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.
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).
14 November 2011
It got cold
At least for our standards
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.
17 November 2011
Instapaper on eBook reader
Just the text, please
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.
22 November 2011
Notes on Zope 2 migration
Remove it, replace it, renew it
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"
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"
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
dlopen([...]/psycopg2/_psycopg.so, 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.
28 November 2011
7 hours over sticks and stones
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.