January 2004

Don't try this at home

by Volker Weber


Please help me put names to faces

by Volker Weber

I met so many people at Lotusphere and I am already starting to forget faces. Especially at the Gonzo event there were so many new faces that I have a hard time remembering them.

You could really, really help me, if you upload your picture to this open gallery. When you add the photo there is a caption field where you can enter your name (company and website if applicable). If there is more than one person in the picture, name them from left to right.

Everyone should be able to recognize you from the picture. Example: John Head does not look like the guy on his web page. :-)

New editor at vowe's magic flying circus

by Volker Weber

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome our new fellow editor Ken Porter, a.k.a. Joe Canadian. He will introduce himself later. I am happy to have him on board.

Small cars, large cars

by Volker Weber


I have driven small cars for years. Was looking at even smaller ones. Driving the Blazer opened my eyes to the fact that having a lot of space is not bad at all. A Blazer works nice at 60 mph which is not good enough here. It needs to be comfortable with 100 to 120. There are some german and swedish cars that would do that. :-)

I only wish they would sell them here for the same price they charge in the US. I would not feel so ripped off.

24 stamps and 22 states later

by Volker Weber

My passport has 24 stamps from US immigration. Soon I will need a new one since they only last 10 years. Time to look up the states I have visited so far. 22 - not bad for a European.

Im Bett mit Microsoft

by Volker Weber

Sehr schön erklärt. Microsofts Freier sind am falschen Ende des Blow-Jobs und merken es gar nicht. :-)

[via Whocares]

Herbie G.

by Volker Weber

Ich hör jetzt wieder Kinderlieder.

Boys need toys

by Volker Weber

Canon today has announced the successor to the EOS-1D. Dubbed the EOS-1D Mark II, the 1-2 punch of the new model is its ability to record 8.2 million pixel photos at a sprightly 8.5 fps, making it the first digital SLR ever to incorporate truly high resolution image capture and an ultra-quick frame rate into a single camera model.

More >

Insider jokes

by Volker Weber

New joke after the opening session: "Hey, did you hear that it will be possible to display Domino data in a browser?"

"Notice that they didn't promise Print."


First two weeks of Google AdSense

by Volker Weber

This seems to work quite well. I spoke to quite a few persons at Lotusphere about them and the general consensus was that the site deserves them. Most people argue that it is a way to pay back for the work that goes into the site. There are also some outspoken critics and I think they have valid points. Everyone is entitled to have an opion that disagrees with mine. Let's talk about some bad and some good ideas.

Bad idea: Opening a bunch of pages and clicking on all the ads, in order to support the site. Google detects that. If you look through your cookies you will find some interesting ones. Also, it is highly unlikely that they would get a large number of clicks from the same IP in a short period of time, especially if the normal click trough rate is a few percent only. Conclusion: If you are trying to support me that way, you are doing something that will make Google angry.

Good idea: When you see an interesting ad, then click it. That is what they are for. Mozilla and Safari allow you to open them in a different window or tab when you crtl-click (Windows/Linux) or cmd-click (Mac) them. So far, Google is not very good at placing the right ads here, but that will improve.

Bad idea: Read ads but ignore them completely. Google does not place them here to be ignored, and in contrast to banner ads they don't compensate for the display alone. There has to be a click-through. Reminder: Don't inflate the click-throughs. Google won't like that.

Very bad idea: Write an agent that spiders the site and clicks all ads. There is a couple of thousands ads on the site and that would blow the click-through rate through the roof. Google won't like that.

Finally: Google won't allow me to click my own ads. That would be unethical to me anyway. But I may click on ads at other people's sites. Which I have started to do. Call it tit-for-tat but it makes good business sense to me. A good deal is where both parties think they get more than they give.

Corollary: You will find that Google sets a cookie that identifies you. They can track what you are searching for. It may be a good idea to delete that once in a while. It may also be a good idea to investigate which cookies AdSense sets and when.

We will rock you

by Volker Weber

Britney, Beyonce, Pink, Brian May and Roger Taylor: I want this clip.

Apple's Super Bowl XXXVIII Ad

by Volker Weber


Usability Labs

by Volker Weber

.. for Apple, Microsoft and Lotus

More >

[Thanks, Wolfgang]

Use Mac as a fancy external drive

by Volker Weber


A lot of people don't seem to know this. When you hold "T" while a Mac is booting it goes into a firewire target disk mode. Connect this machine now with a firewire cable to a different machine and it shows up there as an external disk. This is the easiest way to exchange a whole bunch of files.

Security, Microsoft style

by Volker Weber

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 833786 - Steps that you can take to help identify and to help protect yourself from deceptive (spoofed) Web sites and malicious hyperlinks:

The most effective step that you can take to help protect yourself from malicious hyperlinks is not to click them. Rather, type the URL of your intended destination in the address bar yourself. By manually typing the URL in the address bar, you can verify the information that Internet Explorer uses to access the destination Web site. To do so, type the URL in the Address bar, and then press ENTER.

May I suggest to use a different software? Mozilla is out, free, and better.

Looking for pictures from Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

I did not have a badge for my photographer and Lotus seems to be unable to supply any pictures from Lotusphere. Do you have any interesting pictures, say - for instance - from the exhibition hall? I will be looking for one or two 2-megapixel shots. No small groups or flash photos against a dark background.

Be careful before you upgrade to Groove Preview 2.5j

by Volker Weber

Groove Network proves again that I don't understand this company. With the latest product patch it seems to limit the available bandwidth 60 days after installing the preview edition, thus rendering the client (even) slower. If you can't make the for-$$s-client better, you can revert to make the for-free-client worse, I assume?

More Lotusphere fun

by Volker Weber


As it was cold yesterday, the minders had to wear coats. What else is wrong in this picture?

[Thanks, Alexander]

FRA, Terminal 2, 10:00 am

by Volker Weber


12 days of summer are over.

Been there, done that, did not get the T-shirt

by Volker Weber

Received this e-mail:

From: evaluation@online2004.com
Subject: Lotusphere 2004 Conference Evaluation
Date: 27. Januar 2004 21:12:44 GMT-05:00
To: vowe@vowe.de
Reply-To: evaluation@online2004.com

New This Year! Online Conference Evaluation Form

This year we are offering the Overall Conference Evaluation Form online. All you need to do is go to the following URL and click on "Online Survey". When prompted please enter your six digit numeric user name, (in the lower right hand side of your badge), and complete the form. Be sure to click on the submit button when you are finished.

Once the form has been submitted, beginning at 1PM on Wednesday, proceed to Australia 3 in the Dolphin Convention Foyer. The customer service representatives will scan your badge and confirm that we have received your evaluation and in return you will receive a Lotusphere 2004 T-shirt.

We appreciate your feedback which helps us to improve Lotusphere each year.

Went to the provided URL and filled out a questionaire with 28 questions, which took about 10 minutes. Now comes the interesting part:

Be sure to click on the submit button when you are finished.

For some reason there is no submit button on the form. May be a "you have to use Internet Explorer" problem. So I take this to the people who give out the T-shirts. The guy is not interested at all. He looks at my badge and says:

"Press does not get a T-shirt."

Finally this has been settled

by Volker Weber

Did Linux steal code from SCO? Take a look.

Leserbrief des Tages

by Volker Weber

Manchmal fängt der Tag gut an:

Subject: Einstiegspreis
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 11:00:48 +0100

Hallo Herr Weber,

da ist Ihnen ein Rechenfehler unterlaufen,

400 User a 400 Dollar macht nach Adam Riese 16.000 und nicht 160.000.
xxxxxx xxxxxxx

Dipl. Math. xxxxxx xxxxxxx



by Markus Nolte


Don't try this at home

by Volker Weber


Social networks vs. real life

by Volker Weber

Heiko Hebig hits it:

Social networks rock. I am now a member at LinkedIn, openBC, Friendster, Friendity, Orkut and Ryze. And guess what? This afternoon I spent three hours evaluating my conjoint network of friends and acquaintances. The surprising result: I actually already know everyone. I happen to be friends with every CEO on this planet. I also already know all single women in Texas. I don't need to go out any longer.

I hope you did not miss the <sarcasm> tags. :-)

Lotusphere Sessions on your iPod

by Volker Weber


SpherePod is a 172K (uncompressed) calendar file that can be copied onto your iPod from either a Mac or a PC giving you the full Lotusphere session schedule in your iPod's calendar.

More >

1984 Parody

by Volker Weber


[via IT&W]

Notes databases larger than 2GB on a Mac

by Volker Weber

Jim Vaselopulos of PSC alerted me yesterday of IBM SPR #ARUI5NLKEJ which does not seem to be in the Domino Fix List Database. So, I cannot give you the exact description. In a nutshell: You cannot have a database larger than 2 GB on the Mac 6.x Notes client. Bummer. Now I know why the replicator throws the "operating system error" when I try to replicate my application.

This issue is supposed to be resolved in 6.0.4 and 6.5.1. Holding my breath.

How to make sure I don't talk to you

by Volker Weber

Rule #1: Start an IM conversation with "Hi" and nothing but "Hi".

Rule #2: Don't introduce yourself.

Rule #3: If asked who you are, stay vague.

Sigh, I guess I lost another reader today. Maybe I don't get it. But would you talk to somebody on the phone who refuses to identify himself? I have gotten to the point, where I don't even pick up the phone if you don't show your caller-ID. Wink, wink, Oliver. :-)

Sun sets at Dolphin

by Volker Weber


[larger photo here]

Two hours to the Gonzo party at the ESPN. Lots of new hardware to try out. Got myself an Apple Wireless Mouse and a Griffin PowerMate. Also got around to install the full iLife '04 suite.

Back online

by Volker Weber

vowe has entered the zone. :-)

Just checked into the Swan #421. Completely redecorated their rooms since I last stayed here. Finally a bed with a decent blanket. :-)

If you want to leave your whereabouts this is the place.

I like iChat...

by Esther Schindler

...but not this much.

Want to be a beta tester for iChatnaked.com? Just send us an e-mail and let us know that you would like to beta test iChatnaked.com.

More >

First 130 pictures uploaded

by Volker Weber

... make that 170. :-)

More >

Straczynski's Cat, Buddy

by Esther Schindler

On Friday, our cat Dymaxion (Max) died in my arms. Max (the gold mostly-Maine-Coon in the back of this photo, which is about 5 years old) was nearly 19 years old, and we'd had him since kittenhood -- all fluff and buzzes, as Heinlein would say. He had a full life, with no regrets (not that cats regret anything -- everything they do is intentional, just ask them). Max was sweet, loyal, affectionate - and as dumb as a box of rocks.

So we're grieving, but for ourselves, not for him. And I've gotten really tired of being sad, so I want to share this with you, instead. It's a story about how Buddy adopted jms (the guy behind Babylon 5, if you happen to be a fan of the TV show), and I think you'll enjoy it even if you aren't a B5 or a cat person.

I got back to the house around 6:00 p.m. or so, went back...no sound. I leaned into the long tube, and...well, mewed. Over and over. I'd just about given up, and was ready to assume he had indeed gotten out safely, when I mewed one last time...and from deep underground, he mewed back.

He was still in there. I think he must have gone to sleep or been too scared to respond earlier. Now he was calling back in a big way. And the sound was coming from between that tube and the one nearby which was a sheer drop to a second maze of tubes beneath.

More >

Safe and sound

by Volker Weber

Just heard that DL 27, the flight we got on Saturday was diverted to Ireland this Sunday because of a terror alert. Boy, were we lucky. At best we would have been stuck for hours on end at the airport in Shannon.

It got me started thinking what I would do if I found a piece of paper in a lavatory threatening a bombing. This has got be a joke, right? But how high would you gamble if you were sitting with 140 people on a plane at 30000 feet in the middle of nowhere.

We however had a very uneventful travel, excellent seating at the emergency exit in coach, no delay, zero wait at Immigration. Weather was nice in Orlando and we picked up a biggish Chevrolet Blazer. Yesterday we had torrential rains in the morning during the ride down to the coast -- did not miss the convertible that we usually rent -- but it cleared up in the afternoon. Today it was all sun and a few clouds. Getting a nice tan. :-)

Posting from a simple drive-by connection. This is so easy nowadays. Open a stumbler, drive through a residential neighborhood until you pick a a WLAN and connect. I got my mail, you got your answers where necessary. I am making myself invisible again.

Zero, liftoff

by Volker Weber


All packed and ready to go. See you all on the other side, hopefully with tons of new pictures. Wish me well.

This customer is not an idiot

by Volker Weber

Go read this story by Michael O'Connor Clarke. And then let's get out and rewrite all those customer support scripts and applications.

Tall Latte Index

by Volker Weber

The Economist has been pondering a new idea:

What can the price of Starbucks coffee, now served in as many as 32 countries, tell us about exchange rates? Readers may be familiar with The Economist's long-running Big Mac index: by comparing burger prices around the world, it offers a light-hearted guide to whether currencies are at their "correct" level against the dollar. Given the dollar's recent plunge against the euro and growing complaints that China is unfairly holding down its currency, we cannot resist testing whether a Starbucks "tall latte index" reaches the same conclusions as our Big Mac index. Both are based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP). This says that, in the long run, exchange rates should move towards levels that equalise the prices of a basket of goods and services in different countries - ie, a dollar should buy the same everywhere.

As a traveller I now find it quite interesting that the Euro seems to be overvalued by as much as 33% against the Dollar. This is good for my travel, but bad for our Economy.

Eight days to the 20th anniverary

by Volker Weber

Saturday of next week marks the 20th anniverary of the Mac. I have no idea what Apple has up their sleeves but I would be very suprised if they let this day pass without anything special. What I do know is, I intend to be at an Apple store on the 24th.

What is your expectation? Will the 24th just pass by or what is it that Apple intends to do?

Google ads here to stay for a while

by Volker Weber

A few days ago I added Google ads to the individual posts. I skipped the front page as well as all of the other semi-static pages, but individual archives of the blog posts now carry two text ads below the text and right above the comments section.

I have discussed this arrangement (in german) the very next day and received some mixed results. Some people are bothered, some think they are OK. A number of different placements have been suggested.

I played around with different designs, but the current arrangement turned out to be the best compromise. There is a small trickle of income from the ads. Not enough to cover the amount of work that goes into the site, but enough to keep them, at least for a while.

A big thank you to all that have voiced their support. It is really nice to see that you are paying forward by supporting this initiative. What I found really interesting is that Nico, who works in this business, said that he clicks on lots of those ads whereever he sees them. He has opened my eyes to the fact that you can support other free sites by doing something that does not really cost you a lot.


by Volker Weber


Have just had the opportunity to work on Windows XP and learned that my Google pagerank is now 7. Holy moly!

T minus one day

by Volker Weber


iLife '04 released today

by Volker Weber

If you are a heavy user of iPhoto or iMovie, then go and buy your copy of iLife '04 today. If you know how to play a piano, then get a midi/usb keyboard as well, if you don't have one already.


For me it's iPhoto 4. I have around 5500 photos that I just added to the library. iPhoto 2 was never designed to hold more than a few hundred photos. The new one is. It actually does not feel any different with thousands of photos than it did with just a few dozen.

"Official" Lotusphere i.blog T-shirt available

by Volker Weber


Now everyone is going into the T-shirt business. First it was the famous CULT shirt that will again make the rounds at Lotusphere, then it was "Little" Joe Litton, now it is Julian Robichaux of nsftools.

But I am wondering who designed this:

More >


by Volker Weber

Imagine an IT manager who cannot handle inhouse development of Notes applications. Imagine the same manager believing in IBM's spiel, that WebSphere Portal or Lotus Workplace will make his life so much easier, because it is all standards-based. Now imagine an IT manager who does not have the infrastructure in place, nor the administration, nor skilled Java developers. Imagine an IT manager who understands that he is not a developer but thinks he is a good development manager on a platform he understands only from IBM presentations. Imagine an IT manager who believes, after playing around with the portal administration interface, that he will be able to create his applications by pointing and clicking.

You have found an IT manager who will soon be redundant.

Be afraid

by Volker Weber

... be very afraid. :-)

T minus two days

by Volker Weber


Sorry, CafePress can't do it

by Volker Weber

Looks like CafePress.com can't do this:

Thank you for contacting CafePress.com!

Unfortunately at this time we do not have the capabilities to print on colored apparel. However, as this has been a popular request, we are currently looking into offering it in the near future. I would advise you to subscribe to our member newsletter, which contains all new product announcements each month. At this time the stores that contain black t-shirts are corporate clients, which provide their pre printed t-shirts to us as a fulfillment item to sell for them in addition to the products that we currently provide for them.

Sorry, guys, not for this LotusFear.

Movable Type 2.66 released

by Volker Weber

In recent weeks, open comment systems, and Movable Type weblogs in particular, have become a target for comment spam and comment flooding (automated scripts that send many comments at a time to a weblog entry). As a stopgap before we release comment registration in Movable Type 3.0, we've released version 2.66 of Movable Type, which includes some protection against comment flooding.

More >

Knock knock

by Volker Weber


More >


by Volker Weber


Two Jews Walk Into A Bar...

by Esther Schindler

This sounds like a joke, but amazingly it's not. Great site, in any case.

Messiah Bold: It's the Beer You've Been Waiting For!. ... "HE'BREW could bring a whole new meaning to the term High Holidays...genuinely delicious brew!" - Jerusalem Report

Has anybody here quaffed it?

Watch the video >

Stören die Google-Anzeigen?

by Volker Weber

Ich habe jetzt bei den einzelnen Beiträgen, nicht auf der Titelseite, oberhalb der Kommentare zwei Google-Textanzeigen geschaltet. Google versucht, für den Kontext passende Anzeigen zu liefern. Sie sind gegenüber dem Text etwas abgeblendet (#444444 statt #000000) und sollten keinerlei aufmerksamkeitsheischende Eigenschaften wie Blinken, Rollen usw haben.

Wie ist die Meinung dazu? Ich finde sie nicht besonders störend.

Google zahlt übrigens für Click-Throughs. Wer also meine Site gerne unterstützen möchte, klickt da mal ab und zu drauf. Nicht trommeln, sondern wenn's interessant klingt, gelegentlich auch mal eine anklicken.

Das ist ein Versuchsballon. Wenn sie zu sehr stören, haue ich sie wieder weg.

T minus three days

by Volker Weber


CBS not to run "Child's work"?

by Volker Weber

Ad age has this story about the winner of the Bush-in-30-Seconds contest:

Liberal activist group MoveOn.org last night announced it has chosen an anti-President Bush ad to air ahead of next week's "State of the Union" address and said today it is negotiating with CBS to gain airtime on the Super Bowl.

A spokesman for CBS said the Viacom-owned network has received the request from MoveOn to run the ad in the Super Bowl, but added that the ad has to go through standards and practices before CBS will say if it can run an advocacy ad during the game. The spokesman said he didn't think it was likely that the spot would pass standards and practices.

Dan Gillmor has excellent comments.

Interviewing Ambuj Goyal

by Volker Weber


If you were to interview Ambuj Goyal, what would be your questions you want hard, official answers for? I can make up my own, but I am sure there are greater minds out there. Please drop me a note.

Comments switched off for this one. We don't want to give him a head start, do we? :-)

Trying Google AdSense

by Volker Weber

It looks like Microsoft partners like my site. :-)

Erscheint in einer Woche

by Volker Weber


Integrierte Wissensmanagement-Systeme
Architektur und praktische Anwendung
Reihe: Business Engineering
Riempp, Gerold
2004, XIV, 365 S. 101 Abb., 26 Tab., Geb.
ISBN: 3-540-20495-4

Erscheinungstermin: 20. Januar 2004

Wie baut man Wissensmanagement-Systeme (WMS)? Wie integriert man sie in Organisationen und zwischen ihnen? Das Buch liefert auf Basis praktischer Erfahrungen und der Auswertung einschlägiger Theorien einen "Bauplan" für WMS. Diese Architektur zeigt, wie Komponenten und Funktionen solcher Systeme aus Strategie und Prozessen abgeleitet und untereinander integriert werden können. Ein Vorgehensmodell, ein Messsystem, ein Organisationsmodell und Darstellungen zur kulturellen Verankerung helfen bei der Umsetzung von WMS. Ausführliche Praxisfälle und zahlreiche Abbildungen verdeutlichen Probleme und Lösungen bei der Implementierung und Anwendung.

Taking session notes with a Mac

by Volker Weber


I don't have to explain the value of collaboration to LotusFear attendees. So if you carry a wireless Mac to take notes during sessions, then make sure you have SubEthaEdit up and running. Download the template above to share notes or look out for other people who are already sharing their session notes.

Less is more

by Volker Weber

Bruce Elgort re-designs. Well done. BlogSphere does not have to be "BlockSphere", nor does it have to be broken.

Bloggers at Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

Julian is putting together a list of bloggers at Lotusphere, FWIW. Maybe we can all meet and blog about it. :-)


by Volker Weber

Anke Gröner:

Jemandem dabei zuzusehen, wie er mit seinem Handy per Bluetooth die Maus vom Powerbook bewegt, das ungefähr 60 Zentimeter von ihm wegsteht, lässt mich wieder an der Theorie zweifeln, dass Männer und Frauen sich jemals verstehen werden.

Wieso? :-)


by Volker Weber


Just looked at the statistics. I think I need to raise prices and create a side business. :-)

T minus four days

by Volker Weber


New IBM Redbooks and Drafts

by Volker Weber

Connecting communities - using the Lotus Instant Messaging SIP gateway

The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Gateway is a new Lotus Instant Messaging (Sametime) feature in Release 3.1 that uses SIP to enable instant messaging and audio/video collaboration between two different Sametime communities. In this Redpaper we introduce the Lotus Instant Messaging SIP Gateway, and provide best practices for installing and utilizing this feature in your environment.

WebSphere Application Server - Express: A Development Example for New Developers

This IBM Redbook is a practical guide to developing Web applications using WebSphere Studio. WebSphere Studio is used to develop a sample Web application targeted to the WebSphere Application Server - Express runtime platform. It implements a sample scenario based on realistic requirements for small and medium customers, and provides an end-to-end guide for the development of this scenario. The redbook focuses on describing a simple process that allows non technical readers to understand and participate in the development of Web applications using WebSphere Studio .

Going mobile with Lotus Instant Messaging (Sametime) Everyplace

Lotus Instant Messaging (Sametime) Everyplace provides mobile users with the instant messaging and awareness capabilities of Lotus Sametime from WAP- and SMS-enabled mobile devices. Mobile users can see if their colleagues are online and send instant messages or initiate text chat. Desktop users can see if their mobile colleagues are online and use the best way to communicate with them whether via an instant message, phone call or e-mail. In this Redpaper we introduce the Lotus Instant Messaging (Sametime) Everyplace product - and provide best practices for installing and utilizing this product in your environment.

Does this still exist?

Your choice

by Volker Weber

Why use Apple's GarageBand, if you can have Microsoft Hit Wizard ? :-)

Holy moly

by Volker Weber

40.433 hits yesterday. Pfeew.

Tremors in Redmond

by Volker Weber

Groove Network's Mike Helfrich comments:

The laundromats in Redmond must be spinning tonight. Lots of "softies" are washing their boxer shorts after IBM's announcement specific to Linux everywhere. Of course, Microsoft would tell you that they aren't, but IBM's announcement that they are moving to Linux on the desktop is BIGGGG news.

"Washing their boxers" — I almost spilled my drink. :-)

IBM layoffs

by Volker Weber

e-Pro Magazine reports about the latest layoffs from IBM's Software Group:

Big Blue is handing out pink slips again, this time to about 300 members of its Software Group's direct sales force. This is the latest in a series of job cuts in the Software Group, following cuts of 200 jobs in November 2003 and 400 jobs in September 2003. In February 2003, IBM eliminated a combined 1,000 jobs from the Software Group and IBM Global Services.

Want to hire an ex-IBMer with 20+ years experience based in Austin, Texas? Drop me a note.

Manta war früher

by Volker Weber

... heute ist BMW. Sicher ein Fake, aber dennoch luschtig.

[Danke, Nico]


by Volker Weber

Feeling Mac-envy because of cool features in Mac OS? At least you can now buy a utility that brings Exposé to Windows. Months before Microsoft invents it. :-)

More >

T minus five days

by Volker Weber


Shop opens

by Volker Weber

I now declare this bazaar opened.

Provisionsfrei — der Erlös geht zu 100% an den Hersteller. Ich erwarte keinen reissenden Absatz. :-)

Been there, done that

by Volker Weber


... bought the T-shirt. This turned out to be easier than I thought it would.

I just love FireWire

by Volker Weber


Reading the data from the internal 2.5" drive is the bottleneck.

Something wrong on your site?

by Volker Weber

I just made a small change that prevents people from loading images from this server if they are not contained in pages from my site. So, in case you have used IMG tags to refer to images from vowe.net your page may look all fck'd up now.

Anybody out there who can make this?

by Volker Weber


T-shirt, sweater, polo shirt, I don't care. White on black or dark blue. Size XXL and/or XS. :-)

T minus six days

by Volker Weber


Want to meet me @ Lotusphere?

by Volker Weber

I received some IMs and mails asking where we could meet at Lotusphere? Well, you will have to try hard and avoid running into me. But I can easily be spotted here during the Sunday night party:


We always got stuck in front of the round pool (larger map). You can't miss it. As you walk out of the Dolphin into the party you pass the long rectangular pool and run into the round pool if you are too fast. Stop right in front of it. :-)

The internet is not anonymous

by Volker Weber

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog. Right? Wrong.

Many users share the same major misconception. They think they can keep a secret by using handles instead of their own names, by keeping e-mail addresses, web pages or similar things by obfuscating them. So let me tell you something new: There is no leak-proof system*.

Simply don't do things that you don't want to have linked to your person. If you use a handle, someone will find out who you are. Don't stick out a tongue at a collective audience. Inquiring minds want to know.

The last user I came across who tried to stay anonymous by using a handle was Buga Difino who — previously unheard of — posted some very good comments about the state of IBM marketing around Lotus Domino and Lotus Workplace on Mike Golding's notestips.com.

Yesterday Buga made a stupid mistake. Now I know his real name, his occupation, employer and so forth. I do not intend to publish this information, but to everyone else: Consider yourself warned. You may get away with using a handle for a while. But certainly not forever.

*) You don't keep a ship from sinking by making it leak-proof. You pump the water out faster than it is leaking in.

Microsoft lost the web server to Apache

by Volker Weber

According to the 2003 trends graphs, Microsoft peaked a year ago and has been declining ever since. Apache was the big winner.

More >

Don't know about you

by Volker Weber

But to me they look pretty even. :-)

My first iMovie

by Volker Weber


I do not own a DV cam. So last night I cut my first iMovie — instead of sleeping. Hey, one can sleep at the end of the month. :-) A few things I learned:

1. Ripping from DV cam takes up a lot of disk space. I had about 100 minutes of footage, each 9 minutes and 27 seconds take 2 gigabyte of disk space. I actually had to borrow an external FireWire disk to complete the task.

2. Snoopy is very well capable of handling this, however I moved the external disk to Lucy because she has a lot more screen estate.

3. iMovie is really easy to learn. I knew absolutely nothing about the task I was trying to get done and it was all smooth sailing. This program has exactly the feature set I needed. One thing that did not work: I set the program to automatically start a new clip for each scene while importing, but it never did that.

4. It takes a very long time to tweak a movie until I like it, especially when the footage consists of 90% waving the camera around. I had to do a lot of cuts where the camera was panned from left to right and back.

5. You have to be consistent. You can only cut over from a left-to-right pan to another left-to-right pan. Always try to keep moving things in the same direction. I had to reverse a few clips that where the wrong way. Look out for people moving backwards. :-)

6. You don't cut audio and video at the same point. You better let the audio for the next scene start before you cut the video over. This feels much more natural.

I am very pleased with the results. The final movie is 28 minutes out of 100 minutes footage. If I had not cut the story short I could have done around 40 minutes maximum. I think the whole project from screening the footage to burning the DVD took around ten hours. This includes learning to use iMovie.

Instant messaging spam

by Volker Weber


What is your experience with instant messaging spam? I am getting between one and three messages a day trying to spam me. They usually start with just "Hi" or "Who is there". I generally ignore those messages but I am feeling increasingly annoyed.

First conclusion: If you are not on my buddylist and want to talk to me, start with a sentence that explains who you are and what you want.

Second conclusion: If the amount of IM spam starts to increase or I am feeling annoyed beyond a yet to be determined tolerance level, I will set my privacy setting so that only people on my buddy list can talk to me. At the same time the online status indicator on this page will disappear because it will never show me as online.

Third conclusion: If you are not yet on my buddylist, sign up. :-)

Stolzer Dritter

by Volker Weber


Philipp K. hast seinen ersten Pokal gewonnen. Gratulation!

Zitat des Tages/Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

Ich bin gerade von einer vollkommen sinnlosen 2-tägigen Veranstaltung mit dem Titel "Technical Workshop: Getting Started with IBM Lotus Workplace" im IBM SPC in Hursley/UK zurückgekommen. Da hat alles gepasst: ein beschissenes Produkt, ein beschissener Kurs, ein beschissener Trainer und die englische Verpflegung in der IBM Kantine.
— Anonym

Quick translation to English:

Just returned from a completely useless 2-day event at the IBM SPC in Hursley/UK called "Technical Workshop: Getting Started with IBM Lotus Workplace". Everything was a perfect fit: shitty product, shitty event, shitty trainer, and the English food at the IBM canteen.
— anonymous

Sorry, Ed, you were so happy that this was in German - I had to translate it just because. :-)

Asking the wrong question

by Volker Weber

Julian Robichaux has an excellent article on nfstools. Conclusion:

I think it's important to realize that sometimes when someone asks a question, a valid answer can (and maybe should) be, "You're asking the wrong question."

But I suggest you read the whole thing. Very worth it.

More >

It's official: iMovie and iPhoto no longer free

by Volker Weber

There has been a lot of speculation about the fact that the download links for iMovie and iPhoto have been removed from the Apple site. Also, Steve Jobs did not say anything about upgrades during his keynote. It does not take rocket science to get to the conclusion, that these programs will no longer be free downloads.

So what does one do? You go through the proper channels to ask Apple. In my case this is Apple PR. Did not do this myself since TC of Computerwoche Online had already done so. Today I received confirmation from Apple PR via TC that iMovie will no longer be available as separate downloads. You have to buy iLife.

That means you get it free with every new Mac (caution: until March you will need to use an upgrade procedure that will incur a nominal fee), or you buy it at a store.

Now take a look at the rest of your Apple software. Do not expect to upgrade it for free. Not forever. Whatever it is. Apple has to make money to develop the software and make some profit from it.

Weird Science

by Esther Schindler

I really love it when scientists turn their attention to real problems.

Attempting to share out a cake can easily provoke feelings of injustice. But now a team of mathematicians claims to have found a perfectly fair cake-cutting procedure.

More >

Zielgruppenorientiertes Marketing

by Volker Weber

Capt. Hajo berichtet, dass der Sobig-Wurm immer raffinierter wird:

From: RTL-Info@rtl.net
Subject: Deutschland Sucht Den ...

Deutschland Sucht Den Superstar (DSDS) auf RTL.

Hallo, Du wurdest zufällig von ca. 85.000 E-Mail Adressen ausgewählt, um bei RTL DSDS in der Zuschauer Jury mit zu Voten. Das ganze hat auch noch ein SUPER Vorteil, Du bekommst zusätzlich noch einen V.I.P Ausweis, mit dem du hinter den Kulissen bei den Stars mit dabei sein darfst.

Es werden insgesamt 100 Personen für die Zuschauer Jury gesucht und 200 Personen haben wir per Mail angeschrieben. Also, Deine Chancen stehen ziemlich gut mit dabei zu sein.

Du musst mindestens 12 Jahre alt sein, um mitmachen zu dürfen. Einfach das Anmeldformular ausfüllen und auf Antwort warten.

Viel Glück!

++ RTL Geschäftsführung: Dr. Constantin Lange
++ Director Content / Chefredakteur Neue Medien: Patrick Zeilhofer
++ Am Coloneum 1, 50829 Köln
++ Fon: +49 (0) 180 5 44 66 99, Fax: +49 (0) 180 5 44 77 77 (0,12 EURO / Minute)

Content-Type: application/octet-stream; name=RTL-DSDS-anmelde.exe
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="RTL-DSDS-anmelde.exe"

Meine Schwester ist beinahe auf eine Variante hereingefallen, die mit der Angst vor Ausspionierung spielte.

Uploaded several hundred photos to vowe galleries

by Volker Weber


The mother of all updates happened on my Gallery site today. Amongst them some mugshots taken with a webcam. You may have seen this partilcular picture before. Yes, it was really taken with a webcam, the wonderful 3Com HomeConnect that Henri once gave me. There is no decent driver for Mac OS X (forget macam), otherwise it would even outrun the iSight.

I hope Stephan Perthes will be delighted to see that the pictures of the 2001 Nibelungenfahrt are back online.

IBM Rational Software Development User Conference 2004

by Volker Weber

This just came in:

July 18 – 22, 2004
Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center
Grapevine, Texas

New this year: Special content for WebSphere and Eclipse developers

IBM is soliciting partners to speak at the conference and lists these benefits:

- Get a FREE conference pass valued at $1,495
- Share experiences with industry peers and earn recognition
- Publish your paper in the widely-distributed conference proceedings
- Network with more than 2,500 attendees

2500 attendees? This smells like this year's IBM developerWorks conference which has not been announced yet. The Gaylord Conference Center opens April 2, 2004.

Fontify your own handwriting

by Volker Weber


1. Get the Fontifier template sheet and print it.
2. Write your characters on the template using a felt pen.
3. Scan the template and save it in GIF format.
4. Submit the GIF file and get back your font.
5. Install your font for use with all your favourite programs.

More >

[via Zeldman]

T minus ten days

by Volker Weber


End of free for iLife upgrades?

by Volker Weber

When Apple introduced iLife, the only application you had to buy was iDVD. The rest of the apps you could get or update for free. Today Steve Jobs announced iLife '04 for $49 which is quite a good value. He did not say anything about upgrades. Tunes remains free for now. Free downloads for iPhoto and iMovie have been removed today.

Do you expect to be able to download new versions of your existing applications for free from Software Update?

Windfall profits

by Volker Weber

Let's take the iPod 15 GB as an example. Sells in the US for $299, in Germany for 349 EUR. The US price excludes sales tax while our price tag includes 16% VAT so that would be 300 + tax for us. The current exchange rate is $1.27 for one EUR. Which is quite a margin.

What is wrong in this ad?

by Volker Weber


MacWorld 04 Keynote

by Volker Weber

I was very much underwhelmed by the keynote address from MacWorld. Let's sum up the news:

Hardware: Xserve now G5, Xserve RAID upgraded, new 4 gig iPod mini ($249), 10 gig model upgraded to 15 gig ($299), in-ear headphones ($39), musical keyboard ($99).

Software: Final Cut Express ($299, $99 upgrade from 1.0), iLife '04 in 10 days from now ($49), Microsoft Office in a few months.

iLife adds one important application: Garageband, based on software Apple acquired with the German company emagic eighteen months ago. I wish I could play the piano. Since I can't it won't be useful to me, but I am sure to a lot of other people. This is one great value for $49. And it will change music in a big way. Like desktop publishing that brought design to the inept, we may get a lot more bad music shortly. Wait for muzak created from thousands of loops. That is the downside. The upside is it enables more talent to grow. Which will win in the end.

Amongst serveral updates in iLife, the new iPhoto will finally be able to handle thousands of images. Currently it does not. So this is what I am waiting for. Microsoft Office was a yawner. I am not going to take notes with Word. I promise. :-)

The iPod mini looks way to expensive. Add 50 bucks and get the real thing. 3 times the storage. The servers have no meaning for me. YMMV.

Maybe I was expecting too much. A big bang celebrating the 20 years anniversary of the Mac. Did not happen.

So, what do you think?

Add this to my wishlist

by Volker Weber


While the iSight makes for an excellent video chat during daytime and fair weather outside, it does not work very well at night or when it is generally too dark in the office. I think that Apple could change the application to somewhat increase the brightness of the image. The iSight tends to underexpose pictures.

This light might actually change this a lot. I have to see whether this light is distracting — hey, it shines directly into your eyes — or whether it is a good thing. Must put this on my shopping list.


by Volker Weber


No idea, why you would want to do that, but you can make your PowerBook look like an iBook here.

Noch Plätze frei

by Volker Weber

Im März gibt es wieder jede Menge Gelegenheit, nicht wirklich zu arbeiten:

1.-2. März
Admin und Developer 2004
Arabella Sheraton München

2.-5. März
WS Portal and Lotus Workplace Technical Symposium
Millenium Hotel & Resort, Stuttgart

10.-11. März
Lotusphere Review
Softwerk GmbH

15.-16. März
Entwicklercamp 2004

18.-24. März

One for the night

by Volker Weber

Bobby McFerrin - Pink Panther a capella

29 in a row

by Volker Weber


This was the end of my longest winning streak ever. 29 in a row. The old record was 12.

Amar Sagoo

by Volker Weber

Beautiful site, interesting software. Especially Tofu and Deep Notes. Check it out.

WS Portal and Lotus Workplace Technical Symposium

by Volker Weber

If you have 2150 EUR (or $2700) to burn on a three day conference, plus travel expenses and hotel, you may want to look at this IBM conference.


by Volker Weber


Neulich bei Comdirect

by Volker Weber


Was die Bank nicht so alles für ihre Kunden tut.

Oldie but Goldie

by Volker Weber

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American. The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family. The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs...I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?"

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

Theater security

by Volker Weber

Thorsten Delbrouck describes in this SecurityTracker post how to bypass Microsoft Office security features:

1.) Open a protected document in MS Word
2.) Save as "Web Page (*.htm; *.html)", close Word
3.) Open html-document in any Text-Editor
4.) Search "" tag, the line reads something like that: <w:UnprotectPassword>ABCDEF01</w:UnprotectPassword>
5.) keep the "password" in mind
6.) Open original document (.doc) with any hex-editor
7.) search for hex-values of the password (reverse order!)
8.) Overwrite all 4 double-bytes with 0x00, Save, Close
9.) Open document with MS Word, Select "Tools / Unprotect Document" (password is blank)

This is about the same level of security as the Notes client provides when locally enforcing the ACL. This can also be removed:

1. Open database in any hex-editor.
2. Find the range of bits between offset 0x16c and 0x1a7.This is the ACL.
3. Set any that aren't 00 to be 00.
4. Save the database.

Notes however does provide real security: Encryption.

T minus two weeks

by Volker Weber


Stupid tricks

by Volker Weber

Don't try this this at home. Mac users may want to "save link as" and then play the file in VLC.

For USAmericans only

by Volker Weber

For only $5 you can feel really protected. Now available as version 2.0.

Automatically backup your Mac

by Volker Weber


This is the kind of backup I like. You schedule a few folders to be backed up and then forget about it. This wonderful program was bundled with Toast Titanium, but you can also buy it separately.

Backup an unlimited number of folders. One-way synchronize folders, i.e. remove target files that are deleted at the source. Perform remote backups to WebDAV, AFP, NFS and SMB servers. Perform your backup manually at the click of a button, or schedule your backups to run whenever it's convenient for you. Backups may be scheduled on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and will be performed even if you aren't logged in.


More >


by Volker Weber

crossfire1.png crossfire2.png

Three days ago we took the Chrysler Crossfire for a spin. Overall this is a very nice car. Mercedes engineering, Chrysler looks, at least on the outside. On the inside it looks like a Mercedes SLK, a design now in its eighth year. This was a 3.2 litre V6, 218 bhp, automatic transmission. Nice performance, you can get it up to 250 if you take your time. The ride is as smooth it can be with 18" (front) and 19" (rear) wheels.

Two complaints: The rear spoiler is a rather annoying gimmick when it folds in at 60 km/h, and a set of snow tires with aluminium wheels is 4500 Euro (that would be $5700) — a deal breaker for me. Sorry, nice try, Chrysler.

Next on the list: Audi TT 3.2, Mazda RX-8, Mini Cooper S, Nissan 350Z.

Starting up

by Volker Weber


While a lot of people will have taken this Friday off from work, here is a good resolution for the new year. :-)

Old vowe.net archive pages

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


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