December 2004

I should have thought of this headline

by Volker Weber


Be safe?

by Volker Weber


Koch testet Auto

by Volker Weber

Wolfram Siebeck in der Zeit:

Warten wir also auf das automatische Supergetriebe. Es ist noch nicht lieferbar, weil einige Kollegen bei der stufenlosen Schaltung den leichten Ruck beim Gangwechsel vermissten. (Das müssen die gleichen Typen sein, die sich beschweren, dass die Schaltgetriebe synchronisiert sind und Zwischengasgeben überflüssig geworden ist.) Also bauen sie bei DaimlerChrysler einen virtuellen Ruck ins stufenlose Getriebe. Das wäre dann wie ein handgeschnitzter Kuckuck an der Digitaluhr. Lieferbar von Januar 2005 an.

Ja, die deutsche Sportlichkeit im linken Kupplungsfuß, die dabei hilft, den technischen Mangel des geringen nutzbaren Drehzahlbandes eines Ottomotors in die Zukunft fortzuschreiben.

Merke: Zwei Dinge kann jeder deutsche Mann gut. Das eine ist Autofahren.

Microsoft continues to buy senior talent

by Volker Weber

I clearly saw a pattern at Microsoft Architects Forum last month. There were a whole lot of senior people who previously worked for competitors. Microsoft seems to be buying a lot of senior talent to push their products into the local markets. This is the latest case:

Microsoft continued to demonstrate its dedication to small and midmarket solutions and partners (SMS&P) in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region today, announcing the hiring of Ralph Haupter as the new senior director of EMEA partner strategy and sales, a newly created position.

As senior director of EMEA partner strategy and sales, Haupter will be responsible for further developing the overall SMS&P partner strategy across the region beginning in the new year. He joins Microsoft as a 12-year veteran of IBM where he was recently accountable for all software channel sales across EMEA, overseeing a staff of approximately 500.

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SuprNova announcement coming up

by Volker Weber

It has been more then a week since went down. We are sorry that we have not updated the site with more recent news, but we have been very busy.

Anyway, we will soon be making an announcement. Announcement will be made on radio on 30th December around 10 PM CET (9 PM GMT, 4 PM EST).

The entertainment industry is no Hercules. For each head they cut off the Hydra at least two new grow.

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Why have a FAQ?

by Volker Weber

Date: 30. Dezember 2004 00:28:16 MEZ
IP Address:
Name: W. Merkle

Vielleicht gehen die Geschäfte als Architekt schlecht, wenn sich in offensichtlich puplicity-trächtige Bilder rettet.
Date: 30. Dezember 2004 00:52:00 MEZ
IP Address:
Name: W.Merkle

Dear Volker,
perhaps you have no business as an architekt, because you install such a website.
W. Merkle
Date: 30. Dezember 2004 06:46:39 MEZ
IP Address:
Name: W.Merkle

Perhaps the system architect has no work. Therfore he create such websites. Stop it

[To be continued when she returns.]

Be trusted

by Volker Weber

seal_wot.gifDo you want your Thawte Freemail X.509 certificate notarized so that you no longer show up as "untrusted"? Ute and I can now give you 55 trust points in one sweep so you clear the trusted level of 50 points. How does that work? Read here.

If enough people are interested we can also set up a brief signing session at Lotusphere, like 5pm Sunday in the Dolphin lobby at the piano or so. ;-)

Skype for Mac OS X Beta

by Volker Weber

Change log:

More >


by Volker Weber

"Why do you publish this website?"

Because it pleases me.

"Doesn't it take a lot of effort?"

Yes, it does. But it still pleases me.

"I want to give something back to you."

That's very kind of you. Pick anything from this list.

"How do you find all this stuff?"

I read a lot. People send me links.

"I have this really cool video. Do you want it?"


"Why not?"

I probably have received it already a few dozen times.

"But it's really cool. And it's brand new. Never seen it before!"

If you received it by mail, so did I. If you found it on the net, send me a link. Do not send the file.

"I have this really funny Powerpoint file."


"I would like to comment, but my English is terrible."

Write a comment. I don't care if your English is terrible. It will only get better if you use it. If you can express yourself better in German, then use German. I understand both. Don't be concerned that others might not be able to understand German. They can learn if they want.

"You deleted my comment."

Hmmh. It may have been spam, but then you would not complain. Or your comment was just fine, but you failed to enter your full name or your email address. If it looks funky like you may have triggered my nervous delete finger.

"You deleted my comment again."

See above. I make no exceptions. No, "G.W.Bush" is not good enough. Save ourselves some work and don't try to force your way through.

"You deleted my comment again."

Maybe you just pissed me off. Hey, this is my site. I live here.

"This is censorship."

No, it isn't. Stop being a happy troll.

"But you are sooo wrong."

Go to bed. There is always somebody wrong on the Internet.

"I can't get video chat to work between Mac and PC. Will you help me?"

No. Call AOL.

"It's almost working. I can see the other person, but I can't hear him/her."

Call AOL.

"They won't answer my call."

Hire me. My rate would be onehundredandfifty an hour. Plus VAT and expenses. Four hours minimum. Dollars for small problems, Euros for big problems. British Pounds for management problems.

"You don't reply to my instant messages."

Do I know you?

"The link you posted is not safe for work."

That depends on your standards. In my world, people without clothes are OK, and violence is not. If your world is different, consider this site not safe for work.

"I have this really cool product. Will you write about it?


"But it's really great."

Ok. Send one to my address.

"When do you send it back?"

That depends.

"Depends on what?"

If it is really crappy, you can have it back any time.

"But it isn't. It's really great."

In that case it may have won the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. Consider yourself warned.

"Can I have one of the products you don't need any more?"

No, you can't. They are all returned eventually.

"I have really exciting news. Do you want to take a look?"


"I can, if you sign this non-disclosure agreement."

Forget it. I don't buy a cat in a bag.

"But I cannot show you, if you do not sign the agreement."

How is that my problem?

"Our lawyers don't trust you."

That sounds like a mutual problem. I don't trust them either.

"How can I trust you?"

Look at my track record. I have never revealed a source, never quoted anybody without asking first, and never broken a promise.

"But that's not how it works."

Maybe not for you. But certainly for me.

"Will you beta test my product?"


"Why not?"


"Why not?"

Which word is it, that you don't understand?

What does this mean: "Ceci n'est pas un blog"

It's french for "This is not a blog".

But it is.

If you say so. ;-)

No, seriously, what does it mean?

It's a reference to a Belgian surrealist artist, René François Ghislain Magritte and his famous painting.

I don't get it.

Again, how is that my problem? Just another hint. What are you seeing? A pipe, a painting of a pipe, a computer screen with a painting of a pipe?

But you are a blogger.

No, I am not.

But you are a reporter.

No, I am not.

An analyst?

No, I am not.

Then what are you?

If you need to put me in a box, I would be an author. I create stuff. Text, images, photos, drawings, screenshots. Some of it you can see here, some of it in magazines and other websites, some of it only if you are my client. Depending on what you see, you may view it as blogger, reporter, analyst. If you ask me, I am an author. I have some experience, with user interfaces, web sites, portals, communication software, even operating systems.

Will you speak at our conference?


Why not?

That would be too expensive.

No, it won't. I will give you a free pass.

I meant too expensive for you. If I speak, you pay me.

I see. But exactly how expensive?

Well, that depends on what I should be speaking about. I take this very seriously. Just assume I need to work 20 hours on a talk. See above for my rates.

Anything else?

Yes. You cannot record my talk. You can't take photos. You will find the slides completely useless if you have not been present. And you will see that I am really really good at this.

[to be continued]

Disclaimer: No amimals were harmed during the making of this FAQ. Batteries not included. Void where prohibited.

While is down

by Volker Weber

... use

Microsoft vs. Linux Security

by Volker Weber

The average unpatched Linux system survives for months on the Internet before being hacked, a report recently issued by the Honeypot Project claims. In comparison, unpatched Windows systems often are hacked within minutes of connecting to the Internet. Late last month, similar "honeypot" research done by AvanteGarde tallied the average survival time of several versions of Windows at just four minutes.

More >

Snoopy is back

by Volker Weber

Snoopy is back and alive. It has been away twice for a few hours. The first stint was to replace the broken trackpad and the second one to replace the logic board. I turned it in at the local repair shop in the late morning and got it back after lunch. Excellent. The only reason to make two trips is an Apple process that requires the repair shop to send in the machine when they need two major parts or more. By making this two jobs we were able to keep the machine here. Go figure.

A few lessons learned:

  1. You need AppleCare. The repair would have been around 800 without it. A new machine would be 1000. Without the extended warranty I would have had to dispose of the machine.
  2. iBooks are more robust than PowerBooks. I have seen a few 12" PowerBooks in the repair shop that had substantial dents in the shell. Aluminium bends, plastic either holds or breaks. Titanium machines were scratched but not dented. They may look beaten but they still work.
  3. If your machine was in a repair shop, you might get it back better than new. At least this was the case with my iBook. The left palm rest was a bit mushy when I got it a year ago, and it now is very solid.
  4. The G4 CPU is really tiny when compared to Intel packages. At least it looked that way when I checked out the new logic board.
  5. When you clean the screen, put it on a flat surface. Window cleaner works very well, but you should never let any of that run down the screen and behind the shell. The inverter board that powers the screen backlight sits underneath the screen. It might fry and then needs to be replaced. You may have trouble explaining why this should be covered by warranty.
  6. Windows sucks. Period. I had to work on a Windows notebook for a week and I am so happy to have the iBook back.

Make Firefox look like Safari

by Volker Weber

Safari theme for FireFox 0.1

Caution: Mac only. Do not try on Windows.

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Phuket Tsunami Pictures

by Volker Weber

Photo: Hellmut Issels

Gerald kneift

by Volker Weber

Wir erinnern uns an ein Versprechen:

Geboten wird: ein nagelneues Editorial, das bisher nur einige wenige Kollegen und ein guter Freund gelesen haben. Erforderte Gegenleistung: Schicken Sie mir eine Mail mit dem Betreff "Ich will das Editorial" und Sie erhalten postwendend das alternative, ursprüngliche Editorial für Heft 26/2004 mit Egon und ohne chefredaktionellen Segen. Addendum: Wenn ich diesmal mehr als 24 Anfragen bekomme, stelle ich beide unveröffentlichte Egon-Editorials online. Dieses Angebot endet am 15. Januar 2005.

Gerald, der natürlich kein Blog veröffentlicht, wittert Luch und Betruch:

Liebe Blogklicker: Sie haben leider gemogelt. Ich kann nicht unterscheiden, wer auf den Bloglink geklickt hat und wer tatsächlich die erbetene Leistung erbracht hat. So bleibt mir nur die Alternative, meine Zusage für alle zurückzunehmen. (Jaja, ich weiß: Buuh, pfeif. Selber.)

Naja, er kneift nur ein wenig:

Aber ich bin ja kein Unmensch. Wer sich von seinen Mails erhofft hatte, auch das erste Egon-Editorial lesen zu dürfen, das seinerzeit nur achtmal verschickt wurde, bekommt hiermit die Chance. Es ist mir auch relativ egal, ob das Angebot wieder durch einen Link-Automatismus hochgeschaukelt wird. Wer also das erste, nicht veröffentlichte Egon-Editorial lesen mag, schicke mir bitte eine Mail mit dem Betreff: "Ich will den zweiten Egon" -- das erste Editorial mit Egon war ja veröffentlicht worden. Meine Mail-Adresse findet sich hier.

Warum kompliziert, wenn es auch einfach geht? Wer das unveröffentlichte Editorial haben will, klickt hier, wer es nicht haben will, klickt hier. Oder lässt es einfach bleiben. :-)

Geralds Seite, die natürlich kein Blog ist, hat auch einen RSS-Feed.

T minus 18 days

by Volker Weber


Adjusting the poll results

by Volker Weber

Reuters reports:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's election body rejected a suggestion in Washington it adjust the results of next month's vote to benefit the Sunni minority if low turnout in Sunni areas means Shi'ites win an exaggerated majority in the new assembly.

A lesson in democracy. If you can't make sure via campaigns and helpful media, that the people elect whom they are supposed to elect, you may have to "adjust" the results.

Clean Software

by Volker Weber is a resource to help Windows users find the best free daily-use software, free from nasties: adware, spyware, harmful/intrusive components, and threats to privacy.

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Freude am Fahren

by Volker Weber

Vorgestern auf der BAB. Tempo 190, linke Spur, hinter mir eine mausgraue Limousine mit eingeschalteten Nebelscheinwerfern, deren Fahrer es nicht schnell genug geht. Abstand schätzungsweise drei bis vier Meter. Lichthupe. Nun gut, suchen wir mal 'ne Lücke zum Einscheren. 20 Minuten später und gut 50 km weiter dann erste Autoteile auf der Fahrbahn. Blaulicht auf der Gegenfahrbahn. Der Limousinenfahrer hat ein zweisitziges Cabriolet der gleichen Marke getroffen - im Kofferraum. Man schaut käsig, aber noch lebendig. Nur 10 Minuten weiter, eine etwas hellgrauere Limousine der gleichen Marke auf dem Standstreifen, vorne ca. einen Meter zu kurz. Abschleppwagen noch nicht da. Das Hindernis war ein nun leicht verbeulter Geländewagen, der auch mit eiligem Hintermann und Lichtunterstützung nur 130 schafft, dafür aber gut 3 Tonnen wiegt. Und dann, kurz vor meinem Ziel, ein weiteres Exemplar der eiligen Spezies. Diesmal traf es einen Opel Corsa.

Und das war nur die Bestenauswahl.

Das Fest der Liebe

by Volker Weber


Zu Weihnachten gibt's doch immer wieder tolle Angebote.

Merry Christmas

by Volker Weber

Season's Greetings

... thanks for all your cards. So much better than e-mail.

Und ein ganz besonderes Dankeschön an Oliver für die Überraschung! :-)


by Volker Weber

....(_)...... Güden Tog
....(_)...... isch bin en Hägga aus Leibzsch,
...(_)....... un diss iss en selbstbrögrammirder
.....(_)..... bösartscher Combjuderwurm.
.....(_)..... Da isch noch net sö viel weeß vom Combjuder
...(_)....... iss des en manueller Wurm.
......(_).... Also löschen se bidde
.....(_)..... alle Dadeien von de Festbladde
...(_)....... und schickese den Wurm
.....(_)..... an alle die se kennen.

Kunde droht mit Auftrag

by Volker Weber

Have you ever tried to buy IBM Lotus Workplace Messaging? Paul did:

I started by calling four IBM business partners listed in this directory. I called all of them the day before Thanksgiving, leaving a detailed message explaining what I wanted. I got two return calls within two weeks, both of which wanted to know how many licenses of Domino I wanted. After I explained, both promised to get back to me within a day or two; neither did. So, I used the "call me" button on IBM's site and got a call the next day from a gentleman who wanted to explain why Workplace was the best thing since toothpaste in a tube. Once he understood that all I wanted was to buy it, he promised to connect me with a sales rep. Two weeks later, and after an email to a rep who had previously sent me a price quote for other software, I got a call. ... The rep quoted me a per-CAL price for Workplace Messaging ($14.50, 50% off the normal price), Workplace Documents, and Workplace Team Collaboration (I don't remember their license costs offhand). She also quoted me a price of $24/seat for Workplace Rich Client. This was a substantial discount off the $129/seat list price, so I was excited... right up until my rep emailed me, after I'd already bought the server licenses, to say that her pricer had "denied" that special price and that I'd have to pay list. Oh well.

He keeps throwing money at IBM ...

More >

Call by call

by Volker Weber

TariFast liefert direkt die billigste Call-by-Call Vorwahl für Ortsgespräche und Ferngespräche innerhalb Deutschlands. Ein Aktualisierungs-Klick sorgt zudem stets für den momentan günstigsten Tarif.

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Mit Winterreifen sollte man nicht so schnell fahren

by Volker Weber


Danke für die Erinnerung. ;-)


by Volker Weber

Habe Telefonnummer, suche Teilnehmer? Kein Problem mehr!

Planned maintenance

by Volker Weber

This is one of those dirty little secrets: If you buy a notebook computer, it will eventually break. Sell it before the warranty runs out. If you only have one year of warranty, try to buy two more years, or sell the machine after one year. It does not matter how much the extended warranty costs. You need to factor it into the purchase price. A machine that costs 1000 where the extended warranty costs 400 will be more expensive than a machine for 1300 with the extended warranty already included. Don't fool yourself into buying the "cheaper" machine without coverage. It will cost you dearly.

Cost is not the only issue. You also need to find out how quickly it can be serviced. This rules out every single machine you can buy at a discount store like Germany's ALDI, Lidl oder Penny. In my experience there are only two companies with adequate service for notebook computers: Apple and IBM. If you can part with your machine for weeks, you may be fine with a discount offering. If you depend on it, you need to plan ahead for the maintenance that will always strike at the worst moment.

Every notebook I ever owned was turned in for service within 3 years. The last three machines where one Thinkpad 240 which was in the shop three times, one Thinkpad T21 that was repaired twice, and the iBook which just broke yesterday. Ed's Thinkpad had at least two major defects this year.

Desktop computers or notebooks that are only infrequently used are a different story.

Movable Type 3.14 released

by Volker Weber

Six Apart reports that Movable Type 3.14 has been released:

We have just released Movable Type v3.14 which fixes the issue of extreme loads witnessed on servers under the strain of a massive spam attack. Because these attacks are increasing in both frequency and severity, we strongly recommend that all Movable Type users install this update.

If you are running MT 2.x, you are not affected and do not need to upgrade.

Skye Bridge tolls are abolished

by Volker Weber

When we visited Skye this summer, I was really surprised by the amount of money you had to spend for crossing the bridge between the Scottish mainland and the isle of Skye. Now the toll has been abolished:

The Scottish Executive has abolished the controversial Skye Bridge tolls. The government announced an end to the charges on Tuesday morning after it bought back the bridge from its private owners for ¢27m.

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iBook dead

by Volker Weber

Dead iBook G4

Snoopy died a sudden death today. It developed pinstripe lines on the display. Seconds later it shut itself off. When I switch it on now it only runs the fan at full speed. That's all. I have removed the battery and the power and reconnected. No change. Looks like a defunct logic board.

Update: I called AppleCare today and described the three issues the machine has: The pinstripes, the erroneous trackpad and the optical drive that once in a while sounds like it wants to eject a disc (when there is no disc inside). I was referred to the local repair center which did a thorough checkup and just called back. It looks like the pinstripes are gone for good after a complete reset of the parameter RAM. The trackpad is seriously broken. So they will now order a new trackpad assembly. This includes the palmrest and the rest of the body around the keyboard. This part has been very weak from day one, especially under my left palm. I could witness the trackpad problem developing over the last weeks; the frequency of the eject sound also went from once a week to a couple of times each day.

If the spare part is received tomorrow, Snoopy will be back at vowe's magic flying circus by tomorrow afternoon. I will then test it for a number of days and see if the problem has gone away. If not, they can order a logic board and replace it on site.

It was a wise decision to get AppleCare. :-)

Neulich bei eBay

by Volker Weber

Was zahlt man so für einen 50-Euro-Gutschein von IKEA?

by Volker Weber!


by Volker Weber


Site news: No referrer, no comment

by Volker Weber

If your personal firewall* blocks referrers, you can no longer post comments to the site. This is another effort to block malicious bots:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} mt-cmmnt.cgi [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://vowe\.net.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) - [F,L]

Comment spam bots call cgi without going through the site. For now they are coming in with a blank referrer. Using mod_rewrite it is rather simple to divert them with a 403 return code before they hit cgi, thus avoiding any unnecessary load on the server.

Maybe I will add another rule for those smartass people that send a long string of ++++ instead of a referrer.

*) Technically you are not using a firewall but rather a local proxy server that takes requests from your browser, processes them and then relays the request to the site. Symantec calls the stripping of referrers Browser-Datenschutz in german. No idea how they call this in english.

This is working much better than expected

by Volker Weber


Both Snoopy and Lucy sync addresses, bookmarks and calendars once an hour and stay synced. Works without a glitch.

But 100 Dollars or Euro a year to get this? I don't know. The rest of the package is pretty useless to me. I have a website, I can have as many email addresses as I want and 50 meg of webspace? You've got to be kidding. OK, 50 bucks more and you have 1 gig.

Apple is offering an email-only package for $10 a year. That's about what I would pay for a sync-only package. Anybody listening?

Trillian 3 is out

by Volker Weber

Both the (free) Basic and the Pro version connect to AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo. The Pro version adds video chat, Jabber, Groupwise messaging and serverless Rendezvous messaging.

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Matinee TAFKA Playpal

by Volker Weber

After lots of hard work and after hours coding, I am proud to release the next big update of Matinee (formerly known as PlayPal).

Matinee is a 1-Click movie launcher for Mac users who rip DVDs to their hard drive. Just tell PlayPal where you store your movies, even in a remote location, and it will do the rest.

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by Volker Weber

Beachfront, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island

Morgen in Frankfurt: Be trusted

by Volker Weber

Seit dieser Woche bin ich Thawte Notar und habe schon einige Trust-Punkte verteilt. Leider kann das für die Beglaubigten eine Reise von Pontius zu Pilatus sein, wenn sie mühsam 50 (trusted) oder 100 Punkte (notary) sammeln müssen.

Dafür gibt es eine einfache Lösung: Man sammelt ausreichend Notare an einem Platz, die dann alle "Unbeglaubigten" auf einen Rutsch von 0 über 100 Punkte bringen. So brütet man ruckzuck ein enges Netz von Notaren aus.

Nächsten Dienstagabend gibt es in Frankfurt so eine Veranstaltung, auf die mich Christoph Rummel aufmerksam gemacht hat. Wie kommt man dort zu einer Beglaubigung der eigenen Identität?

  1. Man holt sich ein kostenloses x.509 Zertifikat bei Thawte. (:join:) Dabei gibt man die Nummer seines Personalausweises an.
  2. Von diesem Ausweis fertigt man einen Stapel Kopien an (wenigstens 10 Stück, besser mehr).
  3. Man füllt den ersten Kasten dieses Formulars aus und macht ebenfalls einen Stapel von Kopien (sinnvollerweise genauso viele wie vom Ausweis).

Mit den Kopien und dem Ausweis begibt man sich zu der Veranstaltung und macht mit jedem der anwesenden Notare das gleiche Prozedere:

  1. Ausweis zeigen
  2. Ausweiskopie abgeben
  3. Formular vor Ort unterschreiben und abgeben
  4. Optional: Ein Bier ausgeben

Warum machen die Notare das? Naja, weil sie nett sind, gerne was trinken und ihre Seniorität erhöhen. Ein Frischling wie ich kann nämlich nur 10 20 Trust-Punkte vergeben, während ein Notar mit 35.000 Beglaubigten immerhin 35 Punkte vergeben könnte. Oder waren das jetzt 35 Beglaubigte? :-) Deshalb bringen die Notare bitte auch ausreichend Kopien mit, damit sie untereinander Unzucht treiben sich reihum auch beglaubigen können. Das sieht dann so aus:


So, wer hat Lust zu kommen? Bitte kurz kommentieren. Der Ort der Veranstaltung ist hier bestens dokumentiert:

Dienstag, 21.12.2004, 19:00 Uhr

So, und jetzt muss mich nur noch einer von Darmstadt nach Frankfurt und zurück mitnehmen, damit ich das Bier auch trinken darf. :-)

Have your stuff published on

by Volker Weber


Christmas is getting closer. Big thanks! Anybody else out there who wants to have his stuff published on ;-)

Camels and Rubber Duckies

by Volker Weber

If Joel Spolsky ever fails as a software publisher, he will still be one hell of a writer:

One of the biggest questions you're going to be asking now is, "How much should I charge for my software?" When you ask the experts they don't seem to know. Pricing is a deep, dark mystery, they tell you. The biggest mistake software companies make is charging too little, so they don't get enough income, and they have to go out of business. An even bigger mistake, yes, even bigger than the biggest mistake, is charging too much, so they don't get enough customers, and they have to go out of business. Going out of business is not good because everybody loses their job, and you have to go work at Wal*Mart as a greeter, earning minimum wage and being forced to wear a polyester uniform all day long.

So if you like cotton uniforms you better get this right.

More >

Don't try this at home

by Volker Weber

You really, really should never play in the cockpit. Yes, the pictures are real but the transscript is probably bogus.

Update: The incident happened in June 2000: Plane pierces terminal wall at Newark airport and Continental Airlines Speeds You To The Terminal

[Thanks, Alex and Richard C]

For the rich and stupid

by Volker Weber


On the Road in North-West Scotland

by Volker Weber


Oh dear! This is what happens when a mad tourist straps a camera and a GPS to his Land Rover and shoots 2,968 photos.

Select Ullapool. "Drive" northeast. Let the show begin.

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Germany's most incompetent comment spammer

by Volker Weber


Here we go again. Cheap labor. Manually spamming from a known IP address through Deutsche Telekom. Let's take a closer look:

Host ( appears to be up ... good.
Interesting ports on (
135/tcp open msrpc
1025/tcp open NFS-or-IIS
5000/tcp open UPnP
Running: Microsoft Windows NT/2K/XP
OS details: Microsoft Windows 2000 SP3

Windows 2000 SP3, port 135 open, and not firewalled? Hmm. Port 5000, Universal Plug and Play? Nice shot. ;-)

Reviewing palmOne Wi-Fi card, part 1

by Volker Weber

palmone_sdwifi2.jpgRepeat after me: If all else fails, read the manual.

palmOne has sent me a Wi-Fi card to play with. This is good. I like to play with new stuff. And then write about it. :-) However, I was having some problems getting VersaMail to work after installing the palmOne Wi-Fi driver. Connecting to the network was a breeze. The browser was happy. But VersaMail was not. It always tried to establish a PPP connection although the T3 was already connected to my WLAN. Solution:

VersaMail has an “Always connect using” preference setting (Options>Mail Servers) that could cause VersaMail to attempt to connect to a mail server via network services other than Wi-Fi even if Wi-Fi is turned on. Make certain that you either disable the “Always connect using” feature, or set it to Wi-Fi if you encounter this problem.

There is more interesting stuff in the readme:

Wi-Fi channels 12, 13 and 14 are not supported. If you are in a country where these channels are allowed you will need to find an access point set to channels 1-11 to connect to.

Read: The driver was designed with only the US market in mind.

palmOne cannot guarantee interoperability between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so we recommend that you turn off Bluetooth when using the Wi-Fi card.

That is fine with me. I don't need another unused circuit sucking on the battery. Talking about the battery:

Constant use of the Wi-Fi card can deplete the handheld battery quickly. We recommend that you plug the handheld into a charging device or attach an auxilliary battery when using the Wi-Fi card for extended periods.

Hmmh. I wonder whether being tethered to a wall outlet is so much better than being tethered to an ethernet cable.

WiFi on Treo 650

by Volker Weber

Well over at Treo Central, user ‘Shadowmite’ has created the first ever Treo 650 Wi-Fi driver set…. Thankfully he has picked us to host the file!

More >

Tom Austin interviews Ray Ozzie

by Volker Weber

Richard Eckel, VP of marketing communications at Groove Networks has pointed me to an interview that Tom Austin, Garnter Fellow, has conducted with Groove Networks founder Ray Ozzie, the artist formerlyalso known as one of the Notes masterminds. Richard, is it worth a blog enty? You bet.

Please read the interview, and before we head on please also read three other pieces (hat tip to Capt. Hajo) unless you already have grocked marketing.

Let's start with some definitions: My understanding is that they (Groove) believe they are positioned in quadrant 4, with IBM being in quadrant 1 and Microsoft as a partner in quadrant 3. Their positioning is front and center on their website:


And the claim is: "The fastest way to get everybody working on the same page". The interesting challenge is to cross the chasm from Early Adopters to Pragamists. Groove has tried this for a number of years and have not succeeded. The early adopters usually are very small and agile. However, Groove was trying to sell into the big accounts where even the business users are confronted with a Stalinistic IT organization ("we know what is good for you"). I clearly was an early adopter, but I also witnessed — from inside the customer — one futile attempt to get into one particular account. Ozzie expresses his frustration:

What really does disappoint me is that we as technology users keep forgetting the lessons we learn; we've got very short memories. For example - issues of centralization versus decentralization, control versus empowerment. There's a pendulum that appears to keep swinging back and forth, and we keep polarizing the issue, when in fact we should have learned that both are necessary.

I believe the pendulum is still swinging towards the center, and Groove is trying to empower the edge. This is an uphill battle. However, I have reason to believe that they finally found the Pragmatist in Pain. If you read the interview you find one particular point where you can spot that pragmatist:

One of the best examples of where this is happening today is within the U. S. government. With rare exceptions, doctrines, policies and processes have been shaped over the years specifically in a vertically-integrated manner. Yet the enemy is a complex network form — far more highly decentralized.

Post-9/11, the mandate within government has become clear: share information, and conduct joint operations. Reshape processes and practices to find the best "network form" — the best of centralization, and the best of decentralization, toward agility in joint discovery, analysis and action.

Erik Sink explains what to do once you found the Pragmatist in Pain:

So you have to treat them like they are very special. Give them everything they want, almost as if they were ordering a custom application. You may have to implement special features just for them. You may have to give them substantial discounts. You should visit their site and meet them in person. You may have to install your product for them. Financially, this one customer will probably be a net loss. That's okay. Don't stop until they're happy. And then keep them happy, as your corporate lips are going to be more or less permanently sewn to their corporate rear end.

There is no way around that. You need to get over the chasm and ignore everything else. As much as many early adopters would love to have the Groove client on the Mac, it is not going to happen. :-)

Disclaimer: The product is done. I have few complaints about version 3. It is fast, it lets you build custom forms and views like Notes 3.x did and you can easily run it in the background. However, I have moved on from an all-Windows world into mostly Mac, some Windows, some Linux — and that is unchartered territory for Groove. I can still play with the latest client, since Groove Networks has gratuitously and continuously provided me with a Professional license.

David Marshak to join IBM

by Volker Weber

I was just chatting with David S. Marshak, Senior Vice President Patricia Seybold Group and he said it's OK to let people know:

After 18 years I am leaving Patricia Seybold Group. In January I will be joining IBM/Lotus managing the real-time collaboration products.

Interesting change. This Lotusphere he will officially be "on the other side". :-)

Legal disclaimers

by Volker Weber


We like to repeat all the stupid mistakes others have made. I am not going to explain why legal disclaimers don't work here. Udo Vetter has done this before (sorry, cannot find the permalink).

What we can see however is that besides being useless, they also break the message. First of all, your X.509 signature becomes useless, since the message has been tampered with and the receiving mail client will flag this.

Second, the implementation is often very flawed. In this case you can see one character missing (? instead of ß) because the disclaimer is not encoded correctly.

The good news: This disclaimer is only a few lines long. I have other respectable customers who show their legal ignorance with two pages of disclaimers. Too bad, if your business is closely related to legal counsel.

Need an assertion on your Thawte X.509 certificate?

by Volker Weber


My status as a Thawte notary has been confirmed and I can assert your certificate now. Send a signed mail if you need an assertion and we will work out the details.

Update: If you need a free Thawte certificate, apply here. You need to click on the :join: button.

Quick update on openBC

by Volker Weber


This is now the third week and the number of contacts has risen above 300. About 70 of those have signed up through The growth rate has slowed down to about five to ten new contacts each day. I have linked up with quite a few people from former projects. It is especially nice to follow up with young interns that are back at university.

This isn't bad if you take into account I was expecting zero return. :-)

Licht aus

by Volker Weber

Is meine Name Achmed, habe den Frage. Ich mach gerade Schraube an meine Fernsehr. Dann macht "bzzzt", jetzt nichts mehr Licht. Warum?

Daran musste ich gerade denken. Kapitaler Stromausfall. Soweit das Auge reicht. Server lief an USV weiter, Snoopy auch. Nach drei Minuten alles wieder da.

Merkzettel: Access Point und Switch an USV hängen, damit das Netz stehen bleibt.

Gebt Egon eine Chance

by Volker Weber

Geboten wird: ein nagelneues Editorial, das bisher nur einige wenige Kollegen und ein guter Freund gelesen haben. Erforderte Gegenleistung: Schicken Sie mir eine Mail mit dem Betreff "Ich will das Editorial" und Sie erhalten postwendend das alternative, ursprüngliche Editorial für Heft 26/2004 mit Egon und ohne chefredaktionellen Segen. Addendum: Wenn ich diesmal mehr als 24 Anfragen bekomme, stelle ich beide unveröffentlichte Egon-Editorials online. Dieses Angebot endet am 15. Januar 2005.

24 Anfragen? Dass ich nicht lache. Auf geht's: Mail an Gerald Himmelein schicken. Wäre doch toll, wenn er morgen so viel Post hat, als käme er aus dem Urlaub. ;-)

More >

Site news: Reducing number of entries in the RSS feeds

by Volker Weber

I spotted a new abusive pattern. Today coming in from with MSIE 6.0 on Windows 98 with .NET CLR 1.1.4322. The client reads both feeds and then requests all linked pages. RSS traffic is already very high without this pattern. But instead of getting two hits, I am getting an additional 75.

I want my site to be read by humans and not robots. I'd rather spend the traffic on somebody who reads stuff then on somebody who collects it. As a first measure I am cutting back on the number of entries in the feeds. The number of articles will be reduced to 10 from 25 and the number of comments from 50 to 25.

I am also contemplating redirecting all MSIE traffic to Mozilla. ;-)


by Volker Weber

Ab sofort ist das metamac magazin auch als Mini-Abo-Variante zu haben. Dabei kaufen Interessenten drei metamac magazin-Ausgaben zum Festpreis ohne weitere Verpflichtungen. Sinn und Zweck der Übung: Unsere Leser sollen die Möglichkeit erhalten, das metamac magazin möglichst günstig kennenzulernen, bevor sie dann zum "echten" Abonnenten werden.

Darf ich raten? Läuft noch nicht so gut. Ohne Schadenfreude.

The weirdest Palm OS programs

by Volker Weber


Canal PDA brings us this wonderful list of weird programs for PalmOS devices. And I bring you the one indispensable program: Solebon. ;-)

And the winner is ...

by Volker Weber

... Mark. First season's greetings 2004. From Australia !

Syncing your calendar

by Volker Weber

Keeping a calendar synced between a number of computers and handheld devices sucks. Big time.

I used to have my calendar in Notes but I became sick and tired of the deficiencies when syncing with my mobile devices. The sync software for Notes was only available on Windows as a separate application from Xtended Systems or for the Domino server from a number of vendors. I had one working, albeit very slowly, and could not get a supposedly better one working.

More than a year ago I migrated names and dates out of Domino into standard formats: iCal/vCal for the dates and vCard for the addresses. The master copy of both lives on Lucy and is synced into the Treo and the Tungsten. I also push the calendar to my server so I can look at it from the internet. I subscribe to that calendar from Snoopy, so I can view it there. This is however mostly oneway. I can add dates on Lucy or on the handhelds, but not on the web or on Snoopy. This is a far cry from Notes replication.

Apple has a solution: you can subscribe to .Mac and sync with iSync across multiple Macs and your handheld devices. However, that won't let you also sync the same data into a PC. And the service is bundled with a number of things which I don't need nor want.

iCal will also let me publish my calendar via WebDAV to a web server. In contrast to Mozilla Calendar you do not have read/write access to the calendar. You can either publish or subscribe. Which means, I can publish from Lucy and subscribe from Snoopy. Nothing gained.

When fiddling with this I found out that I have had a free WebDAV space for a while from GMX. It is included in the base free mail package. You need to set this as your base URL:

Base URL:
Password: yourpassword

It did not work for me when I first tried because iCal timed out after 30 seconds. I then tried with a smaller calendar and that worked. In my case I was able to publish a 36 kB but not a 120 kB calendar. Weird.

PS: You can mount that WebDAV space on GMX both from the Mac (use Command-K) or from Windows (MS calls this a web folder). Please note the trailing slash.

Sign and encrypt your mail

by Volker Weber

If you are communicating with Skype, all your traffic is encrypted. Your email probably isn't. And your AIM communications neither. I think it is about time to get some security into your communications that we have taken for granted as Notes users for years. It won't even cost you anything. Here's how it works:

Start by getting a free Thawte certificate and add it to your key ring. Use Firefox to obtain the certificate and go to Preferences/Advanced/Manage Your Certificates and export the certificate to a .p12 file that you can import into your, your Mac keychain or wherever you need it.

The basic certificate is free and certifies nothing but your email address. Once you added the certificate to your mail program, you can sign mails. When you receive signed mails from others, your mail program can use the attached public key to encrypt your reply. Some mail clients like Outlook or Apple Mail will store the public key automatically, others like Lotus Notes require user action.

seal_wot.gifWhen you get your ID notarized, which again is free but takes some work, you can add your name to the certificate. This is actually pretty easy. Every Thawte notary can assign you between 10 and 35 points. You need 50 points to be trusted, which lets you add your own name, and you need 100 to become a notary yourself. Quick math: You need at least 2 notaries to be trusted and 3 to become a notary. This is how the web of trust grows.

The notary needs to see your ID you used to sign up and will make a copy of that for his files. In many cases you need two photo IDs that the notary copies. It is good practice to bring a copy when you have your certificate notarized.

I collected 140 points from 4 notaries today. It took me less than 5 minutes because they were all in the same office. Now I have not only trusted status, but will also be able to notarize others.

Update: Olaf asked me why I am recommending Thawte and not the free class 1 certificate from Trustcenter. Answer: I have given up using 18 months ago.

Don't try this at home

by Volker Weber


Ok ok, I think we can make an exception here.

Bad company

by Volker Weber

The referrer spam got a little bit out of hand. Since 99.9 % are coming in with .info referrers, I was going to block all access when referred to from this TLD:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} (.*)\.info/ [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) - [F,L]

No more deals in gambl1ng, ph4rmacy, h0tels, we1ght l0ss, p1lls, v1agra, d1et, lev1tra, tramad0l. Unfortunately I have at least one site on my blog roll that uses the .info TLD.

Lesson to learn: Get the hell out of there. You are in bad company. And: The .biz domain is next.

Are you really sure you want to take a picture?

by Volker Weber

Are you really sure, you want to take a picture?

We believe what we want to believe

by Volker Weber

I am sure, you have seen this with that:

Scientists from RAND Corporation have created this model to illustrate how a "home computer" could look in the year 2004. However the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the average home. Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems. With teletype interface and the Fortran language, the computer will be easy to use and only

You had no trouble believing that and found this particularly funny. Then how do you can explain that? Let's check the facts.

Enjoy your meal

by Volker Weber

Enjoy your meal

Truism of the day

by Volker Weber


Ein Spatz in der Hand ist besser als eine Taube auf dem Dach.


A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

[Ed sold his old car ;-)]

Skype Answering Machine

by Volker Weber

SAM is a simple voice answering machine for PC Skype users. When you are away from your PC and there is no one to answer your incoming calls, SAM will pick up the call, play a greeting message and the "all-time clasic beep" so that the calling party will leave a voice recorded message.

More >

[Thanks, Stefan H.]

Skype jetzt auch auf dem ALDI Eierkocher

by Volker Weber

Stefan hat's entdeckt. Demnächst also jede Menge Aldi-Waldis im VoIP.

Supersize me

by Volker Weber


boingboing's Mark Frauenfelder reports:

This is a photo from a Chinese PDF manual. The manual explains, via text and a lot of fun photos, how to cram as much food as possible on one of those tiny Pizza Hut bowls at the salad bar. They're only allowed one trip. My cousin lives in Beijing. When he goes to Pizza Hut, he says this is what most people are busy building.

This reminds me of a trip to Pizza Hut in Kalamazoo with my girlfriend more than 20 years ago. We both bought a trip to the salad bar, and I had returned to the table with only a little bit of salad on the plate, while she had really crammed as much salad in the bowl as she could, assuming you only have one trip as it was custom in the Swiss Mövenpick chain. When she asked whether I did not want any more salad and why I had wasted the money on the salad bar instead of a side salat, I told her it is an all-you-can-eat offer and you take as many trips to the bar as you like. She then realized why everybody was watching her in disbelief. Never seen her redfaced like that again. ;-)

Guaranteed to blow your socks off

by Volker Weber

Look at these pictures.

[Thanks, Maik]

Go away

by Volker Weber


... or read this, especially #9. Sheesh. Is this so hard?


Obviously it is too hard.

Lebbe is hart

by Volker Weber

Eben gelesen:

Ist jemand zufällig in Sachsen, in der Nähe von Scharfenstein? Hier, im Nachbarort Affalter Stadt Lößnitz, spielt am Sonntag, dem 12. 12., Uriah Heep im Gasthof Zur Linde.

Easy livin'?

Google opens new round of ego surfing

by Volker Weber


Try "Bruce Elg" or "Rocky Ol" ;-)


by Volker Weber

The Seven Levels of Photographers

by Volker Weber

Frank sent me in a comment to my "We have a winner" post to Ken Rockwell's very upbeat review of the D70. And I spent most of my free time reading his website today. I suggest you start at his satirical guide to the seven levels of photographers and work your way from there:

A Spiritual and Satirical Guide. I wrote this as a joke one morning and now the whole world thinks it is some sort of Ten Commandments. Lighten up folks!

More >

Wenn der andere weit weg ist, muss man laut sprechen

by Volker Weber

... denkt sich bestimmt mancher Handy-Telefonierer. Hier gibt es ein nettes PDF zum Ausdrucken und zuschneiden. Daraus wird dann ein netter Satz von Kärtchen, mit dem man dem Schreihals vielleicht klar machen kann, was er da anrichtet. Leider in englischer Sprache. Hat das auch jemand auf deutsch?

Ach ja, und da waren dann noch die Leute, die einen sang- und klanglos stehen lassen, weil ihr Handy klingelt. Die ruft man besser an.

This is one smart playlist

by Volker Weber


When I recently folded three iTunes libraries into one, I reset the database and imported everything from scratch. So I also got the default set of playlists. And Apple has added an interesting smart playlist that was not in my default set when I initially installed iTunes. It plays your newest tracks in the library. Highly recommended.

Lucky find

by Volker Weber

I shied away yesterday from spending even more money and buying a UV filter for lens protection. And suddenly it struck me that I may already have one. And indeed, I have an old Sigma FD Zoom with 67mm threading. Hah. $$s saved. :-)

And since my friends made fun of me for wrapping up the camera in a soft cloth I shall put this on my wish list for Christmas:


That is a Lowepro Zoom 1. Any better suggestions for a small bag that only holds the camera with lens hood attached? I could do without the extra zipper in the front.

Thank you for your support

by Volker Weber

It is my pleasure to extend a big THANK YOU from Hans-Jürgen Götz, who has won the trip to Hamburg. ;-)

I 've got mail

by Volker Weber


Just received in the mail: Klassik Lounge Werk 2. Disk 1 now playing on the stereo. iTunes is reading disk 2. Thanks, Heiko. So far I am loving it!

Weird sponsored links

by Volker Weber


Joel had posted this explanation but has since taken it down:

A quick explanation, before you freak out: people who think they are extraordinarily clever sign up as ebay affiliates and then buy entire dictionaries full of keywords on Google. These keywords link back to their site, so they can track it, and then on to ebay. They pay Google a small fee for each clickthrough and earn a small fee from ebay for each sale made on ebay, and profit on the difference.

The race is on. Try to come up with something even weirder.

We have a winner

by Volker Weber

This was not easy. Both Canon and Nikon make excellent cameras. I read the two reviews for the Nikon D70 and the Canon 300D on Image Resource yesterday. After those reviews I was sure that both cameras would meet my needs. At noon I talked to Hans-Werner about his experience with (analog) SLRs and I gathered that it is not the bells and whistles that make the difference. A battery grip for instance may be a nice add on, but it also makes the camera more bulky which is a burden when you need to carry it around. One needs to look at the main features you use all the time. How easy they are, how natural they feel. You won't be doing any complicated stuff anyway. At least not on my level of expertise. I went to the store once more and they let me play with both models for half an hour. After that I had a winner:


The only thing I have to learn now is to take good pictures. ;-)

View DVDs from HD

by Volker Weber

PlayPal is a 1-Click movie launcher for Mac users who rip DVDs to their hard drive. Just tell PlayPal where you store your movies, even in a remote location, and it will do the rest.

More >

New Skype for Mac OS X beta

by Volker Weber

Beta has been released today. Thanks for all the hints. ;-) Sascha tells me there is also a new PocketPC version.

Go get it >

So you think you can drive

by Volker Weber


IBM sells its PC business

by Ragnar Schierholz

IBM will sell its PC division to China-based Lenovo and take a minority stake in the former rival in a deal valued at $1.75 billion, the companies announced Tuesday.

Supermann lebt

by Volker Weber

Manche können alles. Da könnte man richtig neidisch werden. ;-)

EOS 300D black

by Volker Weber

eos300d.jpg This could very well be my next camera. I have been kicking around a digital SLR for a while, and was shooting for the Nikon D70, which has an excellent build quality and is probably the perfect camera.

However, I have been using Canon SLRs for more than 20 years now, mostly the venerable AE-1 and A1. I also have an EOS 1000 with two lenses: EF35-80mm f/4-5.6 and EF 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6. They are both not very good but at least they are light and the 80-200 would make for a very long zoom lens. The battery grip has a full set of controls which makes portrait shots much easier on your hands. However, with this grip the full assembly is huge.

Canon is currently selling the black body EOS 300D (known as the Digital Rebel in other parts of the world) with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and the battery grip as pictured above for Eur 999. There is a 100 Eur cashback in the box which takes the price down to Eur 899. They also throw in a 256 meg CF card when you register the camera.

Nikon is matching the cashback with their EUR 1149 (street) D70 kit with a 15-70 lens. I am also tempted by the Panasonic DMC-LC1 which is essentially the same camera as the Leica Digilux 2, in a slightly less attractive body. The DMC-LC1 is not a SLR camera but has the look and feel of a classic mechanical camera and a very fast zoom lens (f/2.0-2.4). It is simply too expensive, selling for 1249 with no cashback). The Digilux pricing is outright ridiculous at 1800 list and 1700 street.

Any thoughts?

Have I got a car for you

by Volker Weber


Bester Blog-Claim

by Volker Weber

Alp Uçkan:

Gentoo ist was für Langzeitarbeitslose

Nur die eine Hälfte. Die andere schreibt Kommentare im Heiseticker. ;-)

Böse Gedanken am Morgen

by Volker Weber

SpOn Schlagzeile:

Sabine Christiansen eröffnet Hunde-Salon

Spontaner Gedanke: Vielleicht sollte das Merkel da mal schneiden, fönen, legen lassen.

There are dumb questions

by Volker Weber


Software Update

by Volker Weber

We had the dinghy in for scheduled maintenance and it has received a software upgrade. Ute says that the automatic transmission is completely different and changing gears is much smoother. Really looking forward to try that out tomorrow.


by Volker Weber

Hendrix Forever

by Volker Weber


[via m-e-x]

Chat with Santa Claus

by Volker Weber


AbiWord 2.2 is out

by Volker Weber

AbiWord is a free and open source word processor available for a range of platforms. Amongst the new features in 2.2 is a native port to Mac OS X. The program has one very interesting feature for professional writers:


It lets you keep a running word count open while you type. When writing for print publications I need to make sure that the text will fit on a page. So I frequently check document properties to see how much space is left. I might give AbiWord a try just for this feature.

More >

Stress relief

by Volker Weber


Online and offline

vowe goes to Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

Adding another card to the stack, I have booked my travel yesterday. The current plan is to arrive at the Dolphin/Swan on Saturday in the afternoon and leave Thursday 4pm from MCO. I will try to attend sessions Sunday, the next two days I will be on the press schedule and Wednesday is session time again. Looking for the booth babes (Hi, Chris) in between. If you are speaking Sunday or Wednesday, let me know. If you have interesting giveaways, spare one for me. And no, you can't swipe my card. ;-)

I have some plans for evening activities already. There is an upcoming invitation for Saturday, then the opening party at the Dolphin beach Sunday night (meeting point), a reception Monday in the early evening. Tuesday is 'booked' by Bob and Wednesday shall be the still to be announced big party.

Do you recognize any of these?

Deutschlands dümmster Spammer

by Volker Weber


Die Kommentarfunktion war seit dem letzten Umbau spamfrei. Heute haben wir jemanden, der mit Engelsgeduld immer wieder Kommentare eingibt, die nach 10 Sekunden wieder verschwinden. Den Inhaber der Domäne kann man leicht beim DeNIC nachschauen. Armes Deutschland.

Impressive redesign

by Volker Weber

We looked at the new Boxster this week and it has undergone a very impressive redesign. About the only thing I don't like on the new model is the selection of wheels. Which in fact is also true for this year's 911. Very, very beautiful but strange wheels.

Shortest software test ever, the aftermath

by Volker Weber

Received two calls from the makers of the software, who seemed to be quite disturbed by the fact that I had a) trouble with the software and b) wrote about it. So let me clarify, that it hangs my server and not necessarily anybody else's. Apperantly the software is running at client sites without problems. My setup is not very typical for a Domino server. I pull mail from other POP servers and feed them into the SMTP router. On Linux you would do this with fetchmail.

I can nail pretty much any problem that Domino throws at me, but not an unresponsive server. In an attempt to narrow down the source of the problem I actually installed it once more and it looks like it is not hanging the router but rather nserver. The extension hooks into nhttp, the router and nserver. I am a bit curious whether it would actually make any sense for me to test the software, since I do not access my server via HTTP or NRPC on a regular basis but rather use IMAP. Yes, I use Domino as a mail server. So I might as well use a different engine. But the ROI of a migration is pretty bad. ;-)

Removed the software and everything is back to normal.

Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

If IBM marketed sushi they'd brand it Cold Dead Fish.

Google News reports: Bush arrested

by Volker Weber


Well, almost.

iTMS Canada opens

by Volker Weber



by Volker Weber

Larger image: Original, digitally enhanced by Haiko Hebig


by Volker Weber

Wolfgang found this interesting piece in an IBM readme file:

Extended Search is an IBM product, developed and maintained through the Lotus brand. You might see references to Domino(TM) Extended Search, DES, Extended Search, ES, IBM Extended Search, and IBM Lotus Extended Search in the product interfaces and documentation. These terms all refer to the same product.

The IBM Enterprise Information Portal product was renamed to IBM DB2(R) Information Integrator for Content. You might see references to Enterprise Information Portal, EIP, Information Integrator for Content, and DB2 Information Integrator for Content in the product interfaces and documentation. These terms all refer to the same product.

My theory is that these products get rebranded each and every time someone buys a company-wide license. Or once a year. Whatever happens first.


by Volker Weber


It's been less than six days since I have "given up" and joined openBC. In that timeframe I have reconnected with more than 200 people there, resulting in more than 10,000 secondary contacts. Some of them I chat with every day, others I have not seen in years. And there are still lots of people who have not signed up or have not yet connected. Amazing.

Thought for the day

by Volker Weber

Never hold farts in. They travel up your spine, into your brain, and that is where shitty ideas come from.

No. 5 lives

by Volker Weber


The IBM DoesNotWorkplace Nonpermalink

by Volker Weber

Here is your task, should you choose to accept it:

Find the Notes 6.5.3 client trial for Mac OS X on IBM.COM. Set a bookmark. Review tomorrow.

Yesterday it was here. And the day before yesterday it was there. Blogs have created the term "permalink" for links that point to a particular entry even if it has scrolled off the front page. Now IBM has created the opposite: A page that cannot be bookmarked because the link points to a different page tomorrow.

Don't get me started on the fact that the navigation is FUBAR. Even the search is broken. But the IBM nonpermalink really tops it.

Site news: Removed comment submission form and sidebar from print

by Volker Weber

Ole has suggested that I remove the sidebar from printed pages and Mike has explained how to do this. I have taken this one step further and also removed the comment entry form from the printout, which now looks like this for the post below:


You may need to reload the stylesheet.

Old archive pages

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


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