Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cutting the long tail when moving

If you've kept your eyes and ears open to the IT business lately (read: if you're an engineer who haven't lived in a box the last couple of years), you might have noticed some talk about the business model/statistical distribution property coined the The Long Tail. It's a very cool mechanism, essentially analog to a Salami Fraud, just backward... kindof. Essentially a business benefitting from The Long Tail makes sure it is not dependent on single large sales, but extremely many small sales. I've just experienced The Long Tail as well, but in a much more tiring way.

Fig 1: Illustration of The Long Tail concept

When you're moving, how do you estimate how much time and effort it will take? I had been extremely busy just before moving last weekend and barely managed to make sure I had the absolute basics done, like large furniture moved, old scrap paper thrown away... but in no way did I anticipate what an exhausting exercise it would be before I would actually get to drop my key down my old mail slot and get going toward Kapellskär.

It was absolutely insane, the morning became afternoon and afternoon even became evening before we had cleaned out every single little last space. Very tired, full packed and a bit frustrated, we got going. Perhaps it's only me who become that emotionally attached, but I had lived some five-six years in the same apartment and was now leaving it and the town I've come to love... it was an extremely strange feeling to close the door, leave the key, walk across the yard a final time while holding my by then strangely keyless keyring. Strange, but grand. The keyring has had plenty opportunity to refill again, now I have RFID card to office, key to office and three apartment keys...

Fig 2: A very keyless keyring

So, it was a bit messy and I probably lost a bunch of things, but in the end I put an upper limit to the integral, I cut the long tail, got my thumb out off my ass, got a new start and moved. I'm so impressed by myself.

On the way to Estonia, me and my baby visited senior members of both our families, a Gränna candy cane factory, Vadstena monastery and deserted industrial areas in Uppsala. Poor baby was sea-sick on the tiny boat which took us Kapellskär-Paldiski but had regained her posture when we drove ashore in the gloomy, snowy ex-soviet union marine base town.

Essentially, here in Estonia is great. It's a cool new country to get to know. Work mates and friends are perhaps a bit different from home, but very nice. I have absolutely no set work hours, people really do sit down to work on laptops from any café they happen to like that moment and business is very exciting. Not to mention, it's the first time I'm moving in with anyone and the first time in six years I don't live in the same room I make my food. Already I have both reasonable TV sound, PS2, server and WiFi for all guests available in the entire apartment. It's getting extremely homie. I expect to publish notices of plane discounts and stuff, and I am not kidding when I invite you to come visit us.

To sum up, since when I posted the last time, about the party, I have managed to get, among other things, the following stuff done:

- Write some 10-15 pages more, scrutinize, correct and hand in my thesis report
- Sum up, pack up and drink up my work in Gothenburg. I got the book Gökmannen with the greeting "May your seed flourish in the East". Those guys are seriously adorable
- Pack up and send home all my larger furniture, like the bed, couch and the huge cockpit-like desk (which I miss so much!)
- Finalize and apply for my MSc. degree
- Try out and order my white-gold Chalmers engineering ring
- Agree and print a contract with the next tenant so she could have my apartment early
- Sort through all, and throw out roughly two moving boxes of old paper and crap
- Pack roughly six moving boxes with stuff...
- ... of which only one, plus quite some bags, a microwave, a server, dance mat etc., got to follow me to Estonia
- Hold a little private moving away party for the three closest mourning to get rid of groceries and booze
- Drive across Sweden in a fully packed car with my baby
- Send a long email update to all of the friends and family I remembered should have it
- Started my new job with CoolSecurity in Tallinn, gotten to know some of the routines, got an Estonian prepaid phone card, got all my clothes into wardrobes and drawers, set up server, router and PS2 in apartment and and... plenty more.

Frankly, for me it wasn't much Monkey Island at all. Though, and excuse me if I am repeating myself, I can barely believe myself that I managed to finally get rid of that apartment, all the crap in it and de-root my life in Gothenburg. I am so happy and see amazing horizons ahead.

PS. You know that super-cool new Bond movie which is to premiere in Sweden next friday? Yeah, that's right "Casino Royale", I saw it on the Coca Cola Plaza in Tallinn thursday and it was pretty amazing.

PPS. The thesis report is available online, in the tmp-directory under my dtek-web account, drop me a line if you're interested but can't find that.


Freddie said...

Häja däj!
I'm drinking your coffee, it's good! :)

Karl Oskar said...

Well, thank you, and you should! Baby here says you should burn the candles as well, right?

I'm pretty happy with things here... you can tell it's been busy, right? The next tenant for my apartment wrote a furious letter though, and you know how I take it when people are unhappy with me? So, very little sleep this night... I'll get back to her and set things straight though.

laserdavid said...

Angående Monkey Island-momenten så kan de dyka upp när man minst anar det.
I mitt fall var det en skrivarinstallation på en onämnd persons kontor som höll min examen tills jag stod och såg på att det genomfördes. Det tog för övrit en halvtimme av mitt liv.

Karl Oskar said...

*hrm* Snälla, säg att det inte är snigeln på examensenheten utan din examinator eller någon annan? Jag inbillar mig att jag kommit undan genom att lyssna på alla andra och noga tagit reda på vad man måste se till att göra, men vem vet... samma taktik går förresten vidare vad det gäller utflyttning, skattetekniska frågor etc.

Robert said...

Medhålles. Vill man får igenom något i sitt eget intresse ska det helst vara för den andra parten att bara sätta dit en kråka.