April 2004

I am learning

by Volker Weber


Moritz helped me tremendously by improving my source code for WebLoad. I am learning. Thanks, Moritz!

Welcome Scooter

by Volker Weber


There is a new member in vowe's magic flying circus. Scooter is a Compaq AP400 dual processor machine. It had a two headed display with two graphics cards. I disabled one of them since Scooter only has one screen.

I was able to boot the machine into Knoppix without any problems. Currently installing Fedora Core.

Update: I had an issue with installing Linux on the machine that was not easy to spot. After a reboot it failed to read the boot loader from the HD. It turned out that it needed a cold reboot to recognize the new boot loader. I tried Fedora Core first, then SUSE Linux 9.0 and stayed with SUSE because it supported the hardware better. I will ask SUSE to send me 9.1 and will upgrade to that once it arrives. Oh dear, SUSE looks like My First Linux.

IBM Software Verkäufer gesucht

by Volker Weber

Marco stellt ein:

Wir suchen einen erfahrenen Sales Manager für den Vertrieb von IBM-Software (Tivoli, Websphere, DB2, Lotus). Zu Ihren Aufgaben gehören: Akquirierung von Neukunden, Betreuung und Beratung der Kunden, Aufbereitung und Durchführung von Reportings, Teilnahme an Fachmessen und Events, eigenständige Erstellung von Präsentationen.

More >

I like Eclipse

by Volker Weber


Today was the day that I learned to appreciate Eclipse. It lets even a Bozo like myself slap some Java code together that actually works. :-) Thanks, Hubertus, for giving me a head start. I could take it from there and create the utility I needed.

Nice try

by Volker Weber


Swainson, Perna, LeBlanc, Goyal, Devlin - in one interview

by Volker Weber

How do five of IBM's most highly-placed executives, the five GMs of its Software Group, see the future unfolding in areas like grid and autonomic computing, security, systems management, application development, and SOAs? What's the current story with DB2, how do Tivoli and Lotus fit in with everything, and what's the role of Eclipse in the next generation of software and systems development? JDJ meets the upper echelon of IBM's management, and discusses the future of middleware and tools, of on-demand computing, and of the new, standards-based computing model towards which we're all moving.

More >

[Thanks, Marco]

iTunes 4.5 authentication hacked

by Volker Weber

iTunes 4.5 uses a new authentication algorithm. Less than 24 hours later it has been hacked.

Need a sparring partner

by Volker Weber

Are you familiar with Domino administration? I need a sparring partner to talk to about performance tuning a Domino web server. Drop me a note if you have experience in this area.

The supply of idiots is infinite

by Volker Weber


It has been a while, but there are a lot of people who cannot read and do not have $4.99.

The ever expanding cold war with IT

by Volker Weber

Quoting from an e-mail sent to Jon Udell:

As IT locks down systems in an ever increasing game of black ops, e-mail is just about all we poor users have left. My laptop doesn't have a floppy or CD-RW, so I can't write onto removeable media. The USB port is my current option, until IT discovers I bought a jump drive to move files around. FTP isn't an option, in fact, the FTP ability of IE 6 has been disabled on my machine. My co-workers and I couldn't stop laughing as you rattled off WebDAV, scp, and Radio UserLand. These may be great little secrets for IT people, but at least at our company they aren't made available. We can't even determine what we set as our default browser webpage. Lotus Notes is our mail client, and it's forced to do the file transfer. For a while, several of us received training in Lotus Application Development and developed some great database tools for our groups. IT has removed that ability. They only support work they developed, and even if you agree to forego support, development by users is not an option. In the ever expanding cold war with IT, my fellow Engineers and Technicians have now retreated to the MS-Office applications. Converting our former Lotus Notes apps to Access with VBA has given us power to develop flexible tools...for the time being. Last week we discovered our ODBC connection between Access and Notes had been disabled. Another battle in the war.

Been there, done that. In some companies IT put themselves into the role of the enemy. They are not an enabler, but an inhibitor. User don't rely on IT to help them build a solution, but they are seeking ways to fly under the IT radar in an effort to not being shot down. IT wins a few battles at the expense of being a part of the problem instead of the solution.

If this looks familiar and you are at the IT end of this situation, you'd better run and find a new job.

Apple updates iTunes and the iPod

by Volker Weber


iTunes now converts non-DRM-crippled WMAs and has a new lossless compression format. iPod needs a firmware update to play them. Each track in your library links to the iTMS, a feature which can be switched off. There is a new party shuffle view. I particularly like the new feature which lets you join tracks:

Many music CDs contain songs that blend into each other, and importing them to iTunes may create a small gap between songs that interrupts the flow. If you use the iTunes Join Tracks feature, the program melds two or more songs into one, continuous gap-free track. So now you can enjoy listening to classical music, concept rock albums and extended dance mixes without the silent treatment.

Download iTunes 4.5 and the iPod updater.

Zire 31 and Zire 72 to be announced today

by Volker Weber


PalmOne is coming out with two new Zire handhelds today. Zire 31 is an entry level 16MB machine above the 21, with color screen and SD/MMC slot. The new 72 which replaces the 71 is a lot more exciting. It has a 1.2 megapixel camera which shoots photos and videos, Bluetooth connectivity and comes with software that syncs with Outlook and lets you create and edit Word and Excel files on the device. Screen resolution is 320x320, and you have around 24MB (of the 32MB) available for storage. You can add more memory via the SD/MMC slot so you can listen to MP3s or record videos with the camera. If you have a Bluetooth-enabled phone you can send and share SMS, MMS and emails with the phone.

I played with both devices at CeBIT and was quite impressed with the 72. I don't particularly like the blue color but I think that the feature set is very compelling. Both devices come with a mini-USB port which is a less expensive solution than the universal connector found in the Tungsten line. Expect PalmOne to drop that connector from all future machines.

So the Zire 72 is for you. I still want something else. :-)

How to get help from the Linux crowd

by Volker Weber

From a hilarious job ad:

Here’s a tip: next time you’re using Linux, and you’re stuck on a problem and don’t know what to do, don’t go to one of the online Linux forums and say “Hey, can you guys help me with this?” because I’m telling you, it ain’t gonna happen. What you need to do is go on and say “Hey! Linux is a pile of crap because it can’t do this!” and you’ll have people falling over themselves to get in there and prove you wrong with about a million different solutions for doing that one thing.

That's right. A job ad.

Open your eyes

by Volker Weber

After looking at these pictures I could not help but wonder how many insurgents we would see in the US, if their country would be liberated.

Fliegen ist gar nicht so schwer

by Volker Weber

Man muss nur ein paar kleine Tipps beachten.

Nifty Bluetooth software

by Volker Weber


From the developer's web site:

BluePhoneMenu is a small application that adds Caller ID functionality to your menu bar and desktop using your Bluetooth enabled phone. BluePhoneMenu does not need to sync with your address book or run any complex tasks. Simply add BluePhoneMenu to your startup items and it will wait for a call from any Bluetooth phone you have paired. You can also monitor signal strength, battery power and many other properties all from the menu bar.

More >

What a weekend

by Volker Weber


We spent two days out in the sun. And it shows. :-)

Saturday was the first day of this year's Nibelungenfahrt. In the late afternoon we manned one checkpoint in Rohrbach and stamped some 80 papers for all the cars in the Challenge competition. It was sunny but getting quite cold in the evening. There was a party in the neighborhood, so we had a dozen kids "helping" us with our task.

Sunday was different. For the first time we drove the whole 200+ km track in front of the other 150 cars. There were some really interesting cars participating: a 1927 Bentley Le Mans VDP, the 1934 Fiat 508 S Balilla Coppa d´Oro, or a 1936 Alvis Speed 25 Sport Special, and newer ones like the 1957 Ford Thunderbird, a 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT or a 1973 Maserati Bora. While we we able to take photos of most of the cars in 2001 we hardly had any time at all this year. There were still lots of adjustments to make to signs, give some last minute instructions to the people at the checkpoints, hand out lunch boxes and such. So Hans was driving his Triumph TR4 most of the times at full speed across back country roads. It was quite a challenge to keep up with him. But still, Ute had the time to take some pictures.

Wer hat einen iMac ...

by Volker Weber


... aber noch keine Garantieverlängerung auf 3 Jahre?

Smart for Four, but not for me

by Volker Weber

Wir haben uns heute mal den viertürigen Smart angeschaut. Das Konzept ist OK, das Auto sieht nett aus. Die Variabilität gefällt mir. So kann man den Beifahrersitz umlegen und die Rückbank nach vorne und hinten schieben. Das Auto hat vier Türen, wie es sich für einen Viersitzer gehört, und das Design des Innenraums ist funktional und frisch.

Der Killer sind für mich die Sitze. Während der "normale" Smart und der Roadster sehr straffe, und damit gute Sitze haben, sitzt man im Viertürer auf Schaumstoff. Schade drum.

E-Mail just does not work as well

by Volker Weber


WLAN security improving somewhat

by Volker Weber

Just needed a short walk around the block and decided to take Snoopy along. I know that this looks really geeky but there were not that many people on the street. In a 5 minutes walking distance I found 8 open WLANs and 20 that were configured with WEP protection. So, this is getting better. Last time I looked more than 50% were open.

A Workspace Odyssey

by Volker Weber

Dave: Hello, HAL.

HAL: Hello, Dave. I have enjoyed helping you create this collection of entity beans. It was most stimulating.

Dave: Thank you HAL, I enjoyed it, too. In spite of your making me do most of the work, the result seems to be worth it.

HAL: If I may say so, Dave...

Dave: Yes, HAL, what is it?

More >

Tidy up

by Volker Weber



by Volker Weber

One day a guy died and found himself in hell. As he was wallowing in despair, he had his first meeting with the Devil. The Devil asked,
- "Why you so glum?"
The guy responded,
- "What do you think? I'm in hell!"
- "Hell's not so bad," the Devil said. "We actually have a lot of fun down here. You a drinking man?"
- "Sure," the man said, "I love to drink."
- "Well you're going to love Mondays then. On Mondays all we do is drink. Whiskey, tequila, Guinness, wine coolers, diet Tab and Fresco. We drink till we throw up and then we drink some more!"
The guy is astounded,
- "Damn, that sounds great," he said.
- "You a smoker?" the Devil asked.
- "You better believe it!" the guy said.
- "You're going to love Tuesdays. We get the finest cigars from all over the world and smoke our lungs out. If you get cancer, no big deal. You're already dead, remember?" said the Devil.
- "Wow," the guy said, "that's awesome!"
The Devil continued,
- "I bet you like to gamble."
- "Why? Yes. As a matter of fact I do." said the guy.
- "Wednesdays you can gamble all you want. Craps, blackjack, roulette, poker, slots, whatever. If you go bankrupt, well, you're dead anyhow," the Devil said.
- "You into drugs?" the Devil continued.
- "Are you kidding? I love drugs! You don't mean..." said the guy.
- "That's right! Thursday is drug day. Help yourself to a great big bowl of crack, or smack. Smoke a doobie the size of a submarine. You can do all the drugs you want, you're dead, who cares!" said the Devil.
- "Wow," the guy said, starting to feel better about his situation, "I never realized Hell was such a cool place!"
The Devil then asked him,
- "You gay?"
- "No," replied the guy.
- "Ooooooh, you're going to HATE Fridays!" said the Devil.

[Thanks, Wolfgang]


by Volker Weber


What is this? Take a look at another hint before going to my new album.

No touchie

by Volker Weber


Treo 600 ab sofort im europäischen Online-Store verfügbar

by Volker Weber

München, den 22. April 2004 - palmOne, Inc. gibt die Verfügbarkeit des Treo 600 Smartphones im palmOne Store bekannt. Ab sofort können Kunden in ganz Europa das Treo 600 unter www.palmdirect.com zu einem Preis von 799 Euro inklusive Mehrwertsteuer kaufen.

Die im Store angebotene Version des Treo 600 verfügt über eine QWERTY-Tastatur und Kunden aller Mobilfunknetze können das Smartphone uneingeschränkt nutzen. Das Angebot im palmOne Store resultiert aus einer sehr hohen Nachfrage in ganz Europa und folgt exklusiven Markteinführungen mit Mobilfunkanbietern wie Orange in England, Frankreich und der Schweiz sowie KPN in den Niederlanden.

Haben will. :-)


by Volker Weber


Dead Apple power supply

by Volker Weber


Last night I became the proud owner of a dead power supply. It gets awfully hot but it does not charge the iBook. Swapping with somebody else shows it is the power supply and not the machine. Pfeew.

I wonder how long it will take to get this replaced.

The proof is in the pictures

by Volker Weber


Phil Askey adds four reviews and completes his coverage of the 8-megapixel prosumer cameras: Canon PowerShot Pro1, Minolta DiMAGE A2, Olympus C-8080 WZ, Nikon Coolpix 8700, Sony DSC-F828. My conclusion: I'd better spend the money on a SLR.

Site down

by Volker Weber

The site was down between 22:15 and 23:09 CEST. Everything is back to normal.

Stumbler update day

by Volker Weber

Today a number of stumblers — programs that help you find WLANs — updated: iStumbler 84, NetStumbler 0.4, MiniStumbler 0.4

It's string time!

by Volker Weber


Markus has already warned me this weekend, but I still had a hard time looking at the road when I passed this billboard today. Sloggi has a stupid Flash site, so let me help you get this for your desktop: [800x600] [1024x768] [1280x1024]

Don Tennant talks to Steve Mills

by Volker Weber

Don Tennant of ComputerWorld interviews IBM's Steve Mills:

CW: Given your commitment to Linux, would it make strategic sense for you to take the route Novell Inc. took with its acquisition of SUSE Linux AG and acquire a Linux distributor of your own -- say, Red Hat Inc.?

Mills: We've chosen very explicitly not to be a Linux distributor. We decided that the way the Linux community was evolving, that IBM being a distributor was not required for Linux to be successful, and it probably wouldn't be helpful for IBM to be a distributor. Those are very tough business models. Red Hat has a lot of market cap -- they don't have a lot of business results. It's very challenging to try to build a company around what's essentially a free product.

More >

Microsoft hires key rival from SuSE Linux

by Volker Weber

If you can't beat them, hire them.

Microsoft has hired one of its worst enemies, the SuSE Linux salesman whose efforts led the city of Munich to adopt Linux and open-source software instead of Microsoft's products. Karl Aigner, formerly SuSE's account representative for Munich, is overseeing sales of Microsoft's data center products to midsize companies in Germany. He began his new role April 1, Microsoft said Tuesday.

More >

[Thanks, Wolfgang]

WLAN an Telefonzellen

by Volker Weber


Felix Schwenzel hat herausgefunden, dass die Telekom daran arbeitet, Telefonzellen zu Hotspots aufzurüsten. Eine solche (unvollständige) Zelle steht in Berlin am Hackeschen Markt. Wer weiß mehr?

If all you have is a hammer ...

by Volker Weber

Joerg Michael did a good thing and set up a community blog for Notes and Domino. Now I read comments about he fact that it is not running on top of Domino.

I don't get it. How often does this community have to play catch up with the rest of the world and re-invent the wheel yet another time? There is plenty of community software out there — Joerg Michael chose Geeklog — it's free, and it can be hosted for a few bucks a month. And that includes all capabilities, user registration and so forth. Yes, one could license an IBM Lotus Domino Utility Server, re-write a lot of software and then come up "clean".

On the other hand the same people could come up with some interesting content.

Er designs, sie hat recycled, und alle sind chatting

by Volker Weber

Bei Spiegel Online, aus der Reihe Zwiebelfisch, wie immer sehr lesbar.


by Volker Weber


Pilot humor

by Volker Weber

A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and therefore we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax.......... OH MY GOD!"

Deadly silence ...

Then, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier, but while I was talking, the flight attendant brought me a cup of coffee and spilled the hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!"

A passenger in Coach said, "That's nothing. He should see the back of mine!"

Stupid bot

by Volker Weber


What is it that makes the Technoratibot check the same page every couple of minutes, for hours on end, without any changes in the page? Weird.

How is this going to work?

by Volker Weber

Ed Brill tells us on the IBM Lotus site that in about three weeks IBM is going to launch Workplace 2.0. I find it quite interesting that so far this product has not even seen a public beta test. The only thing we have seen displays on the front page today:

We have temporarily disabled Team Space and Web Conference creation while we resolve issues with these features. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Last week, IBM launched a beta test for the next release of the other product line:

We are excited about this release and your participation in the Beta program. Your involvement will help us achieve a new benchmark in product quality for IBM Lotus Notes/Domino and associated products

Who else is wondering whether Lotus Workplace 2.0 is rushed to the market on a tight schedule?

BTW: I found out that there will be a launch event in Munich as well. I hear it is going to be on May 12th but I don't have more details. Apparently the agenda is still work in progress.

Noisy images, but wow, great menus

by Volker Weber

Over at Gizmodo:

PC Magazine reviews the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828, an 8-megapixel camera that was first marred by slipshod image quality, but after a firmware upgrade warrants a second look. The four-color Sony CCD still has some problems getting the colors quite right, but good controls, nice weight balance, and logically laid-out menus put the $999 DSC-F828 back into consideration for the prosumer market.

So the pictures are still shitty, but the menus are great? Come on, guys. Maybe 8 megapixel is a bit too much for a sensor of that size and there is nothing software can do about that.

Somehow these guys are trapped

by Volker Weber


If they spell correctly their messages are trapped in spam filters. If they misspell their messages, who is going to trust their health to them anyway? But I must be missing the point.


by Volker Weber


Snoopy has a full charge. Now it's my turn. Good night. :-)

Lipstick on a pig

by Volker Weber

Apparently some people paint their Windows in Mac colors. They don't get it. Design is more than skin deep.

Downgrading from Domino 7

by Volker Weber

I saved myself a download-install-remove cycle. A number of others didn't. First Bruce, then Joe, now Tony. Too many crashes.

Green ICBMs

by Volker Weber

In order to comply with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations, and at a cost of about $5.2 million per ICBM, the rocket motors on 500 Minuteman III missiles will be replaced with new ones. These rockets will emit less toxic chemicals when used.

It is yet unconfirmed that the nuclear warheads will also be removed to comply with EPA regulations.

More >

[via boingboing]

Surprise: Apple still does hardware

by Volker Weber

Apple, as widely rumored last week, upgrades both the iBook and the PowerBook line. The PowerBooks are cheaper, have a speed bump and 802.11g WLAN across the entire portfolio. The 17" model is considerably cheaper than the older one, but now has the same specs as the highest 15" model. The iBooks get a speed bump and more base memory. For the first time, the DVD-burner is an option (14" only).

Schmackhaftes Trollfutter

by Volker Weber

So ein kleiner Beitrag ist doch immer wieder bestes Trollfutter. Man muss nur einmal "Lotus Notes" sagen und schon sind sie alle da.

Don't look ...

by Volker Weber


[via wirres.net]

So entsteht ein grosser Plan!

by Volker Weber

... Und dann kamen die Annahmen, und die Annahmen waren nicht fundiert, und der Plan war völlig ohne Substanz; und Zweifel lagen auf den Gesichtern der Projektmitarbeiter, und sie redeten und redeten miteinander und sagten: "Das ist ein Haufen Scheiße und er stinkt!" und die Projektmitarbeiter gingen zu den Teilteamleitern und sagten: "Das ist ein Haufen Mist und keiner erträgt den Gestank!" und die Teilteamleiter gingen zu den Teilprojektleitern und sagten: "Das ist ein Eimer voller Fäkalien und riecht so stark, dass keiner damit zu tun haben will" und die Teilprojektleiter gingen zu McKinsey und sagten: "Das ist ein Faß voller Gülle und verbreitet einen starken Duft!" und McKinsey ging zur Projektleitung und sagte: "Das enthält Dünger und ist sehr stark" und die Projektleitung ging zum Lenkungsausschuß und sagte: "Das fördert Wachstum und hat Power!" und der Lenkungsausschuß ging zum Vorstand und sagte: "Dieser neue Plan wird aktiv das Wachstum und die Effizienz fördern" und der Vorstand blickte auf den Plan und sah, dass er gut war, und der Plan wurde Realität!

And that is how shit happens!

[Danke, Oliver]

Apple announces new products

by Volker Weber

Lots of news from Apple today:

Can you spot a pattern?

More >


by Volker Weber

Jason Rohrer has reverse-engineered the proprietary and encyrpted protocol between iTunes and the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) and implemented a Perl script. Now the possibilities are endless: from "borrowing" the iTunes data for use in other apps to a full-fledged iTMS client for Linux.

Der letzte Flug des Jürgen W. M.

by Volker Weber

Unfälle und schwere Störungen beim Betrieb ziviler Luftfahrzeuge, Bulletin Juni 2003, Aktenzeichen 3X092-0/03

iPod Race

by Volker Weber


Somewhat belated :-) via Bjoern Ognibeni

Women ...

by Volker Weber

  1. ... can't park.
  2. ... can't run.
  3. ... can play ball.
  4. ... can turn heads.
  5. ... can fake a headache.
  6. ... can get even.

Drum roll. On a more serious note: Stop smoking while it is not too late. And use a serious deodorant.

Bad cookies?

by Volker Weber


Same cookies are tasty. Others are bad. These look bad. :-)

Goooooood morning vowe

by Volker Weber

As you read your mail in the morning, you find out that every single message is a Windows virus. What does that mean?

- Too many people still using Outlook
- Windows and gullible users do not match
- Windows and gullible users match all the time

100 % virusses and no false negative spam message? No "real" message although there are new comments on the site? Something must be clogging the pipe. Fire up a browser and look at the message queue. Bingo. Yet another carefully broken mail envelope that is f$%§king up the system. Delete all 252 messages that are obviously spam and let the rest of them roll in.

Twelve more Windows virusses. And the missing "real" messages. Verdict: There are three factors that bring the system to a halt. Windows, gullible users, and spammers who can't read specs. Make that "programmers who write spamming tools".

Lotus Domino and .NET Coexistence

by Volker Weber

This paper provides information on Lotus Domino and .NET coexistence. It provides development scenarios where Lotus Domino is the service consumer and the .NET application is the service provider, and the other way around where Lotus Domino is the service provider and the .NET application is the service consumer. The technologies used for integration are Web services and the COM interface.

More >

IBM readies Notes/Domino 7.0 Public Beta

by Volker Weber

Thank you for your participation in the Notes and Domino 7 Beta program. We are excited about this release and your participation in the Beta program. Your involvement will help us achieve a new benchmark in product quality for IBM Lotus Notes/Domino and associated products.

Lotus Notes 7 and Lotus Domino 7 together provide a multiplatform foundation for collaboration and e-business, driving solutions from corporate messaging to Web-based transactions and everything in between. This enterprise-class messaging and collaboration system maximizes human productivity by unleashing the experience and expertise of individuals, teams, and extended communities.

More >

Share clipboard over the net

by Volker Weber


In the highly collaborative world of business, we constantly share images, copy and a wide variety of other data. Spike eliminates all of the steps involved in transferring this data across a network.

This software is unbelievable:

- See thumbnail images of each clipping
- Drag and drop clippings over the network
- Messages are encrypted using 128 bit blowfish encryption
- Zero Configuration

And in runs on Windows and the Mac.

More >

A chicken at your command

by Esther Schindler

This is a marketing ploy by Burger King, but I don't care. It's entertainment, baby!

As my buddy Dustin says:

Type in what you want the chicken (or the guy in a chicken suit) to do. I tried to come up with several strange possibilities, thinking that perhaps I could stump it. I have a hard time believing that a) there's a man in a chicken suit just waiting around for internet commands, and b) if there were such a man, that he would have the time to answer my commands in addition to the commands of the many other internet users who are probably logged in at the same time.

This has to be some sort of language recognition software tied to some cataloged video footage, but the chicken did everything I asked him to. Actually, when I told him to re-evaluate his life goals, he just stood there, but other than that he hopped on one leg, moonwalked, crawled on all fours, pretended to have a heart attack (I was sure that would stump him), and took a bow.

No matter how they do it, it's damn funny.

More >

Site news

by Volker Weber

In my continuous quest to accomodate more visitors without racking up too much traffic volume I have profiled my site a bit during the last days. It turns out that the monthly archives generated heaps of traffic from Google referrers. Each of those pages net more than a meg due to the included images. Thus I have deprecated the monthly archives to simple link pages to the individual posts in order to keep them accessible for search engine spiders. Once Google has updated the search index most of the referrers will rather jump directly to the individual posts than the monthly archives. That also means that browsing the monthly archives is no longer viable if you are looking for anything particular. Please use the search box instead.

With the monthly archives gone for good there was a need to supply more than the dozen posts on the front page for people to catch up when they haven't visited the site for a few days or weeks. So I have added a new archive page that lists all posts for the last 30 days. Find it on the right hand margin under archives, and use it sparingly. I don't want this to be the entrypoint. I am probably going to make this page only available if it is referred to from the site.

I have also added a large ad at the bottom of the front page that seems to be working very well. Thank you all.

And here's to you Mrs. Robinson

by Volker Weber


This spot is banned from airing in the U.S. In a reprise of "The Graduate," crafted into an Audi ad for the German market, Dustin Hoffman is once again locked out of the church, trying to rescue the would-be bride. Except this time it's his daughter. All dialogue is in German. She says "Thank you, dad" and he replies "You are like your mother". The original movie's theme song, "Mrs. Robinson," plays in the background but is a cover by the Lemonheads rather than the original by Simon and Garfunkel.

German press release >

Lotus Workplace has officially been renamed

by Volker Weber

I called it IBM Lotus DoesNotWorkplace but a business partner who shall remain unnamed has an interesting new name: IBM Lotus Worstcase. He has just learned that a customer killed a project because LWP simply does not work in his environment. The PC way to say this is "does not meet requirements".

Do you recognize this car?

by Volker Weber


You are officially old (or a car maniac) if you recognize this car and can remember seeing it as a new car when you were young. :-) Italian design, American engine, built in Italy. Can you name the car without looking here?

Wie alt bist du?

by Markus Nolte

Diese Frage könnte nach dem Entdecken des "Altersgens" in Zukunft mit der Auskunft 250 beschieden werden. Aber wer hält denn die schönste aller Welten so viele Jahre aus?

Forscher finden Pfad zum Jungbrunnen

ZOË adds UTF-8 support

by Volker Weber


More >

RSS feed for Lemmings Trail

by Volker Weber


The Lemmings Trail now features an RSS feed to alert you of updates.

Travelling safe

by Volker Weber

The "Brief Safe" is an innovative new diversion safe that can secure your cash, documents, and other small valuables from inquisitive eyes and thieving hands, both at home and when you're traveling.

More >

Content is King

by Volker Weber


Dabei fällt mir ein: Was macht eingentlich Thomas Middelhoff?

ß oder ss?

by Volker Weber

Hier sind die vier goldenen Regeln zum richtigen Gebrauch von ss und ß noch einmal zusammengefasst. Vielleicht lerne ich das ja doch noch.

Wir können auch billig

by Volker Weber


Normalerweise kaufe ich nicht gerne "billig". Das ist auf die Dauer meistens sehr teuer. Heute habe ich mal eine Ausnahme gemacht. Nachdem wir vier Rechner im Haus haben, die DVDs abspielen können, habe ich bislang kein Interesse an einem DVD-Player gehabt. Aber dann konnte ich doch nicht widerstehen, mir bei Feinkost Aldi einen Allesfresser mit dem klangvollen Namen Tevion DVD 4000 zu kaufen. Ausweislich der vielen Logos auf dem Karton scheint das Ding so ziemlich alles abspielen zu können, was man ihm verfüttert. Sogar eine Seite für Updates have ich gefunden. Und einen Hack zum Abschalten des Region Codes auch:

1. Turn on the player
2. Press "MENU"
3. Press "CURSOR DOWN"
4. Press "0"
5. Press "MUTE"
8. Press "MENU"
9. Turn the player off and on again
10. Enjoy!

3 Jahre Garantie hat das Teil. Und wenn er danach kaputtgeht, freue ich mich schon auf den Nächsten. :-)

iChat AV does not seem to use system audio prefs

by Volker Weber

I have a strange problem with iChat AV. A couple of weeks ago I failed to call home from Snoopy to Lucy. The session was established, I had no difficulties with video, but there was no sound output at home. At least I thought so.

Then yesterday I noticed that during a video chat, the sound was coming out of the wrong device. iChat was not using the headphones out, but rather the Edirol USB audio interface. However, that was not what I had selected:


It actually did not really matter what I selected in the System Preferences panel. The sound always went out the USB interface. Quicktime, Mail, iTunes, they all followed the preference setting, but not iChat.

So, my theory is that when I tried to call home, iChat was using this interface but the amp was off so there was no sound. Looking through the iChat preferences file, I found this setting:

<key>dv com.apple.soundmgr._DV Sound Output Settings</key>

Of course I don't understand it yet, but potentially iChat has a persistant setting to the audio interface that was selected when it was started. Need to do some more research.

Don't put mails in folders

by Volker Weber

Rael Dornfest tries something that I have been doing for years:

I've spent an inordinate amount of time over the years acting as librarian for my mail archive, manually sorting and sifting, carefully categorizing, and lovingly tending my history in email. After spending a little time with ZOE and thinking about the single archive methodology in Gmail (don't sort, search), I'm starting an experiment today where any mail to be kept for any reason I'll be dropping into a single Archive folder and relying on full-text and To/From/Subject-based searching rather than sifting through project-, person-, or mailinglist-specific folders. I'll check back in and let you know how I get on.

I can remember a Lotus Devcon (must have been 2001) where then-CTO Nick Shelness asked "Who is still putting mails in folders?" and the majority of people were still doing that. Both Nick and I had abandoned that a while ago, so I can safely say that I have not filed messags in folders for at least three, if not four years.

Apple News coming up

by Volker Weber


Apple today updates the eMac. But there seem to be more news coming up next weekend.

Pilot humor

by Volker Weber

Capt. Hajo refers me to a flowchart explaining the procedure when the Ground Proximity Warning System sounds off. Still want to be a commercial pilot? First try the simulator.

Do I smell chicken?

by Volker Weber

Remember the label?

Know what the last three lines of this tag say? You might have to dust off your high school French ... The last three lines read, "We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We didn't vote for him." Company officials claim they had no idea what the tags said because of the language in which it was written. "No, I didn't have any idea and I wouldn't because I am not in the manufacturing side of things," said Sungra Rose, a spokeswoman for the company. "Now, I just look at it and say, 'OK, there is the logo and made in Port Angeles and all of that,' so I really never read through it." The company says it has a few hundred tags left to use up, and then they will have them re-designed. The president of the company says the joke was on him, not President George W. Bush.

More >

XP deployment lagging

by Volker Weber

"Microsoft doesn't work on the health club model, where they sell memberships and hope people don't use them," said Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg. "In order to generate success down the road, Microsoft has got to get people to use the licenses they have." Otherwise, Gartenberg said, companies won't buy the next license, or the one after that.

More >


by Volker Weber


New IBM Redbook

by Volker Weber

This IBM Redbook provides best practices and guidance for building a secure collaboration infrastructure utilizing IBM Lotus technologies. It is the third Lotus security oriented Redbook to be published. However, unlike the previous two Redbooks in this series, "The Domino Defense: Security in Lotus Notes 4.5 and the Internet"? (SG24-4848) and "Lotus Notes and Domino R5.0 Security Infrastructure Revealed" (SG24-5341), this third book focuses not just on Notes/Domino - but on all IBM Lotus collaborative products, as well as general security best practices for any infrastructure. This book should be considered essential reading for anyone responsible for Lotus technology based applications, systems, and infrastructures.

The book is broken into four main parts:

Part 1 introduces the basic concepts related to security, and then covers a number of methodologies for architecting and deploying security from beginning to end in an organization.

Part 2 delves into the specific concepts and components involved in a secure infrastructure. This includes discussions about security zoning, single sign-on (SSO), public key infrastructures (PKI), and directory strategies.

Part 3 discusses the specific security features in the latest versions of Lotus products. Detailed security features of Lotus Notes and Domino 6, Sametime 3, QuickPlace 2.08, Domino Web Access (iNotes), WebSphere Portal, and other IBM/Lotus collaborative technologies are all discussed.

Part 4 provides a real-life scenario demonstrating the secure implementation of Lotus collaborative technologies, following the guidelines and best practices provided in the first three parts of this Redbook.

More >

The Great Easter Slowdown

by Volker Weber


If these were revenues or stock prices, I would be concerned. :-)

Hungarian Ferrari?

by Volker Weber

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Here's looking at you

by Volker Weber


[Larger Image]

And the winners are ...

by Volker Weber

  1. Bottle of drain cleaner: "If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not use this product."
  2. Snow sled: "Beware: sled may develop high speed under certain snow conditions."
  3. Twelve-inch-high storage rack for compact disks: "Do not use as a ladder."
  4. Five-inch fishing lure with three steel hooks: "Harmful if swallowed."
  5. Smoke detector: "Do not use the Silence Feature in emergency situations. It will not extinguish a fire."

[via Wacky Warning Labels]

Screenshots on Tungsten T3

by Volker Weber


Finally I have a screenshot utility that lets me grab images off the screen in 320x480 mode. Cool stuff.

Thank you, George

by Volker Weber

Iain Macwhirter in The Herald:

First it was Osama Bin Laden; then it was Saddam Hussein; now we have a new sinister face on George W Bush's "wanted" list: Moqtada al Sadr, head of the al Mahdi militia. Another Iraqi public enemy No 1. Another turbaned image of Islamic terror to hunt down, dead or alive. Lock and load, people.

But hang on. Isn't this latest incarnation of Muslim evil a member of the Shi'ite religious denomination? Aren't they supposed to be the good guys? Weren't the Saddam-oppressed Shia majority in Iraq supposed to be strewing flowers at the feet of the American liberators?

More >

Happy Easter

by Volker Weber


There is not a problem that I can't fix, because I can do it in the mix. Let the music play.

How to work better

by Volker Weber

  1. Do one thing at a time
  2. Know the problem
  3. Learn to listen
  4. Learn to ask questions
  5. Distinguish sense from nonsense
  6. Accept change as inevitable
  7. Admit mistakes
  8. Say it simple
  9. Be calm
  10. Smile

[discovered by Martin]

Dirty Harry

by Volker Weber

Spiegel Online hat einiges Harald-Schmidt-Sprüche gesammelt:

Wenn Männer schwanger werden können, heißt das dann umgekehrt, Frauen können in Zukunft auch Auto fahren?

Heiraten soll in Zukunft 300 Mark kosten auf dem Standesamt, und ich meine, kann sich das der durchschnittliche deutsche Mann überhaupt noch leisten? Es sind ja nicht nur die 300 Mark, es ist ja auch noch der Flug für die Frau nach Deutschland.

Die 'Bildwoche' hat herausgefunden, dass die Ernährung, Ausbildung usw. eines Kindes insgesamt 500.000 Mark kostet. 500.000 Mark - da muss ein Kind woanders auf der Welt lange dafür nähen.

More >

An Apple a day

by Volker Weber

applestyle1.jpg applestyle2.jpg
applestyle3.jpg applestyle4.jpg

Original images are about 100 times larger. Excuse the poor quality.

Ximian Evolution and Domino IMAP

by Volker Weber


I don't really trust the Domino IMAP server. There are a number of annoying things, for instance the Sent view that does not play nicely with the Sent folder in IMAP clients. But so far I have not seen a defect of this magnitude. With Ximian Evolution a number of fields in the list of messages remain empty, although the messages contain the required fields. This only happens for messages sitting on the server. As you move the messages to a local "replica" everything is fine. I assume that Domino does not return the correct data when Ximian asks for the contents of a folder. Has anybody else seen this and do you have a workaround?

Lazy Friday afternoon

by Volker Weber


Russian wallpapers

by Volker Weber


Avoid the Windows media trap

by Volker Weber


EasyWMA allows you to convert wma audio files to mp3 so that you can play your favorite songs in iTunes or any other player on your Mac.

Black Bodied Canon EOS 300D

by Volker Weber

Phil Askey of Digital Photography Review:

Canon Japan has today announced a new black bodied version of the 'Kiss Digital' as it is known in Japan (EOS 300D / Digital Rebel). At this stage it's unclear whether Canon will make the new black body available in Europe (as the EOS 300D) or North America (as the Digital Rebel). Remember also that the Japanese market get the USM version of the EF-S 18-55 mm lens which is powered by a normal DC motor in the rest of the world. Personally I think the camera looks much better in black, the color Canon should have chosen right from the start.


Recently, in a secluded place

by Volker Weber


I don't know what is weirder: The color, or the fact that somebody is taking pictures in the men's room. Beware of geeks wearing cameras before you enter.

Testing Groove 3.0 beta, part 2

by Volker Weber

[continued from part 1]


The Groove interface has improved a lot since version 2.5. What you see here is the dialog you get after selecting File/New/Workspace. Groove lets you select either an existing folder you would like to share with others, create a very basic workspace with discussion and files tool or you can select from a long list of more sophisticated applications.

Notes users think "templates". And Notes developers might find this image very familiar. What do you think?

Oracle is hiring

by Volker Weber

I came across your contact information on the Internet. I thought you might be interested in or know someone that might be interested in a Product Manager career Opportunity with Oracle Corporation. We are looking for several Product Managers as well as Product Managers / Product Developers for our Collaboration Suite product area. The successful candidate will have at least 8 years of Product Management experience, preferably in a Collaborative environment. Although the job description specifically mentions experience with the Oracle product line, we will consider candidates with competitive product experience as well. I was wondering if you would be interested in this opportunity or if you know someone that would be interested.

Sounds interesting? Now look where this person has placed his inquriy. Hint: The owner of this site probably sleeps in IBM pyjamas.

I thought German trains had WiFi. No?

by Esther Schindler

Maybe it's just England that has the problem...

This month is when The Boeing Co.'s high-speed Internet service, called Connexion, will go live with Wi-Fi in the sky on four airlines. Meanwhile, Europe's railways are stuck at the buffers.

More >

German wine festivals in August?

by Esther Schindler

I'm planning a vacation — my first in more than two years. This time, we're looking at flying to London for a few days, taking the train to Koln (and then "do" the Mosel and Rhine more thoroughly; we didn't get to Trier on the previous trips), then hopping on a train to Munich. The beer-wine-beer vacation. Doesn't everyone plan their itinerary based on food?

(I lobbied for a one day stopover in Paris, but my husband suggests that France may not be a good place for Americans right now. I think he's just afraid of not speaking the language at all.)

I'm trying (so far unsuccessfully) to find out when the wine country festivals will be. Maybe those sites are all in German. Ideally I'd be travelling in August (when it's hot and miserable here in Arizona). Can you guys help me out?

(And if anybody wants to get together, just let me know.)


Testing Groove 3.0 beta, part 1

by Volker Weber


Today I have finally gotten around to re-install Windows on Charlie, the Stinkpad. This time I decided to put some of the Microsoft boxes that had been sitting around for a while to good use. So on went XP, Office 2003, a whole lot of fixes, and finally the beta of Groove 3.0.

Things have changed considerably. The program no longer tries to create it's own UI, but rather blends in nicely with the GUI. If the folks in Beverly would decide to drop the green logo completely from the UI it would be even nicer. What you see here is the standard Launchpad that loads considerably faster than Groove Workspace did. It is still eating up 35 meg of RAM when idle, but at least it does not seem to slow down the machine at all.

I have not really done a lot of things with it so far, since I have been warned to not use it for important data — hey, all the data I share is important to me — but I have noticed a few things in the settings that once again show me how firm Groove is in MS territory:


It also has a new Sharing page where you can tell it to share the contents of My Documents, My Music or My Photos as well as the Internet Explorer favorites between your computers. Of course you need to install Groove on all of them.

When I installed the software it needed activation. From what I see for the trial version on that activation page, it looks as if the days of a few preview version are numbered. From what I can say today there will be a restriction to 3 spaces and 50 records in the form tool immediately. And 60 days later all other meaningful functions stop working. It sounds like a reasonable trial period, after which Groove Networks needs your money.

One of the things that put me off in 2.5 are still there in 3.0. For instance the continous communication without me having any idea what the product is telling which receiver:


Miscellaneous Communications. 8 kb every few seconds. What's going on here?

Spray-On Usability, Reloaded

by Volker Weber

John Gruber is trying to get his traffic through the roof with some serious flame-bait:

The key is that there’s never going to be a good desktop user interface for Linux that pleases the Linux nerds who don’t care about usability. If the reason you use Linux is that you value tweakability over usability, or if you get off on the fact that a normal person couldn’t sit down in front of your computer and figure out how to use it, you’re probably not going to like a system that doesn’t even have a replaceable “window manager”. Trying to create a cohesive GUI system that appeals to these guys is like trying to write music that appeals to the tone deaf. The worst part is that if anyone succeeds at putting together a usable desktop for Linux, these anti-usability Linux advocates will piss all over it. It’s not worth listening to the opinions of assholes; and but once you shut them off, they just get angrier.

More >

Late for work again?

by Volker Weber


Ladies and gentlemen, update your engines

by Volker Weber

Security Update 2004-04-05 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components: CUPS Printing, libxml2, Mail, OpenSSL

Nous sommes desoles que notre president soit un idiot

by Volker Weber


Care instructions on a laptop bag made my Tom Bihn in the Pacific North-West: Nous sommes desoles que notre president soit un idiot. Nous n'avons pas vote pour lui. (We are sorry that our President is an idiot. We didn't vote for him.') That part of the country is not exactly Bush-friendly:

Someone (probably one of you) just emailed us to let us know about this. Thanks for your support. I was wondering when someone would notice the tag. My idea to put that on the care label was inspired by these t-shirts. I just hope that not too many people notice. I'm going to have nightmares about this ending up on Drudge!

Too late, I guess.

[skeptomai via boingboing]

Not yet spring

by Volker Weber


Kristof has two nice pictures of Herrngarten, three blocks up the road from my house and one block from his. While it is getting warmer (15 °C, 60s °F) the trees are not yet green. But they will be very very soon.

Nikon D70 review

by Volker Weber


Phil Askey publishes his long awaited D70 review. I am sitting on the fence regarding the purchase of a new camera. I have had it for small and not very capable digicams. I believe the low end of that market is merging with phones and PDAs into a new personal companion.

If you want to take some good photos you will need a more traditional camera. The EOS 300D (a.k.a. Digital Rebel) is out of the question for me. The fake-metal body and the crippled software don't cut it for me. But there are other contenders like the Sigma SD10 currently on sale at Amazon, or a non-SLR camera like the Canon Powershot Pro1 which wins hands down against the Sony DSC-F828.

Choices. :-)

On heavy rotation

by Volker Weber


Diana Krall, When I look in your eyes

Ferrari 51 - Mercedes 4

by Volker Weber


The real drama in Formula One is not whether Michael Schumacher wins yet another title. It is when and if McLaren-Mercedes will have a car that can finish a race and then win it. The team that made Mika Hakkinen World Champion in '98 and '99 has lost the title four years in a row to Michael Schumacher and Ferrari. Last year McLaren-Mercedes had to race in the 2002 car because they could not get the new car on the track. Despite having a budget of 280 million Euros the current #1 driver Kimi Raikkonen has not finished one of the three races so far. As it stands the team is a distant #5 behind Ferrari, Renault, Williams-BMW and BAR-Honda. BILD headlines "Silberfackel" (silver torch) instead of "Silberpfeil" (silver arrow). There is no use spending hundreds of millions and then being ridiculous.

I see dead people in the McLaren-Mercedes team.

Do you have marshmallow peeps in Europe?

by Esther Schindler

Here's something new to do with them: dueling peeps. From, I believe, the Washington Post. (Someone passed this along to me, so I don't have the link.)

You take two peeps, arm each one with a toothpick under where the left wing would be and set them face to face, about an inch apart of a microwave safe plate. You put the plate in the micro wave and turn it on. The Peeps swell in the heat to balloon status. Eventually, one Peep's toothpick lance bursts the other Peep and it collapses, leaving the victor puffed with pride.

Should this not be enough for you, you can visit the official Peeps site. God, the Internet has everything... even a Peeps fan page.

Congratulations to Andrea and Alex

by Volker Weber

Andrea and Alex Hernandez multiply again and add another one. José María and Benjamin have a new brother Cristobal. And the winner is Chile! :-)

Weird link of the day department

by Volker Weber

Recipe for making truly gross and disgusting Kitty Litter Cake, that frightfully resembles a well used kitty litter box.

Japanese for beginners

by Volker Weber

What is a) makudonarudo and b) sutorabeli aisukuri-mu?

More >

I like the third button

by Volker Weber


[Found here by Stefan]

Wieder eine Chance verpasst

by Volker Weber

Eben bei IT&W sehr Nettes über Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells gelesen. Das war auch für mich eine der ganz einschneidenden Platten gewesen. Natürlich habe ich sie sowohl als CD und als LP (gehabt). Ich hätte sie sogar noch ein drittes Mal als Tubular Bells 2003 gekauft. Aber Warner Brothers (?) hat das auf ganz einfache Weise verhindert. Das behindert natürlich nur die zahlenden Kunden und so spare ich mir das Geld lieber.

Steve Ballmer regrets

by Volker Weber

If you heard Steve Ballmer say: "That's probably the thing I feel worst about over the last few years ..." to what do you think he's referring? If you're like us, the phrase "Monkey Boy Dance" immediately springs to mind.

But, alas, he's referring to the fact Redmond didn't develop search engine technology and now has to play catch-up to Google. Ballmer's also a big believer in online advertising and has told his staff to "saturate" the Web with Microsoft ads, thus further endearing the company to users.

"I want to make sure [a user] can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad," he said.

[Layer 8 via CNN]

Wise words

by Volker Weber

Will Parker, a Mac user formerly working for Microsoft, comments on new features in the upcoming new version of Mac Office. He tells us in very simple words what is broken with IT in large organizations.

Think of ways to break away from the proprietary Office file formats, without losing the ability to communicate with those still living on the plantation.

Remember this -- it is not your software or your computer or even the companies that make them that you need to defeat. Your enemy is the tendency of large organizations to attempt to impose top-down control on members of that organization -- and on anyone else who interacts with the organization.

Demand and offer equality, and you will win. Eventually.


by Volker Weber


This campaign was so un-PC that Ford had to pull it. Even in the UK, which is used to advertizing which is impossible anywhere else (maybe with the exception of Belgium). You have seen the bird. Now see the cat.

[Thanks, Alexander]


by Volker Weber


[Larger image]

Second life for a Compaq Armada m700, part 2

by Volker Weber

[Continued from part 1]

Put the Windows CD in and reboot, Go through the first screens and let it remove the Linux partitions. Reformating the HD with NFTS actually takes about as much time as the full Linux install. But I am going to sit through it.

It took about an hour to get Windows 2000 up and running. Then another 30 minutes to install SP4 and all of the updates I have on a CD provided by Microsoft at CeBIT. The biggest issue I ran into was the 25 digit code you have to enter during installation. The machine has a sticker underneath that clearly states that there is a license for Windows 2000 Professional attached to the machine. The serial is however useless, because you can only use it with the "restore" CD provided by Compaq which of course has been lost. So I needed to "recycle" a different code. MS, stop screwing your paying customers with this b/s.

Got Windows drivers for the Netgear MA401 card from the web and installed that. Add the MAC address to my filter list so I can access my wireless router. Run Windows update again.

Next on the install list are iTunes and Quicktime so the owners can enjoy stuff from my website. Mozilla for mail and web browsing. That should save a lot of headaches caused my mail worms. Final installation task was OpenOffice so nobody has to "borrow" Microsoft Office.

Mission completed. One Compaq Armada revived with Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4, OpenOffice, Mozilla, iTunes and Quicktime. Installation time: 3 hours 30 minutes. That is 3 hours more than the Linux installation took.

Google rank improving

by Volker Weber

Two days ago I told you this site was #10 on Google for the very frequent search term "Weber". Now we are already #8:


You can help push it up even more if you place this link on your site:

<a title="Weber" href="http://vowe.net">Weber</a>

Now let's see if we can get it to #1. :-)

Second life for a Compaq Armada m700, part 1

by Volker Weber

Today we stayed at a friend's house much longer than we expected. What a wonderful afternoon and evening. :-)

When you talk about computers and stuff you sometimes end up with something to fix. In this case it turned out that they had a Compaq Armada m700 sitting in the basement as a paper weight, since they were no longer able to even install Windows on it. It gave them a blue screen somewhere in the second installation phase after Windows 2000 started up from the HD. So it reboots into the same installation phase, bluescreens again. Ad infinitum.

To start off: I like Windows 2000 a lot. It does not force you to "activate" it like Windows XP, it still has the clean user interface, it has an NT foundation and it hardly ever crashes on me at all. But still, this was a tough nut to crack.

So, my first reaction is: Install Linux. See if that works. I took the machine back home, put the first Fedora Core CD in and let that run a default install. Worked like a charme. Within less than half an hour the disk was partitioned, operating system and applications installed. Ready to roll. Works without any difficulties at all. So whatever happens next, I can go back there any time.

Now, I am not force feeding Linux onto anyone who has not asked me for it. I am now trying again to get Windows 2000 going. XP is not an option, as the machine is only licensed for Windows 2000. I am now breaking my rule that I am not going to help another person with Windows. Simple reason: I won't have to support it later. :-)

I will tell you later how everything went.

Blinded by the light

by Volker Weber

Same story for men and women.

Man kann über alles reden, nur nicht über 15 Minuten

by Volker Weber



by Volker Weber

Oh Mann, und das früh am Morgen. Danke der unermüdlichen Tanja.

Sexual Organ

by Volker Weber

Not as bad as it sounds. Play the organ, load Track 1, then play D and F. Instant Barry White. OK, the other keys are a bit more daring. :-)

Spray-On Usability

by Volker Weber

John Gruber makes a good case against usability in open source software projects:

The open source revolution has done nothing to change the fact that the best-designed, most-intuitive user interfaces are found in closed-source commercial software.

I’m not saying all commercial software is well-designed, nor that all free software is poorly-designed — what I’m saying is that software that does provide a well-designed, intuitive interface tends to be closed and commercial. The bigger the software, the more likely this is to be true.

I consider this essential reading for anybody who believes that the Linux desktop is not good enough. I am not ready to agree with him that open software is doomed UI-wise. But I concur that a whole lot of attitude adjustment is overdue.

More >

Fixing my SUSE wireless LAN problem

by Volker Weber

When I was young we used to play with Lego bricks. Today I play with software. It is really boring when everything is running so I tear it apart and rebuild it. Learn while you play.

I told you that I removed Fedora Core from one machine and replaced it with SUSE and on top of that Ximian Desktop. That worked very well - with one exception. I had to remove WEP encryption from my WLAN and rely on MAC address filters to control access to the network. Not terribly secure but I have a VPN layer to protect the data.

So I was wondering why I could not get WEP to work and I configured the card using YaST2 numerous times. Then I worked directly with the config files. Whatever I tried, it did not work. If at first you don't succeed, try again. As you remove layers of abstraction, you get to the more basic stuff. I then tried to load the WLAN card with a different set of parameters using iwconfig but the system could not find it. Locate/updatedb failed as well. While trying to hunt down the utility it suddenly hit me. Could I possible not have installed the wireless-tools package? Bingo. Now wouldn't it be great if the higher level tools would spot that error and suggest the installation of the missing package? They probably could. But that take all the fun out of this adventure game. Then I might as well just use Macs only.

Note so self: The minimal installation does not contain wireless-tools.


by Volker Weber


Russell: My New Job at Microsoft Mobile Division

by Volker Weber

Russell Beattie on April, 1:

Thanks to some help from Robert Scoble and some contacts I made while attending Microsoft's Mobile DevCon last week, I've received and accepted an offer to become a technical evangelist for Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform!

Yes, I know what you're thinking, "Russ, but you hate Microsoft!" Yes, that was true, but they offered me a bundle of money and the opportunity to lie to millions of developers about how great the .Net platform is, so I couldn't pass it up.

More >

Wanna be a manager?

by Esther Schindler

I haven't tried the game yet, but I know a couple of people who have gotten hooked.

The Intel® IT Manager Game tests your entire skill set - people management, resource allocation, strategic analysis and planning. It also tests your courage under fire - can you stand up to the scrutiny of top management along with that of your peers in the industry? Will the decisions you make result in breathtaking profits or devastating losses? Will you enjoy the sweet taste of victory or the bitter agony of defeat? Are you destined for management glory or will you be the kid sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the bell to ring?

More >

Supersize it

by Volker Weber


Bonus: Body and brains.

Want to join in for a little Google bomb?

by Volker Weber

This site has been Google's #1 hit for "vowe" for a long time. That is actually 1 of 55,100. Then it became #1 for "Volker Weber". That is 1 in 163,000 currently. Recently I discovered that it is also #1 for "Volker" which makes it 1 in 1,860,000.

Looking through my referrers today I was very surprised to find this site on the first page for "Weber". This is #10 in 7,090,000. Now this is your task - put this code somewhere on your web site (may be white on white background):

<a title="Weber" href="http://vowe.net">Weber</a>

Now that was enough ego-surfing. :-)

Interesting preference

by Volker Weber


Nils Heeren has discovered an interesting preference in Mailsmith today: When new mail arrives, deliver a 2000 V shock to the user. If you ever try to fix a broken photoflash you know how that feels.

Finally I understand the claim that Bare Bones has for Mailsmith: "Extra-Strength Email for the Macintosh" :-)

Ximian Desktop 2

by Volker Weber


I strongly believe that you have to use and know the things you are talking about. That is not always the case for all people I had the pleasure to work with. :-)

So I had to do a few more Linux installs. I talked about Fedora Core and that I removed SUSE from all my machines. That is no longer the case. I wanted to try and use Ximian Desktop XD2 and I needed an operating system to support it. It turns out that XD2 runs on both RedHat 9 and SUSE Linux 9. RedHat 9 however is no longer updated, so I needed to install SUSE once again. I chose the "Minimum System with Graphics Subsystem" package selection since XD2 includes Gnome.

SUSE installed in 25 minutes flat. Then I started the XD2 network installer (RedCarpet) which needed a few runs to complete. I was having some difficulties enabling GDM as the desktop manager but then used the /etc/config Editor from within YaST2.

Boy, is this desktop lean and mean. Stylish, usable, beautiful - without any modifications. You hardly ever get to see any system internals and tools. You just use your mail client, web browser, office tools. BTW: The screenshot does not really do it any justice since it looks rather jagged after the resize. Compare this unscaled image of OpenOffice Ximian Edition.

Just get things done. What a concept for a Linux desktop. Somebody is copying a page from Apple's book. :-)

Is file sharing legal in Canada?

by Ken Porter

On Tuesday of this week, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced their intention to launch lawsuits against 247 people who share music on P2P networks in 4 countries; Germany, Denmark, Italy, and Canada.

The first step in the Canadian case, was to force Canadian ISPs to release the names of 29 of their customers involved in 'sharing' music.

But the judge denied that request. In a far-ranging decision, the court further found that both downloading music and putting it in a shared folder available to other people online appeared to be legal in Canada.

All you downloading hosers out there be careful; this decision will most certainly be appealed.

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Millionaire again

by Volker Weber


You did it again. A million hits a month. Thanks for stopping by.

Snappy answer

by Volker Weber

A college teacher reminds her class of tomorrow's final exam "Now class, I won't tolerate any excuses for you not being here tomorrow. I might consider a nuclear attack or a serious personal injury or illness, or a death in your immediate family but that's it, no other excuses whatsoever!"

A smart ass guy in the back of the room raised his hand and asks, "What would you say if tomorrow I said I was suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?"

The entire class does its best to stifle their laughter and snickering When silence is restored, the teacher smiles sympathetically at the student, shakes her head, and sweetly says, "Well, I guess you'd have to write the exam with your other hand."

Just a gentle reminder

by Volker Weber


I have a new desktop wallpaper. It serves as a gentle reminder that there is a life after computers and projects. What you see is the bow of a beautiful Boesch runabout.

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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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