The Hugh Page

Sold my apartment in Sweden

This was a modest but nice place. I'm going to miss it a bit I think. I renovated it from the ground up after all.

It's funny actually. One I was done with the renovation I lost all interest to actually live there. Projects in progress are a lot more exiting than projects that are completed...

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Comments about the WiX Web Site

Rob notes (among other things) that the WiX web site receives a bash from Tomas Tomiczek.

Being the main guy behind the current web site, let me just make it clear that I agree with Tomas that the WiX web site in its current state is far from impressive. However, rest assured that we are working on it, and that there will be big improvements in the future. Most notably the online version of wix.chm, as well as a “getting started” section – if things go my way.

I usually tend towards the traditional release model as opposed to the “release early, release often” model that Rob promotes. (Mostly due to tradition.) That means that I tend to squeeze as many things as possible into one big release, instead of releasing stuff one thing at a time. That is the main reason that the web site has been left with a broken downloads section, as well as the reason it’s still not checked into CVS yet. A web site is different from a software product thought, and we probably need a quicker update cycle for the web site in the future.

Lastly, aside from the web site, there have been plenty of new things going on with the WiX toolset. Most notably ClickThrough and v3 of the core toolset. That deserves some credit IMHO.

A Snowy Day in Sweden

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Snapped these pictures on my way to the car today. There has been a lot of snow throughout Europe over the last few days. My hometown is in the south most part of Sweden, and it’s close to the sea. So we usually don’t get a whole lot of snow around here. Once or twice a year at most, and it usually doesn’t stay for more than a day or two.

It’s a lot of fun driving when the roads are covered with snow.

Installed Skype

Since everybody is talking about eBay bought them, they finally caught my attention. And since I’ve had a couple of hefty phone bills lately because I have been calling the UK a lot here from Sweden, I thought that it might be a good idea to give it a try and see if it can lower my phone bills a bit.

The first thing I thought was that I had to get a headset of some kind to use it. But it turns out most headsets out there are stereo headsets. (Except for the Bluetooth headsets, but unfortunately none of my computers has Bluetooth support in them.) Stereo headsets might be good if you are playing games and want environmental sounds together with the voices of your co-players. However they effectively cancel out all sounds around you so they are really no good for office use. Or in any other situation where you might care about what is going on in you surrounding for that matter.

Then it occurred to me that my Toshiba Portégé M200 - being a Tablet PC – has a build-in microphone, effectively making it an excellent speaker phone! So I installed Skype, tried it out, and it’s working great! Way above expectations. Heh, well…to tell the truth most of my excitement is actually with my M200.

What has happened now is that people are starting to use Skype instead of Windows Messenger when they want to talk to me. This has led to the insight that voice conversations are significantly more disruptive than IM conversations since they require you to constantly listen to the person on the other end. Whereas an IM conversation lets you read the message and reply at the next convenient moment. They also tend to last longer. I think I’ll have to apply a restriction policy on personal voice conversations during office hours…;

Anyway, my Skype login is “fregro”. Feel free to use it.

Update on Email Addresses

I’m a minimalist. A quite passionate one actually. So, when I woke up this morning I realized I have too many email addresses. And in order to simplify my life a bit I have decided to consolidate the number.

From now on I’m depreciating all addresses except my address and my address. Please use the MSN address for emails directly to me, and the SourceForge address for anything that also goes to the WiX mailing lists. Same goes for any corporate email addresses; don’t use them unless it is work related. Thanks.

No Internet Connection

I have been without an Internet connection at home since last Sunday. I’m going to sell my apartment in Sweden, so I let it expire.

As a consequence I’m having a hard time keeping up with what is going on in the blogosphere and the world in general. Same goes for answering emails and writing new blog posts. Hopefully it’s not going to last for more than a month though.

It’s kinda fascinating to think about how dependent I have become of something I had never used ten years ago. Life without Internet is unimaginable. Gosh, I’m glad I have people to freeload on.


Found more interesting stuff, this time thought Robert Scoble. Here’s a video where Mike Murray (apparently former Microsoft HR vice president among other things) talks about Unitus and he’s involvement in microfinance.

I first heard about the concept of microfinancing a couple of years ago, but this is the first time I have run across a deeper explanation. I find the concept very fascinating, especially since I believe that there are no shortcuts to building a healthy market. And the lack of healthy markets is the main reason so many parts of the world stays in poverty. This would be a first step, and after that the growth potential from $2 a day to western standards is breathtaking, making these markets very attractive to foreign investments.

Unitus is still a charity though. Somehow that troubles me a bit; it would feel more real it was a conventional investment fund. And let’s face it, 20-30% interest annually… that’s the kind of investments I would like to make. Even if it only brings 10% after operational costs, that’s still attractive. Investment money should be flowing in that direction. What is holding it back?

The Excellence of Others

Found a good post over at Fast Company today: Look for Excellence in Others

I really think this is spot on. I have been thinking a lot about this myself. It is very hard to succeed alone; the one who embraces and learns from the people around him will always be at an advantage.

Something I have learned from personal experience is to always acknowledge when someone is doing something right. If the person is an ally you have strengthened him – and yourself too as a consequence. If the person is a competitor you should acknowledge what he is doing right and try to make it you own brand as well. That way you can keep him from getting ahead of you.

Acknowledge the success of other people, and you will be successful yourself!

(Not sure if I always practice my own teachings thought. Or what do you say “people around me”?)

ExCoKo is back!

Akira over at Tsunami Channel announces that he is going to start drawing ExCoKo again. This used to be the first online comic I checked for each day, until it was put on hold a bit over a year ago when Akira needed a timeout. The comic doesn’t really have an advanced story line or plot, but frankly I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s cute and funny and makes me happy when I read it. That’s more than enough for me.

Akira himself has got great humor, great taste, and I love he’s drawing style. He runs a blog over at Tsunami Channel too (even if he calls it “rants”). Lately he has been providing some interesting peeks into manga/anime culture in Japan. Very fascinating I must say. Welcome back for real Akira, we missed you!

WiX Web Site Online

As announced by Rob Mensching here, the WiX web site is finally online! There is not a whole lot of content there yet, and the layout is done by me and not a professional web dev, sorry about that. ^^;

Anyway, getting a web site up is hopefully going to be a major steppingstone to make the WiX toolset the primer tool in the industry to build reliable setup on the Windows platform. Being a contributor and a big fan of the WiX toolset myself, I would love to see that happen.

Anyway, we are going to have to improve the web site a lot over the next few months. In my mind the web site has three main goals:

  • Helping new users getting started using the WiX toolset and providing information about what the WiX toolset has to offer that other tools does not.
  • Providing experienced users with reference material, advanced usage information and information about new functionality in the toolset.
  • Guide new developers who want to make contributions to the WiX toolset on the requirements to join, how to submit patches, and possibly how to find tasks that needs doing but are currently unassigned.

So, the next additions to the web site I will be working on is a “Getting started with WiX” section, a manual section containing the online version of wix.chm (included in the binary distribution), and a “Getting involved” section to help out new developers.

The Emerge of the Blog

Back in the mid to late 90’s I recall the hype was that everybody using the internet should have a personal home page. Internet connections were sold bundled with web-server space for a personal home page, and numerous web sites out there where offering free, ad-funded web-server space. However, I also recall most of these pages were built once, didn’t contain a lot of interesting content, and weren’t updated. And by the end of 2000 nobody around me were talking about them anymore. The concept of a personal web site itself wasn’t flawed in my opinion, but the approach to build a “home on the web” probably was since they lacked purpose other than being a static presentation of the person behind them.

Then the weblogs came along. I’m not sure if it was the personal home pages that evolved into weblogs or if they came from a different direction. I frankly didn’t realize what was going on until early 2004 when the mainstream media had caught on. And since then it has just kept exploding. This is interesting IMHO because just like the personal home pages of the 90’s they are essentially an online publication by, and about a person, but this time with a different approach. The difference between the right and the wrong approach to the same basic concept meant the difference between success and failure. At least that is how the whole thing looks from my perspective.

So, by now it seems obvious that blogs are here to stay. And although it took a while for me to catch on, here I am joining the blog-sphere!

For those of you who don’t know me: I’m a Swedish native, a grade school dropout, and a software developer with seven years officially in the business. But more about me in future posts…