February 2007

Trust your instincts

by Volker Weber

Usually I get along with everybody just nicely. But sometimes I have an almost immediate aversion that I cannot really explain. A person comes across as overly hostile, a person who rubs me the wrong way, or something like it. If this happens I just try to avoid them. This is particularly easy on the internet. I have learned to completely ignore people who try to annoy me.

Trust your instincts. If it walks like a duck ...

Also wo jetzt?

by Volker Weber


Ich würde sagen: San Francisco

[Danke, Hajo]

Mixed Tape 16 is out

by Volker Weber

mixed tape 16

15 free MP3 tracks from 4hero, Candycream, Herztechnik, Hometown Pioneer, Lautrec, Locase, Menoosha feat. EmCube, Moxo Tengu, Nuwella & Krako feat. A. Man, Souldavid, The Arkwrights, The Shark Bubbles, U-Key feat. OJ & MC Raydar, Wagner Love, Will Widdoss feat. Roxstar

More >

[Thanks, Chris]

Mixed bag of links

by Volker Weber

I don't do chain letters, and I will try to not make an exception

by Volker Weber

Rocky has picked up a meme called Pay it Forward Tuesday. It is not exactly what I understand as pay it forward*. Let's call it "link forward". As I understand you are supposed to recommend a blog that you read to make others aware of it. Then the blog you are recommending has to do the same to yet another blog, etc. etc.

I first misunderstood Rocky. I thought this was yet another "send this letter to five of your friends" scheme. These are pyramid schemes that I despise. Since I was busy doing something else, my reaction was pretty bad, and I have to apologize to Rocky for that.

So let me recommend a few sites I read every day, and I am afraid they are pretty obvious:

See? No chain letter. I don't expect any of them to pick up this meme. OK, maybe Robert. :-)

*) If you ever ask yourself, why I am doing something because there is no obvious return for me, most likely you watch me paying forward. There are quite a few things in my life I am very grateful for, and which I never could pay back, so I am paying forward. It is pretty easy to do. Try to find something that is easy for you, but hard for others, and then start doing it. And if they ask you what they can do for you, tell them to pay forward instead of paying back.

1&1 partners with Open-Xchange

by Volker Weber

This is a significant announcement: Available first in Germany as of February 28, and subsequently in US, UK and France within the first half of 2007, 1&1 will offer hosted Open-Xchange from 2.99 a month per user. OX delivers a web-based integrated collaboration environment. The slightly more expensive premium package contains the OXtender connector for Microsoft Outlook and a WebDAV interface which lets you tie your online storage right into your filesystem.

1&1 also has a similar offering with Microsoft Exchange as the server at a higher per user cost.

Interesting email disclaimer

by Volker Weber

this email is

Session evaluations for "edcom nachlese 07" are in

by Volker Weber

Otto sent us the session evaluations for the event in February. And I take great pride in saying that they are outstanding. For the vast majority of delegates we were able to exceed their expectations, 100% of sessions were evaluated between "good" and "very good". The Gumzman received straight A's for one of his sessions and was mentioned as a conference highlight in the open comments. I hope he will come back next year (mark your calendars):

nachlese 08

I came pretty close to Thomas with a score of 1.06, but you can't beat 1.0. ;-) On a side note: The evening event had a large non-smoking section which was very well received.

So much for working on US DST changes today

by Bruce Elgort

The IBM support site seems to be getting a massage this morning.

So much for working on IBM Lotus DST changes today

Chris has also noticed.

Jugendstil in Darmstadt

by Volker Weber

[Click the photo for a set of pictures]

You may want to consider sponsoring the ILUG 2007 conference in Dublin

by Volker Weber

ilug 07 This conference is going to be full. I am not really sure why it is called the Irish Lotus User Group conference, since it is so international. Maybe the I stands for International instead of Irish. The three biggest groups are from Germany, Ireland and the UK, but there are also delegates from the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the US. You will not only find some of the best speakers in the community, but also very knowledgeable delegates, amongst them the best Notes professionals I have had the pleasure to work with. This has the potential of growing into something much larger.

This year Paul is finding it much easier to enlist sponsors for the conference. Last year I had to be a little bit provocative and but that is no longer necessary. Since last year's conference was so successful, IBM got involved pretty early and is bringing in people who will demonstrate Notes 8, Quickr and Connections. The other premium sponsor is Research In Motion, which also means that delegates will have the opportunity to win a new BlackBerry 8800.

If your marketing budget has some money looking for a good investment, you should think about adding yourself to the list of sponsors. Paul explains the opportunities on this page, but you need to get in touch with him. He can make several different arrangements depending on how much you would like to get involved.

Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

Maurice: For most men a woman's body is the most beautiful thing they will ever see.
Jessie: What's the most beautiful thing a girl sees? Do you know?
Maurice: Her first child.

Peter O'Toole as Maurice and Jodie Whittaker as Jessie in Venus (2006)

Es besteht Hoffnung

by Volker Weber

Das Rauchen in Gaststätten soll in Deutschland künftig weitgehend verboten werden. Allerdings können die Gastwirte getrennte Raucherzimmer einrichten. Darauf einigten sich die zuständigen Minister von Bund und Länder am Freitag bei ihren Beratungen zum Nichtraucherschutz. Wer gegen das Rauchverbot verstößt, muss mit Bußgeldern rechnen.

Bundesverbraucherminister Seehofer kündigte außerdem an, das Bundeskabinett werde am kommenden Mittwoch ein Rauchverbot für öffentliche Verkehrsmittel und Einrichtungen des Bundes beschließen.

Die zuständigen Minister können viel beraten. Es wird wohl noch was dauern, bis die Deutschen ein Gesetz mit so einfachen Regeln beschließen. Wer im Mai zur ILUG kommt, kann in Irland mal besichtigen, was in den Gaststätten dort los ist. Vom Dehoga war anscheinend noch niemand da.

More >

Two new condoms

by Volker Weber

RIM sent me two silicone skins for the Pearl and the 8800. I particularly like the black skin for the Pearl. Gives it a Matrix-style appearance.

Bericht: vowe kommt zur CeBIT

by Volker Weber

Es berichtet zwar nicht die Hannoversche Allgemeine, aber auch vowe ist dieses Jahr wieder mit eigenem Personal auf der CeBIT vertreten. Er ist nicht als offizieller Aussteller gelistet, wird aber dennoch verschiedene technische Gerätschaften herumzeigen, darunter auch ein Mobiltelefon.

Heute mal ein anderes Thema

by Volker Weber

Nach wissenschaftlichen Einschätzungen entwickelt sich die Informationssicherheit in so genannten Wellen bzw. Entwicklungsstufen, die sich aufgrund ihrer zeitlichen und inhaltlichen Dimensionen unterscheiden lassen. Charakteristisch für die erste Welle ist die technologische Ausprägung (Firewall, Proxy-Gateway, IDS-Systeme), für die zweite Welle die Erkenntnisse eines notwendigen Managements (Policies, Procedures) und für die dritte Welle die Einführung der Best Practices, Standards, Zertifizierungen, Mess- und Monitormethoden. Die derzeitige vierte Welle erzwingt von den Unternehmen ein Information Security Governance indem sie die Berücksichtigung von rechtlichen, regulatorischen und institutionellen Vorgaben fordert (Compliance). Als Synonym dieser Vorgaben steht der Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) aus dem Jahre 2002, der aufgrund der Bilanzskandale von Enron und WorldCom ins Leben gerufen wurde. Die enorme Sensibilität dieser Thematik lässt sich von den hohen Sanktionen herleiten, die gegen Manager, die Bilanzskandale zu verantworten haben, verhängt worden sind.

Ich bin gespannt, was ich heute lerne.

More >

No massages at YouTube

by Volker Weber


Google launches Premier Edition of Google Apps

by Volker Weber


$50 per user and year. That is less than one Venti Frapuccino per month. ;-) 99.9% availability is about nine hours downtime max. Why do they call it beta?

More >

I'll have to take his word for this. Amazing.

by Volker Weber


[via Bruce]

hello server

by Volker Weber


Make a copy while you can

by Volker Weber

I just received a very odd call from the Lotusphere producer who asked whether I wanted to take down two videos that I taped at Lotusphere. He could not really say why I wanted to do that, or why I would even be obliged to it. But he said, he would go through the "proper channels" of IBM legal who would then ask Youtube.com to take them down. Since I do not expect Youtube to stand up for my rights (?), I suggest you download them while you can:


If there is a rule against photography, IBM would need to have quite a few photos pulled from Flickr and a few videos from YouTube. And then there is still other sites which will be happy to host them.

At least this gentlemen seemed to approve:

As you can see he was in a better mood on this clip than he was when he announced great financial results at the Opening General Session.

While you are there, you may find the Connections snippet from the Rhodin interview interesting as well, since I have been called by Lotus press about it a week ago.

Update: This is what happens:


I could now protest this complaint, but why should I? I have emails that prove that IBM welcomed these videos. I am going to keep them in case I hear anything else about this. In any case, I have removed everything Lotusphere related from YouTube.

How long would you last?

by Volker Weber

First BlackBerry 8800 firmware update, 8820 with WLAN confirmed, 8300 revealed

by Volker Weber

Package Version:

Consisting of:
Software Platform:
File name: 8800M_PBr4.2.1_rel109_PL2.3.0.54_A4.2.1.72_Cingular.exe
File size: 69.43MB

Available here >

Interesting find: what is a BlackBerry 8300?


Two interesting screenshots from the 8800:


This is a new application called Manage Connections which bears the same icon as the former Turn Wireless On/Off. You can turn different wireless options on and off. The status screen also shows that connections to the server are via the Mobile Network. There is an obvious omission: Wifi.


And this is an interesting option: Do not connect to data services while roaming. This can be a serious savings if you want your phone to be on without consuming data services over a foreign network.

Update: A little birdy tells me that the 8300 is a (yet unannounced) 8800-style device with a camera. No word on whether it will have a GPS receiver. I also hear that there will be two variants called 8320 and 8820 with Wifi. The 8820 is already confirmed in device.xml as having a WLAN radio:


T-Mobile and Vodafone launch BlackBerry 8800 in Germany

by Volker Weber

Looks like the 8800 will be available RSN:

The BlackBerry 8800 smartphone will be available from T-Mobile from February 2007 and will cost EUR 179.95 with a 24-month contract on the Relax 100 rate.

More >

In translation to german, they lose one month though:

Das BlackBerry 8800 Smartphone ist ab März 2007 bei T-Mobile verfügbar und kostet 179,95 Euro in Verbindung mit einem 24 Monate Laufzeitvertrag im Tarif Relax 100.

More >

Vodafone also talks about March:

Das Gerät ist voraussichtlich ab Anfang März bei Vodafone verfügbar.

More >

You have to be British to try this

by Volker Weber

reliant shuttle

Here is the preview. Then click the picture to watch what happens. Yes, this is a Reliant Robin as a space shuttle. Don't worry, there is no passenger in the car.

ILUG 07: Run, don't walk (Update)

by Volker Weber

ilug 07

I told you last week about the Lotus conference in Dublin. Now Paul has lifted the curtain, and the conference site has gone live.

Paul is nuts. He is giving away a conference he could easily charge 500 quid for. And you are absolutely nuts if you live in Europe and do not attend. Flights to Ireland are cheap (Ryanair lives there), and hotels are reasonable. At least until everybody else signs up.

IBM Ireland is getting heavily involved. You will see Notes 8, Quickr and Connections. And not just slideware but the real thing. Mary Beth Raven, who leads the design team for Notes 8, will be coming over. You will find the highest rated speakers from Lotusphere.

I suggest you register as fast as you reasonably can. And book your hotel and air travel. First come, cheapest fare.

Don't tell your boss, but there is also some serious fun. Watch Wild Bill and Paul warm up the audience for the Worst Practices session @ Lotusphere:

Update 20 Feb 13:20: As of now, about 50% of the seats are already taken. There is a capacity limit at the conference, so my headline yesterday was right.

Every single day more people get educated

by Volker Weber

From BlackBerryForums.com :

I have a Blackberry 8800 with a 128mb media card, and I want to play music that I have paid for via itunes.

Sorry. You can only play music you have not paid for via iTunes.

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.

In the air tonight

by Volker Weber

Naturally Seven, music video on YouTube

New poll: Which BlackBerry is for you?

by Volker Weber

Now that RIM has announced the wide-body Pearl, better known as the BlackBerry 8800, you have a choice of full keyboard plus GPS, or smaller device plus camera. Which one is for you?


Surprisingly loud. Surprisingly heavy.

by Volker Weber

ipod hifi
I have used an Apple iPod Hi-Fi to provide sound for a presentation at the edcom conference this week. You just hook it up to the headphones out and then push one of the volume buttons to wake it up. Since I did not have a cable with a 3.5mm plug at both ends I needed to do some creative wiring.

This thing is surprisingly loud, and actually sounds very nice when played loud. Not as nice at lower volumes, but if you want to blast a party of 50 people, this is what you get. It is also surprisingly heavy, especially when equipped with six D batteries. You don't want to lug it around if you are not traveling by car.

The box contains quite a few iPod adapters, but none for the current models. Each of those come with an adapter, but what are you supposed to do if you already used yours for a docking station?

Second look at the BlackBerry 8800

by Volker Weber

BlackBerry 8800 and Pearl

After having played with the 8800 for almost a week now, I have a few observations. First of all, the build quality is not the same as the Pearl. It may be due to the fact that my device is from a very early production batch, but I find that the 8800 squeaks if you press the sides as you hold it to your ear. It is solid in the lower half, but squeaks if pressed in the upper half.

Typing is obviously easier, since the device does not have to use predictive text to find out what you want to write. I find myself correcting the Pearl still way too often. However, I am also making quite a few typos on the 8800. The keys are not spaced like on older BlackBerrys so I am hitting the wrong key more often than I expected. I may get used to the new keyboard over time and improve my typing skills on it.

Having a GPS receiver with you all the time, is a rather nice thing. You don't have to prepare yourself for a field trip. Just load BB Maps, start the GPS and it will tell you where you are. I will have to use this feature a bit more to find out what works well, and what does not, but at least the idea is really nice. The best thing is, that you don't have to preinstall any maps. It will download vector-based maps over the air.

I am stumped about one thing though: I have two SIMs from Vodafone and O2 which are "BlackBerry-enabled". If I put the O2 SIM into the Pearl and the Vodofone SIM into the 8800, both devices work just fine. If I swap the SIMs, the Pearl will use the Vodafone SIM just fine, but the 8800 is unable to connect to the BlackBerry APN on O2: "data connection refused". Both devices are unlocked and will place and receive phone calls just fine. Only the 8800 will not switch from "gprs" to "GPRS".

BlackBerry 8800 listed in Vodafone Business Shop

by Volker Weber

Vodafone UK has started to list the BlackBerry 8800 at a price "from free to ¢153.19". No information on availability yet. Talk time 330h and standby time 432mins is rather unlikely, but it could work the other way round.


by Volker Weber

Vom 1. März an gilt das neue grüne Versicherungsschild für alle Mopeds, Mofas, Mokicks und Motorroller bis 50 Kubikzentimeter Hubraum. Die bisherigen blauen Kennzeichen werden zum Stichtag ungültig. ...

Das blaue Kennzeichen ist in den Geschäftsstellen des ADAC erhältlich. Es kann dort sofort mitgenommen werden. Die Haftpflicht-Versicherung ohne Teilkasko kostet ...

More >

ILUG 07 in Dublin 24-25 May

by Volker Weber


Paul and Eileen are doing it again: a high-profile Lotus conference for free. That is right. You only have to pay for your travel expenses, the two day conference itself is free. I don't know how Paul does it, but he has enlisted quite an impressive list of speakers.

Last year's conference was a huge success. Lots of visitors, not only from Ireland, but quite an international audience. You can attend for free, but maybe you are interested to present your company at this event. In that case check out the conference information for sponsors.

I have just booked my travel to Ireland and hope to see you there.

Temperaturen in der Größe von Apfelsinen

by Volker Weber


Die SpOn-Nachtschwester bei der Arbeit ;-)

[Danke, Heiko]

Slow migration to Apple

by Volker Weber

Impressions from "edcom Nachlese 2007" - Lotusphere Comes To You

Reminder: take the battery out

by Volker Weber

The agency who sent the BlackBerry 8800 wanted to do me a big favor. They charged the battery before shipping the device, so I would be able to use it right of the box. However, they did not take out the battery before shipping.

And this is a very bad idea with either the Pearl or the 8800.

Here is what happened: the device gets bumped inside the box. The left button is pressed which activates Voice Dialing: "Say a command" Beep "Say the name or number" Beep "Please repeat" Beep "Sorry, no match found" Beep.

The mailman was very worried. It was his first talking box. Ever.

BlackBerry 8800: First Impressions

by Volker Weber

BlackBerry 8800 and Pearl
(Click the image for more photos)

Executive summary: Pearl with a decent keyboard. Minus camera. Plus GPS.

The 8800 looks and behaves like a Pearl. Same buttons, same trackball, same finish. But a much better keyboard. Ute has tested it and immediately said that it feels much better than the 7290 keyboard she is used to, which I find better than the 8700. This is a huge improvement over any BlackBerry handheld I have had so far.

Not exactly the same buttons: The 8800 has a dedicated on/off button at the top, a feature that has always been missing from BlackBerry. I was confused a bit at first, since this button is placed where the Pearl mute button is. I use this button quite often to put the Pearl into standby mode, which it only leaves when the button is pressed again (or if a call is received). This is a very convenient keyguard. The 8800 has the same mute/standby button, but it is located on the other side.

There isn't much else to say at the moment. I have put in a 1 gig microSD card, the SIM and the battery and everything worked as expected. I have registered the device on my BIS which also went fine this time. However, the network currently refuses the data connection. I suspect that the device is not accepted, since it is yet untested on the network. Since I only have an O2 SIM at hand, I cannot switch providers at the moment. Will test with Vodafone at the end of the week.

Biggest surprise for me: GPS is included. The Maps application is installed but was hidden by default. You just load it up, then start the GPS receiver from the menu. It is now looking for satellites which means, I have to step outside. Three minutes later: It. Just. Works. I like.

The 8800 is obviously wider than the Pearl, but it is also a bit taller. The Pearl is only slightly larger than the groove on the 8800 backside, which you can see in this photo.

Update: I have tested with Ute's Vodafone SIM and the data connection was not refused. So it is indeed the O2 network which refuses to serve the device. Well, she wants her SIM back, so I am back on the Pearl for now.

Bruce Schneier: Why Vista's DRM Is Bad For You

by Volker Weber

Windows Vista includes an array of "features" that you don't want. These features will make your computer less reliable and less secure. They'll make your computer less stable and run slower. They will cause technical support problems. They may even require you to upgrade some of your peripheral hardware and existing software. And these features won't do anything useful. In fact, they're working against you. They're digital rights management (DRM) features built into Vista at the behest of the entertainment industry.

And you don't get to refuse them.

More on Forbes.com>

More & comments on Schneier.com >

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer

[Thanks, Hanno]

RIM introduces BlackBerry 8800

by Volker Weber


This must have been the most painful product launch ever. Or the least kept secret:

3GSM World Congress - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today introduced the highly anticipated BlackBerry(R) 8800 - a feature-rich and finely tuned smartphone that is both functionally and visually inspiring.

The BlackBerry 8800 is the thinnest BlackBerry handset yet and is designed to satisfy the most demanding mobile professionals. Equipped with a full, highly tactile QWERTY(i) keyboard and RIM's user-friendly trackball navigation system, it also includes built-in GPS (Global Positioning System), multimedia features and a microSD expandable memory slot.


The quad-band GSM/GPRS and EDGE-enabled BlackBerry 8800 offers best-in-class performance with smoothly integrated support for voice and data applications, including phone, email, text messaging, web browser, organizer, multimedia and more. Powering its robust performance is an ultra-thin, high-capacity battery that further extends the uncompromising battery life for which BlackBerry handsets are renowned.

Through its built-in GPS, the BlackBerry 8800 can pinpoint its location and provide "out-of-the-box" support for a wide variety of location based applications and services, including BlackBerry Maps. BlackBerry Maps provides driving directions -- with the ability to track the route via GPS -- and integrates with other BlackBerry applications, so users can generate a map from an address in their BlackBerry Address Book and send maps via email from their BlackBerry 8800.

I shall be reporting about it shortly. But for now it's time to focus.

More >

Incoming fire

by Volker Weber

First Markus diggs his first story from vowe.net, then it makes it to the front page:

On digg front page

Then the site is hit by as many as 1632 concurrent visitors:


With 888 diggs makes it into the #8 spot in the Top 10:

888 diggs

It does not stop there:

1111 diggs

Meanwhile traffic goes through the roof:


... while Carl, this month's sponsor, laughs all the way to the bank.

Update: A day later it stands at 1860+ diggs with 226 comments. Traffic is back to normal and the storm is over:


Volles Haus

by Volker Weber

Lotusphere Nachlese

Vor gut zwei Jahren haben Wolfgang und Otto gefragt, ob ich bei einer Lotusphere Nachlese von edcom mitmachen will. Einfache Antwort: "Gut. Überredet". Und gleich der erste Versuch hat ziemlich gut funktioniert. Nach dem erfolgreichen Abschluss haben wir noch eine Tour durch die bayerischen Alpen gemacht, von der Ed noch heute erzählt.

Letztes Jahr ging alles noch ein bisschen besser mit mehr Teilnehmern, einer tollen Keynote von Ron Sebastian und rundum zufriedenen Gesichtern. Ich habe mich über die Bewertung meiner Sessions gefreut und gleich wieder die nächste Veranstaltung zugesagt, die nächste Woche stattfindet. Hier auf der Website wird es deshalb ruhiger, weil wir noch einiges vorzubereiten haben. Auch dieses Jahr ist Ron wieder dabei, dazu reisen auch Niklas Heidloff und Thomas Gumz an.

Das beste aber ist der Zuspruch der Teilnehmer. Dieses Jahr ist die Veranstaltung ausgebucht. Ich freu mich drauf.

Not being run over

by Volker Weber

Urban wondered how a link from heise.de would affect traffic on vowe's magic flying circus. Simple answer: hardly.

you've been heise'd

Saturday and Sunday are slow days since my site is mostly read from work. It's just so much better than working. :-) Friday is also slower than the rest of the week, since many people go home early. What you can see last Friday is that visits remained up while page impressions went down. This is the typical pattern if there are more "accidental" users — people who only read one page and then go away.

So it is noticeable if you read the statistics carefully, but it does not affect the site in any way. No worries ...

The little video that could

by Volker Weber


That is a lot of honors for one small video, and the other two are not bad either. Since they were too complicated to follow, I create the simpler one to publish it here. 7000+ views later I am convinced that YouTube is a very valuable service. I would not want to pay for this bandwidth.

And I've just started to use the service some two months ago. This is becoming addictive. ;-)

Don't try this at home

by Volker Weber


by Volker Weber

[Thanks, Frans]

How to remove and replace a Pearl trackball

by Volker Weber

pearl maintenance

Excellent instructions here >

Standard disclaimer: If you break it, you own all the parts.

Browser stats

by Volker Weber

browser stats

If I go through my server logs, I can make pretty good statistics. However, they may not be as good as I think since they also contain spambots, rss readers and other hits which taint the results.

Google Analytics is somewhat better, since it requires Javascript to register a pageview. And this graph shows the overall trend aggregated by month. Here at vowe's magic flying circus Firefox leaves Internet Explorer in the dust. I am sure that is different on w3.ibm.com or www.aol.com.

VNC support in VMware Server

by Volker Weber

Carl has documented a real gem:

You probably do, but if you're using VMServer there really is no need. VMServer, includes native support for VNC clients, you just have to switch it on, sadly this isn't exposed through the UI, so most people don't know it exists. Here are the simple instructions for setting up VNC support for your VM image.

More >

Mac Calculator is bad at math (update)

by Volker Weber

Adding 19% to 8511.22 renders different results depending on whether you use the % button or multiply by 1.19. The difference is more than 0.04. Which is enough to make you look stupid when writing an invoice.

Update: I have smart readers! Ben has nailed the problem. Calculator is truncating 8511.22 to 8511 before calculating the percentage. Other readers are reporting that they are not seeing this error. Current assumption: This only happens on Intel Macs.

Update: This is only getting better. See this video and find out that the bug is related to the locale in use:

Update: The bug is fixed in Leopard:


Interview with Thomas Gumz from IBM

by Bruce Elgort

Julian Robichaux and I had the pleasure of interviewing Thomas Gumz of IBM. In the interview we talk about the history of Domino Administrator, how Domino Domain Monitoring (DDM) came to be, the new Eclipse Update Site features in Domino 8 and a whole lot more. A must listen for both Domino administrators and developers.

More >

Boynq Vase

by Volker Weber

boying vase

While attending a Google event this evening, I received a small gift. Excellent packaging and interesting design. However, every single speaker in my office sounds better, not counting internal speakers on notebooks.

You need to connect it to your earphones connector and USB, which is only being used to power the speaker. You hit the top to turn it on or off, and while it's on there are two orange leds to illuminate the "acoustic lens" from within.

Flickr peepshow

by Volker Weber

Caution: this is very very addicting. See what is being uploaded to Flickr right now >

When do they stop ripping off customers?

by Volker Weber

Vodafone has a new tariff which you can activate by phone. It will give you Blackberry access for 19 ct per 10 kB. Make sure you steer clear of this offer. Typical BlackBerry traffic is 3 MB per month which would cost you 300 x 19 ct = 57 Euro.

They also offer 1 MB for 5 Euro, 2.5 MB for 10.12 Euro, 5 MB for 17.85 Euro, and finally 30 MB for 23.80 Euro.

Collanos Workplace

by Volker Weber


Within minutes you can be sharing documents, having online discussions, and managing tasks, all in a single, consolidated space. Built on reliable peer-to-peer technology, Collanos Workplace software allows you to work anywhere, anytime, both online and offline.

Collanos Workplace is free and runs on Windows, Mac and Linux!

Does this smell of Eclipse?

More >

Scoble: German shopkeepers save me hundreds of dollars

by Volker Weber

Maryam whines that most of the shops we’ve walked past the last couple of days have been closed. Whew. We’re escaping Germany with hundreds of Euros still in our pockets. Thank you Germany!

More >

Jobs blames it on the majors

by Volker Weber

From the eMusic.com website:

eMusic is different from other digital music stores. We are the only major music service to make all our music available as MP3s. That means more freedom of use for you! Our songs play flawlessly on any digital media player including the iPod. You can burn unlimited CDs, download to an unlimited number of computers, play on any digital music jukebox, and the list goes on. There are no confusing restrictions or hidden fees for using YOUR music the way YOU want to!

And now Steve Jobs wants the same deal. At least he says so. I will start believing him when Disney starts selling DRM-free titles in the iTunes store.

Jim Griffin, founder of Cherry Lane Digital, testified at a US Senate committee in July 2000. He was a lone voice in the industry back in 2000:

Today, it can be truly said that music behaves more like Thomas Jefferson's candle - which when lit with another candle diminishes the flame of the first not at all - than it does like an object subject to the laws of supply and demand.

To the music listener who shares music, there is no consumption, as there is no less music after playing it than there was beforehand. The supply of boxes containing music is decremented not at all, and arguably the demand is increased.

These are the new clothes the music industry must wear if it is to grow to the $100 billion business it wishes from the $40 billion business it is.

I strongly believe that online sales will soar, once the stores from the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Sony stop crippling their merchandise. They are only hurting their customers.

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer

Installing Vista

by Volker Weber

[via Chris]

Adium wakes up

by Volker Weber

This has to be one of the funniest icon transitions ever.

Now that IBM does not sell PCs anymore everything is possible

by Volker Weber

My manager's manager and my manager's manager's manager are both using MacBook Pro (or Mac PowerBooks). In a meeting last week, my manager's manager's manager told a room of his reports that we too could have our own Macs if we can justify a business need for one.

More >

Update: Interestingly enough, this quote has suddenly disappeared.

Do I hear an I do?

by Volker Weber

This is my winner of this year's Superbowl ads. Many of them I did not like at all. But this one tells a good story.

Richard's speed crash

by Volker Weber

Site news: Database hick-up

by Volker Weber

The database which drives the polls went offline at 7:05 this morning which is in the middle of the night. ;-) I received a few reports that the site was hanging with error 500. Therefore I suspended the poll until the database was back online. Should be working now.

New poll: Which is your favorite IM service?

by Volker Weber

I am wondering about your favorite IM service. Lots and lots of people use the walled gardens of public IM networks from AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo. Then there is the open standard alternative Jabber, also used by Google Talk. Corporate types prefer their own service like Lotus Sametime or Microsoft LCS. My own personal favorite is Skype, just because it works. Everywhere and every time.

I don't want to turn this into a beauty contest between IM clients and also not between IBM and MS. This is why the choices are rather sparse. I'd rather want to know what you are relying on day by day.

These are the results:


We need to rethink

by Volker Weber

[via Nico]

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

by Volker Weber

He has done it before, and he is doing it again. You really should not run Mac OS X on a Windows machine, because there is no legal way to do it. And yes, it shows from miles apart, that this is a bootlegged VMware image.

So what is this all about? Until Notes 6.5 IBM used its own proprietary format to store Notes preferences, and with Notes 7.0.2 they went to the Windows INI format. The "notes.ini" file is called "Notes Preferences" but they might as well have called it "notes.ini" because that's what it is. Notes does not use the proper OS routines to store preferences.

To clarify: Mac OS X does not use a registry. Preferences are XML structures that were stored in plain text up to version 10.3, and now have a binary format. There is a Pref Setter application which lets you edit them, and there are OS calls to read and write them. Let's look at an example - com.apple.Terminal.plist:


For Notes this should be "com.ibm.Notes.plist". Maybe in Notes 8.0.1.

Netgear Skype Phone firmware updated

by Volker Weber

netgear phone

Netgear has updated the firmware for the SPH101 Wifi Skype phone. It went from to Unfortunately I do not have release notes for the firmware, which could tell me about all the changes. I can confirm that there is a new entry field on the home screen. It lets you type in numbers as well as names. The phone UI is now available in five languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish.

Things that have not changed: The phone still emits the annoying login sound, even if you have switched of notification tones, it still has only three terrible ringtones, and the proxy settings are also grayed out. If you find a list of changes, please comment.

More >

Adium 1.0 has been released

by Ken Porter

Like many people, I have several instant messaging accounts to interact with a variety of external customers, clients, and friends. On my work PC, I use Trilian Pro by Cerulean Studios mainly because of its support for Sametime.

Adium 1.0At home on my Macs I use the open source IM client for Mac OS X; Adium. Like Trillian Pro, it supports a ton of different IM services including AOL IM, MSN Messenger, Lotus Sametime, Yahoo! Messenger, Jabber, and others I have never heard of.

Today Adium version 1.0 has been released with a bunch of bug fixes and a new look to boot. If you haven't used it before, click here to go to the download page and get it.

BlackBerry really has raised the bar

by Volker Weber

Excuse for timezone

Today I have received an out of office message, excusing the recipient for taking more time to reply due to a timezone change from the UK to Canada. If you have a BlackBerry you obviously have to excuse yourself for sleeping. ;-)

Daring Fireball: Lies, Damned Lies, and Bill Gates

by Volker Weber

Gates's claim about Mac OS X security is simply false. Flabbergastingly false. ... It's either an angry, slanderous lie, or Bill Gates is an uninformed jackass.

More >

On Vista speech recognition

by Volker Weber

I hope they never install Vista on the Space Shuttle. “Discovery, this is Houston. Please start the engine shutdown sequence on return to atmosphere.”

More >

Dr. Jekyll cannot hide from Mr. Hyde

by Volker Weber

There is a reason I have a "real name only" policy on vowe's magic flying circus. Let Dr. Jekyll in and keep Mr. Hyde out. The discussion is much more civilized this way.

Once in a while somebody breaks that rule, his comment disappears and he gets a friendly reminder by mail containing his comment so he can repost. Then there is the occasional happy troll posting with his full name, which also gets a friendly reminder. This works with most of them. So far I have had only four cases that required a permanent ban to leave us alone.

And then there is Mr. Hyde. He thinks he is anonymous and tries to force his way through. You want to send him a friendly reminder, but his email is as fake as his name. So his comments just disappear. Of course Mr. Hyde keeps pressing on. The only thing you can do about it is to delete his comments every time he posts one. You cannot argue with him, because he thinks he is so much smarter than you.

The only trouble is: he isn't.

One day Mr. Hyde sees a honey pot which just looks too tasty. He puts his finger in. And then Dr. Jekyll becomes visible. And everything Mr. Hyde has done falls back on Dr. Jekyll. The punishment could be severe. Make all his abusive comments and insults reappear correctly attributed and leave the rest to Google.

I am not going to do that. Dr. Jekyll is very welcome to comment and discuss. He is a smart guy and has valuable insights. It's Mr. Hyde who is not welcome.

There is a lesson to learn: be honest. You can just tell it as it is, and you don't have to remember your lies. And no matter what you think, you are not anonymous.

Recently in Boston

by Volker Weber

Excellent analysis by Bruce Schneier

On the Run - The Sametime Game

by Bruce Elgort

The Sametime Game

More >

Phone support for iTunes

by Bruce Elgort

I just got done listening to the 2007.01.31 edition of the MacCast where Adam explained how to get support for iTunes in the US.

You can call 800-275-2273 between 8am - 5pm Central Time. This is the main number for AppleCare Service and Support. Next when you hear the recording you need to punch in "70" when you hear the recording. Enter it again if it doesn't accept it the first time. I had to enter it twice before it went through. You will then be asked to say which product you need service for - say "iTunes". You will then be asked for the type of computer you are using - say "PC" or "Mac". Then you are asked if you are calling for a school - say "yes" or "no". After that you will then be magically connected with a human being.

You would think that Apple would make it easy for customers to get support for iTunes. Hopefully Skype will also make some form of phone support available for their customers.


by Volker Weber

If you have never tried out Democracy, you are missing out big time. It virtually plays any video-- Quicktime, WMV, MPEG, AVI, XVID, and more. It lets you subscribe to any video RSS feed, podcast, or video blog. It downloads and saves videos from YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo Video, and other sites. You can easily download any BitTorrent file and then watch it in the same app. Last but not least, it runs on Windows, Linux and Mac.

Get it here >

And here is one thing you do not want to miss: mariposaHD.tv

A few observations about the polls on this site

by Volker Weber

When I set out to create the poll scripts here on vowe's magic flying circus as my Xmas project, I was a little bit wary how this would turn out. So my first poll was to find out whether you liked it or not. I did not need to worry. The polls have turned out to a big hit. Here are a few observations:

I have been getting a few suggestions, like providing a Submit button or a View Results link. Thank you for that, but I have actually designed it this way for a reason. If there is an opportunity to look at results, I sometimes cheat and look at them before voting myself. I don't know why I do that , but it probably influences my choice.

I have made one small adjustment yesterday, after one reader told me he could only see the results by voting again. Here is how it should work: You vote, the site sets a cookie. If there is a cookie, you get to see the results (for one year) instead of the choices. Now I check if I can successfully set a cookie, and if I can't then I present you with the results directly. Which of course means that you don't get to vote if your browser does not accept the cookie.

I know some people don't like to accept cookies, but I find them tasty to preserve state between sessions. Without them you are forced to enter your contact data in the comments all over again. This is my setting in Safari:

safari cookies

Alternate route to Orlando

by Volker Weber

There are no direct flights from Frankfurt to Orlando, save but one Condor flight which only operates on Fridays. Connecting in New York, Washington, Chicago or Atlanta always bears the risk that immigration or ridiculous security circus lets you miss the connecting flight. However, there is an interesting alternative, since you are flying over Iceland anyway. Just connect there. A small airport with easy connections.

This does not only work for Frankfurt but other European locations as well. Be aware that you are not landing in MCO but in Orlando/Sanford.

[via Scott Hanson]

Old vowe.net archive pages

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


Paypal vowe