Should anyone ask, I've found a lute supplier.


[[post-media:pFbgxoFawkkxawkbIkvo]]


I was cruising down the bike lane on my way back from the Mobile Advertising Conference and what should I pass but a lute shop. I though I was mistaken at first and slammed on the brakes. Yes, a lute shop. Not a musical instrument shop but a shop specifically supplying lutes. It started me wondering how large the market is for lutes is? I mean, it’s not like a lute wears out rapidly and needs replacing. And even if it did there can’t be more than 5 active players (strummers?) in all of Bavaria. I perhaps I’m mistaken and they do wear out rapidly. I don’t know since the lute is an instrument that competes with the flute as my most hated instrument and the least likely to learned by me.


Lute lovers, your lute-mart is located on Dachauerstr. Just don’t strum near me. Same goes for bagpipe players.

Should anyone ask, I've found a lute supplier.







I was cruising down the bike lane on my way back from the Mobile Advertising Conference and what should I pass but a lute shop. I though I was mistaken at first and slammed on the brakes. Yes, a lute shop. Not a musical instrument shop but a shop specifically supplying lutes. It started me wondering how large the market is for lutes is? I mean, it’s not like a lute wears out rapidly and needs replacing. And even if it did there can’t be more than 5 active players (strummers?) in all of Bavaria. I perhaps I’m mistaken and they do wear out rapidly. I don’t know since the lute is an instrument that competes with the flute as my most hated instrument and the least likely to learned by me.


Lute lovers, your lute-mart is located on Dachauerstr. Just don’t strum near me. Same goes for bagpipe players.

Should anyone ask, I prefer OpenWRT to DDWRT

I changed from ddrwt with it’s GUI configuration to openwrt. Now my voip calls work again.

Linksys WRT54GL v1.2 settings:

mtd erase nvram

nvram set boot_wait=on
nvram set boot_time=10
nvram set log_ipaddr=10.15.11.1
nvram commit

uci set network.wan.proto=static
uci set network.wan.type=bridge
uci set network.wan.proto=static

uci set network.wan.ipaddr=10.15.11.2
uci set network.wan.dns=80.68.95.249

uci set network.lan.ipaddr=10.15.11.2
uci set network.lan.type=bridge

uci set network.lan.proto=static
uci set network.lan.ipaddr=10.15.11.2
uci set network.lan.dns=80.68.95.249

uci set wireless.wl0=wifi-device
uci set wireless.wl0.type=broadcom
uci set wireless.wl0.channel=13
uci set wireless.wl0.agmode=11b
uci set wireless.wl0.disabled=0
uci set wireless.cfg2=wifi-iface
uci set wireless.cfg2.device=wl0
uci set wireless.cfg2.network=lan
uci set wireless.cfg2.mode=ap
uci set wireless.cfg2.ssid=free.imaginator.com
uci set wireless.cfg2.encryption=none
uci set wireless.cfg2.isolate=1

uci commit

ifup wan
ifup lan

ipkg update
ipkg install ntpclient
ipkg remove dnsmasq

wifi

Should anyone ask, I've come across the worlds most boring book





can’t sleep., originally uploaded by SimonTennant.



Thanks Stuart. Actually it’s not that bad and I ended up reading most of it and feeling smug about how far we’ve come since analog mobile telephony.

Should anyone ask, I’ve come across the worlds most boring book





can’t sleep., originally uploaded by SimonTennant.



Thanks Stuart. Actually it’s not that bad and I ended up reading most of it and feeling smug about how far we’ve come since analog mobile telephony.

Should anyone ask, you suck at photoshop episode 4 is out.

Today Donny sells the “Ring of Infinite Sorrows” on eBay. Oh, and we learn about the path tool. So “strap on your stupid” and lets get at it.

Should anyone ask, I have a Flickr photostream.


Allow me to enhance your stalking powers: visual stalking can now take place on my Flickr page. Automatic stalking can take place via the RSS feed. Not that you would care.

Should anyone ask, I have a Flickr photostream.

Allow me to enhance your stalking powers: visual stalking can now take place on my Flickr page. Automatic stalking can take place via the RSS feed. Not that you would care.

Should anyone ask, it's getting tempting.

I hate getting messages in Facebook. I have email. It’s filtered the way I like. I can use it on my mobile phone. It works in Thunderbird. I like the idea of Social Networks, just not the implementations. Not the roach-motel nature of uploading content and never getting it back. Not that fact that Facebook doesn’t work with Myspace and doesn’t work with Orkut or Xing. Let alone LinkedIn.



I got close today:





…but chickened out. That’s a lot of friend stalking to miss out on.

Should anyone ask, it’s getting tempting.

I hate getting messages in Facebook. I have email. It’s filtered the way I like. I can use it on my mobile phone. It works in Thunderbird. I like the idea of Social Networks, just not the implementations. Not the roach-motel nature of uploading content and never getting it back. Not that fact that Facebook doesn’t work with Myspace and doesn’t work with Orkut or Xing. Let alone LinkedIn.



I got close today:





…but chickened out. That’s a lot of friend stalking to miss out on.

Should anyone ask, I use GTD

GTD is short for Getting Things Done. It’s a system for doing just that. Doing things, not worrying about them by writing things down and making lists The list then allows you to stop worrying about the task. The other key feature is never writing down projects, just the first task of that project. “You can’t do a project, just the tasks within a project” is one of David Allen’s mantras.

The simple summary is:
  • Process

  • Organize

  • Review

  • Do


Here’s a speech by the master himself given to Google employees.


Should anyone ask, back in the day you were lucky to even have a hard disk drive.

Thankfully times have moved on.

Should anyone ask, back in the day you were lucky to even have a hard disk drive.

Thankfully times have moved on.

Should anyone ask, "You Sucjk at Photoshop"

Firstly this is nothing to do with Photoshop, secondly “Donnie” is going through some martial problems which are entertaining to listen to in the background of his “tutorials. Thirdly, very very amusing.


Episode 1:




Episode 2:




Episode 3:


Should anyone ask, watch out for Mrs Roberts next door.

Continuing with the “I run an open access point” theme, with a little bit of transparent proxy image manipulation thrown in, I came across this xkcd post. Nice.


Should anyone ask, watch out for Mrs Roberts next door.

Continuing with the “I run an open access point” theme, with a little bit of transparent proxy image manipulation thrown in, I came across this xkcd post. Nice.

Should anyone ask, Marschallstr 2 has open internet access


Bruce Schneider is to internet security what Chuck Norris is to fighting toughness. In his latest piece for Wired Magazine, Steal This Wi-Fi he comes up with some good points for running an open access point. I do and have done for a long time. Things are pretty locked down but you can get internet access on most ports and your traffic will be nicely prioritised. Prioritised behind my spare outbound bandwidth that is. But if you want more then pony up for your own connection.

Bruce writes:



To me, it’s basic politeness. Providing internet access to guests is kind of like providing heat and electricity, or a hot cup of tea. But to some observers, it’s both wrong and dangerous. I’m told that uninvited strangers may sit in their cars in front of my house, and use my network to send spam, eavesdrop on my passwords, and upload and download everything from pirated movies to child pornography. As a result, I risk all sorts of bad things happening to me, from seeing my IP address blacklisted to having the police crash through my door.


While this is technically true, I don’t think it’s much of a risk. I can count five open wireless networks in coffee shops within a mile of my house, and any potential spammer is far more likely to sit in a warm room with a cup of coffee and a scone than in a cold car outside my house. And yes, if someone did commit a crime using my network the police might visit, but what better defense is there than the fact that I have an open wireless network? If I enabled wireless security on my network and someone hacked it, I would have a far harder time proving my innocence.



More on Wired. And more Chuck Norris facts like


If you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you.
There is no ‘ctrl’ button on Chuck Norris’s computer. Chuck Norris is always in control.
Apple pays Chuck Norris 99 cents every time he listens to a song.
Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open.
Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay’s potato chip.
Chuck Norris is suing Myspace for taking the name of what he calls everything around you.
Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise.
Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.

here

Should anyone ask, Marschallstr 2 has open internet access

Bruce Schneider is to internet security what Chuck Norris is to fighting toughness. In his latest piece for Wired Magazine, Steal This Wi-Fi he comes up with some good points for running an open access point. I do and have done for a long time. Things are pretty locked down but you can get internet access on most ports and your traffic will be nicely prioritised. Prioritised behind my spare outbound bandwidth that is. But if you want more then pony up for your own connection.


Bruce writes:



To me, it’s basic politeness. Providing internet access to guests is kind of like providing heat and electricity, or a hot cup of tea. But to some observers, it’s both wrong and dangerous. I’m told that uninvited strangers may sit in their cars in front of my house, and use my network to send spam, eavesdrop on my passwords, and upload and download everything from pirated movies to child pornography. As a result, I risk all sorts of bad things happening to me, from seeing my IP address blacklisted to having the police crash through my door.


While this is technically true, I don’t think it’s much of a risk. I can count five open wireless networks in coffee shops within a mile of my house, and any potential spammer is far more likely to sit in a warm room with a cup of coffee and a scone than in a cold car outside my house. And yes, if someone did commit a crime using my network the police might visit, but what better defense is there than the fact that I have an open wireless network? If I enabled wireless security on my network and someone hacked it, I would have a far harder time proving my innocence.



More on Wired. And more Chuck Norris facts like


If you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you.
There is no ‘ctrl’ button on Chuck Norris’s computer. Chuck Norris is always in control.
Apple pays Chuck Norris 99 cents every time he listens to a song.
Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open.
Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay’s potato chip.
Chuck Norris is suing Myspace for taking the name of what he calls everything around you.
Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise.
Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.

here

Should anyone ask, I am coming back from 24C3.


I’m coming back from the Chaos Computer Club Congress which has been a wonderful way to end the year and get through the “barse” (the useless part between the balls and arse) between Christmas and New Year. I met some interesting people there and the idealism that I encountered reminded me of my own during my stint at Linuxcare. Only this time the focus was more on electronics and politics with the odd bit of hardware hacking thrown in for good measure.

I strongly urge everyone who reads this to attend. It’s a great group of people and I’ve never really come across a conference similar to it. This year it cost just 80€ for 4 days of really good speakers. As Taska mentioned, you won’t come close to the level of knowledge and insight for the same amount at any other tech conference. And I doubt you get a barefooted man walking around (see picture) at something like 3GSM or DDL. Didn’t someone tell him it’s the middle of winter. But don’t let that misrepresent the event: there are lots of very smart people doing some very interesting work. Indeed Mr barefoot may be too. But he had a cold (wonder why?) so I stayed away.


The conference lasted for 4 days. An average day saw me arriving at around 10:30 and grabbing a seat on the front row of the podium in hall 1. There were 3 halls, each running a different track. So even though I was in one hall, there was still a video stream that could be watched by laptop from the other halls. A pair of headphones and you’re set.


I chatted to loads of people. Everyone seemed a little shy and it was always me striking up the conversation. Once started people seemed very happy to be drawn out of their shells and explain their project. Today I sat between 2 interesting gentlemen. One the right side sat a security researcher for an independent firm doing penetration testing and security consulting. On my left side, someone who writes flight simulators to teach pilots how to fly massive blimps (he wrote the simulator for the 1000 ton heavy lifter project located near Berlin). It turns out this is very hard to do. The teaching that is. The lack of immediate feedback upsets people. Indeed he mentioned the only person who could fly an airship was another person who wrote an oil tanker simulator and understood the need to measure changes every 10 seconds and extrapolate input and output results from there.



Another notable person to meet was Mitch Altman. Founder of 3ware and now the, far more exciting, TV-B-Gone. TV-B-Gone is a small remote control that will send out the “Off” signal for all know TV sets (and some stereos too). Mitch’s pet peave is TVs that are on in public spaces. I tend to agree with him. I can’t stand it when I go to a bar or restaurant to spend time with someone and there’s a screen flashing away in my peripheral vision. I find it very distracting and disconcerting when there’s no one else in the area is even watching it. With TV-B-Gone it’s off.

Mitch helped me build one of the mega powerful TV-B-Gones. This one comes with 4 infrared transmitters and works from further away. I tried it at Mediamarkt which was just around the corner and had 100s of TVs on. It really pumps out a signal: in one press of the button I must have turned of 20 sets. Nobody noticed and I made a switfish exit before they did. The ciruitry is incredibly compact. More incredibly was to see how Mitch gave so freely of his time helping countless people solder, explaining the circuit and spreading useful technology. Thanks Mitch and I hope you get some sleep one of these days!


I noticed different herds of tech geeks there. Firstly, there were the hardware hackers: This group further broke down into the pretty hardware hackers (think das blinkin lights project) and the das-labour team. Another sub-strat of hardware hackers were the UAV and helicopter hardware hackers. This was a large group building (mostly) 4 rotor helicopters that could fly unassisted on pre-determined flight paths (think 1. take off, 2 hover outside hot neighbours bathroom window, 3. return. 4. Profit???). Yet another group of the hardware hackers were the radio guys. Lots of freifunk radio experts and the team designing the mesh radio for the OLPC were also hacking together.


The network herd were easily identifiable as those running some sort of packet sniffer. It was either a packet sniffer of variant of NMap. I was thankful for my VPN transporting my naked packets securely out of the in-house network where they were released onto a slightly less hostile internet. Wow, I never thought I would think of the internet as “more” secure than a LAN but hey, this is CCCC.


While on the topic of networks, I was impressed with the network provided. Each table had a 24 port switch wired back via gigabit ethernet to some big router and a couple of 10GigE connections to $REALWORLD. Wireless was about as good as could as could be expected with so many people in the area simultaneously connecting. Given the shared time-slots that WiFi relies on, the experience was similar to what happens when too many hubs are daisy chained. It kinda works, sometimes not, people connect and disconnect and then it works again. For awhile. Rinse, repeat.



Back to the heard identification: We have the hardware and network people covered. Next, the software herd. I met some intersting people hacking away on software projects while tuning in and out of talks. One was writing a peer to peer distributed hash table.


All very interesting and I urge you to attend next year (27-30 December 2008)

Should anyone ask, I am coming back from 24C3.

I’m coming back from the Chaos Computer Club Congress which has been a wonderful way to end the year and get through the “barse” (the useless part between the balls and arse) between Christmas and New Year. I met some interesting people there and the idealism that I encountered reminded me of my own during my stint at Linuxcare. Only this time the focus was more on electronics and politics with the odd bit of hardware hacking thrown in for good measure.


I strongly urge everyone who reads this to attend. It’s a great group of people and I’ve never really come across a conference similar to it. This year it cost just 80€ for 4 days of really good speakers. As Taska mentioned, you won’t come close to the level of knowledge and insight for the same amount at any other tech conference. And I doubt you get a barefooted man walking around (see picture) at something like 3GSM or DDL. Didn’t someone tell him it’s the middle of winter. But don’t let that misrepresent the event: there are lots of very smart people doing some very interesting work. Indeed Mr barefoot may be too. But he had a cold (wonder why?) so I stayed away.


The conference lasted for 4 days. An average day saw me arriving at around 10:30 and grabbing a seat on the front row of the podium in hall 1. There were 3 halls, each running a different track. So even though I was in one hall, there was still a video stream that could be watched by laptop from the other halls. A pair of headphones and you’re set.


I chatted to loads of people. Everyone seemed a little shy and it was always me striking up the conversation. Once started people seemed very happy to be drawn out of their shells and explain their project. Today I sat between 2 interesting gentlemen. One the right side sat a security researcher for an independent firm doing penetration testing and security consulting. On my left side, someone who writes flight simulators to teach pilots how to fly massive blimps (he wrote the simulator for the 1000 ton heavy lifter project located near Berlin). It turns out this is very hard to do. The teaching that is. The lack of immediate feedback upsets people. Indeed he mentioned the only person who could fly an airship was another person who wrote an oil tanker simulator and understood the need to measure changes every 10 seconds and extrapolate input and output results from there.


Another notable person to meet was Mitch Altman. Founder of 3ware and now the, far more exciting, TV-B-Gone. TV-B-Gone is a small remote control that will send out the “Off” signal for all know TV sets (and some stereos too). Mitch’s pet peave is TVs that are on in public spaces. I tend to agree with him. I can’t stand it when I go to a bar or restaurant to spend time with someone and there’s a screen flashing away in my peripheral vision. I find it very distracting and disconcerting when there’s no one else in the area is even watching it. With TV-B-Gone it’s off.


Mitch helped me build one of the mega powerful TV-B-Gones. This one comes with 4 infrared transmitters and works from further away. I tried it at Mediamarkt which was just around the corner and had 100s of TVs on. It really pumps out a signal: in one press of the button I must have turned of 20 sets. Nobody noticed and I made a switfish exit before they did. The ciruitry is incredibly compact. More incredibly was to see how Mitch gave so freely of his time helping countless people solder, explaining the circuit and spreading useful technology. Thanks Mitch and I hope you get some sleep one of these days!


I noticed different herds of tech geeks there. Firstly, there were the hardware hackers: This group further broke down into the pretty hardware hackers (think das blinkin lights project) and the das-labour team. Another sub-strat of hardware hackers were the UAV and helicopter hardware hackers. This was a large group building (mostly) 4 rotor helicopters that could fly unassisted on pre-determined flight paths (think 1. take off, 2 hover outside hot neighbours bathroom window, 3. return. 4. Profit???). Yet another group of the hardware hackers were the radio guys. Lots of freifunk radio experts and the team designing the mesh radio for the OLPC were also hacking together.


The network herd were easily identifiable as those running some sort of packet sniffer. It was either a packet sniffer of variant of NMap. I was thankful for my VPN transporting my naked packets securely out of the in-house network where they were released onto a slightly less hostile internet. Wow, I never thought I would think of the internet as “more” secure than a LAN but hey, this is CCCC.


While on the topic of networks, I was impressed with the network provided. Each table had a 24 port switch wired back via gigabit ethernet to some big router and a couple of 10GigE connections to $REALWORLD. Wireless was about as good as could as could be expected with so many people in the area simultaneously connecting. Given the shared time-slots that WiFi relies on, the experience was similar to what happens when too many hubs are daisy chained. It kinda works, sometimes not, people connect and disconnect and then it works again. For awhile. Rinse, repeat.


Back to the heard identification: We have the hardware and network people covered. Next, the software herd. I met some intersting people hacking away on software projects while tuning in and out of talks. One was writing a peer to peer distributed hash table.


All very interesting and I urge you to attend next year (27-30 December 2008)

Should anyone ask, I predict the following


Sitting here with a glass of Port Ellen scotch and thinking about the new year: We live in interesting times and are about to move into a year with less smooth and more crunch. A friend an myself compare notes on the markets and finally we see our predictions coming true. A year or two later than I expected but it now seems like the crunch will be much harder than if the hit had been taken earlier. My summary for the new year:

  1. Growth in western economies will slow.

  2. The S&P 500 index will fall by 10%

  3. Tech stock speculation will push up companies like Apple and Google by another 100% before the multiples get too long and we see a long overdue correction. Value investors have long since deserted the sexy stocks and moved back to fundamentals with good multiples. Expect speculators to be burned.

  4. The new topic of London dinner parties turns to being unable to find tenants for their buy-to-let.

  5. the soap opera of lost government data will continue


Expect more soul searching as the crunch takes hold. Now may be a time to invest in publishers of books covering frugality.

Should anyone ask, I predict the following

Sitting here with a glass of Port Ellen scotch and thinking about the new year: We live in interesting times and are about to move into a year with less smooth and more crunch. A friend an myself compare notes on the markets and finally we see our predictions coming true. A year or two later than I expected but it now seems like the crunch will be much harder than if the hit had been taken earlier. My summary for the new year:

  1. Growth in western economies will slow.

  2. The S&P 500 index will fall by 10%

  3. Tech stock speculation will push up companies like Apple and Google by another 100% before the multiples get too long and we see a long overdue correction. Value investors have long since deserted the sexy stocks and moved back to fundamentals with good multiples. Expect speculators to be burned.

  4. The new topic of London dinner parties turns to being unable to find tenants for their buy-to-let.

  5. the soap opera of lost government data will continue


Expect more soul searching as the crunch takes hold. Now may be a time to invest in publishers of books covering frugality.

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Should anyone ask, on building strong teams

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