March 2003

Nicht wirklich einfach

by Volker Weber

trustcenter.GIF

Entweder ist Trustcenter.de zu blöd. Oder ich bin zu blöd. Ich habe es noch nicht ein einziges Mal geschafft, mein Trustcenter Zeritifikat zu verlängern.

OK, ich kriege eine Verlängerungsinfo. Dann nehme ich brav meinen Internet Exploder, gehe auf die Site und beantrage die Verlängerung. Dann kriege ich die Antwort, klicke auf den Link, kriege noch mal das neue Zertifikat vorgelesen und darf es dann installieren. Klappt aber nicht. Hat noch nie geklappt.

Letztes Jahr habe ich mir ein neues Zertifikat ausstellen lassen. Diesmal nicht mehr. Ich nehme jetzt einfach mein selbstzertifziertes. Basta.

Tungsten really cheap

by Volker Weber

veocamera.jpg

If you plan to attend developerWorks Live in New Orleans and you have a valid US address (friends or family?) then you can get a really good deal on a Palm Tungsten T. IBM offers you the option to purchase a Tungsten T handheld for $279 from now until 06 Apr 2003! On site the machine will be $50 more. Palm then offers you a free Veo camera; they say it is a $99 value.

The current price of Tungsten T in Germany is 400 Euro. At 1.08 $/EUR, you save around 140 on the device and get a free camera. Did I forget any taxes?

How to make $350.000.000 from an $800 investment - in just two weeks

by Volker Weber

Now that is one cool story. :-)

NEW YORK -- Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!

... with an initial investment of only $800, in two weeks' time he had a portfolio valued at over $350 million. Every trade he made capitalized on unexpected business developments, which simply can't be pure luck.

Officials are quite confident the "time-traveler's" claims are bogus. Yet the SEC source admits, "No one can find any record of any Andrew Carlssin existing anywhere before December 2002."

More >

[via Keys Corner]

Welcome to The Robb Report, Magazine for the Luxury Lifestyle

by Volker Weber

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badpublicity.twoday.net

by Volker Weber

Eine Stelle zum Dampfablassen. Aberrr Vorrrsicht. Es gibt keine rechtsfreien Räume.

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819 Madison Avenue

by Volker Weber

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To move or not to move

by Volker Weber

I recently read some speculation about Ed and myself moving our blogs to different hosts or different software platforms. This website runs on a Linux box using MovableType, Perl and PHP. MovableType is written in Perl and does the heavy lifting, whereas PHP performs some simple tricks doing includes and RDF parsing. I am very happy with this solution and will stay put.

Ed is a different story. When we talked about him starting to author weblog entries, I invited him as an author first, so he could try whether he likes it or not. We quickly came to the conclusion that he would rather start his own weblog. There were some more considerations I am not going to talk about, which led to the current situation where he actually has two weblogs, the other one hosted at the IBM site.

Yes, Ed's weblog will move soon off of one of my servers to a different host. When we started edbrill.com on edbrill.vowe.org none of the available Domino templates could match the features and functions of MovableType - but that is changing. Start holding your breath. The cat is almost out of the bag.

IBM developerWorks Live

by Volker Weber

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I keep hunting down this stupid URL. Consider this a a bookmark for myself. :-)

Ah, and while we are at this: Opening sessions for Technical Interchange/Solutions/developerWorks Live/howevertheycallitthisyear are very predictable: Steve Mills holds the same speech as last year, old buzzwords replaced with new buzzwords, and then Irving Wladawsky-Berger elaborates on the buzzwords with his really interesting "nice uncle" performance. This year's buzzword is "on demand". Expect to hear it often. And then there is also a "real" speaker. This year it is Grady Booch.

OpenOffice.org 1.1 Beta

by Markus Nolte

OpenOffice.org 1.1beta is ready for immediate download. It is a stable beta but still has bugs. This release represents a significant advance of the application and incorporates the features and changes introduced with the developer builds of the last year. These include:

- Many new import/export formats such as PDF, Macromedia Flash, DocBook, several PDA Office file formats, flat XML and XHTML

- Support for Complex Text Layout (CTL) and languages such as Thai, Hindi, Arabic, Hebrew

Download here >

Kompliment des Tages

by Volker Weber

Manche Komplimente sind zwar nicht für meine Augen bestimmt, tun aber doch gut. :-)

FROM: undisclosed.sender@de.ibm.com
TO: undisclosed.receipient@ibm.com

Der Heise Newsticker hat es schon, das Update für Notes / Domino 6

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/jk-14.02.03-009/

Meine spezielle Frage: Wie/wo kann ich die neuesten Entwicklungen in Notes/Domino am besten verfolgen?

Und mal eine allgemeine Frage: Was muß man tun, um intern mal vor Herrn Weber informiert zu sein?

First Look At SuSE Linux 8.2

by Volker Weber

Once again I find myself checking out the newest SuSE release, and to tell you the truth, I really enjoy it. My personal computer is running Slackware (yes, I upgraded to 9.0 immediately), and I wouldn't trade it for any other distribution in the world, but I've got to say is that SuSE is still at the top of their game. When you look at all the desktop distros out there such as Mandrake, Lycoris, and Red Hat, they all really have their endearing factors, but they all are lacking in one way or another.

This is not to say that SuSE is perfect, because it's not. It has it's irritations just like any other OS, but they are minimal. More on that later... let's get on with it. Joe Eckert from SuSE, as always, rushed a copy of their newest release to us. I finished up my work, brewed a fresh pot of coffee, and sat down with our new found treasure. It was just like Christmas.

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You've got junk

by Volker Weber

junkcount.jpg

No, I am not making this up. Boy, am I happy that my machine takes cares of this. To everyone out there: Use a meaningful subject and put me in the TO or CC address. I am not going to fish your message out of this swamp ...

To all the marketing genius' out there: If you force me to register your wares, your message will end up with the majority. And to the hardworking people in agencies: Press releases to pr@ and personal messages to vowe@ .... otherwise, you get the drift.

Weapons of Maths Instruction

by Volker Weber

CNN/Reuters: News reports have filtered out early this morning that US forces have swooped on an Iraqi Primary School and detained 6th Grade teacher Mohammed Al-Hazar. Sources indicate that, when arrested, Al-Hazar was in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square and a calculator.

US President George W Bush argued that this was clear and overwhelming evidence that Iraq indeed possessed weapons of maths instruction.

[Industrial Technology & Witchcraft]

SPIEGEL übt wieder

by Volker Weber

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Eclipse 2.1 slated for release tomorrow

by Volker Weber

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Thursday March 27, 2003 Status: The RC4 build will be today at 15:00 EST. This should be the final build of the 2.1 release cycle, and will include both final code and final doc. The untested build should be available for download about half an hour after the build starts; the automated tests take another couple of hours. We need everyone to sanity check the build, especially the areas of doc that are only coming together at the last minute. As always, please report all problems and flag suspected "stop ship" defects so that they get immediate attention. Knock on wood, we'll be able to declare Eclipse 2.1 available sometime tomorrow.

Eclipse is the open source platform on which commercial products like IBM Websphere Studio are built. 2.1 will be the first release for Mac OS X. Currently I am running a release candidate on Lucy.

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Impressive list of misreported stories

by Volker Weber

1. Saddam may well have been killed in the first night's surprise attack (March 20).
2. Even if he wasn't killed, Iraqi command and control was no doubt "decapitated" (March 22).
3. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 22).
4. Most Iraqis soldiers will not fight for Saddam and instead are surrendering in droves (March 22).
5. Iraqi citizens are greeting Americans as liberators (March 22).
6. An entire division of 8,000 Iraqi soldiers surrendered en masse near Basra (March 23).
7. Several Scud missiles, banned weapons, have been launched against U.S. forces in Kuwait (March 23).
8. Saddam's Fedayeen militia are few in number and do not pose a serious threat (March 23).
9. Basra has been taken (March 23).
10. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 23).
11. A captured chemical plant likely produced chemical weapons (March 23).
12. Nassiriya has been taken (March 23).
13. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 24).
14. The Iraqi government faces a "major rebellion" of anti-Saddam citizens in Basra (March 24).
15. A convoy of 1,000 Iraqi vehicles and Republican Guards are speeding south from Baghdad to engage U.S. troops (March 25).

More >

[via Horst Prillinger]

IBM Marketing Skunkworks

by Volker Weber

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Received this today by mail from one of my spies. Unfortunately only very blurred and smallish. It seems like the IBM Software Group is working on branding once again.

It's a dream job (as long as you're a geek)

by Esther Schindler

The Geek Squad needs fresh Special Agents to lead our fight against computer upheaval: a critical mission in our goal of obtaining global domination. You'll use your people and technical skills to ward off computer disasters, small and large.

In particular, check out their geekmobiles. And the videos.

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Catching up

by Volker Weber

Not exactly scientific but an interesting observation by Doc Searls:

I made an informal count of Mac and Windows (and perhaps some Linux?) laptops in one quarter of the room yesterday at PC Forum. I had the sense that it was a little under 50/50. The result: 18 Macs out of 61 total, or 29.5%.

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Safety first

by Volker Weber

SafetyOfficer04tn.JPG SafetyOfficer05tn.JPG SafetyOfficer07tn.JPG

Do these guys use spreadsheets?

by Volker Weber

NYT op-ed on "How to Take Baghdad". There are some weird miscalculations like this one:

One thousand fatalities is, by historical standards, a relatively low price to pay to conquer a country of 24 million people.

The author only counts the aggressor's fatalities and not the tens of thousands defending the city. But then he closes with a very good remark:

But the American public was led into this war with intimations that few of Mr. Hussein's soldiers would fight hard for their leader. America would do well not to embark on future wars whose political success depends on the assumption that the enemy won't fight.

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Mark Fiore: The Blusterizer

by Volker Weber

Must see. Also click on the "next" button and see more of his work.

iLife installation not as easy as it should be

by Volker Weber

Most of the things you try to do with a Mac are easy. But not everything is smooth sailing. What I tried today should have been very easy but it wasn't. Lucy came with Jaguar and some earlier versions of iDVD, iMovie, iPhoto and iTunes installed. Both the operating systems and the applications have been updated in the meantime. That works for all of the applications besides iDVD 2. The newer 3.0 version is only included in the iLife box, presumably because a download would be too huge.

So I asked Apple to send me the iLife box which arrived a few days before I left for CeBIT. Today I finally got around to installing the software. Insert the DVD, lauch install, enter password, click on the stupid Agree button ... and then I hit a roadblock. The installer tells me:

"There are newer versions of some of the software packages in "applications" already installed on the volume. This software does not allow older versions to be installed on top of newer versions."

That is correct. Everything besides iDVD is newer. I can only escape the installer because there is only a cancel button left. How do I tell this thing to go ahead and only update the software that is newer? It - does - not - say - so.

The installation DVD only shows me two icons in the root. One is the installer, the other leads to numerous readme files in a variety of languages. Those explain many things but not the solution to my problem.

So I dug around on the internet until I found a little hint. The Install icon is only a shortcut. In the Finder menu you say "Show original" and suddently a new icon appears in the root which gives me access to the install packages:

ilifeinstall.jpg

There you go. Open the iDVD install package. Problem solved.

Liberation

by Volker Weber

Fastest. Delivery. Ever.

by Volker Weber

officeXbox.jpg

Yesterday, I asked Microsoft to send me a copy of Office:mac. UPS just delivered it. I have never seen an agency work so fast. Thanks, Constantin @ worxpr.

New IBM Redbooks

by Volker Weber

A Portal Composite Pattern Using WebSphere V4.1

The Patterns for e-business are a group of proven, reusable assets that can speed the process of developing applications. The Portal composite pattern combines Business and Integration patterns to help implement a portal solution. This IBM Redbook provides a technical scenario and guidelines for the Portal composite pattern. It shows how the Composite pattern works and documents the tasks required to build a technical scenario of it.

Part 1 of the redbook guides you through the process of choosing the Business and Integration patterns of the Composite pattern and then drill down to the Application and Runtime pattern and Product mapping to deliver the desired functionality of the Portal composite pattern. Part 2 provides a set of guidelines for building your portal application and includes a discussion of application design, application development and systems management. Part 3 demonstrates how to implement a portal solution via a technical scenario. This technical scenario uses the WebSphere Portal Extend offering.


IBM WebSphere Application Server - Express V5.0 Handbook

This IBM Redbook introduces IBM WebSphere Application Server - Express V5 , an IBM offering that provides a comprehensive development tool and a single-server application server environment designed for small and medium business customers who want to have a Web presence for their businesses.

This publication addresses these customers by showing how to use WebSphere Application Server - Express to build and deploy Web applications. It will help you install the product, build a simple Web application, and deploy that application to the server. This publication is applicable to the Linux and Windows platforms.


WebSphere Version 5 Web Services Handbook

This IBM Redbook describes the new concept of Web services from various perspectives. It presents the major building blocks Web services rely on. Here, well-defined standards and new concepts are presented and discussed.

Whereas these concepts are described vendor-independent, the book also presents IBM's view and illustrates with suitable demonstration applications how Web services can be implemented using IBM's product portfolio, especially WebSphere Application Server Version 5 and WebSphere Studio Application Developer Version 5.


Linux Application Development Using WebSphere Studio 5

Linux is the fastest-growing server operating system in the world because of its powerful functionality, rock-solid stability, and open source foundations. Applications developed on Linux are reliable, portable, and cost efficient. This IBM Redbook helps you get familiar with IBM middleware and tools for Linux, and develop your new Web application on Linux. This redbook is aimed to show IBM's ability to provide an advanced platform for WebSphere Application Development using Linux as the operating system.

The approach we have taken is to build an ITSO Banking example that has a backend database and a frontend e-business banking application. The Linux distribution that we use is Red Hat Linux, Version 7.3. This book also shows you how to install the software to set up your development environment.

Apple Security Update

by Volker Weber

Security Update 2002-03-24 addresses a Samba vulnerability which could allow unauthorized remote access to the host system. The built-in Windows file sharing is based on the open source technology called Samba and is off by default in Mac OS X.

OpenSSL is also updated to address an issue in which RSA private keys can be compromised when communicating over LANs, Internet2/Abilene, and interprocess communication on local machine.

It is recommended that all users install this Security Update.

There is a bug

by Volker Weber

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Israeli artist Michel Kichka, a native Belgian and the son of Holocaust survivors, made Aliyah to Israel in 1974, where he has been a freelance illustrator of editorial and political cartoons, comic strips, children’s books and advertising. Currently, he serves as a senior lecturer of illustration and comic art at the Bezalel Academy’s Visual Communications Department.

[via Dirk Bartkowiak]

New Technologies Help You Make Your Web Services More Secure

by Volker Weber

David Chappell on MSDN:

Without good security, Web Services will never reach their potential. WS-Security and its associated technologies, the focus of this article, represent the future of security for Web Services. Provided here is an overview of these emerging security standards that explains what they do, how they work, and how they get along together. Topics discussed include integrity and confidentiality and how these are provided by public key cryptography, WS-Security, and more. Some of the key components of WS-Security, such as the wsu namespace, are also covered.

More >

Tungsten Bluetooth implementation flawed

by Volker Weber

Today I played around with Clyde, the Tungsten T, in order to connect it to my network via Bluetooth. I do not have a BT access point, which seem to be ridiculously expensive compared to WLAN gear. Thus I needed to resort to Lucy or Bert.

bluetooth.jpg The BT stack in Mac OS X does not include a LAN Access Profile so you need to set up PPPD (PPP Daemon) to talk to the BT Modem. That is a bit tricky but fortunately there are scripts that make this really easy.

However I really wanted to have Clyde connect to Bert since that machine runs 24x7 and never goes to sleep. The BT stack there is much more complete and it also includes the LAN Access Profile. So I paired Clyde with Bert, set up a connection and finally a network on top of that. Easy enough. I can test the connection from preferences just fine. Connect and disconnect.

tungsten.gifBut wait: As soon as I start using an applicaton, Clyde "dials" the connection and then bombs right away. Soft reset. Absolutely predictable each and every time. WTF is this? I dug around on the internet where I found numerous accounts of the same problem. It is not mentioned on Palm's useless support site. So, I am not holding my breath for a quick fix.

Interestingly enough the Palm M515 with the BT SIO card does not seem to be affected. Puhleeeeze, get this fixed now.

Free Cup Holder

by Volker Weber

For Internet Explorer users only: Get your free cup holder while supplies last.

Mit Kanonen auf Spatzen

by Volker Weber

Allegedly on CNN:

Nicholson: "Oh no, they are destroying Baghdad ... and ..."
Moderator: "Okay Mike!"
Nicholson: "... and they ..."
Moderator: "Okay Mike that's all!!"
Analyst: "This combinated attack, it's a symphony, lead by a conductor".

Interfax has this comment:

"The latest missile and bomb strike against Baghdad by the anti- Iraqi coalition is the most intensive one for the entire period of human wars for the number of charges fired per unit of time," Marshal Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, told Interfax.

The attack was more intensive than "massed strikes by allied air forces against German cities during World War II, including Dresden."

"As a way of achieving military objectives, such strikes make absolutely no sense," Shaposhnikov said.

In case you are not aware of what happened in Dresden read this.

Moon over Bourbon St

by Volker Weber

New-Orleans-Bourbon-Street.jpg

I looks like in about two weeks' time I will be back in New Orleans after only 21 years and two months. This time for a conference that used to be in Las Vegas (which I hate) and San Francisco (which I really enjoy).

Sigh. End of an era.

by Esther Schindler

I've always liked Mark Eppley. In a business where way too many people took themselves too seriously, he's continued to have a sense of humor... and he's a practical joker. At Comdex one year, he held a rock-skipping contest at the Sands' pool. Unfortunately for his hotel bill, he chose to use chocolate chip cookies instead of rocks.

But Laplink -- I remember when it was called Traveling Software -- hit hard times. And it's finally had to file for bankruptcy protection.

The liberation killing has started

by Volker Weber

Inquiring minds want to know

by Volker Weber

Associated Press/The Independent:

Electronic bugging devises have been discovered in offices used by the French and German delegations at a European Union headquarters building where an EU summit will open on Thursday.

More >


McNealy: Viruses a feature in .NET

by Volker Weber

From CNET Asia:

Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy was in typical fine fighting form as he travelled through Asia this week, dropping scathing sound bites against rival firm Microsoft.

Why is it, that I first read "viral firm"? :-)

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Heidi out, Charlie in

by Volker Weber

After working almost exclusively with Heidi, I fired up Charlie again tonight. Let me tell you, this is unbelievable. After you worked on a Mac for two weeks straight, a Windows notebook fells incredibly clunky. It is noisy, it takes forever to wake up from suspend, the design is awful, and the software ... well, it is Windows.

Some things in the Stinkpad are better: The keyboard is much more responsive and I also like the Trackpoint more than the Trackpad. It also has two PCMCIA slots and an IR port that I was missing somewhat with the Apple.

While I was using Heidi, I also compared her closely to the PowerBook. I am somewhat undecided. The PowerBook design is way better, and it feels more precious. The keyboard is less murky, but on the other hand the G4 makes the machine a lot hotter than the G3 in the iBook. As a side effect, battery life does not seem so extensive than with the iBook. I can only derive from some observations here since I have never put a PowerBook through its paces but it seems to be missing at least an hour, even without an Airport card.

E-Books on the rise

by Esther Schindler

According to a report published today, consumer interest in electronic books is growing:

Electronic books, a new addition to the Association of American Publishers (AAP) monthly sales report, began 2003 with impressive numbers, up 1,447.4 percent, according to figures just released by the AAP. The electronic book segment grew from $211,000 in net sales in January 2002 to slightly more than $3.3 million in January 2003.

I've found some good e-books sites, such as Fictionwise, but I haven't found enough of a reason to buy one, yet. If I commuted (particularly on a plane or train) it might be a different story, but for reading at home I stick with paper.

How 'bout you?

Give me 12

by Volker Weber

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You have to turn to Russia these days for a decent car. :-)

As always, the wrong person stepped down

by Volker Weber

Robin Cook: Why I had to leave the cabinet

A Letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush on the Eve of War

by Volker Weber

What a pity I have not read this yesterday:

Monday, March 17, 2003

A Letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush on the Eve of War

George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC

Dear Governor Bush:

So today is what you call "the moment of truth," the day that "France and the rest of world have to show their cards on the table." I'm glad to hear that this day has finally arrived. Because, I gotta tell ya, having survived 440 days of your lying and conniving, I wasn't sure if I could take much more. So I'm glad to hear that today is Truth Day, 'cause I got a few truths I would like to share with you:

More >

[Thanks, Mitch]

Senior British Official Resigns Over Iraq Policy

by Volker Weber

Associated Press via New York Times:

Senior government minister Robin Cook quit Monday as a revolt inside the ruling Labor Party escalated over Prime Minister Tony Blair's backing for military force to disarm Iraq.

Cook, one of Labor's most prominent figures, said he could not back a war that did not have the backing of the United Nations and a majority of the British people. Opinion polls show a majority of Britons oppose a war without United Nations approval.

"I can't accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support,'' said Cook, who was the government chief in the House of Commons.

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I like that quote

by Volker Weber

We have a suspicious amount of 98-year-old Albanian millionaire grandmothers with Hotmail addresses who own 200-plus computers and head up a tech firm who are interested in reading our newspaper.

Wired via Konstantin Klein

Monday morning with Gisele

by Volker Weber

bradosdeuses.jpg

What a way to start a new week. There is a quite obvious variation here.

How Google grows

by Volker Weber

Keith Hammonds for Fastcompany:

... Its performance is the envy of executives and engineers around the world ... For techno-evangelists, Google is a marvel of Web brilliance ... For Wall Street, it may be the IPO that changes everything ( again ) ... But Google is also a case study in savvy management -- a company filled with cutting-edge ideas, rigorous accountability, and relentless attention to detail ... Here's a search for the growth secrets of one of the world's most exciting young companies -- a company from which every company can learn.

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Patriotic semiconductor

by Volker Weber

While the New York Post, hardly a very respected paper, advises patriotic Americans to no longer consume Made-in-Weasel-land products, the Christian Science Monitor gives us an example of some real patriotic cleansing.

I think it might be a good idea to then return a certain symbol back to the people of France. It would no longer be suitable anyway.

CeBIT-Nachlese

by Volker Weber

"Na, zurück? Wie war denn die CeBIT?" - Jedes Jahr die gleiche Frage und auch die gleiche Antwort: "Eigentlich so wie jedes Jahr." Morgens um acht Uhr da sein. Eine Stunde vor Anfang, damit man der Rush Hour entgeht. Und abends nicht vor sieben bis acht weg - gleicher Grund. Dazwischen Standbesuche, allgemeiner Rundgang, viel Händeschütteln und immer wieder Pressekonferenzen. Mega-Events wie bei Samsung, kleinere wie bei SuSE und dann noch einer, wo ich um ein Haar der einzige Nicht-Firmenvertreter gewesen wäre. Kamen dann Gott sei Dank doch noch zwei Kollegen. Nein, ich verrate nicht, wo das war. Mit der Zeit stellt sich eine leichte Allergie gegen Messe-Schnittchen und Kekse ein. Am Ende ist dann Obst mit weitem Abstand das Lieblingsfutter.

CeBIT heisst für mich jedes Jahr aber nicht nur "Stau, Stress, Stände" sondern vor allem Menschen, Gespräche, Party, Zusammensein. Traditionell beginnt das am Vorabend der Messe mit der Symantec Burn-In Party. Diesmal war ich rechtzeitig und exakt zur Buffet-Eröffnung um 19.00 Uhr da. Zum allerersten Mal seit 10 Jahren also ohne Anstehen zu etwas Essbarem gekommen. :-) Bei den üblichen Verdächtigen fehlte mir dieses Mal eigentlich vor allem Ingo T. Storm, den ich aber später noch treffen sollte. Beate sah für einen Messeanfang einfach unverschämt gut erholt aus, auch Andreas macht ohne Vokuhila viel mehr her. Stefan musste leider kurzfristig absagen, weil Frau und Kind gepflegt werden wollten. Schade. Ein Uhr ins Bett, um sieben wieder raus, dass sollte der Rhythmus für die nächsten Tage bleiben. Man glaubt es kaum, aber man kann tatsächlich 18 Stunden am Tag "auf den Beinen" sein und davon die meiste Zeit auch noch mit ca. 10 Kilo Gepäck. Sicher nicht mein normales Programm.

Mittwoch nach Messeschluss war das diesjährige Highlight der Messe für mich. Ein Abendessen mit vielleicht zwei Dutzend Kollegen und Jürgen Gallmann sowie anderen Microsoft-Vertretern im Gallo Nero. Mein Dank an Irene für die kurzfristige Einladung. Sehr leckeres Essen, ein schönes Ambiente und interessante Gespräche ließen die Zeit wie im Fluge verstreichen. Vom sehr sympathischen Günter Alt habe ich noch gelernt, dass ein XDA wie ein altes Telefon schellen kann. Das ist mal der coolste Klingelton überhaupt. Eigentlich wollte ich im Anschluss noch zur VNU-Party, die letztes Jahr so vorzüglich war, aber die Ein-Uhr-Grenze wollte ich dann doch nicht überschreiten. Außerdem war ich schon fast "zu Hause" bei meinen lieben Gastgebern, die mich auch dieses Jahr wieder wenig gesehen haben.

Donnerstagabend war ich dann endgültig überfordert. Peregrine, Heise und Palm standen auf dem Programm. Da ich erst um sieben mit meiner Messearbeit durch war, musste Peregrine entfallen, und es ging gleich zu Heise ins MEC am Raschplatz direkt hinter dem Bahnhof. Hier traf ich dann endlich Ingo, der maßgeblich dafür verantwortlich ist, dass ich bei Heise gelandet bin. Ohne Ingo ist die CeBIT für mich einfach nicht komplett. Legendär sind seine Artikelanfragen. "Kannst Du .." - "Bis wann ..." - "Vielleicht bis um zwei?" Hinter dem letzten und dem allerletzten Termin gibt es bei mir immer noch den Ingo-Termin. :-)

Zweite Station am Donnerstag war dann die Palm Party im Stairway to Heaven, einer ziemlich netten zweigeschossige Bar mit Lounge Music und leckeren Drinks. Nachdem sich Todd Bradley schon relativ früh trollte, gab es später noch eine Situation, bei der ich leider keine Kamera greifbar hatte. Ich stand in einer kleinen Runde mit Cherno Jobatey und Thomas Kuhn. Nach allgemeinem Visitenkarten-Beam-Duell wollte Cherno eine Verabredung für den nächsten Tag notieren. Den Termin schrieb er aber keineswegs in den Tungsten, sondern auf einen kleinen Zettel auf dem Tungsten. Begründung: Backlight kaputt. Ich bin sicher, Palm wird das ganz schnell fixen. :-)

Freitagabend war die CeBIT für mich vorbei. Nach drei Tagen war die Batterie leer. Ich weiß nicht mehr, aber früher ging das auch mal länger.

Best. Notebook. Ever.

by Volker Weber

heidibattery.jpg

After one week of exclusively working with Heidi I have nothing but praise for her. On a single charge she worked for more than four hours with the Airport WLAN card on all the time. This picture shows her at an estimated 2:56 hours left with a 63% charge.

Four hours were good for the whole day at CeBIT since I was able to close the screen at any time and put her in sleep mode. Heidi always woke up in less than three seconds to take some notes during press conferences. I recommend using Dan Schimpf's MacJournal 2.1 for this task.

I also want to thank the fine people at the Palm booth for sharing their network access with me. Sometimes I was able to ride on other people's airwaves but Palm was always an excellent access point. Expect more good news about them soon.

Leben nach Microsoft

by Volker Weber

Von Stefan kommt der Fernsehtipp des Tages:

16.03.03 — 21:15-22:25 — 3SAT

Leben nach Microsoft
Film von Corinna Belz und Regina Schilling, Deutschland 2001

Bei Microsoft in Seattle schuften 30.000 Angestellte bis zu 80 Stunden in der Woche für den reichsten Mann der Welt. Bill Gates war der erste, der junge Leute direkt von der Uni auf den Firmen-Campus holte und frühkapitalistische Prinzipien mit einer neuen Lebensart verband: Arbeiten auf dem Campus mit Sportplätzen, freien Getränken, legerer Kleidung, Beschwörung des Teamgeistes. Doch viele Microsofties haben mittlerweile die Nase voll. Sie sind ausgestiegen aus einem in der Realität knochenharten Job, der mit ungeheurem Leistungsdruck und erbarmungsloser Konkurrenz auch innerhalb der Firma verbunden ist. Die Aktienoptionen, mit denen ihr Einsatz belohnt wurde, machten manche von ihnen zu Millionären. Sieben Entwickler der Programme Windows, Word und Excel erzählen von der Zeit, als eine Zeile Code ihr Lebensinhalt war, und von ihrem Ringen um eine neue, von Microsoft unabhängige Existenz. Wie zum Beispiel Walt, der allein und melancholisch in seiner viel zu großen Villa sitzt und sich an den gnadenlosen Kampf mit den Deadlines für die Fertigstellung der neuen Programme erinnert. Es scheint, als wären die Ex-Microsofties, die früher Computer programmiert haben, durch ihre Arbeit unter einer aggressiven Firmenideologie selbst so stark und nachhaltig programmiert worden, dass kaum mehr Platz für eine eigene Identität bleibt.

Mit diesem Film über Microsoft-Aussteiger werfen die Autorinnen Corinna Belz und Regina Schilling einen kritischen, ernüchternden Blick auf das Gates-Imperium.

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Back-to-Iraq.com 2.0

by Volker Weber

This weblog is a must-read in the next weeks.

I love America, I really do, but this is going beyond all reasonable standards for how a democratic country founded on some of humanity's best ideals is supposed to act. To say the rhetoric coming from Washington is Orwellian is now to understate the case rather than blow it up into hyperbole. There seems to be no attempt to hide the propaganda, indicating a supreme contempt for the discerning facilities of the American people and other peoples of the world.

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I hope he survives long enough to bring us some first hand information. The Pentagon simplifies media relations as John Lettice of The Register reports:

Should war in the Gulf commence, the Pentagon proposes to take radical new steps in media relations - 'unauthorised' journalists will be shot at. Speaking on The Sunday Show on Ireland's RTE1 last Sunday veteran war reporter Kate Adie said she had been warned by a senior Pentagon official that uplinks, i.e. TV broadcasts or satellite phones, that are detected by US aircraft are likely to be fired on.

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vowe.net lives here

by Volker Weber

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660 racks with up to 80 servers each. 4000 to 6000 watts per rack. I find this really impressing.

Welcome Esther !

by Volker Weber

A small step for mankind but a giant leap for vowe.net: I have enrolled Esther Schindler as a new contributor to vowe.net. Esther is one of my favorite fellow journalists and a good friend, I might add. Esther lives in Phoenix, a very nice place I have not yet had the pleasure to see.

One piece of advice: Never get into a fight with Esther. Many people in the OS/2 community have tried that. Nobody ever won. :-)

This is the way to settle a dispute

by Esther Schindler

As the loser said, "It's not nearly as painful as dealing with lawyers."

Bosses at New Zealand telecoms firm TeamTalk have been arguing with radio communications company MCS Global Digital over access to their mobile radio network.

But, worried over the time and fees involved in court hearings, TeamTalk boss David Ware challenged MCS chief Allan Cosford to settle the dispute through an arm-wrestling contest.

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Sun Lashes Out at Microsoft, Others Over Spec

by Esther Schindler

Clint Boulton of internetnews.com has this story:

In another indication that high-tech powers are not always on the same page where Web services are concerned, Sun Microsystems this week blasted Microsoft, IBM, BEA Systems and TIBCO for publishing their own specification for Web Services reliability.

Sun, along with Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, Oracle, Sonic Software, published a Web Services Reliability (WS-Reliability) specification in January 2003. Microsoft, IBM, BEA and TIBCO this week published the WS-ReliableMessaging specification, which analysts say is different, but equally important.

Despite the fact that the specs work to meet the same end -- proper message delivery -- Sun is incensed about the overlap and different approach, which it said will drive a wedge in an industry already fraught with uncertainty and tentativeness.

In a public statement, Sun said: "The announcement by Microsoft, IBM, BEA and TIBCO regarding the publication of two new specifications stands in stark contrast to Sun's philosophy and the larger industry need for standards convergence among vendors in this space." The Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm went so far as to call IBM and Microsoft a "disruptive force" that has "now moved away from a leadership position in Web services standards."

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Now, what would you use this for?

by Esther Schindler

A friend pointed me at this link to a USB toothbrush. I can imagine uses for a USB fan or a USB light (airplane seats can be dark or hot). But under exactly which circumstances would this be the right tool?

I'm not sure I want to think about it.

Mozilla 1.3 Released

by Markus Nolte

Mozilla 1.3 is now available for download. First there was image blocking, then came pop-up blocking, and now we have junk-mail filtering (AKA "spam controls"). Mozilla 1.3 also offers image auto-sizing, an API for rich text editing in webpages, newsgroup filters, dynamic profile switching, nearly 2000 bug fixes, and much more. See the release notes for additional information.

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Thin client for Domino and Exchange

by Volker Weber

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Once in a while you find something really interesting at CeBIT. Not one of the big announcements from the major players, but at a small booth. Thanks to Oliver Stein of Innotek for pointing me to this interesting mail interface developed by x-dot. Their eye catcher was this Becker Radio which is equipipped with a WAP browser. But the x-dot solution also works with any WAP-enabled phone or PDA as well as through a browser. Not just Internet Explorer like Lotus iNotes but any browser. They can interface Domino R5 and 6 servers als well as Exchange 2000. If you don't have those you can also let them keep you mail in a relational database like Postgres or if you want to pay more Oracle and such.

Once I get their software, I will try it on my own server and then tell you more. What I can say today is that it runs on Java application servers and is carrier-grade stuff. But it is also availabe for rent or purchase and can be run even by small shops.

If you want to visit them, x-dot are at the IBM partner booth in hall 4.

Away for CeBIT

by Volker Weber

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Website was broken after a database upgrade on Monday. If this posting goes through I should be all set now. I will need another two days before I can get back to posting any useful stuff.

Do you see the problem?

by Volker Weber

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[via Schockwellenreiter and Uren.Dagen.Nachten]

OS X 10.2.4 may damage your battery

by John Keys

Just spotted the following article on MacFixIt. It seems a large number of people are having problems with battery life on iBooks and PowerBooks after upgrading to OS X 10.2.4. In some cases, users claim the batteries are being permanently damaged. We haven't noticed any problem with Ruth's PB yet, but the problems don't always materialise immediately it would seem.

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Ericsson P800

by Volker Weber

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Stefan sent me a few screenshots of his new Ericsson P800 smartphone. Nice. I wonder what his traffic bill will be with all these embedded images.

Heidi arrived today

by Volker Weber

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About 10 minutes after I left for my client this morning, the box with Heidi, the iBook arrived. The office next door held the box for me until I arrived in the evening. And then it was Christmas again.

Apple's packaging is fantastic. Everything is very well engineered, from the box to the machine, the charger -- wonderful. Apple re-imaged the disk for me with the operating system, so it was almost like a new machine. I had to go through the setup and registering process which only takes a few minutes. I had the machine connected to the Circus WLAN within a matter of minutes and was downloading the latest operating system updater and the security patch that came in last week.

Then it was time for some serious maintenance. I had asked for a small machine with an Airport WLAN card, and that I received. 128 meg of RAM is suprisingly working very well, if you are not too impatient. Since I want to put the machine through its paces I needed to upgrade the memory first. Fortunately I still had some memory on the shelf.

I downloaded the instructions from Apple which btw are nicely done and easy to find on their web site. I did not even care to look through the printed documentation. Here is how it works:

You take out that battery, then open the screen. You take out the keyboard (which you can do without any tools). Underneath the keyboard sits the Airport card attached to the built-in antenna. You pull the card to uncover the RAM lid. So far, so easy. Then I had to open two screws with a very tiny Philips screwdriver. My tools are not bad, but not at this size. So I nearly had to give up until I used ... err, no, I am not going to tell. :-) Underneath the protective cover is the standard SD RAM slot. Inserted 256 meg and closed the whole machine in reverse order.

With 384 meg we are now playing a completely different ball game. So far I don't need any additional speed that a G4 processor would promise to bring. The keyboard is rather nice, much nicer than the Apple Pro keyboard that came with Lucy, and I am typing away on the machine very nicely. Felt right at home in a very small amount of time.

I also put in a DVD from a stack that Henri brought from his latest trip. Just works. Also inserted a blank CD to burn a few files. Just works. Next thing was installing Notes, so I can get to all my data on the Domino machine. 6.0.1 finally has the OS X installer so that worked better than with Lucy. Now I need to run Ben Poole's font resizer to be able to read anything. Anybody at Lotus care to fix this? And yes, it is still ugly as hell.

Final thing: Threw out the Microsoft junk and installed Camino (ex Chimera) and Safari. Dragged the account from Lucy over so I have all my supporting files for iChat, my bookmarks and so forth. Set up done.

Oh, one more thing: Battery live. On my first charge I got 3.5 hours with the WLAN card working all the time. Not too bad. Actually the best I have seen so far. I am sure I can tweak the machine to get even more.

First verdict: If you can get a 12" iBook with Combo drive (CD-R/DVD) really cheap, then do it. Yes, the 12" machine is nicer than the 14". The 12" Powerbook is even nicer, but also a lot more expensive. It all depends on how much you want to spend.

Unpleasant surprise

by Volker Weber

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Sometimes I look at my own site with Internet Explorer and find some unpleasant surprises like this inability to correctly render a PNG file. Hmmh.

Camino 0.7 released

by Volker Weber

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Camino, the artitst formerly known as Chimera, is out. All you mac-heads go get it.

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Lotusphere Special 2003 bei SOFTWERK in Fürth

by Volker Weber

Letztes Jahr war ich auf dieser Veranstaltung und es hat mir gut gefallen:

Hatten Sie die Möglichkeit, die Lotusphere in Orlando vom 27.-30. Januar 2003 zu besuchen?

Wenn nicht, bietet sich Ihnen die Chance, zur Lotusphere Review bei SOFTWERK in Fürth zu kommen. Die Lotusphere Review 2003 findet dieses Jahr zum achten Mal in Folge statt und bietet Ihnen die Schwerpunkte der Lotusphere Orlando komprimiert als 2-Tages-Veranstaltung in deutscher Sprache.

Wann: 25./26. März 2003
Wo: SOFTWERK, Fronmüllerstrasse 71, 90763 Fürth

Henry Walther ( SOFTWERK, Fürth ), Otto Förg ( edcom, München ), Jörg Allmann ( Holistic-Net, Hannover ) und Claus Bettag ( ESIRION, Fürth ) waren für Sie vor Ort. In bewährter Form wurden die vielfältigen Informationen, die dort geboten wurden, selektiert, verdichtet und die wichtigsten Trends ermittelt.

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Open Source: Software-Evolution oder Sackgasse?

by Volker Weber

Sicherer mit Linux oder mit Microsoft - Workshop des CAST-Forums Darmstadt am 20. März in Darmstadt

Monokulturen sind der beste Nährboden für Schädlinge. Was die Landwirtschaft in Jahrzehnten schmerzlich erfahren hat, machen zur Zeit professionelle wie private Nutzer von Informationstechnik im Schnellgang durch. Täglich neue Viren, Trojaner, Sicherheitslücken in Standardsoftware vom Internet-Explorer bis hin zum Flash-Plug-In halten mittlerweile hunderttausende von Systemadministratoren und Millionen von Bürgern in Atem.

Ist freie Software wie Linux, deren Quellcode von allen einsehbar ist, die richtige Antwort auf dieses Problem? Das CAST-Forum (Competence Center for Applied Security Technology) in Darmstadt will versuchen, mit dem Workshop "Sicherheit mit Opensource" am 20. März 2003 von 10 bis 17 Uhr diese Frage zu beantworten. Weitere Informationen und Anmeldung: www.cast-forum.de, Menüpunkt "Veranstaltungen".

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Instant Messaging takes over

by Volker Weber

I can very much relate to this post on Ed Brill's IBM weblog:

In the almost five years since these acquisitions, an incredible cultural change has happened, in our world at IBM but also with many of your business environments.

On a typical day, I'll have somewhere between 20 and 50 instant messaging chats; 10 or more of these will be with external parties (partners, customers, etc.). I'll attend at least two online internal meetings. What I won't do, though, is receive unanticipated telephone calls. My telephone and voice mail volume has dropped by 90% or more over the last five years. The culture at IBM has shifted such that, for many of us, Instant Messaging is the first route-of-contact ...

Same thing here. Try to reach me on AIM as voweXXL. If you dare, try to call me on my mobile. If you don't show your caller id, you might or most likely will be ignored.

Apple iBook coming to vowe's magic flying circus

by Volker Weber

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After having a very good time with Lucy I have asked Apple to send me an iBook to try that out and write about my experience. Before she arrives I have already christened her Heidi. I wonder what she looks like and whether she has a 14" wide body or the slim 12" I requested. :-)

If everything works out as planned Heidi will be my escort for CeBIT. And before someone gets jealous, no, she is not going to stay here.

Groove Networks Closes $38 Million Financing

by Volker Weber

From the corporate press release:

Groove Networks Inc. [...] today announced it has closed a fifth-round financing of $38 million, with investments from all existing investors, including Microsoft Corp., Intel Capital, Accel Partners and private investors. With this financing, the company has now raised more than $155 million since its founding in October 1997 by CEO Ray Ozzie.[...]

Groove Networks said it will use the additional funds to support ongoing operations. [...] Groove Networks also announced it has completed a restructuring of its sales, marketing and services organizations, resulting in the elimination of 58 positions, or 20 percent of its workforce.

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Exercise in democracy

by Volker Weber

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Groove 2.5b Build 1739

by Volker Weber

Groove did a silent update. Again. No notification, no changelog, no information about bugs that have been fixed. Please note this permanent address for the latest build:

http://components.groove.net/Groove/DailyBuilds/latest/GrooveWorkspacePreview.exe

This will save you separate downloads for all your computers and you do not have to apply stupid tricks to catch this file before the installer deletes it from temp. Ignore the "preview" in the file name. This installer will not downgrade you to a preview version if you have licensed the product.


Lotus people downsized - I want names

by Volker Weber

This is a sensitive one. I cannot ask people who still work for Lotus on this matter. They cannot comment without putting themselves in a very uncomfortale place. But this is a community with many inter-connections. Let's get a grip on this to understand how big a problem this is.

Let me tell you what I am not trying to do. I am not trying to run a story. I am not trying to publish a list of people affected.

What I do want to know is: Who is forced to leave? What positions did they have? When I get enough information of that kind I can put a jigsaw puzzle together to better understand what IBM management is really trying to do.

So, if you know any names, please send an email. Use an anonymous account if you must. Yes there is a reason I have switched off comments for this post.

[permanent link to this entry]

What is this green dot trying to tell me?

by Volker Weber

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OK, I give up. Somebody please explain to me what this green dot in Mail.app tells me about the message. Actually the first message in this list from Stefan also had one. Then it went away. It came back. Then I selected the line for a while and it went away. There does not seem to be an explanation for this column. Does anybody have a clue?

Bluetooth is a wonderful thing

by Volker Weber

It is getting harder to pair Bluetooth devices around vowe's magic flying circus. We are at five devices now: Lucy, Bonnie & Clyde, the old Ericsson T39m and the new Sony Ericsson T68i. Every new member in the family has to meet the relatives.

When I was thinking about how we could move address data from Ute's Samsung Q10 (this is one bonsai machine) on to the T39m, I was still too much PC-minded. It turned out to be much easier. The Samsung syncs with Bonnie every day, so all of her address data sitting inside the Palm desktop is always up-to-date on the handheld device. So I simply paired Bonnie with the phone and then just did a "Send category via Bluetooth" from the Palm Names application. Bingo. Life can be easy. :-)

Installing Linux on Lucy

by Volker Weber

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Once I had Windows XP up an running on Lucy I was pretty sure this is the perfect platform to try things. So I am currently installing SuSE Linux 8.1 Professional in another Virtual PC. Must I mention that this works much better than installing Windows XP?

Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war

by Volker Weber

I am not even mildly surprised to read that:

The United States is conducting a secret 'dirty tricks' campaign against UN Security Council delegations in New York as part of its battle to win votes in favour of war against Iraq.

Details of the aggressive surveillance operation, which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the emails of UN delegates in New York, are revealed in a document leaked to The Observer.

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You may also want to read this table.

What are the differences between a vocabulary, a taxonomy, a thesaurus, an ontology, and a meta-model?

by Volker Weber

This excellent overview was contributed by Woody Pidcock of the Boeing company. Many organizations and companies are struggling with these terms and the ideas behind them; this set of definitions will help to clarify.

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Windows eXPeriment

by Volker Weber

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Inspired by Ruth Keys' new Powerbook I also got a few boxes from the shelf and finally installed them. Not exactly in the enviroment they were supposed to run though. :-)

So Windows XP Professional finally got a home, running under Virtual PC on Lucy . I never thought I would become a real Mac-head but you only have to see this sorry piece of software and how Microsoft touts it as the latest and greatest multimedia platform to really feel sorry for those people who have to put up with it every day.

I am going to put it to good use when I need to run some "legacy" Windows app. But first let me burn it on a CD so I never have to do this install again when something trashed this still plain vanilla system.

Ceci n'est pas un blog

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

vowe

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