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Showing posts from 2016

From Tbilisi to Yerevan, Armenia

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Update 2016-12-17: Added Yerevan airport bus information.When heading to Yerevan from Tbilisi, you can choose between train and marshrutka (minibus). Trains go only every other day, which did not fit our schedule, so we took a marshrutka. The trip was a bit of a hassle, but at the same time culturally interesting.

Tbilisi, Georgia

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Päivi fell in love with Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. It is romantically decadent, situated between hills and the river Kura (which, funnily enough, means 'mud' in Finnish). Architecture is stunning and Tbilisians are generally friendly, they speak English and — judging from the number of theaters and cultural institutes — they have other values in life besides money.

Travelling overland from Russia to Georgia

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There are a couple of options for crossing the border between Russia and Georgia. The most direct route goes through Abhazia but requires a visa, which we didn't have. Instead, we went to North Ossetia and crossed the border from Vladikavkaz to Tbilisi via the famous Georgian Military Road AKA Invasion Highway that Russian troops have used since 18th century. The scenery was breathtaking and worth the detour.

Being Vegan in Russia

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The previous time we visited Russia was in 2006, when we were still omnivores. Having been vegans since 2010, we were a bit skeptical of what the Russian kitchen could offer us now when mettwurst, grilled chicken, smetana, and caviar were out of the question. Veganism is only emerging in Russia, and it is generally regarded as a folly. It raises eyebrows and wonder: "What do you eat then?"

Our 12th Wedding Anniversary

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We celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary in Moscow, Russia.

Visiting Finland

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Other than visiting family and friends in Finland, we did PR for our newest book The Super-Rich and The Poor. Päivi got her newest journal article published, and we recorded a copyright free 10 episode radio program called Maailmankuvia for Finnish speaking audience.

Living by The Floating Mosque in Penang, Malaysia

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Indonesia Visa-Free Entry Cost US $35

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In March, 2015 we read that Indonesia will be offering a visa-free entry starting from April 1st. The new offer covered the following passports: China, Japan, South Korea, United States, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Russia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and South Africa. We took the bait.

Installing Windows 7 on Dell Vostro 14 5000 Series Laptop

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Installing Windows 7 was not a piece of cake as Microsoft is pushing desperately Windows 10. Detailed installation instructions with driver download links follow this walk-through. The first challenge was getting USB to work. Windows 7 does not support USB 3, and Vostro has only USB 3 ports meaning that none of the USB ports are functional before the drivers are installed. We used Ubuntu live image and two USB pen drives to transfer the drivers. After USB started working, installing all the rest of the drivers was a trivial task… almost. Driver packages and updates provided by Dell kept crashing and messing up the system. Installations were interrupted with undocumented error messages, and finally the system got so messed up that we had to re-install Windows 7. On the next round, we stripped the drivers out from Dell update packages. This way, and by gathering drivers from original component manufacturers, we managed to get everything installed. The only issue left was the system tha…

SanteriX 64bit v 1.0 Operating System

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Ever since we left Finland in 2004 to travel the world, Santeri has secretly continued developing one of his former company's (SOT Finnish Software Engineering Ltd.) most closely guarded, secret R&D projects, which aimed to create a perfectly distributed operating system. Compared to traditional operating systems, the new SanteriX operating system does not require almost any hard disk space and boots virtually instantly. If the following presentation is too technical for you, click the blue Preview-button below to see how the new system looks.

Some 3711 Tweets and 1023 Days Later

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In 2013, we wrote about using Twitter for marketing. After sending 3711 tweets during 1023 days I can confidently confirm: Twitter works perfectly for nothing. Using Twitter for business and advertising is a similar waste of resources as LinkedIn or Facebook, although they are all nice toys for fooling around, showing off, and killing time. And Google+, well, they remain as dead as always waiting to be shut down like Google Picasa. For many companies including Asian airlines, Twitter has been a channel for spamming followers. They don't bother to read replies or answer questions. Perhaps they don't even understand them. If you have been wondering why there are so many spelling mistakes and stupidities in our tweets, it is because Santeri has been using Twitter alone. Päivi is too busy with her own projects to get engaged in social media save for rare visits at www.academia.edu. Please do not show these tweets to Päivi as she will most certainly not agree with any of them. Tha…

Review: Dell Vostro Laptop

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We got fed up with breaking keyboards and bought Dell Vostro 14 5459 laptop. After reading customer feedback, we decided not to mail order or rely on Dell support and customer service, but to buy the laptop from a reseller and test it before taking it with us. All was well at the shop, BIOS hardware tests were passed, Dell website confirmed the 2-year parts only warranty (POW), and factory installed Ubuntu GNU/Linux showed the correct processor, memory, and hard disk.

Securing Windows 7 Against Microsoft and Other Threats

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This article helps you to protect your Windows 7 against security threats, privacy violations, and malware. These instructions are crucial for digital nomads who are often travelling and working offline in remote areas using internet cafes with slow and unreliable internet connections. In such conditions, having your laptop suddenly download unwanted updates or get messed up is a nightmare. The same principles apply to all operating systems, not just Windows 7, as long as you have control over your system. Even if you are not a digital nomad, you might want to enjoy increased productivity, stability and security by controlling your own computer.

The Best Laptop for Travelling and Working on the Road

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We have spent the last 11+ years as digital nomads travelling perpetually with laptops writing books, designing websites, and making films. This article summarises the lessons we have learned for choosing the best laptop for travelling and working on the road, and a few practical tips. Below is a list of the brands and models we have had, and the problems we experienced with them.

Free Documentary Film: Crossing the Darién Gap (2013, 2016)

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Darién Gap is one of the most difficult areas on earth to travel and it is considered to be extremely dangerous. This documentary film includes footage from a speedboat ride from Turbo to Capurganá, border villages, and the jungle on both sides of the border between Panama and Colombia. There are interviews with two fellow travellers who crossed the Darién Gap, one from Switzerland and another from Peru. Crossing the Darién Gap (40 minutes, Päivi & Santeri Kannisto, 2013 & 2016) has English, Spanish and Finnish subtitles.

Extreme Mobilities: Challenging the Concept of ‘Travel’

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Päivi’s new journal article “Extreme mobilities: Challenging the concept of ‘travel’” will be published in Annals of Tourism Research in March 2016 (volume 57, pages 220–233). The article explores extreme mobilities by analysing how ‘global nomads’ create their lifestyles testing the limits of modern-day mobilities and freedom of movement.

New Book: Global Nomads and Extreme Mobilities (Ashgate/Routledge)

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Päivi’s latest book recaps the work on global nomads and location-independence she started in 2010 by interviewing 30 full-time travellers. The book is a re-assessment of much contemporary research in the fields of mobility, migration and tourism studies, written for scholars across the social sciences. The book is published by Ashgate that recently merged with Routledge.

Sri Lanka — A Visit to the Tourism’s Past

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We were expecting another India when landing in Sri Lanka, but were pleasantly surprised. There is less harassment of women, and sellers and tuk-tuk drivers leave you alone if you say No thank you or, in a local way, do a lopsided head wobble. Sri Lanka is experiencing a surge in tourism but still trying to catch up with the opportunities lost in a 30-year civil war. The country receives annually 1,5 million tourists, while for example Thailand attracts 25 million. Sri Lankan tourism infrastructure is undeveloped. New businesses are opening and many of them are quickly closed. At times, the amount of tourists seems to exceed the supply, but this is merely because tourists flock to the same destinations.