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04 January 2010

5 Years and 1000 Posts of ch-athens - Happy New Year!

It's been some time

For the first three years of ch-athens I was writing combined new years and aniversary posts (2006, 2007, 2008), as ch-athens was started as a new years resolution. Last year I didn't, because I wasn't feeling like it. This year I'll revive the tradition. Along with wishing you all a happy new year, I'm celebrating 5 years of ch-athens and... the 1000th post of this weblog.

Over the last two years, the rate of me writing has changed. I wrote a lot less. Where I was writing a post every one to two days in the beginning, I'm getting closer to once or twice per week. The focus has changed a bit too: I'm less exploring Athens and living here, more directionless recording some things that cross my mind. This somehow mirrors my focus in life too, living in Athens has become less important. Biggest new theme was photography picking up.

I don't know if my enthousiasm will pick up again or what direction it could take. I'm not going in any direction of whatever is fashionable now... I abhore "twitter" and "facebook", I see them as yet another step in mindlessly commercialising the web and the net. Heck, the thought that all these people publish their "creativity" through the site of just one or the other company makes me feel sick. Where is the decentrality, the uncontrollability, the independence of the net gone?

Year Visits Pageviews
2005 40000 97571
2006 107000 243000
2007 172383 342704
2008 170805 347055
2009 128536 192952

From the statistics front, it's difficult to get a coherent picture, as I'm comparing apples and oranges. I've changed my stats, in that I don't record accesses to my various RSS feeds any more. They were too much skewing the numbers. The result is that the numbers went down.

I think there are a few reasons why they went down: One, the stats changed. Two, I did not write so much any more. Three, I've eliminated some sources for Google sending misdirected visitors to some of my pages.

Ah, Google. I've started to think these guys have gotten fat and bored and lost all sense of doing something useful. They have stopped to be a search engine for sure, instead occupying themselves with selling hot air and attempting to take over the world. For years a lot of the traffic on my weblog has been people Google mistakenly sent here. For example to a page where visitors expected to find greek pr0n, or a page where they sought answers to german grammar questions and other mistakes. I've changed the titles and spelling of one word in one case, to get rid of that useless traffic. There a few cases where people find useful stuff on my site, and I truly like those!

There's an overlap of my stats, my loss of enthousiasm, and the rate of posts I see from my "other weblogs" links. Has "blogging" slowly gone out of fashion? Yes, but the sure thing is that I don't care, I'm just looking for my own reason to do something or not. It's terrific to have done something for 5 years, ups and downs, about 200 posts per year, through all these times.

Posted by betabug at 12:36 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
05 January 2010

Can't get back into Open Firmware.

A little Open Firmware and OpenBSD lockin... sing along to the tune of "Back to the USSR"

Yesterday evening I attempted my server upgrade. Within 5 minutes I was stuck with an Open Firmware error running amok and blocking everything. I called it a day and was ready to relax and let my server be the pile of plastic, silicium and lowgrade problematic waste it had chosen to be, when helpful Raimund from IN-Ulm came to help and rebooted the box.

I managed at the second try to boot the server into bsd.rd (the RAMdisk install kernel for OpenBSD) and installed the new OS on the second disk. Now the only small problem is, that my machine is set up in macppc's Open Firmware to auto-boot directly on disk 1 into OpenBSD. And there is no way to change that once you have set up the server to a serial console... short of hooking up a keyboard and holding the magic Command-Option-O-F keyboard combo. Someone has a hint for something like a workaround to that, but the OpenBSD developers tell me there's no way around. I guess, "to be continued" is all I can say here...

Posted by betabug at 10:23 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
06 January 2010

Mistypes and Other Fun

Smelling Pistakes for everyone!

While my server install moves forward (having passed the most crucial stages and avoided the whole Open Firmware question by booting from bsd.rd and using the upgrade mechanism), I was browsing through the OpenBSD packages directory for my platform. I was trawling for stuff I had forgotten and for stuff that might be fun. Here is some:

sl - Steam Locomotive

The Steam Locomotive "utility" explores one very common typo that lots of people make in the shell: instead of typing ls, we are prone to type sl - which now lets a huge, ascii Steam Locomotive roll over your terminal. Kind of reminds me of the "insults" setting of sudo, but in more of a "clown hitting you with an anvil on the head" mode.

globe - display the currently lighted face of Earth in ASCII

Let's face it: ASCII roxx. All those funny tools that convert pictures to ASCII art, or even videos to ASCII movies leave me with a chuckle. globe is not that special, but looking at the surface of the earth as currently seen from the sun is kind of neat. Also lets you guess which of your worldwide friends might be awake right now.

figlet - generates ASCII banner art

Apart from those two new additions, I got the ever fun figlet, which you all knew and love, which generates ASCII banner art.

 .::::::..,:::::: .,:::::: .-::::-.
;;;`    `;;;;'''' ;;;;'''';;'```;;;
'[==/[[[[,[[cccc   [[cccc    ,n[['
  '''    $$$""""   $$""""   d$P"
 88b    dP888oo,__ 888oo,__ ""

Figlet offers a lot of different "fonts" to display what you give it in huge letters combined out of ASCII letters. Indispensable, what else can I say?

(Get all these from the links given or in OpenBSD directly through the package system.)

Posted by betabug at 18:53 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
07 January 2010

Griechische Ostern 2010

... und 2 Tage verschlafen?

Die Griechischen Ostern fallen dieses Jahr 2010 zusammen mit dem Rest von Europa auf den 4. April. Das ist früh für Ostern, also werden sich alle Osterlamm-Brater vorsehen müssen, denn das Grillen auf offenem Holzkohlenfeuer ist bei Regen oder Schnee nicht so lustig. So richtig schön ist ein griechisches Osterfest wenn der Frühling in der Luft ist und es schon etwas wärmer ist.

Gut möglich auch, dass durch den kombinierten Termin touristisch mehr los sein wird, wenn sich die Osterferienreisenden mit den Griechen kreuzen, die für Ostern aufs Dorf fahren.

Über den Modus wie Ostern berechnet wird und warum es in Griechenland an einem anderen Termin ist oder auch mal zusammen fällt, habe ich 2008 geschrieben.

Ansonsten habe ich heute morgen 2 Tage verschlafen und das ging so: Mein Telefon weckt mich normalerweise zuverlässig und automatisch Montags bis Freitags. Aus irgendeinem total unverständlichen Grund war das Datum des Telefons heute morgen aber auf Samstag den 9. Januar gestellt... wodurch der Wecker nicht geklingelt hat, denn "Samstag" ist bei "Montag bis Freitag" natürlich nicht drin. Bin allerdings gerade noch rechtzeitig aufgewacht um mit nur einer halben Stunde Verspätung ins Büro zu kommen. Nicht so tragisch und geschlafen habe ich auch gut.

Posted by betabug at 10:03 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
08 January 2010

Gaddafi in St.Gallen

Wer hätte das gedacht?

Der bekannte News-Anchorman Hubertus Huber hat es geschafft Gaddafi in die Schweiz einzuladen.

Posted by betabug at 10:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
09 January 2010

Preparing moblog for a little hike

Not expecting snow

Just a little post here to check that moblog (posting to a weblog from a mobile phone) is still working on my updated server.

If things go well, I will be on a day hike tomorrow. Preparing stuff now. It sure will be good to be out of this big city for some fresh air. We don't expect to find any snow though.

Maybe I could post from some mountain village, assuming I have a signal and am not too busy with enjoying nature.

Posted by betabug at 15:29 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
13 January 2010

DateTime SyntaxError on PDT Timezone

For example in the MiniPlanet

My MiniPlanet gave me SyntaxErrors on one feed, due to the feed in question being in the timezone "PDT". Problem is that Zope's DateTime module does not know that timezone. A quick search and some reading up suggested the following patch to $SOFTWARE_HOME/DateTime/

---     Wed Jan 13 10:21:24 2010
+++ Wed Jan 13 10:20:46 2010
@@ -246,6 +246,7 @@

+           'PDT':'GMT-7', 'pdt':'GMT-7',
            'bst':'GMT+1', 'mest':'GMT+2', 'sst':'GMT+2',
            'fst':'GMT+2', 'wadt':'GMT+8', 'eadt':'GMT+11', 'nzdt':'GMT+13',
            'wet':'GMT', 'wat':'GMT-1', 'at':'GMT-2', 'ast':'GMT-4',

(Patchfile, apply as usual, $STANDARD_DISCLAIMER applies, watch your steps!) Patching this directly in the Zope source code isn't the most elegant of solutions, but it works. (At least till the next Zope upgrade.) Well, it could be fixed in newer versions of Zope, what do I know with the old cruft that I'm running there.

Posted by betabug at 10:46 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
14 January 2010

Eislaufen oder nicht Eislaufen

Die grosse Mode diesen Winter in Athen

Eisbahnen scheinen diesen Winter die grosse Mode zu sein: Das Einkaufszentrum gegenüber von meinem Büro hat eine, ein anderes Einkaufszentrum hat eine, in Glyfada gibt's eine. Gestern abend bin ich nach der Arbeit über die Strasse gegangen, einmal eine Treppe runter im Einkaufszentrum, um mal kurz eine Runde Schlittschuh zu fahren, bevor ich mit Freunden zum Essen ging. Aber wie es mit den Moden so ist, manchmal kanns teuer werden. Die wollten doch tatsächlich 10 Euro haben.

Zwar kann man dann solange wie man will auf dem Eis rumkurven und ich hab auch nicht nachgefragt, ob das nun für die Schlittschuh-Miete ist oder ob es auch Eintritt kostet wenn man selber Schlittschuhe hat (hab ich nicht), aber trotzdem. 10 Euro sind mir dann doch etwas zu viel, vor allem, wenn ich gerade mal eine halbe bis allerhöchstens eine Stunde Zeit hab. Also hab ichs sein lassen. Keine Ahnung, was der Spass bei den anderen Eisbahnen kostet.

Posted by betabug at 19:13 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
22 January 2010

Want: Memory Optimization for ZWiki

Back to ZWiki hacking: An evening at the code
Mist on the edge of the Parnasos mountains in Greece

Yesterday evening for the first time in a looong time I got busy with ZWiki source code. I had checked out the latest darcs code and was basically looking to improve something in a general way, not just fix bugs. One such point is memory use optimization and a field I don't know that much about yet. A chance to learn combined with a chance to do a good deed... here I come!

Continue reading "Want: Memory Optimization for ZWiki"
Posted by betabug at 09:39 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
25 January 2010

Ένα ξεχωριστό πάρτι

Saturday Night Smokefree

Σάββατο βράδυ, μας κάλεσε ο graffic στο πάρτι του γραφείου του. Μεγαλώνουν το γραφείο, προσθέτουν έναν όροφο, γιατί τώρα δεν χωράνε πια. Το πάρτι ήταν στον καινούριο όροφο, με μουσική, πίτσα, ποτό. Ο DJ έπαιξε στο στυλ "ό,τι βαράει", δυστυχώς και ο ήχος βαρούσε λίγο. Στο τέλος που αρχίσανε να πέσει λίγο πολύ βαριά το σκυλοπόπ, την κάναμε.

Το καλύτερο για το πάρτι στο τέλος: κανείς δεν κάπνιζε. Τέλειο, να μπορείς να χορεύεις και να αναπνέεις αέρα και όχι μπόχα. Τέλειο που δεν βρωμάνε όλα τα ρούχα μετά. Μπράβο παιδιά!

Posted by betabug at 22:38 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
31 January 2010

Sitting under a burned tree

Sunday photo hike

Took a little Sunday hike, took the Arca with me. I'm mostly walking, secondly thinking, but I even snapped one picture.
Now I'm sitting underneath a burned tree (all the hill has been burned down last summer) and doing more thinking. I can now hear you all asking in chorus: "with what?"
It's kind of cold, but not really, so I'll finish this post and move on. Walking will warm me up again. I want to take another picture, the little white church at the top of the hill.

Posted by betabug at 13:29 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)