Monthly Archives: January 2009

Vive la bagnole ! — My French love affair

I’ve been a happy owner of a French car in over eight years with my now aging Peugeot 406 from 1996. When I bought it in 2001, it felt like a brand new car, and a major step up from my previous (and first) car: a Volvo 142 from 1970. One of the coolest things of the 406 was its 4-digit code you had to enter on the left side of the steering wheel before you could start the engine. Not only did it make me feel super important when I stepped into the car, it was also a pretty advanced anti-theft feature. Perhaps most important of all, it was a very rewarding feeling to see your passangers’ reactions every time they first discovered this killer James Bond feature.

The Peugeot 406 has been serving me well during all these years, but recently, it’s been struggling to keep up with the little things, like showing the outside temperature on its internal display, or letting me in through its drivers door, or not dropping its exhaust pipe on the ground.

One day when the 406 was taking me to Patrick for lunch out at Tuna Park (Sweden’s most popular shopping mall!), Patrick commented on its poor shape and said it looked “tired.” I think this might have been the last nail in the coffin for the 406′s already weak self-esteem, because just a few days later it broke down completely on the parking lot at Tuna Park and wouldn’t let me start it — the James Bond feature was broken!

I had to tow it to my sister’s car dealer and I realized that even if they can probably fix or work around this problem, it might be time to start looking for a replacement. I was also told that I should be happy if I could sell it for anything more than 1,000 Euros…

After some thinking and investigation, I’m now a proud owner of yet another French car:

Citroën C4 HDI 1.6 EGS (2007, diesel). My third car.

I love it! It’s very fuel efficient, it has a very neat 6-speed semi-automatic gearbox (Citroën calls it EGS), and maybe most important, it actually lets me drive it! It’s classified as an environmental friendly car in Sweden — the CO2 emission is 120g/km — but right now I’m still enthusiastically trying to find reasons to drive it, so if you count the distances I’m driving it without a meaningful destination, the CO2 emission is a lot higher.

Seven things about me

I am late to the game and I bet some people hoped this would all be over by now, but lo! men have become the tools of their tools.

I was proudly nominated by giants of the Internet age: Patrick Finch, Asa Dotzler, Mike Beltzner, Abdulkadir Topal, and almost, almost by Chris Hofmann. For that I am grateful. Now, on to the seven things:

1. My IRC nickname djst stands for my full name David Johan Sebastian Tenser. I started to use the acronym when I was 12 years old and a friend and I played with Deluxe Paint on the Amiga 500. I was a fan of Michael Jackson and was inspired by his company name MJJ Productions, so I created a logo for my fictional company DJST Productions. Here’s a wire-frame version of it (unfortunately the only one I have left after a tragic hard drive crash):

When I finally created an actual company in 2007, picking the name was easy. However, I have to say it doesn’t sound as nice when Swedish sales people call me up and ask if they’ve reached the company De Gee Ess Te Pro-duck-chens

2. I haven’t been at a hairdresser in over eight years. I cut my own hair, usually very frequently to maintain a constant length. Sometimes my mom cuts it when the back hair gets too uneven. I estimate that this has saved me about 1,280 Euros, or the equivalent of over six hundred juicy Double Double Animal Style burgers.

Every so often, the frequency drops noticeably.

3. I used to write my own music between 1995 and 1997 on a Roland W-30 workstation. Because I was writing techno/trance inspired music and there were no lyrics, naming the songs was not easy since I couldn’t really relate to anything but the feeling the songs gave me. One song, which marked an important milestone because it made use of my newly bought Alesis Quadraverb multi-effects unit to add reverb to some of the tracks, is called Incoming Enemy, to Patrick Finch’s great amusement! In late 1997, my mom brought a computer to our house which pushed my music making interest aside for another creative interest: software programming.

4. Between 1999 and 2002, my programming skills developed and I was successfully selling a shareware text editor called Texturizer. Originally, as with many other software projects, Texturizer was only created to scratch a personal itch, but I was encouraged by an online friend to start selling it online. The program got great reviews by ZD-Net, vnunet.com, and other websites, and it was featured in the UK magazine Windows Answers under “The best freeware and shareware tools ever!”

Here’s a part of a review in a magazine that made me very proud at the time: Run Texturizer, and we’re confident you’ll never use Notepad again. [...] Texturizer is so ruthless it even features a walkthrough showing you how do do away with Notepad. Sounds like Microsoft has been beaten at its own game.” – PC Answers, August 1999

5. In 2007, I recorded a short video clip with Swedish TV host and celebrity Katarina Hultling. I met her randomly on a cruise over the Baltic sea and didn’t realize it was her until I asked her if she knew Katarina Hultling (probably subconsciously recognizing her) and getting her answer that I was looking right at her. I got very enthusiastic and insisted that we would shoot a parody of her actual commenting of the 2006 Olympic curling final when Sweden won the gold medal, and I would be the enthusiastic side-kick. To my pleasant surprise, she liked the idea!

I’ve proudly shared the epic video clip with most of my Swedish friends, but I won’t publish it along with my other videos on Facebook out of respect to a fellow celebrity. ;)

6. There is not a single physical sport I’m known to be good at. I was one of those kids who didn’t want to play football because I sucked at it, and as a result, I kept sucking at it. Today, I occasionally enjoy playing badminton and table tennis, but I am sure I will never be even remotely good at it.

7. I am, however, a somewhat decent singer. I’m known for cursing loudly about the (admittedly very addictive) game Sing Star because you don’t score well if you try to sing like the original singer in the song — instead, you get higher scores by singing like a bloody .mid file! You probably won’t hear me sing unless I’m drunk, by the way.

There you have it — my seven things! Now, the ancient rules of engagement:

  1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

In alphabetical order, I hereby nominate:

  • Seth Bindernagel — Wake up, A.M! Liberate your seven things!
  • Stephen Donner — QA superstar, excellent writer, and great friend.
  • Justin Fitzhugh — The man that speaks so fast I can only hear half of what he says. I can’t wait to read some stories from him instead!
  • Chris Ilias — Half-Greek wedding crasher and SUMO team member.
  • Paul Kim — Shock us! I expect nothing less.
  • David Naylor — Journalist, photographer, and proud member of the Mozilla Eskilstuna community.
  • Doug Turner — As one of the first people that welcomed me when I joined Mozilla in September 2007, he immediately surprised me by being such a nice person.