November 2004

Shortest software test ever

by Volker Weber


After some communications going back and forth between Spartacus and myself (re: I do not test demo versions), I have received the tarball for Spartacus 1.16 yesterday. Installing now.

Installation was a breeze. Restart Domino server, add-in task loads. First message arrives. Router hangs. Notes client can no longer access mail file. Bummer. Shutdown server hangs because router task does not terminate. Reboot. First Domino induced reboot ever.

Server comes up. Router hangs. Notes client can no longer access mail file. Shutdown server hangs because router task does not terminate. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice ... Calling uninstall from "Add/Remove Software". Reboot.

Server comes up. Delivers messages as before the change. Nice.

Your mileage may vary. This may be great software. But it is f'ing up my Domino server. If this happens, the offending software is removed and never installed again. This concludes my shortest software test ever.

O2 auch auf dem Irrweg

by Volker Weber

Wie die CW berichtet, wird O2 in den nächsten 18 Monaten ebenfalls das in Japan sehr erfolgreiche und bei E-Plus in Deutschland völlig untergegangene I-Mode anbieten.

Klingeltöne, Hintergrundbildchen, Spiele, und anderer Firlefanz. Na Klasse, können wir O2 wohl auch abschreiben? Gibt es denn wirklich niemanden, der kapiert, dass die Leute "richtig" ins Internet wollen? Nicht nur per WAP und I-Mode. E-Mail und Web. Überall, jederzeit, und das zu einem festen Preis.

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.

CleverCactus folding

by Volker Weber

Diego Doval, developer of CleverCactus reports that the company is running out of money:

For the last couple of months (and according to our plan) we have been looking for funding. Sadly, we haven't been able to get it.

CleverCactus Share is a P2P file sharing application, that works very well with Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. I hope that Diego can pull together a final version and release it. There also needs to be a central service that lets users find each other behind NAT routers. We cannot count on the sustained availability of this service when the company goes belly-up.

Diego has pulled off this tool all by himself. He deserves a new interesting project. If you have anything interesting coming up, drop him a note.

So you want to be a photographer?

by Volker Weber

Larger Image

Zwei verschiedene Tagebücher über den selben Abend

by Volker Weber

Ihr Tagebuch:

Am Samstag Abend hat er sich echt komisch verhalten. Wir wollten noch auf ein Bier ausgehen. Ich war den ganzen Tag mit meinen Freundinnen beim Einkaufen und kam deswegen zu spät – womöglich war er deswegen sauer. Irgendwie kamen wir gar nicht miteinander ins Gespräch, so dass ich vorgeschlagen habe, dass wir woanders hingehen, wo man sich besser unterhalten kann. Er war zwar einverstanden, aber blieb so schweigsam und abwesend. Ich fragte, was los ist, aber er meinte nur "nichts".

Dann fragte ich, ob ich ihn vielleicht geärgert habe. Er sagte, dass es nichts mit mir zu tun hat, und dass ich mir keine Sorgen machen soll. Auf der Heimfahrt habe ich ihm dann gesagt, dass ich ihn liebe, aber er fuhr einfach weiter. Ich versteh ihn einfach nicht, warum hat er nicht einfach gesagt "ich liebe Dich auch". Als wir nach Hause kamen, fühlte ich, dass ich ihn verloren hatte, dass er nichts mehr mit mir zu tun haben wollte. Er saß nur da und schaute fern – er schien weit weg und irgendwie abwesend. Schließlich bin ich dann ins Bett gegangen.

Er kam 10 Minuten später nach und zu meiner Überraschung hat er auf meine Liebkosungen reagiert und wir haben uns geliebt. Aber irgendwie hatte ich immer noch das Gefühl, dass er abgelenkt und mit seinen Gedanken weit weg ist. Das alles wurde mir zu viel, so dass ich beschlossen habe, offen mit ihm über die Situation zu reden, aber da war er bereits eingeschlafen. Ich habe mich in den Schlaf geweint. Ich weiß nicht mehr weiter. Ich bin fast sicher, dass er eine andere hat. Mein Leben hat keinen Sinn mehr.

Sein Tagebuch:

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Plain Clip

by Volker Weber

Plain Clip is a small Mac OS X application that removes formatting from text which is on the clipboard.

The real reasons behind the Iraq invasion ?

by Volker Weber

The Australian has an interesting story on the real reasons behind Iraq invasion:

Why are we in Iraq? It is not, as some ranters claim, because George Bush is stupid and bloodthirsty and John Howard a spineless crawler. Nor is it because the US has regressed to Wilsonian imperialism.

For those seriously interested in the question I recommend a seriously interesting new book, America's Secret War by George Friedman. Friedman is founder of Stratfor, a private, subscription-financed global intelligence service, which I find consistently well-informed. Friedman writes of the struggle in Iraq in relentlessly Realpolitik terms.

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[via webminks's bookmarks]

Gapingvoid: Why I prefer Windows to Macintosh

by Volker Weber

Good flame bait:

Metaphorically, Apple wears its label on the outside. And it appeals to people who do likewise.

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by Volker Weber


Eclipse download hell

by Volker Weber

Simon Willison encounters Eclipse download hell:

One of the many thing the Mozilla/Firefox team have got right is the fantastic ease with which the application can be downloaded. Visitors to are greeted with a nice big "Free Download" link, aimed straight at the version for their (automatically detected) operating system hosted on a mirror geographically close to their IP address. It's hard to think of any way they could improve on this.

Contrast the Firefox experience to that facing anyone who wishes to download the Eclipse IDE. By far the most common usage of Eclipse is as an intelligent Java development environment, but the front page of makes no mention of this, instead calling it "a kind of universal tool platform - an open extensible IDE for anything and nothing in particular" followed by a link to a white paper. If you wanted to be pedantic about Firefox you could call it a "development platform for XUL-based web-centric applications" (and maybe mention the embedded HTML parser in a foot-note) but doing so would be utterly counter-productive.

More >

Back from the future

by Ken Porter

In the year 2014, The New York Times has gone offline. The fourth Estate's fortunes waned. What happened to the news? And what is EPIC?


Experimenting with social networks

by Volker Weber

Apart from many invitations to openBC I have also received invitations for LinkedIn, and I have now created a profile.

So far I have to side with Ed:

To be brutally honest, I haven't yet seen the value in these services...they seem like big time-sinks and/or ego boosters to me. Perhaps, one day, I'll need to know if anyone knows anyone at Foo Incorporated. In the meantime, we can play "my network is bigger than your network".

One thing I have found to be valuable is to reconnect to people you may have lost. My usual pattern was to sit on my mountain and wait for others to find me, but those tools let me better reach out to people I have not seen in a while.

If you ask yourself, if I am not a little bit late to game: It is actually much nicer to join a party that is already going on. :-) Since most people on openBC link to their business mail address and all contacts need to be confirmed there is only a small uptick in contacts over the weekend. If you come in through this link you are already acknowledged.

Download free mp3 tracks from Mercedes-Benz

by Volker Weber


Mercedes does it again and releases Mixed Tape 04 with 15 tracks from Audiotreats feat. Bruda & Psycho, Bertram Ritter, DJane EmBee feat. Aleksz, Four Chords, Ken.Ji, Keston & Westdal feat. Ester Godinez, Lemon Curry?, Mycrotom, Nachttierhaus, Sadder Star, Spleeny feat. Cosmanova, Sébastian Tellier, The Dalles, Tres Amigos, and UX. Mixed Tape 05 will be released on January, 24.

The tracks are ripped with excellent quality, are neatly tagged and already have the album art embedded for iTunes. You will have to set the album tag for all tracks to "Mixed Tape 04" and set the tracks as "part of a compilation" to keep them together in iTunes. I recommend importing them one after the other. Go get them.

[Thanks, Manfred]

Recently at a wedding

by Volker Weber

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This is what I call compensation...

by Ragnar Schierholz

Yes, certainly sad that it did get this far, but at least a customer friendly reaction: PalmOne gives away SD-Cards to Treo 650 customers (in german)

Obviously, the PalmOS version deployed with the Treo 650 as well as the Tungsten T5 is a little inefficient in memory usage, just allocating blocks of 512 bytes as minimum to each record. Now PalmOne seems to address that with a patch, but this won't be available until months from now. Thus, they compensate their suffering customers with more memory. Well, at least something!

Doing business in Europe?

by Volker Weber


I had originally dismissed the idea of joining one of the social networks. After all I am not that hard to find. :-) But I can make up my mind. So I joined openBC (open Business Club) yesterday and have acquired quite a contact list in less than 24 hours. The value of a network grows exponentially with 2^n. So, come on in.

Join the network >

It's "Make your own caption" time

by Volker Weber



by Volker Weber

  1. Du fährst mit dem Auto und hältst eine konstante Geschwindigkeit.
  2. Auf deiner linken Seite befindet sich ein Abhang.
  3. Auf deiner rechten Seite fährt ein riesiges Feuerwehrauto und hält die gleiche Geschwindigkeit wie du.
  4. Vor dir galoppiert ein Schwein, das eindeutig größer ist als dein Auto und du kannst nicht vorbei.
  5. Hinter dir verfolgt dich ein Hubschrauber auf Bodenhöhe.
  6. Das Schwein und der Hubschrauber haben exakt deine Geschwindigkeit.

Was unternimmst du, um dieser Situation gefahrlos zu entkommen?

More >

Mac text editor roundup

by Volker Weber

Still haven't found your text editor on the Mac? Read this.

Der Preis für die 100. Einladung zum openBC

by Volker Weber


... geht an Carola Heine. Nach einem recht munteren Gespräch mit Marco und Olaf habe ich beschlossen, es ist einfacher, mal eine Einladung anzunehmen, statt sie jedesmal mehr oder weniger freundlich abzulehnen. Und jetzt gilt es, diesen freundlichen Herren zu schlagen:


Fast 500 Kontakte — ich fall um. Also nicht schüchtern sein und hier klicken. ;-)

Replacing science with belief

by Volker Weber

If you need proof that going to church makes you stupid then read the results of this poll.

Has anybody seen the Workplace client?

by Volker Weber

IBM keeps telling us how we can use Workplace offline with the WCT (Workplace Client Technology). However I have yet to meet a single person who has obtained this client from IBM and deployed it. So here is my question: Have you succeeded (or failed) in obtaining this client from IBM and if you have it, do you have it deployed?

A lesson from history

by Volker Weber


These kind of pictures became unpopular where we live almost sixty years ago. They had the same claim, and were red instead of blue. In Iraq they became unpopular last year, and they are rumored to be removed in North Korea right now. Libya still has them.

Le calendrier 2005 d'Aubade est arrivé

by Volker Weber


Télécharger le calendrier annuel >

Apple updates iCal

by Volker Weber

iCal 1.5.4 includes security enhancements to help protect your computer when importing events with alarms that open files or applications.

Where did my CD go?

by Volker Weber

Not really useful, but loads of fun:

We made Disctop to bring a bit of fun in working with your brand new iMac G5, although it can be of use as well, and not only for owners of an iMac. Normally when you insert a CD in your Mac it disappears, but where does it go? They simply pop up on your desktop! After installing Disctop, your inserted CD or DVD slides in from the side and neatly fades back into your desktop picture. Now you always know if there's a disc inside, and what type it is.

More >

[via T.C.]

Jacek Rutkowski, Cyberstalker

by Volker Weber

Russell Beattie has a problem:

In case you don't know it, Jacek Rutkowski from has real problems and now I'm the target of his crazed obsessions.

I'd love to keep on ignoring this guy, but it's come to the point where people are emailing me and asking me what's going on. He writes personal attacks against me on his weblog - which get picked up by Google News and alerted to god knows how many people, he's leaving comments on other people's weblogs slandering me and this morning he actually *called my home*. If he lived here in the U.S. I'd get a restraining order. I mean, hey, I have lots of people who dislike me - that goes with the territory of having a strongly opinionated weblog. There are bound to be people you upset. But this guy is special. First, he's personally attacking and lying about me to a large audience, secondly he's actually calling my home.

Let's see how long it takes Jacek until he realizes that he himself is driving on the wrong side of the road and not everybody else. More than two years apparently.

More >

Coming home

by Volker Weber

Stowe Boyd of Corante goes back to the Mac:

A week or so ago, I finally realized that I had had it with Windows, and decided to revert to Mac after a five year hiatus. I have ordered a Mac laptop, and it should be arriving today. I only switched to Windows in 98, because I had to review so much PC software and I wasn't willing to have two machines. Now, I intend to have a lab PC, and use that just for testing purposes. The Mac will be where I live, work, write, and create. And connect my iPod.

I still find it amazing how much time you can save by not working on Windows.

Treo 650-600 Photo Comparison

by Volker Weber

Amazing Treo 650-600 photo comparison. Can't wait to get my hand on a 650.

Business Idea: Sell your marketing brochures

by Volker Weber

The IBM Workplace strategy and how the underlying software infrastructure of Workplace provides the flexibility that businesses need is described. An overview of the key product lines that implement the IBM Workplace vision, including Lotus Workplace, WebSphere Portal, Lotus Notes and Domino, and WebSphere Everyplace is also provided, along with complete business examples that illustrate the ways an organization can get started in planning and implementing the Workplace vision.

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Extreme caution

by Volker Weber

Who says Radicati?

This presentation is designed for distribution to employees to raise their awareness of the importance of using extreme caution if and when it becomes necessary to visit blogs as part of the employee's job performance.

More >

[via Heiko]

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

by Volker Weber

I knew that Lotus Discovery Server, the artist formerly known as Raven, wasn't going anywhere, but I have missed the official software withdrawal notice:

Effective September 13, 2004, IBM discontinued sales of IBM Lotus Discovery Server products. On or after that date, you can no longer obtain licenses for these withdrawn products directly from IBM. They may be obtained on an as-available basis through IBM authorized remarketers. IBM will continue to provide technical support for Lotus Discovery Server products licensed under the IBM IPLA until September 30, 2005.

[Tip of hat to E.A.P.]

Travel ahead

by Volker Weber

Tuesday I shall be attending the Microsoft Architects Forum in Mainz. This is the first event of its kind here, and I am looking forward to find out how well this works out. The event is fully booked, so you cannot attend if you do not already have a ticket.

In the evening I will relocate to Mannheim for the 21. DNUG Konferenz. For those of you who have user group meetings with a few dozen people attending, this would be quite a change. DNUG usually draws a crowd of 500 participants and more. Sadly I will be missing the keynotes of Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck, member of the IBM Academy of Technology and David Marshak of the Patricia Seybold Group. At least I am not missing the party that night at the Dorint Kongress Hotel. :-)

On Wednesday I shall be chairing the panel discussion on e-mail policy before Erik Schwalb's closing keynote session on the future of Notes/Domino and Lotus Workplace, which I hope is not a rerun of Uffe Sorensen's opening keynote. Ed, you can relate, can't you?

See you at either of the events. Take this opportunity to talk to me if you see me. I go there for the people, not only for the sessions.

Written communication

by Volker Weber

A man sends home this fax:

My Dear Wife,

You will surely understand that I have certain needs that you, with your age, 54 year old body, can no longer supply, I am very happy with you and value you as a good wife. Therefore after reading this fax, I hope that you will not wrongly interpret the fact that I will be spending the evening with my 18 year old secretary at the Comfort Inn Hotel. Please don't be perturbed. I shall be back home before midnight.

When the man came home, he found the following letter on the dining room table:

My Dear Husband,

I received your fax and thank you for being honest. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you are also 54 years old. At the same time I would like to inform you that while you read this, I will be at the Hotel Fiesta with Michael, my tennis coach, who, like your secretary is also 18 years old. As a successful businessman and with your excellent knowledge of math, you will understand that we are in the same situation, although with one small difference. 18 goes into 54 more often than 54 into 18, therefore, I will not be back before lunchtime tomorrow.

Free Captain FTP registration

by Volker Weber

Save the $25 registration fee for Captain FTP by using this coupon code: 416674a509b68. Offer valid through end of December. I still prefer Cyberduck.

IMSmarter - advanced IM (really advanced?)

by Ragnar Schierholz

I just came across an article on /.: Enhanced Instant Messaging with IMSmarter. I went to the site, signed up for the service and for now, I must say I seem to like it. Let's see how this evolves over time.

What does it do? It basically is an IM proxy. You configure your IM clients to use IMSmarter's proxy server and it forwards all your messages. As such, no big deal.

But it also stores your conversation logs centrally (unless you tell it not to by simply typing [secret] in a chat window which will delete the last 4hrs of log and stop logging until you sign off) so you can access them from anywhere.

Also it has a (somewhat simple) blog interface. A bot-buddy will be available for being added to your buddy list. Just send that contact a message "blog" and the next message will become a blog entry's subject, the subsequent messages become content until you type "end" alone in a message.

Also, there is a reminder service. Just send 'Remind me in {xy} [minutes/hours/days] to "reminder message"' or 'Remind me at {time} to "reminder message"' and the bot will send you the reminder message after or at the specified time.

Werbung muss nicht teuer sein

by Volker Weber

Apple's flock worships new store

by Volker Weber

Apple Apple Apple 
Photos: Apple

The BBC reports there were emotional scenes at the opening of the Apple store in London on Saturday:

Shop openings this side of the Atlantic traditionally consist of some feeble ribbon-cutting, a few pictures for the local newspaper, and maybe even a free goody bag for the first lucky customer to pass the threshold.

But in the world of Apple it was always going to be so much more. Because judging by those queuing up for the opening of Europe's first Apple store in London on Saturday, their customers are not just buyers, they are believers. Some had waited 25 hours or more in bitterly cold temperatures to be at the front of the queue. By 11 in the morning - one hour after opening - police were estimating 5,000 had turned up.

Moments later the final countdown begins and Matt joins the first wave to flood into the store. A guard of honour, dressed in black T-shirts, meets the faithful as their big moment finally arrives. Store manager John O'Grady shouts above the din to declare the store officially open. He later says he was "welling up" with the emotion of it all.

[Thanks, Vesey]


by Volker Weber


Squares A and B have the same color (#6B6B6B).

[via Gero von Randow]

Another International Apple Retail Store

by Ken Porter

First Apple announces the iTMS for Canada will open at the end of November, and now this.

[Apple] confirmed to CNET on Friday that it plans to open a store in Toronto in mid-2005.

I wonder where it will be.....


Dealing with unreadable content

by Volker Weber

Mail from Outlook/Outlook Express when viewed in Apple’s Mail application that is included with Mac OS X renders very small. It doesn’t matter what you tell the application to do in the preferences, it gets ignored due to the formatting style of the messages themselves. Essentially the message text is rendered really tiny. Impossible to read without squinting and generally not very nice.

The proposed solution: Create a CSS file and tell to use that CSS to render the message.

Capt. Hajo has a much more effective solution: Relegate all HTML-formatted mail to the spam folder.


by Volker Weber


Accommodation in London W4?

by Volker Weber

We are looking for a nice and small bed & breakfast or hotel in London W4. Any hints how to find that?

Only in Japan

by Volker Weber


New spam rule

by Volker Weber

If charset=Windows-1251 then move to spam folder.

SubEthaFari updated

by Volker Weber

cnnsource1.png  cnnsource2.png

If you are using SubEthaFari to replace Safari's "View source" with SubEthaEdit, then check out Martin Pittenauer's blog. He has just updated the "hack" to using AppleScript support in SubEthaEdit 2.1: No temp files, faster, less bugs.

More >

Move over, subserviant chicken

by Volker Weber

Here comes Tammy, the virtual bar tender.

The English-to-12-Year-Old-AOLer Translator

by Volker Weber


This translator will take what you write in it and turn it into the manner a 12-year-old AOLer would write it. Type in what you want translated and then click the button.




Ellen Feiss reloaded

by Volker Weber


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Six times nine is ...?

by Volker Weber

I wanted to look up the port that needs to be forwarded on my router to make SubEthaEdit's collaborative editing work and found this little gem in the FAQ:

Version 2.0 introduced a new, more efficient network protocol and therefore changed the port number to port 6942, easily memorable with the help of advanced hypermathematics: "Six times nine is forty-two".

My brain fails on this hypermathematics. It says "Six times nine is fifty-four". But it is all explained here.

IBM's Workplace Will Be the Future of Lotus Notes/Domino

by Volker Weber

Tom Austin puts the Nov, 9 announcements into perspective:

Gartner expects IBM's Workplace will supersede Lotus Notes/Domino. New Workplace packages aimed at solving business problems (rather than enabling generic collaboration and communication) are a welcome, new focus.

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SubEthaEdit 2.1 is out

by Volker Weber


My favorite OS X editor has just been updated:

The new version adds some often requested features: A UNIX command line utility to enable complex and interactive pipe workflows with your terminal. Overhauled printing, including all bells and whistles, even with collaborative metadata. Exporting to HTML, again with metadata. Completely user customizable syntax highlighting through styles. Support for editing files as administrator. Improved AppleScript support to allow control of sharing features.

More >

Critical Security Update for Skype

by Ragnar Schierholz

Since there was quite some activity concerning Skype recently on this blog, I think this should be of interest to many readers as well: Skype has released an update to 1.0.100 for their Windows client, fixing a buffer overflow error which has been classified as critical.

In your Software Update..

by Ken Porter

The AirPort 4.1 for Mac OS X 10.3 software supports all models of Apple AirPort base stations including the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express models.

What's new in AirPort 4.1:

  • Supports Keyspan Express Remote for use with AirTunes (AirPort Express only)
  • Support for WPA security on WDS networks
  • Ability to rename a USB printer connected to a base station

Lotusphere 2005

by Volker Weber


A number of people have asked me whether I will attend Lotusphere '05. The standard answer is "don't know". This is a somewhat complicated matter that I don't want to explain in detail. It is usually not decided before mid-December. As you can see in the picture above, that has not hurt me so far. :-)

As it stands, the answer is "don't know". And as of the information I received today, it looks like "don't know yet why I would not".

Skype gets some traction

by Volker Weber


Last week there was the Siemens USB adapter that connects your cordless handset to a PC and Skype, today we have the DualPhone that either connects to the POT line or via your PC to the Skype network. It is basically the same thing as it ties the base station directly via USB to the PC.

The display shows whether your friends who also use Skype, are online. If they are, you simply have to press the appropriate green button and talk to them for free – no matter where they are in the world.

And there is more. Last week Qzoxy announced the Presence Server which allows you to build presence into your internet applications. Much like IBM has demonstrated with Sametime before. It is based on the recently published Skype API, currently Windows only.

My guess is, you ain't seen nothing yet. Skype is going to mix up the VoIP world.

Ten guys in a garage in Cleveland

by Volker Weber

While everyone seems to focus on how Microsoft can beat Google or not, Andrew hits it:

What made Google a market defining company is their thinking and approach more than their product. Those guys do not take anything for granted. They don't do things a certain way because that's how its been done before. They really think about each process they take on and take a really hard distant look at what it is about that process that they can do differently. Until another group of leaders emerge with the technical savvy, the imagination, and the business sense those guys bring to the table in one tight package their lead is safe. When it does happen, it will come from another small company with bright individuals. It will not come from a mega corporation with committee meetings and strategy teams.

It reminds me of a post that Groove Network's Mike Helfrich once wrote:

Many years ago, IBM's Lou Gerstner briefed a group of us on the things he worries about most. At the top of the list was the "10 guys in a garage in Cleveland."

Wechsel zu Arcor?

by Volker Weber

Ich habe derzeit einen ISDN-Anschluß von der T-Com, dazu DSL1000 und eine T-Online-Flatrate. Das läuft seit Jahren problemlos. Das macht aktuell 23,60 + 16,99 + 29,95 = 70,54

Nun flattert mir ein Angebot von Arcor auf den Tisch: Arcor-ISDN 19,95 + Arcor-DSL 10,00 + Arcor-DSL flat 9,95 = Gesamt 39,90. Das enthält dann DSL mit 1000/128. Für 5 Euro mehr gibt es 2000/192 und für noch mal 5 Euro dann 3000/384. Wenn ich das alles richtig lese, dann habe ich für 49,90 Euro ISDN plus DSL mit 3 MBit Downstream und 384 kBit Upstream.

Bis zum 30.11. kostet die Anmeldung bei Arcor nichts. Gibt es irgendeinen Grund nicht zu wechseln?

Update: Es gibt einen Grund: Qualität. Mir ist die Sache einfach noch zu joker. DSL ist hier "mission critical". Ich habe keine Lust mich zu ärgern, wenn etwas nicht klappt. Ich denke, ich lasse Arcor noch ein bisschen mit anderen üben.

Managing Mac OS X sharepoints

by Volker Weber

I added an external drive to Lucy and it did not show up as a share. This tool helped me to make it visible on the network:

SharePoints is an application or a preference pane that makes it easy to add and delete share points like in the old Finder. In Mac OS X, by default, you are limited to sharing only what is in your public folder in your home directory. This program makes it easy to share any folder.

In addition SharePoints also brings back users and groups management to Mac OS X as well as easy configuration of AppleFileServer (AFS) and Samba (SMB) Server properties.

More >

I am outta here

by Volker Weber


Lucy is busy, very busy as you can see. She is downloading stuff from the FTP server. But her CPU graph would look just the same. She is recoding music as MP3. And it will take her two days to get it done. And it is all because I made a mistake, a very silly mistake actually.

The mistake I made was to encode music with AAC, the Advanced Audio Codec of MGEG-4. If you have music encoded with AAC you can listen to it with iTunes and on the iPod. Fine. I have that. There is nothing else that plays AAC. That is fine with me today, but how about tomorrow? Apple has just demonstrated with the iTunes "Upgrade" to version 4.7 who they side with. They deliberately broke daapd and iPod Download. Which makes my life harder. Because I cannot move my music where I want it. iTunes will not let me move my music from one machine to the other. I can listen to it just fine. But I cannot consolidate it with iTunes alone. I just moved three iTunes libraries to one machine and merged them there. With daapd I could move a file over the network without resorting to a file server. But with the tools Apple lets me have now, I cannot look at meta data. I need to look at files and directories. Assume you want to take that playlist of songs you built on your iMac to your iBook so you can play them at a party. No can do.

Steve J. said, that people want to own their music. He is right. I am not advocating stealing your music. But I want to be able to do with it what I want and not what Apple lets me do with it. I have more CDs than I can fit in my CD-changer. And that holds 400 at a time. When I encode them to my computer I do not want to be restricted by closed formats and proprietary protocols. And I do not trust Apple's AAC, nor Microsoft's WMA or SONY's ATRAC. I will stick with MP3, the format that Steve B. called "stolen". He can call it anything he wants. But I like it because I plays with everything that is out there.

When Lucy is finished tomorrow night, the last AAC file has left my computers.


by Volker Weber


Want to buy a DELL notebook in Germany? Here is your choice of operating systems.

[Thanks, Karsten]

Welchen Mobilfunkbetreiber nehme ich?

by Volker Weber

Die letzten Jahre hatte ich einen ganz wunderbaren Tarif für Wenigtelefonierer: Den Pressetarif von T-Mobile. Null monatliche Kosten, Gesprächsgebühren wie bei Telly. Dabei kamen dann ein paar Cent bis ein paar Euro Monatsumsatz zusammen. Nun möchte T-Mobile gerne 15 Euro Zwangsumsatz kassieren. Die Tatsache, dass sie mir das als Vorteil verkaufen wollen, veranlasst mich, diesen Vertrag zu kündigen. Es stellt sich also die Frage: Wohin jetzt?

Vodafone ist mir genauso sympathisch wie T-Mobile. Was ich eigentlich gerne hätte, bietet keiner an: Eine Flatrate mit dem ich meine elektronische Post auf mein Treo umleiten kann. E-Plus hat jetzt einen Tarif mit einem Danger Hiptop, aber den will ich nicht. Zu groß, zu dick, und vollkommen proprietär. Die schon fertiggestellte Sync-Software für den Mac konnte Mark/Space letztens einmotten.

Also muss ich wetten. Da E-Plus dem Misserfolgsmodell iMode hinterher jagt, kann die Innovation eigentlich nur von O2 kommen. Die haben sich ja schon neulich mit Tchibo experimentierfreundlich gezeigt. Was würdet Ihr empfehlen?

Lotus down 6 percent

by Volker Weber

Mark Loughridge, IBM's Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer:

Lotus software was down 6 percent for the quarter.

We are continuing our product transition from Notes Domino, which declined 6 percent year-to-year, to our new workplace offering which exhibited strong growth both sequentially and year-to-year off a small base.

We also continue to provide value to our customers by including the key capabilities of our Quickplace and Sametime offerings in our WebSphere Portal offering.

More >

Locations of visitors to this website

by Volker Weber


There was a little zero-pixel image in the sidebar of this page that collected some data which in turn was used to generate a HitMap with the locations of visitors to this page. I am now removing the image since it was slowing down the display of this site somewhat. You can dig into the map by clicking on the image above.

Odd sign of the day department

by Volker Weber


Fashion design as a hobby

by Volker Weber

What do you need?

Paper and pen? Check.
Equipment? Check.
Models? Uhhm ... check.
Website? CHECK!

Voice over IP with DECT Handsets

by Volker Weber

How cool is this?

The Gigaset M34 USB is a small, easy-to-use USB adapter for computers. It offers you an incredible array of options. Calls on the Internet reduce your costs. Messenger services are equally possible. Thanks to the Internet alert function, you can see which of your friends are online and when.

To enable the Internet telephone function, the Gigaset M34 USB comes with the respective software from Skype. Just connect the Gigaset M34 USB to your computer. It will pass the telephone signals from the Internet on to your Gigaset S645, Gigaset S440/445 or Gigaset C340/345. So you can make calls with your Gigaset S44 or Gigaset C34 handset instead of a headset and enjoy perfect quality of service.

More >

[Thanks, Stefan]

First snow

by Volker Weber

First snow

The wiki is locked down

by Volker Weber

Good news: The wiki will not be closed down.

Bad news: You now need a password to edit pages. It is all explained here

Firefox 1.0 released

by Ragnar Schierholz

The Mozilla foundation has announced the release of the 1.0 version of the browser-only package Firefox. It's available in multiple languages already and can be downloaded at their download site (which seems to be awefully busy) or directly from their FTP server.

Wiki is about to be closed

by Volker Weber

I added a wiki to this site to facilitate collaboration. This has been a mixed success. There are some pages, that work really well, like the AimIDs and SkypeIDs pages. It has not been used for very much else though.

Things are changing however. We now have a few very busy users who flood the wiki with their invaluable commercial messages. And frankly, I am a bit tired to go in there each day to clean them out. I mean, it is quite easy. Show revisions, select the last good revision, edit the page, save the page. The only problem is: I have to do it myself. And that is a little bit of work every day, as you can see here:


I am trying to avoid this kind of situation by banning large parts of the internet from editing the wiki. But IP-banning does not solve the problem. It can only be solved by either applying a login/password scheme or by a community that takes care of those edits.

Since there is no community that takes care of it and I have no intention to start to register users, the end of this wiki is near.

Update: Because Marco asked - he is not a spammer. His entry was the target of a spammer.

Sitting duck

by Volker Weber

Reuters reports:

Pirated versions of U2's new album "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" have emerged on Internet file-sharing networks two weeks before it goes on sale, throwing into question its official release date.

A London spokeswoman for the band on Monday would only say that U2 was aware of the illicit copies, but that no decision had yet been made on changing the release date.

The record company is planning to release the album on November 22nd and 23rd. It is #1 on Amazon's Early Adopter Alternative Rock list. Customers want it. The tracks are now available on the internet. They could be released on iTMS with a flick of a wrist.

Can anybody explain why the record company is not taking the pressure out of the market by releasing the album?

Fedora Core 3 released

by Volker Weber

Fedora Core 3 is now available from Red Hat and in the torrent.

Konfabulator for Windows

by Volker Weber


Windows users, do no longer feel left behind. Konfabulator for Windows has been released today. Oh, yes, we are edging towards winter.

If you don't know what you want, you probably want this

by Volker Weber

What an interesting way to call somebody an idiot without actually doing it:

Available downloads:

- Windows installer (If you don't know what you want, you probably want this).
- Mac OS X image
- Debian package: testing or unstable
- Red Hat package: try a search
- Python source: zip, tar or cvs

[Found on the BitTorrent download page]

A well-dressed engineer ...

by Volker Weber


Apple releases OS X 10.3.6

by Volker Weber

The 10.3.6 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" and is recommended for all users.

Key enhancements include:

You go first. :-)


by Volker Weber

Ein Bekannter wollte, als er 12 Jahre alt war, eine Freundin haben.

Als er 14 wurde, fand er endlich eine, aber sie war ihm nicht leidenschaftlich genug - also wollte er unbedingt eine leidenschaftliche Freundin haben.

Als er 18 war, ging er mit einer leidenschaftlichen Frau aus, aber sie war sehr sensibel. Für sie war immer gleich alles furchtbar, sie war die Königin der Dramatik, weinte immer und drohte sogar, sich umzubringen. Er erkannte, dass er doch lieber eine selbstsichere Freundin haben wollte.

Als er 22 wurde, begegnete er einer selbstsicheren Frau, aber sie war langweilig. Sie war absolut berechenbar und nichts konnte sie antörnen. Das Leben war so langweilig, dass er sich entschloss, eine aufregende Freundin zu suchen.

Mit 24 traf er eine aufregende Frau, konnte aber mit ihrem Rhythmus nicht Schritt halten. Sie wechselte ständig ihre Interessen, war impulsiv und stritt mit jedem. Anfangs war er darüber amüsiert, aber er erkannte bald, dass ihre Verbindung keine Zukunft haben konnte. Er suchte daher ab diesem Zeitpunkt nach einer zielstrebigen Frau.

Mit 26 Jahren traf er sie: Intelligent, zielstrebig und bodenständig. Sie war eine Kollegin von ihm, seine Stellvertreterin. Sie war so zielstrebig, dass sie seinen Chef bumste und seine Stelle bekam.

Jetzt, über 30 Jahre alt - sucht er einfach eine Frau mit großen Titten...

[per Mail von Oliver, über 30]

Tieh Mohbail muss sparen

by Volker Weber

SpOn schreibt:

Zur Debatte stehen etwa die derzeit rund 1200 unterschiedlichen Mobilfunktarife, die T-Mobile anbietet, von denen manche "wenig oder gar nicht zu unserem Erfolg beitragen", so T-Mobile-Chef Obermann.

Na so was aber auch. Und jetzt spart Ihr Euch reich? Wie wär's denn damit: Vernünftige Produkte zu vernünftigen Preisen. Durchschaubar und preiswert. Damit dann Umsatz machen. Dann könnt Ihr Euch die Kostenbremse sparen.

Diet to save the airline industry!

by Volker Weber

ATLANTA -- Heavy suitcases aren't the only things weighing down airplanes and requiring them to burn more fuel, pushing up the cost of flights. A new government study reveals that airlines increasingly have to worry more about the weight of their passengers.

America's growing waistlines are hurting the bottom lines of airline companies as the extra pounds on passengers are causing a drag on planes. Heavier fliers have created heftier fuel costs, according to the government study.

More >

[Thanks, Michael]

New York, ca. 2007

by Volker Weber

If this is a look at the future, then Dick will have to brace himself.

[Picture Karl Bihlmeier]

Lessons learned while building the new Hippo site

by Volker Weber

hippo11041.jpgWhile I built the new Hippo site over the weekend I learned a few things:

First of all, the old site was built with Frontpage by somebody unfamiliar with web technology. I spare you the details but it wasn't pretty.

I looked for a CMS to maintain the site and then decided I might as well code it with SubEthaEdit. After all, the site has only six pages now and will most likely have less than ten when I am done. What I did however was to split all pages technically into three parts: a common header, a specific body and a common footer. If you look at the source then everything from the top to <div id="center"> is in one file. And everything from </div> <!-- center --> is in a second file. I include these in all the pages you see at runtime. One change to the first file and we have a new navigation item on all pages.

The next thing I needed was a newsletter application that allows readers to subscribe and unsubscribe. I went to Hotscripts and looked at a few of them and decided to use txtList. That was a good pick. It was easy to include in my site design with two forms to subscribe and unsubscribe. I was able to import a list of addresses easily and from there left it to the users to add or remove themselves. I sent out the first newsletter today without any difficulties.

hippo11042.jpgI also wanted to add a guest book and it took a little bit longer to find a good script. Most of them are total overkill. Finally I chose simplemb which only needed a little bit of tweaking to fit it into my site design.

Finally I wanted to add a photo album. Requirements where a nice customizable interface, a thumbnail preview and background loading of images so I can use the time somebody looks at a picture to load all the other ones. While I generally dislike Flash, I found that Flickr had made good use of client side Flash applications. Instead of using Gallery as I do at my photo site I went for SimpleViewer. This would normally require a manual upload of thumbnails and images as well as an XML file defining the album. Instead I added SimpleViewerAdmin which lets me build albums by uploading files. This is usable for a small number of pictures but I would not recommend it for a hundred photos or more since you have to add them one by one.

Everything was smooth sailing. Everything except the nasty CSS bugs in Internet Explorer.

Die Nacht der langen Messages

by Volker Weber

Katharina Borchert, (noch) besser bekannt als Lyssa, schreibt in der Schweizer Weltwoche:

Sie führen Tagebuch, geben Insiderwissen weiter, decken Skandale auf, durchforsten bis zum Morgengrauen das Internet: Die "Blogger" mischen Chatting und Poesie mit Journalismus und Politik. Ihr Medium könnte das Medium werden.

More >

A simple CMS

by Volker Weber

Looking for a simple CMS (Content Management System) for your site? This is it: CMSimple

Site news: We have moved

by Volker Weber

As reported two days ago, has now moved to a faster machine. Try to post a comment to see it in action. I know from the site statistics that there are hundreds of readers coming back every single day. Often people start a conversation with: "I read your site".

Don't be afraid. Come up on the stage. That is, if you dare post your full name. :-)

Good morning, America

by Volker Weber

Astérix says:

Ils sont fous ces Américains

Joichi Ito says:

... it's unlikely that any sort of recount or technicality will change the fact that today, the people of the United States of America have voted for George Bush. It was close, but the Americans have chosen Bush. It's a sad day, but in a democracy, you get the politicians you deserve/vote for. This was your chance to change your leader and you have failed. For awhile, many of us thought that you had been conned into voting for Bush - that you didn't know he wanted to be a War President. Many people didn't equate the US policies with the people of America. We thought you had made a mistake. Now US policies = US Citizens. You have my sympathies, but it's still your fault.

I think Joichi's statement will hurt those who did not vote for Bush, but it is still true. And unlike four years ago, Bush may also have won the majority vote.

Jochen has a good question for those contemplating emigration:

To which planet?

Cherno sent me this by email:


What happens when you try to FORMAT C:?

by Volker Weber

There's a nerdy idea floating around that you can tell an uninformed Windows user to type "format c:" in the Run dialog to solve their problems. This is perpetuated in office jokes and comics among other places, but how many people have actually tried to destroy their using "format c:".

I made a goal for myself to find out what would happen if I ran "format c:"? on a freshly installed Windows system ...

More >

Today's cartoon

by Volker Weber

As published in a few papers I read today

Two interesting Konfabulator widgets

by Volker Weber


GrabGlobIP displays your current IP on the internet, not the one assigned to you by your local network, but the global IP assigned to your firewall or NAT router.

kSnoop shows a list of currently available wireless networks along with signal strength and other status. Can display a pop-up when open networks are seen.

BGH: Widerrufsrecht des Verbrauchers bei Internet-Auktionen gewerblicher Anbieter (eBay)

by Volker Weber

Der u.a. für das Kaufrecht zuständige VIII. Zivilsenat des Bundesgerichtshofs hat heute entschieden, daß Verbrauchern, die im Rahmen sog. Internet-Auktionen Waren von gewerblichen Anbietern ersteigern, bei bestimmten Vertragsgestaltungen ein Widerrufsrecht zusteht.

More >

Four more fears?

by Volker Weber


How to fix iTunes 4.7

by Volker Weber


Apple updated iTunes last week to version 4.7 and while doing so "enhanced" it so it would no longer work with iPod Download. As it turns out it is rather easy to remove this enhancement. The code obviously checks for the name of this plugin. Change the string within iTunes with a HEX editor, and bingo, there is iPod Dowmnload again. Make sure you do not change the number of characters.

More >

Site news: Comment entry changed once more

by Volker Weber

In an effort to avoid comment spam I have changed the comment entry system once more. As explained in the previous post, the old solution did not scale.

I have now designed a two step process. If you want to post a comment, you will first have to go to a preview screen that contains the security code and then post from there. This has two benefits:

  1. You get to see your comment as it would be posted. Check for embarrassing typos.
  2. The site has to generate the security code only for a few dozen comments a day and not for thousands of page views.

Update: I suggest you load this stylesheet once and refresh the browser window before proceeding.

What do you think? Give it a try.

Re-grouping our ressources

by Volker Weber

While the captcha controller was very good at controlling spam, it did not scale. The people who host my site had to pull the plug and I am changing the design of the application.

Here is the problem: The form that adds new comments is on the same page as the individual entry. Every time somebody looked at the page, the server had to generate a fresh image. For 18,000 page impressions the server had to generate 18,000 images yesterday. I had assigned a cache of 50 images because that would cover all comments for one day and did not take into consideration that the server would need to generate them not only for comments but also for views.

The site will move to a faster server in the next two days. The new IP is already assigned and will run in parallel while the site is being moved. There will be not outage while we re-tool.

Update: Dirk Olbertz had an excellent idea in the comments to this post.

And you think you can drive?

by Volker Weber


Und dann fiel der Groschen

by Volker Weber

Schlagzeile bei heise online

Allianz will das Programmieren für Unterhaltungselektronik vereinfachen

Und ich dachte, die machen in Versicherungen. Hat zwei Sekunden gedauert, bis ich gerafft habe, um was es eigentlich geht. So wie mal in der FAZ, Technik und Motor:

Neues Email von Villeroy&Boch

Und, Groschen gefallen?

A lesson in freedom of speech

by Volker Weber

If you have a strong stomach, read the comments here.

With a little help from his friends

by Volker Weber

Yesterday a friend voted early at a polling location in Austin. She voted straight Democratic. When she did the final check, lo and behold every vote was for the Democratic candidates except that it showed she had voted for Bush/Cheney for president/vice pres.

She immediately got a poll official. On her vote, it was corrected. She called the Travis County Democratic headquarters. They took all her information, and told her that she wasn't the first to report a similar incident and that they are looking into it.

More >

Una questione di palle

by Volker Weber

Pieterjan, I had to steal the title of your post. ;-)

Amazing conclusion: The higher you are in the corporate structure, the smaller your balls become.

In search of a CSS wizard

by Volker Weber

hipposaf.png hippoie.png

I am having an alignment problem with Internet Explorer. Once again. Please take a look at this site. The left picture shows how the site is supposed to render, and that works with all other browsers except Internet Explorer, which renders the site as shown in the right picture.

There is one fixed width container with margin:auto containing the site. Inside that container is one box for the header, which contains one box for the logo and one for the title. Below that box there are two floats left and right (this one empty for now) and one fixed center box. Below is a footer.

The center box hangs in IE. What do I need to change?

Update: The solution is to add a class descriptor to the first element in each of the three columns, like this <p class="firstline"> and then define .firstline with margin-top: 0 in the CSS file. Thanks to all of you for your patience while explaining this to me, and to Sascha in particular for finding the extra "-". ;-)

Site news: Spam protection seems to be working

by Volker Weber

The code which adds a comment to the site has been called 491 times yesterday. 7 of those were valid comments. The other 484 calls have been attempts to spam the site. One hundred percent of them have been trapped.

Good morning, America

by Volker Weber

When you go out today to elect your new president, please take a minute to remember the small mistakes the old one made. Actually I only want you to remember one:

Onehundredthousand dead people in Iraq

You are mourning 1123 dead soldiers in Iraq and 3030 civilians in the 9/11 attacks. I remember reading that every US citizen knows somebody else whose family was affected by the attack on the WTC and the Pentagon in 2001. That is with 3030 casualties in a population of 295 million people. And you do hate the terrorists, don't you?

Can you imagine what 100,000 dead civilians mean to a population of 25 million? Imagine a WTC scale disaster every single day for one year.

Windows is dead

by Volker Weber

... wrote the industry analyst after looking at his data:


I just cleared out the access log for logfiler and seconds later I got this data sample. Five data points. That is all it takes certain analyst firms to make up a TCO study.

In memoriam Peter Raue

by Volker Weber

praue.jpgI was shocked to receive this news today:

MIS AG is mourning the loss of its beloved founder and CEO, Peter Raue, who passed away Friday in a fatal automobile accident. Peter would have turned 45 on Tuesday.

I have known Peter for 25 years. I first met him when we were students at the same university. Although his company was all but a few blocks from here I had not talked to him much lately. His brother Kristian is much closer and we saw each other just a few days ago at Linuxworld.

Peter was one of those people I had nothing but admiration for. He was successful, down to earth and honest to the bone at the same time. My thoughts are with his family.

Microsoft Security

by Volker Weber

At last week's Linuxworld Microsoft had a booth and handed out "Security Kits", which is basically a CD and a wrapper around it. Today I took the time to read the fine print: Free information, software tools and guidance.


For the small, medium, large organization. Not for the home user, not for developers. And I must not make "illegal copies" of the CD.


Old archive pages

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


Paypal vowe