Trump Recap

I was planning to publish this post first time when Trump lost the election. Second time when the electoral college votes were cast. Third time when electoral college votes were certified. But no, I had to wait, as the guy and his presidency seemed to roll on and spin to yet another tangent. The guy kept on dominating the news. Still today when Joe Biden was sworn in he kept the lights on and the second trial for the capitol riot is still pending. So while this was the last day of his presidency, making a summary of his time and achievements over the past four years feels like a shot towards a moving target as we speak.


1. Trump made politics interesting again. I’d say that starting from his primary run he made politics, and not just US politics but politics all over place, a coffee shop topic. Trump was a change agent. And change is usually very good. Established institutions need shake-up once in a while.

2. Trump essentially started a trade war with China to balance down China’s continuous, unilateral business expansion in the US and across the world. He changed rhetoric and actual policy just like he had promised. I think the real key here was that he went in with trade as the lead argument which China also understands. That was a big ticket item where he delivered seemingly on his own.

3. Trump kept the US domestic policy focus on the economy. He quickly forgot the stupid wall and didn’t waste too much time on nonsense identity politics. Instead Trump kept on repeating his messaging on the economy and how stock indexes hit records, actually twice if you count the Covid recovery. All that was partly thanks to his and the GOP policies. No lefty can argue against that.


1. Israel and Middle East “breakthroughs”. Cannot be judged yet but those can have positive long term consequences. Or the other way around…


1. No principles or moral standards. Trump contributed big time in killing moral standards in politics worldwide — whatever there was left. It came with the populist agenda that kinda sucked him in over the years. But still, why did he need to lie all the time? It went to full time comedy show level at the end when even crazy consipiracy theories were called in.

2. No team play or predictability. When he ran he promised to nominate the best ever negotiators etc. to the top offices. However, after he had won the elections it became quickly obvious that he couldn’t build a team. And whoever decent he got also left, or was “fired”, soon enough and second class team members with no integrity came in. When Rex Tillerson called him a moron after his exit I think a lot of sensible guys took notice. At the end what he had left in his innner circle were basically his kids, Giuliani, and that total nuts lawyer who claimed Hugo Chavez stole the election. I’m not even going to his random exploits through Twitter except that I think the ban they gave him in the final two weeks was justified.

3. Losing US global political leadership (if you count out the trade war with China). That part made very little sense to anybody. Who can explain what was gained by playing friends with Russia and other long-term adversaries and going arrogant against allies? It looked like Trump went again here on his own against all possible advise from left and right. I hope Biden tries everything he can to reverse Trump’s damage here, starting today.

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Overall, while there were some clear positives, it became a clown show the longer he stayed there. It was about time he left today for good. I sincerely hope we don’t hear back from Trump or anybody like him at the top of US politics again.

Apple is a Toy Company

A few weeks ago I took Lenovo Carbon X1 into use with Windows 64 Pro. There’s no turning back. After fifteen years of using Apple products starting and ending from a Mac laptop my dependency with that company’s products is over for good.

I bet many other so called pro or power users have come along a similar journey so here’s mine. I’m 42 and belong to the group of users who have coded as a kid and used computers all my life for work and fun. From 1980s home computers to modern PCs and all kind of gadgets in between.

The first Apple product I bought must have been the original iPod back in 2001 or that time frame. I started following Apple and considered OS X a winning concept on paper. Unix basis with all the needed desktop apps in a visually nice looking package. Most users were stuck with their PCs and Windows systems which I felt didn’t develop anymore after Windows 2000. Linux sounded great but was not an option for desktop.

The first colleague demoed me his Powerbook (Macbook’s name at the time) back in 2003 and I was sold. After long consideration I went with 12″ Powerbook and never looked back. It was top notch hardware with the best OS available that just delivered. A no brainer. Apple was on an accelerating road to renaissance in the tech industry and it felt great to be in the forefront.

More Apple hardware and devices followed. I got the Airport Express when it came out and connected my speakers wirelessly over Wifi. This is innovation. New stuff. I got more Apple stuff. Couple more Airports including Airport Extreme where I plugged a harddrive and had a minimal NAS set-up. Another innovation delivered. Then came the big thing. I was among the first wave of guys buying iPhone back when it was released in 2007. Apple stores had still no lines at that time. It needed to be hacked so I could install European SIM card. When it was all set-up it was huge. Groundbreaking innovation right there. Delivered.

Laptops followed after another with 2-3 year cycle. I got a couple of 15 inches and after that settled with the 13″ line. I had also Apple’s Cinema display from the first version, which I also updated a few times up until the 27″ model. At some point, I think this was in 2011 or so, we had as a secondary home computer an iMac 27″. And of course I had iPod minis and then shuffles’ for running. And yes, the very first iPad as well for kids. It was just great. I was all-in for Apple.

I speculated with many friends at the time who started to gear towards Apple too that every company, ecosystem and platform in the tech business must come down at some point. When would be Apple’s time? It didn’t seem to happen anytime soon though I noticed I got less and less thrilled with each new Apple product update. And somehow it looked like after iPad there was nothing new coming. Just more of the same.

Looking back Apple’s peak in my life came and went without me even properly noticing it. Somehow the peak coincided Steve Jobs’ passing away and the time the company dropped Computer from its name. I got eventually bored with Apple. iPhone4 was my last iPhone from where I switched to Android in 2013. It felt like the innovation platform of the future. I had sold the iMac and Cinema displays already in late 2011 and switched to first DELL and now to LG and ASUS screens. They had more connectors and just overall better features for better money. IPod shuffles broke down and I didn’t get new ones. Now I have a TomTom sports watch which can also play music. The kids used up the iPad and I had cheaper Android tablets to spare. Airport products I switched to Zyxel and ASUS stuff again because they just delivered more.

Why did all this happen?

Back in the day, and we are talking now about 15 years ago, Apple was in the forefront of computers. The company was first and foremost a computer manufacturer. Apple made servers, workstations, laptops and peripherals like screens. iPod was the first new category defining radical device innovation. It delivered on top of Apple’s strengths which were great software & hardware in a nicely designed package. More followed: routers, phones and tablets.

Today Apple is all about highly priced phones, watches and other gadgets sold in masses to middle class families worldwide. Macs and pro users have become a side story. The product categories have shrank based on what sells to the masses. To me Apple looks like a new Mattel or Lego. It is a Toy Company. Delivering modern mediocrity and consumer statistics.

Electric Cars in Shenzhen

My Tesla Model S

I am and have always been a car guy so how to put this thing into words? Let’s try a few combinations:
— The biggest revolution in cars during my lifetime
— The best car I have ever driven
— An insanely great car

I’ve had my Tesla Model S now for a few days and 300+ kms. It is the first car I have ever acquired new. It has pretty much all the options except performance and top end audio packages to keep the delivery time minimal and costs comparably reasonable. Thanks go to Miika at Auto Outlet to get this metallic red colored magical space car in a month from his reserve lot.

It all started when I realized a month or so back I can sell my trusted but ageing and pretty thirsty workhorse Porsche Cayenne in August. I know ordering a new popular car model will always take several months. So I went out and test drove all the latest BMW, Audi and Mercedes family wagons and SUVs. The cars I can see every morning and afternoon parked in the front of the upper middle class homes on our home street. The cars I’ve often rented during my trips to Germany. Boring. Just boring. BMW 5 series. BMW X5. Audi A6. Mercedes Shooting Brake. Well, Benz has a good name badge in there. I even test drove the new S. But said to Szaka during the test spin something like: “Well, this is nice. But it’s just another car.” I was not hyped. Because it really felt like that. Even Mercedes S class is just another car. No surprises anywhere. It is what you can expect.

While comparing these tested and tried options it just hit me I have totally forgotten one big thing. The brand name I always saw when driving on 880 in the Bay Area. For sure I had seen some of those early two seating Roadsters go fast and wondered who are the guys driving them. And I was aware Model S was in the pipeline, but it had a lot of issues before getting to the market. We had already moved back to Finland before they delivered. A quick update one night and the next morning I first went to Sports Car Center close by who advertised Tesla along with Auto Outlet. Turns out Sports had imported so far none and just copied the competition’s ads. One call, 15 minutes tense driving, and I meet with Miika. Right after kicking it down I just utter out something like “Wow. Okay, this is it, why don’t we just go back and do the paperwork.” This is how I bought my first new car. Less than 24 hours from the discovery it does exist to signing it home.

What is so amazing and revolutionary about this car it completed trashed my little kid “lists” of cars I’d like to own before I die. I have these lists written in my childhood, teens, 20s, early 30s consisting of the usual Ferrari Testarossas, Lamborghini Countachs, Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Corvettes and Porsche 911 Turbos I need to have in my garage one day. What has just happened is those lists kinda lost their relevance. Or at least I see them completely differently. I see those cars with engines that explode, with trannies full of greasy, moving parts, with spark plugs, gas tanks, regular maintenance and so forth as something like… A CRT at the time of LCD. A modem at the time of always on broadband. A landline at the time of mobile. You just don’t want to own a CRT, modem or landline anymore. The change Tesla brought with it is just huge, big, disruptive. Having Tesla today is kinda like having iPhone in 2007. It just kicks in and tells you this is what all cars must be like. Never in the car market have I seen or felt anything similar before. Ever.

Btw, hybrids are a really stinking, bad joke. I’ve always kinda known it and now I can finally argue it. Just give any ugly, slow, boring Prius owner a Tesla for a quick drive.

There’s an interesting political angle to Tesla as well. Right now the Finnish government gives you a 500 EUR per month credit for any new company lease under this program. I want to show this car to everyone interested. My message: when was the last time you had really fun in test driving a new car? Let’s face it. Getting a new Tesla is a no brainer. Period.