Archive for March, 2006

March 31st, 2006

Dressing up for shopping

I, Sanna and Aapo visited yesterday evening the Kämp Galleria frequent shopper event. The whole shopping mall was open from 20 to 23 only for invitees, us included.

Kämp Galleria shopping event

The event is the only one where people dress up. The unspoken dresscode is very smart casual: everything needs to look both relaxed and expensive. Selecting a suit gives a wrong message about you. It’s much better if you have Burberry shirt, Boss jeans and shoes from Sand.

Our grand idea was that Aapo would be sleeping at least half of the event, as Sanna was carrying him in a babybag. Unfortunately the sights and the sounds were too much for him. He was too agitated to fell into sleep during the evening and had huge troubles sleeping in his own bed. At the end we had to move him onto our bed.

A bit bland sushi

Located in Kämp Galleria, the most exclusive shopping center in Helsinki, Zen Sushi has nice surroundings. Unfortunately, the food does not follow the quality of the shops outside. Sushi is quite ok, but the rice does not taste much anything and thus ruins the experience. They serve also some other Japanese foods, such as ramen noodles.

Zen Sushi in Kämp Galleria, Helsinki

The prices are decent and the service is quite fast, as usual in sushi restaurants. The interior is not much to talk about. The place is worth of visit only if you are nearby the shopping center and lazy enough not to walk to the next sushi restaurant.

www.zensushi.fi, Kluuvikatu 4, (in Kämp Galleria shopping mall, second floor), Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 671367

March 26th, 2006

Nomadig.com unavailable due to DDOS attack

Nomadig.com was unreachable at least in certain parts of the Internet due to a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS).

To be honest, my site was not target of the attack, but mere a victim. Someone was making a massive DDOS attack against Joker.com, my domain name provider. I also happen to keep Nomadig.com nameservers at Joker, and those servers were unreachable or unresponsive.

It kinda feels dumb that you know about the situation, but there is nothing you can do. At least not immediately, and most probably all your means are feeble, unless you have enough money and time to spent on the issue.

Of course, I could distribute Nomadig.com DNS servers to different service providers, but on the other hand I know that DNS is really flaky when the first server is down.

If you were missing me yesterday, don’t you worry. I’m back — in fact, I didn’t leave anywhere, Internet just lost track of my address for a while.

Café and lounge

JohtoCafe is very nice coffeehouse on the fifth floor in Kamppi shopping mall. The café has an excellent open area in middle of shops with normal café tables and also lounge seats. All normal coffeehouse stuff is available with okay prices. They sell also beer and drinks.

JohtoCafe in Kamppi in Helsinki

The lounges are very nice for families with small children, as the kids can safely stroll inside the lounge and you need just to watch the two entrances of the area. Service is friendly but not the speediest. Prepare to stand in the queue for a few minutes.

There is also a free WLAN access and a set of computers for visitors.

www.johtocafe.com, Urho Kekkosen katu 1 (in Kamppi shopping mall), Helsinki, Finland

Baggy jeans and something else

Kone Helsinki store on the fifth floor in Kamppi shopping mall is really spacious — in fact, you wonder whether they can make a living by selling such small amount of clothes… Anyhow, if you are interested in unique Finnish young fashion, this is one of the stores to check.

Kone Helsinki store in Kamppi

For the rest of us, these is not much to see. Most of the selection are jeans, but some hoodies and other stuff is also available. You can also try to check their catalogue on their hard to navigate web site.

www.konehelsinki.fi, Urho Kekkosen katu 1 (in Kamppi shopping mall), Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 3232 062

March 23rd, 2006

Remote mechanics

My car, Peugeot 407, has been acting lately. When the winter tyres were changed on, the car somehow lost the connection to the air pressure sensors on the tyres. It complained about the fact every 500 kilometers or so, beeping and flashing warning signs and texts on the displays.

I was always caught unguarded and every single time I first thought that now there is something wrong.

The car was in maintenance after the first 10,000 km, but they couldn’t fix the problem as there were other 407s around and you could pair the car with a wrong set of tyres.

A couple of weeks ago the car informed about the next issue. This time the electronic suspension control system was malfunctioning. This sounded a bit more scary and I had a brief chat with Peugeot maintenance in Finland. They assured me that it is still okay to drive with the car, just keep the suspension control turned off. I hadn’t even used it yet, so there were no problems.

The faults nagged me and finally I phoned Peugeot maintenance again and reserved a time to get things right. Yesterday morning I drove the car to the shop, got a miniscule Renault for the day (boy, it was a pain to drive with it, manual gears and tiny-whiny engine — mere 1.4 liters) and waited them to call me.

Late afternoon I finally got the call and the technician explained that they had spent the whole day trying to figure out the suspension control failure. The tyres’ sensors were fixed or paired easily.

This is the point where things start to resemble a little bit too much of computer business: As they could not spot the failure, they called Peugeot’s factory help desk (in France) and French technicians logged in to my car remotely.

They found the problem quite fast, I was told, and then continued to upload some missing software. That done, the Finnish crew configured the new software to make sure that the suspension control knew enough about car.

Later, I told this to my cousin and she responded that her Volvo’s audio system was behaving badly, radio stations wouldn’t stay in the memory. The solution was to upgrade radio’s software.

This is scary, especially for me as I’m a computer professional and I know what kind of sloppy code everyone writes from time to time, and how bugs slip into production very easily.

Back in the (good) old days, these kinds of failures would not exists. There were no sensors in tyres, suspension was not controllable (except in Citroëns) and radio did not have any memory slots whatsoever. On the other hand, there were no electronically adjustable seats, automatically dimming back mirror, parking radar, panorama window roof, six gear automatic gearbox and a host of other things that I’ve felt in love with my 407.

More luxurious young fashion

The fifth floor of Kamppi shopping mall is devoted to young fashion, and of the best shops on that floor is Spiritstore limited. The shop is quite big, compared to the fellow stores, and the selections are very nice, for both ladies and gentlemen. The brands include, among others, J.Lindeberg, Juicy Couture, Rock & Republic and Penguin.

Spiritstore Limited in Kamppi

They sell clothes, shoes and other accessories. The garments are edgy, but not too much so a 30+ person can not wear them without looking like an idiot. The store is quite stuffed, and gets congested if there is a lot of people inside.

www.spiritstore.fi, Urho Kekkosen katu 1 (in Kamppi shopping mall), Helsinki, Finland

Inexpensive young fashion

Jungle Bubble store in Kamppi looks and feels not to belong there. All the other shops around it are well built and decorated with enough money, but this place looks sort of an outlet store. The good news is that the prices reflect a bit this.

Jungle Bubble store in Kamppi

The clothes sold there are mainly for the younger generation, so don’t expect finding any classy garments. If you are looking for a pair of jeans with a good price, the shop may be for you.

Jungle Bubble, Urho Kekkosen katu 1 (in Kamppi shopping mall), Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 755 5465