Kobo Touch: First Impressions

I finally received the Kobo Touch today. I thought I’d write up some first impressions.

First, this unit is a definite upgrade in heft over the Amazon Kindle. It is much sturdier and just feels more solidly built. This is a touch screen unit, whereas my old kindle used buttons on the side for page turning. I have to say I’m not a huge fan of touchscreens in general, I find they get matted up and worn looking from all the skin contact. I’d probably rather have a clean screen for a device like this.

One con is that the unit could not be activated until it ran the Official Kobo Software(tm), which of course only runs on Windows or Mac. Linux users are out of luck. I tried to install the Kobo software under Wine but it didn’t work. So I booted over to Windows, and initialized the software.

As soon as that was done, I came back to Linux and to my eBook collection I maintain using Calibre. I like Calibre a lot, though it is a bit clunky. I was then able to disable auto-syncing on the Kobo and upload my book collection.

So…. yay! I have an ebook reader again, and it isn’t a kindle. Both of these are wonderful things.

Audiogeek maintenance

I did some audiogeek maintenance last night. On a recent recording session I noticed some pops and clicks in the resultant recording, a problem I had encountered previously but thought I had fixed. Needless to say I wasn’t happy about it.

I looked and discovered that my main interface had a new driver available, so I installed that. Then I recorded silence for 4-5 minutes, carefully watching the waveforms there, and found nothing amiss. Hopefully this fixed the problem.

I like this interface a lot. It sounds good, clear, and has 8 decent/clean mic pres in them I use as a backup. I can also connect my main mic preamps to it via ADAT lightpipe. If this new driver doesn’t work then I have a few more ideas for tracking down the problem (having to do with syncing the 2 digital units together), but I am optimistic about the new drivers because it was a commonly-reported problem, and many people have gotten great results with the new driver.

Overall I’m feeling good. I’ve made some really nice recordings with it recently, and if this pop/click problem gets resolved I’ll again have very high confidence in this setup. Any upgrade to this setup will give negligible improvements in sound quality, and will cost an order of magnitude higher.

The Valdris Book: A Manual of the Valdris Samband

I discovered a useful book that I am bookmarking here, called The Valdris Book: A Manual of the Valdris Samband. Written in 1920, it appears to be a history/reference book dealing with “the history and description of the Valdris samband, an organization composed of people from the geographical area known as Valdres in Oppland County, Norway who immigrated to the United States.” A quick search of the book’s index shows that my great-grandfather, Mons Fuglie, is mentioned in this book along with his wife, Louise Haldorson. Both were still alive when the book was written.

This book looks like it will be very useful and interesting, and it appears to be widely available including a free ePub format provided by Google Books.


So is anyone who has met me in person surprised that my ancestors come from the Land Of The Giants? Show of hands…..

Tonight I was researching Valdres, a region of Norway where my ancestors are from, and discovered that this area is in the Jotunheimen Mountains, the “Land Of The Giants.” The 29 highest mountains in Norway are all in Jotunheimen, including the very highest – Galdhøpiggen (2469 m).



Heimskringla The genealogy research I’ve done traces one line of my Norwegian heritage to the Yngling Kings, which are chronicled in the Heimskringla. This history was written by Snorri Sturluson, who is also famous for compiling the Prose Edda.

I have Lee Hollander’s translation of the Poetic Edda, and it is one of my favorite translations because it is faithful to the original poetry. I’m sure eventually I will have to get various translations of this Heimskringla as well, because it turns out these are the stories of my ancestors.

From Wikipedia:

The name Heimskringla was first used in the 17th century, derived from the first two words of one of the manuscripts (kringla heimsinsthe circle of the world).

Heimskringla is a collection of sagas about the Norwegian kings, beginning with the saga of the legendary Swedish dynasty of the Ynglings, followed by accounts of historical Norwegian rulers from Harald Fairhair of the 9th century up to the death of the pretender Eystein Meyla in 1177. The exact sources of his work are disputed, but included earlier kings’ sagas, such as Morkinskinna, Fagrskinna and the twelfth century Norwegian synoptic histories and oral traditions, notably many skaldic poems.

This is very interesting stuff, and I look forward to diving in more deeply.

Initial post on Ancestry

I just uploaded a bunch more detail to the Ancestry page of this site. It’s only a bare beginning, just a list of names with some basic info and a lot of Wikipedia links. This ancestry traces back to the Viking Sagas, and the Yngling dynasty, which is the oldest known Scandanavian dynasty. this goes back through Snorri Sturluson’s writing, and they are mentioned in Beowulf.

This ancestry walks an intriguing line between history and mythology. I look forward to diving in more deeply and adding as much info as I can find. This will likely be a project that unfolds over many years.

Ancestry and Technology

I recently made a breakthrough in my genealogical study of my ancestors, which was one of the catalysts for creating this site, to give me a fixed place to document it. I finally saw a book that other family members had, which traced my Norwegian ancestry back to the year 740. When I saw that, I paired it with some other genealogical research online and was able to trace it back to before the Common Era (ie, before the birth of Christ).

As a result of documenting this, I am exploring various software options to do it. One is to simply create a webpage that lists the ancestry back, generation by generation. Another is to use specialized genealogy software, which looks like a good option at the moment.

I’m a big fan of free software and use it whenever possible. There is a free program called Gramps, and it looks very promising. It’s basically a large database tweaked specifically for geneology, and it can generate all sorts of charts and reports.

In addition, I am in the process of scanning the book that was sent to me. The original was self-published in limited runs, so this will make the information more accessible to family members.

I’ll be keeping things updated as I go, but this is a good initial entry.

Hello, and a Kobo

Welcome to my new blog. I’ve kept blogs before but this one will be a bit different. The more time goes on, the more disenchanted I become with facebook, so I will be posting here more often, with these posts automatically feeding onto my facebook wall.

I’ve been reading more lately, so it’s only natural I want to write more. Perhaps this blog will see some of it.

Speaking of reading more, I had a kindle a while ago but it died. I had to fight amazon to get them to replace it, they finally did, and the replacement died within a few months. No more kindle for this guy. Besides, I am not a fan of locking units full of DRM and other such nonsense.

So, today I ordered a Kobo Touch. It looks to have even more functionality than the Kindle, and it supports several additional ebook filetypes (mobi, epub, pdf, etc etc). And it has the eInk screen which I find essential to keep eye strain under control. I’m looking forward to getting it soon.