Larsblog

Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

I didn't know much about lenses, having only ever used the one I bought with the camera. I was fairly pleased with it, but discovered that taking photos of our newborn daughter (indoors, necessarily) gave disappointing results. The problem was the same one that made me give up my compact camera: not enough light. I could use high ISO, and get grainy photos, or low ISO, and get blurry ones. ...

Read | 2009-07-17 21:14 | 2 comment(s)

Innis & Gunn tasting

Innis & Gunn has met with a divided reception among beer enthusiasts. Some really like it, some think it's not bad, and some hate it. Personally, I quite like it, and it's one of the very few beers that are oak-aged and fairly widely distributed. So when Dr. Jekyll's pub in Oslo announced a tasting with Dougal Sharp, the creator of Innis & Gunn, I signed up. ...

Read | 2009-06-21 19:23 | 12 comment(s)

A Topic Maps file system

The idea of a Topic Maps file system is not new. Robert Barta presented one such at TMRA 2008, and Inge Henriksen is also working on one. However, I had my own take on this that I wanted to realize for several years. The starting point was the Mac screensaver which shows all photos from a given directory as a kind of slide show. I've set it to the root folder I store my photos in, but then it shows all photos, which is not always that pleasant when you're on a projector in a meeting, for example. ...

Read | 2009-06-03 16:25 | 5 comment(s)

My Twitterhood

I've been using Twitter for just about a year now (username: larsga), ever since Tim Bray wrote enough about it to make me curious about what it was. I've since come to enjoy it as a kind of mix between blogs and chat, and have developed a very mixed crowd of people that I follow. One day I started thinking about categorizing these people, and I started wondering what clusters of Twitterers I was really following. ...

Read | 2009-04-05 20:43 | 6 comment(s)

The Prague meeting

The ISO SC34 meeting in Prague was a big affair with five different working groups and many attendees. Working group 3 had a lower attendance than usual (for a number of reasons), and perhaps for that very reason had a highly productive three days focusing on TMCL. The status before the meeting was that we have a quite loose draft that shows in rough outline the intended functionality of the language and gives a good indication of the way it's intended to be specified. The task of the meeting was to process this to the point where the editors could write something quite close to the final specification. I'm happy to say I think that's what we did. ...

Read | 2009-04-02 10:50 | 0 comment(s)

Haandbryggeriet brewery consecration

Beer consumption in Norway may be falling, but craft beer production is booming. To cope with increasing demand Haandbryggeriet recently ripped out their old brewing plant, replacing it with a new one. The old one had a capacity of 900 liters per batch, whereas the new one does 2000, more than doubling the batch size. In fact, since the old one could only do 700 liters of strong beers (because of the amount of malts), capacity is close to tripled for these beers. ...

Read | 2009-02-22 13:00 | 0 comment(s)

BrewDog Paradox whisky beers

I don't usually do beer reviews on this blog, but I got "reviewer copies" of the BrewDog Paradox Smokehead and Isle of Arran, and thought they were worth writing about. Contrary to what you might think, this doesn't mean breweries have suddenly started to send me their beers, clamouring for me to review them. BrewDog sent them to Knut Albert, who kindly passed them on to me. ...

Read | 2009-02-15 13:35 | 6 comment(s)

Pub-walking in London

It's odd that the pub should in one sense be the ultimate English tourist attraction, since all countries have their own bars and cafés, but somehow the English pub has become part of international culture. And deservedly so, because there really is something special about English pubs. A good English pub is almost like a communal living-room; a kind of home away from home. That is, the good English pubs are like this. They are of course outnumbered by the indifferent or even bad pubs, which are just boozers like those you find anywhere in the world.

...

Read | 2009-02-10 12:34 | 6 comment(s)

Cask beer

The summer after finishing high school a friend and I set out on an interrail trip through Europe. In England, one of the things we wanted to experience was a proper English beer. So we ordered a Guinness. This was a mistake on many different levels, but I'll limit myself to three here. First, Guinness is of course Irish, and not English. Secondly, we could have had it just about anywhere in Norway. But perhaps the worst mistake was that what's most unique about British beer culture is the cask method of serving beer draft. Guinness, however, even in England, is served from keg, like draft beers in the rest of the world. ...

Read | 2009-01-25 15:07 | 7 comment(s)

Olympen, Oslo

Not long ago, my advice to anyone wanting to try Norwegian microbrew in Oslo would have been to buy bottles from the Wine Monopoly stores and drink them in the hotel room. Not very appealing, of course, but the alternative would have been to hit the two or three pubs that carried a couple of such beers each, where you would have had to argue with the waiters in the hopes of perhaps persuading them to sell you one. (To be fair, Bar & Cigar could be relied on to not just have some, but to also sell them.) ...

Read | 2009-01-17 13:08 | 1 comment(s)

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