My UK trip — Cambridge

Cambridge is nice city. I was there at least once every year since 2009: OEDEM 2009, Emdebian sprint in 2010, during Linaro Connect q3.11, ARMv8 sprint in 2012. But this time it was not work related visit.


It was evening when I reached Cambridge. Paweł took me from the train station and I had occasion to see their new house and how they plan to restructure it. We discussed some things, spoke a bit (mostly I) about ARMology (history of ARM cores) and day ended.


Lazy day spent on wandering around in the centre of Cambridge. I could go to Ely or Norwich instead but decided to just take a long walk and see places which I already saw before and find something new as well.

One of new places was Market Square Street Market where many local products could be bought and/or tried. Ostrich burgers, cakes, cookies, cheese, different things made from wood, metal or screws, jewellery made from misc materials like buttons. There were books, movies, music on CDs and vinyls, paintings, different kind of food to buy/taste… And many other things. I spent probably an hour there just walking and checking what do they have on offer.

But as it was yet another quite windy day I decided to buy some wind proof jacket. Visited few shops but did not find anything (finally bought one day later). My cold was already at advanced phase ;(

But it was well spent day. I saw many new places, reminded already visited ones but (mostly due to cold) did not took any pictures.


I had an appointment with Andrew Wafaa so we met for lunch at the Oak Bistro. Discussed about misc things (like end of my job at Linaro) and at the end I gave him MicroSD adapter which does not stick out from Chromebook. He told me few hours later that it was a problem to get it back from people later during day 😉

After lunch I went to the Whipple Museum. Interesting exhibition. Models of human body, lot of scientific equipment from few centuries. Really worth visiting.

Day ended with visit at 40th Cambridge Beer Festival. I like how event was organized. “No glass, no service” means you can bring your own glass or pay 2.5GBP deposit for event one. There was wide choice of beers, ciders, perries (cider like make from pears), meads and wines. You could buy whole, half or third of pint (meads and wines were sold in 175ml portions) which made tasting easier.


I reserved that day for beer festival only. Leif took day off so we could spend it together there. The only problem was when on Monday’s evening I realized that we forgot to share any usable contact information but we managed to find each other at one of social networking websites.

So beer… I bought several ones and tried even more from local friends. In the official application I marked (random order):

  • Curious (bitter)
  • Summer Virgin (golden ale)
  • Nero (stout)
  • “Ruby… don’t take your beer to town” (dark mild)
  • Krasny Red (bitter, IPA style)
  • Pegasus (bitter)
  • Honeypot (speciality which I got rid to urinal after few sips)
  • Golden Kiwi (golden ale)
  • Bohemium Lager (lager)
  • Zulu (porter)

But there were also other ones and “Dark Mead” for the end of day. With thanks of Leif and Steve I found out what is a source of that strange taste I call “English beer taste” which I am not a fan of. According to Steve it is due to hops.

It was great day due to beer and people I met: Andy, Neil, Steve, Leif, Maria and others.


The last day in Cambridge. Went to Fitzwilliam museum to take a look at the art. And I have to admit that I prefer art from 18-19th centuries rather than modern one.

Eat lunch, packed bags and then went to Stansted airport. Funny moment at security gate where officer asked me about amount of cellphones in my bag. There were just two of them: Nexus 4 and Chinese E6 one (plus Kindle and Nexus 7 tablet). Probably it was just routine control ;D

And after around 9 hours I finally arrived at home…


It was good trip, I enjoyed every day of it (even with cold), managed to visit most of the places I planned to, met friends and spent time in other way than usually.

My UK trip — London

I was few times in London but always on business without time for sightseeing so decided to change it.

Day one

After few hours trip landed at London Gatwick airport. Some say that’s worst one of five but was not so bad. Why there? Because I could and I was on Stansted, Luton and Heathrow already (plan to use City one next time). Short trip to the city and hello Victoria station — long time no see

Bought Oyster card to use public transport in easiest way and took a metro train to hotel. Nothing fancy — just cheap (65£ per night) hotel without any extras (but with working free WiFi).

Unpacked only needed things and went to city centre. Victoria monument, Buckingham Palace, the Mall etc. More or less followed the most popular trip from the “Trip Advisor” application.

Went to Thames, crossed with one bridge, looked at London Eye (and decided to skip it) and then Big Ben and Westminster Abbey were next. I considered returning to the Abbey next day but later decided against it.

Grabbed some food and went to sleep early as it was 3rd day when I woke up around 5:00.

Day two

Thursday… Skipped Westminster Abbey and went by foot to the British Museum. Met Mark Brown on a way and we had good time looking at all those things which British Empire had stolen from all around the world. We didn’t managed to find Britain sections.

After lunch I went to the Forbidden Planet store. And sunk there for quite long time. Then got back to buy two more books. This place was amazing…

They had stuff related to movies, games, tv series – figurines, key chains, t-shirts, toys, rings/jewellery, helmets, weapons and other… Some from limited editions. But when I wondered “is that’s all?” I went to the basement. And sank.

Comics, books, movies, tv series, manga, anime, photo albums and more. Books about movies, books which movies were based on (and vice versa). “Darth Vader’s princess” and “Darth Vader and his son” were there (9£ each), “Simon’s cat” books which my daughter would love (so I bought one), lot of SF and fantasy books in nice editions (Asimov for example).

“Big book of butts” looked funny. Next one was “Big book of legs” next to “pin-up girls” and other photo/erotic ones.

Nice place to go to but I warn you – you can leave a lot of cash there and have problem packing…

Lack of Britain sections in museum made me go to their website to check floor plan. And back to the building to see few more exhibitions. When I finally found what was searching for they told us to leave 🙁

But no need to be sad I thought cause I was going to meet long time no see friends at a pub not so far away. Went there, ordered some “organic lager” and sat down to wait for them. Few minutes later I had a chat with some guys around 60 years old about some random stuff. Good part were their recommendations which beer to try next. As you probably guess it was not lager but rather ale or something more English.

YaaL and Pornel arrived and we had nice chat about life, work etc. Time passed too fast 🙁 But it was good to meet after so many years.

Day three

This had to be no museums day. First I went to visit Canonical’s office as I have never been there…

Finding building was quite easy, then discussion with security took a bit more before they finally realised that I am on a visitors list already. Got tour of the office, looked at wall full of Ubuntu Touch interface mockups, discussed few of them with someone, made some coffee and left the building.

Next step was Tete Modern Art gallery. I spent few hours there watching all those sculptures, paintings and installations which were counted as art in previous century. Did not even tried to understand those…

Due to cold I got during previous days I went back to the hotel. But why stay there when there are so many places to visit and so little time?

So I decided to make use of longer opening hours at the British Museum and went there. This time managed to see Britain sections and European Medieval times ones. It was good evening.

Day four

As this was my last day in London I decided to not go far from the hotel. Checked out, left luggage and went on foot to the Science Museum.

Lovely place. Went quickly though Space exhibition (cause most of it I saw at Cape Canaveral already) but other ones were worth seeing. Age of Steam with all those engines and descriptions, vehicles like bikes (starting with “safety bicycle” by Rover), motorcycles, cars (including JET 1 powered by gas turbine) but also planes (with replica of Wright brothers one) and helicopters.

I enjoyed the “Materials” exhibition — especially body model with some artificial addons and long list next to it informing which materials can be used for which implants and other inserted parts.

There was also special exhibition about Alan Turing and his work.

After visit I went for food, took luggage from hotel and then the Underground to King’s Cross train station and went to Cambridge. But this will be next post.

No, I am not moving to London

Previous post about moving to London was 1st April joke. We plan to move from Poznań but not outside of Poland. So sorry guys — we will meet in UK one day but it will be short visit not staying.

I have to admit that I did not thought that so many people will take that post serious. First congratulations came less then half hour after publishing, then IRC greetings… Probably this is because it is so near to true — as person working alone at home I miss contact with coworkers (as this often ends in brainstorming) and OH office has some interesting gadgets 😀

Why “moving to London” was chosen? I did not had a good idea for April’s fools joke and Ania (my wife) gave me this suggestion. Other ideas were:

  • starting to work for Microsoft Canada (I had such offer month ago but no one would believe in this)
  • dropping OpenEmbedded/Poky in favour of T2 from TimeSys (also hard to believe)

And few others also too hard to believe so I wrote what I wrote. Sorry guys.

Moving to London

After long discussion with my wife we decided to move to London, UK.

Why such move? Many reasons — I will name a few:

  1. Many of our friends are already there.
  2. I miss leaving home to go to the office (especially since I have small daughter).
  3. I miss contact with coworkers.
  4. More gadgets available at work.
  5. End of hardware problems as company provides it.

When will it happen? I already discussed it with Matthew and it will happen in June/July (to be able to travel to GUADEC with all OH guys).

UPDATE: No — I will not move to London. This post is (maybe a bit cruel) 1st April joke. More info in other post.

UK – my observations

During last summer I was at GUADEC in Birmingham, UK and enjoyed that. Then I was at OpenedHand X-mas party. Both trips gave me some time to observe other culture and this is what I want to write about.

I will not write about cars on wrong side of road because this is already known and it is easy to get used to it. Did not have problems with it even when I was sitting in front left seat during car trip.

The thing which annoys me is “double taps”. At GUADEC place it was OK as hot water was only warm so I did not needed cold one but during my recent trip they were everywhere… I wonder how they use as hot water is too hot usually and cold one is rather not warm enough. One of solutions is plugging washbasin and wash hands in mixed water — but this is not too hygienic rather…

What was nice to see is mix of people on streets — in Poland we basically have only one type of people — white, Slovian, usually catolics. There were too many of them to count.

Next thing — all those informations everywhere… “Garage in constant use — parking not allowed”, “Fire doors — keep open”, “Private parking — you will be towed”, “No parking here — £75 penalty”, “Keep this place clean — use ashtrays”, “It is against the law to smoke at those premises” etc… Those kind of messages were in nearly each place which I visited.

During walk through GUADEC building I saw few nice places. First was a bunch of shelves — each one signed and it looked as place to use if you want to give something to “owner” of shelf as there were many books, compact discs and other stuff there. Another thing was message table with many informations for lonely people, for victims of sexual molestation or voluntary offers.

It is other type of country then Poland. I am not yet ready to move there I think… Never mind that Matthew asks me each time (nearly – last time he forgot) we meet when I will move to London.

Bromley is not part of London

Few months ago in post about my OpenEmbedded related trips I wrote that Bromley is part of London. Since then I was there during OpenedHand X-mas party and was told that it is not true.

So it looks like all my trips related to OE ends in cities which names starts with “B”. I just hope that next one will not be to Brisbane or Beijing 🙂

OpenedHand X-mas

I arrived at Luton airport about 12:50, grabbed luggage and got the bus to Victoria station (it costs 8 quids). From there train to Bromley South and short walk to the hotel.

According to the guy at reception I was first one (not counting people which came a day before). So I dropped bags, took a shower and came directly to OH office.

Office… Guys building Falcon Millennium from LEGO bricks, lot of strange devices on shelves (old E-ink readers, old PDA such as Apple Newton MessagePad and different developer boards). I toyed a bit with Nokia devices, played Metal Slug with Tomas using very nice dualpad controller. It was funtastic evening.

Next day started with breakfast (at least hotel used this name). Then grouping in the office and car trip to the Hop Farm when whole fun planned for this day had to take place. I have to admit that sitting on ‘driver seat’ (from European point of view) and not having driving wheel was not a problem for me. No minds like ‘they going to kill us’ etc related to driving on the wrong side of road.

The Hop Farm… Shooting (rifle and pistol — I prefer pistol), arching… QUADS and 4×4 driving!

Combine quad bike with mud — what will you get? Lot of pure fun (maybe not exactly pure due to being muddied from head to down) — especially second run was great. Quad was sliding, drifting, rotate when I tried to make a turn at full speed. It was really best part of day.

Other nice part was 4×4 driving — blind folded. One drives and someone behind him gives directions which way to turn. During after lunch run place was so muddied that we were able to take very sharp turns which were not possible before. But the real fun started after we did blind fold driving… We got offer to just drive — no limited seeing etc. Gods… This Jeep reacted to driver moves very nicely, especially during sharp turns which were quite easy to do — just turn driving wheel to the max and accelerate 😉

Big thanks for Sid (Matthew’s wife) for organizing whole event — it was really nice experience 🙂

After whole day of fun we came back to the office. Some interesting discussions took place and we made a trip to the Tiger’s Head for a dinner. The taxi driver surprised me with Christmas wishing in Polish — we are everywhere 😉

Food was nice, so did beer (the even had Laffe). Matthew gave gift for each of us. I got ‘panic button’ 😉 And I am curious which keycode it sends.

USB Panic Button

Next day was return trip. This time not alone as part of it I did with Dodji. We came to Bromley North station then switch on Groove Park and ended on London Bridge. From there we did a walk to Liverpool station where we split as he was going for EuroStar train and I to Stansted airport.

Preparing to next trip

Tomorrow I will go to England — this time for OpenedHand Xmas party which will take place somewhere near London.

This time I plan trip with more attention to details. First connections from Luton airport -> Bromley. It will probably be bus to Victoria Station, then train to Bromley South and finally walk. Return one from Bromley to Stansted airport will be two trains + walk (Cannon Street Station -> Liverpool Station) + train to airport.

As I had no time to buy London city map I will take Nokia 770 tablet with Maemo mapper and set of downloaded maps so I should not have problems like I had in Birmingham during GUADEC.

GUADEC – last day

Wednesday was last day of GUADEC for me. Getting from bed was hard — party and night talks made it really hard. We came to conference and started to put OH stand working and waiting for other guys to get here.

There was GMAE meeting which I attended to get some idea what is going on. Many people, many different projects etc… One of interesting parts was during break when I got Apple iPhone in my hands — it’s interface is really fast and has some interesting ideas in it. For example Safari browser render only tat part of page which is displayed on screen — you can see it when fast scroll page. On screen keyboard is very easy to use with bare fingers — no need to look at it if you remember layout of standard QWERTY one. Many reviews noted ability to automatic screen rotation. It is not automatic — application needs to support it otherwise nothing will change when you rotate. Another extra stuff is multitouch screen — zooming works really great in apps which I tried (Maps, Photos, Safari). And the great part of touchscreen is that it is integrated into top of case — it is totally flat.

Today I attended Lighting Talks — some of them are interesting (like GPE^2) some are not.

Evening will be other — food at OH apartments, some beers and talking about anything. Tomorrow early morning wakeup and long trip back home — taxi, train, plane, taxi (about 10h in total including stops).

GUADEC continued

Tuesday I spend mostly on OpenedHand stand. We had ST Nomadik board there and it was my part of work to get it booting — with serial cable it was fast stuff. Then I updated it’s software to latest build. We also had few OpenMoko phones with some experimental software on it — new Today application is great — old one can not be compared.

I decided to skip most of presentations as I did not found any interesting. There was one which I decided to saw — something about multi-user session handling. It was quite interesting but I think that it will require lot of work to get it done.

During evening there was a GUADEC party at “Workabout” — few beers, lot of talks etc… There was a guy from iRex Technologies which we talk with — he will work on integrating his work with upstream OpenEmbedded version. Some parts will be not integrated because they can not (or not want) to open everything.

After party we had discussion in OH apartment. I gave some ideas to Chris and Neil about new stuff for OpenMoko Today/Dialer stuff. Finally I was able to get to sleep.