Life, the universe and ... oh, whatever ...

Monday, December 24, 2007

From all of us to all of you...

I want to take this opportunity to wish all my family and friends an exciting, yet peaceful and happy Christmas.

Here is a photo of our Christmas tree this year, with all the presents (and yes, I have checked, some of them are for me, so I must have done at least some things right this year!) underneath. I'm really looking forward to opening them later this evening, but first, Christmas dinner - which in my part of Norway is very traditional with pork ribs, pork sausages, pork meatballs, potatoes and sauerkraut.
Once again:
A very - merry - Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Believe it or not: I passed my exam in Nordic languages! I got a B on my assignment that we had to do at home before the exam, which counted for 25% of the total grade, and a C on the actual exam – and my overall grade then ended up as a C (for my foreign readers: the Norwegian grading system goes from A to F, where A is the best grade and E is the lowest passing grade). As I’ve told you before, I wasn’t even sure that I would pass this exam so I am thrilled about getting the C.

I’m not so thrilled by the cold that I’ve got these days though, but hopefully it will be gone by Christmas Eve so that I can really enjoy Christmas dinner. And I’m almost finished with all the Christmas presents. And now with this exam being done successfully as well, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Why I hate Apple/iTunes…

… and other fun pre-Christmas stories.

This is the story of an iPod, to be more specific, and iPod Classic 5th generation, black, 80 GB. I bought it this summer, early July, at my local electronics store at Flisa, it cost me about NOK 2800. I had had it for about 1 month the first time it “hung”, this happened when I tried to recharge it, suddenly nothing at all would happen. I tried all only tips to reset it, but nothing work, I could do nothing else than just wait for it to be empty of power. When I turned it back on, it worked again. As all people who use these electronic devices like iPods and computers and so on will know, these things happen, and we move on. A month later, the same thing happened again, but when it was empty of power I could turn it on and it worked fine. Then I brought it with me to Gran Canaria. Two weeks into my holiday, the battery stopped working. I could still use it when it was hooked up to the power charger, but without it the battery went flat in about 15 minutes. By the time I got back to Norway THAT didn’t even work, the thing was dead.
The day after I got back to Norway I went to my local electronics store and explained the problem. The guy was really sorry, but he could do nothing else than give me a phone number to call. They had in the past taken the iPods that customers returned to them and sent them to Apple Norway, but they had only been returned to the store with the message “hands off, you’ve got nothing to do with this. Return broken products to customers and have them call us.”
So I called Apple Norway. And met a very young man who tried to be funny by saying that I should just throw the iPod away if it didn’t work. I wasn’t really in the mood for that kind of amusement I explained to him. Then I had to talk with him for another 20 minutes (during this time he actually tried to sell me a Mac laptop, where upon I asked him “I’m calling you about a product of yours that’s not working, and now you try to sell me a new product of yours. Really sure you want to get into this discussion?” He agreed that this probably wasn’t the right time to try and sell me something new) while he made me try different things with the iPod, all things that I had already tried which I explained to him, but he would not listen when I tried to explain that nothing would work simply because the iPod was dead.
Finally he got it! Then he said that this was no problem, he would just arrange it so that I could hand the iPod in at the closest repair shop. I had already checked online to see where this was, it’s in Oslo. So I told the young man, that’s not going to happen. I bought this thing at my local store, I’m not getting into the car driving for 2 hours, one way!!, to hand this in at your “closest” repair store, you’ll have to figure out another way to fix this. Then he told me to wait and was gone for about 5 minutes. When he got back on the line he once again told me, no problem, now UPS was going to come to my door with a box in which I was to put the iPod and then they would return it to Apple for me.
Five – 5 – days later I received a box in the regular mail from UPS, I put the iPod in the box and called UPS. Another five – 5 – days before they finally came to pick it up. Then another 2 weeks before the thing was returned, by regular mail, to me.
I hooked it up to the computer yesterday, and it worked fine. I got all my songs and movies transferred into it, and I even used it for a little while just to check that it was ok.

Today I’m going to Oslo, that means sitting quite a few hours on the bus, so I thought, I’d better make sure the iPod is fully charged before I leave. I hooked it up to my computer, 2 hours later, it’s still “hanging”, all it says is do not disconnect, which I of course by now how done, because I have to leave in 20 minutes and then I’m turning the computer off anyway. So the damned thing is still not working. This probably means that when I get back from Oslo I will have to spend another 20 minutes on the phone with some guy from Apple who has no idea about what he is doing – and oh yeah, the really excellent thing is that these calls cost a fortune as well, the last one cost me NOK 180!!
I hate – I HATE – Apple/iTunes and this truly is the last time I’m buying any of their products! I am now wondering if it would be possible to have the fucking thing returned completely and get my money back so that I can buy some other kind of music player that will actually work!?

Fortunately when getting on the bus today, I do have a new laptop that I bought two months ago, a small one, a very good laptop that’s worked perfectly since the day I bought it. As a replacement for small music player of course it’s not ideal, but at least it will entertain me whilst I’m on the bus and make sure that I don’t spend those hours just getting more and more angry about Apple and their lousy products!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Puerto de Mogan

I'm so enjoying my Christmas holiday now, not doing anything useful at all really. I have booked a flight to England on the 3rd of January, and I'll be staying over there for 12 days - I really look forward to that. Right now it's just good to be home and relax.

I said in an earlier post on this blog that I would write some more about my stay in Gran Canaria eventually.

One of the things we did that I quite enjoyed was getting on the bus and going to Puerto de Mogan. It is a quite small town on the south west coast of Gran Canaria. We walked around there for a couple of hours and had lunch at a good Irish restaurant.

Excitingly enough there was a huge fire in one of the buildings at the harbour that day, so I got some photos of that.

We also managed to climb about a 1000 steps to this view point above the city, the climb up was hard, but getting down was actually even tougher as most of the steps were slightly tilted forward so it put a lot of strain on the legs, I almost kneeled when we finally got down - but it was worth it. Anyway, as you can see, here are some of the photos that I took on that trip.