moved the server

November 29th, 2005

Just moved the server to it’s new location. Things should be better now. More bandwidth and better reliability.
That would be the the theory. The next days we will see how that really will pan out.


linux user about OS X

November 27th, 2005

I can only agree with most of this lenghtly text.
That’s how I felt when I switched much from SGI to OS X for parts of what I do.

Hal Ashby

November 27th, 2005

After I sawBeing There again I was really curious how Shampoo would like these days.

It had been more than twenty years since I saw both movies for the first time. And it was worth revisiting both of them.


November 27th, 2005

From the Perry Bible Fellowship

The internet can be nice.

cingular web interface

November 27th, 2005

Cingular is one of these phone companies. They have a website. Allegdly you can do certain thing on this site.
Well, I just tried it, and it is broken. Never mind the cluttered design or the appauling animations. And
that html code that rushes over the page. It claims it can not find my phone number. It accepts a login, but
then can not find the records. Trying Safari instead of Firefox is says now that my account has been locked.

That’s all fine. But why did they waste their money on a website in the first place if they can’t make it work.
Can’t wait for skype to clean up with those telcos: I will not shed a single tear after any of them. Mindless stupid companies. They need to go away. Oh, and they will. They had it coming.

one plus one might be less than one

November 25th, 2005

Ars Technica took notice that Nokia is stop selling their phone/game combination ‘N-Gage’.

Cellphones and gaming both have enjoyed huge growth rates since Nokia introduced the device in 2003.
Somehow Frankenstein concepts don’t seem to work.

vilodex with rss now

November 25th, 2005

Vilodex jumped into the alphabet soup: It has an XML button now that actually features an RSS feed. Since there is not much to read this is only interesting if you give this feed to something that can handle the so called ‘media enclosures’. iTunes 6 can. Ant can as well. There are probably others too.
Media enclosures will make sure that your capable RSS reader will download the latest vilodex videos for you.
You could get fancy and compress them so that they fit your PSP or iPod Video. Probably an automator job.

maybe Amanda can explain this better


November 24th, 2005

Northwest Airlines
One to One

Frou Frou

beyond ls

November 24th, 2005

When you start learning unix then the ls command is probably one of the first ones you come accross. It lists files. You need that. Allot. It is pretty easy to overlook that there is much more to files these days then the information that the ls command will provide you with. For OS X you have these additional commands that you can try:

stat -x FILENAME
This is a standard unix command. Helpful if you are looking for modification or access times or simply need to know which inode a file is starting on.

/Developer/Tools/GetFileInfo FILENAME
The default filesystem for OS X is HFS+. This can store extended attributes with your file, and if you have the free developer option insalled then you can use this to read the extended attributes. /Developer/Tools might be worth a casual ls as it contains a couple of other interesting tools

ls -ls FILENAME/rsrc
HFS+ allows files to have a so called ‘resource fork’. By adding /rsrc after the file name you can use the ls and even the cp command on these parts of the file.

With OS X 10.4 apple introduced a searchable file content meta database. The spotlight icon sits prominently in the uppper right corner of the screen. But also in a command line you can access the information via mdls and a couple of other tools.

All these commands have a man page in case you need to know some details of how they work.

another one of these things

November 24th, 2005

Another exclusive windows ‘feature’ ‘event’ whatever you want to call it.

I might switch just to be part of these things. I really would love to share my computer and my (neighbourghs) internet connection with a couple of obscure organisations between here and Wladiwostok.

But no. This stuff simply doesn’t work on macs. In years of viruses and spyware there has not been anything like this of OS X.
Not many things in life are black and white, but few are, and it does not help to make them gray just because most of it is:

- there is no malware for OS X
- the President of the USA is not a smart man
- fossil fuels will run out

great campaign, Sony

November 23rd, 2005

The xbox crashing meme has reached slashdot.
Sony is huge. Their Music division probably messed up on a scale that will be stellar for times to come. But their Playstation 3 dept. does rather well: For the XBox 360 this week is really really important. People listen to what people have to say. If the bad news continues to stick with the XBox 360 then this could be tricky for those brave people in Redmond that took on the gaming market. All the pre order sales have been done by hard core gamers. I don’t numbers on this, but my guess is that you really start making money with games (and therefor the consoles) once you reach the broader range of the not so hard core gamers. And for those people it matters if they spend 400 now or 400 later. These people might just wait for the PS3. If they do then Micosoft just lost a big part of the head start bonus. Looking at those ‘internets’ right now it appears as if Sony does an excellent job in putting bad word of mouth around the 360.
Just don’t think that the Music division could benefit from Sony’s PS3 underground marketing skills. They will simply never find the person who might in charge for this. That has nothing to do with the cladestine nature of this. It’s just that Sony is as broken as most big companies are.

good to be wrong

November 23rd, 2005

When the good people at fxguide started to podcast this summer I thought to myself: Another podcast nobody is gonna listening too.
Turns out: I was wrong. What changed? I spend more time in the car now since my clients are spread out over town. So I bought a Monster iPod car connector (they are able to charge 80$ for that!) and suddenly I find myself always having a freshly filled iPod with me. Living in LA was great because of KRCW. The first nine years. Now the tuner only is set to the frequency of the iPod and I am loving it. Mike, Jeff & John: keep it up. It is simply great. Of course fxguide is not the only podcast in my mix, but it certainly stands out in the quality. And it exemplifies the potential of podcasts:
There is room for a million radio stations if turning that dial with a million stops is easy. I would miss those voices from fxguide if they should fall out of the long-tail.

xbox 360 - first impressions

November 22nd, 2005

of course I am not a gamer. Let’s put it that way: the last time I looked a t fps (-> that also could mean “First Person Shooter” I have learned) was when it was called doom. I think doom runs on cellphones and/or iPods these days.
So, back to the Xbox 360: It really looks, well, not that great. The power supply is a big black brick. The thing itself is oddly shapped.
It has surprisingly few connections: A 7(?) ended whiplash for the video. USB and ethernet. And some memory thingy in the front.
HD is nice. 1080i and 720p look alright. Only looked at so-so Panasonic Plasma. That top of the line stuff from two years ago.
The aliasing was the biggest dissapointment. Some Racing game and it was PS1 all over again. But maybe I just have not see enough games. Never really get used to it. I am surprised though.
Modeling and texturing was so nicely done in this particular games. Just a shame that the anti aliasing was making every sizzle.
Glad I am not a gamer. Didn’t look like fun to me …


November 22nd, 2005

Matt Drudge has a huge audience. Somebody somewhere misrouted a video signal or was unable to operate a switcher correctly.
People found quickly that there is not only an “X” over the image but also a message saying “Transition begins after 5 frames of black”.
Which is why the text below his face is not that readible.
Still, the white is concerned (according to Drudge and some ’source’).
Maybe this was an ‘counter image’ attempt. After all George
not being able to walk away from a press conference was a very
telling one.

one click infection

November 22nd, 2005

I really really hope that Apple keeps it’s OS clean. Again: There are no viruses or other scamware for OS X.
And I like that, since I can focus on other things. How can people still use Windows and keep up with this kind of ongoing junk?

exit strategy

November 20th, 2005

over here

wonders of wikipedia

November 20th, 2005

3 on a match
almost should start smoking because of stories like this.

most of the time

November 19th, 2005

we are dead

sar under OS X 10.4.3

November 19th, 2005

what a weird hack! OS X comes with the sar command, which I found to be very helpful to look at what a machine is doing.
Just running

Will look for todays performance. You have to collect it first. Traditionally this gets done via a cron job. OS X really likes to use launchd instead. But I need to get some work done, I don’t have the time to learn another propriatary solution for a very common problem: Running things periodically. So I stick with cron. Not sure why it is running on some of the systems and not on others. If you follow this make sure cron shows up in a ps ax | grep cron command. If it does then you could enable daily performance traces reportable by “sar” by adding

# run system activity accounting tool every 10 minutes
*/10 * * * * root /usr/lib/sa/sa1 1 1
# generate a daily summary of process accounting at 23:53
53 23 * * * root /usr/lib/sa/sa2 -A

to /etc/crontab. If cron runs then it will reread the file automatically. The remaining problem for me and under
OS X 10.4.3 was that sa1 overwrote instead of appended the performance data. A really terrible hack that fixed this was to change the lines in /usr/lib/sa/sa1 from

exec ${ENDIR}/sadc 1 1 ${DFILE}


exec ${ENDIR}/sadc 1 1 >>${DFILE}

This works, but generates error messages like:

sar: drivepath sync code error -4

when I retrieve the daily performance data.

This is good enough for me. All I am after is to find out what that 30TB Xsan has been doing.

simple and nice

November 18th, 2005

surprisingly simple yet nice.

xsan admin don’t bother with the GUI

November 18th, 2005

in case you should consider to get an xsan I would recommend not to bother with the ‘Gui’ for the Xsan Admin utility.
While you still can break the thing make yourself familiar with ‘cvadmin’ in the terminal.
Once the thing is in use that so called ‘Gui’ will be just getting in the way. Much like the early OS X Server UI it is a bad hack that does not conform to the Apple UI guidelines. It will not give you any feedback if there will be an update or not on what you see. Managing terrabytes through a wacky interface is not even not fun, it is terrifying …

cvadmin is your friend. As much as Xsan can be your friend that is …

when OS X starts

November 15th, 2005

this is what is going on.

Nice to know in general. But especially if things get weird.

free Avid

November 15th, 2005

Who would have thought that you would get free Avid software one day.

convert movie for a Motorola Razr under OS X 10.4

November 15th, 2005

You probably need Quicktime Pro.
You might want to try a shorter piece first.
Open the movie and select export.

3G parameters:

Video options:

{looks not so good}

Audio options:

{sounds even worse}

Not pretty, but it works. YMMV

Journalists like Seth Lubove

November 14th, 2005

Forbes writes about Digital Domain

Yes, that’s the company that did the effects for Titanic. Last century.
Maybe the company is stuck there, I am not sure. The Author of the article certainly is:

Competition for assignments is cutthroat, and increasingly powerful off-the-shelf software from Autodesk, Microsoft, Apple and others lets anyone with a workstation concoct the same stunts as the big guys.

Microsoft? Maybe I am missing something here, but Microsofts involvement in the visual effects industry is as important as in lets say the poultry industry: Office, and that’s it.
Autodesk: yes. Apple: yes. But Microsoft? They sold Softimage to Avid in 1998. Have they bought it back? Or is the author just stuck in the last century like Cameron or DD?

genes and history

November 13th, 2005

This abstract drifts between fact and interpretation.

microsoft classifies Sony Audio CDs as malware

November 13th, 2005

The rather busy people over at the Microsoft Anti-Malware Technology Team have added the Sony DRM rootkit added to their list.

No matter how Sony got into this mess, they had weeks to get out of it better. Now I am afraid it’s just to late.


November 10th, 2005

A random internet find

I like the look.

sony vs. 1 person

November 10th, 2005

Mark Russinovich not only discovered that Sony CDs install some malware on your PC, he is also doing an excellent job in chasing the half assed Sony responses.

The EFF has posted a list of ‘infected’ CDs and how you can identify them.

redmond vs. internet

November 10th, 2005

Bill Gates sent this email to his peeps at Microsoft I suppose.

It is interesting that he thinks that all his coders in their cubicle could even touch was has been brewing in so many heads.

So far nothing came close. Bill misses the point that what is happening on the internet is not building “the next Microsoft”.

It is replacing big entities with thousands and thousands of smaller ones and one point five behemoths: G & Y.


November 9th, 2005

wired writes about bugs.

Interesting that the word for programming errors is trying to put the blame to ’something else’. I must be an insect trapped in the circuit that causes the system to malfunction. And, yes its small too.

that second term

November 9th, 2005

this NYT editorial sums nice coherently in what dismal state the Bush presidency is in.

The administration has been one of the worst of all times starting from their first election. If it would not have been for the patriot dust cloud that emerged from the collapsed World Trade Center this would have been visible to most reasonable observers all along.

irix is stupid

November 8th, 2005

Back in the day (10 years ago) Silicon Graphics made their own unix version called Irix. It was ok. But we have come a long way. Not only is it obsolete now, it only gets worse.
When you change a configuration in unix you often can just killall -HUP processname to let configurations take effect. If that does not work a /etc/init.d/servicename restart might do the trick. The next level of stupid would require a /etc/init.d/servicename stop ; /etc/init.d/servicename start.
It turns out that not even that works on irix:
( /etc/init.d/network stop ; /etc/init.d/network start ) will turn of the network.

Silly really, I am pretty sure this used to work. Or I just got spoiled by linux.

It’s only fair that SGI stock trades at 40 cents, and that they lost their stock symbol “SGI”


November 8th, 2005

proof that there are very rich people that are very stupiid.

wifi in NYC

November 7th, 2005

I has been two years since I was the last time in NYC. I remember having to consider the (stupid) Starbucks / T-Online offering back in the day in order to get wifi.

That certainly has changed. I am writing this, standing on the sidewalk on the Lower East Side. There are ample open Wifi’s.
I never had to look longer than two minutes for way to get on the net.

online funeral

November 5th, 2005

World of Warcraft seems to collect all the “firsts”


November 3rd, 2005

Once in a while I watch how the BlogsNow bot crawls. Url’s running by. Today a yahoo Groups URL caught my eye. I didn’t know that yahoo uses ping services for these pages. I don’t think they do.
I asked BlogsNow for all yahoo Groups and got a list of 42,278 different ones. I clicked randomly on 5, and looked over the names of hundreds. I could not find a single legit one. The spam content that gets pushed via yahoo groups is the same than on spam blogs.
No need for examples.


November 1st, 2005

Installed 10.4.3. Took me six hours. Make sure your HD is in good shape: I had some issues, and the install bailed after 70%.
Just that I already had messed with the ATI drivers, but not with the WindowServer. So that one then crashed on start. Nice blue screen without a cursor. Actually not so nice. Target mode rocks! I copied all ATI* files in /Library/Extensions (or something like that ;-) to the machine, and et voila it booted again. Since I did fsck the drive like 13 times during those six desperate hours (and removed countless preferences and caches of course) the following install was fine. So if you like to avoid this then fsck before the 10.4.3 install. Probably before any bigger install.

comment spam

November 1st, 2005

got lots spams attempts on my comments.
trying a simple turing test right now.