnet and VS Code works extremely well on Linux, has a less ugly company to back it and has had the benefit of learning from the extremely successful business language that is Java to make an even better language.

Filed under #observations, #lifeInNorway and #lifeOnTheInternet

Haven't written for a few days, so let me just write some observations from Norway.

1: man in suit with consumer laptop

The man on the same train as me. He is probably 10 years or so older than me. He is probably traveling. He is writing on what seems to be a consumer laptop from HP. OS seems to be Vista, based on Window decorations but I really don't want to look at other people's screens so I'm not sure. I notice there's no privacy filter though and I feel thankful that I have one on my laptop.

Thoughts: I wonder what I do that make me look unprofessional (except this blog, that is.)

2: young man smoking

The man is probably in his early 20ies. Red hoodie under a dark coat. Lights a cigarette before he's even out of the train station it seems.

Thoughts: Wow, that was unusual. And wow, the tireless campaigns against smoking has worked. When I was a teenager in the 90ies smoking was usual, you could buy cigarettes from age 16 and I have a memory of one of my childhood friends openly taking his parents tobacco from age 13, rolling a cigarette without them raising an eyebrow.

3: The National Budget for Norway was launched yesterday

According to experts it is good. According to opposition it is a disaster.

Thoughts: As expected. And I think see signs of them expecting to lose the election in a 2021. Which I kind of expect too.

4: The hunt for Stallman continues

Yesterday a number of GNU maintainers signed a petition it seems.

Thoughts: I'm happy I won't have to defend everything he has said or done and I'm also happy I'll not be the judge for this one. However I have some thoughts about the meta discussions:

Some people say that “innocent until proven guilty” should only be used in courts.

Whatever the result of this particular case, we have already been at a point where media and the Internet can sometimes dish out way harsher sentence than the courts for a long time already.

I'm wondering if this should have some consequences for how media report on rumours.

Filed under #safety, #commute, #publicTransport and #lifeInNorway

I pointed out to the conductor who checked my ticket the other day that in the carriage I was sitting in the announcements was impossible the hear, even for a young healthy adult.

Considering that they – like flight attendants – primarily are there for safety reasons, this made sense to me.

She wasn't very interested and more or less asked me to report it on my own. I'll try to get around to that but based on previous experience I don't have high hopes.

At this point the person sitting next to me, someone working in a major railroad infrastructure company (judging by their ticket and their id card) turns to me to ask if there was anything important in the announcement.

There was no way I could know but this time it probably wasn't as the train continued according to schedule. But that is kind of missing the point: if the speaker is broken now it will also be broken if the train is stuck in a tunnel and a fire has started in one end and you need everyone to evacuate the other way.

In a time where conductors fight against privatization and (correctly) try to brand themselves as safety personell I think it might make sense to fight tooth and nail for the safety of their passengers.

I liked the old web: – before SEO was a thing – before blogging became a profession – when websites where still quirky – before you had to have a Facebook account to post comments – etc

This is my attempt to recreate a tiny part of it.

Filed under #art and #guerillaArt

A clock with no hands.

My guess is this wasn't planned, but then again in practice there often is little difference between certain kinds of art and just a messed product, isn't it ;–)

Filed under #tools and #observations

Update: made quite a few edits, footnotes/references should align now.

Scott Hanselmann writes: Introducing open source Windows 10 PowerToys.

With playful reference to which I enjoyed reading and which seems to be a mostly true description of the state of the art:

The Year of the Linux Desktop is Further Away Than Ever Before

An incredibly long diatribe of my struggles moving back to Linux

I'll say right off the bat that Windows is the not the ideal OS. I recently set out to put a Linux distro back on my laptop after growing frustrated with my Windows install...

Especially the part about making a bootable usb stick is relatable to me: when I am happy with my setup I leave it alone and work so until recently the last I installed Linux was sometime back in 2016 or so. Trying to install Linux this year has been a pain until I realized balena etcher is the only tool that works reliably now. After that however I haven't had many of the problems mentioned – but that is only because I know better and usually go straight for the worlds best desktop environment[0][1] instead of trying to make Gnome usable for me ;–)

Personally however I mostly use Linux except when customers demand I use Windows. Using Windows mostly isn't a problem at all, except for testing my patience, but my patience kind of depends on the situation, and if somebody pays me to send 50% longer time waiting for builds I'm fine with that[2].

[0]: The best distro I found is availble here:

[1]: Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes I think rationality is as well. I even know smart, extremely productive programmers, way better than me who use Mac, but if I didn't I wouldn't believe it, at least not right away.

[2]: But if you are a programmer and don't ever get annoyed by waiting for your computer then maybe one or more of you, your employer and/or customers could maybe[3] benefit if you studied “Three great virtues of a programmer” (quoted from Larry Wall himself in his “Programming Perl”, 2nd edition according to that site).

[3]: Alternatively if you program in a mainstream language and everything is super smooth you should feel free to make a blog post about your setup and tell me about it, contact details in the pinned about page, probably visible as a link on top of this page.

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