Saturday, October 29, 2005

Thoughts from Stockholm

I spent the day walking around Stockholm. I started with the Vasa Museum which was recommended many times over. It was pretty neat, this is the only picture that “made” it however – the museum was very dark and most of the photos came out that way (dark):
That shows part of the hull of the Vasa as it would have been painted back then (after much testing – the experts confirmed that) next to parts of the hull as it looked when the ship was lifted. The bright shiny lights in the picture are reflectors – they had hundreds of them all over the ship for some reason (did not make for good pictures obviously). If you are interested in the Vasa and why we as technical people working on software should care – you need to read this link provided by “Anonymous”. I remember watching a Discovery Channel special on the Vasa and it was pretty cool to see it, and to be able to tie the entire story back to what I see all of the time. The most amazing part of the story – they tested stability (ran a benchmark) before launching and knew the ship would not float (people running back and forth on the deck could capsize the boat). That is like shipping the code – knowing it won’t work (which happens…)

Pressure from the King (management) forced them to “ship it” (all pun intended) with predicable results. At least people don’t typically die from software implementations (not often, think about how much of our lives is falling under the control of software though….).

I concur with the many comments on the blog before that this is a paper to read – you will see amazing parallels to our everyday lives in that paper.

After the Vasa, I walked over to Gamla Stan – Stockholm’s Old Town:
This is what I like to walk around and see – old stuff. I spent about 1.5 hours in the museum – and about 3 hours here, just taking in the sights. Ended up having a very late lunch (early dinner) at the “oldest pub in Stockholm” (at least they said so). As a tribute to our current state of technology – I had a conversation with my manager over instant message while he had breakfast and I had lunch. I remember going to the UK in 1993 and feeling like I had fallen off the end of the earth. No email, no phone, no nothing – no network. Today in 2005, I was messaging with someone in Denmark, my manager in the US and responding to email – all from within a pub in Stockholm on my phone.

I’m still not sure if that last bit is good or bad… But it is convenient. And the beer, it was probably the best in Sweden.

Tomorrow, I travel to the UKOUG – I’ll update over the week with some pictures/commentary from the conference. Looking forward to the “blogger dinner” on Monday.


Blogger Robert said....

>> all from within a pub in Stockholm on my phone.

on the Treo right ?

Sat Oct 29, 03:42:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

on the Treo right ?

100%, yes, the treo rocks so far...

Sat Oct 29, 03:50:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Paul said....

The Swedes have beer? Ah yes, I've seen it in Ikea

Sun Oct 30, 12:49:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Falcon is the name of the Swedish beer.

But hahah - it is by Carlsberg

I found it ironic myself...

Sun Oct 30, 01:14:00 PM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Are we sure that the Vasa was designed to be a war ship - the two "sirens" on the first photo seem to have nothing to do with war - not aggressive at all ;)

Added too many fancy screens to the application perhaps ...

Sun Oct 30, 01:18:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Alberto Dell'Era said...

Are we sure that the Vasa was designed to be a war ship

As I recall - every single carving on the boat had a meaning.

The guy with the red hat - that was Triton - and a jab at the Catholics (he has that sort of hat on). I forget the story behind the female carving.

But that is why it took an hour and a half to see the ship, lots to read...

Sun Oct 30, 01:29:00 PM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

jab at the Catholics

Ah ok, psychological warfare ... now it makes sense :)


Nice restaurant on the second photo on the right, the name sounds strangely familiar ... probably I've seen that noun a couple of times ;)

Sun Oct 30, 05:28:00 PM EST  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

Not in Sweden.

Sun Oct 30, 10:11:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Joel Garry said...

Not in Sweden.

Looks like Lego Land ;)

Mon Oct 31, 02:19:00 AM EST  


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