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Showing posts from January, 2005

Mac mini? PC mini!

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Even most nerdy nerds will have to admit the sense of style of Apple's products. The iBook, iPod, the Mac mini. Stupidly made for even the most moronic users out there, but very classy and stylish at the same time. But you don't need that idot-proof interface! If only you could get those beautiful casings and build your own appliance in them!
kevin rose did just that! :respect: He took a Mac mini and built the fastest PC he could manage inside it. He's my King for the Day™. Outstanding work, Kevin!

Videora

Napster was King, but they shut it down. Too much, too soon. Kazaa was cool, until it got swamped with viruses and trojans. BitTorrent is great, especially if you get your firewall configured properly, but it can be a pain to find all the .torrent links. Suprnova was a blessing for that but sadly closed by great forces (use the Force, Luke!) So Exeem took its place (get the spyware-free exeem lite instead!). But it's all still a lot of work, right? Wouldn't it be cool if you could simply check new torrent using something as simple as RSS or so? You already subscribe to your daily dose of news feeds anyway. Just add in a couple of music and video feeds alongside. Well... You can! Check out Videora. Works with popular BitTorrent clients like ABC and Azureus! Coool! B)
"Videora is the first personal video downloading program. Utilizing BitTorrent and Really Simple Syndication, Videora automatically and intelligently finds and downloads video you want to watch. With easy to u…

Petra's first photo exhibition!

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Petra will host her first real-life public photo exhibition in Scallywags - the Restaurant in The Hague on Febuary 5th from 17:00-20:00 hrs. That's a Saturday, in case you're wondering. ;) Hope to see you all there and expect an invitation from her as well...

Skype for Linux

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I am going to try to get Skype running under Linux. Now that's an achievement! :)

Gentoo/Linux runs on Mac Mini

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I just read in the Gentoo newsletter that the new Mac Mini (only $499) runs Gentoo Linux! Wow, that means you can take your workstation with you and have everything there with you at all times! Coool!
"Gentoo/PPC developer Daniel Ostrow has succeeded in bringing the Mac Mini into the family of Gentoo supported PowerPC based machines. The system will be fully supported by 2005.0 and boots cleanly using 2004.3."

It's done and it works!

Well, at 10:56am this morning I finally had KDE working properly. Turns out, for some reason, some libs for my ATi weren't working properly or missing. Weird but not important. Last night, I built and emerged x11-org completely, checked dependencies and let her go. This morning I configured Xorg and activated 3D acceleration using the ATi drivers and that was it! :) I'm a happy camper.

Finally!

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Getting KDE is finally done! Wow... 27 hours of compiling!!! Holy moly! Now let's see if I can configure the sucker too and get it working... *crossing fingers firmly*

Simply unbelievable

You still won't believe me, but my old and tired AMD Athlon 1.3GHz is *still* churning away C++ source code for the KDE desktop... Although there are only two more modules to go, the next to last one was 22MB so god knows how that is to compile.
Let this be a warning to newbie Gentoo users: after you've installed Gentoo and want a simple desktop solution only do 'emerge kdebase kdepim kdeutils'! Or, even more basic, try 'emerge kdebase kdepim' or only 'emerge kdebase'. That should get you a workable graphical desktop in a few hours, even on a slow PC like mine. :)(BTW, I'm blogging this in links2 under Linux. Coool B) )

The Annoying Thing aka "Crazy Frog"

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Read all about the most annoying ringtone at this moment on The Annoying Thing website. You know, the Jamba commercial with the 3D rendered Frog on an imaginary motorcycle going "A ding ding ding ding dididing ding bing bing pscht"... LOL

ClimatePrediction.Net

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Is the weather really changing? Does it seems weeter, hotter or colder more often and on strange times? Is the sea water different from when you were a kid? Wouldn't it be cool to be able to runs a few climate models on your PC and just see what if...? Well... now you can!
ClimatePrediction.Net runs a distributed software system where individuals can sign up and join in on the truely global climate calculations and witness first hand what would happen if... The BBC reported on the first results (paper was published in Nature) over 60,000 runs: "Temperatures around the world could rise by as much as 11 Celcius". Scary!

Are you playing with dolls...?

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The Sims?!? The Sims is for girls and kids. Real gamers play The Cubes. You can build whole sets of office space and be your own Dilbert all day long! Now, you're not playing with dolls, are you son?!

ThinkGeek :: Laserpod

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Sometimes some people just come up with reeeeeally cool but totally useless gadgets. Check the Laserpod over at ThinkGeek. It's like a lavalamp but with lasers. Lava is sooo 70s. Lasers are soo 21st century! ;) Gimme gimme gimme!

The KDE Desktop

You won't believe me when I tell you, but it's still compiling KDE! I decided to do a little searching on the net and the KDE Configuration HOWTO even says it can take a long time, but almost 24 hours (I started at 3pm yesterday afternoon!) is a bit much, even by my standards. Of course, I could have selected only critical packages instead of getting everything. And I would have, had they told me it would take a day!!! I also would have used distcc... *sigh* Looking on the bright side, at least I am learning a lot more about Linux a lot more quickly and seeing that humans usually learn better from mistakes than from manuals... I'm getting a lot of learning done in a short time: 24 hours. Hahaha :D

gentoo distcc

Grrr, one thing I expected from gentoo was either GNOME or KDE built-in. Even a light version would have been nice. But following the normal handbook or installation guide, if you will, leads you to a basic shell system. I.e. a login prompt which leads to a command line. No X, no GNOME, no KDE, no nothing. I'm very disappointed. :(
Also, getting the basic system means just that. My USB mouse was detected but not configured. I had to add statements for my two CD-ROM stations myself. And more little things like that. I wouldn't have been so disappointed if the LiveCD hadn't automagically supported all of this! So I assumed installing a system similar to the LiveCD would get my the same support for my devices, drivers and more. But no... Unless, of course, I'm missed something. But, all things fair, I will take it upon myself to report these things to the Gentoo team and add my suggestions to make it even more usable for Windows users... ;)
One last gripe: I have been com…

RSSOwl - A Java Feed Reader

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Looking for a simple, stand-alone feed reader? Don't care about Outlook integration or don't want to pay for it? Fed up with web-based feed readers? Try RSSOwl, which is Java-based and therefore runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris. Now there's no reason to stay uninformed from anything!

Goodbye Gentoo. Hello Gentoo!

Oh well, live and learn. I decided bravely to compile my own kernel and be brave and daring. Only to find I'd forgotten to specify I had a network card and also which one. Now I can't get access to anything. I've tried digging thru the system to find *anything* but couldn't. So I'm reinstalling Gentoo... again. (It's like the 6th time now, LOL.)
Then I decided to use the 'genkernel' tool to use hardware detection during booting, so I don't have discover which chipsets I have just now (I will eventually)... but again, I was careless a bit and 'emerged' the ati-drivers, coz I thought they'd come in handy! Well, I should have checked dependencies, because now I have been waiting for an hour or so for X11 to download and compile...
People, when you have an easy to install Linux that comes with a manual, please, *please* actually read the damn manual, stick to it too, and maybe you won't make my stupid mistakes. My only hope is that I…

21:56:27

That was the time when I booted Gentoo successfully for the first time and logged in as myself. :) *radio noise* it's a small step for man-kind *more noise* but it's a great step for a PC user *radio static*
:)

Gentoo Linux - The Sage Continues

I ran into some problems with Gentoo, all my fault. I retyped commands wrong, confused filenames and even misread the installation notes. RTFM! *sigh* Oh well.... Live and learn.
Gentoo is humming along nicely now. I've even compiled my own kernel already (2.6.10 r6 even!) And I'm configuring the system now. It's scary to think that some day I'll be able to do all this by hard without any notes and cure and sigh that not everyone can do these few simple things... ;) But hopefully I'll remember all the problems I've had today and be forgiving... Naaah probably not! :D LOL

IT salaries to oncrease 0.5% on average in 2005

After years in the gutter, mocked, ridiculed and laughed at, this year we IT guys aka nerds will once again see justice done!
According to Robert Half Technology, IT salaries will increase 0.5% on average in 2005. Woohoo! I'm buying a car of that additional €217.24 per year... A really small one. LOL ;)

Panoramic Titan pictures

Ever since I was a kid (last week), I have been fascinated by space, planets, astroids, moons, travel en Sci-Fi. Needless to say that when I read on Slashdot that some people even more nuts than I am had stiched together NASA and ESA pictures by the Titan Huygens Probe from Saturn's moon Titan, I was surfing there in the blink of an eye. Cooool There are also rendered images based on actual data! B)

Jobs go at Oracle (& Peoplesoft) after takeover

BBC has the story that Oracle is laying off people after Peoplesoft's takeover. They're cutting some 5000 jobs but maintain that 90% of Peoplesoft's staff would retain their position...
"Hours before Friday's announcement, there was a funereal air at Peoplesoft's headquarters, reported AP news agency. A Peoplesoft sign had been turned into shrine to the company, with flowers, candles and company memorabilia.
"We're mourning the passing of a great company," the agency quoted Peoplesoft worker David Ogden as saying. Other employees said they would rather be sacked than work for Oracle."
We'll see, anyone want to make predictions?

An Analysis of the Skype Protocol

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Slashdot brings us a link to An Analysis of the Skype Protocol. In case you were wondering how they do it. Specifically, the NAT and compression are looked into.

Quantum cryptography has marched from theory to laboratory to real products

Want to know more about Quantum Cryptography and how it may make today's schemes obsolete really quickly, read Scientific American.com: Best-Kept Secrets. Very cool and pretty good to read, although anything hard to invent should be hard to understand. Right? ;)

Kitchen works!

Our kitchen works! Woohoo!
It's not done yet, some assembly required, still. But everything is operable: dishwasher, running water & sink, my big stove and oven and all cubbards are filled with food, supplies, herbs, mugs, etc. I can start cooking now!
Hmmm yumm what oh what will I cook first... :9

Taking-apart the mac mini (how-to disassembly video)

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On slashdot, I read about a how-to disassembly video that shows how to safely open up a Mac mini (only $499) and upgrade it yourself using much cheaper RAM and hard discs. Way cool! And if done properly, Apple says it won't void your warranty. *insert Incredibles voice over here* "Honey, have you seen my tweasers and crescent wrench?"

Google, MSN and Yahoo join forces to prevent comment spam in blogs/forums

Google Blog writes: Any link that a user can create on your site automatically gets a new 'nofollow' attribute. So if a blog spammer previously added a comment like:
Visit my <a href='http://www.example.com/'>discount pharmaceuticals</a> site.
That comment would be transformed to:
Visit my <a href='http://www.example.com/' rel='nofollow'>discount pharmaceuticals</a> site.
MSN and Yahoo have also incorporated this technique and many tools are following rapidly. B) I love it when a plan comes together! (y)

Too late now, gentoo is unpacking

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Well, after using Petra's PC for a few days and cursing for not being able to get to all my files, i'm installing Gentoo as i type this. It's a bit uneasy but not strange. Like getting a leg out of a cast after 4 weeks: you know how to walk but you're not as agile as you'd like to be! LOL
I'll blog again when i've got linux up, using my mobile and GPRS now (way cool too!), btw. ;-)
Update (11:55pm): install failed; chroot didn't port my network settings so any attempt to download and install something failed. Try again tomorrow. :yawn:

PCMag compares 6 VoIP services (and some free ones)

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Feature from PC Magazine: Talk Is Cheaper
"In this story, we explore the offerings of six fee-based providers in the home market?AT&T, Broadvox, Lingo, Verizon, VoicePulse, and Vonage?and unveil a new battery of labs-based tests to analyze voice quality and service reliability as never before. We also compare three free services (one in beta)."
Skype is among the free services...

Kitchen wasn't so bad after all

I'm sorry that my post yesterday gave all our friends a scare or caused them to worry. We had some set-backs with the kitchen, but in the end all was not lost. Granted, we can't use the kitchen even though it's installed, but faults are minor and easy to resolve. Tomorrow, the plumber will come and fix water- and gasleads so all appliances can be connected. :) Last night, Petra and I unpacked 6 boxes or so with pots, pans, dishes and mugs and more. Surprisingly, it all seems to fit reasonably well. ;)

Funny Bill Gates pics from 1983

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I'm not sure but these seem originals... Neowin has two pictures from Bill Gates from 1983. Apparently he did some shoots for Teen Beat magazine way back then. He must have been some kind of idol. LOL :nerd: Great fun these things!

Dance Valley 2005 will be 3 days!

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UDC tells me that authorities have agreed to a duration of the Dance Vallery Festival for three days!
Last year, for the 10th anniversary they tried everything but police-availability was the bottleneck in the end. August 5,6,7th will be the first weekend edition of the "Woodstock of Dance". Friday starts at 10am, music follows at 1pm and visitors can camp overnight on a special camping site. Saturday also starts the regular program (€62.50) at 10am and during the evening, passe-partout holders (€95) can return to the camping. The rest will simply go home. (Duuh) Sunday is just an afterparty day and all visitors should be off the premises by 3pm.
Sounds cooool B) Booking will be possible from Febuary 1st (UDC members) and March 5th (general public).

RealOpenIT

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Had an interview yesterday with RealOpenIT. They want to hire me to design, implement and maintain their IT infrastructure, based on open source systems and software. It's a really nice job and quite a challenge too. But they're offering me a job, full-time and permanent... They don't want to hire me through my own company, for say 6 months or a year contract. And I do not know if I'm really ready yet to just give up my own company and independence. I've only just started. Besides, they're also a brand new start-up so who tells me they're gonna get off the ground? And what if they don't?
Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Always when you least expect it

*deep sigh*
After everything that went right, everything that we planned, thought about, calculated, recalculated and double checked... putting in the kitchen turns out to be the most difficult task. Pipes aren't right, connections are missing and worst of all, my stove won't fit up the stairs. So I've got to call some local movers to see if they can drop by today with a lift to get the stove up on the balcony. However, it won't matter a whole lot because neither the gas nor the outlet for the stove are in the right places. And I'm not even mentioning the exhaust ("afzuigkap")... for that we still need to drill a big (15cm) hole. *sigh* And the washer is missing water supply which is kinda critical they tell me... *insert dialing tones here*

Grando - Kitchen

About to go to bed now. Waaay too late because tomorrow morning at 7am *sigh*moan*grown* Grando - Keukens is coming to deliver and install our kitchen. Woohoo! The last major piece of houseware will be done. After tomorrow (assuming they get done in a day), it's only details here and there. The truely last thing will be a glass shower door because the slanting floor we wanted in our bathroom, so all the water drains away automagically, is not achievable in a bathroom of our size. NOW they tell you! $%$@&%@$!!! So we get a cheap shower set for the consolation prize. Oh well... I'll learn to live with it.

Gentoo Linux

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Guess what? It's not going to be Windows anymore. I'm switching to Linux, Gentoo Linux. Why Gentoo Linux?
It's based on Debian, which is very clean and tight be hindered by bad hardware detection. Gentoo fixes that. Second, it's built for a smooth transition from Windows and even though I am a nerd and power user, a somewhat smoothed introduction never hurts. Besides, the main problem for Linux with me has always been that I *know* what to change, I just don't know where to look or how to find it. So nice GUIs are always helpful until I know where and why and then I dump them. Besides, Linux has great shell scripts and let's you tie everything together using pipes and redirects. :cool: B)
So watch out C: partition, Linux is on the way!

May-day May-day

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Well, I knew it had to happen sooner or later... I have a trojan, a dialer and/or a virus. McAfee Inc. tells me I've got Sober.J@MM on my system. But I think more is hidden away somewhere. So I ran Stinger... we have a 'go' for virus!
Gibson Research ShieldsUP informed me ports 135, 445 and 1025 are open. WTF is that all about?! Then I discovered all kinds of Windows Services started and running. Then I ran Stinger again, still there. Then I tried closing those ports using dcomcnfg.exe, but as we speak some crazy DCOM ports are opened once again... worst of all: somebody keeps MESSING WITH MY CURSOR! Grrr!
So I'm backing up important files off the C: drive (you know: profile data, Local Data, and other important custom settings from those handy hidden Microsoft folders... (Grrr again). I'm giving Ad-Aware a whirl just for the heck of it and then I'm off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of slipstreamed Windows installation CDs. It's been a year anyway…

Apple - Mac mini

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You gotta admit it: Steve Jobs is a marketing God! The new Apple Mac mini is so cool and so cheap ($499 or just €350) that anyone who's always wanted a Mac wil get one. Of course, there are hundreds of PC-type alternatives... but never mind that! As with the iMac and the iPod, some people choose things solely based on exterior looks! Can you believe that?!? :shock: That is soo shallow... I would never do that... ;)

IRIS Seismic Monitor

This is an interesting and also scary site: IRIS Seismic Monitor. It monitors seismic activity around the world and plots little dots or circles of them all.
So far so good. Nothing really bad but... Red ones happended today! Orange was yesterday. That's a lot of quakes... holy cow! And check the list of earthquakes in the last 30 days... there is a whole bunch of them at magnitude 6 in that same area, even now! :( Sjeez... Mother Earth is a bitch or she's having one bad case of PMS, I'll tell you!

The visuals and science of a tsunami

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I found two really good sites with info about the tsunami: .:DataWhat?:., with many great photos, videos and more. And WaveofDestruction.org, with excellent info on tsunamis, why and how they happen, signs and more scientific info... as well as great photos that are nicely displayed, browsable and reviewed.

Tsunami

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Since we were redecorating and rebuilding our house in December and didn't have online access nor properly working TV until a few days ago, I am only now seeing pictures, videos and reports of what has been going on. Sjeeez! Wow. OMG. Unbelievable the mess a bit water can make and how it just rips through everything. But the worst part is the i n c r e d i b l e mess afterwards. The dead are dead, they don't care. But the rest of us have clean up the mess *and* remove the dead from underneath. And some pics from Bali that I've seen literally have the debris piled up higher than houses (what's left of them).

Colorado Ski Tours - Backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Summit County Colorado

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Last year, just when I went offline, I found my good old buddy Ed's website: Colorado Ski Tours. He and his friends are running a backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Summit County Colorado, where he lives. He has been training and studying for his Mountain Ranger degree, so he sure knows the mountains and everything else there is to know. And believe me, that's a lot! He is an excellent boarder, has been since the dawn ages, built his own boards and thought me everything I know. :respect: Way to go man! Miss you badly though! :hug:

New Years Eve party in Utrecht

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We spent New Year's Eve at a party by a friend of mine: MrVanes.com. He and 5 other (former) roommates organized yet another great party in the Catacomben in Utrecht. (Excellent party cellar, highly recommended if you need a place.) Anyway...
the theme was fairytales this year and Petra and I dressed up as Ms Pink Panther and Aladdin Sr. However, with all the moving and home improvement etc., most of our usual energy was drained dry. By 1am (I knew I should have gone easy on those glasses of champagne...), I was entering the dip zone. Abyss is a better word, I guess, because I never got out of it, only deeper. So shortly after 2am, we called it quits, said goodbye and went to Martin's home for some Zzz. Looks like we missed an even better tailend of the party though...!

We're ba-haaaack!

Yippie ka-yeah, mother f*ckers! :D
Thanks to super speedy lets-do-few-things-right by KPN and XS4ALL, Petra and I are back online!

XS4ALL ADSL

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Today I received my DIY DSL kit and decided to hook up the splitter already. Save me some time later and I could verify voice working properly. When I did (voice worked fine), I suddenly realized KPN probably already had piggy-backed the voice signal on the DSL signal. That means, however, that my modem would also get a clear dial-tone sice the splitter now split the signal correctly. So... I have dial-up access again! Woohoo! 48K access at the moment... Hmm, bit of a bummer somehow. ;)
However... I decided to check the status of my XS4ALL ADSL subscription online and 'lo and behold, it says the line is technically ready! :D That might mean that I might already perhaps maybe have a DSL signal too... Of course, login and subscription need to be activated, but you never know. Maybe 2005 brings some common-sense at KPN after all. ;) (Pun intended!) So I'm off shortly to check my DSL signal and account. TTYL...

Update

It's been a nice weekend. Petra and i took a couple of days off to refill our endurance tanks. This takes a lot of energy and we were slowly getting ill, literally. So we slept a lot and spent the days turning the rooms into something more livable. It worked! The dining room looks amazing! The computer room is operating fine (except the lack of internet!). The guest room is ready. Even the bedroom is much better now. Our kitchen will be installed next week, so we need one last painting fury. ;-)
So we're fine. Although we could use a 3 week vacation! LOL :-D Petra is back to work, i'm doing some work again too and i even got a call for some design work out of the the blue. Woohoo! I'll try to use my USB key to upload some pics of the house...

Curtains are up

Many many *many* thanks to Petra's mom. She has hand-sown all our curtains.
She had already sown them at home just after Christmas, but could only finish them once they were up and hanging down our ceiling. We did that this whole week. Since it's not a concrete ceiling but rather gipsum plates on a wooden frame, it's tricky to find the wooden frame to screw the rails onto. Once the rails were up, we'd hang the curtains down and Petra's mom would fix them at the right length (just above the floor). Our high ceilings made it a custom, made-to-fit job that needed to be done by hand (something with seems, don't ask). It took her 5 days of almost non-stop sewing... :respect:(y) :respect:

Another day, another room

Almost all curtains are up now. Petra's mom is great at it. Yesterday was a bummer day. Everything went wrong. Things broke. Things didn't fit or got lost and everything was just a little short on the first try. :sigh: today was similar but not as bad. We got some items done and postponed others. Petra is buying up dinner now... All is well. And i found my allergy medication too... ;-)

What a day

Sometimes technology is just not working with me. Today i've spent hours trying to get wireless tv working, but to on avail. I finally got a signal by using the tunes in my vcr but when it's on monitor function, it switches off after 10 min or so. :sigh: however, the signal is crystal and audio too. IR is another story though...

Pictures from Bubbelicious party

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Petra put the photos from the Try-Out's Bubbelicisous party online! Enjoy! We did!