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01 January 2008

Happy New Year with Three Years of ch-athens

Happy New Year! Guet's Neus! Καλή χρονιά!
Bang! The Fireworks!

This weblog has turned three. Three years of more or less lazy or busy "blogging". There's again more visitors, but not as dramatic an increase as I had in 2006. There's also me slacking a bit more, with the post frequency sometimes going down to a post every 3 or 4 days. I think the passing December was the worst month in that respect. I'm not going to worry or put pressure on myself there, when I have something to write, I'll unslack enough. But let's have a look at the passing year...

Continue reading "Happy New Year with Three Years of ch-athens"
Posted by betabug at 12:37 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
02 January 2008

Griechische Ostern 2008

Kleine Erinnerung für alle (Ferien-)Planenden:

Die Griechischen Ostern 2008 fallen dieses Jahr auf den 27. April (das ist der Ostersonntag). Wie üblich wird Reiseverkehrsmässig wieder viel los sein. In der Osterwoche muss man auch damit rechnen, dass wegen Fastenzeit in nicht so touristischen Lokalen die Speisekarte stark eingeschränkt oder verändert sein wird.

Im Rest von Europa fällt der Ostersonntag auf den 23. März. Der Modus wann Ostern ist, ist übrigens bei allen gleich: Ostersonntag ist der erste Sonntag nach dem ersten Vollmond nach dem Frühlingsanfang. Die unterschiedlichen Termine ergeben sich durch die Verwendung des "alten", orthodoxen Kalenders für die bestimmung des Frühlingsanfangs. Je nach Mondstand können die beiden Ostern zusammenfallen oder bis zu vier Wochen auseinanderdriften.

Posted by betabug at 13:16 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
03 January 2008

Shop 'til You Drop!

... and look at the ice skaters on the way
Ice skaters on Munich's "Stachus" square

This vacation I've been bitten by the shopping virus. I got books, books, books, earphones, chocolate (as usual mostly to give away), a new firewire cable for my old iPod, swimming trunks (we're planning to go to an indoor pool here), and a cheap digital camera (at a reduced price, more about that one in another post Real Soon Now™). To top all this, today I went out and got a suitcase with wheels, because no way am I going to carry all that weight over my shoulder to the airport. I'll be broke, but at least my back won't hurt.

On the way to today's shopping spree, we came by Munich's "Stachus" square. This time of year it sports an ice rink with people enjoying skating under an exceptional blue sky. In the back of the picture you can see the palace of justice. Usually it's more gray skies here, and it seems to be always cold.

Posted by betabug at 15:54 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 January 2008

Χειμερινό κολύμπι

-2° και τι μας νοιάζει;

Χτες πήγαμε για κολύμπι (σε πισίνα, ακόμα Μόναχο είμαι). Το κολυμβητήριο έχει πισίνα μέσα και έξω, η εξωτερική πισίνα έχει περίπου 34° Κελσίου, οπότε είσαι πολύ άνετος, εκτός αν μένεις πολύ ώρα και αρχίζεις και κρυώνεις στα αυτιά (περίπου -2° έχουμε). Είναι μια παράξενη αίσθηση με τα φώτα πολυκατοικιών τριγύρω, μαύρο ουρανό από πάνω, και ατμό να ανεβαίνει από το νερό που κάνεις μπάνιο.

Κάθε μισή ώρα βάζουν μπροστά κάποιες μεγάλες τρόμπες, το νερό γυρίζει σαν μεγάλος στρόβιλος στην στρογγυλή πισίνα. Στην μέση της πισίνας έχει ένα μέρος που τότε γίνεται σαν whirlpool. Όταν κάθεσαι εκεί με τους μπουρμπουλήθρες και τον ατμό νιώθεις σαν να σε βράσουν οι κανιβάλοι. Πάντως πολύ χαλαρωτικό.

Φωτογραφίες δεν έχω, αλλά στην σελίδα εδώ με την πανοραμική φωτογραφία όλο αριστερά φαίνεται η εξωτερική πισίνα.

Posted by betabug at 23:47 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
06 January 2008

Nymphenburg Palace On Ice

A winter wonderland, especially when in a warm room and looking at pix
Ice skaters on Nymphenburg Channel

Yesterday we went for a walk next to the channel leading to the Nymphenburg Palace. I've been there before, but this time the little lake at the start of the channel and the channel itself were frozen. People skating on the ice and playing Eisstockschiessen (ice stock sport, aka bavarian curling). It had been cold for a few days, and it was cold as we marched along the channel. See some pictures, bigger than usual, because of my nice new camera...

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Posted by betabug at 18:43 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
07 January 2008

Shut Up and Listen to the Music

Shure E2C in-ear headphones

My work environment has many acoustic disturbances: phones ringing, people talking, a radio station shuffling through the same 100 songs, sometimes even machines rattling. To listen to music I'm using good old "over the ears" headphones. They passively cancel out some noise, I had considered to get active noise canceling, but from what I hear, they won't do much good with things like the radio whining on. So instead I listened to my friend saad and got Shure e2c in-ear headphones. Haven't tried them at work yet, but they worked wonders on the plane back from Munich...

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Posted by betabug at 17:54 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
08 January 2008

The Glyptothek in Munich

Another Bavarian - Greek connection
Architecture and sculpture meet at the Glyptotech in Munich

On my last day in Munich, we paid a visit to the Glyptothek. This is a museum that was built by King Ludwig I to house a collection of sculptures, mainly from Greece. What a suitable location when travelling home to Athens the next day! The exhibition is quite impressive. I've been there before and I'm always enjoying the mix of the classical art with the architecture from Leo von Klenze. This time I mainly went there to get some pictures to try out my new camera. I was lucky to get some acceptable pictures so I'm thinking about getting some kind of "gallery" function on my site to be able to present them better.

I think everytime when you revisit a place, you notice something new. This time it was the difference between the current appearance of the place (everything in white to light earth tones, nothing in color) and the original layout (where lots of things were vividly colored). This kind of reflects the sculptures too, as many of them were painted "in their days" and have been sanded to marble colors by time.

The very next day I went home to a warmer Athens. I bet if some of the sculptures could talk they would wish to do the same too.

Posted by betabug at 21:26 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
10 January 2008

Night Pictures

It's dark

The days are already getting longer, but when I get out of work it's still dark outside. Time to try out my new camera in low light or night situations. I planned to make these pictures for my (yet to be published) review of my new camera (coming Real Soon Now™). Anyway, as I've got nothing to write, here are the pictures...

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Posted by betabug at 22:24 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
11 January 2008

There Should Be a Rootkit Detector On It Too...

The new and the old
Matohandra and USB memory stick from my keychain

Somehow I think this combination of "matohandra" (ματόχαντρα) and USB memory stick on a detachable part of my keychain is extremely funny. If you didn't know, a "matohandra" is a charm that helps against the evil eye. Actually there should be a rookit detector on the USB memory stick too :-) The new and the old.

Of course if I had such bad taste as to use Windoze, I could put an Antivirus package on the USB stick, that would fit in with the "metaphysical" aspect too.

Posted by betabug at 09:58 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Who's Pickling Who?

A python hunt

Today I was faced with an error message of "TypeError: can't pickle instancemethod objects" and a traceback that was unusual in that it didn't reference my code at all (see below). Peterbe recently posted a similar problem to the Zope list, but in his case this happened only in a test case. For me it was right inside my code. I found another mention on the python list, which pointed me to the right direction, namely assigning a method as an attribute to an object, when I thought I was assigning a string...

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Posted by betabug at 14:44 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
12 January 2008

graffic meets betabug meets graffic

Foreign programmers in Greece meetup
Blogger and programmers meet in Kolonaki cafeteria

Here I am, sitting outside a Kolonaki bar with graffic having a beer and talking about being a foreign programmer in Greece. Graffic is from Spain and works here at a big ISP, writing Java and Python stuff. He's here for much of the same reason than me: It's just nice to be here.

We've been to the Parko Eleftherias first for some coffee, now we're hitting the beers and drinks. Unfortunately I left my camera cable at home, so the picture is taken with the camera of his MacBook pro.

Graf: Really nice place Parko Eleftherias, I've never been there, but since today it has become a place to visit again with my friends. What else... It's a bit cold to write, but I hope a beer can help a bit :)

Posted by betabug at 18:55 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (1)
15 January 2008


Ab ins Bett

An der Party vorgestern hab ich eigentlich fast gar nichts getrunken - schliesslich musste ich fahren. Aber gestern gings mir trotzdem als hätt ich alleine eine Flasche Ouzo leer gemacht, Kopfweh und verdrehter Magen. Den Tag durch hab ich noch versucht etwas produktives zu tun, aber das war natürlich sinnlos. Schlussendlich bin ich früher gegangen und hab mich zuhause um sechs Uhr abends ins Bett gelegt. Durchgeschlafen bis um elf, dann nach einer kurzen Unterbrechung bis heut morgen. Jetzt geht's mir besser.

Heute morgen dann auch wieder eitel Sonnenschein draussen. Nach dem gestrigen Regenwetter fielen mir aber genau die Zeilen aus einem Lied der Eurythmics ein:

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion
I want to walk in the open wind
I want to talk like lovers do
I want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you

Meinem Kopf und Magen geht es jedenfalls wieder gut.

Posted by betabug at 08:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
16 January 2008

Study and Play

Congratulations Eleni!
The fries at the Athens University building in Panepistimiou, by night

Yesterday afternoon the gf had her (second to last) final exam... and passed! Congratulations Eleni! I'm so proud of you!

I'm usually shy to put too personal stuff on my weblog. But yesterday was in a large part governed by this exam. In the morning we phoned, I was nervous through the last preparations, then was even more nervous through the one hour that her professor quizzed her on her three chosen areas of musicology. In the end she got a good grade and one chapter of her studies is closing.

Unfortunately we had to celebrate apart: While she went out with friends in Munich, I went out with a few good friends, first to a bar near Klathmonos square, then to the taverna "Ipeiros" in the meat market in Athinas street. On the way back I passed by the Athens University building in Panepistimiou street, which connects me to the gf in multiple ways: First it was at this uni that she studied for a year in Athens (not necessarily at this building), then it is an example of neoclassical, "othonian" architecture, and she knows all and everything about that period, which I find quite cool.

Posted by betabug at 10:16 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
19 January 2008

Locomondo - Greek Reggae

Nuclear Fusion at the Kyttaro

When Panos' SMS reached my phone, I was deep into messing up some data structures in python, my ears plugged with some soothing tunes. Only a few hours later did I come around to look at the phone and notice the invitiation for a concert of "Locomondo plays at the Kyttaro, you're in?" To be honest, I had to look up Locomondo, but once I did, I remembered some posters I had seen and a song that I had heard. So what kind of band is Locomondo? It's a Greek reggae band. What's more, they don't stop at giving Jamaican music a tribute, they fuse with some good Greek influences. This could all be very cheesy, but in fact it r0xx!

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Posted by betabug at 19:29 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
20 January 2008

Άλσος Ηλίθιων

Που είμαστε;
Ο χάρτης στο Άλσος Ιλισίων

Άντε να βρεις το δρόμο σου με αυτόν τον χάρτη. Βρίσκεται σε μια είσοδο του Άλσους Ιλισίων και θα ήταν πολύ χρήσιμος, μόνο που τον γεμίσανε αφίσες, γκραφίτι και μουτσουριές. Δεν καταλαβαίνεις τίποτα και χάνεσαι στο δάσος σαν την μικρή κοκκινοσκουφίτσα (ή τους Χάνσελ και Γκρέτελ, όλο τους μπερδεύω).

Posted by betabug at 16:50 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
21 January 2008

How Not To Buy a Camera - and get away with it!

Review of my Samsung Digimax Cyber 530
The "Propilaeen" in Munich

In case you are planning to buy a digital camera, the prudent way is to check on the web what's available, find out which cameras have positive reviews, and then decide which ones offer the best features and quality for the best price. Don't just buy a cheap camera on the spur of the moment... except that's exactly what I did. Lucky bastard that I am, I got a good value for my money, but for a moment I was scared clean and nice. Read on for my review of this camera...

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Posted by betabug at 22:16 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
22 January 2008

Do I Get To Keep My New Camera?

Should it stay or should it go now?

After yesterdays camera review post, there was a flurry of comments (not something I'm that much used to). So far most of them remarked on the cake in one of the pictures, bummer. One little bit more drastic reaction came from saad, who posted a blog answer Ditch The Camera, Your Phone Roxx! and even went as far as to set up an online petition to get the old style eerie, crappy camera pixx back... what can I say? Do I get to keep my new toy^Wcamera? Should I go back to taking blurry, otherworldly phonecam shots? Maybe you can decide!

Posted by betabug at 09:33 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
24 January 2008

Ein weiterer Schritt und eine weitere Gratulation

Die letzte Prüfung

Heute Nachmittag hat Eleni auch die allerletzte Prüfung auf dem Weg zum "Magister" bestanden. Gratuliere! Und wiedermal hat die Geschichte bewiesen, dass man eine halbe Stunde mündliche Prüfung tatsächlich überleben kann, auch in Byzantinistik, auch wenn man vorher nervös ist :-) Ich freue mich so! Ich glaube solche Abschlüsse sind die Punkte, wo einem bewusst wird, dass es im Leben immer nur vorwärts (oder weiter) geht, dass man weder zurück kann, noch stehen bleiben. Aber der nächste Teil des Lebens kann genauso schön werden, wie es der letzte war (oder sogar noch schöner)!

Posted by betabug at 18:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

That thing called #zope

A few thoughts on community or so

It seems that I hang out a lot on the IRC channel #zope on Today this was again noticed by a few people, when someone looking for help addressed me directly instead of the people on the channel in general. Usually I'm on #zope when I'm at work, and most of the time my work comes along pretty well to answering the occasional question. Despite helping with some problems, today I've committed something like 60-80 lines of code (it could have been more, but some problems require a lot of research and result in little code - in this case I was trying to find out why one of my pages crashes IE6). So it's not like I'm not doing anything besides "chatting" :-)

To me, #zope is a useful resource, even though there have only been a few questions I've asked (and got answers for) versus the many I'm helping with. But I remember some times when #zope got me out of deep water. Helping out on IRC really is an easy way to contribute to a community, and for a developer dependent on a particular Open Source software, the community has a big importance. In #zope I seem to have the role of asking back, asking for details and tracebacks, even when I don't know anything about the particular area in question. This often seems to have the result that someone more knowledgeable unidles and provides the real answer.

On the other hand I'm sending a lot of people to #plone, the channel for a certain CMS which I'm not particularly fond off, which is built using Zope. Many new users can't really distinguish, so they're either unaware of the appropriate channel, or they ask in the wrong channel just because they didn't receive a reply right away in the proper one. Plone has its own particular set of problems (probably a set from the BTree package, so all of them can fit in). The people who know these problems have their own channel, so it's really worth it asking in the right place. Also keep in mind that these are all volunteers helping out in their spare time: Show some patience!

Posted by betabug at 19:15 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
25 January 2008

Sunlight In Green

Who says Athens is only gray?
Grove in the Alsos Ilision, Athens, Greece.

After a very interesting evening out yesterday, I went home early from work today. Normally when I leave work, it's already dark outside. Going home early for a change has the benefit to see the famous sunlight of Attica at work. There were many scenes where I wanted to take a picture, but I must admit I was too lazy, sick and hung over to get my camera out (or even the phone).

Instead I'll throw you this picture I took last Saturday in the Alsos Ilision and then stitched together to a small panorama using Hugin. I've had this picture open for all this week on my work computer, couldn't get enough to look at it. It's very much different from the montage/panorama pictures I made with my phone cam with their crazy eeriness and homemade air, but still I like it. It's just a nice little grove, and it shows me that there are some very beautiful places in our city.

Posted by betabug at 19:44 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
28 January 2008



Kleine Erinnerung an mich selbst: Wenn die Kartoffeln beim Raffeln schon wässrig erscheinen und dann beim in die Pfanne tun eine Konsistenz wie Kartoffelstock haben, einfach gar nicht erst versuchen eine Rösti draus zu machen. So was von Pleite. Deswegen auch kein Food-Foto, wie eigentlich geplant. Naja, beim nächsten Mal wirds besser.

Posted by betabug at 21:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 January 2008

To The Bone

Cold and shaky
Dressing up for office work

Yesterday the earth shook. Today it's chilly cold.

It might not be a record breaking low in temperatures, but the cold goes to the bone when you sit all day in the office. Better to dress up and try to shield yourself from the outside world.

Posted by betabug at 11:00 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)

Testing a new moblog setup for COREBlog

Not a really interesting post

I'm just testing a new moblog setup for my weblog. "moblog" means "mobile blogging", which means I can post by mail or with my phone. As this is just a test, the real content will come later likely...

Posted by betabug at 16:02 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
31 January 2008

Moblog Posting Through Procmail in COREBlog

Why wait for POP3?

The COREBlog blogging software for Zope has a nice "moblog" feature, which allows to post by email. Unfortunately it uses a POP3 account, and therefore has to be polled through a cronjob to check that POP3 account. That introduces a delay on mobile posts and results in a lot of unnecessary jobs being run on the server. Instead of this it's fairly easy to set up procmail to post through mail more directly...

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Posted by betabug at 09:33 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)