Morphex's blogologue (Life, technology, music, politics, business, mental health and more)

This is the blog of Morten W. Petersen, aka. morphex in various places. I blog about my life, and what I find interesting and/or important. This is a personal blog without any editor or a lot of oversight so treat it as such. :)

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An updated version of the Issue Dealer, building Zope 2.13.22

It's been a while since I did anything on Zope 2, and these last couple of months some bugs on the weblog publisher on blogologue.com have been bugging me.

So I decided I should get that fixed, and also get the IssueDealer updated to work with the latest stable version of Zope 2.

It has been some days of fixing things back and forth to get things working, but now I have an updated version of the IssueDealer, as well as a procedure for building the latest and greatest Zope 2.

I've been quite out of touch with what has been going on in the Zope, Plone and Python world lately, and it took me quite some effort to get things working, from getting Zope from GitHub, getting the right dependencies in etc. One thing I've noticed is that pypi.python.org is using a common name of www.python.org - which forced me to make a shell script to aid in the process of setting up Zope. This is sloppy at best, as it forces users to skip SSL verification.

But, enough of that, here's the hands on procedure for getting Zope 2 installed on a Debian Linux box. Beforehand, I think it's necessary to install the build-essential package as well as git, in other words:

sudo apt-get install build-essential git

I'm not sure what the procedure is for Fedora/Red Hat, SuSe etc. is but it should be easy enough to figure out.

OK. We'll install Python and Zope in a directory called

/home/morphex/zope_blogologue.com

First thing we do is get Python 2.7.9 installed, which is done with

mkdir zope_blogologue.com
chmod o-rwx zope_blogologue.com # So other users can't read the database etc.
cd zope_blogologue.com
mkdir tmp
cd tmp
wget https://www.python.org/ftp/python/2.7.9/Python-2.7.9.tgz
tar xfz Python-2.7.9.tgz
cd Python-2.7.9/
./configure --prefix=/home/morphex/zope_blogologue.com
make install
cd /home/morphex/zope_blogologue.com/
git clone https://github.com/zopefoundation/Zope zope
cd zope
git checkout 2.13.22
wget --no-check-certificate https://raw.githubusercontent.com/morphex/IssueDealer/master...
chmod +x bootstrap.sh
./bootstrap.sh ~/zope_blogologue.com/bin/

Now, edit the buildout.cfg file, so that the [zopepy] and [wsgi] sections contains the line

    Products.IssueDealer==0.9.140

like so, maybe using the command "nano buildout.cfg":

[...]
[zopepy]
recipe = zc.recipe.egg
eggs = Zope2
    Products.IssueDealer==0.9.140
interpreter = zopepy
scripts = zopepy
[...]
[wsgi]
recipe = zc.recipe.egg
eggs =
    Zope2
    repoze.who
    repoze.tm2
    repoze.retry
    Paste
    PasteDeploy
    PasteScript  
    Products.IssueDealer==0.9.140

Now, when that's done, we're ready to run buildout. Run the command

./bin/buildout

Now, this script may fail, if there are network issues for example that make downloading of packages break. If that's the case, just re-run the command until it completes with lines something like this:

"""
Generated script '/home/morphex/zope_blogologue.com/zope/bin/runzope'.
Generated script '/home/morphex/zope_blogologue.com/zope/bin/zopectl'.
Generated script '/home/morphex/zope_blogologue.com/zope/bin/zpasswd'.
Generated script '/home/morphex/zope_blogologue.com/zope/bin/addzope2user'.
Generated script '/home/morphex/zope_blogologue.com/zope/bin/mkzopeinstance'.
Generated script '/home/morphex/zope_blogologue.com/zope/bin/paster'.
"""

After a lengthy process with lots of output, we can create the Zope instance, like so:

./bin/mkzopeinstance -d ~/zope_blogologue.com/zope/instance

I'll leave it up to you to choose a username and password.

Now the instance has been setup, and we can run it for the first time. Type in the command

./instance/bin/zopectl fg

And you should see something like this:

/home/morphex/zope_blogologue.com/zope/instance/bin/runzope -X debug-mode=on
2015-02-13 04:31:04 INFO ZServer HTTP server started at Fri Feb 13 04:31:04 2015
        Hostname: 0.0.0.0
        Port: 8080
2015-02-13 04:31:05 INFO Zope Ready to handle requests

Now I login to my server on the URL http://blogologue.com:8080/manage_main - and select "Issue Dealer" from the drop-down list, click on add and give it the ID issues, and the title "My issues". Now that Issue Dealer instance is available on

http://blogologue.com:8080/issues

Voila. If you're setting up a plain Zope 2 or Zope 2 with some product, just remove the Products.IssueDealer parts from the buildout.cfg and it should work.

Hope you found this useful, and comments etc. are much appreciated. My email is morphex AT gmail.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Zope (Atom feed)] [Comments] [13 Feb 04:05 Europe/Oslo]

A man walks into a bar..

So this week I've been visiting the kids, and the visit went relatively well, it was nice to see the kids again.

I don't have a relationship with the kids mom or her family anymore, and took the train from Mo i Rana to Trondheim yesterday evening.

Some of her relatives were on the train as well, but they didn't stop to say hi and it was fine by me.

Had a good time towards the end of the train journey, ate well and had some wine and beer. Headed towards a regular place when I got to Trondheim to have some beers and maybe meet some friendlies there.

After a while I was ordering a second beer when this chick I might have met before started suggesting what I should have. So OK, I went with her suggestion.

After drinking some of that beer I figured I could go talk to her, since she struck up a conversation with me.

But I think she was (the only girl) sitting at a table with maybe 5 other guys, and as I started talking to her, a guy at the table asked me to stop talking to her, I kept talking a bit with her and she said she studied law, then she said she studies psychology.. I glanced around the table and persisted a bit, but the guy still kept asking me to stop talking to her.

Well, I got a bad feeling right then and there and instinctively agreed with the guy asking me to stop talking to her. Next time I'll look at the company someone's with before I start talking to someone who started talking to me first..

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Living (Atom feed)] [Comments] [06 Feb 21:14 Europe/Oslo]

A Rasbperry Pi router

So, I've been playing around with different technologies the last couple of weeks. The one I've talked the most about is the Raspberry Pi, a small computing unit that's available for cheap.

Where I'm staying doesn't have wired internet, and the Wi-Fi that is available isn't any good. So I decided I should create a router based on the Raspberry Pi that makes some "smart" decisions about network traffic.

I've got two providers of mobile internet, one on my phone and one pure mobile broadband subscription. The former has a good latency but limited capacity, while the latter is the opposite.

So when I'm playing online games like Battlefield, where latency (ping) is very important, I'd like to have the router choose what the best thing to do is, based on my instructions. I also flip between Windows and Linux on the desktop, and having things just work without per-OS configurations would be nice.

This router should be flexible so I can connect to it using Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and the Ethernet USB-dongle I got for it kept crashing the Pi. I reported this bug to the kernel developers but it is an old (not updated in years) driver that's causing the crashes so I don't have my hopes up. I found a patch which fixes the crashing ( https://github.com/kmtaylor/rpi_patches/blob/master/dm9601-b... ), but I'm not sure that patch does the right thing, it's probably the network chip driver is the one that should be patched.

Anyway, today I was able to patch the Raspbian kernel, cross-compile it on my X64 Octo-core 3.4 Ghz (significantly faster than compiling it on the Raspberry itself), install it on an SD-card, modify the config.txt file and boot the Raspberry with usbnet.c patched. And that worked well, copying a large file using scp went painlessly.

I ordered a new Ethernet dongle today, one that supports 1 Gbp/s in addition to 10/100 mbit, as offering that option as well seems like the right thing to do.

The Raspberry has support up to high speed USB 2.0, which has a max bandwidth of 480 Mbit/s (in practice the bandwidth one can use will be significantly lower) and there is also some CPU overhead, so it will never fast enough to give full 1 Gbps access. But it will offer the option of 1 Gbps connectivity, which probably means the upper limit is a couple of hundred Mbps.

I think this was a fun and smart thing to start with, I've also got some other Raspberry Pi ideas lurking, but limitied time and energy to play around with things.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Technology (Atom feed)] [Comments] [02 Feb 23:05 Europe/Oslo]

Finding a way to share cover songs

OK, so a little while ago I had problems with SoundCloud ( http://blogologue.com/blog_entry?id=1420246529X05 ), they took down a simple remix I made and gave me a dire warning that they would "terminate" my account.

Now I've got got a notice from MixCloud that they've taken down a song, even though it's my understanding that they pay licensing fees to the original creators so even though I make my own cover variant song of their song and all the income for that song goes to MixCloud and the content creators, they still take it down.

I think it's natural that people interpret popular culture and make works with popular culture. Popular music is also where a lot of people start, so there must be many, many people out there who want to share whatever they're working on, if just for fun (but also for feedback, a chance at getting noticed, making it big and so on). For me this music thing is a hobby so I'm not giving much thought to making money off it and all that entails, and to me it seems just wrong that it isn't possible to participate in a cultural exchange without getting hammered down like this.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Music (Atom feed)] [Comments] [22 Jan 19:33 Europe/Oslo]

Some Hydrogen, EDM-like beats

So, this weekend I was feeling restless and nothing really fancied me, so I decided to play around with Hydrogen.

Hydrogen is an open source drum machine that runs on Linux, I've previously posted ( http://blogologue.com/blog_entry?id=1406401445X72 ) about a VirtualBox image that contains Linux and Hydrogen - which means you can run it on Windows and Macs as well.

Anyway, one of the things I've noticed with some (most?) EDM music is that it contains a "drumstick peak" where the beat gets more intensive in a song.

So I decided to create a drum track in Hydrogen that gives this peak in the song and I was able to do so just using the standard samples in Hydrogen.

The hydrogen file as well as an ogg file is available here:

http://blogologue.com/music/

Just thought I'd share this, if anything it can show how one creates a track in Hydrogen. I like Hydrogen for its simplicity, but now I yearn for something where I can edit the drum track as well as the synth/ambient sounds at the same time. So I'm looking at different apps that run on Linux that could do that.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Music (Atom feed)] [Comments] [12 Jan 08:04 Europe/Oslo]

Repurposing old devices (NOKIA Lumia and Samsung Galaxy tab) for mobile internet access

So, where I'm staying right now doesn't offer a wired connection, so I've setup a mobile internet solution instead.

The companies that offer wireless mobile internet also offer routers etc. that can be used to setup WiFi access to the internet, but I didn't opt for any of those as I had a couple of old devices that could be setup as WiFi hotspots instead.

Up until a couple of days ago, I was using a Nokia Lumia as a WiFi hotspot and used the computer as a power source via USB, but I found that it started giving a very poor speed (20-30 KB/s) when I was on Linux. So I dug up my old Samsung Galaxy Tab P1000 instead, and placed my mobile internet provider SIM card in there.

It didn't work though, it just gave a couple of bars on the network indicating that there was some sort of connection, but no internet access.

After googling a bit, I found the setup procedure on Netcom (the provider of mobile broadband) for one of the devices they sold if internet didn't work. After some adjusting of the APN settings, I found that setting the Server to internet.netcom.no and the APN-Type of connection to internet, the Galaxy Tab started working as an access point to the internet.

So there you go, if you've got old phones etc. don't throw them away, they can be put to good use later.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Mobile (Atom feed)] [Comments] [07 Jan 05:11 Europe/Oslo]

A SoundCloud(R) export tool

Hoi. OK, so these last couple of weeks I've been cleaning up things in my SoundCloud account, as there were lots of cover songs and some mixes and remixes that triggered the "SoundCloud copyright system".

There has been many rounds back and forth, and I even had to clear out private tracks for example of cover songs, which is strange.

Anyway, I figured that it would be nice to be able to export all of the content I've created over the last couple of years, just in case SoundCloud decides to "terminate" my account, files could be lost etc.

I downloaded the python-soundcloud package, and started getting to work. This module has been created by some person over @ SoundCloud. After some trying and failing it looked like it wasn't able to download tracks with the package, so I forked it on github ( here https://github.com/morphex/soundcloud-python ). Using that module and the following code in a script called for example download.py should do the trick.

# The following code is available under the GPL, version 3, available here: http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

import soundcloud, urllib2, urllib
from soundcloud.request import make_request
import os

CLIENT_ID = 'REGISTER ON SOUNDCLOUD AS APP'
CLIENT_SECRET = 'REGISTER ON SOUNDCLOUD AS APP'
USERNAME='YOUR SOUNDCLOUD EMAIL'
PASSWORD='YOUR SOUNDCLOUD PASSWORD'
LIMIT = 1000 # Maximum number of tracks to download
             # a limit in case something goes wrong 
             # so we don't hammer the system.

def download_tracks(output_directory):
    client = soundcloud.Client(
        client_id=CLIENT_ID,
        client_secret=CLIENT_SECRET,
        username=USERNAME,
        password=PASSWORD,
        )
    for track in client.get('/me/tracks', limit=LIMIT):
        path = track.download_url[len('https://api.soundcloud.com/')-1:]
        filename, data = client.get(track.download_url)
        output = open(os.path.join(output_directory, filename), 'w')
        output.write(data)
        output.close()
        print 'Downloaded file: ', filename

if __name__ == '__main__':
    import sys
    if len(sys.argv) != 2:
        raise SystemExit, 'output directory required'
    import os
    output_directory = sys.argv[1]
    try:
        os.mkdir(output_directory)
    except OSError:
        pass
    download_tracks(output_directory)


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Technology (Atom feed)] [Comments] [03 Jan 01:55 Europe/Oslo]

Taking a look at SASS, Compass & Zen Grid

OK, so a couple of days ago I got the idea that I should create a new personal website, which syndicates information from various sources into one channel, or page. That is, all my Youtube stuff, Tweets, stuff posted on SoundCloud, Instagram and so on.

Now, I've been using Python, Zope and Plone for many years, in work projects as well as personal projects. This time, I was thinking of creating something very simple, maybe even static HTML, Javascript and CSS files. Well, as for the static part, I think it is a good idea. The process for creating those static files could be done in any way though.

So I started looking at responsive design, and having a framework that delivers a lot seemed like a good idea. I ended up choosing Zen Grid because it felt right, a Ruby- and Compass-based framework for creating grid-based layouts. Ruby is a programming language, and Compass is a framework for creating CSS. I got Ruby installed, and got SASS, Compass and Zen-Grid installed using gem, an easy enough process, typing 'gem install sass', 'gem install compass', 'gem install zen-grid'.

OK, everything installed - fine. Now I had to create a SASS/Compass project, and the 'compass create <projectname>' command handled that. Creating a project creates some files, using the find command shows which files are present in my project right now:

morphex@infernal-love:~/apache/stats/tester$ find .

./config.rb
./index.html
./sass
./sass/ie.scss
./sass/print.scss
./sass/screen.scss
./stylesheets
./stylesheets/ie.css
./stylesheets/print.css
./stylesheets/screen.css

The sass directory contains the SASS files which will be compiled into the CSS files in the stylesheets directory. Now, first thing is first, and that's the web page. It is available here:

http://blogologue.com/stats/tester/index.html

If you look at the source of that file, you can see it's an example copied from the Zen Grid reference, with the E field commented out. This is because I saw the E field being moved down as content was being added in rows to the B field. I couldn't see any need to go beyond the D so it was just easy to remove it and don't have any headaches trying to figure things out.

The CSS file that gives this page its layout and colours is here:

http://blogologue.com/stats/tester/stylesheets/screen.css

And the SASS file that generated that CSS is here:

http://blogologue.com/stats/tester/sass/screen.scss

It's all fairly straightforward, and it is a nice simple way to create a layout on a web page.

A final note on these files, config.rb should contain

  require 'zen-grids'

to make all of this work, like my one does: http://blogologue.com/stats/tester/config.rb

For my part, I'm thinking it could be fun to create some tools in Python that pulls everything together, at least something that can generate HTML with information from all the different sites I post content to. It's easy to start over-engineering on projects like this, but maybe I'll also wrap Ruby, SASS, Compass etc. in a Python package to make these features easily available for Python. As well as look at including Zope's page template package to easily create templates.

Oh well, I'll get back to progress on all of this later. Tata. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Web (Atom feed)] [Comments] [04 Dec 17:29 Europe/Oslo]

A journey into music

OK, so been a while since I blogged the last time. Lots of things have happened, but the most important part is that I've gotten a lot better at relaxing and taking it easy.

I thought I had something to say about music, and what can I say.

Up until maybe a couple of weeks ago I was cranking out music and getting into the groove of creating music, creating demos & songs. And I'm not the one to blow my own horn but in my opinion I was creating some good stuff that would suit some audience.

Anyway, these last couple of weeks I've spent at the family hut. Some days after I arrived, a violin also came in the mail. Prior to going to the hut I was listening to a cover of Viva la vida made by the Dallas String Quartet if I remember correctly, and I was deeply moved by the violin in that piece.

A picture of the violin is here:

http://instagram.com/p/r7sBWrKKpD/?modal=true

So yeah, a violin arrived last week, but it's these last couple of days I've been getting to play on it. It's really just posture, grip and open strings now, but it is good fun. I guess I'm that grown up that I can just STFU and do whatever the instructor says.

I found the lessons by this lady

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLLxyaKSNav9f9Vqvp99npQ

To be nice, easy and simple to follow. Now, to be honest and as a side note I'm on a very limited internet connection, so instead of replaying the lessons in a browser, I used a Python tool called youtube-dl to download the videos and play them locally.

It's here: http://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/

This means I get video files that can be played locally, without the advertisements. Not exactly sure what to do about the ads, but Youtube should create some app that can store videos locally with ads so everything is in order.

Funny thing is, I bought a harmonica about a year ago, at the local rock museum, but haven't played it much up until now. But some travelling, broken violin strings etc. kinda forced my hand with regard to what I could use and the harmonica (picture here http://instagram.com/p/sTI8PXKKp9/?modal=true) was the obvious choice.

I guess to sum it up, these last couple of weeks I haven't really been creating or pushing myself to do much creative work, just playing with new instruments, relaxing and winding down. Not sure when I'll get back to creating new music but I think that new music will involve some harmonica and violin playing. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Music (Atom feed)] [Comments] [30 Aug 00:33 Europe/Oslo]

Mac/Windows/Linux + Linux & VirtualBox & Hydrogen = True

OK, so I've been dabbling a bit with Hydrogen again, the IMO very good drum machine kit for Lunix..

I've been a user of Linux for a long time both on the desktop and server side, but lately I've been running Windows a lot because that's where Battlefield 4 runs, an FPS-strategical-tactical war game.

And every now and then I fire up Audacity to record something. Now, I've also got myself a set of digital drums to learn how to play the drums, but it's also nice to just be able to plot something into a program and have a nice, perfect drumtrack to go.

Now, Hydrogen doesn't run on Windows, so I figured I could have a copy of Hydrogen running in a virtual machine on Windows. I tried setting something up using QEMU, but after a while I just gave up because of many different bugs.

So, I ended up using VirtualBox and created an appliance which you can download here:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/77290387/Hydrogen%20Debi...

If you don't have VirtualBox installed, get it installed and then import this (via the File menu in the VirtualBox main panel) and start it up and you'll have Hydrogen readily available.

This appliance has today's export (26th of July) of Hydrogen from Github running, so it's the latest and maybe even greatest version of Hydrogen available.

Give it a try why dontcha?

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Music (Atom feed)] [Comments] [26 Jul 21:04 Europe/Oslo]

Chandelier, hydrogen and audacity

So I've been playing around with Sia's Chandelier this weekend, first finding the beat and then adding onto that.

I also started playing around a bit with Audacity (audio editing) and Hydrogen, a drum machine software kit for Linux. Audacity has some features line tone generation, which is nice for creating these deep tones, and it is possible to create custom drum kits for Hydrogen..

So here's a kit that has the lowest notes and cross-fades them out over 2.5 seconds: http://blogologue.com/c0-b0%20crossfade%20out%202.5s.h2drumk... - it gives the long punch to this thing: https://soundcloud.com/morten-w-petersen/chandelier-part-2

I know the chorus vocals could be a bit better but I have to draw the line somewhere, this is a hobby after all and something I do when I have the energy and the "lust". :)


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Music (Atom feed)] [Comments] [25 May 16:08 Europe/Oslo]

My health, obsessive compulsions, privacy rights

OK, so it's been a long time since I blogged the last time. For about a year or so now my mental health has changed in a positive way.. although I guess I've been depressed for a while, my two main issues, psychosis and anxiety have improved dramatically.

So it's a mixed bag you may say, as things improve, there are (natural) reactions to what one has been through. At the same time I've not seen my kids more than a couple of hours each month since last summer, and that's really tough, in the emotional, sad way.

I think I've had fairly deep issues for many years, but been good at covering it up, for different reasons. Anxiety, or what could be said to be similar to obsessive compulsions, has been one of the main things I've worked with in therapy. To put it simply, OCD/anxiety has a lot to do with fear, fear of what one think might happen, what one is afraid will happen. Mix that with some maybe poor separation with daydreaming, fantasy and so on and one might end up thinking one is something or capable of something, or that others might do you something - dramatic and not good. And when this anxiety and obsessiveness gets bad enough, one goes around thinking about it all the time, and checking in different ways if these fears are true. Examples are worries one might stab someone with a knife (although that's far from what the obsessive person is capable of) and have problems around knives and people, that one can get contaminated by touching a door handle and has to wash the hands often and so on.

It might sound weird, but it's real in the mind of the sufferer and completely natural.

I've been in therapy and taking medication for a little over 4 years now, and I think there's been a steady improvement over the whole period, and when I started noticing improvements, that really gave motivation to continue the process. There have been three important things in my life, that has enabled me to change and become better. Two are therapy, talking to therapists, the other taking medication.

The third thing is my two kids.. there are wonderful things that happen when one becomes a parent, maybe the most positive thing is being able to give love to and take care of these small humans. I got psychotic around the birth of my first son, and that's maybe natural, as birth and the time around it is a time of a lot of changes, and natural, instinctive thoughts and feelings come into play. It might also have been poor sleep or lack of enough sleep, but I don't remember that much details from that period.

Regarding therapy and medication; I've noticed myself in periods with little therapy that my mental health has improved.. And I think that's because of the medicine doing its thing, as well as new ways of thinking and handling issues learned from therapy have been working gradually over time.

So it's maybe not the best thing to see a therapist every week, several times a week and so on. It might be more than enough to go every two weeks, once a month etc. This might be the most efficient way, as the mental health services can treat more people with less resources too.

As for psychosis, wow it's a trip to hell. It's like a nightmare you can't wake up from, and if you think of love, thinking, anger, fear, hate as separate wires in your brain, it's like these can get connected up the wrong way so that for example something you've feared deeply before now can be come fun. It's hard to explain in a good way, but it's important to say that most people who are psychotic do no harm, and that it's a lot about what goes on inside a person's head.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [20 Mar 14:08 Europe/Oslo]

Some more improvisation :)

http://blogologue.com/fourth-improv.mp3

Enjoy.

More music posts are on this link: http://blogologue.com/search?category=1088844297X43 - simple recordings and thoughts about music

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Music (Atom feed)] [1 comments] [28 Jul 23:17 Europe/Oslo]

A good point

I found this video on Facebook and twittered about it

  https://twitter.com/blogologue/status/357625893239267328

It's about a guy who's scared of heights, and as a part of the bachelor party, they are doing a fake bungee jump from a bridgde.

It is funny, but after laughing and smiling a bit about it, I found how it can illustrate mental issues... you can see the guy there, after having believed that he was about to jump of a bridge blindfolded and jumping, that he's struggling.

The other guys think it's funny, and it is, but just look at the guy afterwards and his reaction.

I think it illustrates a very good point about mental health, anxiety and so on. The thinking that something is a lot worse than it actually is, and that you need to keep on pushing to break through these barriers.

For example, panic attacks, social phobia and so on, can tire out someone just like the guy in the video, on a daily, weekly or whatever basis. Mental health is very real in the mind, and it evokes reactions from the body, for example that you get tired, put out and so on.

But the trick is to keep on pushing.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [18 Jul 00:27 Europe/Oslo]

A little improv jammin'

I've been playing different songs the last couple of days, nice to finally jam a bit and have som fun. :)

http://www.blogologue.com/improv-2013-07-16.mp3

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Music (Atom feed)] [Comments] [16 Jul 14:07 Europe/Oslo]

Having two phones (HTC One X and Nokia Lumia 920)

So, a little while ago I bought myself a new phone, one in addition to the HTC One X I already have.

It was the Nokia Lumia 920, with a Windows Phone 8 operating system. I've played a bit around with it, and decided I like the new user interface.. it's intuitive that boxes can be dragged round and resized in the start screen. Downloaded some apps, for Twitter, Facebook, the bank and more, and these apps are OK to use. The gripe I have with the phone is that it the Spotify app isn't running as well as it should and the user interface is not that good, but I guess they'll improve that as time goes on.

So, some benefits of having two cellphones have popped up. I use a multi-SIM card solution from the phone operator Netcom, and for example when travelling by train where the coverage can vary, one phone can get SMS messages seconds or minutes before the other.

It is also nice to have one phone connected to the WiFi and the other not, so that whenever WiFi doesn't work as it should, it is easy and quick to use the other phone to check out Twitter, Facebook and so on.

So, now I have on Android Phone and one Windows Phone, and if the rumours are true, a big new Apple phone will arrive this summer. I think I'll get that one as well, and probably sell the HTC One unless I find a good reason to keep it.

A third benefit of having two phones is that one can pretty much always go through an entire day without having to charge up, and just put both in charging mode when going to bed. Most new phones suck battery like there's no tomorrow (...) so it is practical to have more than one phone in that regard.

I guess the only thing I'm missing for the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone is an alternative browser. Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera would be nice, I guess WP8 isn't "big enough" yet that it has alternative browsers available.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Technology (Atom feed)] [Comments] [17 Apr 11:56 Europe/Oslo]

On the Nokia Lumia 920

So, I've had the Nokia Lumia 920 phone for a couple of days now. As I twittered fairly quickly, the user interface was interesting, the built-in speaker sound was good and the screen was nice to use, even in sunlight.

Now I've played with it some more, and it's a phone I can like. The biggest gripe I have is that it doesn't look like there are any alternative browsers for it. I use IE sparingly, which I think MS deserves after years of dragging web-developers down with their half-hearted approach to supporting web standards.

Another nag was that the logon to the Microsoft-account system (Hotmail, what was MSN messenger etc.) failed to begin with, and gave a pretty cryptic error message as to why. After googling (in a way a regular user would most likely not be able to), I found that the issue was an incorrect time zone setup on the phone.

Anyway, I keep playing with the phone and getting used to the "start" screen with all its little boxes and customizing it. It has got apps for Spotify, 7 Digital, Skype, Facebook and more, so it will be a phone I can use on a regular basis. I think it's a good phone so far. :)


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Technology (Atom feed)] [Comments] [07 Apr 19:20 Europe/Oslo]

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

So, long time since I've blogged :)

There has been a lot of changes in my life the last couple of months, Hilde has moved back to her home town to think about things, and I'm here in Trondheim trying to figure out things.

Not being around people you care about and have gotten used to, is hard. It's going better now than a month or two ago though, so one can adapt to most situations. Visiting Hilde and the kids now and then.

Up in the middle of all this, I've been working and hustling to get the house sold, things cleared up, getting more work and somewhere to go next. I feel more confident about myself now than I did half a year ago. The last couple of months have been very tough at times, but I've managed to get through it in a good way, and become more of myself again in the process.

Some months ago I also got a position as a board member in the local mental health organization (Mental Helse Trondheim), and also handling PR in that position. It's been a a very good experience participating there, seeing people who have been through tough times, that want to help others and getting paid nothing for it. Very inspiring and just the kind of positive experience I need.

So I'm up for new experiences these days, trying out new things and breaking away from my old, negative, thinking patterns.

Managed to cut down on the medicine as well, now using only 1 Truxal a day, compared to 3 some months ago. So I managed to cut down on medication while I was in a very tough situation.. that is something. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [04 Apr 13:59 Europe/Oslo]

Really feeling the rebound

So, life is pretty good these days. :)

Studying some Spanish every day, working hard and getting some exercise.. just over a month ago I was discussing the use of anti-depressants with my psychologist and the psychiatrist in charge of prescribing medicine. I got a prescription and was planning on starting taking it, in the start of January.

I didn't start taking it; after many talks with the psychologist I guess I'm all for managing mental issues naturally, and since I'm already using Seroquel and Truxal, starting with another medicine seemed somewhat daunting.

Here I am some weeks after I could have started with anti-depressants and things are feeling quite OK without them. I'm not saying that if your doctor says you *should* start taking anti-depressants you shouldn't - but sometimes it can be OK to try regular psychological therapy instead.

We talked about using anti-depressants not for depression, but for general anxiety (including panic attacks) and obsessive-compulsive thoughts. I guess it's hard to be pessimistic about life when life has been shitty for a good while and then gradually gets better and better. :)

A combination of therapy and medication has worked well for me.. now I'm looking forward to one day be completely off the medicine, but there's no rush. Life is OK and I don't notice a lot of side-effects from the medicine anymore.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [20 Jan 13:30 Europe/Oslo]

Life after mental illness

So, merry Christmas. :)

This Christmas has been the best one in a good while. Good food, good drink, relaxed atmosphere. It's nice to chat with family, have a glass of cognac and just spend time enjoying life.

Just having peace of mind and doing what one could call mundane things is nice, after having mental issues it is easier to enjoy such smaller things in life.

It seems like time goes by at an increasing rate, the kids grow up quickly and all that jazz.

I've always been a curious person and until 94 I did pretty good at school. Since then and until this year, learning and such has been a struggle. I've been focusing on learning more Spanish the last month or so and it is starting to be good fun, because I feel I'm learning and understanding more over a short period of time.

Life has taught me many lessons, and I feel wiser than I maybe should at the age of 32, and to complement that with a proper education seems like the perfect thing. So that's one of my goals for the next couple of years, get the basic high school grades required for admission into university.

That, as well as keeping my day job (build a successful triple bottom line business), providing for and taking care of my family, loosing weight (or rather, keeping in shape) and getting familiar with politics and doing some projects there are my goals and projects for the next 4-5 years.

There I said it, and now to deliver on that. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Living (Atom feed)] [Comments] [25 Dec 17:18 Europe/Oslo]

Excessive worries and managing anxiety

OK, so I here I go blogging about mental issues again.. :)

A recurring theme for my mental health has been anxiety. Anxiety for many different things, panic attacks and so on.

Now, I could try to describe panic attacks (for me), they start as a murmur and then build themselves up to a climax, and the process from murmur to climax is very uncomfortable. Today I'm glad to say that it has been quite some time since I've had a panic attack.

I think the most important thing around panic attacks is that you learn that they are uncomfortable, but not dangerous. It might feel dangerous, but it's just your mind having a bad time. And you can get anxiety for having a panic attack as well. That is, anxiety for anxiety.

It can seem like a vicious circle but with therapy and medication it can be managed.

Well, I was going to blog about anxiety in general, that is, lately I've had some pretty bad anxiety that is somewhat constant and uncomfortable, waxes and vanes but is ever present.

Before this anxiety I had a long period where I felt good about things and life was flowing nicely..

So yeah, I had a nice run for a month maybe where things were fine, then I started getting bad anxiety again.. I talked to the therapist during the summer whether we should start using SSRI (aka. anti-depressants) but that we would wait and see if it is necessary.

I'm still not sure if I should start with that medicine, thinking less medicine is better, but now that I've had some good time to contrast with the bad anxiety I'm thinking I should start taking more medicine. Life is too short to spend it on having a bad time..

OK, so I'll let you know how that medicine thing goes. But, back to the real spark for this post, why I'm writing this post. I've talked to people that also suffer from anxiety, and a recurring theme is that a part of the negative process with anxiety is how others will perceive and treat you. A part of the anxiety is the thought that "Oh, now I can't get anxiety, what will people think?" - so part of the problem with (social) anxiety is that one is afraid of showing feelings, behaviour and thoughts because it is a taboo or not socially normal to talk about.

That's why I'm blogging today. Because talking about it, whether it is in therapy, among friends or in public, makes anxiety smaller, lesser.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [25 Nov 19:23 Europe/Oslo]

Regaining sense of self and error correction

So, been a while since I blogged about mental health.. life has been pretty good the last couple of months but I have had a bit of a "dip" a couple of weeks now.

I guess most people go about their lives and don't think too hard about how they're thinking, how they're acting etc.. the last couple of months I've been myself without giving much thought to how I behave or how I think.

Which is how it should be.. there has been quite a bit of talks with therapists and I notice now that I'm able to stop my mind running away with some negative/weird/scary thoughts and feelings once I become aware of thinking like that. Maybe not immediately but I've learned to take a break from <whatever>, focus on here and now and apprehend these thinking patterns.

It's a bit like error correction in hardware and software I guess, and a funny thing is that I use a form parity checking in that medicine tablets should be even or odd in the packaging, and something is up if it has been even for a while and suddenly goes odd. I also have a calendar reminder for taking meds in the middle of day, because I often get so lost in what I'm doing that I can end up taking it an or hour or two late.

So I'm getting used to being close to normal, and also getting used to that now and then uncomfortable thoughts and feelings can come back in periods of stress for example. When I read about things the therapist mentions these days, names for different psychological issues for example I'm able to understand what I'm reading and understand myself, while earlier it was just a big mess of thoughts and feelings and not much clarity.

I think the deal with severe mental health issues is that the here and now can be scary and uncomfortable, but one must always strive to think, and know, that things can get much better. I think the psychotic episode and issues that came after our first (Isak) was born is the worst I've had. It's in the couple of last weeks I recognize that it must have been very hard for Hilde in this period as well, jumping into the role of mom while I was so far down and so mentally ill. Just so that's said. :)


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [16 Nov 17:48 Europe/Oslo]

Internet over mobile network, ice.net

They've been working around or home the last couple of months to setup fiber for internet access. They had a mishap where internet was unavailable and one a couple of days ago as well.

So, I decided the other day that I need proper redundant internet access. We have devices on both of the major mobile GSM networks, and after being unsatisfied with how they work in lesser populated areas I decided to try something new.

So I bought an ICE.net router which is "CDMA EV-DO Rev. B". OK, so GSM, EDGE and CDMA etc. is different in speeds and features, I don't know much more than that.

So yeah, bought the router and got it fired up. And I must say I'm pleased with how it works. Great ping (SSH is as responsive as on regular broadband) and the transfer speeds are good too.

I'll use it now and then I guess, but it is good to have a backup besides the usual mobile phone networks. I look forward to taking it to more remote locations as well, to see how well it works in lesser populated areas.

So far it's looking good, it really feels like regular broadband.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Internet (Atom feed)] [Comments] [16 Nov 17:30 Europe/Oslo]

Android everywhere for anyone

So, I've been using Android phones and tablets for a while now.. My HTC One X Android phone stopped working properly last week and this week I got around to delivering it in for repair.

I've been happy with the HTC One X, the only thing I have that is a bit annoying is that it sucks a lot of battery and needs to get charged during the day. Which might be partly because of lots of different apps pushing and polling over the network, but how hard can it be to get something going with good power management?

I think I'll buy a thicker phone, with a bigger battery, next time.

So yeah, I delivered the phone for repair and got a HUAWEI Ascend Y100. A snug little phone that runs Android. But typing things on it is a real pain, the keyboard and screen is much too small.

As I use different Android devices it is nice that they run the same icons, system etc. If I know one Android Phone I know them all.

I think that will be a good thing for Android, that you can go between devices and have calendaring and contacts sync over different models and that for example resetting a borrowed phone is the same on different models and easy as going through a couple of menus (privacy tab in settings).

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Android (Atom feed)] [Comments] [16 Nov 15:04 Europe/Oslo]

I'd like a split personality phone please

So, I've been without a portable phone (using a big Samsung Galaxy Tab now) for a week, as the HTC One X suddenly got a black screen.

Being without something to constantly look at and play with, naturally some thoughts around smartphones and their use have popped up.

I don't like lugging around a lot of stuff, and I like to work *and* play with my phone, so I'd like one that runs in two modes. Regular mode, with games, Facebook, Twitter and those kinds of apps, and one mode for work, which is better protected, password-protects the screen faster etc.

I guess you can put more than two modes on the phone as well, but those are the ones I can think of now. Maybe a simple button on the phone that switches between the modes, and these modes are completely separate in terms of kernel- and user-space processes.

Have the protected mode in a paranoid configuration so that if you for example switch to regular mode and switch back, the password-protection is there immediately.

Sounds good to me. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Technology (Atom feed)] [Comments] [11 Nov 19:55 Europe/Oslo]

Spotify without Wine

So, after firing up Spotify in Wine a couple of times I got the message that I was running Spotify on an unsupported platform (with a link).

I opened the link and found that Spotify for Linux is in technology preview state. Fine, got some instructions on how to install it and followed them and voila, Spotify for Linux installed. Of course it was debian-package based which seems like the way most software organizations distribute software for Linux these days.

It works very well, looks a bit better than Spotify in Wine. Music sounds good etc. so it's a win. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Linux (Atom feed)] [Comments] [10 Nov 19:57 Europe/Oslo]

Spotify with Wine

So I try different things now and then, Linux, Windows a little bit of Apple. These days I'm keen on playing around with Linux again, and have Ubuntu Studio running as my main desktop.

I like music. I love music. So I thought I'd get Spotify installed using the Crossover "Windows-for-Linux" plugin, as I got a free 12-month deal on Halloween on the CrossOver plugin.

So yeah, installed CrossOver and downloaded the Spotify installer, but the installation process hung and I exited.

Thought I'd try regular Wine (1.4) instead, located the Spotify installer in /tmp and installed. And yes, it works fine. :)

Maybe we'll see more and more developers more aware of the Linux platform and developing in a way where Windows apps work transparently on Linux with Wine, that would be nice.

I leave you with this: spotify:track:4er8NyQ8cFnZ2b643Tjc44

[Update..] Here's how Spotify looks on Linux: http://blogologue.com/spotify.png

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Wine (Atom feed)] [Comments] [08 Nov 19:27 Europe/Oslo]

Visitors to my blog

So, time to show some statistics again:

Firefox 32.46%
Safari 23.77%
Android Browser 21.16%
Chrome 12.75%
Internet Explorer 5.22%

This time the results are from Google Analytics, and I can see there is quite an increase in visitors from a month back..

I think now with some quality writing and content, things are looking up and I just got to continue the trend.

That over 20% of visitors use the "Android browser" (whatever that is), is surprising. I've twittered and written a bit about Android-related stuff so there's that impact I guess. But why isn't Chrome the default browser?

Nice to see Firefox on top though. :)

[Update]

To make things a bit more interesting, here are the operating system stats:

Android 29.28%
Macintosh 25.80%
Linux 21.45%
Windows 19.71%
iOS 2.61%

Which shows that 50% of my visitors are using some variant of Linux. That's pretty cool! :) And if you count "UNIX" systems, close up to 80% are using that, assuming Macintosh means Mac OS X and .

OK, so there's my crowd, the UNIX people. And some Windows, when they do a desktop running on top of some UNIX it'll be up to 100%. [:)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Meta (Atom feed)] [Comments] [07 Nov 11:18 Europe/Oslo]

Skype on Linux, upside down video

I'm going to start using Skype more, or "chat software" in general so I got Skype fired up today and logged in.

Everything was fine, except the video camera (video chat) had the image turned upside down.

Some googling later I found the fix, and here's a small tutorial for an Ubuntu box:

cd /usr/bin
mv skype skype.bin
emacs skype

Paste this into the file:

#!/bin/sh
LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/v4l1compat.so exec ./skype.bin

save, and run

chmod +x skype. Next time you fire up Skype via the terminal, video should be correct vertically.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Technology (Atom feed)] [Comments] [29 Oct 14:57 Europe/Oslo]

HTC One X running Netflix app with Media Link HD streaming to TV

Some months I suddenly felt the urge to buy a new smartphone, and got myself a HTC One X smartphone. I've been using it over months now and am satisified with how it works. If I use it a lot, the phone needs to get charged during the day, but I'm not sure what the reason for that is, might be many apps running polling and pushing over the network.

I've been looking for a TV-adapter for the phone, but couldn't find any. Looked around many places, and no-one had an adapter. So I was pleasantly surprised when one salesman said they had a wireless HD adapter (Media Link HD) that pairs with the HTC One X. So, OK, I bought it.

Setting it up (pairing the phone with the adapter) was as easy as plugging into the power adapter, connecting HDMI and swiping some fingers on the phone and they autoconfigured and were ready to go.

I've played around with the phone and adapter for a couple of days now, having struggled a bit with for example choppy playback of video, and sound lagging a bit.

Here's the phone streaming to the TV yesterday.

So I took a look at the processes that were running (task manager) and stopped a lot of them, Facebook, Maps etc. - all non-essential processes.

And that made a big difference, now playback is almost perfect, some minor hiccups once in a while, but nothing that can't be pragmatically overlooked.

Well, that's that. But I'd like to see an app that can instantly kill all non-essential processes, or a setup where some programs like those who display video and are a bit "heavy" can get maximum CPU priority so that other apps running don't disturb the playback.

Oh, and I would probably be good with an app that can diagnose things relevant to streaming over Wi-Fi, such as network bandwidth, network latency, CPU used by background processes and so on.



[Permalink] [By morphex] [Mobile (Atom feed)] [Comments] [25 Oct 19:08 Europe/Oslo]

Bleeding me (haematomachrosis or hematomachrosis)

So it's been a while since I blogged anything about the "blood disorder" haematomachrosis/hematomachrosis. It is a thing where the body takes up too much iron which can lead to fatigue and other things.

Well, I've been going regularly (forgot the last appointment) to drain blood and they draw roughly a pint every time.

I feel a lot more energetic these days, and that might be due to the bloodletting, but it is more likely because I've been treated for psychosis for almost 3 years now.

Since both treatment for haematomachrosis/hematomachrosis and psychosis has been going on for the last couple of years it is hard to tell what helped, but I think both things helped, mostly the psychosis and mental health treatment but also the draining of blood.

It's quite an easy treatment for the haematomachrosis/hematomachrosis - they just draw blood, I drink some water before, during and after drawing blood and relax for a little while in the room when they're done and that's it.

I think I've felt fatigue after bloodletting, but the last couple of times I haven't felt anything in particular so I guess that could just be expectations. And that general anxiety about it made me more tired than usual.

That's how it goes with anxiety, one can get drained of energy (somewhat crippled) from doing things that should evoke some concern or worry and it can interfere with normal functioning.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [24 Oct 14:12 Europe/Oslo]

Firing all all cylinders, looking far ahead, cruising speed

So, a little over a week ago we came back from Spain. A month of relaxation, family time, tanning, a little drinking have been good.

Last week I started working again, and the situation being what it was I worked hard and long hours to get things under control after a month of nearly not working.

And it went fine. The things that's been bothering me the most the last 6 months maybe is anxiety, panic anxiety and different kinds of worries that can seep energy leaving me unresponsive, unproductive and other things. The anxiety is now almost gone, it creeps up every now and then but haven't had a panic attack in many months. Every time I feel an attack creeping up I check that I've taken my meds, eaten enough and just trying to do normal things and relax. And then it passes.

Last week I started practice driving with my brother as well, we were out driving 2 times and it went surprisingly well. Mixing the clutch-, brake- and gass-pedals to get a smooth start and cruise, looking far ahead when driving (for pedestrians and other things) while keeping a steady pace, keeping within the lane etc. isn't that hard to do. With anxiety manageable I'm able to do new things, necessary things.

Now I'm going out to jog, trying Endomondo for the first time. Hit me up, I'm Morten W. Petersen (morphex@gmail.com) - would be nice to have some more friends on there.

Suitable amounts of exercise: Mental and physical health win.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Living (Atom feed)] [Comments] [15 Oct 14:42 Europe/Oslo]

Visitors to my blog

So I decided to look a bit at statistics today for this site, and found that there is quite a bit of constant traffic to this site.

Looking at the browser statistics shows this:

MS Internet Explorer - 37.2 %
Opera - 19.2 %
Firefox - 17.2 %
Google Chrome - 15.8 %
Mozilla - 6.2 %
Netscape - 1.9 %
Safari - 0.8 %

I'm surprised that there are so few Safari users, and that Netscape is still popular among some (!).. that's just statistics for one month though, and I've seen Firefox close on the top, often.

Speaking of browsers, today I had to fire up Google Chrome because Firefox was hanging on gmail.com - I hope that's just a temporary glitch and not something permanent. I think Chrome is OK, but one should be free to choose any modern browser and expect it to work flawlessly with such a big service that GMail is.



[Permalink] [By morphex] [Meta (Atom feed)] [Comments] [03 Oct 17:24 Europe/Oslo]

On treatment of mentall illness and public discourse

So, I've been participating in a discussion around treatment for mental health, primarily medication.

I've been discussing in Norwegian with @agteien ( https://twitter.com/agteien ) and her story about being on antipsychotic medication (forced). She told the story about becoming suicidal when under treatment and that's she's worked hard to keep herself from any mental health care to avoid being subject to forced medical treatment again.

Anything that is forced upon a person automatically sucks more. That's just the way it is, so I understand that after being forcibly treated that's she's sceptical about mental health care. Some 8 years (I think) she's now kept herself away from treatment.

So she twittered this in public and I began a long dicussion around mental health treatment. My point of view after being in treatment for some 3 years now is that medication works. It really does.

I've been talking to psychiatrists and psychologists during this period, and what struck me was that in a long period without appointments (vacation, calendar mismatch etc.) things improved by themselves, I take that as an indication that the medication works fairly well by itself. I believe that medication is important when treating psychosis or other very severe mental illnesses.

A person can get used to anything, including psychosis and related disorders. For me, life right now is so much different than what is has been the last 10-15 years maybe. I feel more relaxed, content and able to deal with complex situations and issues easily. This is due to the medicine, *as well as* the appointments with different therapists to talk about whatever is the most uncomfortable issues the last couple of weeks.

To add some comic relief, @mizzmonique81 headbutted herself into the end of the discussion claiming that @agteien's public twittering about medical treatment of mental issues was none of my business. Well it is, because it is in public, my public Twitter bio says "Software developer with an interest in management, politics (liberal) and a better life for the mentally ill." and I believe a lot of people with mental problems can be easily affected, or persuaded if you will, to for example not seek medical help or take medicine to improve their mental health.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [19 Sep 15:21 Europe/Oslo]

Attitude really matters

So, been a while since I blogged about mental things now, but I thought it was time to blog a bit about it.

Nobody I know that knows I`ve struggled with things says anything negative about it, I haven?t heard once anyone say anything negative at all. People think I?ve got guts talking (blogging) about it. Some comments and suggestions on dropping the medicines I use and so on, but that?s something I`ve never done to the most important one, the anti-psychotics.. It?s around 2 months since I last took a Valium and that?s a victory.

That`s maybe natural too because I don`t talk a lot about it, it is interestingly enough easier to blog in public than speak about it in person.. it is important to be seen for things besides mental illness.

Anyway, life is pretty good. Discussed adding some medicine (anti-depressants) to the regimen but these last couple of weeks in particular have been good, I?ve started doing exercise on a regular basis (strength and running). It is widely known that exercise helps on a lot of things, and I`m quite a bit overweight so it is good to see the weight go down and feeling more energetic.

Anyway, the title of this blog post is about attitude. Attitude really matters. I often remind myself that how far I`ve come is good, and that things will go even better over time, over time there is constant progress and some ups and downs along the way.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Living (Atom feed)] [Comments] [30 Aug 21:36 Europe/Oslo]

New monitor setup

So I got a new monitor the other day, was walking around downtown and visited a computer store.. asked why the 27" 3D monitor was the same price as another plain 27" monitor and the salesman explained that it has been used for demos, so OK I bought it.

Came home, plugged it in and it didn't work very well. So I took it back, they confirmed it was broken and got me another one, the one that was actually on display.

I must say, so far I'm very happy with having an extra monitor and a big one at that.. lots of space, and it is possible to have several terminal windows up with different code which makes things a bit easier to work with.

Here's a one-terminal screenshot of the new monitor space, I'm running Ubuntu with 2 monitors, one 27" and the other on the laptop. The laptop isn't heavy duty so I was surprised that things are so snappy on the big screen as well:

http://blogologue.com/screenshot_27.png

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Technology (Atom feed)] [Comments] [18 Aug 10:59 Europe/Oslo]

Good procedures matter

So, Isak our firstborn in getting closer to 3 years old. We've noticed some tantrums here and there, but they pass eventually.

It is said that if you give them the pinky they'll take the whole hand, which I'm sure is true after seeing some parental programs on the telly. And seeing how Isak can sometimes try to push the right buttons to get his way.

Anyway, I just about always put him to bed. Take him upstairs, give him a fluoride tablet, brush his teeth and put him to bed. There have been some things like Isak wanting an extra hug or kiss from mom before bed but that also passed.. I've been pretty strict about what happens before bedtime and I think that has been smart, as this procedure is a breeze these days.

It's a fine balance between nurture, structure and discipline to raise kids, but if they get a lot of affection and some leniency with discipline and structure as the default, things work out fine.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Family (Atom feed)] [Comments] [14 Aug 19:12 Europe/Oslo]

Having some networking fun

Today, somewhat inspired by my brother who has gotten mobile broadband (which works well), I bought myself some new networking gear.

It's a Netgear Powerline Nano 200 WiFi Set, which works by plugging in an adapter in one end and a another in the other end, hooking up the former to the router via ethernet and configuring the latter (via ethernet) to set up wireless access.

I had some small issues configuring the wireless adapter, but the setup tools for the adapter worked out on the second try.

Nothing big really, but at least I now have 5 bars on the WiFi, larger capacity for data transfers and a good ping to boot. Small things like these matter when you're working on a computer all day, feels smoother and snappier.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Wireless (Atom feed)] [Comments] [13 Aug 12:52 Europe/Oslo]

Song of the day

Loreen - Euphoria

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Favorite songs (Atom feed)] [Comments] [10 Aug 19:52 Europe/Oslo]

Upwards and onwards

So yeah, a little update from last time. What can I say, things are better than ever.. I feel relaxed and am able to take things easy if I feel negative emotions and thoughts are creeping up.

I've been discussing the use of another medicine (SSRI) with my psychologist and I'm going a bit back and forth on it in my own head as well.

Seeing how well the anti-psychotics and cognitive therapy have worked, that's a positive experience that makes me think the SSRI medicine could help as well, as it is similar to anti-psychotics in that they treat the current issues as well as has a long-term (permanent?) effect on the brain so that the chance of going nuts (...) again is reduced.

On the other hand, it would be good to just learn how to cope with things without medicine, and life is pretty good now. Just the social situations that are sometimes too much and I'm sure that will get better over time.

Oh well, we'll see. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [10 Aug 19:41 Europe/Oslo]

Taking things in stride

So this last week I've been on vacation in Geilo (see here for example https://twitter.com/blogologue/status/217356386647019520/pho... and things have been good, taking it easy.

Been fishing, been drinking (a little bit) and reflecting over life.. the pace in Nidelven IT is picking up and there is enough to do for a while to come.

I'm very glad we ditched the hosting part of our business (handed it over with care to another company) and that we now can focus on mostly one thing, selling our time to customers, as well as selling some licenses of in-house developed e-commerce software.

As far as my mental health goes, things have been steadily improving since I started treatment and that's encouraging because there is a dip in comfort now and then but it can be managed by taking some extra medicine.

I talked with Vebjørn (brother-in-law, studying to become a police officer) this week about drugs and medicine, and yes Valium can be considered a drug, but so can morphine if it is abused, so Valium as a solution now and then and not regular use or mixed with other things such as alcohol (dangerous), I consider to be OK. Although I'm thinking of trying an extra Truxal the next time there's too much anxiety, as I can have some beers then without worrying about a bad reaction to Valium and alcohol.

Life is pretty good.. and now some tea. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [01 Jul 10:25 Europe/Oslo]

A new joy in life

So lately I've found a new joy in life.. after being a heavy coffee drinker for many years, I watched a program on the TV where a woman talked about coffee being "too fast" for her, and that drinking tea was better.

I've been drinking tea now and then and it struck me that this could be true for me as well. I get too "manic" when drinking coffee and these last couple of weeks I've been drinking tea instead.

And it is a great joy, tea tastes great especially with honey and milk added. And there is a plethora of different tea types so one can vary and try different things now and then and have a selection of different types at hand.

And yes, it seems that it is better for me to drink tea than coffee, so now I know that as well.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Living (Atom feed)] [Comments] [14 Jun 09:08 Europe/Oslo]

Life is good

So it's been a little while since I blogged.. things are changing and getting better.

I?'ve managed to go on without Valium for a while now, and now it's only Quetiapine (Seroquel) and Truxal (Chlorprothixene) to manage my symptoms..

I had a meeting with the psychologist and the doctor that prescribes the drugs and we talked about going at least another year on the Quetiapine and trying to get off the Chlorprothixene as soon as possible. Which is fine by me, when the time is right we can start reducing the medicine.

It's been a long and hard battle (to use that overused metaphor).. it is not so much a battle as it is accepting life's realities, accepting stress and things that get you out of balance and rolling with the punches (...) - or rather avoiding them. :)

I'm happy now.. I think I'll be even happier as more time passes by, but I must always remember to stop and enjoy the things that are plentiful and small, but oh so important. Such as playing with the kids, sitting outside when it is sunny, getting out and about.

This psychosis/anxiety thing has been difficult, and things still get very heavy at times, but I wouldn't have thought 1-2 years ago that I'd be doing as well as I'm doing now. Which makes me think about those who have heavy problems and end life prematurely.. such a loss, as one is out of it and in pain and miss out on so much of what comes in the future. It is true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and today I feel strong. Things can still get heavy but I feel smarter, more energetic, peaceful and stronger than I ever have before.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [07 Jun 14:22 Europe/Oslo]

Loosing some battles, winning the war

Been a little while since I blogged so I thought it was time again. Long story short, things have been improving steadily since I first started treatment for psychosis.

I am able to think now that someday in the future, my mental problems will be mostly or completely over.

My medicine regime these days consists of 800 mg of Seroquel, 45 mg of Truxal and 1,25-5 mg of Valium when needed.

The deal with those who treat me is that I use Valium when necessary, and I've heard that those who use Valium (mostly) fare worse than those who don't, but it is a very effective and useful tool that brings stability for me. Knowing I have it and that I can use it, and using it, makes me able to control my mental health with confidence.

We had a new kid that arrived on Wednesday (Theo) and up to birth and after the birth I've used more Valium than usual. And events like childbirth can trigger psychosis or a relapse into psychosis, and now 4 days later I still feel things are well under control, that's thanks to anti-psychotics, Valium and the cognitive therapy I've had with different therapists the last couple of years. I just made sure I ate enough, slept enough, didn't undertake anything particularly stressful and took Valium when I felt severe anxiety creeping up.

Now that I was able to deal with the birth of Theo I feel more confident about most things and that it will be possible to beat (or rather, manage) my mental health problems.

It's been a long and at times incredibly (insanely..) hard battle, but it's possible to go through things like these and have a normal happy life. I know that now. :)

FWIW, I now have the "2012 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code" main diagnosis F41.3 and a "side diagnosis" (?) of F29. It's kind of nice to have a diagnosis, but the important thing has been working away at whatever problem I felt most pressing at the time, and over the last ?2.5 years it has been just that, as well as taking medicine. There's a lot of hurt in those diagnoses which is hard for someone who hasn't gone through similar things to understand (just some of the feelings alone would probably scare the bejesus out of a mentally well person), but at least it's somewhat understandable now.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [05 May 15:53 Europe/Oslo]

Minor setback, life in general improving

So, yesterday I had a minor setback, as I awoke after falling to sleep and had a pretty bad anxiety/fear attack.

Thoughts about using more medicine and reacting badly to those (as in having dangerous side-effects) gave me a lot of anxiety and I had to rush to the local doctor that is open 24/7.

The anxiety lasted for about half an hour, most of it was pretty uncomfortable but when I got to the doctor and got to talk to someone things got better. After about 90 minutes of waiting I got to talk to a doctor about this anxiety and these concerns and I was calmed down by it.

The whole ordeal was pretty uncomfortable and I feel a bit tired today, but all in all it was OK. I managed to handle that situation as well. And did not even have to take a Valium to manage it.

These last months I feel things have greatly improved for my mental health, and incidents like these are more of a symptom of things that have been, not how they will be in the future. It is almost like I have gotten used to having it so bad, that feeling good feels a bit dangerous and I fall a bit back into feeling badly again.

Well, as far as medicine goes, I take and have always taken the medicines for psychosis regardless of how I feel about them and that other people are somewhat skeptical and some outright suggest that I stop taking them. That is something between me and those who give me treatment for (mental) health.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [07 Apr 18:14 Europe/Oslo]

Creating a relatively safe and portable Linux setup

So, over the last years I've become more aware and focused on security and doing things securely and "hygienic" so that different activities don't transfer security issues between different platforms.

One trick I've been using is to have DVDs/CDs with some live Linux distro running, so that between activities the system is shut down and any contagion from one activity doesn't transfer over to another.

This approach works well, but it is a bit slow starting up and doing different things.. waiting for the disc reader to spin up or do its thing is so slow at times that it can become annoying. And if you're really paranoid, the risk of malware hiding in the firmware or some other part of the computer is always there.

So yesterday I bought myself a USB stick, so I can install Linux onto that.. I'm going to use the Ubuntu Linux Live disc and do an install to the USB stick with that. I installed a Live/Install disc to the USB stick first using UNetBootin, but when booting from the stick and trying to install to the stick from the stick, it didn't work.

Interestingly it didn't work because for some reason the installer had to modify the partition table on the stick and couldn't do that when the stick itself was mounted. [Edit: The stick already had a partition configured, so why should it modify?]

Then, when I boot up from the USB stick for the first time, I'll install VirtualBox onto the USB stick Linux, and could run different activities within virtualized machines. I think I'll setup a script that can cleanly initialize a virtual box image, and then startup that image, so that each "work session" within a specific area is contained to that virtual box, and it is never re-used again.

Some other things that will need to go onto the USB stick Linux is a setup for WiFi as well as removing certain standard services such as CUPS that is configured to startup automatically and listen to a port which can be accessed by users on the same network and effectively becomes a potential security hole.

With an installation of Ubuntu as the USB stick Linux, I feel fairly confident it'll be able to work on most computers' hardware it is plugged in to. WiFi can be an issue, but I guess the trick there is to keep the Ubuntu up-to-date.

Well, that's the plan for now. I'll keep you posted. [:)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Technology (Atom feed)] [Comments] [22 Mar 20:21 Europe/Oslo]

PyPi - the giftconomy

So, I've added a page about my PyPi stuff here:

http://blogologue.com/morten%20w.%20petersen%20-%20pypi%20pa...

It lists my published Python/Zope/Plone packages, and over 7000 downloads of them so far although I haven't prioritized PyPi until recently. Sweet deals all around!

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Python (Atom feed)] [Comments] [07 Mar 14:14 Europe/Oslo]

Learning to think differently, on different things

So, been a while since I last blogged.. life continues to improve and I am able to control my feelings and thoughts better.

It's been well over 2 years with medications and therapy, and it helps. I feel I've been making really good progress after having started going to psychologists. I'm not sure exactly what it is they do, but just talking about things and getting control over bouts of anxiety and learning that things that are felt as perceived as dangerous are in fact not that dangerous helps tremendously.

My ability to focus and persist has grown a lot, the last week or two I've been sticking my head into some pretty complex stuff ( http://www.nidelven-it.no/weblogs/hosting/blog_entry?id=1329... ) and I've managed to fix things that might have been out of my reach earlier.

Through the last years I've had some persisting uncomfortable thoughts and feelings which have seemed very real, and those have been part of a psychosis. I know now that psychosis and other serious mental health issues are things people in general don't know or care that much about, but that they are very real and painful. And that you can live with various symptoms if you learn how to handle them and have a normal functional life. For example if you go around hearing voices or see things that others don't see or feel and think you are something you're not - it can be managed, one can live with it and see it as a part of a normal life. Or they can just go away.

I'm probably having GAD now, generalized anxiety disorder. There is some relation between my anxiety and my psychosis, and that makes sense as low doses of anti-psychotics are used to treat anxiety as well.. managing my thoughts and feelings is what I'm working on these days and I am making great strides in it.

Well, now it's about two months until baby #2 comes, and I feel OK about it. There is something to be said about births and them triggering psychosis or other things, but we're doing everything we can to manage our time and stress in that period (having frequent appointments with the psychologist for example) so we're doing what we can do make it a "controlled landing".

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Living (Atom feed)] [Comments] [18 Feb 08:30 Europe/Oslo]

Post psychosis

So, it seems I'm pretty much over the psychosis stage now, after having talked to the therapist the last time.. I'm not sure how this diagosis thing works and everything, but now they are thinking about changing it.

I've read quite about this and that diagnosis and things related to psychosis such as being bipolar, depressive, manic and schizophrenic. I've also talked quite a bit to different therapists about diagnosis, and so far delusional disorder with psychosis seems to fit well.

Now it seems there can be severe bouts of anxiety and maybe some PTSD left.

Should I stay or should I go?

I've blogged quite a bit over the years and even when I was severely mentally ill, and lately I've been thinking about whether it is a good idea to blog about mental illness for me personally..

Spring 2011 we sold a part of our business to a partner, because we found that we were too small to be doing a lot of significantly different things.

Since that time there has been a lot less to do in the company, and although I've been fully committed to working in the company, I've also applied for jobs to get a steady income (since we sold a lot of the work and income) as well as "to get out a bit" and socialize more.

Anyway, I've got a ton of experience in running technical stuff as well as developing it and managing things. Even with that experience and having applied for a number of jobs I've only gotten one interview offer.

It's easy to find my blog through Google, and I think a lot of employers do search on the to get information about the applicant.

Ending a vicious circle

I think the problem with being mentally ill is that it is still a bit of a taboo, and this makes things worse because stigmatization adds to the problems. So what's needed is that more people talk about it and make it more acceptable to be ill. That's the only way to fix it really.

If I'm missing out on jobs because I'm blogging about my illness, then that's a part of a negative circle. If I'm not getting a job, then that could mean I could be out of work for a long period, and the longer you are without a job, the bigger the chance is that you don't get back in the job market - regardless of mental health.

Having something to do makes the days go by, and having a job is (I guess) a big deal for most people, as there is something to do and you get some social status from working. I think there are a lot of people out there who are mentally ill that could maybe work 10%, 30% and more, and that would be very helpful to the economy as well as IMO more people would get better, mentally.

During my most intense periods of psychosis I still worked 20% in the company, and in that period made decisions and plans that have in hindsight been very positive, and correct. So even if you're psychotic you can do something. And it helps to have something to do.

So this vicious circle.. you get ill, then you can't talk to a lot of people about it and if you apply for a job you can't talk about it. I think there is apprehension and fear around mental illness. Another part of that negative cycle is that not a lot of people talk about mental illness. There are I'm sure a lot of people who have varying degrees of mental illness, but because of for example stigmatization they don't seek help. Or maybe they are so ill that they lack the ability to understand that something is wrong with the way they think, or that they have become accustomed so the various symptoms of mental illness and go around with a serious mental handicap that hinders optimal functioning in life and enjoyment of it.

For the severely mentally ill, the problem with self-diagnosis or knowing that something is wrong with the way you think is that the same thing you're using to understand yourself is the thing that isn't working properly.

In that regard, it is helpful that mental illness gains acceptance, so that for example you can save a friend, relative or anyone by knowing a little more about mental illness and symptoms. Save them from squandering years of happiness, or even a whole lifetime of unecessary pain and stress.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [14 Jan 14:15 Europe/Oslo]

Over 2 years and counting

So, now it has been well over 2 years since I had a psychotic break. I'm feeling better and feeling more now than for a long time.

I've had to deal with my issues and change my ways. Change the way I think about things, change habits.

And I'm glad to say that it works. Life is pretty good.

I think I've had a bad relationship towards web usage (using it too much) as well as work (working too much, not "disconnecting") for a number of years..

So what have I learned from all this? That life is short and it isn't easy for a lot of people. And that people can always change.

But the most important thing is taking the meds. Without them I would probably still be in a bit of a mess. And going to the therapist and being honest. That can be very hard, but to change something, it helps to start talking about it.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [Comments] [19 Dec 11:43 Europe/Oslo]