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01 June 2007

Updated "Other Weblogs" Listing

See them by date

When you take a close look at the lower right of the main weblog page, you will maybe notice that the "Other Weblogs" listing has changed. I used to list the first 3 entries from most of the other blogs I'm reading, but each in its own little list. The problem with that was that sometimes authors would stop to write on their weblog and I started to move things in and out depending on that.

With the new "mini planet" (a Zope product btw) I've hacked up over the last few days, the first 3 entries of each blog are mixed into a big list, sorted by date. Seems to me to be a good compromise between showing the less active but still interesting blogs, but not loosing track of what's moving. Comments welcome!

Posted by betabug at 16:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
07 June 2007

Mountains and a Lake

Grisonia and Lake Constance

Tuesday morning we woke up early and took the train to Grisonia (Graubünden), one of the mountainous cantons of Switzerland. We had thought about getting my fathers car, because the trip would have been a bit shorter. In the end, going by train proved to be a nice idea, much more relaxed and much easier to look out of the window. In Chur (the capital of Grisonia) we changed trains to go to Ilanz, a small city in the mountains with a beautiful old walled city ring. The ride up there through the canyon of the river Rhine is wonderful.

Up there we met with friends and family, enjoyed stories, food and drink. We went on by car to Laax to visit with more family. On the way back we took that ages-old traditional transport, the swiss postal coach (Postauto), then we went back by train down the Rhine's wide valley.

Public transport in Switzerland is very nice - if it weren't for the prices. If you live there, you can buy a pass that is valid for a year and cuts prices in half. But for a visitor, the prices are truly breathtaking.

On Wednesday we did a bit of chocolate shopping in St.Gallen, said good bye to everybody and went on the train back to Munich. We left the train again in Lindau on Lake Constance (Bodensee). Lindau is the bavarian stronghold on the lake. The oldest part of the city is built on an island in the lake (connected with dams and bridges for trains and cars). We had a stroll around and a good look at the lake. The weather was very sticky and warm, even though it was mostly cloudy. After our little excursion we took the train to Munich where we arrived just in time to shop for dinner and for todays food (since today is public holiday where shops are closed).

Posted by betabug at 14:14 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
11 June 2007

The Blue Containers

Recycling revisited

They have arrived while I was away. I had already seen them for some time in more central parts of Athens, but now that I returned from Germany, I found them in my neighbourhood too: The blue containers for recycleable waste. They came together with a letter from our mayor, a little brochure, and a special bag (to collect such waste, not clear if the bag goes into the container too, maybe I should read the brochure). This means that our household will be able to dispose of some things in a manner that is more soothing to the ecologically aware mind...

Continue reading "The Blue Containers"
Posted by betabug at 10:01 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
13 June 2007

Bunker Wanted

Hacking for fun and fulfillment

A few weeks ago, r0sk (of #bsdcow, his blog is in the list) wrote about something they call "bunker" over there in .es: A few people coming together for an evening to hack on something, be it something useful (someone's pet project) or just taking something apart, seeing how it works (and maybe getting it back together). As I came home from work yesterday evening it occured to me that this is *just* what I would need here.

Continue reading "Bunker Wanted"
Posted by betabug at 10:19 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
17 June 2007

Code on the Go

Because spaghetti are nourishing too!

Is it just me? I like to write code while I am in public transport. Back in Switzerland, I used to commute by train, 1.5 hours each trip. A large part of that was in a clean, comfortable, and stuffed to the last place intercity train. I was often sitting there with barely enough place to move my elbows, but hacking away on my laptop (first a PowerBook 1400, a little later a Titanium PowerBook G4). I wrote most of the code for the SMS chat at STAR TV Switzerland like that.

On Saturday I flew back from Munich to Athens. I was a bit tired, not all too happy (not because of coming home, but because of that other story, personal, therefore not on the blog in public) but there I was, happily hacking away on a little Zope product (the one that lists the "other weblogs" on my blog's main page), extending little bits and ends on it.

I've noticed that I'm not doing equally well on whatever kind of hacking task I attempt while coding on the go. Debugging or writing tests doesn't work so well, and I probably wouldn't attempt to design some boring and solid system. But fleshing out some new feature, or driving through some new functionality by clicking in lines of new code, that works just fine (even if it sometimes results in a bit of spaghetti code). It's the kind of job where I am happy to leave in a comment "# TODO: add code to check these input values here". I'll come back to clean up these things later, the drive on the drive is getting the first line down on digital canvas.

Update: some of the post was missing, added all the text after "even if it sometimes results..." just now.

Posted by betabug at 01:12 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
19 June 2007

Awaiting Laurie Anderson

Under a pine tree

Lying under a pine tree, looking up at the sky. Hearing fragments of music wavering over from the rehearsal at the ancient theatre Herodion Attikis.

Lauri Anderson is performing tonight. I'll be there, with friends. I'm much too early, came right from the office. Now I have time for a nap in the shade.

Posted by betabug at 18:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
21 June 2007

European Music Festival

All over town

Looks like the European Music Festival is on again, with concerts all over Athens (and some other places too) every evening till Saturday. Here is a program of concerts in Athens. The weather is fine, so let's see how much fun we can scoop up!

Posted by betabug at 16:09 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
25 June 2007

Ein Athener Wochenende

Sonntag abend, zurückdenken

Freitags nach der Arbeit bin ich gleich ins Zentrum gefahren. Verabredet war ich mit Alexandros zum Europäischen Musikfestival schauen gehen. Getroffen habe ich in schon in der Metro, so Zufälle gibts. Ab Syntagma war dann erstmal wenig los. Kurz nach Sieben spielte eine Heavy Metal Truppe aus der Schweiz auf, namens "Green Fairy". Sie spielten ganz gut, schmissen auch nett beim Headbangen mit den Langhaaren um sich. Nur die Nachmittagsstimmung passte nicht ganz dazu, es war einfach noch zu hell fuer Heavy Metal. Die nächste Band war nicht so das Wahre und so zogen wir weiter, auf der Suche nach dem nächsten Spielort. Den fanden wir aber nicht, denn dort war das Konzert schon vorbei. Dann eben in ein Cafe auf was kühles zu trinken.

Den Samstag hab ich mit Schlafen, Lesen und Gesprächen verbracht. Die neue Wohnung (naja, so neu nun auch nicht mehr) ist nicht allzu heiss, da kann mans schon mal aushalten. Dazu habe ich meinen Ventilator so montiert und justiert, dass ich die ideale Luftzufuhr bekomme, wenn ich auf meinem Hochbett meiner Siesta fröhne. Wer braucht da schon eine Klimaanlage? Die hatte ich dann doch noch, wenigstens für die heissesten zwei Stunden: Da wir immer noch kein Internetz zu hause haben, hab ich mich ins Internet-Cafe verzogen, mit zugehöriger Tiefkühlung. Beim rausgehen war die Hitze draussen richtig angenehm.

Sonntags dann aber ans Meer! Ab nach Voula, wo eine meiner Mitbewohnerinnen eine Connection mit einem ruhigen Strand hat. Endlich mal baden... ich muss gestehen, dass das für dieses Jahr mein erstes Bad im Meer war. Hat wirklich gut getan. Danach haben wir noch einen Spaziergang an ein kleines Kap gemacht. Und dann zurück nach Hause. Dabei ist mir mal wieder klar geworden, warum ich kein Auto habe: Am Sonntag abend in die Stadt zurückfahren macht einfach keinen Spass. Im öffentlichen Verkehr kann man sich fahren lassen. Auch wenns theoretisch länger dauert, ist es einfach weniger stressig. Und wer will schon sein Athener Wochenende mit Stess abschliessen lassen?

Posted by betabug at 15:02 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Die Hitzewelle

Thermometer oder so

Jaja, es ist heiss hier. Hitzewelle oder so. In Elefsina sind 46 Grad Celsius gemessen worden, während die Nachrichten hier davon berichten, dass in Athen die Temperaturen 40 Grad übersteigen, für Dienstag wird der Höhepunkt der Hitzewelle erreicht. So tragisch ist das für mich nicht, ich scheine die Wärme gut zu vertragen. Bin heute morgen aufgewacht, weil ich vergessen hatte in meinem Zimmer nachts den Vorhang aufzuschieben, da wurds heiss. Mal kurz den Ventilator angemacht, dann gings schon besser zum weiterschlafen.

Die NZZ berichtet derweil "1987 waren bei einer ähnlichen Hitzewelle, die damals zwölf Tage dauerte, rund 1500 Menschen ums Leben gekommen"... Liebe NZZ-Journis, lasst euch gesagt sein, das jetzt ist *nichts* im Vergleich zu 1987. Die zwei Wochen im Sommer 1987 kann man nicht so einfach beschreiben, das war eine der Gelegenheiten, wo die Natur gezeigt hat, wo der Hammer hängt, oder "wo der Heiri den Most holt", wie man in der Schweiz sagt.

Ups, bevor ichs vergesse: Mein kleines Wetterbild (rechts unten) scheint etwas aus dem Takt gekommen zu sein. Es liegt so einiges daneben bei der Temperatur die da grad angezeigt wird. Dafür ist es aber schön bunt :-)

Posted by betabug at 15:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
27 June 2007

Going Home is Hot

Moving without moving

Usually I take one bus and then walk 10-15 minutes to get home. Now with the heat wave in Athens I try to do without the walk. I take the bus, switch to the Metro, then take another bus. Takes longer, but less heat. Today I walked into the Metro station and they had no power. There was reduced light on and the passengers were informed that trains would be "a couple minutes late". The "end of time" athmosphere indeed lastet only a short time, then full lights came on again.

A minute or two more and the train came. It took me along, wondering what would happeen if power failed again with me in there.

Due to the heat wave electricity consumption is at a record high. We're half expecting a blackout. We're also being asked to save on energy to avoid that. Indeed at the office all unncessary lights are out and at home I follow the same line.

In other news, temperatures should start to drop any moment now. Fine with me, for now we've seen enough of those 44-47 degrees C.

Posted by betabug at 22:15 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)