Friday, December 9, 2011

QT Linguist does not show plurals : solution

I have been using QT Linguist for a large software project. I have had a need to include translatable texts that are not yet used in the code itself.

For including texts for translation, QT Linguist manual suggests to use QT_TR_NOOP or QT_TRANSLATE_NOOP.

For some reason, I was unable to see plurals when editing texts in QT linguist. It took me few hours, but I found out that when using QT_TR_NOOP or QT_TRANSLATE_NOOP macros, the plurals will not be generated when running "lupdate" command.

So, instead of using:
QT_TR_NOOP("You got %n hellos");
you need to use to
tr("You got %n hellos");
get the singular and plural inputs to be shown in QT Linguist.

That pretty much destroys the idea for the macros... This might be version and/or language specific issue, but if you encounter this problem, try to change the macros to actual tr()-calls.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mercurial answers remote:ssl required (simple mistake!)

Today I got my new laptop at work finally set up and running.

I made some changes to my C/C++ code and tried to push the changes to mercurial repository using Tortoise HG client. But the server just responded:
pushing to
searching for changes
24 changesets found
remote: ssl required

Well, that was something I did not expect... 

I did found only irrelevant information from the web, and finally asked help from my colleague. He answered briefly, "Are you using ssh connection?".

Of course! That was it. I just needed to change the protocol in my repository address from http to ssh... Sometimes it is difficult to see obvious problem.

So, before doing any changes to your Apache or Mercurial server, check your address... :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bosch dishwasher does not take water : solution

I have a Bosch dishwasher, model SGU47M05SK, which suddenly stopped taking water in. It goes through the wash cycle in normal time, but without water. As suggested in several internet tips, I poured water inside the dishwasher manually, which should "wake up" the water intake. However, the water pump removed the water within seconds after start, but did not continue taking water in by itself.  

The solution that worked in my case (this is also described in the user's manual):
1. Unplug the dishwasher's power cord
2. Close water
3. Open water connector to Aquastop device, and remove grains of sand or rust from the two filters inside the connector
4. Open water
5. Plug back the dishwasher's power cord
6. Start the dishwasher

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Notched music therapy with Winamp

Notched music therapy is a therapy that reduces tinnitus sound, specifically if the tinnitus sound is tonal with one distinct tone. Music therapy requires hearing, but apparently (?) slight hearing loss does not affect to the outcome.

The notched music therapy in a nutshell: Listening to music, where the frequencies matching your tinnitus frequencies have been removed, may reduce the tinnitus sound. The positive effect becomes measurable after months of regular therapy.

You can download the original article from

Notched music therapy at home

These instructions apply to Windows machines only.

What you need to do:

1. Find out what is the frequency of your tinnitus sound
2. Select relaxing music of your choice (classical, natural sounds etc)
3. Remove tinnitus frequencies from your music
4. Start listening to the music regularly from 1 to 3 hours every day

1. Finding out the tinnitus frequency

1. Download application capable of producing tones from different frequencies, like Sinegen (Download from Tucows)
2. Put on your headphones, make sure the volume is at minimal level!
3. Start listening to tones, keep your eyes closed and use keyboard keys up and down to change the frequency
4. Adjust the frquency and volume until you think they match to your tinnitus. This may be very difficult! You can try to match your tinnitus sound on several days, to make sure you have got it right, or you can be relatively sure you have found the frequency at least "near" the tinnitus sound.

Sinegen screen capture

 2. Select relaxing music

You should listen to relaxing music, as the relaxation reduces stress and anxiety, and that way reduces also the effect of tinnitus in your life!

I personally like to listen to Asian meditation music, which is very calm and relaxing. You can find a lot of samples from this kind of music from (link performs search). has a lot of internet radios with this kind of "meditation" music, and you can listen to these radios with Winamp! See the stations with this search: shoutcast, meditation.

3. Remove tinnitus frequencies from your music

1. Download Winamp music player
2. Download Winamp plugin: Equalizer v1.6
3. Install Winamp and Equalizer plugin
4. Open your favorite internet radio
5. Open Equalizer plugin visualization
6. Use your mouse to remove the tinnitus frequencies from the music
7. Listen to the notched music, 1 to 3 hours each day 

What frequencies to remove?

The paper says: "By means of the target notch modification, the frequency band of one octave width centered at the individual tinnitus frequency was removed from the music energy spectrum."

I interpret this as follows: The tinnitus frequency (f) is at center for octave starting from f1 and ending at f2. We can calculate the starting frequency, knowing from the definition of octave that the end frequency is twice the starting frequency,
f2 = 2*f1
The center frequency is then at
f = f1 + ((f2-f1) / 2)
And we knew that f2 = 2*f1, so when we substitute f2, we will have
f = f1+((2*f1-f1)/2).
Multiplying with 2, we end up
2*f = 2*f1+2*f1-f1, 
2*f = 3*f1. 
Solving the starting frequency f1 is then
f1 = 2*f / 3
And the end frequency is 
f2 = 2*f1

Example: in my case the tinnitus frequency is 6600 Hz. Putting that to equation f1 = 2*f/3, we have f1 = 2*6600/3, which results f1 = 4400 Hz. And we knew f2 = 2*f1, so f2 = 2*4400 Hz = 8800 Hz. Thus personally I need to remove frequencies between 4400 Hz and 8800 Hz.

Winamp with Equalizer v1.6. Here I have removed frequencies around my tinnitus tone (approx. 6600 Hz). Image showing frequencies removed almost completely between 4600 Hz - 10 000 Hz.

Friday, October 7, 2011

How many seats you can have in a bicycle?

You can have at least three seats in a bicycle, apparently!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

90's techno and tinnitus

I remember when I took this poster off from the venue wall. It was early Saturday morning 10th July 1993. The "raves" had just ended at 7 am and my ears were ringing like a kettle.

That was the first time I realized I may do damage to my ears with too loud music. The ringing eventually faded away almost completely (in a month), but after that incident, in total silence, I was always able to hear a faint ringing sound inside my head.

From that day, I used ear plugs every time when I went to the bars or clubs. However, in February 2008, I was in Barcelona attending to a cocktail party, when suddenly a band started to play. I reached to my pocket to get my ear plugs, but couldn't find any. I thought I could stay for a moment anyway, and continued to mingle and have some drinks.

After 30 minutes or so I decided I have had enough noise, and left the building. There, while standing in a warm Spanish evening in a taxi line, I heard the ringing again. I was slightly worried when I heard the ringing sound when going to sleep. But I was really worried when I woke up next morning, and the ringing was still there!

I will be posting more tinnitus related texts soon. For example what are the tricks I use to cope with intrusive tinnitus.

Now back to the 90's again. The Typpihappo parties were great! As you can see from the poster, on Friday there were Utah Saints and the Shamen. Between the sets, a DJ group Hyperdelic Housers played their records. I remember how good The Orb's Blue Room sounded through a massive speaker set. No, wait... actually, that memory might be from 92 :P.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blogspot image loading problem - solution

I just checked some of my older posts, and noticed that the images are not displayed correctly. What happens after clicking a picture is that black screen is shown with red rectangle in the middle and white X mark in the corner.

It seems that there is now new feature called "Lightbox" that has messed things up for my blog. And based on posts on the Blogger Help Forum, there are other affected blogs as well.

I tried several tricks, including disabling the lightbox completely, but nothing helped with these older images. Until I found the page ( where one commenter noted that removing characters "-h" from the image url will fix the problem. And it surely did!

as noted by death-mark (

When you have original url looking like this: ...
Change it to ...
Just by removing the characters "-h"

Test it on your browser with links below:
This link does not work on my system:

But this link does work on my system:

Sadly, this solution requires html changes. It would be great if the problem could be fixed in the scripts...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Huge insect (Oryctes nasicornis)

When I saw this beetle walking on the ground, I startled, because it is absolutely the largest insect I have ever seen in Finland. I caught it in a plastic container, to keep it until I got it photographed. I measured the insect, and it was 50 mm long.

To identify this creature, I used Google and image search, and quickly found out that the insect was Oryctes nasicornis, The European rhinoceros beetle.

Friday, September 16, 2011

PEZ dispensers casted in Bronze!

This text is taken from my old website, and it is originally posted in the year 1998! The image quality is poor, sorry about that. I could try to find the original diapositives, and make rescans.

PEZ dispensers casted in Bronze!

Professional handcrafters / pezheads worked one week with PEZ and bronze.

All of the images are taken in the actual working process. The lightning conditions were really bad from time to time; sorry about the dark images. The process cannot be copied with the help of these images. Some of the steps weren't photographed. Don´t try this at your home. The hot bronze is dangerous if you don't know how to handle it!

1. Preparing to the project - (1/8)
First we had to do some tests about the quality of plastic: how it melts, burns and evaporates. The results you can see on the picture 1. Poor dino melted and burned with a small light to unrecognizable dark lump, when we heated it with a gas welding equipment. Before melting and casting, all the metal objects (springs) and useless plastic pieces were removed from the dispensers.

2. Making the wax tree - (2/8)
All the holes in the dispensers had to be filled with the molding wax. In top left picture, we have stuffed wax in to Speedys neck, so that the surface would be smooth. The dispensers were then added to "a wax tree" as you can see in the pics. In picture bottom right, the wax tree is completed, with the air and gas canals (those little pieces of wax from the head to table). At last, a cardbord cylinder is taped around it.

3. Preparing the mass - (3/8)
Step three was a making a mass of plaster and chamotte. When the substances were added to water it started slowly to dry and become hard. It had to be smooth and running until it was poured on the wax tree, so we had to be quite quick with it.

4. Drying the mold and melting the wax - (4/8)
After we had allowed it to dry a bit, we then speeded up the drying process by putting the lump in to a baking oven. (+100 celsius, 12 hours, and it was ready). After drying the mold was put into a large oven which was heated with liquefied petroleum gas. The temperature in that oven was so high, that the wax and dispensers burned away! Next morning the mold was empty from the plastic and wax, and was ready for casting the bronze.

5. Melting the bronze - (5/8)
The bronze was melted with liquefied petroleum gas. It took more than three hours to get the bronze hot and running. You can only guess how hot there was in that room! In the picture (right/up) the casting is being done. It needs skills to do it right, otherwise the molds will be ruined. The bronze was hot quite a long time. In a dark room, the metal was really glowing bright red (pic left/down).

6. Breaking the mold - (6/8)
When the molds were cooled down, they were carried outside. Carefully, with a small hammer, the chamotte was broken. And every now and then, the casted object was sinked into a water bucket, so that the remains would come off more easily. You could already see how the casting was succeeded. In this case, quite well!

7. Finishing the bronze dispensers - (7/8)
Unnecessary bronze parts, the air and casting canals, were cutted of with a metal saw. In the picture on the right, we are almost done. Only the finishing touch is needed. Extra bumps were filed off, and the bronze got almost perfect shining. C3PO is in this point looking rather good!

8. Dispensers are ready! - (8/8)
Finally dispensers had their final looks. From left, the three first are still missing their final polish. But the fourth, Speedy Gonzales, has been polished and given that deep bronze color with heat treatment. And the first from right, poor Fozzie, is still in that condition, if I remember right...
We had really fun time doing these unique dispensers. They are not for sale, but if you are really interested (and some others too...) we could do another casting with the dispensers of your choice.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rarely seen salamander (Lissotriton vulgaris) in Southern Finland

They say salamanders (Lissotriton vulgaris) are living in Finland, but not many have seen those. At our summer cottage in the Southern Finland, you can sometimes see them in small puddles.
This one was in the drainage well.

Dead Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) found from grass

I found strange looking bird from our backyard lawn. I had to check from the internet what it was. I found out that it was Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes).
If you think I have recognized it wrong, please let me know.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic bluetooth modem problem solved

When trying to connect to the internet from my laptop, using phone's bluetooth modem, I encountered error message like: "Failed to connect to the network! The modem may be used by another application or the modem may not be configured properly."

I solved the problem by following the procedure found from

Commodore keychain

I was looking through my boxes of stuff, and I found this Commodore keychain. This keychain is in it's original plastic bag. It was given as a gift for Amiga 500 computer buyers, around year 1989.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Visual Studio 2008 intellisense not working - solution

I have many times struggled with Visual Studio compile problems. Most difficult problems to solve are problems which seemingly don't have any reason! For example the intellisense is showing return type string, but you know the return value is int.

The reason is that intellisense is storing data from old headers, and for some reason is not clearing it's database, but keeps giving you (and compiler) wrong information.

The solution is simple, simply remove the file $solutionname.ncb from your solution folder.

Note: you need to close your solution first!

Apps in iTunes grayed out - solution

Recently I encountered this strange error with iTunes and my iPod touch: I downloaded some applications from appStore and went to iTunes->Devices->"myipod" and chose "Apps" from the top bar, the application editor that opened was grayed out.

I was able to sync photos and videos correctly, but unable to install or manage the applications.


1. I disabled restrictions completely from my iPod
2. Closed iTunes
3. Reconnected the iPod to my laptop

Really, I had to remove everything from iPods restrictions, not just only "installs".