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07 November 2011

Welcome to Betabug Sirius

My new Company Site

It has been quite some time that I announced that I'd be working as a freelancer. Lots of stuff had to be done in that time, but finally things are ready. I've founded my own little company and set up a small website: Welcome to Betabug Sirius!

For once this isn't a "ZWiki-As-A-CMS" site (which is what I usually do when I want a site to go up fast), but a plain, static html site, done in vi. I know it won't scale when I'll want to expand it, but I had fun coding it up in the old style.

So far I already have a few customers, working with Zope (mostly in bugfixing and maintenance of existing / legacy sites) and with Pyramid (building a brand new web application). There is also a project to build something unique and "our own" on a longer horizon, involving technology and art.

There has been and still is a lot of bureaucracy, but so far the ride has been smooth and sometimes even fun. Part of the strategy is to work together with other companies to form flexible teams for each project. That's something that has worked real well so far, giving me fun and inspiration to work with others.

Posted by betabug at 10:26 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
09 November 2011

Updated MiniPlanet, now with meta-feed

Mix and match

My MiniPlanet Zope product has been working steady and stable for some years, when suddenly a user request came along. Would it be possible to get a feed of all the items in a miniplanet? With this update it became possible.

MiniPlanet is an old-style Zope product. Probably the next thing I will have to do with it is to "eggify" it. That would make it possible to use it easier with current Zope versions (2.13).

Posted by betabug at 10:41 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
14 November 2011

It got cold

At least for our standards
Petralona Metro Station

Last year we had a summer that seemed to last for a long time and the real cold of winter with snow in the mountains was delayed until something like February. This year it got cold early. This weekend feels really cold, at least for our standards. While the temperatures aren't that low, there is a lot of wind.

I remember discussing with an old lady in the trolley bus at the end of last year. She said "thank god we have a mild winter, now that people don't have so much money for the heating." Oh, those were the days. Not only was the winter mild, but compared to this winter, people were rich.

This year, according to the "Eleftherotypia" newspaper, in 50% of appartment buildings, they didn't buy any heating fuel. Because the tenants have to agree to buy heating fuel, there is a big problem if some of the tenants don't have the money (for example because they are part of the officially 18.6% unemployed).

If there is no central heating, what are the options? Heat up your place with electricity in some form (air conditioner, electric radiators of various kind - quite expensive in my oppinion), or use oil / kerosene / gas stoves (often really messy and not always very safe). Oh, and apparently wood stoves are in big demand these days, while forrests all over the country get plundered. Newspaper writers were reminded of similar damage done to the forests in the last war.

Posted by betabug at 13:25 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
17 November 2011

Instapaper on eBook reader

Just the text, please
Finding the epub download link on my instapaper page

Yesterday I gave Instapaper another try. I hadn't previously really warmed up to it, but maybe using a different reading device would help? The most relaxed reading device I have is my crummy, cheap eBook reader (Bookeen Cybook Opus). My first try was with using calibre, as described in this post by Justin Pot, basically it's going from instapaper to calibre's "news download" feature, to the ebook reader. It's convenient because of calibre's autosyncing. But then, I don't use that.

Looking at the instapaper "overview" page, I noticed something else though: Instapaper will package your unread articles into an ePub to download. Now that was just what I needed. Now all I need to do is to click on that, then hook up the reader to the computer, and drag-n-drop the epub file over.

Later I gave that epub a test-reading. It's well done, there is an index to jump to the various articles. Almost all of the extra-stuff on the page is cut off, sometimes some links are left over, sometimes the start of the text was repeated at the end of the article (clearly separated though). All in all it worked really well.

Posted by betabug at 13:14 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
22 November 2011

Notes on Zope 2 migration

Remove it, replace it, renew it
Old tractor

Have an old Zope site around? Want to migrate it? Have to decide what to do with it? Givent that Zope appears to be dropping in hotness a bit lately, these points come up more often now. There have been a few questions about this on the #zope IRC channel lately. So I'm writing down a few thoughts and FAQs on it.

Continue reading "Notes on Zope 2 migration"
Posted by betabug at 10:22 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
23 November 2011

Bragging on AppleScript

Looking at some stuff I did waaaay back

Yesterday while "surfing here and there" (as my friend Panos likes to put it), I came across a post that had a snippet of AppleScript, which triggered fond memories. You see, a looong time ago I did a lot of AppleScript. Those were the days when I was using Claris Emailer and writing various Emailerscripts to extend it. We are talking about 1997 here. Now AppleScript doesn't have such an affection to text wrangling like perl (which I started using a bit later). It especially lacked afast way to search and replace in strings. So one winter evening I was sitting in my home office, turning this problem around in my head.

Continue reading "Bragging on AppleScript"
Posted by betabug at 10:36 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
26 November 2011

Installing psycopg2 on Mac OS X 10.6 with a 64bit Python

Balance Postgres, Python, and bits

While installing a Django application that uses Postgres on my MacBook with Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), I ran into some problems that were all over the net. The symptom was that when I tried to pip install the app's requirements, I got a traceback with something like this for psycopg2:

dlopen([...]/psycopg2/, 2): Symbol not found: _PQbackendPID
Expected in: flat namespace

Searching the web for this found lots of things, but they didn't seem to work for me... because of some dead bodies in my Mac's basement. Basically this errors happens due to a mismatch of 32 or 64 bitness of Python, psycopg2, and Postgres. I had installed Postgres from the official installer (9.1.1), Python 2.7 was standard from the system (which is 64bit). First attempt to fix the mess, following a tipp from Anna Vester, I tried to recompile psycopg2:

pip uninstall psycopg2
env ARCHFLAGS="-arch x86_64" pip install psycopg2

I'm not using sudo, because I'm in a virtualenv and also I didn't dual install for i386 as suggested in the blog post. There were a lot of posts out there telling me simply to reinstall psycopg2, which didn't get me anywhere.

But... even with this it didn't work for me. I found some other hints out there that got me looking in the right direction. The second problem was that I had an old version of Postgres around, from when my MacBook was running 10.4. The pg_config from that old version didn't like the psycopg2, even in 64bit. Pointing my path to the new postgres bin directory instead of the old one solved that too.

Posted by betabug at 19:33 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
28 November 2011

Hiking Flambouritsa

7 hours over sticks and stones
Our group at lunch break

Yesterday I was out with the "Krystallis" mountain club, hiking the Flambouritsa glen (in the Zyria area, near Trikala. We were 14 people, which is a nice group size. The hike was simple, without any difficult terrain really, but with a some stretches where the path was covered with loose stones. All that was easily forgotten, because of the great weather we had. Sunshine and a clear blue sky, cool air without any wind, just enough haze in the air to make photography interesting.

We basically made a round trip, passing alongside the glen on top of the edge at first, then on the upper end, descending down and returning next to the stream (which didn't have any water) to our starting point. At the point where we came down, there was kind of a wide valley housing what were said to be wild horses. I don't know if they are really so wild, but you can see them as little specs in the picture above. We were having our lunch break in viewing distance of them.

Along with me I had my trusty old Firstflex, with some Fuji 400H (color negative) and Kodak Tri-X (black+white). Those pictures obviously aren't developed yet, the picture above was taken with a Lumix FT-3, which has replaced my broken Pentax W60. The Lumix is good for image quality and ruggedness, but the software is nothing to write home about. Basically all you get is "push that button and hope for the best".

We were out and about for roughly seven hours. After the hike everybody stormed a local taverna. Lots of food was eaten, lots of old and new stories were told and the sore feed could relax a bit. Then everybody drove home to Athens. Judging from myself, this was followed by some good and deep sleep.

Posted by betabug at 10:33 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)