Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Just so that people remember - the memorial to Bartel Schink and other resistance fighters, executed by the Nazis because they tried to explode a bomb next to the Gestapo headquarters in Cologne.

Bartel Schink was 16 when he was hanged.
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QR-Code in the wild

I actually spotted a QR-Code in the wild, and it was NOT some marketing... some Street artist took the pains of glueing a QR-code to a wall...
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, —
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


Wilfred Owen, 1917

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book list meme

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up? Bold the ones you've read! Italicize the ones you've partially read!

01 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (I've read the zombie version, for what that's worth)
02 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
03 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
04 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
05 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
06 The Bible
07 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
08 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
09 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (Read the first book and really disliked it.)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (Pretty much required reading for the military.)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (Read the first couple of books and lost interest.)
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis (OK, as opposed to The Chronicles of Narnia?)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce (I tried, as Rob Halford as my witness, I tried...)
76 The Inferno – Dante (OK, and the other two parts of Comedia are where?)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Monday, November 8, 2010

Roman 'Leatherman' spied on web • reghardware

Neat archeological find - however, let's keep in mind the Romans did conquer Switzerland in Caesars days, so finding a Swiss Army knife in use by the Romans isn't that unexpected ;-)


Testing 1 2 3 - where does it end up how often?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remeber Guy Fawkes...

„Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.“

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dropbox and PortableApps - a winning team :-)

I'm currently finding more and more usefull things I can do with my Dropbox account - but so far the best use I've found is running PortableApps from it... I know, it's really meant to be used from a USB stick, but thanks to Dropbox I can keep a score of usefull applications in sync on various machines, for example I always have the same Firefox installation, with the same add-ons, on all my machines. Pidgin... installed once, and I don't have to worry about configuring all those accounts over and over again. PuTTY (my favourite Telnet- and SSH client) will remember all those hosts I saved, so I don't have to remember them all. Updating and patching is much faster too - I only need to do it ONCE.

So to me, using the cloud to sync apps between computers is a really great way to save me a lot of work :-)

BTW, if you want to sign up for Dropbox, do me a favour and use this link: - that way, both of us will get free extra space...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Buzz and Android 1.5...

A quick note to people with a HTC Hero who are still waiting to get a newer version of Android and therefore are stuck with the old Maps for Android version 3.1.2:

Buzz already is integrated into your version! No need to wait for 4.0 - if you can live without some bells and whistles, all you need to do is switch to the Latitude friend list, select the Updates tab, and you're using Buzz.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The future of computing

A user told me that he absolutely HAD to have Wifi in his office (given the intolerable distance of 2m to the nearest LAN socket, yeah, right...). He couldn't use cable - Wifi is THE FUTURE, after all!!!1eleven!

Well, he got me thinking - what IS the future of computing? Given ubiquitous internet access via 3G, 4G, NTG, and the (coming sooner than you think!) switchover to IPv6... will there actually be a need to have a LAN anymore? With IPSEC built into IPv6 anyway, why make a difference between LAN, WAN and Internet?

Here's what I think will happen: The computer of the future (the laptop, in any case) is connected to the Internet all the time, wirelessly. It will have permanent access to all servers it needs to talk to, whether you're in the office or at home, or on a commuter train. Thanks to IPv6, there's no cumbersome VPN login needed, no NAT to overcome, you can connect to any server in any company just like you connect to a webserver on the Internet. Access to the servers is no longer controlled by VPN gateways, it's controlled on every server itself - you'll have a digital certificate to authenticate you with the server, and the traffic will be encrypted. There'll be no sharp border anymore between company networks and "The Internet", which of course also means there'll be no sharp borders anymore between working on the company network and "websurfing", and in the end, no sharp border between work time and free time - but I'll leave that discussion to somebody else ;-)