the hissing zeppelin

November 28th, 2006

house prices

3.9 Million houses for sale. Average price at 221,000 US$. That makes for 0.861 Trillion dollars worth of real estate waiting to be moved.
Sizable, even if you compare it the US federal budget


November 28th, 2006

Today AOL must have pushed some new code or spammers have their way at the only service that AOL has to offer that people use. IM stands for Instant Messenger. Today it’s not so instant anymore. Hitting enter and watching the little cloud that is showing me typing for another 4 seconds is just plain lame.

Tricky thing for AOL: They provide the service for millions of people. And nobody knows it is them. Only time they make news is when things break.

os x server is junk!

November 27th, 2006

People see the shiny rack mountable Apple Servers. And then they make the mistake to buy them. Don’t! They are way to expensive. But the worst is, that they are impossible to administrate: It’s pretty much all different. And then when you spent hours and hours to go through the documentation you just have to realize that what you need is simply not there.

I wanted to change the default umask for a user that creates files on the afp server. Too bad. Not possible.

Using mac laptops since years I get to appreciate that the computer is not getting into the way when I want to do things.
Linux is a bit different, you have to google a bit for what you want to do. But 80% of it is pretty damn easy. OS X is just plain obscure. It really is a waste of time. Nobody should be believe that you actually got a unix box when you buy OS X server. What you get is some perverted BSD box that no sane sysadmin would like to deal with it. Phew.

Just try to use a device under OS X (server or not) if you have any doubts.

worth 1000

November 26th, 2006

worth the visit

zune review

November 25th, 2006

What will Steve B throw next?

Microsoft, poor Microsoft, Zune falls flat. Vista unfolds. Let’s see how.


November 25th, 2006

the next weapon in the arsenal of the spammer of today: people. cheap ones

cause + implementation = constant

November 24th, 2006

Why is it, that the good causes have always the worst
implementation of their communication attempts?

Hummer commercials are pretty cool. The car is pretty much the definiton of ’sucks ass’. Ah, there is the ‘Sucks-Ass-one’, look how small the ‘Sucks-Ass-Three’ actually is. The commericals are pretty good though.

Maybe the sixteenth chapel is the way it is, since Mr Buonarrotti did it to pay the bills?

pihost rocks!

November 24th, 2006

Since over a year I have my machine at a data center with pihost. Today I thought I use fact that it’s Thanksgiving to run some defragmentation on the xfs file system. Which can be a really bad idea if you happen to have a ‘icky’ filesystem: I seem to have painted my machine into a corner. The filesystem is corrupt, and when I try to defragment it it dissapears. When it hits the root partition then the machine still runs, but you have no commands left. The good thing is that I could get the server rebooted within a couple of minutes. It does help tremendously to real support 24/7/365.

thanks giving

November 23rd, 2006

Sony and Ericsson embark on getting us the TV watch again. That’s right, now that the PS3 obviously exists I have to find something else to hit over Sonys wide head. I think that the recent Nielsen Study makes allot os sense. There is just not much content that you want to watch on a tiny little device like an iPod or Zune for that matter. Microsoft hopes that the later one, being much better equiped for video, will benefit from a new usage pattern. I doubt it will be huge. I could see sports fans wanting to watch certain highlights when they actually happen. Or just around that time. But it needs to be easy and cheap.

Yet, I am hardly the average target group: this watch is not geeky to me. My geek watch would read 1164342294 right now. That’s the number of seconds since January first 1970. And yes being a real geek watch it would roll over when 32 bits are exhausted to express this in January 19, 2038.

The Washington post had a look at the Wii and the PS3. Makes allot of sense what they are writing. PS3 is pretty, but Wii has the better ‘fun factor’ for non hard core gamers it seems. I really wonder if people will get fitter, now that they will play standing. Will we see xbox and ps3 with Wii like controllers? technically that should be feasible. Guitar hero on PS2 was hugely sucessful and came with a guitar. Maybe there will be games for Xbox 360 that include it’s own set of Wii like controllers? Maybe Nokia comes out with a cellphone that does use the motion sensor not to write stupid message. Or, wait, can’t I use the motion sensor in my laptop? That’s actually a game I did not get around to write: The virtual Brio Labyrinth. try to get that ball around the parcour by juggling your laptop.
2 people could compete. It’s not that we not having ideas …

the 10

November 22nd, 2006

Today the 10 was packed. Stalled. All the way. The ‘10′ is a highway in Los Angeles. Luckily I was traveling in the other direction. When I pass these traffic jams I wonder how much the cars are worth that sit there on the other side of the Highway. Since I am waiting on computers right now anyway, I did the math on that. I came up with 153 Million US$ dollars that I passed in ten minutes of driving. Assuming 15,000 US$ average car value. Since we are talking Los Angeles, so that might even be low.

The next thought is how much money has gone into expanding and maintaining that strip of road. How many new roads have been built? But the number of cars certainly has gone up.

The problem is, that people don’t make the connection anymore between traffic jam and road/car ratio. They just sit they and endure it. People actually endure allot of things.

digital cameras according to flickr

November 22nd, 2006

Flickr had a nice idea: tracking which cameras are being used by it’s members.

It used to be that consumer data was expensive to gather and somewhat imprecise. In some areas this is not the case anymore. I reckon that Nikon and Canon did spend some serious money in the past to track market share. Maybe there is a way for Yahoo! to make a couple of thousand US$. They need it.

wii break things

November 20th, 2006

the Wii controller is the thing that you move around like crazy. Good idea. And a bad idea. Ikea will be happy. Health insurances wont.

could not get much cheaper

November 19th, 2006

quick howto

how to turn old PC into something useful.

I like the idea of putting the boot CD back into the tray upside down for keeping it handy, for whenever it should be needed.


November 19th, 2006

Muffler Men, 2 Guys and S4 and allot of road

and of course some blue tape.

yahoo and it’s issues

November 19th, 2006

Everybody could see that Yahoo! is in trouble since years.
Now they come to realize it.
The ‘peanut butter memo’ could mark the end of Yahoo!. Or the beginning of it’s second coming. They have a chance if they cut the staff by 50%.

ERs of the world prepare

November 16th, 2006

Wii Commerical

Lots and lots of views on the good ole youTube. Who needs to buy airtime if its lingering around for free.
For about one out of thousand commercials that people do care about enough to seek them out.

virtual vacation and entourage

November 15th, 2006

Running a postfix server with virtual mailboxes. It’s all pretty nice. Vacation however was sketchy. So say the least. One thing that breaks “Virtual Vacation” (implemented via in /var/spool/vacation, and, yes, googlebot, I am writing this for you) are < > brackets around the recpients email address. Entourage does that for instance. I do not think that there is anything wrong with that. Postfix does not deliver the ‘out of office’ reply in those cases though the mysql table called vacation gets the name of the sender added. Tricky and odd bug. My fix was to add:

if($from =~/< ([^\s]+\@[^\s]+)>/){$from = $1 ;}

right after the line:

if ($from =~/([\w\-.%]+\@[\w.-]+)/){$from = $1;}

which was already in there.

Free and open software is great. Just sometimes it’s the odd things that get you.

larger than life

November 15th, 2006

Some things are so odd, weird, strange and yet predictable, you simply can not make them up:

Microsoft launches two products right now. “Vista” and “Zune”.
they migh have trouble working together

In case you don’t trust a site called “appleinsider” to break news about Microsoft products, here it is from the the horses mouth

OJ can stand for the juice of oranges or for a strange man, that had an even stranger run in with the legal system.

Youtube has now attorneys. And apparently they are bored.

top 10 spammers are supposed to create
80% of all spam
I guess that each dollar a spammer makes costs around 10,000 US$ in damages. It might be good for the world, if these individuals would be prevented to use computers. Maybe a few companies get together and make sure that the top 10 spammers are always being caught?

The 250 Million Dollar iPod add on

November 14th, 2006

that would be a Boeing 747

When I saw the headline in BlogsNow I had hoped for Apple picking up the much beloved Connexion system. Just because I want somebody to. Not that it would make any sense for Apple or the airlines. Wishful thinking. Purely egoistical. Free WiFi everywhere. It’s just a matter of time. What I love-love-love is the fact that my ssh sessions which is more or less 35 year old technology applied with safety work on my mac laptop together with it. Apple+ssh+free wife -> Dream come true. I really can work from everywhere. Not just answer email. The blackberry proud can do that. I mean real work, like making things. It is pretty awesome.

I sat in the Yahoo! office complex in LA this morning, free WiFi from Tully Coffee. Some Starbuck’s clone that ‘gets it’: they have free Wifi, as it should be. It was great to have both laptops going, sitting outside, have a Bagel and a coffee. Biggest treat was to see the Yahoo! and HBO worker bees congregating at the water hole during their morning routine and not being one of them.

Apparently Tully coffee makes you ramble incoherently. Sorry.

flying with rubber ball

November 12th, 2006

flying with a rubber ball in the luguage get’s you in jail

gmail scares me

November 12th, 2006

Just got an email back that I had send. Or should we say that I supposedly sent. No, I have not switched to Windows and are victim of the usual malware. No I don’t think that just because somebody has put in my email address in the “From:” field that I have sent it. What just happened is much much scarier:

Only the tail of my email was what I sent. The start was spam. I send this email with gmail to somebody that uses SBC or pacbell and is pretty sure on a mac as well. If my email get mixed up with spam then they certainly have a hard time getting delivered.

Which is the scariest part of the whole story: I still assume that email works. I send something once, and if I don’t hear back then I do not bother people again. Which is a good way of communicating, as long god damn email works.

ps3: it does exist

November 11th, 2006

somebody in Japan opening a PS3

I thought this day would be much further away, and I was wrong. Sony ships the PS3. In small quantities, but they apparently got the thing to work. And it looks shiny, is supposed to very silent as well. Object of desire this christmas. The eBay prices will probably be crazy. More demand as supply.

I still don’t think that PS3 can repeat the success that PS2 had:

  1. PCs are bound to become the premium gaming environment. Their technology gets upgraded constantly. A gaming console is locked inn its feature parameters for a couple of years
  2. PS3 has to compete with PS2 as well as with Wii and Xbox 360
  3. Even though the hardware could be the perfect living room hub it is unlikely to happen: Sony showed with the PSP how they are able to strangle a great hardware concept by plain stupid software implementations
  4. HD DVD formats have a tough time getting the traction that their technology might deserve

Here the manual for PS3.

office space trailer

November 10th, 2006

Karl -you suck- Rove

November 10th, 2006

A few weeks ago Karl Rove claimed that he was in ownership of the math. According to that he predicted a clear win of Senate and House for the Republicans. Somehow that did not happen. In 2004 the two biggest problems for the Democrats seem to be Kerry and that he opens his mouth and the myth of Karl Rove being able to mass mail always enough people to the polls making them believe that there are two choices: vote republican or Sodom & Gommorrah.

Since Mr Rove messed with so many people and was instrumental in keeping an administration in power that was clearly on the wrong track all the time it is only fair to dwell for a short time in glutony on his defeat. He was the one supposedly having ‘delivered’ elections. Not this time.

Mr. Rove: your math, even though you might think it is ‘the’ math, does not add up. Faith based math never engineered an airplane or anything that worked for that matter. Fundamentalism and it’s ignorance towards science never worked. If it appears to,, than it’s because there is real math and engineering going on behind the scenes.

the super spin

November 9th, 2006

An article about the Superman Workflow. Sounds awesome. I am sure lots of interesting work has gone into this. The title talks about an “all data Workflow”. They used freaking video tape for crying out loud. Digital tape, but still tape.

Superman was a show that some vendors had trouble getting their in’s and out’s aligned with. The Digital Sandbox / panalog solution probably works really well. But it also makes interchange harder than a less elaborate standard. Adding a vendor can not be done as easily as when you ‘just’ exchange DPX files. Worse can be better.

Superman was also the show that had some -shall we say- ‘QC’ issues: Rumor has it, that the images from one of the cameras had flaws that spawned elaborate fixes. From what I have heard these errors had only been detected late in the game. Which would mean that dailies did not do what dailies are supposed to do: making sure that you have in the camera what you want to have.

I think it is a problem if you simple take the traditional workflow and just replace analog with digital. Replace one linear media (film) with another one (video tape). Digital files have a complete different set of attributes than those older linear means to transfer image information.

starbucks stole christmas

November 9th, 2006

it’s called a ‘tradition’
For years Christmas was called ‘Holidays’. Now it get’s renamed as a ‘tradition’. Is that new or bad? Certainly not. After all we all know where Santa got his outfit from.

update: Ad Age about the starbucks campaign
It seems as if I did not get why it was on blogsnow where I found it.


November 6th, 2006

was about time


November 6th, 2006

As expected Mr Hussein has been convicted for crimes he commited in 1982.
Unrelated the voices get louder that call for the resignation of Mr Rumsfeld.

A google image search for both will show an image of both men in 1984. Back then Iraq was a friend of the US, since they would wage war against Iran.

data management

November 5th, 2006

Stu Maschwitz writes about data management for digital still photography

It is so very true. We can generate lots of data, some of it might be of potential value for us in the future. The filesystem keeps the it for us. But that’s about it. There is almost no help from the computer to really manage data. Yet that’s one of these things that computers could be really really good at: organising data. Spotlight was a nice attempt. But Apple of all companies messed up the interface. The underlying search technology seems to be working, but the interface is pretty much useless.
In order to find the ’spacehogs’ on my drives I had to write a perl script that shows me which data is stored in which folders (including it’s sub folders). Should be simple for the OS to just show me where those GBs have been going. Yet I had to gapher tape my own solution, which is never a good sign.

timely verdict

November 4th, 2006

After being in captivity for 1059 days the verdict against Saddam Hussein is expected for tomorrow. Two days before elections in the USA.

in words we trust

November 4th, 2006

amazing web application


November 4th, 2006

Mark Cuban gives a name to the other end of the long tail: “Vert Ramp”

surprising alliance

November 3rd, 2006

Two kings got together. No, not those. This times it is Novell and Microsoft. To do Linux.

Without having the time or intention to go into detail of the press release the headlines and sound bites read pretty hilarously. Let’s just pause for a second and look back: Microsoft did try everything they could to stop or surpress Linux. For years. They fucking failed. Language? Yes, it is justitified. Since this is a big deal. Not the announcement of Novell and Microsoft doing whatever they feel like doing. The big deal is that Microsoft was unable to win against Linux. They still dominate the desktop, and probably will for years to come. But they lost billions in server revenue. Not to somebody. They simply could not make the money. Nobody did, since Linux is essentially free. If the last sentense should prompt thoughts like “that’s communism” or “but there is total cost of ownership” in your mind, then let me tell you, since today I can, and it is oh so sweet: You merely parrot Microsoft prograganda of a past aera here. Not even the people that paid millions so that you would think these things claim that anymore. Yes, there is also corporate flip floping. No, Ballmer did not stay the course. He never did say that either.

Today it’s allot of fun to quote Sun Tzu:

According to my assessment, even if you have many more troops than others, how can that help you to victory?

into the face with the interface

November 3rd, 2006

“The interface of a cheeseburger” is one of these Blog entries that validate those 30 Million other blogs with random noise in one simple swoop. If you ever contemplated to create anything that get’s used by a human, be it nuclear power plant, condom or breakfirst table for your dearest one, you could find some great insight in this text from Oliver Reichenstein. At least I think it’s by him. While content and form of the text are pretty nice it seems almost a relief that ‘Information Architects Japan’ messed up the branding for themselves. Sticking Lego’s on business cards won’t help either. Die Kinder des Schuhmachers tragen immer kaputte Schuhe.


November 3rd, 2006

pointless, yet cute

Ahh, Laser Solidifier. Can I have one? Beats a Deckel FP1, or maybe not?