Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ex-DEC Finland trip to Tallinn, Estonia

Almost 60 ex-DEC employees took a day cruise to Tallinn on January 31, 2009. The vessel was Eckerö Lines' ms Nordlandia which was quite comfortable for the purpose. We enjoyed a breakfast on the way to Tallinn and buffet dinner on the way back to Helsinki.
In the picture above: Sven-Erik Nyberg, Martti Vainio and Harri Rautiainen.

More pictures:

Ex-DEC Tallinna

Thanks to organizers, Tiina and Sune.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Development of telecommunications and Finnish Pioneers

I went yesterday night to the monthly meeting's Helsinki chapter. There were not that many participants this time, but quality and quantity do not necessarily go hand in hand. I was introduced to Mr. Rana Sinha who is running a cross-cultural training business in Helsinki. He is a cosmopolitan and well-traveled person as are Hannes and Lidia who were there, too.

A lively and interesting discussion varied a lot; from making business presentations to musical performances, from global warming to multi-cultural issues, from chemical industry to high-tech industry.

While on the latter topic a question of the inventor of SMS (text messages) was raised. The inventor was a Finnish Telecom engineer, Mr. Matti Makkonen. The idea was developed by Makkonen and two other Telecom Finland employees while on a lunch break in a GSM standard conference in Copenhagen. Did Matti become a billionaire because of his invention? Unfortunately not.

The history of Internet was discussed from Arpanet to current spam mail problems. I recalled the time in 1986 when sending email on Internet was not that easy. In my office in Cambridge, Mass. I had a large chart on the wall where all known computers connected a net were drawn. In order to send an email message I had to write the physical route in the header in order for my message to find its way. At the same time Dr. Juha Heinänen from Telecom Finland was co-operating with Cisco in developing the IP Router which revolutionized the TCP/IP traffic. Did Juha become a billionaire because of his invention? Unfortunately not.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

VW Karmann Ghia - Alive and kicking

Posted by Picasa

My summer car, Karmann Ghia '58 (above), is now carefully parked in the winter storage for the next season. Year 1958 was the second full production year of KG.

Becky, my loyal West Hollywood correspondent, sent me a link to a nice 1973 blue Karmann Ghia. The production of Ghias ceased that year.

This story was published in NY Times, and titled Of Maxwell, Uma and Omar the Car.

From that one can learn that VW Karmann Ghia has been playing a major part in the movies, associated with Maxwell Smart character and actress Uma Thurman.

Thanks, Becky, and be good.

View the video of the 1973 Ghia.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sax Site improvements

Sax on the Web Forum platform software update

The SOTW Forum was successfully upgraded from vBulletin 3.6.9 to version 3.8.1.

The new version contains bug fixes, but also significant new features over the old one. There is a possibility to add Facebook-like social groups and blogging to the forum. (Perhaps moving this blog there?) I will currently study their feasibility.

There are some SOTW-specific items which do not necessarily work on the new version, yet, but they will be addressed shortly.

Old SOTW Archive revived

Some of the forum messages from 1999-2003 were lost forever because of the service provider used then. What was salvaged is now found at:

I will brush up the appearance soon and fix some crossed links.