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02 May 2005

Griechisches Osterwochenende in Athen

Freunde und Ausspannen am höchsten Feiertag Griechenlands
Grillfeuer auf der Strasse

Dieses Wochenende war Griechische Ostern. Ostern ist der bedeutendste Feiertag in Griechenland. Was tut man an so einem langen Feiertags- Wochenende in Athen? Einerseits ist in der Stadt vieles zu, andererseits habe ich selber von Freitag bis Montag frei gehabt. Zeit also, um gute Freunde zu besuchen, zu quatschen und es gemütlich zu nehmen.

Continue reading "Griechisches Osterwochenende in Athen"
Posted by betabug at 21:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
03 May 2005

Zope: Using UTF-8 in the Management Interface (ZMI)

A small change for a big charset

To really use utf-8 unicode in your zope management interface (as of Version 2.7.X), go to the "Root Folder", click on "Properties" and add a property with the following settings:
Name: management_page_charset
Type: String
Value: utf-8

Why is that necessary? Why does it seem to work without it too? It somehow does, but when entering unicode into text fields, those characters will get replaced with html entities like {. Confuses ZCatalog searches and is impossible to edit.

Update 9.5.2005: One pushback with this solution is the handling of properties in the ZMI: On the properties tab all the choices for Unicode types ("ustring", "ulist", etc.) are gone. Even when I add properties with those types through a script, the display and editing of such properties is broken. I think some of the trouble is documented in this Zope Collector entry called " Zope unicode patch". But I believe there might be other problems too.

Posted by betabug at 12:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
06 May 2005

Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow

The Greek Apple Reseller shows its incapability... again

Yesterday I went to a Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger introduction event at the Store of Rainbow in Akadimias Street. For those who are tuning in late, Rainbow is the distributor of Apple computers in Greece. They are doing one hell of a job keeping the market share of Apple down. At yesterdays event they were again proving their incapability to do anything in Apple style.

Continue reading "Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow"
Posted by betabug at 11:05 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
09 May 2005

Trees for Page Templates

ZopeTree, ZTUtils.Tree, DTML tree, or... ExpansionTree?

After my last note on using ZopeTree (with patch), I had contacted the author and heard that ZopeTree will be all new and nice in Zope 3. But for the moment the lack of documentation made me look elsewhere. What I'm using now is ExpansionTree.

Expansion Tree has just a little bit more documentation. But it works nice for me, especially for storing state information in the SESSION. The tree generation logic is not in my Page Template, but in a method of my Python Product. Getting the state is done with a simple:

ctree = request.SESSION.get("ctree", '')
and after processing we can store the state again, approximately like this:
[...some other code...]
tree, rows, state = t.grow(root, ctree,
        request.form.get(todo_var, ''), default_state={})
request.SESSION["ctree"] = state
return {"tree":tree, "rows":rows}
Where the "return" will give back the values needed to display the tree in the ZPT (Zope Page Template).

Caveats: When the SESSION expires, the tree state is gone and the tree will be shown collapsed again. In this application I have set the SESSION to a long time, plus I have the tree in a default partially expanded state. But you may want to look into this.

Posted by betabug at 09:21 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
10 May 2005

May 1st Postponed Due to Popular Demand

How is that for being weird and peculiar?

Incredible but true: May 1st was postponed to may 11th in Greece, because the "real" may 1st fell on the same day with greek easter. The notion of postponing a date is new to me. Next time you miss your project deadline on (say) October 4th, you just declare October 4th to happen on October 26th.

I'm not sure if I will get the day May 1st/11th off, since not everybody goes with the move. Obviously all public services, schools and universities will close. Any chance to slack will do for them. Especially open is the question of public transport. If I can't go to work by subway and bus, I might have to take the bicycle. Another adventure awaits the traveller.

Posted by betabug at 14:51 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
11 May 2005

The Strike is Here

"Workers unite!" and all that

Yes, Greece (or Athens) is on strike today. Yes, May 1st was postponed to May 11th. Workers unite! and all that. Asked my boss yesterday if we will be working. He said: "We are working, but if someone of you wants to go on strike, it's ok with me."

This morning I found the entrance to the metro blocked. No public transport for swiss geeks today. For a moment I looked out for a taxi, but they were all busy with 5 passengers each. So I returned home and borrowed my flatmates bicycle. The taxi would not have brought me luck, Athens centre is blocked from Omonia through Syntagma to Syggrou. Even with the bicycle I had to do some detours. But I arrived without problems and not very tired. The way home will be more interesting, lots of uphill battles to fight.

Posted by betabug at 09:37 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
17 May 2005

You are not enjoying the full potential of this CSS page

You don't want to, but we keep buggering you anyway

I browse a lot with lynx, a text only browser. Some websites do nice appearances with CSS, which is a fine thing. Among some of CSSs virtues is the ability to degrade the presentation gracefully for browsers that don't get CSS. Whatever happens, the content should come through for example in a text only browser like lynx. But some websites get on my nerves complaining about lack of CSS support in my browser.

Continue reading "You are not enjoying the full potential of this CSS page"
Posted by betabug at 07:13 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
18 May 2005

Burning Down the Telcos

Could I get the rackmound option on this?
burned out telco box

This is a burned down telco installation box, outside some university in Athens. I don't know who burned it down (it wasn't me, honestly). And I don't know why it's always me "finding" this sort of objects, seems like other people just walk by and look away. Anyway, this thing triggers some thoughts in me. First of all, what exactly is it? Why was it burned down? And is there any security to protect against such incidents? ...

Continue reading "Burning Down the Telcos"
Posted by betabug at 10:43 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
20 May 2005

Inline PDF Bug in Safari 1.3 (Mac OS X 10.3.9)

Loading but not displaying

When referencing a pdf inline in a html page with something like: <img src="/terminal.pdf" /> and provided that you have either a.) installed Acrobat Reader 7 with the PDF Internet Plugin or b.) enabled in System Preferences / QuickTime the display of PDFs (in "Mime Types"), you should see the PDF rendered on the page. Just like a JPEG. Try it here.

This worked in Safari up to and including OS 10.3.8 and (so I hear) works again in Safari in 10.4. There seems to be a genuine bug. The PDF is loaded (as one can see from the "Activity" window), but it is not displayed.

When you click and drag inside the window area, the PDF appears and moves around under the mouse. Control click on the blank area where the PDF would be, and choose "Open Image in new Window". In the newly opened window the PDF is properly displayed. So, the problem is only with PDFs displayed inline, in img tags.

Posted by betabug at 09:47 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Die beste Jahreszeit um Athen zu besuchen

Der Frühling ist hier
flowers in the park 'pedio tou ares'

Jetzt ist die beste Jahreszeit, um Athen zu besuchen. Im Park "Pedio tou Ares" blühen die Blumen (Bild), es ist angenehm warm, ohne zu heiss zu werden. Die hohe Luftfeuchtigkeit der letzten Tage ist weg, so dass es morgens und abends angenehm kühl wird. Die Hitze des Sommers kündigt sich bereits an, aber sie gibt uns noch eine Gnadenfrist. Am Wochenende veranstaltet die Stadt Athen im Nationalgarten (beim Zappeio) ein Spektakel mit Jongleuren, Puppentheater, Kunst auf der Strasse.

Posted by betabug at 10:30 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
21 May 2005

Dropping the Connection

But you can still listen to the radio

So on this nice Saturday morning I wanted to pick up my mail, just like every wellbehaving netizen does. But then, always after 2 minutes the connection dropped. If you haven't yet noticed from my weblog, I'm on dialup at home. Maybe there is some impulse beep on the line (e.g. for charges). It's too regular to be caller id. And then, it's OTE...

The provider is OTEnet, state owned, pretty big, and therefore impossible to get any information out of them. The main piece of insider knowledge to get a connection up with OTEnet from a Macintosh is that you have to switch off "Enable error correction and compression in modem" for Apple internal modems. Some people even recommend going to v.34 modem scripts. So far I did not have to use v.34. But I had a couple of disconnects at the 2 minutes mark before. Usually when I survived that mark, I could stay online for an hour without problems.

Not so today, today OTEnet persists. Tomorrow it may be different, letting me connect right away, or tomorrow it might not work at all. For the moment I'm sending my mails over GPRS through the mobile. It's not like I'm addicted to the net, but a bit of "keeping the conversation going" with friends and family is real good when you are far away. It's good to have some choices for Internet in Greece.

Posted by betabug at 12:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
23 May 2005

Writing a FAQ

Introduction to my plan. Why I'm doing a FAQ now. And how.

The question of making a "Mac and Greek" FAQ is on my mind for quite some time now. I've been bugging HelMUG to do something, but bugging others can only go so far. Now I'll try to do something myself. If someone else picks up the trail later on, only the better. So here is how I plan to collect and write down this FAQ...

Continue reading "Writing a FAQ"
Posted by betabug at 09:21 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

This time of year... and getting stuck

The sun and the shadow
Shady benches in the park Pedio tou Ares

So, still not convinced that Athens is beautyfull in spring? There's nothing like a day in the park. Except for maybe a day at the beach, which I will hopefully have soon.

At work I'm stuck, as usual. Programming is made out of short bursts of marching forward, building things nice and beautyfull. And then long hours of getting stuck with a seemingly simple problem. Filling files and files with ugly code, trying to get a clue what is actually happening. Wish I could sit in the park now.

Posted by betabug at 13:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
24 May 2005

betabug in Hong Kong

Watch out for those chop sticks!
Neonsign 'Green Park'

With all the roaring and feedback to my Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow post, a strange thought occured to me. But let me explain some of the preconditions before. (You did not expect me to share my precious thought that easy, didn't you?) I think it all winds down to yours truly, the betabug, having moved to Hong Kong. Let me explain...

That post (and to a lesser extent this one) has not exactly been slashdottet, but there are a lot of pageviews to the article, there was a lot of feedback, some comments, but mostly behind the scenes feedback. People are not exactly happy with Rainbow, the Greek Apple importer. People would like Apple to take back the Greek market and judging from the current situation, it is not exactly clear why Apple is not doing that. Now my suspicion comes in.

The one thing we don't know is what contracts Apple has with Rainbow. Maybe... oh no, that must be it: Maybe Apple sold Greece to Rainbow for 99 years, like Hong Kong! There must be a long standing contract of subletting the country of olive trees, Sokrates, and Sirtaki to a foreign/strange power. This explains everything. If this is true, our grandchildren (or grand-grandchildren?) will be able to buy their Macs in style again, without shamefully bowed heads and having to supply photocopies of ID documents.

As long as the state of this occupation persists, we should follow the example of Hong Kong: Put big neon signs everywhere, and start to eat our Souvlaki with chop sticks (we already supply the sticks in the souvlaki). To give us a headstart I supplied this picture of the beautyfull neon sign of the Cafe "Green Park". Now I have to go, I have to get my clothes to the chinese cleaning shop.

Posted by betabug at 13:14 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
25 May 2005

Bot Attack

Referrer spam without referrer?

Starting from yesterday I am having lots of accesses by what appears to be a bot or spider. At first when I found my stats file inflating certain pages views, I had expected to have been hit by referrer spam. But there is no referrer. Only the blog part of my site is being targeted, the same URLs are hit again and again, sometimes more than 200-300 times. The browser ID string is always "Mozilla/4.76 [en] (Win98; U)"...

Continue reading "Bot Attack"
Posted by betabug at 17:11 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Υιοθετείστε ένα ωράριο

Και μπερδέψτε εναν Ελβετό!

Πριν μερικές εβδομάδες έμαθα τη λέξη "υιοθετώ"[1]. Δηλαδή, θα την ξαναμάθω πάλι σε λίγες εβδομάδες, αφου θα την έχω ξεχάσει.

Σήμερα όμως άκουσα με ένα αφτί στην τηλεόραση[2] ότι ψάχνουνε κάποιον να "υιοθετήσει το καλοκαιρινό ωράριο". Συγνώμη, τι; Η μάνα του, που είναι δηλαδή; Αλλά δεν πειράζει, συνεχίστε να μπερδεύετε τον Ελβετό!

[1] Εγώ το'χα γράψει "ηοθετήζω" αλλά με διόρθωσαν.

[2] Ναι. Και εγώ βλέπω TV. Κάποιες φορές και μάλιστα με τον ελληνικό τρόπο, να είναι ανοιχτή και να την αγνοούμε. Συνήθως το κάνω για να είμαι "social" μόνο. Αλλιώς, βλέπω πολύ λίγο TV.

Posted by betabug at 22:15 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
26 May 2005

Stop software patents

Greeks, get into action!

There may still be time to stop software patents in Europe. This is not a linkblog, but topgan1 rattled my craddle so I will post a reference. If you can vote in Greece (or somewhere in the EU), please look up your politician in the European parliament and get into action. Dimitris Glezos has a howto on what to do. (Dimitris: I did not find a link to make a trackback to your post...)

Posted by betabug at 09:25 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 May 2005

TV à l'arabe

Now, where was that language setting?
Our TV in Arabic

Last week my flatmate's mother came over for a visit. She wanted to watch TV (and did so). In the process, she managed to switch the language setting of the TV's online menu to the Arabic language. See the picture for the result. (BTW: the pic is from "Singles", about the only Greek soap/serial that I enjoy.)

Now that wouldn't be that bad if we could just switch back the language setting. But Arabic is not just any language, their character system is so totally different, that we are just lost at trying to find that language setting. And of course the TV's designers have not thought of putting an obviously and internationally labelled (pictogrammed?) "change language" setting somewhere. So watching TV comes with an extra layer of entertainment.

Why did she have to go in the online menu in the first place? Because the buttons for the sound level are broken on the remote control. Changing the sound level involves getting into the online menu now, there you can use the left/right controls to change the sound level. We can still do that, as the process is obvious even if you can't read.

Posted by betabug at 11:12 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
31 May 2005

Athenener Trams mit deutscher Software?

...und sehr angenehmen Fahrtzeiten am Wochenende

Letzten Freitag war ich mit Freunden abends spät weg, in einem Lokal in der Nähe von Syggrou / Fix. Nachts um halb 2 begab ich mich auf den Nachhauseweg, natürlich mit dem Tram. Die Athener Trams fahren von Freitag morgen bis Sonntag Nacht im 24-Stunden-Betrieb. Sehr praktisch für Nachtschwärmer.

Ich musste zwar eine Weile warten (amüsierte mich damit, zu beobachten wie die Anzeige der zu erwartenden Ankunftszeit von 11 Minuten auf 13, dann auf 15 Minuten stieg und dann wieder langsam zurückging). Aber dann gings gemütlich Richtung Syntagma.

Im Tram ist dann die nächste Computeranzeige, die (wie hier im Eintrag über den öffentlichen Verkehr in Athen schon erwähnt) die nächsten 5 Haltestellen anzeigt. Als auf der Anzeige schliesslich "Syntagma" erschien, tauchte darunter auch ein kleines Wort auf. Ich musste aufstehen, um es lesen zu können: "Endpunkt". Hmm, nicht wirklich ein griechisches Wort. Sieht so aus, als ob die Software für die griechischen Trams aus einem deutschsprachigen Land kommt.

Posted by betabug at 09:46 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Businesslunch in Greece

Some things are just a little bit different
Greek taverna

Just went and had "business lunch" with my boss here, in a small fish tavern 5 minutes drive from the office. This is what I call quality of life. Sure I might be making more money in Switzerland, but I would not be putting down a kilo of fresh fish at noon. Not to mention the sun. Did I mention the sun? I really happen to like the sun, even when in a few weeks it's going to be too hot to sit in the sun.

Even though Athens is trying to get all modern on us, international and styled in plastic, there are still a lot of small family style places around. This one has fish, others have cooked foods, some have barbeque style meats. And Ouzo. Well...

Posted by betabug at 17:46 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)