Should anyone ask, I will be at the Biennale again this year

Venice’s Biennale is a great event and well worth attending if you enjoy the visual arts. Like the name suggests it takes place every 2 years. Last time was great, and I can’t wait for this year’s show. So much so that I’ve applied for 3 preview tickets. Not sure whether we (Marta and my mother) will be selected, but we also can’t loose anything. The show takes place in 2 locations - the country pavilions and in the Arsenale district of Venice.



The Arsenal once housed the might of Italy’s navy which makes it easy to see why the country was never considered a serious naval force. It’s a quaint industrial area filled with decaying buildings and industrial machinery too heavy to be removed. These pictures give you an impression of the area.





I’ll be taking the night train from Munich which gets me there at 7 in the morning.



Technorati Tags:

Should anyone ask, I will be at the Biennale again this year

Venice’s Biennale is a great event and well worth attending if you enjoy the visual arts. Like the name suggests it takes place every 2 years. Last time was great, and I can’t wait for this year’s show. So much so that I’ve applied for 3 preview tickets. Not sure whether we (Marta and my mother) will be selected, but we also can’t loose anything. The show takes place in 2 locations - the country pavilions and in the Arsenale district of Venice.

The Arsenal once housed the might of Italy’s navy which makes it easy to see why the country was never considered a serious naval force. It’s a quaint industrial area filled with decaying buildings and industrial machinery too heavy to be removed. These pictures give you an impression of the area.







I’ll be taking the night train from Munich which gets me there at 7 in the morning.

Technorati Tags:

Should anyone ask, I really don't know what to make of this

…answers on the back of a postcard or in the comments section.

YouTube - Slugbug - Computers Again

Should anyone ask, Sunday mornings is Toastmasters.

I’ve been attending, and talking at Toastmasters recently.  It really fun and I’d recommend it to anyone who has a problem talking or just enjoys hearing other really good speakers.  There are 6 groups in Munich, some English, one French, an Italian and some German mixed with English groups.   Here’s an example of someone speaking:

Should anyone ask, all cats need a ladder

I came across this strange ladder while looking for a flat in Berlin. I guess my priority of living higher up needs to be down rated.

Should anyone ask, all cats need a ladder

I came across this strange ladder while looking for a flat in Berlin. I guess my priority of living higher up needs to be down rated.


Should anyone ask, cats make excellent French teachers

I found an instructional guide on my webserver.  Guess they have been busy setting up their language school.

Should anyone ask, traffic prioitization should be done one the edge of your network

I spent some time today experimenting with traffic shaping on ddwrt.  My VOIP calls were still stuttery due to packet congestion.  Although this time I traced the congestion back to my wireless bridge.  Good thing it runs linux and I was able to install the following script.  It simply prioritises packets in and out of my wireless gateway on both the wired and wireless interfaces.  This is nice because people I call will no longer hear a stuttering or voice drop out when there are large file transfers going on.  It simply creates 3 queues  (mobile, laptop, all other) on both interfaces and sets up a simple prio between them.  All classes are guaranteed at least 200kbps (should the wireless connection be really bad and the PHY drop down to 500k. But the beauty of the HTB shaping model is that it will borrow.  So in this case classes (laptop and “all other”) can borrow from “mobile” when they need more “tokens”.  IE the right to transmit a packet.

Did I mention DDWRT was cool?

#eth0 is wired
#eth1 is wireless

#everything heading from wired to wireless
tc qdisc del dev eth1 root
tc qdisc add dev eth1 root handle 2: htb default 30
tc class add dev eth1 parent 2: classid 2:1 htb rate 100mbit
tc class add dev eth1 parent 2:1 classid 2:10 htb rate 100mbit ceil 100mbit prio 1
tc class add dev eth1 parent 2:1 classid 2:20 htb rate 200kbit ceil 100mbit prio 2
tc class add dev eth1 parent 2:1 classid 2:30 htb rate 200kbit ceil 100mbit prio 3
tc qdisc add dev eth1 parent 2:10 handle 10: sfq perturb 10
tc qdisc add dev eth1 parent 2:20 handle 20: sfq perturb 10
tc qdisc add dev eth1 parent 2:30 handle 30: sfq perturb 10
tc filter add dev eth1 parent 2: protocol ip prio 16 u32 match ip dst 10.15.11.8 flowid 2:10 # mobile
tc filter add dev eth1 parent 2: protocol ip prio 16 u32 match ip dst 10.15.11.7 flowid 2:20 # laptop wireless

#everything heading from wireless to wired (we don't one client killing others)
tc qdisc del dev eth0 root
tc qdisc add dev eth0 root handle 3: htb default 30
tc class add dev eth0 parent 3: classid 3:1 htb rate 100mbit
tc class add dev eth0 parent 3:1 classid 3:10 htb rate 100mbit ceil 100mbit prio 1
tc class add dev eth0 parent 3:1 classid 3:20 htb rate 200kbit ceil 100mbit prio 2
tc class add dev eth0 parent 3:1 classid 3:30 htb rate 200kbit ceil 100mbit prio 3
tc qdisc add dev eth0 parent 3:10 handle 10: sfq perturb 10
tc qdisc add dev eth0 parent 3:20 handle 20: sfq perturb 10
tc qdisc add dev eth0 parent 3:30 handle 30: sfq perturb 10
tc filter add dev eth0 parent 3: protocol ip prio 16 u32 match ip src 10.15.11.8 flowid 3:10 # mobile
tc filter add dev eth0 parent 3: protocol ip prio 16 u32 match ip src 10.15.11.7 flowid 3:20 # laptop wireless

# list what we have
tc -s -d qdisc show dev eth0
tc -s -d qdisc show dev eth1



Should anyone ask, I was in Berlin, again.

Returning from Berlin. I have just spent the last 4 days in Berlin. 3 of those with my mother and the last walking around neighbourhoods to find something that I could possibly live in. During that time I have seen 2 great film.

Even though it was the Berlinale, these were ones from my “To be viewed” spool. Most recently I finished watching Luc Besson’s “Angel A”. Wow. I was in Paris last month and this brought back many memories. A large portion of the film takes place on the graceful bridges that span the Seine. The story is about a down and out scamster being put back on his feet by an angel. The fact that this Angel A aka Angela is at least a foot taller than him adds to his depression. The film is shot in black and white with some excellent lighting, particuarly where the main character addresses his deamons (those that that keep beating him up on the street, and to whom he owes much money).



It was Berlinale and I never made it. Although I did make up for the time by meeting Nataša who organises the Croatian equivalent and was here to snag as many films for the next showing in Zagreb. When not talking about films, we exchanged memories of our times on the island of Vis.

Should anyone ask, I was in Berlin, again.

Returning from Berlin. I have just spent the last 4 days in Berlin. 3 of those with my mother and the last walking around neighbourhoods to find something that I could possibly live in. During that time I have seen 2 great film.

Even though it was the Berlinale, these were ones from my “To be viewed” spool. Most recently I finished watching Luc Besson’s “Angel A”. Wow. I was in Paris last month and this brought back many memories. A large portion of the film takes place on the graceful bridges that span the Seine. The story is about a down and out scamster being put back on his feet by an angel. The fact that this Angel A aka Angela is at least a foot taller than him adds to his depression. The film is shot in black and white with some excellent lighting, particuarly where the main character addresses his deamons (those that that keep beating him up on the street, and to whom he owes much money).




It was Berlinale and I never made it. Although I did make up for the time by meeting Nataša who organises the Croatian equivalent and was here to snag as many films for the next showing in Zagreb. When not talking about films, we exchanged memories of our times on the island of Vis.

Should anyone ask, we need more unregulated spectrum

It’s getting crowded around here in the 2.4Ghz spectrum. This is in the middle of the day - in the evening about 5 more access points show up.

Should anyone ask, we need more unregulated spectrum

It’s getting crowded around here in the 2.4Ghz spectrum. This is in the middle of the day - in the evening about 5 more access points show up.


Should anyone ask, I need to know whether I Cancel or Allow this?

Do I cancel or allow?

Should anyone ask, SQL queries are better than memory queries.

I apologise in advance for the musical snobbery, but its something that’s important to me. The music and less so the snobbery.



I’m listening to a new “micro house” album from an mixer called Nek Sanalet. It’s good stuff. After many years of living away from London I feel that I am finally exiting my musical exile and discovering music that moves me and gets me excited.



Munich’s happy-happy disco excuse for club music has not been good to me and I am now in a “making up for lost time” mode when I use last.fm’s service. The problem with dwelling in the “long tail” of music is one coming across many more artists. Well perhaps not more but certainly one’s not hearing the like of names like Tiefschwartz, Kit Clayton and clubs like Tresor on mainstream radio when driving back from skiing in Austria. So this is why I like services like Last.fm. It’s keeping track of and recommending me names that it thinks I will like. Multiple SQL queries make up for my leaky memory or a reseller’s bad recommendation. Now I actively look forward turning on the application, either as a standalone application or via my Squeezebox. I like it so much I even bought a subscription and for those that know me, this is a big step.



Apart from just playing me cool songs, the application shows me meta data about each song, the artists biography, where they will next be performing/djing etc. It’s the background to the artist that I have found interesting. The average biograpy for each artist reads something like: “Grew up in Bonn, moved to Berlin and now runs record label xyz. Part of the Berlin abc movement. I promise I haven’t put in any play music tagged with "Berlin”, and find this correlation interesting. Ken thinks its a sign and I’m planning a trip there in a couple of weeks to look at some property. Time will tell.

Should anyone ask, I don’t have a subscription to “Bakkie and Truck” magazine…

… but it’s tempting.


Thanks to Ryan for this one.

Should anyone ask, I don't have a subscription to "Bakkie and Truck" magazine...

… but it’s tempting.



Thanks to Ryan for this one.

Should anyone ask, Len will take you out

This is a great little ditty that Last.fm recommended for me.
Shitty start but the great middle makes up for it.


http://www.last.fm/music/LEN/_/Man+Of+The+Year

If I haven’t raved about Last.fm yet, I absolutely love their service.  Wish they had a Berlin or Munich office.  I would be hanging out there everyday.

Should anyone ask, Len will take you out

This is a great little ditty that Last.fm recommended for me.
Shitty start but the great middle makes up for it.




http://www.last.fm/music/LEN/_/Man+Of+The+Year

If I haven’t raved about Last.fm yet, I absolutely love their service.  Wish they had a Berlin or Munich office.  I would be hanging out there everyday.

Should anyone ask, the eye of the shit bird is watching you

Berlin has some interesting graffiti. I “made” some photos of it.


Should anyone ask, the eye of the shit bird is watching you

Berlin has some interesting graffiti. I “made” some photos of it.



[[post-media:gfJEqHqGsswJvqgdzaBd]]

Should anyone ask, I really do love my neighbours...

… but not when they start impacting my WIFI calls. First some background. I run 2 open access points that regularly have multiple neighbours associated. I don’t mind them piggybacking and have everything locked down and traffic on my ADSL link heavily prioritised so they don’t impact my latency sensitive applications. Today one of them started using Google Earth intensively. I noticed this because I was on a sip call that started breaking up.



A quick bit of tcpdump'ing showed this application was chewing up all my wireless bandwidth. Incidentally I only have limited wireless bandwidth since there are about 12 access points tripping over each other’s frequencies from outside my window.
I have put them back in their box with this simple script. It prioritises all traffic leaving my wireless VLAN which connects to the 2 access points. Traffic is in 3 classes - my E61 address, my wireless laptop and finally “all other traffic”



Alternatively I could always re-enable imagiImageflip mode again.



the script:



WIRELESSDEV=vlan4
# first delete everything
tc -s qdisc del dev $WIRELESSDEV root
tc qdisc add dev $WIRELESSDEV root handle 2: htb default 30
tc class add dev $WIRELESSDEV parent 2: classid 2:1 htb rate 10mbit burst 15k



tc class add dev $WIRELESSDEV parent 2:1 classid 2:10 htb rate 1mbit burst 15k
tc class add dev $WIRELESSDEV parent 2:1 classid 2:20 htb rate 1mbit burst 15k
tc class add dev $WIRELESSDEV parent 2:1 classid 2:30 htb rate 1mbit burst 15k



tc qdisc add dev $WIRELESSDEV parent 2:10 handle 10: sfq perturb 10
tc qdisc add dev $WIRELESSDEV parent 2:20 handle 20: sfq perturb 10
tc qdisc add dev $WIRELESSDEV parent 2:30 handle 30: sfq perturb 10



# control outbound
tc filter add dev vlan4 parent 2: protocol ip prio 16 u32 match ip dst 10.15.11.8 flowid 2:10 # mobile
tc filter add dev vlan4 parent 2: protocol ip prio 16 u32 match ip dst 10.15.11.7 flowid 2:20 # laptop wireless
tc filter add dev vlan4 parent 2: protocol ip prio 16 u32 match ip dst 10.15.11.2 flowid 2:20 # switch maintenance
tc filter add dev vlan4 parent 2: protocol ip prio 16 u32 match ip dst 10.15.11.3 flowid 2:20 # switch maintenance
# all other traffic goes here since we set the default class to 2:30

Should anyone ask, one can learn a great deal from the TV show "24"

Only loosers become system administrators through on the job training. Here’s what I learnt from 5 hours of “24” when sitting on the train back from Berlin. But first a minor rant:

Why does the film and TV industry keep shooting themselves in the foot? I was watching a legally acquired 8 DVD set but was unable to view one of the episodes due to them using the ARccOS copy protection system which makes some sectors look bad. But this was a paid for DVD set. Also, I have never understood why it’s necessary to advertise (and further piss off) the evils of piracy to people who have legally acquired your product. Why stick a 2 minute ad at the start of a film in the cinema? The 24 DVD was accompanied by a long, and un-fastforward-able advert about the evils of piracy. Seems a little patronising when the customer has just spent 50 Euro on your product and you have screwed up the disk enough that he cannot even watch one of the episodes.

But I digress. Here are my tips for working in the CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit for those not addicted to the show) as a sysadmin.

  • Wake up early. The first attack happens before 8am. This is no job for your normal sys-admin - you need to be in the office before lunch.

  • Engineering gets its own subnet. This came up in two episodes. I’m pleased they use a segmented network and have prescribed similar topologies on previous gigs. Alas, they always seem to be able to skip from one subnet to another so they should probably examine ACLs on on their (no doubt Cisco - see following point) routers more carefully.

  • CTU uses a VOIP infrastructure from Cisco. I was pleased to see multiple Cisco 7960G VOIP handsets deployed around the CTU office. Would love the have the firmware hack for the nice logo they have managed to get them to display. The real question is whether they have the SCCP or the SIP firmware loaded?

  • Pinging phones via GPRS. This was neat, and if I ran a CTU infrastructure, I would probably set my infrastructure up to run Smokeping against all my field agents phones. Lets hope they have a carrier that gives them real IP addresses when they open that GPRS channel. Fear the latency. I do.

  • CTU uses FVWM. I still do too, but could never work with that bitchface of a boss.

  • CTU didn’t pay their lighting bill. That or they are all haxors. I have never seen such a dark office environment.

  • Terrorists should switch from quadrule ROT13 and use PGP. No, really.

  • Mobile phones have very good batteries. Jack manages to run around all day with the same phone glued to his ear. I want a hydrogen cell batter that can last that long too.

  • The daughter of the secretary of defence runs a tcpdump window on her screen. I would date her in a second and help her with some of her libpcap syntax. What a babe.

  • Microsoft managed to get at least someone to buy their tablet computing solution. Even if it was just a government department that can’t afford to pay their electricity bill.

  • Data still makes a noise when being written to a screen. Are they using accoustic couplers or something. Why is it that in the “we can’t afford to pay our lighting bill” bunker, all data when being written to a screen still makes a high pitched noise for each character written.

  • Deleting files does not work. Even a DOS junkie will tell you this.

  • Using “more” or “less” is so old school. Hexdump is common. Alas didn’t see the Secretary of Defence’s daughter using it

  • Jack thinks that he cannot access files when their ownership is rwxr-xr-x. ‘nuff said.

Should anyone ask, something about drills

Found an interesting quote last night carved into a wall in a Berlin toilet wall:

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole" 

As I think about building software and websites, it’s a nice thought to bear in mind.   Guess someone else working in Berlin was also thinking about customer focus. I looked it up and the quote is by someone called Theodore Levitt.  It beats some of the other quotes that I have seen on the streets here like:
"The eye of the shit bird is watching you" 

Only in Berlin.

Should anyone ask, Google Earth must be shut down before it's too late

A follow up to my post on arrows outside of my window. Something must be done to stop Google Earth’s menacing mouse pointers:

If anyone should ask, this is a fantastic mashup.

This is a fantastic mashup of Dr Who with the Monty Python “I fart in your general direction” and the Quest for the Holy Grail.



YouTube - Doctor Who and the French Dalek

Should anyone ask, I am on a train.

I have always flown between Munich and Berlin but decided to take the 54 Euro per ticket ICE train. It wasn’t that fast for most of the route. I had been warned that the tracks are old in much of the former East German side. However, once we got onto the new tracks, the train really started to fly. Quite like taking the train - each seat comes with a built in plug socket which makes it possible to use a laptop. The extra leg room when compared with an aeroplane is also a nice plus. I’ll be in Berlin for the next 4 days.



I am staying with Marta (one of the founders of the design company Yellotoo), and catching up with old friends, including my buddy Ken from London who just happens to be here in Berlin for the weekend with his wife.

Should anyone ask, I live here



The Quality of online mapping really impresses me.  I see that Microsoft is now doing orthogonal views of major cities.  This is really cool.  Should anyone need to steal 2 Siamese cats and some old computer and hifi equipment I suggest entry through the window marked with the arrow.

Should anyone ask, I live here




The Quality of online mapping really impresses me.  I see that Microsoft is now doing orthogonal views of major cities.  This is really cool.  Should anyone need to steal 2 Siamese cats and some old computer and hifi equipment I suggest entry through the window marked with the arrow.

Should anyone ask, Voipdiscount outbound works nicely on an E61

Here’s my magic sauce to get it all working. By the end of this you should be seeing:

848.772012 10.15.11.8 -> 80.239.235.200 SIP Request: ACK sip:+491785450880@voipdiscount.com;user=phone

on the wire. That’s cool because:

  • it means you are spending 0c/minute to call most of the world

  • you are using your existing mobile phone (well, only if you are cool enough to have an E61 ;-) )

  • you are using your existing address book

  • and not some shitty headset


So here’s how.
  • Setup an account on voipdiscount and add the requisite credit (I think it’s about 10 Euro at this time).

  • Setup and access point in your phone and using the webbrowser confirm that you can can connect to the interweb ™. If this doesn’t work do not pass Go, do not collect 200 dollars and go to Jail until you can get it working.

  • In your phone: Applications-> Tools -> settings -> Connection -> Sip Settings (not Internet tel settings):

    Profile name: Voipdiscount
    Service Profile: IETF
    Default Access point: (the access point you tested as working earlier)
    Public user name: sip:(your voipdiscount username)@voipdiscount.com (remember to include the “sip:”)
    Use compression: No
    Registration: Always On
    Use security: No-Proxy server
    –Proxy server address: sip:voipdiscount.com (again include the “sip:”)
    –Realm: voipdiscount.com
    –User name: (your voipdiscount username)
    –Password: (your voipdiscount password)
    –Allow loose routing: Yes
    –Transport Type: UDP
    –Port:5060

    -Registrar Server
    –Registrat server address: sip:voipdicount.com
    –Realm: voipdiscount.com
    –User name: (your voipdiscount username)
    –Password: (your voipdiscount password)
    –Transport Type: UDP
    –Port:5060

  • Now go to: Applications-> Tools -> settings -> Connection -> Internet tel settings:
    add Voipdiscount as a working profile.

  • If you in wifi range your phone should register with the access point and subsequently with Voipdiscount.

  • You may want to change your “Default call type” to internet (set in Applications-> Tools -> settings -> Phone)


Have fun!

search

Powered by Blogger.

Follow by Email

Should anyone ask, on building strong teams

My thinking about building strong teams My work goal is: work with smart people, on interesting problems, that improve our lives. So I start...