A glass of milk and a step into the unknown

Last Friday due to a series of unfortunate events my about two-year-old Samsung ultrabook got into a pretty serious accident. Thanks to my clumsiness and the unwise positioning of the laptop, the machine was exposed to a fair amount of liquid – about 0.15 litres of milk to be exact.

Despite the immediate first-aid drying with a considerable number of paper towels and rice bag treatment for three days, the laptop didn’t quite make it. The keyboard became completely unresponsive and previously somewhat rebellious mouse apparently hit puberty.

However, with the help of a borrowed external keyboard I was able to successfully boot the laptop and to copy the files – including unknown number of unfinished blog post drafts – to a safer location. Therefore no precious data was lost and the only casualty was the computer itself. The poor thing will be ritually recycled in near future.

I, the owner, abuser and now confirmed killer of the laptop was now facing a problem. Being an IT student, a programming addict and an avid explorer of the Internet I was used to having a properly – or at least somewhat – functioning computer in my reach at all times. Since I had not come around building the PC I had been talking about for past year, the now milk-dipped laptop had been my only computer.

I had no choice but to embark on a journey of finding a new companion. This was no easy task especially to as indecisive person as me. Luckily, in this case, the situation worked in my favour. The sense of urgency forced me to optimise my usually nearly eternal decision making process.

After a short spurt of research, I was able to draft out a list of absolutely necessary and some preferable specs and features of my next laptop.


  • Size about 13”
  • Minimum 256 GB SSD
  • Minimum 8 GB of RAM
  • Great battery life (notebookcheck.com’s wifi test result or something similar must be around at least 8 hours)
  • Priced below 1700 €
  • Available in a few days
  • Processor Intel Core i5 or i7


  • HDMI port
  • SD card reader
  • Three USB ports

With this list I begun the hunt limiting it to the selection of 4 online stores. (The stores used were jimms.fi, gigantti.fi, expert.fi and for reference newegg.com. The last one was later abandoned since it offered to many options that weren’t readily available.)

After two days of looking at countless number of laptops, skimming and reading tens of reviews and making a harsh decision after another, I narrowed the options down to four laptops that I then examined in high detailed, touched in public and judged by their cover. (Nobody ever said anything about laptops, just books.) Then, on Tuesday evening, I finally made my decision.

However, the salesmen in one local electronics store didn’t bother with serving me. Probably because I looked incredibly young and hence were likely to be poor and not worth their time. Therefore I left without buying the laptop with 1700 € price tag from that store. Instead I headed to another store that didn’t overlook me. I was able to negotiate on the price of the same machine saving over 100 euros. I left the store almost 1600 euros poorer but happy with my decision and shopping experience.

That’s how I became a new owner of a beautiful but admittedly highly expensive piece of technology called MacBook Pro (13” with retina display, 256 GB Flash memory and 8 GB of RAM, Intel Core i5 processor).

There’s no denying that this purchase was definitely a step into unknown. I had used a mac only a couple of times before committing myself to this machine. Learning to operate smoothly in this new environment will take some time. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve tried to use Windows shortcuts.

All the same, I’ll rather see this as an interesting learning experience than as a painful adaptation process. Being different from what I’m used to doesn’t make something bad. So, despite feeling a little lost from time to time, at least for now, I’m perfectly happy with my decision. However I’ve vowed that I won’t take too close look at laptop offers for a while.

For you that have already started praying for me: I’m not going to completely sell my soul to Apple. My desktop – once I get around building it – will be Windows/Ubuntu machine.

I own iPhone though.

Well, I was going to hell anyway.


Bilingual blog

When I started this blog in autumn 2011 I didn’t even think about using any other language but my mother tongue Finnish. Writing in English didn’t even come to my mind and unfortunately I’m capable to write this kind of texts only in those two languages, Finnish and English. I’ve studied Swedish for 6 years now but as I’m not using it in everyday life as I’m using English, my vocabulary is rather poor and I can’t build up very complicated sentences. In German I can probably oder a burger and that’s all. Not having used it for over two years means that I might even struggle with that burger.

However, that time writing in Finnish was a no-brainer. It wasn’t until spring 2012 when I wrote a post in English. I had considered it a bit as I thought it would be amazing to have foreign readers. After all, when I wrote “A Pretty Nice Surprise” it was nothing I had planned. In the moment using English just felt a lot easier. For some reason things that sound corny in your native language don’t sound so corny in any other language – at least for me it works that way.

Since that I’ve been thinking that I should blog a bit more in English. More people could read it, practicing is always good for me, it’s relaxing and sometimes it’s so much easier than scribbling in Finnish. I’d like to tell  you a lot more about me and English language and our rather complicated relationship but I think I’ll dedicate an entire post for it and some other things. It’s an interesting story that has taught me a lot about both language learning and learning in general – and about myself too. By now I’ll just say that English has become an everyday language to me and I love to use it. That has been the case at least for over two years now and it feels great.

Surely it doesn’t mean that my English would be perfect. No way, I’ve got lot to learn and I do make mistakes – but I really want to learn and get better at it. That’s partly what this posting in English is also about. So as I’ll publish something more I hope you won’t hesitate to tell me about my mistakes and give advice. Getting feedback – positive or negative – is always useful.

Just one more thing: I won’t abandon Finnish either. I’ll write in Finnish too and probably translate some posts if that seems sensible. So if you’d rather read my texts in Finnish, no worries, there’ll be some.

Anyway, if you have anything to say about this language issue, just tell me, I’ll listen. This isn’t all about me – even if it would seem like that sometimes – most of all I want to think about you my dear readers.

Stay strong, summer is here soon!

– Pilvi


Blog update

My blog has been quite silent for a long time now but despite that there won’t be any “I’m sorry, I’ve been really busy” -talk now. I’m working on a bit bigger article where you’ll get a fair amount of that piffle. I’ve got more important things to talk about right now.

First of all, I’ve pretty much finished my high school studies by now. We’ll have our graduation party on the 1st of June and we’ll get the results of our finals in May. Until that I don’t have to even think about school. I’ve done my work, I’ve got enough courses and I know I clearly passed my finals ( = matriculation exams). We got the estimated marks a week after the matriculation exams.

Unfortunately high school being finished doesn’t mean lazy days for me. I’m currently both working in a nearby gas station and studying for entrance exams. I’ve applied to universities hoping to become either a special education or primary school teacher. It feels kind of weird as just a few months ago I was still saying that I’ll never be a teacher, I can’t do it, I can’t teach. It seems that I’ve changed my mind. My plan B is to study computer science. Hopefully I’ll get in somewhere. A lot depends on the entrance exams as many universities don’t care that very much about my marks which is a pity.

After the entrance exams are over in May I’m hoping to write a lot. There will be many things to do though as my family is moving to Turku, a city on the southwest coast of Finland. I’ll be packing things, organizing my graduation party and selling things we don’t need anymore or my family won’t have room for. Despite having my hands full of work I’ll surely be updating my blog too. As I mentioned earlier, I’m working on quite a big post which won’t be about ICT but studying and things related to that instead. I’m also planning to write an article or two about my high school experiences and give some advice to future high school students. These three years have taught me a lot and in my opinion that knowledge should be shared. If you have anything you would like to ask or read and article about just send me a message, throw a comment, tweet me… You know what to do. There’s also a box for questions in my blog on “Anything to ask?” -page if you’ll rather use that.

By the way, I’ve been editing the appearance of my blog and there might be more changes in future. Quite a while ago I read Leo Babauta’s post “Minimal Web” and it inspired me a lot. According to Babauta there should be nothing else but the essential things in one’s blog. I don’t agree with him about everything and will take only a part of his advice. I won’t for example get rid of comments. However, I’m trying to make my blog a bit more minimalistic than it’s by now as I really like a simple layout. I’ve for instance deleted sharing buttons. People don’t need a Facebook or Twitter button for sharing. I know you know how to do it “manually”.

Anyway, I think that was all about this update. Even though my high school days have came to end, it doesn’t mean end for this blog. I’ll keep using a laptop and tablet in my studies and hopefully I’ll someday be a teacher and use ICT with my students. We’ll see.

Have a wonderful spring people!

– Pilvi

HELP! What I am going to do after school?

Don´t you know what to do after school? Or are you afraid of not getting in? No worries, I have some advice for all of you.

 If you don’t know where to go…

It often feels really hard to decide where you want to go after school and what you want to be – and only you can know it and make the decision. But it doesn’t mean that we others couldn’t give you some tips. So here we go…

Think about things you like

The most important thing is that you’ll choose a job which you like. You might work something like 40 years in the same profession so don’t torture yourself by choosing a profession you dislike. It doesn’t make any sense.

Think about your strengths and weaknesses

What are you good at? Do you have some special skills? It’s good to be aware of your possible talents and frailties but do not get stuck in those. Even if you are brilliant at math, it doesn’t have to be your profession if you don’t want to. Just acknowledge what you are good at and what not but don’t worry about it too much.

Remember to be sensible

Even if you would love to be a pop star or earn your living by playing basketball or your dream job is really cool and special but very rare, remember that everything doesn’t always happen as you planned. It isn’t impossible to live with for example singing but it’s good to have a backup plan in case you’ll be just a shooting star. Always, educate yourself. Get a real profession which can bring you some food into your fridge.

Ask for advice and opinions

You might get some interesting ideas and new perspectives from others. Often other people are also able to think about our fortes and frailties by more objective way than you. But don’t let anyone decide for you. Remember that it’s your life and therefore your decision.

You can always change your mind

Don’t be afraid of doing a wrong decision. If you start studying something which doesn’t feel right you can always change your mind. So, even if you are not perfectly sure what you want to do, go ahead and apply. Probably just trying out something might help you find out what is that “your thing”.

What if I don’t get in?

It’s not a disaster and the end of the world if you don’t get in. It’s nothing to be scared of. Of course, it’s good to accept the fact that you probably don’t getting in but don’t let it spoil your sleeping and cause you nightmares.

A gap year

If you don’t get in you can always have a gap year. It could also be a solution if you don’t have a clue where you want to go. But use that year well! Do not just waste it by hanging out with your friends and having fun.You can, for example, work, travel or study on your own or in an adult education centre. After studying so many years in a row, it probably feels nice to do something else.  Working in McDonald’s for a year might help you find that enthusiasm to studying, if it has sometimes been a bit lost.

So, take your time, have a year off and try to figure out what you – or at least what you don’t – want to do with your life.

A pretty nice surprise

I’m sorry that I’ll hype a little bit in this post, but I really can’t help it. Today happened something so special and I’m so exicted. I don’t usually blog in English but today, for some reason, I feel much more comfortable in English. This is also very good training and I can almost say that I’m studying. I have English exam on Monday and I should be studying. Well, I’ll study later in this evening and on the weekend.

When I came home today after my Swedish exam, I first went to get the mail, as usual. I wasn’t expecting anything special so I was a bit puzzled when I saw quite a big package in our mailbox. Then I realized what it was. I had been waiting for it, but I’d thought that it would arrive in the end of the next week or even later. I took all the letters and the magazines and the package and hurried inside. I threw my school bag and other stuff just somewhere and placed the mail on the kitchen table. I quickly opened the package and took out a box. For a while I was only able to stare the box and picture on it.

“Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9”, told the letters on the top of the white box. I just sat there for couple of minutes feeling confused. I was staring at the box like it might just dissappear. Or someone might just come over and tell that this was just a joke. That I wouldn’t get the tab and they had just been trolling me.

No, it wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t trolling. There really was Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 wifi. And it was mine. Of course I first took couple of pictures and tweeted them. I am definitely addicted to Twitter. After that I finally opened the box.

After that I’ve been just having fun with my tab. This seems great! I’m actually writing this post with it and the Logitech bluethoot keyboard which I’ve used earlier with iPad. As I’ve written earlier, I’ve had iPad from school for something like 6 weeks and I’ve used it a lot in school and at home. Well, next year I can use Android tablet. I have for long time wanted to try out Android tablet – also in school. There is so much talk just about iPads. I really like iPad but I want to know also about other options and try those out. I had been wondering would someone borrow me Android tablet if I would in exchange write a lot about my experiences. I guess nobody would do that.

Absolutely the best thing is that I paid nothing for this Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. I wouldn’t buy any tablet right now because I don’t have that much extra money. But in this case I didn’t need to spend any money at all. I got it for totally free because I won it. I don’t want brag or anything, so it really happened. Ilona IT had a competition. The idea was that you’d send them a learning project you had done with some mobile device, like a tablet or a mobile phone. I had been doing some math videos with iPad to my friend to help him with studying. My dad said I should send my videos to the competition. I was a bit sceptical. My videos aren’t that fancy or good. Well, I thought that I couldn’t lose anything so I sent an email with the link and a brief description what was the idea behind my videos.

I really didn’t think that I could win anything but I did. There was three projects on the first place (the results) and one was mine. The judges weren’t able to decide which one was the best so they decided to give all of us the first place but the price of the second place. We could choose either iPod Touch 8GB or Samsung G alaxy S 5.0 wifi. Both are media players, like smartphones without GSM or tiny tablets.

I chose Samsung, but as you know I got a tablet not a media player. How that happened? I was really lucky. The importer, which Ilona IT used, didn’t have Samsung Galaxy S 5.0 -media players anymore. But they had tablets so I got this get instead – and I am not dissapointed, on the contary.

So this kind of surprise I got today. Sorry for hyping, you’ll probably need to stand some more in the future, about Samsung tab or iPad. We’ll see.


P.S. I really would like to know what you thought about using English this time. And which one you prefer, Finnish, English or should I use both? Not at the same post of course, but should I write some posts in both languages or something like that? I really appreciate your opinions – even if you tell me that my English is horrible to read or full of spelling mistakes.