Looking for a flat in Berlin


Something personal for a change. I am looking for a WG in Berlin. I really need to find something. PLEASE HELP.

Cheers Didi

CentOS; we are too good

Why does enterprise really know how to party. This is something I have been noticing for some time now. If you look at Enterprise Distributions (CentOS, OpenBSD, Suse) the community normally really knows how to get drunk. As soon as you go into bleeding edge (Gentoo, Arch) you start meeting the really nerdy "sad" people. Next time you go to an Open Source social event look for the drunkest guy and probably he is someone related to some sort of enterprise.

P.S I am in no way saying that drunk people are more fun or not nerdy. Getting Nerds drunk is amazing fun (as long as you are not the Nerd of course)


PLEASE JUST WORK !!!!!!!!!!!!

02 is shit

I bought a Palm Pre about 5 month ago. After some time the speaker sometimes stopped working (about once a week) so I decided to get it fixed. I sent it in and after a few weeks I go a phone call telling me they can not fix the speaker because of a crack in the USB port and the phone was sent back. As soon as I switched it on some testing screen appeared and the phone is now utterly useless as the only thing I see is a system test running and there is no way to get into the actual phone any more. So back to the shop and they refused to take the phone back as it just came back from repairs. So I called the help line and they then said I should send it back. Again 3 weeks later I got a call saying they can not do anything because of the broken USB port and after some discussion the crack was actually a scratch near to the port in the plastic. And the records show that they have never touched the phone. This is a lie as I have no idea how to get into this testing program. So I tried to dispute this which is only possible with the shop. After doing this and waiting another month the phone came back untouched and is still showing a white test screen.

A wrap up: I sent in a phone because of a little problem and I get a broken phone back which they now refuse to repair. So O2 broke my phone and they get away with it.

Some ideas what I can do?

Still a lot to learn

I just registered to get a WindowsPhone 7 developer account and in this process they send you an email. So normally you have to click on some link to confirm that you got the mail, and this is the same case here. But the guys over at Microsoft wrote the email in such a way that it first goes into your spam folder and then Thunderbird tell you it is scam because they have html links in it that point to other urls as they are displaying.

The display
and in real they goto

All I can say to that is "idiots"

CentOS Pulse #1005 - The CentOS Newsletter


I am proud to announce another version of the CentOS Newsletter. This
release is packed with information from the Community for the
Community. We have an interesting interview and have introduced a new
section in which we monitor Twitter, to obtain further feedback. As
usual, there are the jokes and tips.

You can read the English newsletter at:


Further thanks to our great community we also have the translations:

Traditional Chinese: http://wiki.centos.org/zh-tw/Newsletter/1005
Simplified Chinese: http://wiki.centos.org/zh/Newsletter/1005

More information about the newsletter and how you can contribute is
available from:


We always welcome comments and suggestions :)

Enjoy the read.

The Newsletter Team

CentOS Pulse #1004 - The CentOS Newsletter


Welcome to another issue of CentOS Pulse. After the recent release of CentOS 5.5, we can now revert back to the task of hunting down and logging the (inevitable) bugs in RHEL 6 beta -- thereby helping to improve the product which will ultimately provide the CentOS 6.0 sources.

You can read the English newsletter at:


Further thanks to our great community we also have the translations:

Traditional Chinese: http://wiki.centos.org/zh-tw/Newsletter/1004
Simplified Chinese: http://wiki.centos.org/zh/Newsletter/1004

More information about the newsletter and how you can contribute is
available from:


We always welcome comments and suggestions :)

Enjoy Reading!

The Newsletter Team.

Emotional Girly Stuff

Because I am just sort of trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and in what direction to head I have been looking at the character and the life stories of many people I would consider successfully and happy. This includes people that have made a lot of money like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs but also people that just seam to love what they do like Dag Wieers and Alan Cox. And looking at these people they all have one thing in common. If they have an idea they sit down and do it. This was something really striking about all of them. Both Bill and Steve left University because they believed in what they were doing and just did it. Everyday I meet people that tell me about their great ideas and think it will change the world, but till today only a very small amount of these people actually sit down and get on with it. I have come to think that this is the great difference between making a successful product and not. When I first met Dag we had this great idea about using a Nintendo WiiMote as a remote for presentations, while I would have just talked about it for a while and then given up, he sat down and started implementing it. Because of this we had a brilliant time and I use wiipresent every time I give a talk. If you make something and put it out there it at last has the chance to become popular. But if you just talk about your great idea and don't do it, chances are someone else in the world will have a similar idea and if he implements it you loose out and will complain for the rest of your life how this guy nicked your idea. So stop talking about all these ideas you have and how great they are make a beta version and publish it. Chances are most people will say "What is this shit" and it will never go anywhere, but if you put out enough, one is bound to be a success just by chance.

I love the mascot for the London 2012 Olympic

As some of you might know the two mascots for the Olympics in London have been released. This is a time where England should present itself and show the world our best side. And what did we choose as the mascots? Two cameras that can walk and are made of steel. I can't believe, who came up with this, didn't get the irony. England is the most surveyed country in the world, we have about 1 camera for 14 of us
There are more than 4.5 million closed circuit TV cameras here, one per every 14 people.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ and that is from Aug. 2009
China a country where everyone is complaining all the time has 1 for 472,000 of its citizens. We are the only European country to be marked "Endemic surveillance society" by privacyinternational and then we choose two cameras as mascots. I can not believe it! We are showing the world that we are proud of being surveyed. A sad moment to life in the UK and having looked forward to the Olympics.

Security and Usability book review

I just finished reading the book Security and Usability a compilation of many papers about this topic. And like all books that are like this there are always good parts and bad parts, this also applies to this one. There are some really good chapters that teach you new stuff and some chapters that are quite boring. Because they are scientific papers some chapters are hard to read and I would by now means describe it as a casual easy to read book that you can just enjoy like Bruces Beyond Fear. But it still touches a lot of interesting topics that I think a well educated person in IT should know about, like graphical passwords and biometrics. Another really good point is that it is not only written by scientist but also by people from industry that describe how they solved problems in the real world. I was pleasantly surprised that also some Open Source projects where described. Because of this it is not a classical collection of "boring" papers. Unfortunately the book is five years old and so some topics have already been solved or not really applicable anymore, so maybe some selective reading is at hand. I also found some errors in the book and tried to get them fixed but I got no reply from the authors, so I am assuming that there is no interest in this book anymore. Despite this, it is still a really good book and really good read, and you can just have it lying around and read a chapter once in a while.

Another rant on Software courses

I live with two musicians, probably some of the best there are in Europe and absolute specialists in their respective area. I would say that they are so good that they could just walk up on any stage and play pretty much anything. But still after 40 (+/-) years of experience they still practice pretty much every day for hours and hours. Their attitude is not "I am so good I can do without practice" NO they feel like they need to keep on practising and improving. When asked why they do it they compare it to sport. "A good runner has to keep on running otherwise he will become slow".
The more I think about this the more this attitude should also be applied to Software Engineering. In my master course I did near to no programming at all and even in my BSc course programming was not the main topic, but still most of us are going into jobs where we are going to program. I am a programmer by upbringing, I started programming and probably I am going to program for quite some time. But my years at University have hugely reduced the time I spend in front of an editor learning new things. So how can I assume that I know programming if I haven't really trained it for such a long time. If you look at the Music degrees the main focus is on playing and just a little bit of theory. It seams to be a problem that most Computer degrees originate from the math departments where theory is important. But looking at my year doing a math course a lot of even that degree is actually solving formulas. I think there is a need for a finer grain split in computer courses. (Not only Computer Science and Software Engineering) maybe there is a need for a really programming course. So the Engineers can model stuff and do formal validation, testing etc ..., the Scientists can do the theory of sorting, searching, etc ... and then programmers then implement it.

GMail not getting my mail

GMail is not getting my mail any more from my POP accounts? One hour delay is OK but 16 hours. Naaa that is a little long.

CentOS Pulse #1003 - The CentOS Newsletter


Another release of the Newsletter has just been published. After the recent release of RHEL 5.5, we have been allowed no rest at all as "The Upstream Vendor" announced their release of RHEL 6 Beta for public testing just over a week ago. Of course we have full coverage of this, a interview with Frank Cox, a featured article that discusses alternative backup tools and much much more.

You can read the English newsletter at:

Further thanks to our great community we also have the translations:

More information about the newsletter and how you can contribute is
available from:

We always welcome comments and suggestions :)

Enjoy Reading!

The Newsletter Team.

Peer to Peer Computing: The Evolution of a Disruptive Technology

Another book I just read is
Peer to Peer Computing: The Evolution of a Disruptive Technology
This is a collection of papers that have P2P as a central topic. With all these collection books some of the articles are really good and some of them are really bad. I was a little disappointed that the coherence was not as good as you would expect. There where quite big logical gaps between the different articles. But overall I learnt something but not too much. It was a good read because I didn't really know much about it, except having used P2P, but I was never really aware of all the research that has gone into it. It really astonished me that people did all this work on something that I always perceived as something for people to steal music. Because of the article base there is also some repetition but this is hard to avoid. The biggest problem I have is the price with £62.65 for something I could have found out by using Goog$e scholar it is a little steep and not worth the investment. If you want to learn something about this technology use a search engine and print it. The paper for the text will cost you 3 Pounds and you have saved 60. ConclusionL: An academic text trying to describe what hackers have come up with.

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware

I have been reading quite a lot of books lately. (One every two days on average) So I want to start blogging about them a little more and share my thoughts. One book I bought because I liked the title was
Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware
I have always been interested in how my brain works and have already read quite a lot about this topic, so I didn't really expect too much from this. The Pragmatic Programmers series is really good at introducing you to a subject but normally if you have a little knowledge about the area it will not introduce anything new. Looking back I had the same experience with the The Pragmatic Programmer which doesn't mean that it is a bad book, actually I really enjoyed reading it. Ok so after going over that your brain has two sides and that they behave differently the book goes into a little more detail and explains what you can do to use this power. I really liked that there where all these examples and stuff to do while you where reading it. I had to draw a man sitting the wrong way up and this made it really fun to read. Further this book is really worth reading if you are a geek or use computers a lot. It is full with little programming references and jokes. Sometimes "brain" books can be really dull and full of theory, this book took a different approach and normally after some easy to understand explanation it explained how you can use this function of your brain to your advantage and how you can utilize it more effectively. They seam to quote their other books a little too much for my opinion but it was still a really good read and if you don't know anything about this area you should definitely read it.

This is how a program should not behave

So I like trying new programs when I read about them. I just install them, do the thing I can imagine doing with it and then see if my current way of doing it is better / worse. And this is what I did with http://www.getsongbird.com/ and it crashed just because I had the UK language set. So I continue using my Wii with Amarok. Now I tried sunbird for my calendar stuff. As I have a Goog$e cal I installed the syncing and then I got this nasty error that I could not remove. I could not even close the program anymore. So all these pop-ups where blocking me from getting my work done. Guess what I did, I uninstalled the program and will not use it for a while. This is why sometimes disagree with the release too early life-cycle. If you release something it should work 100%, Quality over quantity, this is something that is sometimes lost in Open Source.

Somehow I get the impression that the whole Mozilla projects are getting worse in quality.

CentOS Pulse #1002 - The CentOS Newsletter

Another release of the Newsletter has just been published. In this
issue we talk about CentOS 5.5 being made and we have another
interview with someone from the community. Further we bring you
updates all around this amazing Operating System.

You can read the newsletter at:


More information about the newsletter and how you can contribute is
available from:


We always welcome comments and suggestions :)

Enjoy Reading!

The Newsletter Team.
As some of you might know, I take regular pictures of who is sitting in front of my PC. Here is a little video I made of all the shots.

How to convert CHM file to PDF under CentOS

I have an ebook readerso I have been looking at a loot of ebooks lately. There are many free books out there I would have never taught about reading ever again, Sherlock Holmes being one of them. But one problem I am facing is that some books are in the CHM format, I have no idea who came up with this but now it seams sort of outdated and not used for this purpose any more. PDF has won the game. So how do I convert these CHM files to PDF so I can read them on my reader.

Step 1:
Use the program kchmviewer ($ yum install kchmviewer ) to extract the HTML from the CHM. CHM is just a nice wrapper for html with some images, so this is a fairly straight forward task.
Open the file with kchmviewer
Extract it by using the tool found under File -> Extract
Now you should have many HTML files and some images. This might already be enough for you reader but I prefer to have everything in one file and not have 100 of html files clogging everything. So the next task is to convert all these files into one coherent pdf file.

Step 2:
Use these htmldoc ($ yum install htmldoc) to generate a PDF.
Now the only thing you have to do is import all the html files and configure the output you want and you should get a pdf. This might not look 100% like the book but the text and images should be the same.

It is also possible to remove some chapters and modify some stuff. So if you know you are not going to read something you can just leave it out.

Giving you the new CentOS Newsletter

After some delay we present another Newsletter. In this issue we have a very interesting interview on the usage of CentOS at University College London, a report on FOSDEM 2010 (where nearly all of the main CentOS personnel showed up) and, of course, the usual categories likecommunity, jokes and updates.

Free Internet ?!

As I hope all of you know Microsoft has managed to take cryptome.org offline because it was hosting a file that they didn't like. Here for those who don't know what Cryptome is:
Cryptome welcomes documents for publication that are prohibited by governments worldwide, in particular material on freedom of expression, privacy, cryptology, dual-use technologies, national security, intelligence, and secret governance—open, secret and classified documents—but not limited to those.
This site has been up since 1996. It is not some dubious hacker site. It just provided information that didn't really harm anyone. So I thought "this is shit" and knowing that everything is cached I had a little look into Bing. And viola Microsoft has a full copy of the page in its own cache just search for the file they are trying to block and you can view it by clicking on the little gray text "Cached page". So they should maybe shutdown themselves. Just another step in the censorship of free speech. China here we come.

And of course wikileaks helps again File

Something interesting about the county I live in:

Cloud Computing

My view of the word cloud computing:

CTO = Chief Technical Officer
original image from http://www.go.dlr.de/wt/dv/ig/icons/funet/viz2.gif

The great German Firewall

We all complain that China is filtering the net. A friend who is currently in China and me have a fun little game where we try to find pages that are not filtered but regime critical and thus try to find holes in this firewall. I think that it needs no discussion on how bad this is. But I don't get why everyone is only complaining about China. I live in the UK and as many as you might know we don't have a free press here. There is something called a Super injunction or Gag order which stops papers or anyone reporting on certain matters. And even stops them reporting on that they are not allowed to report on it. This also applies to stuff discussed in parliament as the Trafigura case showed. This is censorship in the purest form, politicians discuss something in parliament and no one is allowed to report on it . So we have established that papers are censored (in the UK). Now lets look at the net censorship. In Germany they passed a law that is named
"Gesetz zur Bekämpfung der Kinderpornographie in Kommunikationsnetzen"
which roughly translated means "Law to fight against child pornography in communication networks" And the basic idea is that there is a secret list made by some government officials which contains web sights that are not allowed to be viewed in Germany. While I am totally against child pornography lets think about this law a little more. Germany is know for its porn. Porn companies are traded on the stock market. And these companies have been loosing a lot of money based on that people can upload porn on streaming pages (which I am sure you all know) and not pay for the DVDs or what ever. Pretty much what is happening to the music and film industry. But the German porn industry was far more intelligent. If you want to publish a porn movie in Germany you need a certificate that all people acting in it are over 18, fair enough but as the streaming sites are mostly user upload based they don't have these certificates for all the movies they publish. So now all the big company has to do is blame this streaming page of distributing child porn, as they don't have the certificate they can't prove the opposite and are now officially filtered by the great German firewall. So after some time the people who want to watch porn will have to go back to the big company and pay for the "clean" content that has a certificate. So instead of suing 100000 of users they just block the content what the film and music industry have been trying for years. Amazing idea, I would really like to meet the person who came up with this. Porn companies funding a campaign against child porn on the net so they can make more money.

Besides all of this it is an excuse by the government to install internet surveillance which of course will never be used to filter something else (sarcasm). It is only a matter of time till other countries will follow and the last "free" media channel is closed. So I really don't get why people always complain that China is such a "bad" country Europe is just covering it up more elegantly. We have already passed 1984. All hail the Ministry of Truth.

P.S. I wonder in what countries this entry will be filtered.

What is wrong with Goog$e reader

Like a lot of people I read s**t loads of RSS feeds. And for some reason, I can not remember, I use Goog$e Reader to do this. Now here is the problem: A Rss feed will normally only consist out of titles, so if the title sounds interesting I will open a new tab with this page and continue reading the feed. So I can't really say if I like or want to recomend this page.

So the whole conzept of recomending pages doesn't really work IMHO. I need to search for a reader that has a more email layout. Here is a little mockup how I would like the read to look like:

As you can see there is a little page preview. I don't know if this would actually make my reading more productive. When I am reading the feeds now I set my brain into a "filter mode" in which I just read the titles and decide if this interests me more but sometimes I also get information through the title alone and don't necessarily need to read the rest of the page. Anyhow reading through the stuff I recommended it was always something I could read in the reader directly and never just a title. So my advice to Goog$e if they want the "like" and "recommend" system to work they need to add a preview page.

3 Stages of Linux

What lies beyond

Centos Booth

As started by Leo

Another buzz post

People who know me know that I don't really use twitter or any mini-blogging sites. A few days ago I started using a little plugin for my mac to post to twitter but I don't really use it. Maybe because I don't have the time to read any of my friends posts I don't enjoy adding contents. So as I heard about Goog$e Buzz I had to try it. Looking at it, I think it is a bad idea to integrate it into Gmail as it will make it even slower and bigger. I already stopped using the web-interface as it was unbearably slow. But of course the intention is that through this they will have a big user base which they need to attack twitter and co. Something else I realized is that through having it in the Gmail window it seams that only your friends can read your buzzs. Posting something there I would not assume it to be public. Just because my mental model is that everything that is posted in this area (like my mail) is not public. But no, this data is very public. It is just on your profile page which google is trying to push for many years. This just doesn't fit the way I think. Maybe the next feature will be post this mail on Buzz or something :). If you go into the settings page you can disable this for the pages you have linked up to your buzz but not for the actual data you post. I further tried to integrate my twitter account into Buzz which doesn't seam to work. Lets see if this post will show up. There really needs to be one website where you can post to all these social networks. Identi.ca is already going that way but not quite there yet. Would be cool if you post something to twitter/facebook and this will be propagated to all other sites.

The importance of profiling

I am just working on a project where I have to parse XML files that are about 50 (+/-) megabyte big. Because I still think that PC run time is less expensive then my programing time I am writing this in python. I started coding using the xml.sax library and just filled in the gaps. But the more I added the slower the code became, in one case it took the parser about 10 min to create all the structures I need out of the XML file. After getting the functionality right with a subset of data I started profiling why it was taking sooooooooooo long. I used the excellent python package

profile.py -o statsout readRepro.py

So the first thing I found was in this method:

def characters(self, data): self.tempData +=data

This is called every time I encounter the data section of a XML element. Because it kept appending strings to stings this took ages. I replaced it with

def characters(self, data): self.tmpbuff.append(data)

and the run time went down form over 10 min to 7.2 seconds. How amazing is that. I would have never guest that would take up so much time. That is one little change. If I would have had to guess what was taking so long I would have optimized the parsing. After more work I found another method that I had just built in to do some debugging. It was basically checking I was coping with all the elements I would encounter. Useful while coding but after commenting one line I improved the performance from 55.7 to 6.6 seconds.This just proves that we as programmers have no idea where our programs spend most of their time. If you are coding and you are thinking of optimizing something, chances are you are wrong. I know a lot of people say this and a lot of people are against it, but my finding is that actually finding out where your programs spends the time is far more worth then guessing.
Lesson learned for life: "Use a tool to see where you are spending your time"
It might be in some debug method you don't really need.

Media on Mac

I had huge problems playing different media files on my Mac. For example DivX files played without sound. After installing http://perian.org/ everything seams to work a little better. A little astonishing that a machine that is designed for media needs media plugins. But never mind it works fine now.

DevMob holiday for intel employees (and friends)

I am just back from DevMob 2010 that was held at the Science Museum in London. Here are some of my impressions. The first thing that you noticed when you looked the conference up on the net was this quote
London 'unconference' giving developers interested in portable devices the opportunity to discuss their issues and find solutions
Reading this now makes me chuckle as it really was an 'unconference'. But more about this later. On my free day I decided to attend this as I am currently looking into developing on mobile platforms and I have already heard many talks on the topic. There was also a competition I wanted to attend with an EeePC as a price. Arriving at the venue the first thing you noticed was the money they must have spent on the location, it was really nice. An old library room with a lot of books and all very posh. Another thing that was astonishing for a free conference was that there was coffee and little pastries up for grabs being served by a friendly well dressed young woman. After sitting around and waiting for a little wile (conference should have started at 10) we finally all gathered and started writing the schedule. You don't have to imagine this like being a Barcamp sort of style get together. No there were fixed talks that where allocated at certain times but it was made out to be a group effort. This is when I noticed that there where actually more "official" people with Intel badges then "real" guests, which seamed a little odd. Then we disbursed for the talks. I listened to the first talk about Moblin (the Intel Linux platform) which was sort of nice but the lecturer didn't seam to know what he was talking about and repeatedly asked a lady in the audience that didn't seam very interested in what was happening. At the beginning I started talking to a guy and now it was his turn. Instead of talking about something useful he used the time to describe a graph he had come up with and asked us what we would improve. He is a professional blogger so I wonder if he will cite all the ideas we gave him. He tried to save the talk by bringing loads of gadgets that you could play around with at the end, but at that time I was already considering going home (which some of my friends did). But no, I stayed. Why you might ask, bear with me there was an EeePC. Lunch was calling and again they had a really nice buffet with sandwiches and a lot of nice food. (Cost ?) After that I participated in a discussion on optimization and then on how Intel is planing to sell applications through their store. More people started arriving and I talked to some students that had also come from UCL. Now comes the main point that makes this day an absolute waste of my time and that gives me the impression that this was all a charade. On the invitation it said that
There are still plenty of opportunities to walk away with prizes and goodies, including the chance to win a netbook, courtesy of our sponsor Asus. Remember to bring along your ideas for the perfect netbook app – pitch to the panel and if they think your idea is the best, a netbook is yours to take home
I had an idea and I wanted to pitch it to the panel. So did 4 of my student friends. We spent quite some time talking about our ideas and discussing them. I repeatedly asked people from the organization about this but never got a clear response. As I had prepared something I wanted to talk about it and at least get a fair chance. This was actually the main reason we stayed. But little did I know that the Intel bribery machine was in full swing. At some point we were asked to "register" our topics for this panel. I was the first to put down my name and the area I wanted to discuss. After some time we were all asked to assemble in the main room so we could hear about who had won the competition. I didn't quite understand what was going on but went along. Asking the guy in charge I was informed that the panel had met and that they will not listen to our ideas and that they had made a decision. It became apparent that this was just a big show and that the winner was a guy that was talking to one of the speaker (who was chair of the panel) all day. Remember we where initially told to register our topic on a flip chart, this was then apparently used to evaluate our idea. This can only be described as bribery. Students where tricked into attending and putting forward ideas so that Intel could cover up inviting bloggers to London on their expenses and so get good publicity for Moblin. I am sorry Intel spent so much money for a expensive, disorganized event that this is the only conclusion I can come up with. Talking to some friends on the way home we all agreed that we should have stayed at home and spent our time doing the assignment that is due soon.

P.S. There is another contest :
Win an ASUS EeePC by blogging about DevMob!
Ahh wait. I talked to three professional mobile bloggers that where enjoying the nice expensive food from Intel. Guess who will get another EeePC. You got it, one of the bloggers that will write a friendly nice article about this event and might even mention Moblin.

A friend that joined me said he was a little ashamed that UCL was promoting something like this. I will mention it at the next management meeting. I have further left out names on purpose but feel free to talk to me for more information.

I got an email from the organizers, so maybe my rant did change something:
Hi Didi,

Thanks for the blog and your feedback.

I'm sorry that you and your colleagues didn't enjoy the event so much but it's really good to have precise feedback so we can improve future events.

Due to time constraints, unfortunately we weren't able to run the app competition as we wanted to. I know people were disappointed about this, so we will be running a follow-up competition for anyone who wants to submit their application idea. I'll be emailing attendees about this shortly.

A couple of things to mention: the only Intel people there were Stephen Blair-Chappell (talked about optimisation and tuning), Costas and Sulamita (the two who talked about Moblin) and two in an organisational capacity. The rest of the blue badges were other event sponsors, those who had offered in advance to host a session and the event co-ordinators (non-Intel).

Also, a note on the blogging competition - pro-bloggers and journalists are ineligible, so no worries about them winning the prize.

I'll be sending around a feedback form soon and it would be great to hear any further thoughts you have on the event.
I removed the senders name and footer

Online storage

I am always looking out for online storage I can use to backup all my files. So I came along adrive.com which looked quite neat at first sight. It had all the buzz words I was looking for like ftp or ssh, quite big storage, etc ... Don't get me wrong I am happy to pay for a service so I am not just looking at the free options. But still this one got me. Look at the picture and then look again.Would you think that the free version has FTP? I though so. So I created an account and tried to run a few benchmarks on how fast the service is etc.. But I couldn't find the FTP description. Another thing that you can really notice by the design is that this page has been designed by people sitting in a dark room with green terminals. But then I had a look again and noticed that the first green tick in the free version was missing. Which I just assumed as normally all of the first items have a tick an then they are reduced going down based on the plan you choose. I felt like the people from Adrive had tried to trick me and not assuming that they have any bad intentions this is really bad UI design. Now if you look at the dropbox page, it looks really nice and they don't seam and try to trick you. So which service will I as a consumer choose where the pricing of all these services seams to be the same?

Trip to FOSDEM

I know my last post was about how I am not going to go to conferences this year. But FOSDEM is an event I just can't miss. So we are going. Here the mail I sent around

We are organizing a trip to Brussels for Fosdem in February.

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Development European Meeting) is a
European event centered around Free and Open Source software
development. It is aimed at developers and all interested in the Free
and Open Source news in the world. Its goals are to enable developers
to meet and to promote the awareness and use of free and open source
software. It is said to be the biggest gathering of Open Source
interested people in Europe and the speaker list is quite impressive.

We will be leaving London on Friday (5. Feb) evening and returning on
Sunday (7. Feb). One of our goals is it to keep the total cost for the
weekend under 200 Pounds, which is quite cheep for a weekend in

People who are interested can look at the wiki [1] or drop me a mail.
Everyone is welcome.

Cheers Didi

[1] http://www.bunix.org.uk/wiki/doku.php/events:fosdem2010
I hope a lot of you can come :)

Google != Goog$e

From now on I will be calling Google Goog$e. This is to indicate that in my opinion Goog$e is just another corporate big shot, that tries to get as much money for their stock holders by any way possible. The cool hackish culutre that they are trying to promote is not different from the one Microsoft had about 20 Years ago. Funny enough every time I am talking to someone from Mirosoft I get the feeling they are coming back to it. They have this really cool research labs where you can pretty much do on what every you please. Maybe Goog$e is the new Micorsoft and vice versa :)

P.S. I am still thinking about if I should still wrinte Micro$oft. I think this will depend on how I am feeling.

Stuff I want in GMail

I have been using GMail for quite a time now and it is getting quite annoying, to be honest. The speed has just become to slow to work. Loading my mail is not a matter of minutes and searching has become pretty much impossible. Then the service is unavailable pretty much once a month which is really annoying if you really need that one address in that one email. And sometimes it just freezes and I need to close the tab and reload it. This is becoming a real pain. Where is the slick nice fast interface, that did everything I needed. I am noticing that I have been using alpine more and more lately just because it is pissing me off so hard. It seams like with the recent comments coming out of Goog$e, the increasing application error count and the impression that time has become uninteresting in favour for features Goog$e seams to be loosing it. (I know of two really good people that have already left because they are getting soo pissed of about the culture that is growing there) Another thing that I am finding quite hard to do is extend GMail. There are two features I want to implement but because Goog$e is more fascist about their source code and the Java Script they publish then Microsoft I am finding this really hard.
The first feature is a little icon next to the Compose Mail button that opens a new window with the email writing window. I have spent about 2 hours reading horrible Java script garbage to figure out how to create the correct AJAX call to trigger this but haven't really progressed so far. The second feature I really want is a TOP button at the bottom of every page that will bring me to the top of the page. It is a real hassle that every time you read a long email thread you have to scroll to the top of the page to see the list of labels again. Both these features seam impossible to integrate into the existing GMail framework. I talked to a friend who does some Windows dev work and apparently you could even script that in Outlook.

Conferences this Year

This is something I have decided a while ago but I though I might blog about it now. I will not hand in any talks to conferences this year (except T-Dose :). This has mainly one reason, TIME. While being at Bournemouth I always complained that stuff was not hard enough and that a well trained hamster could do my assignments*. So I made up a lot of stuff and made my work hard. A lot of times I decided to go the hard way ("F*** Java lets do it in C") just to learn something new. Another thing I am now noticing is that through not having to spend 24/7 doing university work I had time to do invent new stuff, which consequently got me speaking at conferences. Now at my new uni I am spending quite a lot of time doing stuff I don't know. I remember thinking "This seams like a lot of management and requirements, cool I really know nothing about that". But because I am now really learning about new topics which are totally out of my usual scope I don't get the time to invent new or funky things, hence that I cant really talk about a lot at conferences any more. I am still doing a little on objic, mostly reading, but I really need more time to properly get to the next step. I will still attend a few though, Fosdem being the obvious.

P.S. This does not mean that Bournemouth is a shit uni, even if I don't agree with everything they are doing. It just means that if you already know how to program (especially Java) some courses might become quite easy.

*Maybe that is what we need in computing. n hamsters can solve x problems. Just make n big enough and you can solve any x. Who needs monkeys