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03 June 2005

Mailserver-Spiele der Cablecom

Doch wohl Zeit für einen Smarthost

Nachdem seit ewigen Zeiten die eigenen Mails direkt an die Mailserver der Empfänger verschickt hat, sieht es jetzt so aus, als ob ich doch noch einen "Smarthost" einrichten müsste, das heisst die Mails ultimativ über den Webserver meines Providers verschicken sollte. Heute habe ich (seit langer Zeit mal wieder) ein Mail über die PimpsNhosis-Mailingliste geschickt. Dabei habe ich dann eine hübsche Fehlermeldung erhalten.

Grund: Einige der Leute auf der Liste sind bei der CableCom/hispeed und haben auch eine Mailadresse dort (hey Eva!). Und deren Mailserver verwendet eine Blacklist, die sperrt, weil ich keine "richtige", fixe IP-Adresse habe. CableCom-Admins sind Idioten deren eigene User genug SPAM verschickt haben. Jetzt wollen sie das SPAM-Problem lösen indem sie anderen Vorschriften machen. Die glauben wohl nicht ernsthaft, dass über meinen gepflegten Sendmail jemand SPAM verschickt oder auf mein OpenBSD Viren drauflädt? Da werden einfach alle über einen Kamm geschert und eine Möglichkeit zur Austragung aus der Blacklist gibt es nicht. Was solls.

Vielleicht schaffe ich die Umstellung übers Wochenende, obwohl am Sonntag der "2005 Athens Fun Run" auf meinem Programm steht. Bis dann bekommt die liebe Eva wohl leider keine PimpsNhosis-Mails, sorry. Ausserdem muss ich erst mal wieder ins "Bat Book" schauen, habe schon länger nicht mehr an Sendmail gewerkelt.

Posted by betabug at 17:31 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 June 2005

Μ0υνάρες είναι;

Τι μας μαθαίνουνε τα ΚΤΕΛ

Περσι, το καλοκαίρι το πέρασα στη Λήμνο, σε ένα μικρό χωριό. Για να πάω στην πόλη, ξυπνούσα στις 6:30 και έπαιρνα το λεωφορείο του ΚΤΕΛ. Εκεί έκανα τα ψώνια μου, έπινα τους καφέδες μου και στη 1μμ ήμουνα στο ΚΤΕΛ για το τελευταίο λεωφορείο σπίτη. Μία άπο αυτές τις μέρες έγινε κάτι περίεργο.

Continue reading "Μ0υνάρες είναι;"
Posted by betabug at 23:22 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
06 June 2005

Getting to Run on the Weekend

Bus tickets are free today, since there are no busses anyway

Came in to work this monday and can't remember what I worked on last friday. Must have something to do with the weekend. Last weekends plan was to run 3.5 kilometers at the 2005 Athens Fun Run / Γυρος της Αθήνας. Like with many plans in didn't work out that way. This "running around Athens" event was somehow coupled with a "Day for the Environment". I think the organizers of those events screwed up in a really stupid way. They had blocked all roads for us to go to the start...

Continue reading "Getting to Run on the Weekend"
Posted by betabug at 10:04 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
07 June 2005

Another Big Shift at Apple

I didn't want to mention it, but is Intel now going to put up "Switcher" adds?

When topgan1 wrote about Apple going to use Intel processors yesterday, I just hoped so much that he was going to be proofed wrong. Looks like it is real. I double checked the calender, today is not April 1st. So Apple will indeed phase out PowerPC processors for Intels processors until 2007. I don't like that.

If there is anybody who can pull such a stunt, it is Apple. They already did something similar twice. But still I don't like it any better. Ofcoz the usual crowd of Steve-Jobs-reality-distorted Apple followers without a clue (the ones like that guy from Rainbow who said that Unix is a programming language) will applaud this U-Turn. Yesterday you told us that the Ghz race was all a lie? Today you tell us that PowerPC is not keeping up in the Ghz race and that's why we have to switch over, no problem. I felt pretty gloomy yesterday, thought about getting out of IT again. Why didn't I pick up that job as a shepherd on Limnos? But let me tell you my reasons for not liking this decision.

  • Competing with cheap hardware will not make Apples hardware any better, because customers won't see the difference and demand everything cheaper and cheaper. Quality will go down the gully.
  • Producing yet another two class society in the user base. No, we don't have that tool for your old PowerPC any more, buy new hardware.
  • Customers don't think logical when buying a puter. They believe they have to choose a machine to last forever. If you think logical that you will ditch that puter in a few years anyway, it may make sense to buy another PowerPC now. But if you want it to last forever, you will be put into a mental deadlock on what to buy. How many will just avoid that dilemma by buying PC?
  • Having to look at all the newspeak/doublethink PR that will follow this. Yesterday we told you..., today we tell you...
  • i386 Processors are just so boring. Fsck, Alpha is no more, MIPS is inexistant, will there be only Intel and Sparc? Not everybody wants to think in little grey boxes.
  • Producing new versions of programs is just a recompile? Except I will need access to another machine for testing. No problem for Adobe, but what about the little people, the devs who do shareware/freeware?

I could go on, but I won't. I didn't want to write about this at all, but the weblogs around me did not seem to have any reactions (except for topgan1), so I felt like I had to. BTW, what's next? Will Intel put up "Switcher" adds now? Welcome to the club of "everybody is equal"? Damned, I don't care about my computers being 20% faster, I care about my computers being inspiring.

Posted by betabug at 09:22 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
08 June 2005

New Recycling Program in the City of Athens

How long till old habits die?
Recycling container on Victoria square

Starting from last week there are now heaps of new recycling containers all over the city of Athens. On Victoria square there are about 5 of them, they are literally everywhere on the more populated streets. Those containers have three slots (as you might be able to spot from the picture), for paper, aluminium, and glass/plastic (combined).

I'm still meditating on the feasability of combining glass and plastic. Is there some clever machine out there somewhere that will later divide these up? Last I had heard (and seen on TV), recycling glass still involved a lot of manual labour, large belt drives where workers picked up non-glass fragments with thick gloves. Especially ceramics are poison for glass recycling.

At some point it will all come down to the people who are supposd to drop packaging material into those containers. The choice of paper, aluminium, glass, plastic and the placement of the containers suggests, that the plan is to get recycling going at the street trash level. Buy an aluminium can of a soft drin, then drop the can into the recycling container. As opposed to the system of collecting aluminium stuff at home and bring a box of the stuff to a central recycling center later.

We will see how the habits of people can adapt to this plan. In any case it would be nice if it works out. Myself I am more worried about battery recycling: I might be wrong, but I haven't heard anything about battery recycling in Greece yet. And the Greeks consume a hell of a lot of batteries. Myself I got a small pile waiting at home for some information where I can properly dispose of them (because of the lack of such information, I'm very reluctant to use anything battery powered).

Posted by betabug at 09:28 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
09 June 2005

Now, if sendmail isn't easy

That's what I call a smart host

As reported (in German) about my trouble with Cablecom in Switzerland, I am switching my sendmail to using a smarthost setup, which will route outgoing mail through my provider. It's kind of sad and a defeat for the free Internet, but what gives?

Sendmail configuration is often rumoured to be hard. I've already played around with it some times and I've read the bat book (the sendmail book from O'Reilly) a couple of times. Plus I had already grokked the concept of smarthost. So it was pretty easy. To my well kept m4 configuration file I just added one line:

define(`SMART_HOST', `')dnl

Then I regenerated the cf file with

copyed the resulting file to /etc/mail/ (where it is linked to become and then I restarted sendmail:
kill -HUP `head -1 /var/run/`
A few checks confirmed that mail is indeed flowing. So, after all, sendmail is easy.

Posted by betabug at 17:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
10 June 2005

Battery Recycling in Greece

More information that might help properly dispose toxical refuse

According to this article (in Greek) about Battery Recycling in Greece (ΑΝΑΚΥΚΛΩΣΗ ΜΠΑΤΑΡΙΩΝ), there are two chainstores (Carrefour and Praktiker) who accept used batteries and will properly ship them off for recycling. The article also gives a lot of background information about the problems with toxic battery waste. And it mentions several ways for people to get into action about it. First thing for me: I'll find a Carrefour so I can properly dispose the old batteries I have lying around. I'll also read more on the site itself, since they have lots of information about Recycling in Greece in general.

Just seen that Carrefour really mentions battery recycling on their website. So it looks like that piece of information is correct. Still, don't forget to use as few batteries as possible.

Posted by betabug at 09:07 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
14 June 2005

Take the Mac to the mountain!

HelMUG Tour to Karpenisi

As I learned from a recent "HelMUG Board Info" mail, the second barbeque/tour of HelMUG (Greek Mac User Group) will be a two day excursion to Karpenisi, scheduled for the weekend of July 9 and 10. (Updated:) There is now some info on the HelMUG website, though it's still not final. Also the date might change, in which case I'll post an update. I'm definitely planning to go, looking forward to a lot of hax0ring, tech talk and breathtaking mountain landscape in central Greece. It might become as good an excursion as the duckride to Grammeni Oxia. Take the Mac to the mountain!

Posted by betabug at 09:28 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Alte Werkzeuge und Exil-Inseln

Ein Wochenende mit Museen und Besuch im Benaki, gleich hier um die Ecke
Museums-Bilder: Tafel des
Makronisos-Museums, altes Buch und Fein-Hobel

Dieses Wochenende war wiedermal Museumsbesuch angesagt: Zufällig in der Zeitung entdeckt, dass im Museum Benaki (das in der Piraeus-Strasse, nicht das im Zentrum von Athen) die Ausstellung "outils des arts - art des outils" (kein Permalink, aber ein Link auf die aktuellen Ausstellungen) noch läuft. Werkzeuge und Kunst? Und dann noch mit Schweizer Organisatoren? Schon noch interessant...

Continue reading "Alte Werkzeuge und Exil-Inseln"
Posted by betabug at 17:33 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
15 June 2005

Greek Localization for 10.4 is Available

Greek Mac OS X without selling your soul

As mentioned at HelMUG, GR-X the unofficial, free and working localization of Mac OS X is available for 10.4 too. Download GR-X here for free from MacUpdate.

This is not the Greek localization from the "official" Apple Macintosh reseller in Greece (IMC) Rainbow SA. GRupdate, the patch from Rainbow is out for 10.4 too, but the problems are even worse then they were with Panther. GRUpdate for Tiger is definitely not recommended, even if you can get it (it's only available if you bought your Mac from Rainbow). If you want Greek menus and dialogs, get GR-X, if you only want to read and write Greek, use Cocoa applications and everything just works.

Posted by betabug at 09:19 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
16 June 2005

Post Roundup

Picking up ends and pieces

Today it's time for rounding up some older posts. There's no news about the Museum for political prisoners/exiles, but some observations about recycling, μουνάρες, the wheather, a solution for TV à l'arabe, and a quiet end to the bot attack. Read on for details...

Continue reading "Post Roundup"
Posted by betabug at 09:38 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
17 June 2005

My Connection Sucks^W Drops Too

But I'm taking control of the command line through screen(1)

Yesterday on irc (...sounds like one of those stories...) on #zope I talked to someone who goes by the nick "swissmade" and who was connected through a satellite link. He would come in again and again and ask the same question. When we finally got the answer through to him, he apologized by mentioning that output was often garbled due to the sat link. I recommended a shell account on a well connected server ( shell accounts come to mind, though not with a "free" account, rather one of the paying kind which lets you use background processes after you log out). Together with that, take the "screen" utility and irssi with bitlbee for irc and AIM/ICQ/MSN etc.

I had discovered screen some years ago in an article on daemonnews, the bsd news zine. The article stuck in my mind, as if it was yesterday. It was about a guy who lived in some rural area and through the crappy phone lines he often could get only about a 26kbps dial up connection. And lots of disconnects. Sounds like Greece to me. He solved his disconnect problems using screen - he would still get disconnected, but when he dialled in again, he could resume his session right where he left off. All it needs is a quick

screen -dr
and you get your session exactly where you left it, down to the key you pressed in the middle of a word when the line went down. I relied on this, last summer on Limnos island, when I was getting on the internet through GPRS. Most of the time I just picked up my mail with IMAPS (hey, bandwidth is expensive with GPRS), but sometimes I would take control of my server through my neverending screen session. There are quite a few tutorials about screen(1) around, so when I was hunting for that old article I found a lot of them.

Posted by betabug at 09:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
18 June 2005

Μία βόλτα στην νυχτερινή παραλία... του Club 22

Περιμένετε στην ουρά!

Παρασκευή βράδυ βγήκαμε με τον συγκάτοικο μου. Ο Χ. είχε προσκλήσεις στο καλοκαιρινό Club 22. Παραλία Παλιό Φάληρο και εννοείται που γυρίσαμε όλη την γειτονιά για να παρκάρουμε τ'αμάξι της παρέας [1]. Φτάσαμε στην είσοδο, αλλά δεν είδαμε πόρτα. Μπροστά μας μία ανθρωποθάλασσα...

Continue reading "Μία βόλτα στην νυχτερινή παραλία... του Club 22"
Posted by betabug at 22:49 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
19 June 2005

iPod thoughts

Now that I have had it for a while

Now that iPods are finally taking off in Greece, the kid who does the gopher job at my workplace asked me what iPod to buy. There is a much wider range of models now, compared to about 1.5 years ago, when I bought Generation 3 iPod with 10Gig. A wider range means more chance to get exactly what you need, but possible harder to decide. For myself, my iPod has turned out a good buy...

Continue reading "iPod thoughts"
Posted by betabug at 12:20 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
20 June 2005

Athens Archaeological Museum

Cool museum visit on a hot weekend
Zeus or Poseidon at the Athens Archaeological Museum

This was a hot weekend. So for Sunday we decided to go to a Museum. If you didn't know, Museums are airconditioned. Nice to calm down and cool down. The choice of the day was the Archaeological Museum on Patission street. A nice museum, but very big.

Too much to view all in one go, actually. After half an hour I am unable to read any more little information blurps. Also one of my gripes with this museum is that in some of the exhibits, the labelling is really confusing and not very informative. So I see this interesting, spoon-like thing behind the glass. What might that be? It's labelled No. 80713. Now the search starts, because the descriptions are not in numerical order. They are in groups depending on donours, places where stuff was found etc. And when I finally find it, all it tells me is "Spoon-like object, found at..., dated ca. ...". Right.

Solution: Just enjoy the nice sculptures. Don't forget to visit the garden. The cafeteria actually has normal prices. The museum shop is much cheaper than the one in the Museum Benaki (a cup for 19 Euro anyone?), but still museum-grade prices (cup for 10 Euro). The picture shows a statue where the authorities are not quite agreeing if it shows Zeus or Poseidon. A powerfull god anyway.

Posted by betabug at 22:56 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
22 June 2005

Last Show of S1ngles

What will we be doing Tuesday evenings in Summer now?

Yesterday evening aired the last show of "Singles" (or "S1ngles" as they spell it) on MEGA channel. This is the one and only show I've been regularly watching for some time. For everything else I'm trying to avoid watching TV. "Singles" is quite funny, sometimes stupid, often witty. Thinking of it, the witty parts are what's making it worth it. The show is not deep, cultural significant or thoughtfull, despite some attacks of philosophitis. Some of the lines of the show have been translated to Singlish - English in Comics form -- on most of them the fontsize is too small, but some of them are even readable.

In the last show (of this season, at least one of my flatmates friends said there will be another run starting January), as usual lots of threads were wound to an end. Some of it was very grave, one of the protagonists died in a car accident, so I hope the show won't turn into a normal "let's talk about our problems" greek TV soap. Usually on Tuesday evenings, me, my flatmate, and sometimes his friends, would assemble to watch "Singles". Let's see what we'll do in summer...

Posted by betabug at 09:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
23 June 2005

curl on Mac OS X 10.3 "failed assertion" problem and fix

Download with --limit-rate on 10.3 fails

Had to download 12 pdf files with sizes of about 30mb each. Wanted to use curl to limit the bandwidth. But it looks like the curl shipped with Mac OS X 10.3 has a problem, giving an error message of 'poll.c:282: failed assertion `pArray != (struct pollfd *) NULL'. Solution: Searched for the error message and found that I need a new version of curl from, which has curl 7.14.0 binaries for OSX available via link.

After that I was able to do:

curl --limit-rate 100k \
--location -c cookiejar -b cookiejar \
index.php?dir=&file={4-17PRINT,6-15PRINT,8-13,OTHERNAMES,...}" \
-o "#1.pdf"
and download the files without clogging all our bandwidth. The --location -c cookiejar and -b cookiejar parameters are there because at first I suspected there to be some kind of redirect and cookie thing happening.

Posted by betabug at 11:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

zope haikus

Poetry in software or what?

23.6.2005 on #zope:
< __mac__> woodt: you are on a cut/paste action when a manage_afterAdd is
                 called after a manage_beforeDelete
< __mac__> so you have to remeber in manage_beforeDelete that there might
                 come a manage_afterAdd after that
< betabug> that just sounds so philosophical
<@TheJester> Very Zen.
< betabug> so beforeDelete
< betabug> winter may go spring again
< betabug> manage_afterAdd
< betabug> 5-7-5, season reference -> complete haiku
<@TheJester> depends if you pronounce the underscore or not d8)
< betabug> definitely not, I never do (honest, not just in zope haikus)
< betabug> but changing the first line to "think beforeDelete" would be
          an improvement, though violatiing the "spirit of the moment"
<@TheJester> call beforeDelete / remembering spring may call /
So, this sounds really nice to me:

So beforeDelete
winter may go spring again
-- betabug 23.6.2005

Or, if you like TheJester's version better:

call beforeDelete
remembering spring may call
-- TheJester 23.6.2005
Which in my oppinion floats nicer from line to line. Also makes more sense in a zopeish way.

Comments? Additions? Flames?

Posted by betabug at 14:36 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
26 June 2005

Plone: Getting NavTreePortlet to Display Always 2 Sublevels

Sitemap-Mode and getSiteMapDepth might be the answer?

Yes, another of those boring technical posts. Trying in Plone to display a NavTreePortlet with always the first and second level of the navigation tree shown. Plus the current page highlighted. Found a hackish solution, but it may not be 100% what other people need. Basically we are switching to "sitemap" mode, set the sitemap depth to 2, and patch NavTreePortlet to highlight the current page in sitemap mode too. Here it comes...

Continue reading "Plone: Getting NavTreePortlet to Display Always 2 Sublevels"
Posted by betabug at 09:24 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 June 2005

Afternoon in Athens

And what to do in Athens when you visit from 16:00 to 23:00

Monday evening my friend Reuven visited me with his son Oren for a very short visit. They came by boat from Naxos and had to be at the airport at midnight. Oren had never been to Athens, so besides scheduling time for catching up talking, we made a little sightseeing program. So find out what we got together...

Continue reading "Afternoon in Athens"
Posted by betabug at 09:37 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)