Monday, August 31, 2009


The HackDay'09 is about to happen in the glorious city on Neva river -- Saint-Petersburg! Together with our friends we have decided to participate with our ideas based on semantic analysis. Let's see where the HackDay brings us. On Friday we are heading there!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Porvoo is a unique old city, but old town is disgustful

Surprised with the topic formulation? Read on for the details.

Visiting Porvoo
The unique old city is the old city of Porvoo [1] we have visited today. It's been a pleasure, though it was raining almost all the time. Some photos here [2]. Comments in Russian though (well, as it was once said in a humourous russian show KVN, "learn Russian in order to understand humour" and vice versa). Why Porvoo might have become widely known is thanks to a fact Finland had been declared autonomous Grand Duche of Russia in the local cathedral.

Related work and criticism
I usually try to avoid posting any anti-ads in the blog, but this time it's unavoidable. It is about the second part - old town, which is the restaurant with reported refined taste and special service. Well, it was about 16:00 already, but should it make any difference for the service quality? First we have waited way too much time for placing an order, basically from being *very* hungry to the point of thoughts to leave getting nothing for our pains. When the waitress came down, she missed the soup story completely leading to two of us having a soup (delicious, nothing to say!) instead of one. But the topic adjective starts with pasta. Have you ever eaten the fast food spaghetti? Somewhere in a student dormitory may be or in a camp. So take this spaghetti, add some sea food (which is nice however) and put it into the micro. The taste was something like this. We experienced culmination for an ordered and never arrived dessert. As some random passers-by might have fetched all the cakes we have ordered coupled with black tea, the wairtress wasn't very confused to inform us that only one cake left. Why that happened? Because the restaurant had another side feature: a cafe. Sounds like a multitier technology, right? Which in practice averages to a (restaurant + cafe) / 2 quality level. The place has managed to blur the impression about Porvoo as right after that we have left the city, but thinking about it now, when about 5h passed, I generally feel the journey was pleasant. We decided not to slap our wrathful feelings into their face, but to publish this post.

We have thought about why the restaurant quality was *that* not good and came to the conclusion that the target audience of it was tourists. Which means mostly occasional visitors, who will never remember it (as they usually don't come back) even if it wasn't worthwhile. Also, if you do care about your clients, think twice of coupling a restaurant with a cafe in the same cramped premise.

Instead of blurring, use sharpening: go for a home pizza or may be visit some really expensive place to eat and polish the collected impressions of your day in Porvoo.