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03 October 2008

Drug Tests at Apple!!! NOW!!!

Anybody thought of the children?

Since I don't seem in the spirit to write something serious on this filthy blogz0r, I might as well vent some steam with a little RANT here. So, one of our applications is using the file(1) command to identify what certain files on the file system are. And what does Apple do with the 10.5 (Leopard) update? They change the command line parameters... where -i was documented as "Causes the file command to output mime type strings rather than the more traditional human readable ones" now it's "If the file is a regular file do not classify its contents". It's doing more or less the complete contrary to what it did before. This change apparently happened from version 4.10 to 4.17 of the file utility (and possibly the hopefully soon drug tested Apple guys innocently picked up that ugly change without looking... DAMN, YOU SHOULD HAVE LOOKED!!).

The solution is to use the long option version --mime, which (probably by a comical accident) the loonies didn't change.

Next Apple employees up for drug testing: Whoever is responsible for that ssh authentication f*up in 10.5. WTF? Typing the ssh keyphrase into the terminal wasn't good enough for you? If I needed a fancy popping up window, I probably wouldn't be using the Terminal in the first place you luserz!

Posted by betabug at 11:49 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
07 October 2008

Happy 60th Birthday 2CV

Still young after all those years!
My old 2CV at the time of the 1999 world meeting in Greece

A mail from Jukka (finish 2CV fan) reminded me this morning that the 2CV is celebrating its 60th birthday today! Happy Birthday little car, so young after all those years!

Time also to remember all those hours, days and nights I spent in the two 2CVs I had the luck to have owned. The time I drove all the night through the hills of then northern Yougoslavia (nowadays Croatia and Slovenia), endlessly turning over the same cassette, tired but enjoying the drive till the daylight came up and the driving continued into the day with Charlott taking over the wheel. Or the first days driving my first 2CV from France to Portugal, no music player yet, singing along aloud (happily nobody heard me), then picking up some hitchhikers and enjoying the company.

More: Stopping in Greece at the side of the road, driving into an olive grove, in the shade of the old trees replacing the engine's ventilator because it had cracked. Back in Switzerland in a freezing winter, with so much snow that the roads weren't cleared, me speeding along, overtaking Mercedes and BMWs two and three at a time on the white, snow covered roads. The same winter, driving home in the evening from work, the car and the atmosphere so thoroughly cooled down, that the 20 minute drive home gave the heating just enough time to warm the car up from -15ºC to 5ºC, me covered in 2 pullovers, down jacket, gloves, cap and a woolen blanket over my legs.

Finally leaving Switzerland and before that bringing the car to my uncle's garage almost with tears in my eyes, to have it find a new owner there.

Happy Birthday 2CV! May you stay with us strong and healthy for a long time yet!

Posted by betabug at 10:06 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
14 October 2008

Stadtbus Lindau erweitert Einzugsgebiet

Angebot des ÖV ausgedehnt
Stadtbus Lindau in Griechenland

Wer hätte das gedacht? Anstelle wie andernorts den "public service" zu reduzieren und immer mehr Kurse einzustellen, baut der Stadtbus Lindau sein Einzugsgebiet zügig aus. Benutzer einer Monatskarte für alle Zonen können jetzt schon bis Halkida in Griechenland fahren. Es lebe die Europäische Zusammenarbeit!

Die wirkliche Geschichte ist natürlich, dass "nördliche" Verkehrsbetriebe Busse oft ausmustern und verkaufen, wenn sie für hiesige Verhältnisse noch perfekt brauchbar sind. In kleineren Griechischen Städten werden die Busse dann eingesetzt ohne erst umlackiert zu werden. Ein ähnliches Beispiel habe ich in Patras gesehen, dort verkehren manchmal Busse, die aus Zürich stammen... die blau-weisse Lackierung haben passenderweise auch die Verkehrsbetriebe in Patras und am Logo stört sich keiner (leider ohne Foto).

Posted by betabug at 09:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
15 October 2008

Blow Me Away!

Sailing - now with wind too!
Rainbow over Euboea

Last weekend I took another trip with the sailing boat that welcomed me two weeks ago. This time we took part in a race that led us through a course around some buoys and back to Halkida. We did the same course on Saturday and Sunday.

Wind was much stronger than the last time. We had about 5-6 Beaufort on Saturday and 6-7 on Sunday. The boat is pretty big, so it went quite well with the rougher sea and I immensely enjoyed myself. Only on Sunday morning, while leaving from the port the wind was extremely calm and everybody wondered if the weather report could have been so wrong. Those boats who brought out their spinnakers soon learned that the weather report insisted on being right. They had to take them down as soon as the race started and the spinnakers started to flap around in the stiffening wind.

Sails behind our boat

Our boat was in the process of changing to a bigger genoa sail, but we noticed the change of wind at the last moment. Only problem we had to fold and stow away the second sail again, no real harm done.

There were less people on the boat, so I had to help a little bit more than last time. I also started to pick up a tiny little bit more of the Greek naval terms. Understanding them wasn't much of a problem, as I see and feel what is meant when they are spoken. It seems to take some time for me to get them into my system so I can remember and speak them myself though.

Enjoying the race

On Sunday I really enjoyed the last bit of the race the most. We were racing in a straight line to the finishing line, going quite fast, it almost fellt like going on rails. I arrived tired, hungry, with my knees and shins all blue and red, my head with a funny red color (forgot to put on sunblock), but I was happy.

Posted by betabug at 09:04 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
16 October 2008

Shellfun: Let the past come to haunt you!

Using history-search in ksh

OpenBSD's standard ksh shell has a feature I didn't learn for a long time: It allows you to search through past used commands (the "history" - Other modern shells have similar mechanisms, I'll follow OpenBSD's ksh here anyway.). Most people are familiar with using the arrow keys to go step by step back through the history to re-use a command you used a while ago, instead of typing it in again and again.

But it could get tiresome when you would have to step through a lot of commands to find that clever assortment of pipes and redirections with just the right set of parameters on that command you used 4 hours ago. What you can do there is what man ksh describes as "search-history". You pull it up with ^R (control-r) and start typing a few characters that you remember from your command line. "search-history" will then start to autocomplete with what it finds from your command history. Typing ^R again will get you the "next find" in the list, ^C will cancel the search and of course you can edit the line that you got. As usual, man ksh has a bit more information (grep for "search-history" in there).

Posted by betabug at 09:51 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
18 October 2008

bookstop: An Addition to my Athens bookshop list

Small, but sympathetic

For some time now I've been keeping a list of English bookstores in Athens, through posts on this blog and that page that collects them all on my "other" site. Today I searched for something from Haruki Murakami and didn't find anything at Politia bookstore. But I remembered another English book shop a bit further off on Akadimia which I had seen in passing. I went there and indeed they did have 5 or 6 of the books there.

The shop isn't very big, but it's well lit and sympathetic. It's been there for years, but somehow I have never before been inside. The address is Acadimias 69, smack in the center of Athens, on the web at

Posted by betabug at 20:13 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
20 October 2008

Water Falls

Sunday rain, M.C. Escher, Tea with Marialena
A sketch of Lycabettos hill and a ticket to the Herakleidon museum in Athens

There's this special thing with the Internet, that you get to know people in person after you've known them in writing for some time already. At least this happens much more now, where it used to be a phenomenon of letter friends and public figures, now with bloggers and online chat, it's an experience I've happened a few times.

This Sunday I met Marialena whose weblog I've followed for some years now. I had happened on that blog somehow by accident, but the style of writing and many of the topics interested me (even though I must confess don't read everything always). After exchanging comments for some time now we finally got our act together and met in real life. We went to see an exhibition of works (and works-in-progress) of M.C. Escher at the Herakleidon museum in Thisio.

To get to the exhibition we had to pass through an unexpected downpour. Marialena had to pass with the scooter through a river that had formed below the Thisio metro station. I arrived by train and was greeted by a crowd who waited the rain out in the station building. We walked through the downpour to the museum and while we watched, the sky cleared up.

The exhibition was really quite the experience. I had known reproductions of some of his works and remember them since my childhood. The ever falling water, with all its details was still alive in my memory. Seeing actual prints, along with sketches and even printing plates (in stone and wood) in the original is much more impressive though. Both original lithography and wood print are much more expressive than reproductions in "normal" offset print.

After the exhibition, we went for some tea and chat. Our wet feet tried to dry up a little bit, the hot tea was helping. We seemed to have a lot of stories to tell, as we went on and on for hours. Finally even Panos showed up and we talked some more, the two of them starting to talk about scooters and bikes. As for the picture: A few hours before the meeting I passed by the National Gallery to draw Lycabettus hill from there. The photo shows one of the two postcards I made, together with the nice ticket from the Herakleidon museum.

Posted by betabug at 21:34 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
22 October 2008

Noch ein Generalstreik

Gestern wieder zuhause gearbeitet

Die ausländischen Medien haben über den Generalstreik von gestern berichtet. (Hier zum Beispiel die NZZ.) Hab mir noch überlegt einen Kommentar zu hinterlassen, etwa "business as usual, ein Streik wie so viele". Was die Politiker von Themen wie "Altersversorgung", "wirtschaftlich benachteiligte" und "Erziehung/Ausbildung" halten, haben sie mit den Blanko-Checks an die Finanzblase deutlich genug gezeigt.

Diese Streiks und deren aggressivere Nebenerscheinungen gibt es deswegen, weil es sonst keine demokratische Mitbestimmung für das Volk gibt. Wo es keine friedlichen Mittel zur Meinungsäusserung gibt, müssen die Leute wohl oder übel auf die Strasse gehen, um sich zu krassen Misständen zu äussern. Erinnert sei da an ein Zitat:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

—John F. Kennedy

Ich bin, wie in letzter Zeit immer bei solchen Gelegenheiten, zuhause geblieben und hab dort gearbeitet. Mit dem guten Wetter, das in unsere Wohnung flutet, war es fast wie Sonntag - mal von der Arbeit abgesehen.

Posted by betabug at 14:28 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
24 October 2008

London After Midnight... in Athens

Shock me real good

Tuesday evening Panos had the idea to go to a concert, despite the general strike on that day. Panos has a bike, so that's how we went. All I knew was that it was a "goth" concert. After having been to the Dark Sun club with him here in Athens, I'm open to that, so on we went to see London After Midnight...

Continue reading "London After Midnight... in Athens"
Posted by betabug at 09:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
25 October 2008

Zwiki 0.61 Released - Cleanup and Catchup

Moving ahead

Woke up this lazy Weekend noon to find Simon has released 0.61 of the stable branch of Zwiki. This is not some bombastic feature release, rather a version that's catching up and cleaning up some stuff. I'm happy that Simon did this, since I've been slacking too much on this project, maybe it will get me going a bit again now.

Posted by betabug at 12:01 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
26 October 2008

Shot Marks

Historical artifacts?
Shot marks on historical facade in Athens, Greece

On my Sunday drawing excursion I came by this building which spotted some examples of what I guess are shot marks from WWII or the following civil war in Greece. I guess they are left there on purpose, because the building is in good shape otherwise, it's even listed in the "contemporary monuments database" of the "Archeology of the city of Athens". No mentions of the war wounds on the facade though. Also in the first and second floor the marks seem at least to have been partially repaired.

The address is Αμαλίας 42 (Amalias 42), just opposite Hadrian's arch and the temple of Olympian Zeus. Click on the image for a big panorama view of the scenery.

Posted by betabug at 17:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
29 October 2008


28. Oktober, Feiertag in Griechenland

Feiertage gibt's in verschiedenen Varianten. Die einen sind wie Leuchttürme: Als Kind kam mir Weihnachten immer so vor, Wochen im Voraus hielt ich Ausschau nach den Feiertagen, die etwas Ruhe, einen schützenden Hafen vor dem langweiligen Alltag der Schule bieten würden. Andere sind wie ein guter Bekannter, der kurz vorbeischaut aber nie richtig Zeit hat. Dann gibt es noch die, über die man unerwartet stolpert, fast als hätte man eine Münze auf der Strasse gefunden.

Der gestrige 28. Oktober war dieses Jahr für mich in der "unerwarteten" Kategorie. Grade mal ein paar Tage vorher hab ich gemerkt, dass es da ja noch einen Extra-Tag frei gibt. Immer noch gut genug, mir ist es auch schon vorgekommen, dass mich die Arbeitskollegen am Abend drauf aufmerksam gemacht haben, dass am nächsten Tag Feiertag ist.

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

Limnos Panoramas

Those were the summer days...
Limnos island's capital Myrina seen from above

On this summer's vacation on Limnos, I took some pictures to be stitched together to panorama pictures. Finally here they are. Damn memories, where did the summer days go, I had a wonderful time there again. Limnos really is a special place.

The kastro of Myrina

The first few are of Myrina (the capital "city" of the island) and it's "kastro". As usual, click on the thumbs to see the bigger panorama pictures.

Continue reading "Limnos Panoramas"
Posted by betabug at 11:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 October 2008


Κάνει καλό
Χαμογελάτε - ωφελεί την υγεία και τον τουρισμό

Μια που έβαλα τις πανοραμικές φωτογραφίες από το φετινό καλοκαίρι στην Λήμνο, βρήκα και αυτήν την φωτογραφία μίας πινακίδας που μάλλον ο Δήμος Μούδρου έβαλε. "Χαμογελάτε - ωφελεί την υγεία και τον τουρισμό".

Δεν ξέρω αν φτάνει ένα χαμόγελο για να λυθούν όλα τα προβλήματα που έχει ένα απομακρυσμένο νησί σαν την πανέμορφη Λήμνο... αλλά καλό κάνει, αυτό είναι σίγουρο. Κατά την γνώμη μου όμως, η πινακίδα πιο πολύ για γέλια είναι, παρά για χαμόγελα.

Posted by betabug at 12:40 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)