November 2007

In search of Rapid Restore for Thinkpad R51, 1829-9MG

by Volker Weber

A friend has a ThinkPad R51, purchased in 5/2005, and now the disk died. Of course he did not create the recovery CDs and he has made backups with the IBM-supplied Rapid Restore.

Well, without the software the restore is everything but rapid. He has now ordered restore disks from Lenovo, which may take up to 10 days. He has already installed the system back on a new disk, but would really like to have his data as well. So he downloaded the software from the Lenovo site. However, it does not recognize the backups. The people at the hotline tell him, he needs the same version of the software that made the backup. Of course he does not know the version, and the Lenovo hotline won't tell him which one he originally had.

Can anybody help him? Do you have a ThinkPad roughly 2.5 years old with the original software? Can you tell us the version number of Rapid Restore? Can you procure the installer?

And now go forth and create your own recovery CDs. Or better, buy a Mac.

Update: 3.01 did the trick. Thanks to everyone who offered their help here or via email.

Telekom bessert bei iPhone-Tarifen nach

by Volker Weber

Es gibt ab morgen eine Reihe von Verbesserungen (die auch für Bestandskunden gelten):

  1. Alle Inlandstelefonate zu T-Mobile und ins Festnetz zählen am Wochenende nicht zum Minutenkontingent und werden nicht berechnet.
  2. Beim Überschreiten der Minutenkontingente gelten neue Preise: 29 statt 39 ct bei den Tarifen für 49 und 69 Euro, 9 statt statt 29 ct beim teuersten Tarif.

Damit steigen zumindest beim teuersten Tarif die Preise nur noch linear. 1000 Minuten für 89 Euro, 2000 Minuten für 89 plus 90 Euro.

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[Danke, Franz]

Preparing for another club night

by Volker Weber


25 yrs ago I could go the night alone, this time we are three. Last time we were four and I was completely spent the next day. I know I am getting too old for this. We did not have Traktor then, only vinyl and two turntables and a mike. It was simpler, especially after the SL-1200 came out. But all the records are gone now.

Still not quitting. :-)

heise Netze: Arcor beantragt Missbrauchsverfahren gegen Telekom wegen DSL-Anschlüssen

by Volker Weber

Der Telekommunikationsanbieter Arcor sieht sich von der Deutschen Telekom im Wettbewerb um DSL-Kunden und die "letzte Meile" behindert. Arcor beantragte am vergangenen Freitag bei der Bundesnetzagentur ein Missbrauchsverfahren gegen den Marktführer. ... Arcor beschuldigt die Telekom in dem Missbrauchsantrag, die Fristen "dauerhaft" zu verletzten, da "seit Jahresanfang durchschnittlich mehr als jeder vierte TAL-Antrag 18 Tage von der Telekom nicht bearbeitet" werde.

Nun, bei mir hat Arcor vom 15.10.2007 bis zum 28.11.2007 gebraucht, um meine Telefonnummern an die Telekom zurückzugeben. Morgen bekomme ich sie dann hoffentlich aufgeschaltet.

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Is Europe a country?

by Volker Weber

How to get the new Lotus videos

by Volker Weber

Who says Lotus forgot to do catchy videos? They still can. I grabbed them from the IBM site as .flv, recoded to H.264. Now they play nicely on the iPhone.

No need to grab them in reduced quality off of YouTube. Here are the direct links to the flash files:

Whether they work is a different matter - you can also clear your desktop by removing software that IBM does not want to have removed. I think they are pretty funny and have viral potential.

Suggestion for Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

Build a kick-ass BlackBerry application which keeps everyone updated on sessions, session repeats, overflow rooms, parties etc. Maybe something cool like "what's on now, what's on next". Publish the whole thing two weeks before the show, so that "enterprise" users can get clearance from Mordac.

Nobody really needs another inbox on the portal. And please, no beta software. Use something that works.

Marco is ten months early

by Volker Weber

OnMyList: Top 25 great drinking quotes

by Volker Weber

...or quotes about drinking. Drinking beer, wine, spirits that is. Not to be confused with great quotes about drinking milk. Or great quotes about drinking sweet tea on your front porch. Without further ado...

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[via a wild scotsman, who shall be unnamed]

New Google Maps beta locates you without GPS

by Volker Weber

Google Maps can now can use cell tower triangulation to show you where you are. So far it isn't working for me:

googlemapslocation1 googlemapslocation2

The 8820 does not get a fix indoors (the TomTom does easily), and the 8120 says my location is temporarily unavailable. Maybe it only sees one tower. Or it isn't working at all in Germany. Do all GSM towers send their geolocation?

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Vulnerability in Notes 7 and 8 through file viewer

by Volker Weber

Several vulnerabilities have been discovered in Autonomy’s Verity KeyView SDK which affects Notes (and most likely other applications as well). What I find disturbing is this:

Although these specific vulnerabilities exist on a third–party component the problem is compound by the way Lotus Notes displays information about attachments, making it easier to elicit unsuspecting assistance from the users to exploit them. Lotus Notes displays the file type and corresponding icon based on the attached file’s extension rather than the MIME Content-Type header in the email whereas the view functionality is handled by the Verity KeyView component which processes the attachment based on the file contents. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities requires end-user interaction but the discrepancy described above could allow an attacker to send a malicious Lotus 1-2-3 file as an attachment with a seemingly innocuous extension (for example, .JPG or .GIF) that more easily lure users into viewing it thus making it easier to succeed in the exploitation attempt.

Shouldn't this be fixed by IBM?

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Aus gegebenem Anlass

by Volker Weber

Lotto ist eine Steuer, die nur bei Leuten erhoben wird, die schlecht in Mathe sind.

Lotus Domino Best Practices Wiki on LDD

by Bruce Elgort

...and it's database name is "dominowiki.nsf". Got your ears on Ben?

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Petition: IBM should continue to produce Lotus-focused Redbooks

by Volker Weber

It has been leaked that the Lotus Redbooks center in Westford, MA, USA will be closed. This has been confirmed by IBM.

My take on this (and the general consensus from the blog posts I have read on the topic) is that this is a very regrettable move for those in the Lotus community that rely on Redbooks to assist with deployments, planning, upgrades and integration projects. The Redbooks provide a quality and type of documentation that is simply not found anywhere else.

Therefore, I put forward this petition for you and others to sign:

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DNUG announces EULUC

by Volker Weber

DNUG is Deutsche Notes User Group. EULUC is European Lotus User Club, based on Lotus Connections. I trust it does what Connections does. The claim says "Meet the experts".

That's about what I can tell you. I am not a DNUG-Member, and therefore have no access to the site. Blogs are public, the rest is not. The content appears to be German, so I am tempted to call it GLUC or DLUC. :-)

DNUG members, go forth and collaborate.

The logo plays nicely with the german word for owl: Eule.

Wired into the system

by Volker Weber

Can we take your order?

iPhone Hi-Fi

by Volker Weber

iPhone Hi-Fi

I know this isn't working for TC but it's working for me. I even get a new menu item:

iPhone Hi-Fi

c't kaufen :-)

by Volker Weber


Das war ein langer Artikel, lang in vieler Hinsicht. Es hat einige Wochen gedauert, bis ich meine Gedanken geordnet hatte. Ohne die tatkräftige Hilfe von Jo wäre er nicht so geworden, wie er heute ist. Viele Kommentare sind eingeflossen, mancher mag sich erkennen. Einen ganz großen Beitrag haben die Teenager-Kinder meiner Nachbarn erbracht, die mir die Augen auf ihre Welt eröffnet haben.

Jo und ich sind zufrieden. Mal gespannt auf Eure Reaktionen. Heute bei den Abonennten, Montag am Kiosk. c't 25/2007, S. 156.

Oxymoron of the day: authentic replica

by Volker Weber

My name is Marina and I am a philologist (the study of linguistics and etymology). I love to discuss the origins of words. So if you have any words you'd like me to discuss, please send me a comment!

This bubbled up on my iPhone. :-)

Now playing on Sonos: Klassik Lounge Nightflight Vol. 02

by Volker Weber


[Thanks, Heiko]

Now and then: Lotus videos

by Volker Weber

Then: #1 #2
Now: #1 #2

20 Erkenntnisse eines Journalisten

by Volker Weber

Thomas Jungbluth schreibt:

Heute vor 20 Jahren begann meine beispiellose Karriere als Journalist und Fachautor. Für jedes Jahr eine Erkenntnis.

Bei mir sind es ein paar Jahre weniger. Aber die Erkenntnisse kann ich bestätigen.

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Waiting for the Guards

by Volker Weber

... support Amnesty International – unsubscribe yourself.


by Volker Weber

Talking cats

by Volker Weber

You may have seen this. Now watch the translation.

Facebook again has breaking news

by Volker Weber

wild bill no longer penumbra

Related: Bill, Penumbra


by Volker Weber

pac man

ReadyNAS RAIDiator 4.00c1-p1 available

by Volker Weber

raidiator 4

NETGEAR is pleased to release the latest major RAIDiator 4 firmware update to the ReadyNAS network attached storage product line. The latest firmware will work with all preceding ReadyNAS products and can be updated easily from the FrontView System/Update/Remote tab. If you prefer, you can choose to do a local update by first downloading the new image here: RAIDiator-4.00c1-p1

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[Thanks, Karsten]

Steven Poole: Trigger Happier

by Volker Weber

As a follow-up to my post on Amazon’s crippled and hideous Kindle, and the discussion at Mark Pilgrim’s place, I thought I’d try an experiment, and give away for free an “ebook” version of my first book, Trigger Happy, with no “digital rights management” whatsoever. It’ll work on anything that can read a PDF.

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by Volker Weber

... lets you listen to any song or band.

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[Thanks, Vesey]

Le calendrier 2008 d'Aubade est arrivé

by Volker Weber


T-Mobile says to sell iPhone without contract

by Volker Weber

Thanks to everybody who sent in links to this and similar stories:

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile will allow customers in Germany to buy Apple's iPhone without having to sign a T-Mobile contract after rival Vodafone obtained a court injunction against it. T-Mobile said on Wednesday it will offer the iPhone without a T-Mobile contract for 999 euros ($1,478) at its shops.

I have a few comments, but since this is a German matter, I will make them in German.

Über das iPhone habe ich schon geschrieben. Neben sehr viel Licht gibt es auch ein paar Schattenseiten, die ich persönlich nicht so tragisch finde. Das muss jeder selbst entscheiden.

Der Pferdefuß ist meiner Ansicht nach die zweijährige vertragliche Bindung von Telefon und Service-Vertrag. Genau hier setzen Vodafone und Debitel an. Statt jetzt diesen Mondpreis von 999 Euro zu verlangen, könnte T-Mobile eigentlich ganz cool sein:

Ohne Kenntnis der Abmachungen zwischen Apple und T-Mobile ist das alles schwer zu beurteilen. Ich denke, T-Mobile würde kaum Kunden verlieren, wenn sie das Telefon mit einem Servicevertrag ohne Mindestlaufzeit anbieten würden. Der Service stimmt, das iPhone funktioniert bestens im T-Mobile-Netz. Jedenfalls viel besser, als man das in anderen Netzen ohne weiteres erwarten darf. Ohne die Knebelung würden bestimmt viel mehr Menschen zu Weihnachten einsteigen.

Update: Interessanter Satz aus der dpa-Meldung:

Kunden, die ab dem 19. November ein iPhone erworben hätten, könnten es kostenlos entsperren lassen, so dass sie auch Sim-Karten anderer Anbieter nutzen könnten. T-Mobile verkauft das Apple-Gerät exklusiv in Deutschland seit dem 9. November.

Oder andersherum gestrickt: wer sein iPhone vom 9. bis zum 17. gekauft hat, der darf den SIM-Lock behalten. T-Mobile hat es damit geschafft, wirklich alle reihum vor den Kopf zu stoßen. Herzlichen Glückwunsch.

Bester Kommentar:


Und wer's nicht kapiert, der guckt hier.

(Don't) give up on Vista

by Volker Weber

Funny Apple ad. Luckily it starts without sound. At least it did for me.

Update: What I had not noticed was the "Dinosaur Sighting" piece in the middle, referring to Lotus Symphony. Proof that I sometimes fail to see the negative.

Si tacuisses

by Volker Weber

This story is probably b/s, and nicely explained by iPhone envy, but a good laugh anyway:

Because of weather delays, a guy’s plane gets diverted to a different airport. But, thanks to his trusty iPhone, the man notices the all-clear, and notifies the Flight Attendant. When relayed to the pilot, the pilot responded over the air with:

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Bei Wiesbaden

by Volker Weber

Also, Kinners von n-tv:

In einem Restaurant am Flughafen in Egelsbach bei Wiesbaden traf Bahnchef Hartmut Mehdorn einem Radiobericht zufolge ...

Egelsbach liegt vielleicht bei Langen, oder bei Darmstadt, oder südlich von Frankfurt, aber nicht bei Wiesbaden.

Mark Pilgrim: The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts)

by Volker Weber

Excellent writing by Mark Pilgrim. Of course he is referring to the awful Amazon reading device Kindle. This link could earn $40 per sale, if (a) I had used an affiliate link and (b) you would be stupid enough to buy one. Which of course you aren't.

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IBM releases components on

by Volker Weber

IBM has released a library of 22 components you can use to make composite applications in Lotus Notes 8 through The site does not make it very obvious how you could get at the code, but you probably know that you need to register and logon so that you can download anything.

IBM also does not make it terribly obvious what is actually inside the file you can download, other than it is 22 components. There is no description, there are no screenshot, nada. After you download the ZIP file and try to open it, you get prompted for a password, which you don't have. The archive will then unpack one Microsoft Word document: README_License_Password.DOC. I hope you get the irony. :-) This file then explains what the password is:


Now that you know what the password is, you can unzip the archive again. So what's inside? ComponentLibrary.nsf, approximately 28 MB in size, signed by one Lukas Geiger of ZetaBank, both of which do not really exist. So shall we trust him or not?

security alert

We are getting closer. Still no documentation, just another huge license display. Finally a description which says:

This feature contains a selection of demonstration components you can use to build composite applications in IBM Lotus Notes 8.

Let's look at a view:

lotuscomponent library

I took the liberty to copy out all the descriptions in order to provide you with a list of the content:

  1. Checker: This presents a check box to the user with configurable text. When checked, it broadcasts mashups of properties set on it.
  2. Clicker: This presents a button to the user with configurable text. When clicked, it broadcasts mashups of properties set on it.
  3. Constants: Broadcast constant values. Useful for wiring "points of variability" to Notes components
  4. Converter: This converts any of the standard types to a generic string type and vice versa
  5. Database Open: A button to let you select a Notes database.
  6. Document Viewer: Accepts a Notes URL and displays it.
  7. Eclipse Selection: This converts the current selected eclipse object into a string. Most useful for broadcasting the Notes url of a line selected in a view.
  8. File Open: A button to let you select a file.
  9. Mockup: A visual only component for mocking up and prototyping UI, or providing labels.
  10. Notes name: This does a Notes Name lookup and pulls out the name, distinguished name, internet address and up to four other fields.
  11. Notes URL Processor: Takes a Notes URL, from action or selection, and extracts values from referenced object.
  12. Sametime Business Card: Displays business card information from Sametime.
  13. Standard Types Tester: This aids in unit testing components with standard values.
  14. Table: This displays a table of values set by an action. Focus and selection state are broadcast through a property.
  15. Tag Cloud: This displays a range of keywords weighted by given values. Selection and focus state can be returned.
  16. Web Clipper: Displays a web page and extracts values.
  17. Web Launcher: Takes a URL, and launches a web browser either in the environment or external to it.
  18. Productivity Editor: This uses the productivity editor to display a document in read-only mode.
  19. Sametime Buddy List: This presents a list of Sametime enabled people optionally tagged with an extra column of information.
  20. Notes Join - Table: This displays a table of values computed from a variety of Notes sources.
  21. Notes Join - Tree: This displays a tree view of values computed from a variety of Notes sources.
  22. Notes to Tag Cloud: This is a component that calculates tag cloud information from a Notes view or Database.

I must admit that I am slightly underwhelmed. After all the "fantastic", "outstanding", and "awesome" comments I was expecting less of "a button to select a file" and "a button to let you select a Notes database" and more of "finds all related information on the Internet and presents the results as a nicely formed and CSS-friendly list". ;-)

More >

Nice try, Qatar Airways

by Volker Weber

qatar exchange rates


Nokia updates the E61i firmware to 2.0633.65.01

by Volker Weber

nokia software update

I don't have the release notes, but as has reported, there is a new firmware 2.0633.65.01 available for the Nokia E61i. Upgrading from 1.0633.22.05 as we speak. BlackBerry Connect users please note that there is a matching release of BBC as well.

Update: The upgrade went without a hitch. Backup to memory card, upgrade, restore from memory card.

upgrade done

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Lesson learned today

by Volker Weber

Putting the Jesusphone next to your bed makes it kind of hard to get up in the morning. Plus, you run down your battery before even getting started.

The Jesusphone: 24 hours later

by Volker Weber

The iPhone has been covered in so many reviews that you might think there is nothing to be discovered. Apple has published guides showing most aspects of the user interface, everybody has their own opinion, and yet, nothing beats your own experience.

Apple is the best company when it comes to designing the experience when you first use a new device. It starts by designing a package that makes you feel you spent your money wisely. Nothing is cheap or thrown together. There is no 3rd party collateral in the box. The first thing you unpack is the phone itself. Not some mundane documentation, cable or even packaging material. You open the box, and there it is.

The main difference between the iPhone and all other Apple gear is that the device is locked. You need to unlock it by connecting it to iTunes, creating an iTunes ID and then agreeing to a 27 (!) page license agreement. In my case this was a rather odd experience. I have an Apple ID, which has never been used in the iTunes store. So Apple wants me to create an iTunes account. When presented with the different payment options I chose PayPal. The store tells me that Apple needs a US payment source. Arrgh! Then I look at the iPhone and, surprise surprise, it has been unlocked. I still don't have a working iTunes ID, and yet, the phone works.

As you connect the phone, it begins to read all your settings from your computer. When it's done, you are ready to go. You don't need to set up your mail accounts, your calendars, your address book, or anything else at all.

It. Just. Works.

This is such a big difference to all other user experiences you get, that it is worth repeating. It. Just. Works. The same can be said about the web browser. Nothing I have ever seen on any mobile phone comes close. Nothing.

Are you excited yet? Time for the bad news.

No Flash.

This is a biggie. Disable Flash in your web browser and you will notice all the things that no longer work. For instance, no YouTube videos. Big deal, you say. The iPhone has its own YouTube application. Nice. A really good time sink. I spent hours there. But you can't get from a website to the player. Somebody embeds a video, and you can't watch it. You just get a nice little blue icon where the video is supposed to be, and you don't know which one it is.

No clipboard.

You heard it right. No clipboard. You just can't move any information from one application into another. Find an address on a website? Write it down, and type it into the Google Maps interface. On the subject of maps:


Yes, no built-in GPS, you knew that. But you also cannot connect an external GPS. Google Maps on the iPhone does not know about GPS at all. Even if it would, you cannot connect an external GPS via Bluetooth. It only serves as an interface to a headset. No OBEX, nothing:

iphone bluetooth

This means, you cannot do anything interesting with Bluetooth. You can neither transfer contacts, nor pictures, nor movies, nor sounds. Nada zilch. Internet access for your notebook? Forgetaboutit.

No Airtunes.

The iPhone has Wi-Fi, iTunes, Mac OS X. Would be a no-brainer to share music over Bonjour, the artist formerly known as Rendezvous, or play music through an Airport Express, but no dice. If you want to play your favorite track to your friends you need to use the tiny little speaker at the bottom of the device. This only works if the room is absolutely quiet.

And yet, I like it.

This isn't meant to be a rant about this phone. It is absolutely stunning and worth every Dollar (or Euro) you spend on it. It may be missing all the features I just mentioned, but frankly, most of them are complicated enough that most people will never use them on the phones that do support them. Internet access through your phone is one of them. It is possible with many phones and notebooks, and yet, hardly anyone uses them. For all kinds of reasons. Ridiculous customer fleecing by the carriers, mundane setup instructions, absurd complexity in the software stack.

The iPhone is different. It lets you use all the things it is capable off. Its accessibility opens it up to people who "just want to make a phone call", which translates to me as "I cannot figure this out". That won't happen with the iPhone. Your grandma can use it. And maybe even your father.


by Volker Weber

The Jesusphone has landed

by Volker Weber


Some early photos here >

Update: I have 1442 unread messages in my feed reader. The iPhone tells me I played 8h 46m today. That is a pretty strong statement, isn't it?

Silent updates

by Volker Weber

nnw edits

Sometimes I find it quite interesting how NetNewsWire flags edits. :-)

New toy: Blackberry 8120 a.k.a. Pearl 2

by Volker Weber

blackberry 8120

Yesterday I was finally able to pick up a BlackBerry 8120, otherwise known as the Pearl 2. The picture above shows three hardware differences to the original Pearl. There is a small metal application at the speaker, the headset jack went from 2.5 to 3.5 millimeters, and there is a door for your memory card on the left of the device. This means you can now swap the memory card out without replacing the battery and that you can use your own stereo headset to listen to the music stored on the memory card. Since I have only the bare device and not the complete package, I cannot say anything about the included headset.

The new pearl now has two additional external speakers, one directed to the back and the other one to the top of the device. The camera shoots pictures in 1600 x 1200 pixels and videos in ... need to look up the resolution. The volume switch on the right side of the phone works a little better than the original one. The back of the device has also been redesigned, and the camera lens, mirror, led flash are now arranged alongside the top of the handset. Finally, the hole for the lanyard works better than it used to do.

The biggest change for the 8120 is the addition of WiFi, which works exactly the same as on the 8820. Completely transparent for the user it switches the data connection from cellular to WiFi once it recognizes a known WLAN. There are also a lot of changes in the software, especially SureType, but I need some playtime before writing about them. Also, I am currently running the device on and will be upgrading it now to Stay tuned.

Update: The browser has been replaced with the 4.3 firmware, it is somewhat better, but still not good enough:

8120 browser 8120 browser
8120 browser 8120 browser

Apply your own bleeps

by Volker Weber

[via Jake]

Who in the world would be using Lotus Symphony?

by Volker Weber

Ed mentions two videos on YouTube. I won't go into all the details of how terrible they are. Interestingly enough, engineering folks are trying their hand on marketing. There seems to be a grassroots effort within Lotus to get product messages out via YouTube. Some of them expressed their distaste for some of my videos, since they show up with the marketing videos not done by Marketing.

Anyway, the discussion at Ed's is now who is not a potential Symphony user. Alan said, it's not the finance director. I have a longer list, who is not a Symphony user:

  1. He is not a Notes 8 user, otherwise he would already have everything in Symphony.
  2. He is not a Microsoft Office user. Right?
  3. He is not an OpenOffice user, since that would give him more than Symphony anyway.
  4. He is not a StarOffice user, because that is the deluxe version of an OpenOffice user.
  5. He is not a Mac user.
  6. He is not a Linux user, since Linux distros already make him an OpenOffice user.

He is probably an IBM customer who likes IBM products, even if they do less, and need more ressources. However, as an IBM customer, he does not use Lotus Notes, or he cannot use Notes 8 because of outdated hardware, which probably means he also cannot use Symphony.

The Symphony user also does not exchange documents with OpenOffice users, since OpenOffice and Symphony don't exchange documents very well, although both claim ODF fame. The Symphony user also does not exchange documents with Microsoft Office users, for the same reason.

So who is he?

The Onion: Many U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas

by Volker Weber

Due to rising domestic wages, many American parents are saving money by using unregulated overseas workers.

If it works for your company, it may also work for you. :-)

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VMware Unveils Next Generation of Free VMware Server

by Volker Weber

PALO ALTO, Calif. - VMware, Inc. has unveiled VMware Server 2, the next generation of the company's easy-to-use, free-of-charge virtualization product.

Lots of new features. I want a Mac client.

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Looks like Fon is trying really really hard to buy coverage

by Volker Weber


This is a marketing genius. Looks like he does not even check his potential partner's site.

Apple: new TV ads

by Volker Weber

Apple has a few new Get a Mac TV ads. PR Lady is my favorite. Yup, this is how it works. ;-)

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Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

Male boss, after female employee leaves room after argument: Now I know why men beat their wives.

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This is cross platform

by Volker Weber


Linux, Mac and Windows on the same day. And it installs in less than a minute:

android emulator

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New York Times: I.B.M. Offers $4.9 Billion for Cognos

by Volker Weber

OTTAWA, Nov. 12 — I.B.M. offered about $4.9 billion in cash today to acquire Cognos, a Canadian producer of software used by corporations to analyze their operations.

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Advanced math

by Volker Weber

Marketing guy: If 20 characters is the limit for a line, why is it wrapping?
Patient web developer: I used a fake string and we changed the font since then -- some letters are wider than others, so I have some work to do to get it to fit.
Marketing guy: Hmmm... I like it saying 'System Requirements' versus just 'Requirements.'
Patient web developer: ... How many characters is in 'System Requirements'?
Marketing guy: Nineteen characters, including the blank space between the words.
Patient web developer: Right.
Marketing guy: So, how much would that jack with things to be able to fit 19 characters on a line?
Patient web developer: Dude, c'mon. If 20 fits, then 19 will fit.
Marketing guy: That seems like some advanced math to me.
Patient web developer: Yeah, sorry. Didn't mean to get all math-y on you.

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Time Machine: How to backup to unsupported volumes

by Volker Weber

This is almost too easy:



No, you don't have to type it from the screenshot:

defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

Zitat des Tages

by Volker Weber

Plaste ist das Terrakotta der deutschen Toskana.

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On iChat Theater and Screen Sharing...

by Bruce Elgort

Two new features that I have been looking forward to in Leopard are the ability to share files using iChat Theater and the second is screen sharing. iChat Theater allows you to share photos, Keynote presentations and other files with another a remote party. This feature has worked quite well. Below you can see that I was showing my dad the presentation that I gave with Vince and Kevin in Dublin last May. That's him in the lower left corner.

Leopard iChat Theater

Screen sharing also works very well. I am now able to easily troubleshoot my Dad's Mac when he has a question. One thing that baffles me in iChat Screen Sharing is how to stop the screen sharing. I can swap back and forth between my screen and the remote side but, I cannot figure out how to simply stop screen sharing all together. The only was I have found to do this is to click on the "x" of the small window in the lower right. The only problem with this is that it also drops the video call.

Leopard Screen Sharing

Does anybody know how to stop screen sharing? Some have told me that there used to be a button in the Leopard betas that seems to have vanished in the shipping version.


It appears that 10.5.1 has fixed all of the iChat screen sharing problems I was having.

RIM to add address book and calendar sync to BlackBerry Internet Service

by Volker Weber

This is one of the most interesting pieces in the release notes for the BlackBerry Device Software 4.3:

Synchronize the address book and calendar features of integrated email accounts (for example, Yahoo!® Mail address book and calendar) with the Address Book and Calendar on the BlackBerry smartphone.

This feature requires BlackBerry® Internet Service 2.4.

This is a major breakthrough for the BlackBerry. Finally, you would no longer need Exchange or Domino to feed PIM data to the device. I would be surprised if this does not work with Google Mail and Calendar.

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Looks like Fon is trying to buy coverage

by Volker Weber

fon buying coverage

Want to reply to your Notes mail?

by Volker Weber

Ed presents new menus for Notes 8.0.1:

Reply with History Only
Reply with History & Attachments
Reply with Internet-Style History

Reply to All with History Only
Reply to All with History & Attachments
Reply to All
Reply to All with Internet-Style History

Forward with Attachments
Forward Internet-Style

Maybe they need three more:

  1. Reply with Internet-Style History & Attachments
  2. Reply to All with Internet-Style History & Attachments
  3. Forward Internet-Style with Attachments

And maybe all you need is this:

And then do it "Internet-Style" which translates to "how everybody else does it". And there is a really neat trick: quote only the selected text, if there is a selected text.

Corollary: an elephant is a mouse built to military specifications.

What does the button on the right do?

by Ken Porter

New Button in Leopard

I'll give you a hint. It is new in Mac OS X Leopard and it makes use of your picture files in a new way.

How to replace the pink and purple login picture in Leopard

by Volker Weber

I could not take it anymore ...

cd /System/Library/CoreServices/
sudo mv DefaultDesktop.jpg DefaultDesktop.jpg.original
sudo cp /Library/Desktop\ Pictures/Aqua\ Blue.jpg DefaultDesktop.jpg

Gute Frage

by Volker Weber

Wie kommt eigentlich das Rasen-betreten-verboten-Schild auf den Rasen?

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Wie wichtig wird schuelerVZ genommen?

by Volker Weber


Ich recherchiere immer noch an einer Geschichte zu Social Networks. Heute nachmittag habe ich mich zu dem Thema mit zwei Nachbarskindern unterhalten, beide in der siebten Schulklasse und etwa 13 Jahre alt. Ich bin bass erstaunt, welchen Stellenwert schuelerVZ bei den beiden Mädchen hat.

Wenn ich mir XING, LinkedIn oder FaceBook anschaue, dann sehe ich dort vor allem eine Experimentierhaltung: mal schauen, was das bringt. Auch bei StudiVZ, das man im besten Fall als von FaceBook inspiriert betrachten kann, scheint der Abstand viel größer als bei schülerVZ.

Da hier wohl mehr Eltern als Schüer mitlesen: Was sind Eure Beobachtungen?

Zehn repräsentative Beobachtungen zu Handwerkern

by Volker Weber

  1. Handwerker parken immer direkt vor dem Haus. Das ist überaus wichtig, da man später wegen jeder Unterlegscheibe noch mal zum Bus muss.
  2. Handwerker kommen gerne "gegen neun", auch wenn sie für acht Uhr angekündigt sind.
  3. Handwerker müssen um neun Uhr erst mal "Frühstück machen".
  4. Zum "Frühstück machen" setzen sich Handwerker in den Bus, der direkt vor dem Haus steht. Dort lernen sie die Bildzeitung auswendig und schieben dabei Frikadellenbrötchen unbeachtet in den Mund.
  5. Arbeiten, die eine halbe Stunde dauern sollen, werden in sechs Minuten erledigt, schließen auf dem Stundenzettel aber das "Frühstück" ein und werden auf die angefangene Stunde aufgerundet.
  6. Handwerker rauchen. Und schnicken die Kippen in die Einfahrt.
  7. Windschief sind immer die Gewerke anderer Handwerker. Eigene Gewerke sind mit der Wasserwaage ausgerichtet.
  8. Eigener Dreck ist für Handwerker unsichtbar. Flecken an anderen Gewerken waren vorher schon da.
  9. Überraschenderweise fehlt immer ein Bauteil. Überraschenderweise deshalb, weil die Verpackung grundsätzlich erst auf der Baustelle inspiziert wird.
  10. Bauteile werden grundsätzlich falsch geliefert, aber niemals falsch bestellt.

Update: Andreas Kommentar hier als MP3 gefunden:

How to lose all respect before you even meet someone

by Volker Weber

Start a conversation by leaving an email address like this: gimmespam1@...

Google Mail with Nokia E61i

by Volker Weber

Nokia E90 and E61i

I found something that the E61i can do better than the E90.

My E90 runs with Mail for Exchange (MfE) against a hosted Exchange account. Which works very very well, but has a few downsides. One of them is that you cannot mark a bunch of mails as read in one sweep.

Now that Google is providing IMAP support for all accounts, I migrated the E61i from MfE to a standard IMAP account. I could do the same for the E90, but it does not have the same benefit as the E61i: a regular IMAP account on the E61i supports access point groups. Here is the setup:

  1. Create "access points" for all your WLANs: work, home, public access points, and finally the mobile AP.
  2. Create an "access point group" listing all access points with your mobile AP as the lowest priority one.
  3. Create an IMAP account for Google and let it connect via your newly created access point group.
  4. Open Messages, open your IMAP account, hit Options/Connect

Bingo. Instant emails via WiFi, and via the phone carrier if you are not in proximity of your WiFi networks.

This only works with the E61i, since the E90 does not support access point groups, neither does MfE.

Jalopeno Sauerkraut Balls?

by Volker Weber

RIM announces Server for the small business

by Volker Weber

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 5, 2007) - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced the immediate availability of BlackBerry(R) Professional Software - a new wireless communications and collaboration solution that tightly integrates with the industry leading email servers and is specifically designed and priced to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. BlackBerry Professional Software is based on the core functionality of the best-in-class BlackBerry(R) Enterprise Server software used by governments and large organizations worldwide, but it is streamlined and tailored to meet the needs of smaller organizations with up to 30 wireless users. ...

BlackBerry Professional Software is priced at $499 USD (MSRP) for 5 users and $849 USD (MSRP) for 10 users. Either package can be expanded to support up to 30 wireless users with the purchase of additional standard Client Access Licenses (CALs). BlackBerry Professional Software can also be easily upgraded to BlackBerry Enterprise Server. BlackBerry Professional Software is available in multiple languages (English, French, Italian, German and Spanish) and can be purchased via electronic software download from

With the launch of BlackBerry Professional Software, RIM is also announcing a special introductory offer. Beginning today and running until November 30, 2007, customers who purchase any 5 new BlackBerry smartphones will be eligible to receive a 5-user BlackBerry Professional Software package ($499 USD value). Visit for details.

I don't have a quote for German pricing yet.

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TomTom aktualisiert Navcore auf älteren Geräten

by Volker Weber

München, 5. November 2007 – TomTom, weltweit größter Anbieter tragbarer Navigationslösungen, stellt die aktuelle Version seiner Navigationssoftware NavCore heute für die komplette Produktpalette zur Verfügung. Auf den Geräten TomTom x20 T, TomTom ONE XL (T) und ONE 3rd EDITION ist die neuste Version von NavCore bereits installiert. Mit dem Update kommen nun auch Nutzer der Geräte TomTom GO 910, TomTom GO 710, TomTom GO 510, TomTom GO 700, TomTom GO 500, TomTom ONE XL und TomTom ONE 1st und 2nd EDITION in den Genuss der exklusiven Map Share Technologie und der einzigartigen Hilfe!-Features von TomTom.

Map Share erlaubt dem Benutzer, das Kartenmaterial zu aktualisieren und zu TomTom hochzuladen. Auf diese Weise können bestehende Straßen angepasst werden, etwa bezüglich Höchstgeschwindigkeiten oder Fahrrichtungen. Leider kann man keine zusätzlichen Straßen einpflegen. Dafür hätte ich aktuell Bedarf. :-)

Gooood morning

by Volker Weber

Good Morning, mom!
Photo Anita Martinz

Nico breeze

by Volker Weber

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by Volker Weber


Nur als Nachhilfe für angehende Pressereferenten: Was ist bei dieser Pressemitteilung alles schief gegangen?

New poll: how do you store your text documents?

by Volker Weber

Microsoft Word (97/2000) has been the most prevalent storage format here on vowe's magic flying circus. However, most of my text documents could be stored in any other format, including plain text. The trouble with plain text however is encoding: Windows and Mac use different encodings by default. This holds true for both line endings as well as character encodings.

So I am wondering how you store text documents. If your favorite format is not listed, please vote "other" and write a comment explaining your choice.

The results:


Nice: One of the little Flock helpers

by Volker Weber

add search engine

Updated firmware improves Nokia E90

by Volker Weber


While looking for access point group support on the E90 I came across a new firmware. Changelog here. Most significant change for me:

  • Nokia A-GPS service is global assistance data service for Nokia terminals.It provides assistance data in all countries, so it works world-wide Service utilizes GPRS data connection and OMA Secure User Plan Location (SUPL) protocol for transferring assistance data from assistance data service to terminal. WLAN is currently not supported
  • End-user does not need to configure this service. It is immediately available out-of-the-box
  • Service works always when GPRS data connection is available. Also during roaming
  • Nokia A-GPS service does not depend on operator services. It just requires GPRS data connection. If assistance data cannot be fetched, then terminal works as plain standalone GPS
  • Nokia A-GPS service improves time to first fix in cold-start situations where GPS receiver has been in power off state when location application is engaged
  • Time to first fix is reduced from 40 seconds-2 minutes to 15-30 seconds range greatly improving end-user experience
  • Faster position calculation with A-GPS reduces power consumption

Indeed, the E90 now acquires a GPS fix in seconds. This is a huge change from the sloppy performance it has shown before.

In related news, Google Maps Mobile is now available for the E90 with native GPS support. If you have version 1.70.2 you are up-to-date. Be careful though. GMM is very data hungry. Make sure your service contract allows you to downloads megabytes in minutes without blowing your traffic budget.

Upgrading the phone with an updated firmware would have made me less nervous if Windows had not threatened to reboot (which it did after I finished):


Windows deems itself much more important than any task you are currently trying to complete. Unsaved documents? Bah!

Nokia software updates available here >

Amazing photos

by Volker Weber

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Smart taugt auch für den IKEA-Einkauf

by Volker Weber

smart 1 smart 2

Bruce Schneier: The War on the Unexpected

by Volker Weber

We've opened up a new front on the war on terror. It's an attack on the unique, the unorthodox, the unexpected; it's a war on different. If you act different, you might find yourself investigated, questioned, and even arrested -- even if you did nothing wrong, and had no intention of doing anything wrong. The problem is a combination of citizen informants and a CYA attitude among police that results in a knee-jerk escalation of reported threats.

Bruce does not only analyze the situation, he also has advice:

We need to do two things. The first is to stop urging people to report their fears. ... Equally important, politicians need to stop praising and promoting the officers who get it wrong.

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Flock 1.0 released

by Volker Weber

Flock 1.0 released

Flock 1.0 has been released, and most surprisingly it is very good. Flock is based on Firefox and adds a number of "Web 2.0" features. It integrates very well with sites I use daily: Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, my own blog.

I suggest you give this a try.

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It's "Make your own caption" time

by Volker Weber

car wreck

Picture apparently taken in a parking lot in Westford. And Bob is not kidding!

A Prayer to Google

by Esther Schindler

Google is my shepherd,

I shall not want

for page views and ad revenues.

It helpeth me find what I seek

and leadeth me through the Internet

and maketh me pots of money. . . .

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Old archive pages

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


Paypal vowe