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21 October 2014

Mal wieder in der Schweiz

... und es hat gar nicht gross geregnet
Pack den Tiger in den Koffer (oder so)

Anfang Oktober war ich wieder mal in der Schweiz, zu Kunden- und Familien-Besuch. Böse Zungen mögen jetzt behaupten, dass es da bei gewissen Kunden auch keinen grossen Unterschied mehr gibt. Unter anderem gab es einen Gesellschafts- und Pingpong-Abend und gemeinsames Arbeiten im Café.

Wettermässig hatte ich Glück, Regen gabs gar keinen und kalt wars auch nicht. Da ich nicht zum Velofahren kam, war ich zweimal joggen. Das hab ich schon ewig nicht mehr gemacht und der entsprechende Muskelkater hat mich dran erinnert.

Der Hinflug war nicht so angenehm, ich sass auf der Sonnenseite und hatte vergessen im Sicherheitsbereich des Athener Flughafens noch eine Flasche Wasser mitzunehmen. Das gab dann eine durstige Sache und meine Ohrstöppsel hatte ich auch vergessen. Der Rückflug war umso angenehmer: Den besten Platz beim Notausgang erwischt, mit 1.5m Fussraum und zwei Fenstern. So lässt es sich dann schon reisen.

Posted by betabug at 16:51 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 October 2014

Mini Glas-Container

Es sammelt sich
Ein Mini-Recyclingcontainer für Glas in Athen

Nachdem ich vor Jahren schon über die ersten Schritte im Recycling in Athen berichtet hatte, lief ich heute wieder mal einer interessanten, neuen Entwicklung über den Weg. Ein Container für Glas-Recycling. Mit Ôsen, mit denen der Container gleich komplett abtransportiert werden kann, aber in Mini-Ausführung. Zum Grössenvergleich der übliche "blaue" Recycling-Container daneben.

Ich denke, dass das eine gute Idee ist. Die blauen Container (Marke "der Grüne Punkt") werden nicht überall gleich qualitativ befüllt - sprich, es landet auch viel Müll drin. Die Verarbeitungskette dahinter ist meines Wissens in Griechenland unvollständig, aber ich kann mich da täuschen, ich habe schon länger nicht mehr nachgeschaut. Vor ein paar Jahren wurde das Recyclinggut getrennt und dann deponiert. Mit Glas gibt es eine klarere Recyclingstory.

Posted by betabug at 11:08 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 September 2014

Matryoshka Code

One little class in another little class in...

In programming, a very old pejorative term is spaghetti code. Traditionally this is associated with languages like BASIC, where control structure is done with a lot of nested IF-ELSE structures, combined with jumping around with GOTO and GOSUB. I've seen my share of this and I wrote my share of this too.

But we seem to have a modern variant of this, which I would like to call "Matryoshka Code". The first time this name jumped into my head was when I had to do a bit with some "Zope Interfaces" or "ZTC" style of programming, where almost everything is an "adaptor", but it can be had in your plain old object oriented programming too.

Continue reading "Matryoshka Code"
Posted by betabug at 18:28 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
18 August 2014

Splish splash I was taking a vacation

... and so was everybody else!
Bubble, bubbles everywhere

So, my vacation time came and passed again. Took a few swims, took some bike rides, read and relaxed a lot. It was a good vacation time, and I spent it in a good place to vacation. Only little nitpick: Everybody else seemed to have had the same idea for their vacation destination this year. Naxos was and still is full of people.

Apparently Naxos was voted into the 10 best islands on TripAdvisor. Number 6 worldwide, number 2 in Europe. I mean, come on, it's a nice enough island, with plenty of things to do... but number 6 in the world? Dunno really.

Combine that with northern Africa being off the tourist map right now, Turkey probably got some dampening with the politicals that were in the news all the time, and all the Germans who didn't come to Greece last year (due to the "Greece will fall out of the Europe, all tourists there will starve!" propaganda) and are amending for it this year... it's crowded.

Shouldn't matter much too me now, as I'm back at work. My time on the beach will be in the evenings again, when most people have left. I'll continue to enjoy the good weather on the bike early in the morning or late in the evening. Hopefully now the traffic on the roads will calm down a bit, but I guess it will take some time. August 15th is usually the peak point of the vacation season here, afterwards things fall off rapidly usually. This year it just might take a little bit longer to "fall off".

Posted by betabug at 11:40 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
29 July 2014


Uff, das war Zeit!
Ab in die Ägäis!

Es ist Ferienzeit hier, Naxos ist proppenvoll mit Leuten, auf einem Niveau, dass es schon nicht mehr lustig ist. Mehr Leute als schon lange nicht mehr. Alle sind sie wieder da, nachdem sie sich letztes Jahr in die Hosen gemacht haben, dass sie vielleicht ohne Euro dastehen, jetzt ist wieder alles gut und ab geht's an den Strand.

Gut, dass ich auch Ferien habe. Ich fahr nirgends hin, denn ich bin schon da, wo dieses Jahr alle hinfahren. Freunde sind aus Athen da, komplett mit Auto. Also gibts Expeditionen an den Strand und Essen im Restaurang... und Ferien-Feeling im Café über dem Hafen...

Continue reading "Ferienzeit"
Posted by betabug at 17:09 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
08 July 2014

Backyard Adventure

Puncture No. 4 and a snapped gear cable

I did not have any plans for a ride this evening, but there was a forgotten item at our lunch table in town today, so I "offered" to go to town to get it. Immediately I noticed I need to take it easy, as my legs were still stiff from the Sunday ride. When I was in the flatter part before Glinado, I felt a squishiness from my rear tire. I stopped to have a look and indeed... another puncture (I think number 4 now within 10 days). Walked a few steps to a spot with concrete on the side of the road and fixed it. Again the puncture was in the same spot, on the inside of the wheel.

In town I went straight to Giannis and we decided to pull out both wheels and replace the rim tape (a line of tape that protects the tube from the spoke ends inside the wheel.

This took us some time, because we had 2 tubes explode in our faces. Our ears were ringing. I'm not sure those tubes he had ordered are ok, they appear to be too long.

In the end I picked up the missing item and headed back home. Leaving the shop, I forgot my water bottle there. Not so important, it was night and not so hot. At the long stretch just before reaching home, I hit the switch to shift gears on the rear, heard a "twang" and the gear lever went into "empty space". The gear cable had snapped again. (This has happened to me in winter in Athens, so I have a suspicion the replacement wasn't mounted quite right. The mechanic there didn't appear to be very sure of what he was doing himself.)

I took the last kilometer or so in the low gear, standing quite a bit. I was laughing all the way though. Other people pay lots of money to go to far away countries to have adventures, I have them right here in our backyard!

Posted by betabug at 08:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
26 June 2014

Danakos Climbing Gym

Time to get back into shape
The smaller part of the Danakos Climbing Gym

After my trip to Austria I stayed off the bike for some more, to a total of 3 weeks, since my bike was on Naxos and I was in Athens. So when I hopped on the bike again back on Naxos I felt totally out of shape. In my experience, after an intense training period, taking one week off the bike is great, after two weeks I feel totally relaxed, but three weeks was too much. Something else that might have played part was that it has become summer for real now, and the heat doesn't make things easier.

So I had to devise a plan to get back in shape. The first part was easy to decide on: I had to build back the "base", which means to just put in the hours in the saddle, without trying to go too hard. This took a lot of patience, as I felt like things didn't improve at all, nothing moved. Patience was the keyword though, it just took time, to go out again and again.

I'm still not at the level that I was before, so I'm slowly starting into the next phase, to actually start to train again. Last year, what brought me the most progress were "hill climbing repeats", or as I named them "climbing gym" rides. Going up a tough climbing section three times in a row. I did that in Athens on the Kremastos Lagos climb.

Here on Naxos I found another candidate, the Danakos Climbing Gym. There is a small road that turns off from the road to Apeirantho, goes up steep for some hairpin turns (0.8km at average 7%, the one shown in the photo), then down to the village of Danakos. There I turn and head back up, for about 1.8km at an average of 8%. There are many sections of more than 10%, which is what makes this thing interesting. Another good aspect is that in the late afternoon the road is in the shade of the mountain, so less heat.

The point is that I have to go out of my comfort zone to go up here. I've done it once, going all out. Yesterday evening I went again, doing two runs, limiting myself to a Zone 4 effort. I did feel my legs afterwards, but I also felt good from the effort. My goal is to go and do three runs in a line.

Posted by betabug at 18:40 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
13 June 2014

Getting into the Ruby Debugger

The missing fin

I was trying to debug a ruby script yesterday, so I searched the docs and the web for how to do this. Part one of the problem: various older versions had different ways to do this, having to install some gem or not, etc. Ruby 2.1 has something built in, so there I was. Put this in your code:

require "debug"

Simple enough (in Python it's "import pdb; pdb.set_trace()"). But then I got stuck, because the debugger was somewhere in the debugging code, not in my code. No mention of that in the docs or in the tutorials I'd found.

The solution was to step up from the current frame, with the debugger command:


which is short for fin[ish] - return to outer frame. The h command gives all the help you need - as long as you are used to command line debuggers like Python's pdb. But that fin thing had me searching and wondering for a while.

Posted by betabug at 13:36 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
11 June 2014

The site is coming back

Not all those who wander are lost

On the 24th of February my server had crashed hard. At first all was gone. Then some backups turned out to be well and kicking... but another important backup turned out to be an emtpy shell of a tarball. Years of data were gone. Nothing too important, nothing too personal.

I got the server's hard disk back, but with the information that it spins up, but the controller doesn't answer. I put it in a drawer and tried to forget about it. I put off fully restoring my site for a while, because I was busy and because it just wasn't a feel-good task.

Last saturday I hooked up the disk with an adapter to my laptop. The controller answered just fine, I could "see" the partitions. I still needed a PowerPC machine to boot the OpenBSD/macppc on the disk. I remembered that there was such a box in the hackerspace in Athens. Went there, booted the disk (worked just fine). It took me a while to get the data off it, because the system wouldn't let me log in from the console. Booting into single user worked, and getting minimal networking up worked too.

I now have my stuff on the laptop, and I'll be restoring more and more stuff as I get to it. You alreayd see the pictures are back at this weblog and the imagelog works again too. Plenty busy at work, so it still might take some time. But it's all there, and that lets me take a big sigh.

Posted by betabug at 14:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
31 May 2014

Travel May, Photo Shoot, and Summer is Here

Filling my minimum quota of one post per month
Going to fly on a turboprop

So this May I travelled to a remote corner of Austria, which involved various planes. One of them was a turboprop, which was kind of interesting. At least until you notice that it's actually just another cramped plane. I also had some very short connection times on both trips. On the way up this resulted in a bit of anxiousness on my side. On the way back, I wasn't the only one: Due to bad weather around Munich, there was a small belays in getting there, and some people were going to have to hurry for their connections. Myself I didn't have to go far for my next flight's gate, so no problem.

Then on leaving Munich, there was more delay, sitting around an hour in the plane waiting to take off. Some people were going to continue to Larnaka or Hania and they needed some special treatment to have a chance to catch those flights. On leaving the plane we were asked to let those people out first. Then they were collected to be delivered to their flights. Myself I had no such problems, the Metro in Athens wasn't waiting for me, but I just got the next one :-).

As for Austria, I was lucky with the weather, which was nice, because we had a bit of sun for the photo shooting. I hadn't worked in a photo shooting with a model in a long time, so having a bit of luck with the weather helped. In the evening set, there were no real rays of sun (diffuse clouds), but in the morning we had good sunlight. The model was a real talent too, the kind of person who lights up a smile and everybody wants to smile along. So we managed some nice pictures.

Back in Athens now, and it seems that summer has arrived for good. The annoying part of that is that my bike is still on the island, so no riding right now.

Posted by betabug at 21:43 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

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