The history of instant messaging

06.11.2012 14:55

Some of the more perceptive of you may have caught the news that Microsoft bought Skype last year, and today, it became clear that Windows Live Messenger will be phased out in favor of Skype. It wasn’t that much of a surprise to me, and it rather seems like a logical choice when thinking about it.  I use Skype as an instant messaging service on a daily basis, and in my opinion, Skype has a far more superior and secure instant messaging system than Live Messenger.

My instant messaging days started over 10 years ago, when I started using something called ICQ (I’m guessing early 2001, without being entirely sure). I later signed up for Yahoo! Messenger to be on more than one instant messaging network, and I also signed up for AOL Instant Messanger (AIM) as well. At some point, I used my Microsoft Passport account (as it was known back then – now known as “Windows Live”) for my Hotmail address to sign up for MSN Messenger (yes, I’m that old). When I started on my current job, I also registered a second MSN Messenger account on a different e-mail address, just to make sure I had a different MSN Messenger ID just for work-related purposes. Later, some time in 2004, I also signed up for Skype, which at that time was still an independent company.

Since then, Skype was bought by eBay, and later by Microsoft.

I still connect to my old instant messaging accounts (ICQ, Yahoo!, AIM and secondary Windows Live Messenger account) using a multi-protocol client called Trillian, just in case someone on those networks still wants to get in touch with me.

I’ve been riding along with several instant messaging for a long time now, and it’s nice to see that my favorite (Skype) is being preferred, even by “competing” services.

What was the first instant messaging service you used? And do you still have or use that account?

Back from Berlin

01.11.2012 12:29

Hi, everybody! I’m finally back from Berlin, and I’m barely getting settled in to normal life again. I hope those who live on the east coast of USA are safe and have started to recover from hurricane Sandy. I’ve been watching the news here from Norway, and it’s a crazy sight to see.

I’ve previously detailed what I did on my vacations from day to day (and I’m still kinda stuck in the middle of my vacation summary from last year’s trip to New York – I hope I’ll get it posted one of these days), but I think it would be enough to just point out a few of the highlights.

First of all, all of my flights went smoothly, which was pretty nice. My flight from Copenhagen to Ålesund (the last leg of my journey back home) was delayed about 15 minutes (which I was notified of in advance), but that didn’t affect anything, since I didn’t have to catch anything after that. When I got home, I heard about the chaos at Gardermoen (Oslo airport), and I was grateful that I was on a direct flight from Copenhagen to Ålesund, and avoided that chaos completely.

Second, I tried something new in Berlin: I went on a sightseeing trip on bike! I wasn’t too sure about it at first, given that I’m still rather overweight, and I haven’t ridden an bike in over 10 years, but it came out pretty nicely, I think. I went on the All-In-One City Tour from Fat Tire Bike Tours, just to get a look at, well, almost everything in Berlin. Our tour guide Kate had a special (and fun) way of telling the history about the sights of Berlin as we stopped in front of them, and had some fun anecdotes spread throughout. At the end of the trip, when it was time to pay for the tour, I almost felt a little bad for using my discount from my Berlin WelcomeCard – the tour was definitely worth the money. Next time I go to Berlin, and have time for a sightseeing trip, I’m definitely going with these guys again (and taking one of their other tours – hopefully with Kate again).

I also went for a balloon ride on a captive balloon called the HiFlyer. That was an amazing view from 150 meters up (or 450 feet for those of you who are stuck in the imperial system), and I recommend everyone to do this at least once in their lives.

It was nice to see the view from Fernsehturm (the TV tower) and Panoramapunkt at Potsdamer Platz as well, but I must say the balloon has a slightly better view of the city.

I managed to fit in a trip to the Madame Tussauds museum in Berlin, too. It was a tiny bit smaller than the one I went to in New York, but absolutely worth the trip.

And last, but not least, the main reason for my trip to Berlin: the Blue Man Group fan event in Berlin. First of all, the weather during the fan event weekend was amazing – around 18-20 degrees C and sunny (or roughly 64-68 degrees F for your other guys). Second, it was fun to get a backstage tour (with visits to the storage room, practice room, prop kitchen, one of the band lofts), and be around for the soundcheck before heading out to Tony Roma’s next door for our dinner together. After dinner, it was time for the show, along with a private meet-and-greet for us fans. We also headed out to a local bar to grab a beer (or something) and chat together for an hour or two. The next day, it was time for our little Catch & Throw contest, where we would catch balls in our mouth, just like the Blue Man does in the show. The 4 winners (with the highest scores) would get to do their own spin art with actual official paint balls from Blue Man Group. (If you’ve seen the show, you may know what “spin art” is.) I came last with 3 catches out of 20 throws, but at least I had fun participating. Afterwards, it was time to head back into the theater’s private lobby for a little Q&A session, along with a raffle. I didn’t win anything here, either, but it was fun nonetheless.

In my two weeks in Berlin, I managed to catch 7 shows in all, bringing my total number of Blue Man Group shows up to 27 (Copenhagen, Las Vegas, Orlando, Stockholm, New York, and now, Berlin).

And now that I’ve seen most of Berlin, for next year’s fan event in Berlin, I think I’ll make do with just an extended weekend (using Friday and Monday as travel days). That is, unless someone wants me to catch some specific sight or event while I’m already in Berlin (if that’s the case, I might extend the trip up to a full week).

Although the weather for the fan event weekend was amazing, it got colder in the week that followed, with night frost in the last few days of my stay. Actually, comparing Berlin on the day before I left with yesterday’s walk-around in Ålesund, it was actually slightly warmer here in Ålesund in the middle of the day. Weather changes quickly, huh?

Anyway, that’s it from me for now. I hope you had a safe and fun Halloween last night.

Apple updates everything

04.10.2012 17:05

Lunch comic by Børge Lund, translated from Norwegian to English by me, no permissions whatsoever, as usual

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last week or so, Apple has released their new iPhone 5, alongside the big update iOS 6 for older iPhones and iPads. And from what I hear, although the new iPhone is quite a bit better hardware-wise compared to the older iPhones, the software has quite a few disappointments. The dedicated YouTube app is gone, and the builtin map app no longer uses Google Maps, but rather their own Apple Maps solution.

And boy, what a disappointment new the Apple Maps is. I haven’t tried it first hand myself, but given all the problems I’ve heard in the tech news lately, Apple has made one of their biggest mis-steps of recent times (not counting the lawsuits, that is). Even if only less than half of the problems reported in the news are true, it’s a huge mistake, brinking on a scandal (if it isn’t already). Google Maps has taken Google years to perfect, and Apple Maps seems more like something that was slapped together last minute, which is very unlike Apple to do. Also, this big change in the maps app was as surprising to Google as it was for the rest of us, considering the news has reported that Apple had over a year left on their license agreement for Google Maps.

These particular changes are the two main reasons I’ve postponed upgrading my iPad to iOS 6, and I won’t be doing that until Google has officially finished up and released native iPad apps for both YouTube and Google Maps. I’ll just have to deal without the other improvements until such a time comes.

I still won’t consider buying an iPhone 5, though. As I mentioned before, I recently got the Samsung Galaxy S3, and after living with it for a few months, I’m still happy about the upgrade. I’m not too thrilled with the attack ads I’ve seen from Samsung and Nokia related to the iPhone 5 release, though, but that’s more related to how they attack Apple and their customers.

If you managed to get ahold of the iPhone 5, or you’ve downloaded iOS 6 to your existing iDevice, what do you think of it?

Bekjemping av overvekt

02.10.2012 14:38

I dag deltok jeg i en spørreundersøkelse på nett rundt temaet helse og avgifter, der det ble blant annet spurt etter mine meninger rundt økte avgifter for å bekjempe overvekt og helseproblemer. Jeg følte for å utdype mine meninger rundt dette i et blogginnlegg.

Problemet er at norske myndigheters løsning på at sunn mat og drikke er dyrere enn usunne alternativer, er å øke avgifter på det som er usunt. Problemet er at de som ofte går for usunne og raske alternativer, er de som gjerne har dårlig økonomi i utgangspunktet (lavtlønnede og arbeidsledige), og som ikke har nok kunnskap (eller taktiske muligheter) til å forbedre sin økonomi eller ta sunnere valg. En økning i avgifter vil bare sørge for at økonomien til disse blir enda dårligere (det samme gjelder for øvrig også avgifter på alkohol og tobakksvarer, men det kan jeg komme tilbake til en annen gang).

Mitt personlige møte med norske helsemyndigheters valgmuligheter rundt dette med bekjemping av overvekt har vært ganske nedslående. Norge er tydeligvis ikke interessert til å bekjempe overvekt med alle midler. I februar i år sendte jeg en e-post til både NAV og HELFO (Helseøkonomiforvaltningen) der jeg etterspurte hva jeg evt. kunne få i støtte til min vektnedgang. La meg først begynne med min bakgrunn.

I desember i fjor bestemte jeg meg å gjøre noe spesifikt med min overvekt – jeg meldte meg på et Maxi-kurs hos Grete Roede (som er spesifikt rettet mot de som skal gå mye ned i vekt), og ved første veiing og kursstart i januar i år hadde jeg en beregnet BMI på 63,6. Dette er da klassifisert som helseskadelig overvekt (ekstrem fedme, klasse III). Allerede høsten 2011 var jeg innom overvektspoliklinikken hos mitt lokale sykehus for måling, undersøkelse og konsultasjon (etter henvisning fra lege), der jeg fikk tilbud om å stå på venteliste for én av to muligheter: livsstilskurs med opphold på Muritunet (i Valldal, litt over en times kjøring fra Ålesund), eller et kirurgisk inngrep av typen gastric bypass. Med tanke på de drastiske livsstilsendringene (og redusert sosialliv) forbundet med operasjon, valgte jeg istedet å sette meg på venteliste hos Muritunet. Etter en ukes tid fikk jeg bekreftet min plass på ventelisten fra en saksbehandler, som også anbefalte meg å se nærmere på arbeidsrettet rehabilitering for overvektige (ARRO), og dette er da hvor dette blir kinkig.

ARRO-opplegget må søkes gjennom NAV, og er rettet mot personer som har fått redusert arbeidsevne på grunn av overvekt, der overvekten er enten direkte eller indirekte årsak til at man har problem med å skaffe eller beholde inntektsgivende arbeid. Man må også ha dette dokumentert av sin fastlege. Jeg er i en kontorjobb, og min overvekt gjør meg ikke ute av stand til å utføre jobben min. Det er første problem.

Et vanlig opphold hos Muritunet varer i 4 uker, og jeg må dermed ta meg fri fra jobb for å gå gjennom dette opplegget. Dette vil da gå ut over mine ferieuker, med mindre jeg kan få en sykemelding på dette. På bakgrunn av dette, valgte jeg å gå for det private alternative hos Grete Roede, ettersom jeg kan med dette fortsette å jobbe som vanlig samtidig som jeg går ned i vekt.

Ved innveiing like før jeg sendte min e-post til NAV og HELFO i februar hadde jeg gått ned litt over 7 kg (ned til en BMI på 61,2), ettersom Grete Roede ikke bare fokuserer på at man skal gå ned i vekt, men også i en helsemessig forsvarlig hastighet og ikke minst på en helsemessig forsvarlig måte. Støtteapparatet rundt Roedemetoden gir meg såpass motivasjon at jeg kommer til å fortsette med flere kurs etter hverandre frem til jeg har nådd mitt endelige mål (en utregning tilsier at jeg kommer til å nå dette målet senest julen 2013).

Disse kursene varer over 8 ukentlige møter, og dette koster da 1900 kr per kurs (pluss en grunnbok til 400 kr som kjøpes kun på aller første kurs).

På bakgrunn av dette, sendte jeg altså en e-post til både NAV og HELFO der jeg spurte om det var noen mulighet for å få dekt denne kursavgiften (enten helt eller delvis) gjennom en eller annen støtteordning, med tanke på at dette er en utgift knyttet opp mot min fremtidige helse.

Fra NAV fikk jeg følgende svar:

Det er HELFO (Helseøkonomiforvaltningen) som behandler spørsmål om dekning av helsebehandling og refusjon av legemidler.

Og fra  HELFO fikk jeg følgende svar:

HELFO har ikke noe dekning av dette.

Dermed sier de indirekte at det norske helsevesenet er ikke interessert i at jeg tar initiativ til å forbedre min egen helse, eller i å hjelpe meg med dette, og dette er et svært dårlig signal å sende ut til det norske folk.

Ved hjelp av Grete Roede har jeg gått ned over 30 kg siden januar, og jeg er nå nede i en BMI på 52,7. Dette er fortsatt klassifisert som helseskadelig overvekt, men det er betydelig mindre enn jeg var tidligere, og jeg er nå snart gjennom mitt fjerde kurs, og kommer garantert til å ta fatt på mitt femte kurs like etterpå (som også blir siste kurs som arrangeres før jul). Jeg hadde en pause i juli, ettersom min kursleder hadde sommerferie (Maxi-kurs arrangeres kun 3 steder i hele fylket: Ålesund, Molde og Volda), og jeg må også ta en pause fra kurs i selve juletiden også (siste møte før jul er 10. desember, i følge min beregning), men jeg er forberedt på å fortsette også etter nyttår.

Jeg er altså godt på vei mot mitt mål om å gå ned i vekt, men det frustrerer meg at det offentlige ikke har noen som helst ordning for å hjelpe folk i samme situasjon til det samme uten at man må enten være i en desperat situasjon eller ha mulighet til å ta seg fri fra jobb. Jeg har ingenting mot å dokumentere min vektnedgang ovenfor det offentlige dersom jeg hadde fått enten full eller delvis støtte til kursavgift, dyrere matvarer (lettprodukter), nødvendige treningsklær og/eller avgifter til treningsstudio/-opplegg. Jeg hadde til og med tatt i mot adgang til et treningopplegg arrangert av det offentlige etter arbeidstid (som ikke nødvendigvis trenger å være arrangert gjennom min arbeidsgiver); enten finnes ikke slike typer treningsopplegg arrangert av det offentlige (for ansatte i privat sektor), eller så er det veldig dårlig informert dersom et slikt opplegg faktisk finnes (evt. tips om dette tas i mot med stor takk).

Life in general

18.09.2012 16:18

I just thought I’d let you know what’s been going on in my life this past month or so.

About a month ago, we had visitors at our office. One of our partners we’ve been in regular contact with in the U.S. came to visit us again (the last time he was here, which was also his first time here, was back in March) for the long weekend. And while he was already here, our contact in the Netherlands also came to visit. The week was a bit hectic, but it was nice to get to know each other and get a live discussion going of future developments and what each of us was going to work on (and preferably in which order). I’m not too keen on coming in to the office on weekends, but I can let that pass when it’s on rare occasions. I decided to leave early that Saturday so I could spend a few hours celebrating my cousin’s kid’s birthday party for the family (he turned 3 that day). It’s important to not burn yourself out.

As a bonus, though, my boss treated us with tickets to Jugendfest that Saturday, which has become a local music festival. On that day, the highlight performance was Roxette, which some of you may remember from the 80’s and 90’s (at least I remember them well). It started to rain heavily towards the end of their performance, so even though I came prepared with a thin poncho, I got pretty soaked that evening.

I also got myself a new phone. This time, I decided to go for a Samsung Galaxy S III. I spent a few weeks deciding on whether or not to buy it, and after making the decision, I used some unspent gift certificates to reduce the price even further. After spending a month with it, I still have no regrets on my choice. Simply said, I think it’s the best smartphone on the market today. And yes, that’s even after the new iPhone has been released.

And regarding my trip to Oslo in November, I finally got around to book flights and hotel for the weekend. I arrive in Oslo at 5 pm that Friday (November 16), take the airport train directly to Oslo S (the central train station in Oslo, where I’ll be arriving at about 5:30 pm) and check in to my hotel, which would be Radisson Blu Plaza, a short walk from Oslo S. After checking in, I take another short walk to Oslo Spektrum, where Gabriel Iglesias will perform at 7:30 pm. I head back home on the 5:50 pm flight that Sunday. While I’m already in Oslo, I plan on visiting my friend in Oslo and his wife, but I’m also up for anything else to fill my time (if anybody reading this wants to meet up).

But first, I’ll be preparing for my vacation in Berlin, which is less than a month away. And with even more added to the fan meet schedule on October 20, I’m getting even more excited as the day comes closer.

Sometimes, I hate my job

03.09.2012 15:20

I originally meant to write up this post last week, but I was simply too exhausted to do anything productive.

I usually keep my work life and home/private life separate, and since I consider this blog a part of my private life, I’ve chosen not to talk about it much here. That’s partially because I don’t want my work life to seep much into my private life, but it’s also because I work with clients and potential clients I don’t wish to reveal the identities of (this is mainly major corporations that I don’t want to either sue me for revealing “secrets” behind the scenes, or that I don’t want to piss off in a way that might cause them to drop us as a supplier). But sometimes, I have to rant out in the open.

Because sometimes, I really hate my job. I bet you sometimes do, too. Not in general, though. It’s mainly those little moments where you’re doing something that goes largely unappreciated. Even those “invisible” tasks you do; tasks that you know in the back of your mind that you have to do, tasks you have trained yourself to do through experience over a long time in the same job. I say that these small tasks are “invisible” in the sense that even though you do them on a regular basis, nobody at work seem to notice that they are being done, or people think you’re not doing your job.
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07.08.2012 00:29

I just got around to save myself a seat for a stand-up show with Gabriel Iglesias on his trip to Norway this year. More specifically, when he comes to Oslo on November 16. That’s a Friday.

Last year, I found out about his trip to Norway a little late, and too late to find an affordable flight. In essence, I missed out.

This year, I don’t plan on missing out. When I found out that “Fluffy” was coming back to Norway, I looked at the list of performances, and I felt I had only one single choice to make: Which show do I attend? He would be performing in Oslo on a Friday, and in Bergen on a Saturday. Later on, another show in Norway was added: Trondheim on a Thursday. All shows were in the same week, and since I’m at least one flight out from either location, I had to restrict myself to one of the locations, and maybe make a weekend out of it.

Looking deeply into my options for flight and hotel package at Expedia, I found out that the least expensive option would be in Oslo. Also, a good friend of mine lives in the Oslo area with his wife, which helped tip the scale in favor of Oslo as my destination.

I made sure I booked my show ticket first, since availability would definitely not last. The sections at the very front of the stage were already sold out, but I got a seat in the section right behind it. I’m not too happy about the seats, but I still don’t know what my view will be, so I’m happy I at least got a ticket for the show.

I’ve yet to book the travel package (flights and hotel), though, but I plan on doing that next week, when my paycheck comes in. I’ve already picked out a hotel possibility, if it’s still available and still as affordable as the last time I checked it at Expedia.

In any case, I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

Interesting dream

06.08.2012 23:53

I want to share a little something with you. I had a dream about a hot British actress last night, and before you call me a perv or something along those lines, I can already tell you that it wasn’t like that at all. First of all, I’ve had a little bit of a crush on this actress for a couple of years now, but I’ve never told anyone about that until now. And I’ll also refrain from disclosing her identity to avoid embarrassment (on either my part or hers), so I’ll call her “Miss B” (since that’s the initial letter of her first name) in my story here. I will not disclose anything further about her identity in a public forum, and I will only tell her myself (and only if she asks). Then again, given the unlikeliness of that happening, her identity in this dream will probably remain only with me. OK, that’s enough of that – back to my dream.

In my dream, I run into Miss B in her residence, not because I seek her out, but because she lives on the floor below someplace else I was seeking out (in my dream, that is). I happen to chat a little bit with her, but she puts me in the “friend zone”, since she already has two kids and a non-present husband. In itself, that’s odd, since she doesn’t have either in real life, and in my dream, her husband is one of her co-stars (and the most unlikely choice possible).

Since I realize that I’ll never get any closer than being a friend, I accept that fact, and we just hang out, with her kids playing around the room.

When going out as friends, we discover that Blue Man Group is performing at an outdoors event, out on a barge or pier that has a low stage built on it, where the audience watching from on the other side of the water (a very short distance away, though). After some time, she happens to join in (rather reluctantly) with Blue Man Group’s performance when she’s spotted as a celebrity in the crowd. When she returns to where I am in the crowd, we just sit down on the asphalt road and enjoy the rest of the performance (playing out , and hang out as friends for the rest of the evening, with her head rested on my left shoulder, as if we could actually become more than just friends.

At this point, I wake up from my dream, and I’m left with odd feeling of comfort. And with the memory of one of the oddest not-completely-surreal dreams I can recall.

Honestly, I’d very much like to meet Miss B in real life, and be friends with her. Not because of her celebrity status or the fact that an actual meeting is not likely to ever happen, but because she genuinely seems like a pleasant person overall. And oddly enough, I suddenly don’t feel just lust towards her, but something more. I’ve felt just lust for other actresses, sure, but not like this.

And before you ask: No, I don’t plan on stalking Miss B. I never feel like that for anyone. It’s not in my nature to stalk anyone. I do hope we will run into each other by random chance, sure, but I won’t try to make it happen as some sort of twisted destiny. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It’s as simple as that. Given that she’s based in the UK (I’m guessing the London area) and I’m in Norway (Ålesund, for those who remember), we’re not exactly likely to cross paths. Of course, I might travel to London on vacation, but again, the likelyhood of running into a specific celebrity actress in some city is closer to none, even if it’s that celebrity’s hometown.

Then again, if you’re reading this, and for some reason feel you fit the bill, feel free to get in touch, and I’ll let you know if you were the one in my dreams (damn, that sounded corny).

If course, that also goes for any woman out there who want to meet up some time. I’m usually not picky, but personality does count.


03.07.2012 15:41

Last Sunday, I decided at the last minute to go to the local cinema and see Prometheus, the latest Alien franchise movie from the original director, Ridley Scott. I rarely make time to go to the cinema these days, but I figured I might as well try to catch this one.

Elisabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway are two explorers who find a clue to the origin of humankind on Earth, and they manage to get financed a journey to a far corner of the universe where humans is said to have their origin. While exploring the caverns of a distant planet, to their horror, they discover that things are not quite what they seem.

Like I said, this is the latest in the somewhat successful Alien franchise, and although it’s not exactly a prequel (even if it originally was planned as one), it fits the story pretty well. We get to see what could very well be the beginning of the story, several human and xenomorph generations before the classic Alien movie from 1979 (“xenomorph” being an alternate name for the alien creature in this franchise).

The story makes sense in a way, but as someone who’s seen the first 4 movies in the franchise, I did sense some inconsistencies in the story during one of the larger presentations (which would give the audience major parts of the backstory and the reason for the mission this crew was on). I also sensed this about three-quarters into the movie, at one of the major turning points, where we see the blunt end of a raging fit (to avoid spoiling the movie, I won’t go further into that).

As far as the visual effects go, I’d say they did a very good job, although the biggest action sequence (which can also be seen in most of the trailers for this movie) gave me a sense of a stupid and unnecessary chase, as was pointed out on some comedy website (at the moment, I can’t remember which). I mean, if a wheel comes rolling aimlessly towards you, you may start running away from it. Wouldn’t it also be a good idea to avoid running in the same path as the wheel? But aside from that little annoyance, it simply looked amazing. I honestly couldn’t tell what was a visual effect, and what was done in-camera (even the things that looked too incredible to be real), and that tells me they’ve done their job well.

I can recommend Prometheus to all action and sci-fi buffs, even if you haven’t seen the original Alien movies from before.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Have a safe vacation, everybody!

20.06.2012 15:31

It’s nearing the time when people go on vacation. I originally planned to finish an extensive article with my own travel advice, but considering how close it is to when most people go on vacation (July and August are some of the most popular vacation months), some of my safety tips and preparations will come too late for most of you. Especially when I do have a list of things that should probably be done at least two months before departure. Safe to say, I’ll just finish writing the article (both in English and Norwegian, mind you), let it sit in my drafts folder until next year, and then do some last-minute updates on it before publishing it in, say, March or April 2013.

In the meantime, I did find an article with most of my safety tips for travelers in a list called Before you Go. The article is mainly targeted at backpackers, but most of the suggestions apply to travelers in general.

In addition to the tips listed in that article, I can give some key points from my own article:

  • Get a document folder in plastic or cardboard where you keep all travel documents and confirmations while on the go.
  • Make copies of your passport, travel insurance and credit card numbers (along with phone numbers to cancel these credit cards); carry one copy with you in your document folder, and leave another copy at home, in case something should happen.
  • Check coverage maps and roaming charges for your mobile phone before you go; consider getting a pre-paid SIM card or phone while abroad if you plan on a longer stay or plan to make a lot of calls.
  • Keep the software on your tablet (iPad, Galaxy Tab, etc) or laptop – whichever you choose to travel with – up to date, and make backups before you go.
  • Don’t leave your electronic equipment where it might get stolen; make use of the room/hotel safe or other lockable storage when your equipment is not in use.
  • Make a small “route planner” to maximize time spent on attractions and museums, but don’t over-plan things (you’re supposed to enjoy your vacation, after all), and include plenty of breaks and cafe/restaurant visits in your plan.
  • Before you go, pre-check average taxi fares and safe taxi companies to use, and what public transportation is available.

I do have more advice on my list, but these are among the more important ones. I plan to follow my own advice when I go on vacation later this year, and I hope you will, too.

Have a safe trip!