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.
31 May 2014
Travel May, Photo Shoot, and Summer is Here
Filling my minimum quota of one post per month
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.
30 April 2014
Ride report: Mountains and sunset at Orko
Endurance ... or really just a fun ride
Despite having plans to do some recovery days, I went out for an endurance ride. First, because I was just feeling like doing a nice, slow ride to drive out the cold, then because I want to beat my high score for km/month. I dressed up warm with long sleeves, thermal base layer, and took leg warmers, rain jacket, and long gloves with me. As I went out, starting really slowly, I noticed that I'm feeling just fine and enjoying things a lot.
So in Halki I turned for the "longer choice", to go up Apeirantho. It was a bit cloudy, but nice. Rounded the mountain to get to Stavro, then up again to Moni, where I turned towards Kinidaro. There I put on all the clothes I had brought for the long downhill. I even extended the downhill going towards Eggares. There I dressed down again and turned towards Hora.
In Hora I visited Giannis (at the bikeshop), then went on towards Agia Anna. Here again I turned for the longer and much more scenic route towards Agios Prokopios, the road next to the sea below the airport. In Ag. Prok. I was faced with the choice of going up towards home again... but what the heck, I went on the new road towards M. Vigla, there is a road that connects up from the end of it, a bit steep. But even there I didn't have enough, instead I turned right on the dirt road towards Orko and Mikri Vigla, right by the sea, right at sunset time. This reminded me of some very special days with friends there, on that particular road.
By the time I had arrived at the road up from M. Vigla, it had gotten dark. With a bit of tailwind I went up from there, towards home. Big smile on my face for almost all the ride.
71km, 1166m altitude gain, 3:06 riding time, 4 hours with all the stops.
10 Jahre in Griechenland
Tja, so läuft die Zeit
Anfang April kam ein Jubiläum vorbei, eines das ich zwar nicht vergessen
habe, aber das ich auch nicht gross feiere. Vor 10 Jahren kam ich (wieder
einmal) in Griechenland an und ich lebe seither all diese Jahre hier.
In der Zwischenzeit hat sich viel verändert, sowohl bei mir (denke ich)
als auch in Griechenland.
Trotzdem bin ich immer noch hier und es gefällt mir auch immer noch
hier. Ich bin nicht mehr ganz so gerne in Athen, momentan gefällt es
mir in der Provinz besser. Hautsächlich liegt es daran, dass mir die
Grosstadt auf die Nerfen geht. Zuviel Lärm, zuviel Nervosität. Naja,
es geht auch anders, auf dem Land ist es auch schön.
01 March 2014
Get me the Book... Now.
Doesn't take long
As I'm slowly getting around to setup more and more of the server's stuff again, I remembered that I had wanted to get me the book Absolute OpenBSD when it came out. Well, it came out some while ago. I hopped over to the publisher and got me the ebook.
At which point I remembered how much longer it would have taken some years ago. I either would have ordered the book online, waiting some days for delivery. Or even ordered through a bookshop, hoping that they would get me the right one. Or I'd go to a bookshop with lots of tech books, hoping that I wouldn't end up with an outdated, older version by mistake.
Now I got the ebook, and if I had wanted it, I could have still gotten the paper version along for a few dollars more. What's more, there is no "DRM" or "copy protection" on the book, so no hassle. I even get the PDF along with the epub,
27 February 2014
Crash, there Goes the Server
Yes, a lot of stuff doesn't work yet
So, there was a few days of outage here in betabug.ch-land. On Monday morning, the venerable, old G4 crashed hard (as in: hardware). It didn't come back up again. One disk is truncated, one disk spins up, but the controller doesn't "reply". Some data exists in backups, some data exists in backups that consist of a tarball that is damaged.
I would say life is like that, but like is way more than that. I'm also way too busy to say much. I'm working to restore services (a lot already works again, some stuff is still missing). More will come piece by piece. Some stuff seems to be lost, gone. In any case, if there was something you can't find now, I'm sorry.
01 February 2014
200km Brevet Elefsina-Nemea-Elefsina
There and back
Last Saturday, January 25, I was out to ride a Brevet, a cycling event
that would take riders on a course of 200km. The course on this day was
from Elefsina (a bit out of Athens), over the Canal of Korinth, into the
hills near Nemea, and back to Elefsina. It was the first time for me to
do such a distance or that type of event. So far I had done 147km on my
own. As I was planning and preparing for this right, I also thought
about how long it had been that I had subjected myself to any similar
"test", with set rules and a protocol to follow. The preparations
started with a lot of unknowns...
Continue reading "200km Brevet Elefsina-Nemea-Elefsina"
23 January 2014
Mit Freunden und Familie
Mittags gehe ich gerne mal essen, auch wenn ich alleine zuhause am arbeiten bin. Unter der Woche hat sich da das Angebot stark verkleinert, viele Restaurants in meiner Nähe haben nur noch am Abend offen. Die Krise hat da so einiges geändert und Personal für ein leeres Lokal mögen die Wirte auch nicht zahlen.
An einem der letzten Sonntage war ich zufällig auch wieder alleine zuhause und bin essen gegangen. Da sah es dann aber anders aus, alle offen und alles voll, alle Tische besetzt. Grosse Gruppen von Leuten, mit Freunden und Familie. Das Geld um unter der Woche Mittagessen zu gehen mag nicht mehr da sein, aber an speziellen Tagen mit guter Gesellschaft reicht es dann doch noch und dann darf der Tisch auch ordentlich voll werden.
Da einen Tisch zu finden ist nicht immer so einfach, vor allem, wenn man an so einem Tag alleine ankommt. Aber da ich bei einem der Lokale Stammgast bin (dort, wo ich auch unter der Woche zu Mittag esse), fand sich noch ein kleiner Tisch in der Ecke. Um mein Buch zu lesen war es zu duster und so richtig lange bleiben wollte ich auch nicht, aber es gab was gutes zu essen und darum gings mir ja.
20 January 2014
Having fun in the wind
Last week my friend George messaged me with the proposition to go for a ride on Monday morning. Now I'm more free with my working hours since I'm a freelancer, but it's not like I throw all my hours around. Still, I couldn't refuse. This January is unusually warm, the weather report promised partly cloudy 17c, but with a strong wind of 5 Beaufort from the South.
When I got up and looked out the report seemed to have missed a few facts. It was dark with stormy clouds and looked like it could rain. I dressed up accordingly and went out to our meeting place. Soon I stopped and removed the rain jacket and leg warmers - it was warmer than it looked - and soon after the sun was out. As George arrived, we exchanged remarks about "that bit of wind".
The "bit of wind" on the coast road was enough to make riding work. So what can a cyclist do? When you're alone, all you can do is make yourself small and put on a stoic face. But when there are two (or more) of you, it's time to trade pulls. Get into a line, one rider 0.3 to 1m behind the other's wheel and the behind rider is sheltered from the wind by the front rider. The front rider does all the work, while the rear one feels as if he was pulled along. When you're tired, it's a huge relief.
Too long at the front though, and your energy saps out fast. So the stronger the wind, the shorter the "pulls" at the front. In our case, we went for roughly 2 minute turns. After a few tries we had the exchange procedure clean and efficient. Work a bit in the wind, exchange to get a bit of rest.
After a while we spotted another cyclist ahead. He seemed to move funny. At first we thought he was sprinting, standing on the pedals, moving his bike wildly from side to side. But that didn't make sense, not in this weather. Getting closer, he almost looked like being drunk. George suggested that he must be tired.
When we passed him, we exchanged greetings and I offered him to "stick to our wheel" to get a bit of a rest. At the next "changing of the engine ahead", he looked a bit confused. He wasn't used to our drill, so I had to signal to him to keep on.. George and me kept on doing the locomotive, not expecting him to take part in the work. He kept on sitting in our slipstream and got a good rest from the wind, later turning off to wherever he went. As he was off, we laughed, talking about this guy who got a looky break and a free ride.
Turning back at the agreed place, we had it easier, with the wind mostly from the back (mostly, because coastal roads tend to twist and turn). Still we kept on trading pulls, because it just felt good to go this fast. We didn't get so much to chat like this, but we sure had a good time working together for a common good.
08 January 2014
Griechische EU-Präsidentschaft: Erstmal ein Versammlungs- und Demonstrationsverbot
So fängt man das richtig an
Heute fängt die griechische EU-Präsidentschaft an. Damit man gleich merkt, wessen Geist da weht, gibt es zuerst einmal ein Versammlungs- und Demonstrationsverbot. Wo kämen wir denn da auch hin, wenn die Leute auf die Strasse gehen würden? Natürlich tun sie es doch, denn ob die Demonstration bewilligt ist oder nicht, wen die Polizei erwischt, der landet in der Kiste - da findet sich dann schon immer ein Grund. Die zentralen Athener Metro-Stationen sind natürlich am Nachmittag auch wieder auf Anordung der Polizei geschlossen gewesen, wie immer wenn erwartet wird, dass mehr al 20 Demonstranten zusammenkommen.