Nature - human one

March 26th, 2008

The wrong Craigslist add can cause allot of damage.

Interesting here I find the people in the truck that rejected to give the owner his stuff back. It would be short sighted to say “those people” and how “they could do such thing”. Fact is, everybody wants to believe in personal gain. Much more attractive than reality it seems. Lottery tickets are the same deal. And such was the Bush Bubble Boom. People wanted to believe that their house made them more money than they could have gained via serious work. They wanted this to be true. After all it was the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. It’s human nature. The Fed and the administration failed to act while the bubble was building. They actually encouraged it with their monentary decission. “The economy is strong” said the man from Crawford. What a moron. Some people got rich. Super filthy mega rich. It was Enron all over again. Just that it was not one company but the whole country. Quiet interesting if just printing dollars as fast as they can will get things corrected. Doubtfully so .

But human nature is also to settle for simple fairly tails instead to look at the grim realities. So let see who will be blamed for the disentegration of american wealth.

a better place

March 22nd, 2008

The world would be a better place if people looking for a free spot in a parking structure only wait for a car to exit after that car is showing the lights indicating that it is in rear gear. If those white lights are not on yet then you just pass it. Simple.

people, programmers and bosses

March 22nd, 2008

Paul Graham writes about people, programmers and bosses. I agree. He left out to mention much came from the Google 20% projects. It does support his theory.

I often wonder myself how big companies can actually stay in business. There is real work. When stuff gets done. The core. Things get made. Be it a line of code or a shoe. And then there is all the work around it: To pay the heating bills for the building that the bean counter sits in that supervises the expenses of the health care plan of the person that buys the spare parts for the forklifts that move the pakaging for the shoes from one side to the next.

Since technology can facilitate inter company communication and collaboration it might be that we will see allot of small companies that work one project. As long interfaces between these unit remain efficient they can keep the initiative of a small group and still work on a project that is of larger size. In an ideal world these groups would compete on clearly defined terms which would optimise everything very very fast.

applied rules

March 19th, 2008

The Bank never "goes broke." If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much more needed by writing on any ordinary paper.

Monopoly rules, Hasbro

Transscribed word by word.

en passant critique

March 19th, 2008

Anton: “Who is that?”
Me: “Philip Glass”
Anton: “He is invisible to my ears”

just like Enron

March 17th, 2008

The Feds give JP Morgan 30 Billion US$ so that they can buy Bear Sterns for 240 Millon. A company that was supposed to be worth ten times more than that. I have no clue about econmics. Specially not on this scale. It seems that the people running things have no clue either. It looks like that might get worse - before it gets worse.

polaroid - the end of it

March 14th, 2008

a story in pictures about some of the last Polaroid employees

I really liked my SX 70 and the Time Zero film.


March 13th, 2008

Bush: We have a dollar that’s adjusting, and I am for a strong dollar. One reason I am for a strong dollar is because I want, you know, people to — I think it helps deal with inflation.

When this man came into office it took 90 american cents ot buy a Euro. Now it’s 155 of those.

“I am for a strong dollar”

Funny that the that seems not to be enough. It’s not God setting the dollar course. It’s how many of them you print. If you print to many then they are worth less. If you print less then the they are worth more. Simple.

OS X 10.5: me likes

March 13th, 2008

Installed 10.5 today. Actually 10.5.2. Needed a couple of reboots and installs. But it all seems to work rather well now. My crontab did not make it. Strange, but not the end of the world. The WWAN icon dissapeared from the menu bar. It turns out that you can add things to the menu bar by running them. They are located in:

/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu\ Extras/

Other than that it has been pretty flawless. 10.5.2 seems to use less memory than than 10.4.11

The memory leak in ATSServer server seems to be gone as well. Yeah!

Overall it seems to be a very nice iteration. Somebody should put OS X 10.0,1,2,3,4 and now 5 side by side. That would be a very interesting example of design evolution. Apple did well in their upgrade concept in between major and minor releases.

My pet theory about Apple is this: Nothing major gets decided without “Steve”. Most of the mid size decissions are made based on “what would Steve say to this”.
Things that his Steve-ness is likely to use are finetuned and well honed. He probably have never a folder in the dock for instance. That “Fan mode” is simply ridicolous. Good thing it can be replaced with the “List” option now in 10.5.2. So on the good side we find: OS X, iPhone, probably Keynote (I would not know),
Safari, Finder (scrolls like butter) (<= Finder is good and bad. What S. uses works, but it’s still broken elsewhere)

Then there is the sad side of Apple: Unix in general (there are no tape devices. Yes, there are none. Go Figure!), OS X Server (joke, really, it is one) Pro Apps: Some are really nice,
but overall there has been very little innovation. Quicktime is bubbling features on the surface, Final Cut is not bad, Motion was neat, yet pointless, Color was thrown in for free, and Final Cut Server has not been released yet.

Apple should release the Pro Apps division out of their ridicolous communication strangulation and let it go on it’s own rules. People need Beta versions. They want to shape the product. Millions of dollars of peoples testing and feedback get wasted right now because Apple is unable to apply different commuincation rules for consumer products like iPhones versus applications like Shake. Idiotic. Not like Apple? Well, much like Apple. There is the dark side of the Apple. That’s the one that Steve’s light does not shine on. He should realize that, and give those divisions the room they need to grow. Sure Apple, Inc can afford not to do that. Apple, Inc can afford many things. Some of them might be pretty stupid. Like the way the ProApps division is been treated.

42% faster than one quarter before

March 11th, 2008

Today Interdubs crossed the 60,000 file mark. 83 days ago there where 40,000 files. Before that it took 118 days to go from 20,000 to 40,000. Interdubs grew 42% faster than in the quarter before. There are 25 official clients now that choose to be mentioned on the website. Interestingly, the support amount has actually gone down. Fixing every bug right away makes seems to let the total number go down. Most emails and calls are about new features and concepts. Since I often don’t get things right the first time, people have to make awesome suggestions how new features and concepts could be implemented better. I think that there is huge value in this kind of feedback. Users are used to things working efficientlly in interdubs. When something does not then they point me to it.

Being able to change the code in minutes and doing so frequently is one of the priceless concepts that are hard to imagine. But now I would never attempt to write software in any different way.

OS X server 10.5 is a waste of time

March 11th, 2008

So I thought I’d give OS X Server another try. With 10.2 it was dismals. But things might have changed. Years have gone by. Turns out some of the horror is gone. But overall it is still a waste of time. Total waste. Serving AFP volumes. Fair enough, that works. I got a used G5 and over gigE the performance is decent.

For everthing else: Just don’t touch it. Apple has made a nice and impressive bullet list of features. And every single one I have tried to use stinks. It is as bad as Microsoft software 5 years ago. Just get any linux server do these things. Trying to configure / tweak / guess the Apple server interface is (still) an utter waste of time. It might demo ok, but anything that you like to do in real life (anymous ftp with write permissions, having a second wiki that does NOT 404, etc etc) is simply impossible. Allot of clicking to just find the feature to be broken in the end. A waste of 500 Dollars. That’s what OS X server 10.5 still is. Stay away from it. You will be much happier.

first time for everything

March 9th, 2008

Probably a coincidence. Freak accident. Kind of. Today was the first time that Google happened to return meaningless crap and MSN actually showed me the page that addressed my issue. I was looking to get rid of “PHP Notice: Undefined index: ” which -and I should have known that anyway- is a simple isset() call. But why remember things when the internet can, right? Well until the net turns to mudd.

I wonder if I just had bad luck or if the latest Google version I get to see is actually having ranking issues for relevance.


March 2nd, 2008

when compiling gives this error:

/usr/bin/ld: Undefined symbols:
::deallocate(void*, unsigned long)
::allocate(unsigned long)

then use

gcc_select 3.3

to use the proper compiler.

(this is a blog entry that I will hopefully find when I google for this problem again in six months or so)

the Teutonic invasion of 08

March 2nd, 2008

This summer the east coast, mostly New York, Boston and Florida will witness an invasion of Germans that might make people wonder who actually won the second world war. Germans are obsessed with effiency. And they have 6 weeks vacation a year. And they like to safe money. Well, that’s efficiency again. Right now they pay 65 Euro cents for each dollar. While making as much or more than their US colleagues. So everything is really really cheap for them in the US. Which is only a short flight away. Let’s say you are planning to get a MacBook Pro. You get that 732 dollars cheaper in the US than it would cost you in Germany. That pays for your airfaire. And so it does continue.

I think that there will a certain amount of trouble around this new wave of Aldi-Ami invasion. You see, many Germans are not so keen on the american way. Well. At least many of them are not. This has many complex reasons, and a couple of simple ones. As simple as having an Idiot President. Mrs Merkel for instance was a physicist by profession. Now stupid people exist in all countries alike. And your average obnoxious american tourist is probably as obnoxious as your average german obnoxious tourist. The difference is that American are blissfully unaware just why everybody seems to hate them. Germans expect that to be the case. Some might even consider this wave of lifted eyebrows that they face a part of their perks when they travel abroad.

In any respect it will not be fun, and I should try to get a dialect coach to get an italian accent or something, should I have to go to the east coast this summer.

pesky keychain password prompt

March 2nd, 2008

After I rebooted my computer the Keychain prompted me for a password. I had seen this on other people machines before. The peskiness of this issue is rather windowesk. I am so glad that I could fix it! I got out the backup of my machine and copied the contents of ~/Library/Keychains from there. Reboot. Done, works again. Needless to say that I made a quick copy of this Keychains directory.

The problem was that none of my passwords really work. Apple recommends in those cases to delete the keychain and create a new one. Which is rather ridicolous. I have 140 items in my keychain. Of which I propably use 80, of those I maybe remember 50 the password for. It’s not a nice outlook having to enter / guess passwords 80 times in the next months. Probably exactly when I need to get something done quickly. Not getting distracted by the machine when something needs to get done is important. It’s why I choose to run a Mac.

How nice to have a backup.

macbook air - and I don’t care

March 1st, 2008

In the Apple store I had a quick look and hands on with the MacBook Air. And I am quiet underwhelmed. Yes, it is light. Yes it has thin edges. Thin edges are probably a great thing when you would like to put your computer into an inter office envelope. Funny thing is, I never had reason to do that. Since six years I have been pretty on various laptop models for the greater part of my waking hours. I have use the thing in various places in in rather unorthodox ways I think. But, never ever did I say to myself: “Darn, the laptop does not fit into this interoffice envelope!”. If the 15″ was to big then I took the iBook aka Macbook. Works for me. If the 15″ is to small then I hook up another screen or get on a real computer. Yesterday I used the big iMac for instance and it just worked great.

I really don’t see the point to spend allot of money for a machine that has allot of drawbacks, and whos only upside seems to be that it does fit into an envelope.

Too bad, would love to justify a new computer.

BluRay would have been a better thing than this Air hocus-pocus.