postfix: can’t create user output file

January 30th, 2008

people alerted me that they got an email bounce saying:

Final-Recipient: rfc822; andreas@interdubs.com
Original-Recipient: rfc822; andreas@andreaswacker.com
Action: failed
Status: 5.0.0
Diagnostic-Code: X-Postfix; can't create user output file

it turned out that my local mail file that I keep as a backup was bigger than 1000 Megabyte. Seems to be that postfix (or whichever program delivers the mail locally to /var/spool/mail) does not like to write to files that are bigger than that number. Scary the file grew to that size within one year.

php and tripple quotes

January 25th, 2008

It turns out that using mysql_real_escape_string on import_request_variables you end up with tripple quotes. That’s the problem with hacks instead of fixes: They leave a slight taste of problems. And room for people to inject some stuff.

dataflow

January 24th, 2008

Technology can be implemented like this or that

PC power connectors

January 17th, 2008

A very nice and helpful overview of PC Power Connectors.

and of course it does not work

January 17th, 2008

I am with my Bank since ten years. And I like them. They are small, and I am not inclined to give my money to Wamu or BoA.

Now they changed their online banking system. Or, let’s say they tried to. Problem is: it does not work. The instructions are poor and the idea of choosing from 16 animal images is pathetic. But the biggest problem is, that it simply does not work:


Usernames are required for login, however, username registration is currently unavailable.
We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you try again later.

And, of course, there is no email address to maybe tell them. Waiting till the sun rises over the US. Awaiting some interesting support conversations.

The range between broken and working on the internet is quiet huge I must say.
As is the range of problems facing. I am sure my Bank could be helped rather quickly with a person that could think for 3 minutes straight, but other problems seem to be more involved to me. Danger would ensue if the people “making” the software for my bank would have any say or influence on how the Internet does work.

Update: The system changed it’s mind and does now “work”. Which means that looking at my account takes now two minutes instead of 20 seconds. More time to get something to wipe away those tears that will fill my eyes …

cinmizer

January 16th, 2008

Stereo?

Sun and MySQL

January 16th, 2008

Sun likes to buy MySQL

they better not change anything.

Mr Schwarz’ Blogs

Macworld speculations: I suck, pretty much

January 16th, 2008

Looks like I better now quiet my day job. Wait, my day job is about the future! Sigh.

Let’s see how I did:

New Laptops: Third Generation for what is called the “ProLine” now. First was Titanium, second Aluminum (that stuff that bends when you look at it, keeps AppleCare so profitable). Now there will be a third one. It’s about time. The 12″ not making into into the brave new Intel feature left a gap in the revenue potential field for a suspicously long time. Not sure if the 17″ has such a bright future. Depends what how easy it is to squeeze out a new flavor of laptop.

It’s small, but it’s not part of the pro line. It’s a new line. I give myself 30% on that one.


There will be Blu-Ray. One could speculate that the MacPro bumps last week were announced after Warners killed HD-DVD. In other words: takes Blu-Ray now more Steve time, and the Pro upgrades fell of the key-note schedule because of that?

Not. 0%. Stupid me.


Those new laptops might have built in high speed internet connection. I would appreciate EVDO. It’s nice. And the Amazon showed that you can built it in, and that Sprint is willing to make deals. Imagine you buy a new laptop and get free non bullshit (t-online / starbucks I am looking at you) internet whereever you are. I use EVDO since roughly a year and it’s just great. Nothing short of that. Technically you get GPS with EVDO for free, I wish that Apples puts GPS where it should be: in every freaking machine. Yes, I like to Google for something and get results that are optimised for my current whereabouts. But GPS would put the iPhone on the spot for not having it. Something to spin. (Apple likes has a pathological history of lying around battery life).

0%, again. I sense a pattern.


One could dream that Apple becomes an ISP. The iPhone worked great for them. But AT&T? They get their money, but nobody started to like AT&T. They are still considered the necessary evil. Who loves his ISP? Which ISP is known for being awesome? Nobody. Interesting. There is a market. People are not paying their landline or even cable bills anymore, but they keep their cellphones going, and probably also their Internet connections. That’s money that still is out there. And Apple is known to show a strong desire for that kind of thing. Sucessfully.

Zilch. Still would have been nice.


Speaking of Money, AAPL trades at 176. I think it will touch 190 after the keynote.

It’s at 169 right now. That makes -100%.


One of the reasons will be that there will be something that let’s people imagine that profits that used be over at Blockbuster Netflix will now also flow to Cupertino. iTunes is a money making machine.

In german you say “Auch ein blindes Huhn findet mal ein Korn”, probably would translate into the direction of “Eventually even the blind chicken finds some grain”. 100%


The Laptop prices will look like the current ones. But by the time you have added the things you would like to have those new machines will be pretty expensive. I think a company that managed to get 1,000 US$ for each phone (!) they sell, is looking at money differently after that.

Yeah, greed, so easy to predict! The new 13inch laptop goes for 3,000 US$ when you put in the nice 64GB drive without any moving parts. And boy will they sell that machine to people! 100%.


Finally there will be some iPhone news that will keep the sales going. Probably some (3rd party) Application(s) that can be downloaded. I doubt a hardware version 2 of the device. If so, then it would need to be in stores in a very few weeks, so that there would be no gap in the sales.

Hm, 30% again. 1.1.3 works nicely. Has location built in (does not work in Europe where I am right now).

Looks like my hit rate (if you can call it that at that rate) is one out of five. Still trying to find an excuse to get the 3K air. I am sure it is awesome.
And then my EVDO modem would hang out of it to the side. What a sight!

keynote via radio

January 15th, 2008

The part of the world that cares about Apple computers is holding it’s breath. Real Christmas will come around in a couple of hours. It is a big deal. I would carefully estimate that a hundred thousand people are pretty interesting in what will be revealed in the next hours.

It also is in Apples interest to provide people with the information directly the way they intended it. Having people transcribe it is what happens. But not necessarily what Apple would want.

Let’s make no mistake: the Keynote is as brilliant of a piece of Propaganda as it is possible for the audience of 2008. It is surprising that Apple does not broadcast it over the radio. I am serious. It can not cost that much to get this going. No need for quality. The geeks that care for this would run out and even buy a short wave resceiver just to listen to Steves voice live. All internet attempts to do live audio streaming seem not to work. They didn’t in the last years, since those 100,000 people would have to high bandwidth demands. Apple used to stream it, but stopped.

Kinda lame.

SECURITY DEVICE ENCLOSED

January 15th, 2008

If there would be a god, then studio bosses would need to remove the packaging from all the DVDs that were pressed under their reign before they could go to hell.

me likes

January 14th, 2008

I love BlogsNow for bringing things like Bent Objects to my scattered attention.

Somehow the Internet also lost someting after we started to never went further than one or two clicks away from Google.

fighting terror, sans SSL

January 14th, 2008

the small chronies (50K in tax money wasted for this site) get caught

Actually those monkeys at Desyne kick out a 403 to me, since my IP is not one that is in the US. How pathetic.

I would have not missed much. Just verbage like:


Our clients range from global Fortune 100 corporations to local retailers. They all, however, share one thing in common: an absolute commitment to a strategic marketing approach wrapped around a comprehensive web-based technology capability. It's a formula for success we have delivered to more than 1000 clients since our founding in 1996.

Awesome that they all share “an absolute commitment to a strategic marketing approach wrapped around a comprehensive web-based technology capability”.
That evokes strong mental images. No, really.

IDud

January 14th, 2008

Last pre macworld ‘08 apple related post. I hope. Thinking about what the future might bring I thought about the past. And, actually, in all that stellar success that Apple has amassed there are a couple of products that were actually not doing so well.

Apple TV. Who has one? And, more importantly who would need one? It took a genius like Scoble a mere couple of years to realize that a MacMini could things better.

Apple “Hifi”. Yes, they made a stereo once. I bought one. And then there were 5 other people.

Lamp iMac (gen2). Not really Apples fault. Good design, just to different for people to pick and drag home.

Starbucks: I have not seen any numbers, but i am pretty sure that sales are horrible for those ‘oh I like what I am hearing and like to buy it right now’ impulse idiocracy Pawlows impuls buys.

Aperture. But I rather not talk about Pro products. That’s a whole nother story.

pre Iphone “video” iPods. What was that resolution again? Those were proof that people really will buy anything. OK, they elected Bush the younger 1.5 times as their president, so nothing should surprise.

macworld speculations

January 14th, 2008

Hard not to predict anything right now. Here what I think that will happen tomorrow. Is it actually tomorrow that Uncle Jobs comes down from the Mountain? Anyhow.

New Laptops: Third Generation for what is called the “ProLine” now. First was Titanium, second Aluminum (that stuff that bends when you look at it, keeps AppleCare so profitable). Now there will be a third one. It’s about time. The 12″ not making into into the brave new Intel feature left a gap in the revenue potential field for a suspicously long time. Not sure if the 17″ has such a bright future. Depends what how easy it is to squeeze out a new flavor of laptop.

There will be Blu-Ray. One could speculate that the MacPro bumps last week were announced after Warners killed HD-DVD. In other words: takes Blu-Ray now more Steve time, and the Pro upgrades fell of the key-note schedule because of that?

Those new laptops might have built in high speed internet connection. I would appreciate EVDO. It’s nice. And the Amazon showed that you can built it in, and that Sprint is willing to make deals. Imagine you buy a new laptop and get free non bullshit (t-online / starbucks I am looking at you) internet whereever you are. I use EVDO since roughly a year and it’s just great. Nothing short of that. Technically you get GPS with EVDO for free, I wish that Apples puts GPS where it should be: in every freaking machine. Yes, I like to Google for something and get results that are optimised for my current whereabouts. But GPS would
put the iPhone on the spot for not having it. Something to spin. (Apple likes has a pathological history of lying around battery life).

One could dream that Apple becomes an ISP. The iPhone worked great for them. But AT&T? They get their money, but nobody started to like AT&T. They are still considered the necessary evil. Who loves his ISP? Which ISP is known for being awesome? Nobody. Interesting. There is a market. People are not paying their landline or even cable bills anymore, but they keep their cellphones going, and probably also their Internet connections. That’s money that still is out there. And Apple is known to show a strong desire for that kind of thing. Sucessfully.

Speaking of Money, AAPL trades at 176. I think it will touch 190 after the keynote.

One of the reasons will be that there will be something that let’s people imagine that profits that used be over at Blockbuster Netflix will now also flow to Cupertino. iTunes is a money making machine.

The Laptop prices will look like the current ones. But by the time you have added the things you would like to have those new machines will be pretty expensive. I think a company that managed to get 1,000 US$ for each phone (!) they sell, is looking at money differently after that.

Finally there will be some iPhone news that will keep the sales going. Probably some (3rd party) Application(s) that can be downloaded. I doubt a hardware version 2 of the device. If so, then it would need to be in stores in a very few weeks, so that there would be no gap in the sales.

While the rest of the country sobbers up from the stupid real estate bubble fueled growth delusions, Apple will go on very strongly. So will Google btw. And not many more.

use HTML code in Wikimedia

January 12th, 2008

since it is pretty tricky to google for, here the wonderful scary as hell wikimedia addition that lets you add raw html code in your pages:
[make sure to read the end of this post]


< ?php
# RawHtml.php - raw HTML extension
#
# Defines the tag pair .
# Sends the content out without any processing.
#
# To use, include this file into your LocalSettings.php
# To configure, set members of $wgRawHtml after the inclusion.
#
# include ‘RawHtml.php’;
#
# $wgRawHtml = array(’JoeUser’, ‘JoeUserBot’)
#
# Adapted from code by Jan Steinman

class raw_html_settings { };

$wgRawHtml = new raw_html_settings;
$wgExtensionFunctions[] = ‘wf_raw_html_ext’;

function wf_raw_html_ext() {

global $wgParser;

$wgParser->setHook(’RawHtml’, ‘render_raw_html’);
}

function render_raw_html($raw_html_src, $style='’) {

return $raw_html_src;
}
?>

found here.

It really is easy to use: Just add the file as RawHtml.php and then add in the end of LocalSettings.php the following lines:


include 'RawHtml.php';
$wgRawHtml = array('user-name-to-use-this-goes-here' , 'this-would-be-a-second-one');

It turns out that the user names get absolutely ignored. So actually this is really dangerous to do, since ANYBODY that can edit the wiki can also insert any html code. Which is ok in a non public wiki, but NOT out there on those internets.

So the code above is plain malware: A bot could crawl the sources of wikis and could insert any html that might please in those pages. Allot of harm can be done that way.

For a decent explaination how to add your own addition look here

I ended up boiling up a couple of probably horrible php lines myself:


?php
#mimg.php
#insert image in wikimedia pages.
#to use add code like:

#/path/to/image.png

#please note that I have no freaking clue what I am doing.

#this will only work with local links to images, since all
#characters apart from numbers, letters slash and dot will be filtered when rendered
#to install save this in a file and include in LocalSettings.php

class mimgclass { };

$mimgo = new mimgclass;
$wgExtensionFunctions[] = ‘installmimg’;

function installmimg() {
global $wgParser;
$wgParser->setHook(’mimg’, ‘mrender_mimg’);
}

function mrender_mimg($mimg, $style='’) {
$mimg = preg_replace (’/[^a-zA-Z0-9\/\.]/’ ,”",$mimg);
return ““;
}
?>

JJ Abrams

January 11th, 2008


digital movie making

January 11th, 2008

It is interesting to see how different the current workflows can be. Like
this or that.

Judging by the end this is already from 2003, but still worth looking at:
Robert Rodriguez talking about HD. It was never a fanboy of his,
but I think he expresses a couple of very interesting concepts rather well in this piece.

transmit droplets created from within Interdubs

January 10th, 2008

Running and developing a system in the same time is allot of fun. An idea can be quickly added and / or tried. Some are more
involved though. At this moment there are 42,658 files in Interdubs. So uploading happens allot. There was a ftp interface, but people
need passwords and needed to remember the folder name.

It could be easier. And now it is. It’s as simple as clicking on a link:

A transmit droplet with the proper parameters get created and downloaded automatically. Those droplets can be kept in the dock or on the desktop, and uploading is even easier than it was.

As with so many nice and easy things the underlying technology is actually not that simple. It was great to be able to draw from the resources and experience of the amazing people at Oneiric to get the backbone for this service addition installed. David Green was super helpful, without him this feature would have taken weeks longer to implement. Working with David is allot of fun, since everything he says he will do he does. And it works, since he has tested and checked it from the get go.

It is truly interesting how a small company with people that care can have so much more impact that larger ones that take weeks to move.

Richard Kerris goes to Lucas Film

January 10th, 2008

Richard Kerris leaves Apple to become CTO at Lucas Film

why it won’t work

January 9th, 2008

Sony pulls another Sony

In their recent PS3 sales success and blu-ray coup I had totally forgotten how thick Sony can be.

suExec fpr Apache under OS X

January 9th, 2008

In order to get Apache running with suexec under OS X 10.4.11 and also have php you will need to do the following:

1) get the apache sources. (1.3.39)

2) get the php4 sources (php-4.4.8)

3) extract in the same directory and go into the php one to run:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
--sysconfdir=/etc \
--localstatedir=/var \
--mandir=/usr/share/man \
--with-xml \
--with-apache=../apache1.3.39

make
sudo make install

4) then go into the apache folder and

./configure --with-layout=Darwin \
--enable-module=most \
--enable-shared=max \
--enable-suexec \
--suexec-caller=www \
--suexec-docroot=/Library/WebServer/Documents \
--activate-module=src/modules/php4/libphp4.a \
--suexec-userdir=Sites

make -j2
sudo make install

5) I had to change /etc/httpd/htddp.conf like:

comment out modules in httpd.conf
#LoadModule userdir_module libexec/httpd/mod_userdir.so

#LoadModule php4_module libexec/httpd/libphp4.so
#LoadModule hfs_apple_module libexec/httpd/mod_hfs_apple.so
#LoadModule bonjour_module libexec/httpd/mod_bonjour.so

#AddModule mod_userdir.c

AddModule mod_php4.c
#AddModule mod_hfs_apple.c
#AddModule mod_bonjour.c

Please note that mod_php4 gets added but not loaded. Probably since it got compiled in.
My httpd rejected to start with hfs_apple or bonjour loaded and crashed with userdir.

install apple developer tools in the command line

January 9th, 2008

Since years I work on a couple of computers via command line. Since they are real unix computers it all works remarkably well. For a specific solution I need to run osacompile. AppleScript needs to get compiled. I did not find a way to distribute it as text. So finally I got a hold of an OS X machine in the internet. More on that part later. osacompile really wants to run the application that it will talk to later. Also rather odd. But, hey, we talk Apple here. A sect in disguise of a technology company. So everything is possible. Or rather impossible. Like adding a development environment. The Box happened to have no Dev Tools installed. Usually that’s maybe a bit timely but overall straight forward. Installing development tools on a unix computer.
With Apple OS X 10.4.11 it turns out that doing so via ssh is not as trivial. You can download the source code. But first you need to create a developer account with ADC. It’s free. It’s annoying. They keep forgetting my password. Once you logged in,
you could download the dmg file to your local machine. I could have done that and waited only a couple of weeks for my DSL to upload the 900+ MB file to the final server I need it on. Downloading the dmg directly did not work. I had to fake a login. Which is easier as it seems. In the browser that is logged in (firefox I assume) you look for a cookie called ADCDownloadAuth. This you copy paste into the following command line:

curl -b "ADCDownloadAuth=SomeVeryLongCookieString" -O \
http://adcdownload.apple.com/Developer_Tools/xcode_2.5_developer_tools/xcode25_8m2558_developerdvd.dmg

At least that’s the valid file of today.
Once you have the file you attach (aka mount) it via:

hdiutil attach xcode25_8m2558_developerdvd.dmg

and navigate into

/Volumes/Xcode Tools/Packages

to then run:

sudo installer -verbose -pkg XcodeTools.mpkg -target /

Don’t run this against XcodeTools.mpkg in /Volumes/Xcode Tools directly. This results in the error message:

2008-01-09 03:47:43.889 installer[2843] IFPkg::_parseOldStyleForLanguage - can't find .info file (XcodeTools)

which does not google very sucessful.

The install seems to work, from what I can tell so far. I have gcc and make. And that’s all I cared for.

Fucking Apple

January 8th, 2008

We have this Laptop that has a glitch. The backlight goes out if you hold it wrong. It’s an older maching (iBook 600Mhz) and it got replaced. But today I wanted to get it going as a server again. It’s a unix computer. And 600Mhz is plenty to serve a couple of web pages. It runs OS X 10.3.9, that’s as long it has not been updated. Now I try to get it on the Apple Airport. And, that is the problem: It does not. Beachball for a while, and then the error message:

There was an error joining the AirPort network "yournamehere"
Tray again // OK

What the fuck!
Frst: that “Try again” is bullshit. It has never worked. Never ever.

Secondly: What exactly was the error? I am sure the computer knows a little bit more than ‘error’.
The Airport works just fine, so it can talk to two computers right now. So why writes Apple code that is retarded in that it does not give you the slightest hint what the problem might be. I don’t expect a hex dump to be slapped into each users face. But somewhere, maybe in a log file (!) the machine could give me a hint what it would be upset about. It’s one thing that Apple stuff does not work with Apple stuff. But to be quiet about any causes or reasons is just plain stupid and ignorant. Fucking Apple Computers. There are other companies being equally crap. Just that Apple runs around with this attitude of being better and user friendly. Actually they are not. They are just better liars:

Ten years ago Apple introduced the iMac. Which is a great machine. And a great concept. Watch in the end of this 7 minute clip how that man calls a circular (!!) piece of plastic “the most wonderful mouse you have ever used”. It’s exactly this arrogant attitude that makes Apple so annoying.

format peace

January 8th, 2008

post format war

It is hard to imagine that HD DVD would come back from the blow that Warners BluRay decision delivered. The internet was busy speculating about half a billion dollars in bribes that supposedly that came down rolling Barham Blvd. I think that the sales performance of DVD makes the Studios very nervous. All too quickly they got used to the huge volume of DVD revenue and a steady increase for that matter. The average american bought DVDs for $53, rented them for $25 in 2007. And he/she paid $32 at the Cinema Box office. For both HD formats combined a single dollar left peoples purses in the last year.

In total billions these numbers look like:

16 DVD sales
7.5 DVD rentals
0.3 nextgen DVD formats (both)
9.6 Box office

The troubling point for the studios seems to be that DVD sales are declining. Already in 2005 DVD set top box sales had gone done for the first time in history. Back then it probably was the fanfare about the ‘next thing’. People don’t like to buy yesterdays gadget. The studios felt they needed to get HD via DVD going. And Sony did the better show and number exercises.

Both formats encoding technology, bandwidth and other core parameters are pretty similar. As Mike Curis eludes to, the scripting technology in HD DVD seems to be more open, developer friendly and thefor hugely favorable over the bloated Java based BluRay implementation. But what’s to expect from Sony.

Flat panel displays sales have taken off, and about a year analog TV will be turned off. With the format war being over the Bluray sales should surge. And, I think, they will. Initially. Many bluray players will be PS3s. After correcting the outrageous price Sony’s next gen box had finally some sales worth mentioning. How many people bought the black box because they could not get the cute white one is a different story.

I wouldn’t be surprised if DVD+BluRay Sales volumes would come out flat in 2008 and from there on further decline. There are three reasons for this future disappointment:

* It’s the internet stupid.
Not only the net alone. Technology progresses everywhere. Hell, my toaster wants more attention than it’s great grandfather did 20 years ago. Media is omnipresent. VHS had to compete with, well, Books and TV. Maybe radio, cinema and newspapers. That’s about it. Bluray faces a vastly different world. None of the existing media emanations will just fade away. And new ones get created with an increasing pace. There is simply not enough time to watch all those movies.

* we don’t care since you don’t care
The Studios have failed to understand their own product. There is a history to this. And others failed similarly: The music industry would be in much better shape, would they have not confused the means of peddling circular things with the end of enabling people to enjoy music. Both HD formats allow for better visible quality compared to DVD. Better bandwidth and modern codecs could make for a great experience. Despite this potential most early Discs that were available have been widely criticized for their poor transfers. Some people felt that they would be better off with a decent upscale of a good quality DVD. People love movies. A considerable slice of the population, and almost certainly the majority of early (media) tech adopters care for a good experience. The Studios should have put the utmost emphasis on quality. And that starts with the film transfer. Even though the studios are not keen to involve creative people more than absolutely necessary, they should have gotten them on board for the launch of the new media. Imagine Steven Spielberg approving a 5 movie disk set claiming “this is how I want my movies to be seen”. People would spend allot of money for this. They would get players, lay cable. The whole thing. Maybe the studios should have gotten together with the ACE and directors guild to develop a approval system. Pay directors and DPs to sign off on a DVD transfer. I would pay happily knowing that the creative vision was intact. OK, in some cases I would simply paying for the drug habit of that one hit wonder boy. But I do that anyway, one way or another.

* it’s complicated
HDMI 1.3 is really exciting, since it not only features greater than bitdepths but also could carry the extended xvYCC color space. While being true, not many people know what this means. And neither should they. DVD succeeded because it was ‘as simple as CD’. No more rewind. That made Hollywood billions. Simple is key. The HD formats are not exactly known for simplicity. And the studios are not helping. Neither do the hardware makers. I find my way around these matters. But it’s my job to understand all this. And if it wouldn’t, then I would really watch another movie than to worry about downsampled movies that were escaping DRM through the analog otherwise. Having two formats was of course a big problem. But even with BluRay remaining it’s not as easy as it should be. Different disc sizes. Flat panel resolutions. Frame rates.
Image processing. And an interface written in Java simply scares me: There are just too many ways developers mess up. Hardware makers and studios alike fall in love with features that have nothing to do with their product. Multi Angle was one of these technical possibilities that DVD had. Studios were all excited about it. Since they didn’t understand what their product is: A movie is one view. One perspective. Everything else is a cute vaudeville attraction or plain and simple porn that desperately tries to stand out (no pun intended).

DVD hardware sales

Variety on DVD sales numbers
2007 Box office

umask and uid for discreet flame

January 4th, 2008

Autodesk aka Discreet Flame Flint Inferno applications run under irix or linux. Which is great. Unfortunately it is a long standing practise of those people in montreal to seperate different versions of their application by giving them a different user. Of course that’s just plain wrong and stupid. But if you pay north of 40,000 US$ for a single software seat you stop making reasonable demands. Discreet / AutoDesk does this since more than 14 years, why should they stop?

A couple of simple commands can fix the biggest issues with this. The first one is that each install creates a new user id. The fix is to edit /etc/passwd and give the new user a common id (100 in this example). We assume it was 101 for the new install. Running the following command as root:


find /usr/discreet/NEWLYINSTALLEDVERSION -user 101 -exec chown 100 {} \;

will fix the permissions.

Another annoyance is that they set the umask in the .cshrc of each login. If you run a couple of versions side by side it’s pretty tedious to fix these flags manually. The following does so for all installed versions.

Under Linux you can use sed for this:


cd /usr/discreet
sed -i.bak.umask "s/umask 002/umask 000/" */.cshrc

For Irix you would need to turn to perl:

cd /usr/discreet
perl -i.bak.umask -p -e "s/umask 002/umask 000/" */.cshrc

This will make the umask wide open for the user running flame or one of the other Discreet products. Some people might like that everybody can now delete
and overwrite files. Others don’t.

germans and their money

January 3rd, 2008

Germans don’t like to part from their money. On average each of them has 57.900 Euro (85,000 Dollars right now) in the bank or in stocks. Per person. Not per household. On average people in Germany spend 10% less than they make. That probably explains why S-Class Mercedes or Porsches are a rare sight here. They get made and sold to people that have the money (these days mostly found in countries with oil) or ones that pretend they have (hm, let me guess where that would be). Tragically much of those saved Euro’s were used to finance US mortages.

Right now the Iraq war seems to have cost 482 Billion US$.
So Germany could have paid for 14 of those. From it’s savings.

success and why it is nice

January 3rd, 2008

Interdubs had an awesome year in 2007. I had a certain expectation where the service should be by now. Development-wise and feature=wise I am behind. I want more features, and I want to write them now. But doing them right does always take more time than I think it would. And, my clients got what they essentially need months ago. Since then new features have been extra and on top of it.

Looking back at 2007 I particularly like the the fact that Interdubs could scale from a few beta clients to more than 20 customers. Many of them with very diverse needs. And all of them seemingly happy: Even though nobody is contractually obliged to continue their subscription each one renewed month by month. People some times wonder why Interdubs is so inexpensive. Specially compared to it’s feature set. I think it makes sense: Having the most awesome feature vs. price ratio means that I don’t have to spend much time to keep my clients happy otherwise. It also helps with marketing: If anybody interested in an online media solution should happen to talk about it to an existing interdubs user I will get a call. And when I get a call it becomes a sale. Sooner or later it does. Always.

2007 was also nice, since I had not to act on my 99.99% uptime or money back promise. By now it would be not so nice, if I can not charge anybody for a full month. Which is the whole point: I believe in Interdubs’ reliability enough to put my money where where my mouth is. Outages might happen in the future. Nothing is perfect. But by giving my clients their money back for a whole month, if Interdubs should be longer unavailable than for 5 minutes I there is at least a plan. If this should ever happen. The looming penalty of a month long ‘invoice outage’ makes it financially viable to upgrade the servers that Interdubs runs on. So that it does not happen in the first place. Or is at least less likely.

2007 I published 590 times code updates to Interdubs. That’s why I don’t like to call things “Versions”. Version 590? Sometimes I just moved a couple of links around, to make a frequently used choice easier to find. A couple of times I replaced or upgraded the entire engine that runs Interdubs. I might have gotten lucky, but at no point did I loose data during those updates. And only about 10 changes were so stupid, that my users demanded a change back or further alteration of what I did. Knowing that I will hear about things going in the wrong direction allows me to suggest things with great liberty. The same concept looks enabling from the other side as well: Interdubs users know that they will be listened to. Sometimes it takes only minutes between a suggestion and the actual feature / change showing up on the site. Actually a great deal of ideas and features that make Interdubs worthwhile are a result of this collaboration.

2007 was a very successful year for Interdubs, so I had to decide what to do for Holiday presents. I decided not to send any at all. Instead I asked my kids to pick a charity. They suggested “Doctors without Borders” which I liked as well. So instead of sending gift baskets around some people got vaccinations that they needed.

Being able to decide on these things what to do is one of the perks of running your own company. Today I found Charity Navigator and realised with great relief that only a very small percentage of the interdubs donation will go to the adminstration.

I am certainly looking forward to move Interdubs forward in 2008.

applescript to run a command on each file dropped on to it

January 2nd, 2008

These lines will run /path/command with a first parameter of the file name that got
dropped on the Apple Script app:


on open (ItemList)
repeat with thisItem in ItemList
do shell script "/path/command " & POSIX path of thisItem
end repeat
end open

Simple. And unintuitive. AppleScript would rule the world if it would have JavaScript syntax for instance. Instead apple idiots made “Automator”. What a silly piece of shit. Only fanboys spend time to learn a buggy and totally non portable interface like AppleScript or Automator. I could have bothered with Windows if I would want that. Oh, the script above fails to work when there are spaces in the name. Thanks AppleScript.

Happy New Year

January 1st, 2008

google gaming became a 24/7 operation

Apple’s market share continues to grow