Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The family crib

Made by my father 43 years ago, refurbished by me for my son

Merry christmas, everyone

A merry christmas to all my readers (except those who don't want to be reminded of any christian holiday for reason of political correctness - pick your own subject, then...)

Friday, December 12, 2008

My personal rainbow

Via jmaynard

Your rainbow is shaded green.

What is says about you: You are an intelligent person. You feel strong ties to nature and your mood changes with its cycles. Those around you admire your fresh outlook and vitality.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Can't get enough, it seems...

My online life isn't complicated enough, so I added LJ into the mix, to. URL is unsurprisingly

Friday, October 17, 2008

So, turns out I'm social-liberal. What a surprise... NOT.

Du bist ein

(78% permissive)

und ein...

Sozialer Markwirtschaftler
(43% permissive)

YAm besten beschreibt man dich als einen:


Link: Der Politiktest an Ok Cupid
Also: Der OkCupid Dating Typ Test

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A security idea...

While reading about the latest ATM card skimmers (which apparently send your card details via SMS to the thieves), I got an idea.

Traditionally, security of physical objects is certified by a sticker which acts as a seal... you see the sticker, it's not broken, you know the device hasn't been tampered with. But of course with modern color laser printers, you can easily forge such a sticker, and the resulting arms race with watermarks etc. will make the stickers prohibitevly expensive, with no real security gain (ever examined all security marks on a bank note? Do you even KNOW all of them by heart?).

So my idea is a little different... by using 2-dimensional barcodes (QR-codes and suchlike) you can put digital information onto a sticker, and a small handheld device like a mobile phone can be used to make that information visible. Now... what if you'd take some form of identification (ATM location, serial number, stuff that a customer can easily verify), digitally sign that information, and put that onto a sticker?

By doing this, you give the customer something he can verify himself (aforementioned ATM location, serial number, whatever), and a means to verify that the sticker wasn't forged (since it has a digital signature). The stickers could be easily made individually for every sealed object, all you need is a common label printer, a laptop and some software.

The only problem still to solve would be what identification marks to use that people could use to verify that this sticker really certifies THIS object - one possibility would be embossing serial numbers on all critical parts, for example right above the slot for the ATM card. This would effectively prevent a card skimmer being glued on top, as this would hide the serial number, and the sticker and embossed serial number would at least create an obstacle to the criminals - they'd have to emboss the serial to each of their card skimmers, making them effectively single-use, AND they'd still not be able to forge the security sticker (which would therefore not be attached to the ATM AND the fake faceplate).

Managing myself..

Trying to get myself more organised, as I noticed myself getting more and more swamped in work, I was loosing track of all the stuff that needed doing both at work and at home.
But even with New Year months away, I took steps to remedy that...
1) Read "Time Management for Sysadmins" (Remarkable book, quite recommended!)
2) Started using Remember The Milk as my primary Todo-list manager instead of merely relying on my Outlook schedule at work
3) Syncing Outlook to Remember The Milk using Milksync frequently
4) Started carrying a PDA again, or at least keep my Mobile handy to jot down new tasks immediately before forgetting them again (RTM allows for adding tasks through email or Twitter)
I'm already seeing the first benefits, as I don't discover "Oh, I have to do THAT, too - damn, almost forgotten that" anymore, plus I get a nice list of things I've finished, which for work tasks means I got documentation to show to $PHB, too :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My collection is complete...

Just to make a few people envious, I've bought a new (and so far my most expensive) replica gun.

It's a Classic Army SAR M41, replica of the Schwabenarms M41, which in turn is the civilian version of the H&K G3.

Therefore, I've just about finished my collection - I now got one full set of combat gear of the Bundeswehr as issued 1993, when I did my military service.

Note to other collectors - yes, the flak jacket DOES have flecktarn camo - that's correct for that time period! Back then we were issued with normal green uniforms and gear, and a brand new green nylon backpack, but the flak jacket itself never was produced in plain green for some reason... the other camo uniform parts were just being phased in, but training units didn't rate new uniforms - but no old flak jackets existed.

That's the Army for you ;-)
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 31, 2008

No news is good news?

Nothing to see here, move along.

Well, if you must know, bought a nice toy...

No, it's not a real gun, just an airsoft replica of the pistol I had back in the Bundeswehr.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Juergen N.

Juergen N.

Posted using ShareThis


this SHOULD go out from to my blog, which hardly anyone reads anyway, so nobody is going to complain.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


In reply to Phil Plaits blog post, I'd like to point out that my son is vaccinated against all the usual stuff including Mumps and Measles, and I'm not afraid of him getting autistic despite belonging to a risk group for Asperger myself (working in the IT industry...). Not that I had to argue with my wife, anyway - she also was 100% behind the idea of our kid not having to suffer from potentially lethal viral diseases if it could be prevented.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Twitter spammers

I wonder why they even bother... Twitter spammers, following people just to get them to look up the profile of the new follower and MAYBE be dumb enough to check the obvious spam page given in the profile.

And why doesn't Twitter list an abuse address to get somebody to kick those idiots?

Time to read a good book, I guess ;-)

Nifty and practical...

When summer drew in and temperatures where rising, going out with a jacket often was rather impractical... it meant either sweating or carrying around a useless jacket.

However, NOT having a jacket meant carrying around a lot less stuff, since my jacket pockets are usually filled with tools, gadgets and other stuff...

Searching for a way to have at least some of the stuff with me during hot weather, I stumbled across Grabit-Packs, and ordered one...

Basically, it's just like a holster for your gadgets - worn on the hip, attached to the leg, so that it doesn't flop around madly, and doesn't get in the way.

Glad I bought one, it will come in handy if the summer weather might return later - in the current rain and drizzle I'll stick to the jacket, though...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Guns: less dangerous when in funny colours?

Saw this one in a shop window in Bremen:


It's a BB gun, CO2-powered, for sports shooting. Nothing fancy, really... except for the weird Lego-like colour scheme. The same pistol is available in ordinary black, and has been for a few years - but probably some marketing department thought that people might be buying more readily if the pistol looked less dangerous, and more toy-like.

Hint: If something does come out of the barrel and hits you, it WILL hurt. Regardless of which colour or shape the gun that the barrel is part of has. Sport guns are nice things to own and play with, shooting at ordinary cardboard targets, or old cans, or whatever, but making a gun look like a toy somehow seems rather wrong to me...

I'm at the North pole???

While travelling from Cologne to Bremen, I dared to test Google Maps on my mobile - which supposedly is able to  tell where I am with at least a few kilometres of precision.

Therefore, I was rather surprised to discover it showing only a blue square around me... zooming out also showed only a blue square... zooming out AGAIN only showed a blue square... until I zoomed all the way back to the world map and discovered I was at the north pole.

So far, Google had always been at least able to tell me that it can't find my current position - but it seems that whoever assigned the coordinates to the base station I was connected with entered 90N 90E instead...

Friday, June 6, 2008

New office mug

Bought myself a mew mug, since I don't get out to trade shows often enough - and the ones we got from marketing were not geeky enough for me B-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Everything's connected

I'm starting to get addicted to Web2.0... I blog through IMified via Twitter, or from my mobile phone, I update my task list via Twitter or Email on RTM... now I only need a decent mobile phone/PDA-combo with a cheap contract

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mobilewhack being just _slightly_ old-fashioned?

Mobilewhack just posted a review on a SIM-card-reader - and actually recommends it. Now... who REALLY needs such a beast anymore?

Most phones store contacts in internal flash, not on the SIM, as the internal memory allows for more details and more contacts to be stored. And synching services like ZYB allow you to backup your contacts and other data without much effort... so what's the point of SIM readers? Comments, anyone?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just a snapshot

No reason (rotation fixed now - and in case you're wondering, I just tested mobile blogging and took a snap in the Cologne cathedral)

Playing with PGP

Ever since I migrated from Pegasus Mail to Thunderbird (and thus GPG/Enigmail), encrypting my email has become so easy I barely had to think about it anymore - it's been ages since I've been thinking about how to do serious stuff with PGP, like rolling out a company-wide key management infrastructure, what procedures to use to sign/share/distribute keys etc...

Guess it's time to refresh my skills a bit - working on a (very) small presentation about to get back into the lingo, then maybe build a small keyserver on the NSLU at home...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Red Shirt Conspiracy

There's a story on Wired that proves once and for all: There WAS a conspiracy against the poor red-shirt wearing guys on Star Trek... 73% of all crewmembers killed were red-shirted.

So, if you ever go to a convention and plan to wear a classic costume... don't wear red, your life may depend on it.

Oh, for ST:NG yellow is the new red, mind you... ;-)

Driving home

Time to have a weekend :-)


So now what?

Now I've got a blog - but what do I do with it? Any suggestions?

Say, is this thing on?

Well, hello there!

Sent from my phone using trutap