Julklappar till alla! / Christmas Gifts for everyone!

(Please scroll down to read this post in English.)

I år har jag beslutat att inte köpa så många julklappar. Men även om de inte blir många till antalet, så hoppas jag att många kommer att få glädje av dem! Jag har idag gjort donationer till följande organisationer och artister:

Läkare Utan Gränser

En organisation som gör insatser och räddar liv där det behövs utan att ta politisk hänsyn.

Missing People Sweden

En ideell organisation som hjälper personer att finna anhöriga som försvunnit. Till minne av Emil K.


Cancer är skit. Punkt.


En av mina favoritmusiker just nu. LukHash gör fantastisk elektronisk musik med hjälp av gamla spelkonsoler och datorer, såväl som elgitarrer och pianon. All musik från LukHash kan laddas hem gratis! Det senaste albumet, Falling Apart, släpptes 29 september i år.


Tryads musik är inte bara gratis, den är fri. Det betyder att du kan använda den i egna projekt, både personliga och kommersiella, utan att fråga om lov eller betala licensavgifter. Hurra för fri kultur!

Nina Paley

Nina är en förkämpe för fri kultur och alla hennes senaste verk är tillgängliga gratis för dig att avnjuta och remixa. Hennes seriestripp Mimi and Eunice kan läsas online och du kan ladda hem hennes film Sita Sings the Blues utan kostnad. Åter igen, hurra för fri kultur!

Linux Mint

Mint är ett fantastiskt trevligt alternativ till Windows. Det är gratis, fritt och användarvänligt. Det är sant att det kan vara bökigt att installera, men det kan du få hjälp med och när det är gjort så är det lätt att använda. Hurra för fri mjukvara!

God Jul!


I have decided to buy only a few christmas gifts this year. But even though the number of presents is low, I’m hoping they will bring joy to a lot of people. Today, I have made donations to the following organizations and artists:

Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontieres

An organization that saves lives wherever it’s needed, without politics getting in the way.

Missing People Sweden

A non-profit organization that helps people find relatives that have gone missing. In memory of Emil K.

Barncancerfonden / Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation

Cancer sucks ass. Period.


One of my favorite musicians right now. LukHash creates awesome electronic music using old games consoles and computers, as well as electric guitars and pianos. All his music can be downloaded for free! His latest album, Falling Apart, was released on 29 September this year.


Tryad’s music is not only free of charge, it is free-as-in-freedom. That means you are allowed to use it in your own projects, both personal and commercial, without asking permission or paying license fees. Hooray for free culture!

Nina Paley

Nina is a champion of free culture, and all her latest works are available for you to enjoy and remix, free of charge and free-as-in-freedom. Her comic strip Mimi and Eunice can be read on-line, and you can download her film Sita Sings the Blues. Again, hooray for free culture!

Linux Mint

Linux Mint is a fantastic alternative to Microsoft Windows. It’s free of charge, free-as-in-freedom, and it’s user friendly. True, you can run into problems while installing it, but there are people who can help you, and when it’s done, Mint is easy to use. Hooray for free software!

Merry Christmas!

Why you should learn Python

Logo: PythonNo, I’m not talking about Parseltongue, but a programming language. I’ve been programming in other languages for years and years, but now I’m learning Python and here’s why I think you should join me.

If you’ve never tried programming a computer, you really should try it!

Learning computer programming is fun! It’s empowering and immensely satisfying. Sometimes it can even be useful! :) By learning a programming language, or at least trying it, you get a wider understanding about the inner workings of computer programs. This can increase your confidence in using computers, as it removes much of the mystery surrounding these, sometimes seemingly infernal, machines.

Python is a great language for learning to program. It’s free, there are tons of great resources on-line, and it’s easy to learn and use.

Why is it fun? It’s fun to be able to order computers around. You spend so much time wrestling with them, trying to get them to behave, getting the chance to be in total control is very satisfying. Basically, when you tell your computer to jump, instead of sulking in the corner, it will ask “How high?”

How is it useful? Learning a programming language can actually be helpful if you work with computers, even if you’re not going to work as a programmer. Let’s say your boss hands you a log file with thousands of lines of text and tells you to find all email addresses and list them alphabetically. Doing this manually would probably make anyone contemplate suicide. But if you know Python, you could easily write a small program that does this for you. It would only take you a few minutes to write the program, and it would only take the program a second to complete the task. Yes, really! Or let’s say you’re working with a spreadsheet, probably in Excel but maybe in OpenOffice, and you need to add some formulas to do a bunch of advanced calculations. Guess what… That’s a form of programming, and if you know a programming language, understanding what you need to do and how you need to do it will be much easier.

Ok, so how do I learn Python? As I said, there are loads of resources on-line. I’ve just discovered a new one, a website called Udacity. They do free university classes for everyone, led by people who really know their stuff. Their first class is called CS101: Building a Search Engine. By taking this seven-week class, you will not threaten Google’s market share, but you will actually learn some of the basic mechanics that make Google tick. Most of all, though, you will learn to program using Python. The goal of the class is not really to teach you how to build search engines, but to teach you how to use Python, while building a simple search engine in the process. Speaking of Google, though, it’s worth mentioning that lots of the professors actually work at Google. So, yeah, like I said…they know their stuff. :) CS101 is now in its final week and will start again on April 16. I’ll be taking the class, in parallel with a couple of other classes, CS212 and CS253, because even though I’ve been programming for years, I’m completely new to Python.

So why am I writing this blog post? Do I get a percentage from somewhere, or something? Ha ha, no. I honestly just want to share the love. I want more people to learn how to program, because I enjoy it so much and I think you might enjoy it, too. By writing this blog post, I hope to inspire someone to take the class CS101 with me, beginning April 16, because learning together is more fun than learning alone.

If you’re curious, know this:

  • It is absolutely free to enroll in these classes. You will not be asked for a credit card number. :)
  • There’s a great forum at Udacity, where nice people will help you whenever you need it.
  • I will help you all the way, no matter who you are, if I can. If you have problems installing Python on your computer, or if there is a lesson you just can’t wrap your head around, I will do whatever I can to help you.
  • You can quit whenever you want, even though I hope you won’t.
  • It will be fun!

So, come on! Learn Python with me!

Sharing is Caring / Christmas Cash

Hand Heart - Photo by Krystal T

People who know me know that I talk a lot about copyright reform, free content, open culture, and alternative funding. I’ve thought about sending some money to several people and groups for quite some time, but I’ve just not gotten around to it. And frankly, I am a bit disappointed with myself. It’s time for me to start putting my money where my mouth is.

This christmas, I’ll be donating to, and buying from, some of my favorite artists and causes. I will start with pledging amounts here on my blog and on Facebook. Then I will initiate the actual transactions. By pledging the money publicly, I’m hoping to inspire you to do the same.

Personally, I’m planning on spending about €50. I’ll just take a few days to think about how I’ll divide the money. A fiver here and a fiver there is not much, I know, but that’s why I’m asking you to take part!

Please, join me and show the world that sharing is caring. Share some money with the people who share their works with you.

I’m not trying to guilt or force anyone into anything. If you want to join in, that’s great! Give whatever you want to whoever you want. If you don’t want to join in, that’s fine too. I just ask you to be sincere. If you pledge an amount, please go through with it.

Here are some suggestions on how you can support your favorite creators and causes:

  • Donations
  • Buying merchandise
  • Paying for premium content
  • Buying songs or ebooks from iTunes, Smashwords, or wherever, where the creators get a fair slice of the pie

Give as much or as little as you want, to whatever artists, groups, causes, or random people you want!

Sharing is Caring

/Stig Rudeholm

Photo by Krystal T on flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/krystalt/
Licensed under a “Creative Commons – Attribution” license

Album of the Week: Heartbroken

Cover: Heartbroken by One Dice

Download and listen for free!

This week’s soundtrack is a really nice goth album called Heartbroken by One Dice. It is brand spanking new and is the band’s first full length album. If you want to support One Dice, you can buy an extended version of the album, with 13 tracks, at their bandcamp site. You can listen to all 13 songs there, and if you decide to buy the album you can pay as little as €1 or as much as you want. Included in the purchase is a 24-page booklet (PDF, I guess) with lyrics and photos. A very nice way of adding value for those who pay for the downloads.

I find the music very moving and the female singer’s voice sothing and hypnotic. I am seriously considering buying the extended version, as I really like this album.

Have you found an album at Jamendo.com that you would like to share? Please tell me!

Album of the Week: Seismograph

Cover: Seismograph by Philos Deploys

Download and listen for free!

This week’s pick is Seismograph by Philos Deploys. It is listed as “dark electro”, and it will not be to everyone’s taste, I’m sure, but I think it is really, really good.

Someone once said that there’s a music for every mood, and a mood for every music. I agree. This is not what I listen to every day, but when I’m in the mood for some dark german electronica, this fits the bill perfectly. It’s got a bit of Rammstein in there, as well as a bit of Depeche Mode. I love it.

As always, you can download and listen to this album free of charge at Jamendo.com!

Enjoy the music!

Album of the Week: Listen

Cover: Listen by Tryad

Download and listen for free!

This week’s soundtrack arrives a day late, but better late than never, eh?

Listen, by Tryad, is an album described as “a mature work of melodic electronica”, and it fits that description perfectly. The album encompasses several different styles and moods, as it is a collective effort by 20 different musicians from all around the globe.

I really love this album, and I’ve listened to it quite a bit since I discovered it. It’s difficult to explain, but it stirs my feelings. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions. You should really check it out.

Something that is very special about this album, apart from the fantastic songs, is that you are allowed to do a lot of different things with the content. Remember how I briefly mentioned that there’s a difference between “free as in free of charge” and “free as in freedom?”

This album is really free, as in freedom, as well as free of charge. It is licensed as CC-BY-SA (Creative Commons – Attribution – Share Alike). This means you are allowed to use the music in almost any way you can imagine, even for commercial purposes, as long as you give credit to the artists and distribute all derivative works under the same license.

At http://tryad.org/ you can support the artists by buying a CD or making a donation!

Have you got any favourites at Jamendo.com?

Album of the Week: Digital Memories

Once again, monday rears its ugly head… To keep you going, here’s the soundtrack of the week!

Digital Memories by LukHash

Download and listen for free!

If you love retro video game music half as much as I do, you’re going to dig Digital Memories by LukHash. It’s electronica with a definite 8-bit chip tune edge. It’s energetic and I have a hard time sitting still whenever I’m listening to this album!

As always, this is an album that you can download and listen to free of charge, so what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

If you like it, you can support the artist in several ways. I imagine a donation is always welcome, for instance. But just spreading the word will help as well. What’s an artist without an audience, right?

I encourage you to visit http://www.lukhash.com/ where you can read more about the artist, download his music and watch videos. Oh, and remember to sign his guestbook and let him know what you think!

Have you got any personal favourites at Jamendo.com? Don’t keep ‘em to yourself. Share the love!

Album of the Week: Pt.II

The soundtrack of the week is Pt.II by Degrees. It’s a sort of indie synthpop kind of deal, and it’s really, really good. You can download this album at Jamendo.com, free of charge, so check it out!

Album cover: Pt.II by Degrees

Degrees is a swedish band that I didn’t even know existed until a few days ago. That is one of the things that are so cool about the internet. For artists, it’s never been easier to find an audience than right now. But if I haven’t paid anything to download this album, then what’s in it for the band?

Well, they’ve just gained a new listener. The chance of me giving them some money has just jumped from zero (because I didn’t even know about them) to I don’t even know what to call it. The difference between one and two is 100%, but how do you measure the difference between zero and one? If I hadn’t found them on Jamendo, there’s a very real risk that I would never have heard of them at all.

You can learn more about Degrees at http://dgrs.se/. Fair warning, though: Their website looks cool, but I think it sucks from a user’s point of view. Navigation is unclear, and when you manage to identify a link, it opens in a new window. So, good music, bad website. Or maybe that’s just me….

I haven’t listened to their other albums yet, but I’m going to. I hope you too enjoy their music.

Is there an artist and/or album at Jamendo.com that you would recommend?