November 2003

Walrus: Launched October 2003

by Volker Weber

From the current issue of Walrus, a new Canadian magazine:

Why the Poles are in Iraq
by Dawid Warszawski

The last great city dump
by Cooper Langford

Lingua Franchise
by Charles Foran

Small Worlds
by Saira Wasim

"Incompetence on top of deception."
Bill Cameron interviews Clare Short

Interesting analysis.

The Guts of a New Machine

by Volker Weber

Rob Walker wrote a very interesting piece about Apple's iPod for the New York Times: The Guts of a New Machine

Want to write about Domino?

by Esther Schindler

Seems like there are several people qualified here...

From StudioB:

Domino Experts Needed Studio B Corporate Services is looking for authors with Domino expertise to write article-length works. Interested parties should contact Bob Herbstman for details. Applicants are encouraged toinclude a current resume and a list of writing credits with their query. Preference will be given to Studio B clients, but outside authors with experience in the aforementioned topic area are also encouraged to apply.

Suse LINUX 9.0 available by FTP

by Volker Weber

Suse now offers Suse Linux 9.0 free of charge for direct download from the Suse FTP server. The FTP version is the same as the retail version -- minus a few program packages excluded due to licensing restrictions. Installation support also is not included.

The Suse Linux 9.0 FTP version is suitable for installation via ftp, nfs, or hard disk. It is not possible to generate installation CDs from a complete download. A mirror of the complete 9.0 FTP directory on your local network can also be used to install systems via NFS.

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Play it loud

by Volker Weber


Turn up the volume. Click here. Start smiling.

[via Tanja & IT&W]

Bubble Trouble

by Volker Weber


Remember Bubble Shooter? Very similar. Highly addictive.

Slashdot banned

by Volker Weber

I don't know whether this is funny or what. Slashdot is banning my IP because of an "abuse" of their RSS feed. Slashdot FAQ says, I cannot update more often than every 30 minutes. Well, I update every 60 minutes, but there is more than one machine behind the NAT router.

I can update their frontpage every minute. What causes more traffic?

Reviewing Tungsten T3, part 1

by Volker Weber

I am having serious trouble with the spanking new Tungsten T3. Within 24 hours I had to hard reset it three times already because it hangs on a soft reboot with an "Index out of range" error in DataMgr.c. You get to see the Palm logo and before the Tungsten logo shows up, the machine throws an error message and hangs:

DataMgr.c, line 9529, Index out of range

Since I heard about numerous problems that Palm had with the device I tried to install the upgrade patch first, to no avail. It fails to recognize the correct device:


While it would be possible that my machine is already patched it does not say so. Does anybody have an idea what I can do to find out what fails here and why? It might help to look at the version info.

Google has a cached page with exactly this error message from the palmOne support site. It says you should download again because there was an error in the first version that has since been fixed.

Not for me. I tried both the SIT and the ZIP file. Then I tried it again on the PC just to make sure I am not having any side effects that palmOne has not checked. I am getting this file:
6,503,386 bytes
All files in the archive are dated Nov 6, 7:11pm

Still no dice. The Tungsten T3 throws the infamous error message. Since I don't want to reinstall everything again and again after a hard reset, I am going back to the Tungsten T which is working without any defects.

Trustworthy computing, NOT

by Volker Weber

Yahoo! News - SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters):

Microsoft Corp. is investigating a report of seven new security holes in its Internet Explorer browser discovered by a Chinese researcher, a company spokesman said on Friday.

The spokesman said Microsoft is not aware of anyone actively exploiting the holes or of any impact on customers.

Two holes are critical and could allow an attacker to run a program that would delete files, crash the machine or take control of it from a remote location, said Russ Cooper of TruSecure Corp. who edits the NTBugTraq e-mail list.

Java Environment for Palm

by Volker Weber


IBM has developed a Java Micro Edition for Palm devices. You can't download this directly from the PalmOne website but you have to register some arbitrary name, address and other b/s information that I never ever fill out correctly. 92 year old PHD grandma from Albania with purchasing power over 5000 machines per year. You get the drift. Then they want your email address. To make sure you enter a correct one, they send
this download link to your completely arbitrary address.

I just love this idiot marketing. :-)

Another member in the iSight family

by Volker Weber


The population of iSight owners on my AIM buddylist is growing. Thomas is the latest member. Stefan is still waiting for Apple to deliver the camera they have charged him for, so he has to live with the green receiver icon, which is an indication of an iChat AV user. So he is at least on the Mac for now.

And heeeeeere is Thomaaaas:



by Volker Weber


Looks like I need to learn Graffiti 2 after all. More later. :-)


by Volker Weber


[geklaut bei Stefan]

Now it is all clear

by Volker Weber

Smoke Kills

[Thanks, Diddi]

Slingshot Santa

by Volker Weber


How far can you throw him?

My wonder

by Volker Weber

The BBC reports:

British tourists spend far more money when on holiday abroad than their foreign counterparts do when visiting the UK, new figures reveal.

Having seen prices in London I am not surprised.

Konzentration auf das Kerngeschäft?

by Volker Weber

Wie hat man sich das eigentlich vorzustellen?

More >

The supply of idiots is infinite

by Volker Weber


Weighing my options for Lotusphere

by Volker Weber


Looks like IBM wants me at Lotusphere 2004. However they are changing the game plan. In all the years I have been coming there, I arrived Saturday late at night and headed home Thursday. This year they wanted to drop the Sunday, now they want us out Wednesday. I tried to attend sessions on Sunday but was turned away by the room monitors.

It looks like Lotus may have less news to tell. Over the years Lotus had already cut back on the press conferences from three to two and then to one. If I have to leave Wednesday I will for the first time cut back on the one-on-one interviews because I will otherwise not have enough time to publish what I am learning. Everyone with "marketing" in the job title will be dropped from the schedule. I am happy to read the presentation files at my speed though. :-)

On a side note, try to go to which beams you to Now to You end up at, like in "Government Forum".

Kaufen Sie nicht im Apple Store

by Volker Weber

Apple hat wunderbare Produkte, nette Mitarbeiter, aber eine Logistik, die FUBAR ist. Meinen am 31.10. gekauften AppleCare Protection Plan zum Beispiel wollen sie am 1.11. versandt haben. Leider habe ich nur niemals eine Auftragseingangsbestätigung, eine Auftragsbestätigung oder eine Versandbestätigung bekommen. "Da muss was an der E-Mail-Adresse nicht stimmen." Jo, deshalb hat die ja auch bei allen anderen Bestellungen funktioniert. Auch wenn der Versand der Ware nicht funktioniert, eines hat funktioniert. Am 6.11. haben sie brav den Rechnungsbetrag abgebucht. Also vorgestern noch mal reklamiert. Und weil das eine Ware ohne dinglichen Wert ist, haben sie einfach noch mal ein Exemplar rausgeschickt. Kam heute an. Na also.

Dabei ist nicht alles faul im Staate Apple. Bei Olivers PowerBook hat der Service innerhalb einer Woche (Mo angerufen, Di abgeholt, Sa wieder da) ein Combo-Laufwerk getauscht.

Dass das nicht immer so einfach ist, zeigt wieder einmal Stefan's AppleQuest, Folge 5. Man kaufe also seine Äpfel irgendwo, wo man sie gleich raustragen kann, oder bei einem Händler des Vertrauens, keinesfalls aber online bei Apple.

How to uninstall MacGIMP

by Volker Weber

sudo rm -rf /opt /usr/X11R6/lib/libjpeg.9.dylib /usr/X11R6/lib/libjpeg.dylib

Caution: This removes everything from /opt. If you have installed other stuff there you need to follow one of the other hints.

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Lotus Workplace 1.1 System Requirements

by Volker Weber

(from the 85 pages of Release Notes):

Server CPU and memory requirements

This topic describes the minimum server CPU and memory requirements for each server platform supported for version 1.1 of the IBM Lotus Workplace products. More detailed information will be supplied in product deployment and capacity planning guides.

IBM AIX systems

IBM eServer pSeries 630 Model 6E4
4 processors 1.45 GHz or faster

Linux systems

Quad Pentium 4 processor at 1.4 GHz or higher
2 GB or more RAM

More >

IBM Redbook: Building Sametime Enabled Applications

by Volker Weber

This IBM Redbook builds upon two existing Redbooks: Working with Sametime Client Toolkits, SG24-6666 and Working with the Sametime Community Server Toolkit, SG24-6667. Focusing on the latest toolkits available for IBM Lotus Instant Messaging and Lotus Web Conferencing (Sametime) 3, it explores Sametime as a development platform, illustrating how to extend the functionality of Sametime beyond its more commonly known instant messaging and e-meeting hosting features.

It provides a detailed technical discussion and examples for building and integrating Sametime real-time collaborative capabilities, presence awareness, and Web conferencing capabilities into both new and existing applications. In-depth discussions and code examples are provided for topics such as building custom bots, leveraging Sametime functionality through Web Services, and integrating Sametime into workflow applications. Additionally, this redbook reveals how you can customize (brand) your organization's Sametime Meeting Center to more closely match the company's identity. Finally, thorough analysis is given to the topics of Sametime Links and the Sametime Places architecture. Several samples of Sametime applications, with source code, are included.

More >

Sametime on a Mac

by Volker Weber


Finally I got around trying Mercury to access Sametime servers from Snoopy. It is a very early, but also stable implementation. I advise to go try it out.

Managing Data Center Functions with Open Source Tools

by Volker Weber

Comdex 2003 Presentation, lots of links, read here >

Holy moly

by Volker Weber

janvier2004.jpg mai2004.jpg juin2004.jpg aout2004.jpg

Aubade Calendar 2004 available for download.

[Thanks, Boudewijn]

So schnell geht das

by Volker Weber


Ich kann mich noch gut an die 10-Jahre-Feier erinnern. Als wir am nächsten Morgen aufwachten, hatte es geschneit und es war sauglatt in Hannover. Mein Auto hatte damals keine Winterreifen.

Vieles hat sich geändert. Nun besitze ich Winterreifen, sie sind auch drauf und schneien wird es dieses Jahr nicht. Eins hat sich nicht geändert: Meine Begleitung. Und das ist gut so.

Login to AIM on more than one machine

by Volker Weber

Michael Sampson alerts me on this change in the AOL Instant Messaging behaviour:

AOL has quietly switched on a new feature in its instant messaging network that allows users to be concurrently online from multiple locations using the same screenname. Previously, a user would be disconnected from their original AIM session if they signed in from another computer.

Indeed, it does work. You are no longer logged out when you log in on the other machine. This is nice. However, you will accumulate chat invitations on the other machine that you are not currently using.

Vorsicht, fauler Apfel

by Volker Weber

Wer mal lesen will, warum man nicht bei Apple bestellen sollte, der lese, was Stefan gerade so im Dreieck "Kunde, Apple, Logistik" passiert.

Bei mir ist auch noch eine Bestellung offen, um die ich mich mal am Montag bemühen werde.

iMac XXL

by Volker Weber


You can hardly leave the city without Apple coming out with yet another machine. Now there is a third iMac sporting a 20" screen. Holy moly.

Never without my Boblbe-E

by Volker Weber

Today I was carrying my stuff in a very simple Bree backpack (Punch 3). And unfortunately, while picking up my car from a dark parking lot, I stumbled and fell really badly. When I tried to recover from the stumble, the backpack hit my head and I fell forward, tossing the backpack over my head. It crashed in front of me. I bruised one hand, one knee and ripped my trousers over the knee. Only minor damage, luckily.

Inside the backpack was Snoopy. And it survived without a dent or a scratch. This will not happen again. Next time I will use my Boblbe-E Megalopolis — I promise.


It never rains in London

by Volker Weber

Well. almost. I sported a Barbour Jacket - and a hat. But I just used that in the first hour after I arrived. Ben warned me to never get a London native started about the weather, and I followed his advice.

After arriving at Heathrow on time (!) I proceded on the Picadilly line towards Holborn. The hotel was just a hundred meters from the station and I checked in there ahead of my schedule. It turned out to be a really nice place. An hour later Ben arrived and we headed towards the Melton Mowbray, an English pub just a few blocks away from the hotel. Had a nice chat with him, we drank a few Chiswick and then I headed back to the hotel for a nice and quiet sleep.

Tuesday was walking day. I headed east to St.Paul's, across the wobbly bridge to Tate Modern, and from there all the way to the Wheel and back across the river to Westminster. The Tate had a breathtaking exhibition, just look at the picture over at my photo site. After visiting Westminster Abbey I headed back on the bus towards Holborn for a short nap. In the afternoon I spent a few hours in the Westend and the Picadilly area where I tried the huge WiFi hotspot. After I returned to the hotel my feet were really, really sore. Not used to that much walking anymore.

Wednesday morning I spent at the British Museum before heading back to the airport. No rain at all on both days. I must have been so lucky. Had a great time in London, and there is so much more to see. I could probably spend a whole week there without getting bored.

Where in the world ...

by Volker Weber


This is certainly the most geeky thing I ever did. Go ahead and tell me what I am doing here. :-)

Why Microsoft wants Google

by Volker Weber

I am no big fan of the Inquirer, but this story is interesting:

Here's an exercise for all to try. Search Google for Linux Windows That gets you about 14 million pages, even with the English preference or filter turned on. Now, got to and search the Microsoft way for the same two words. You get exactly 18 pages. The word censorship doesn't seem to do justice to what Microsoft has done to a msn user who wants to compare Linux with Windows, does it?

Here's another exercise. Search msn for Linux. Note that the third item returned is and that the page no longer exists. The fourth item deals with this topic "Alternatives to Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP Learn about the Microsoft alternatives and how to move to them from open source products."

The mind boggles at the amount of fear that Microsoft has that people who search the Internet for knowledge, answers and understanding.

Let's try this. Search MSN for Linux and then search Google for Linux. 365 hits vs. 65,100,000. MSN puts Amazon and eBay first, directly followed by Microsoft.

This is ridiculous.

Learning Java

by Volker Weber

BlueJ is an integrated Java development environment specifically aimed at teaching and learning object-oriented programming.BlueJ offers unique interaction facilities that allow the interactive creation of objects and interactive invocation and testing of individual methods. The environment is ideal for small scale development and beginners getting into Java. It features sophisticated visualisation tools and an easy-to-use interface.

More >

[via Ben Poole]

Fate Hani: I loathe Redhat users

by Volker Weber

What I cannot fathom is why anyone reasonably well paid would choose to run linux as a desktop, given free choice in the matter. If you wanted compliance and cohabitation with the rest of the world, you'd use Windows. If you were a busy kinda person and had real work to do, you'd use windows or OSX. If you wanted the power of unix and cohabitation with the rest of the world, you'd use OSX. If you wanted to play games, you'd use Windows.

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Free headset included

by Volker Weber


Old heroes never die. They become strategic products, are put into maintenance mode in India, and then are pitched by spammers.

I wonder how this will work

by Volker Weber

Oh, I can see you ask your boss that you want to attend IBM's developerWorks conference.

"So, where is it?"
"Hmmh, in New York"
"And when?"
"It kicks off Sunday night on May 23rd."
"Is it a two day or a three day conference?"
"It is a full week."
"A full week? I want you back in the office Thursday."
"Oh, that's kind of hard."
"We don't return to New York before Monday morning."
"Don't return?"
"Oh, well, it ... eh ... is on a cruise ship in the Carribean."

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SubEthaEdit 1.1.5 released

by Volker Weber


SubEthaEdit, the collaborative editor, has been updated to version 1.1.5. New features and improvements:

- Fixed crashes on Panther
- Fixed bug with Project Builder/Xcode integration and multiple views
- Rendezvous multihoming support
- New 'Automatic' encoding option
- Better Unicode support (BOM recognition)
- Handling for invalid UTF-8 documents (no more emtpy documents)

SubEthaEdit requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher. This update is highly recommended.

More >

IGS thinks Linux is ready for the desktop

by Volker Weber

Open Source Desktop - Directions for Today and Tomorrow
Sam Docknevich, Linux and Grid Services Executive
IBM Global Services

Old, but still interesting

by Volker Weber

Just ran across this piece by Yaron Y. Goland on life as it is (was?) at Microsoft:

I first heard about it on NPR. Windows XP had a major security flaw [1,2], even Microsoft was saying that this one was serious. That got my attention as Microsoft generally denies the importance of security flaws claiming that the flaw 'isn't in the wild' or 'doesn't affect real users' or 'has never been used', etc. What really focused my attention was when I found out that the flaw was in a system called Universal Plug and Play. I was the network architect for UPnP and was the lead author for SSDP, the algorithm at the center of the security hole. You can imagine the shape my stomach was in at the thought that I might be responsible for a security hole so egregious that even Microsoft agreed it was a problem.

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Too much time on your hand?

by Volker Weber

You will need:

- a lime
- a very sharp knife
- a sedated cat

More >

More like this

by Volker Weber


88% charge, more than 4 hours, this is closer to reality but still a bit optimistic. Notice that WLAN is connected (and has excellent reception), BlueTooth is not. What you can't see is that backlight is at about 50%. It's in the middle of the night and you actually don't need more backlight then. :-)

What else is in the toolbar? From left to right: Launchbar, BlueTooth, iChat AV, WLAN, speaker volume, TypeIt4Me, battery, day of week, time.


by Volker Weber

Jon Udell:

A reader wrote to point out that is categorized bySurfControl as "Usenet News" and is, therefore, being blocked for people in organizations that deploy SurfControl's server-based filter.

As is vowe dot net. Brave new world.

Picture of the week

by Volker Weber


Photo: Frank Sturm

Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

In the manual it said: 'For use with Windows95, 98, or better.' So I installed LINUX...

— Anonymous

What is the Design Pattern Toolkit?

by Volker Weber

The Design Pattern Toolkit is an Eclipse-enabled tool for generating applications based on customizable model-driven architecture patterns. This plug-in can speed up the development of common types of applications by the use of patterns that capture best (or current) practices for the design and implementation of those applications. Users apply patterns to information encoded in XML files to generate multiple Eclipse resources of multiple types that together make up an application. The toolkit has a component for pattern-based resource generation as well as a component that supports pattern development and distribution.

To use the Design Pattern Toolkit, you need Eclipse 2.x or IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer 5.x.

More >

Smart move

by Volker Weber


Looking at my buddylist in iChat AV I see yet another person with this little green icon. Which means I can call him over the Internet without a phone. Which also means that he is using a Mac. Congratulations, Stefan!

I know that his icon will change really soon from a phone to a camera. That is, after TNT has finally delivered his iSight. :-)

Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

I like this Ambuj Goyal quote:

It is to Microsoft's advantage to say Notes/Domino is dead. We would need to have an intelligence test if we were going to take a 110 million-user base and screw that up.

Why? Because it is very straightforward. And because I don't see that IBM would be unable to screw that up.

Not quite

by Volker Weber


Battery life is getting better with each charge for Snoopy. It is not the seven+ hours you see above. But with the Airport card on I am getting around four hours. When I switch if off then it is closer to five hours.

Notes 6.5 on Panther

by Volker Weber

John Gruber:

Panther introduces significant changes to Mac OS X's text services, providing new formatting doodads, ranging from the mostly-useless-but-flashy (e.g. text shadows and outlined letterforms) to the genuinely useful (e.g. true typographic small caps and better ligature support).

I don't know whether it's Panther or the Notes 6.5 update, but fonts no longer look ugly with Notes on OS X. I used Silk to enable antialiasing on Jaguar but this haxie was broken with Panther. So I uninstalled it. I later realized that fonts now look OK in Notes, but I simply don't know whether it was IBM that changed Notes or Apple that changed Panther. And actually, I don't really care. :-)


by Volker Weber


LH4732 FRA LHR 17NOV03 1500 1540
LH4731 LHR FRA 19NOV03 1355 1630

Thanks for all your hints. I shall be staying here. So if anybody wants to have a beer, you know where I will be. Once I am there, I will be easily reached by SMS to +49-171-38-295-38.

Do you have a long commute?

by Volker Weber

Then this may be the perfect home for you.

Schlauer Japaner

by Volker Weber

Der erste Schultag in einer amerikanischen Schule. Die Klassenlehrerin stellt der Klasse einen neuen Schüler vor, Sakiro Suzuki (der Sohn des Vorstandsvorsitzenden von Sony). Die Stunde beginnt: Klassenlehrerin: "Mal sehen wer die amerikanische Kulturgeschichte beherrscht, wer hat gesagt: Gebt mir die Freiheit oder den Tod?" Mucksmäuschenstill in der Klasse, Suzuki hebt die Hand:"Patrick Henry 1775 in Philadelphia." - "Sehr gut Suzuki."

Und wer hat gesagt: "Der Staat ist das Volk, das Volk darf nicht untergehen." Suzuki steht auf: "Abraham Lincoln 1863 in Washington." Die Klassenlehrerin schaut auf ihre Schuler und sagt: "Schämt Euch, Suzuki ist Japaner und kennt die amerikanische Geschichte besser als ihr."

Man hört eine leise Stimme aus dem Hintergrund: "Leckt mich am Arsch, ihr Scheißjapaner" "Wer hat das gesagt?" ruft die Lehrerin. Suzuki hebt die Hand und ohne zu warten sagt er: "General McArthur 1942 beim Kanal von Panama und Lee Iacocca 1982 bei der Versammlung des Aufsichtsrats von Generalmotors."

Die Klasse ist superstill, von hinten hört man "Ich muss gleich kotzen." Die Lehrerin schreit: "Wer war das?" Suzuki antwortet: "George Bush Senjor zum japanischen ersten Minister Tanaka 1991 während des Mittagsmahl in Tokyo."

Einer der Schüler steht auf und ruft sauer: "Blas mir einen" Die Lehrerin aufgebracht: "Jetzt ist Schluss, wer war das jetzt?" Suzuki ohne mit der Wimper zu zucken "Bill Clinton zu Monica Levinsky 1997 in Washington im ovalen Saal des Weißen Hauses."

Ein anderer Schüler steht auf und schreit "Suzuki, du Scheißstück" Und Suzuki: "Valentino Rossi in Ryo beim Gran Prix Motorradrennen in Südafrica 2002." Die Klasse verfällt in Hysterie, die Lehrerin fällt in Ohnmacht, die Tür geht auf und der Direktor kommt herein: "Scheiße, ich habe noch nie so ein Durcheinander gesehen" Suzuki: "Bundeskanzler Schröder nachdem ihm die Haushaltsrechnung von Finanzminister Eichel vorgelegt wurde."

[Danke, John]

First Panther update available

by Volker Weber

The 10.3.1 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for the following applications, services and technologies: FileVault, Printing, WebDav, and FireWire 800 drives. This update also includes the latest Security Updates.

Sitting on the fence regarding a Panther upgrade?

by Volker Weber

In case you are still sitting on the fence and cannot decide wether you want to upgrade your Mac to Panther, you may want to read this very good and thorough review by John Siracusa. It also touches on the subject of older Macs, in this case an iBook G3/400 with 384MB RAM; an ATI Rage 128 video card with 16MB of VRAM:

It's hard not to like an OS upgrade that makes your computer faster. On both the lowly G3/400 and the mighty dual G5 (which started its life running Jaguar), upgrading to Panther provided an immediate and noticeable performance improvement. What more is there to say? Panther's performance lives up to its intimidating branding.

The question is not to get Panther or not. It is about getting a new iBook with Panther or keeping the old one. :-)

Now imagine this

by Volker Weber

Got up two hours early, took the train to Kassel. Spent all day at a busy conference. Finally had a few drinks in the evening, maybe four beers, waited outside in the cold for the shuttle bus, was heading home close to midnight and then had to fight Ed, who really, really needed to take a picture. :-)

What's going on in London next week?

by Volker Weber


If I were to spend two nights in London next week, arriving Monday 15:40, going back Wednesday at 12:55, how could I spend my time and enjoy myself there? I feel like taking a few days off and would have the opportunity.

Synagogues in Germany - A Virtual Reconstruction

by Volker Weber


Today, 65 years ago, hundreds of Synagogues were destroyed in Germany. Now architecture students in Germany are rebuilding synagogues destroyed by the Nazis, in a virtual project viewable over the Internet. The idea came to Marc Grellert, a student turned lecturer at Darmstadt Technical University, after an arson attack on one of Germany's remaining synagogues in the town of Lübeck in 1994.

As in many parts of this country, the citiizens of Darmstadt have built a new synagogue for the Jewish community, 50 years after the three synagogues in this city were destroyed.

Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

In a world of twelve-year-olds in sexy boots and nans in sparkly minidresses, the surest way to tell the prostitute walking into a hotel at Heathrow is to look for the lady in the designer suit. Fact.

Belle de Jour, added to my blog roll

Installing Windows XP

by Volker Weber


Microsoft sent me a copy of Office:Mac Professional which includes Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Virtual PC 6.1, the artist formerly known as Connectix Virtual PC.

Installing Virtual PC is a breeze. Then you have the option to also install XP. It comes in a huge 500++ meg ZIP file, so you can skip most steps required to get it up and running. However you have to go through the usual activation process. Since the online activation failed I had to go through the telephone process. Next stop: Windows Update. Despite the fact that my copy already included service pack 1, it still lists 27 fixes, 11 of them critical. Although it can list them it still fails to download and install. Oh dear.

This has taken much longer already than all the other applications on Snoopy.

Snoopy has landed

by Volker Weber


Understanding Bill Gates

by Volker Weber

eWeek quotes Larry Ellison:

One telephone conversation with Gates in 1993 sticks in Ellison's mind. "It was the most interesting conversation I've ever had with Bill, and the most revealing. It was around eleven o'clock in the morning, and we were on the phone discussing some technical issue, I don't remember what it was. Anyway, I didn't agree with him on some point, and I explained my reasoning. Bill says, 'I'll have to think about that, I'll call you back.' Then I get this call at four in the afternoon and it's Bill continuing the conversation with 'Yeah, I think you're right about that, but what about A and B and C?' I said, 'Bill, have you been thinking about this for the last five hours?' He said, yes, he had, it was an important issue and he wanted to get it right. Now Bill wanted to continue the discussion and analyze the implications of it all. I was just stunned. He had taken the time and effort to think it all through and had decided I was right and he was wrong. Now, most people hate to admit they're wrong, but it didn't bother Bill one bit. All he cared about was what was right, not who was right. That's what makes Bill very, very dangerous.

Indeed. The majority of people I dealt with are more concerned about who is right. This is a major disctraction. If you can get over that, it will set your mind free.

SuSE Linux 9

by Volker Weber


Now this was smooth sailing. Unpacked the CDs, put them in a machine that is currently idle. Without paying a lot of attention installed it. It just works. Then I took away some of the decorations and basically went to a Windows 2000 look-alike.

It is going to be a bit harder on Kermit with its NVidia Controller and the digital display. At least it was with RedHat 9.

Steve loves the iPod

by Volker Weber

The other Steve as well.

Rotten logistics

by Volker Weber


Apple, this is ridiculous.

The iBook, ordered two weeks ago, left the factory nine days ago. It still has not found its way here. The tracking system is not updated for days and calls to the aftersales support will only let me have 30 minutes of free music charged to your telephone bill, a call center agent that speaks german with an irish accent, but can't do anything but read the numbers aloud from the tracking system that does not have any meaningful information anyway.

Now let's go to a number of carriers and use Apple's tracking number as a reference number, not a consignment number. Bingo, TNT has the package:




by Volker Weber

From the IBM Lotus Software Press Room:

The 1.1 version of the Lotus Workplace family of products will be available for download in Q4 2003. IBM Lotus Workplace Messaging 1.1 will be available for $29 per user, while the IBM Lotus Workplace Team Collaboration 1.1 will be available for $89 per user. IBM Lotus Workplace Collaborative Learning 1.1 will be available for $35 per user, and IBM Lotus Workplace Web Content Management 1.1 will be available for $49,999 per CPU.

50000 (Fiftythousand) US-Dollars per processor -- OK, minus 1 -- for a web content management system? Holy cow.

Now let's take a look at the german press release that was sent out by mail to the press:


Well, we use a comma as the decimal point and a point as a separator for thousands and millions. Somebody was so smart to think there was a typo and just chopped off one nine. 49.99 per CPU -- that would be quite a deal.

To top it off, the german release says "ab sofort" (immediately) while the US release says "will be available for download in Q4 2003". This proves again that it is highly advisable to check the sources.


by Volker Weber

Don't try this at home.

Notes 6 on OS/2

by Volker Weber

Notes 6 on OS/2. Impossible? Think again.

Ab nach Kassel

by Volker Weber


Yours truly, The Libby™ and Ed Brill at the DNUG Konferenz in Kassel.

Novell's buying SUSE

by Esther Schindler

From the press release:

- Novell will be the only $1 billion software company with a Linux distribution and the worldwide technical staff to support it
- Novell/SUSE LINUX to become the world's largest supplier of desktop-to-server Linux solutions and technical support
- Customers to gain worldwide technical support for enterprise Linux solutions from a company with more than 20 years of operating system experience
- IBM and Novell to negotiate extensions to commercial agreement with Novell/SUSE LINUX to support the IBM eServer line

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Unconfirmed: Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf may have a new job

by Volker Weber


Our aim and purpose is bringing to the users all good things created by Microsoft in an handy way, and to fight the prejudice against Microsoft products created by the competition, who showed several times to be incapable to create products that are both innovative and user friendly, and fights with unfair means like fueling hacker activities and bringing Microsoft into useless court trials, forcing them to spend enormous amounts of resources that could have been used in research and development, thus slowing innovation.

Let's take a look at what this site is running.

Pac-Man implemented in Excel

by Volker Weber

Ned Batchelder writes:

This has got to win some kind of award for the most complete game implemented on the least-capable platform: Pac-Man for Excel. It's a complete, playable, faithful implementation of the arcade Pac-Man game, written in Excel macros, with pixels of the game displayed by changing the background colors of minutely-sized cells! I'm flabbergasted. I don't even know enough about scripting Excel to be able to read the code this guy has written.

And indeed, it does work. Unbelievable.

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It's getting dark here

by Volker Weber


It's getting dark early this time of the year. About time to get the lights out.

i-Wear Fashion Show

by Esther Schindler

I admit that I'm fascinated by the concept of intelligent clothing. And terrified, too, from the possibilities of security and privacy breaches. Do I really want someone to hack my underwear?

Too bad, then, that I won't be able to attend the i-WEAR fashion show, which is being held in Paris, Barcelona, and Berlin.

The project takes place in the framework of the European Science and Technology Week, part of the European Union’s research programme to inform the public about the latest science and technology developments and trends. The event in Paris takes place on 5 November at 18:00 at Atelier Richelieu 60, rue de Richelieu (Palais de Richelieu).

If anybody is willing to attend, I bet I could even find a freelance budget at InformIT to cover a short article about the technological advances. (It's... networking. Yeah. Mention .NET or Windows system administration, and we'll be okay.)

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To be published 1Q2004

by Volker Weber


Congratulations, Gerold !

Hidden Microsoft Settings

by Volker Weber


Paul Westlake (who seems to hate everything MS) claims he found this hidden dialog in Microsoft Word and Excel. I can tell from first hand experience that those features do exist.


by Volker Weber

Stefan Rubner has written a really nice tutorial on how to set up a remote boot for your clients:

With many of the new PCs not being equipped with a floppy drive anymore, there's a chance that a situation will come up where you need to boot the machine from a remote boot image. Reasons may be that your optical drive is broken or - like in my case - the computer in question neither has a floppy nor an optical drive at all and you need to rescue some data from the broken hard drive or you just want to reinstall from a previous backup image.

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iTunes track to iChat status

by Volker Weber


Once you start working with a Mac you don't spend as much time fixing your computer as before. So you need new ways to spend all that extra time. That must be the reason that people start writing these nice and utterly useless hacks like this one. It automatically sets the iChat status message to the currently playing track in iTunes. No, you won't see it in AOL Instant Messenger ...

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Hot tub

by Volker Weber


I think I need a new bath.

Dilbert as RSS feed

by Volker Weber

Now this is cool. Your daily Dilbert as an RSS feed. Find more comics as RSS feeds here.

[Thanks, Urs!]

Photo Booth

by Volker Weber

This is my all time favorite ad. You may want to take a look at the rest.

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


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