Archive for June 2005

Getting greedy :-)

Show me the money! In an attempt to make money out of my website, I’ve added advertisements from Google. Now go click on them and make me rich! Bwuhahahaaa! :-)

No really — I’ve always been wondering what would happen if I put banners on my site, so consider this an experiment of sorts. Please tell me what you think of this…

Visited Orbit-iEX

Messeturm Bases I’ve been doing much too much lately, but better late than never: here’s a report from my visit at the Orbit-iEX trade fair in Basel two weeks ago.

The fair opened at nine and by taking the train at eight from Aarau I could be there exactly on time. The first thing one sees is the magnificent Messeturm Basel — it’s the tallest building in Switzerland with it’s 105 metres. I’ve been to Basel before, but this was the first time I saw it in daylight.

Since I’m a student I could get in at the fair for only 10 CHF, a nice touch! Inside there were lots to look at, it took me a long time just to explore the two floors for they were so huge! I kept loosing track of where I had been, and where I was heading.

The fair was clearly not aimed at developers like me — it was more aimed at the people who like wearing suits. So I heard some presentations about various pieces of software which should enable your business to ⟨insert favorite buzzword here⟩ by utilizing the fantastic powers coming from ⟨insert favorite technology buzzword here⟩… it was a bit amusing to see what it actually is those people go around and spend their days doing :-)

The robot I also got to meet a talking robot there — I saw it coming towards me so I took at picture of it.

It came closer and asked me if it was a digital camera I had used, and if it could see the photo? I was totally surprised to hear it talking to me, and at first I thought that it was just some standard greeting. But it insisted and it was only after I showed it the photo that it rolled on its way. Very funny incident!

Some other highlights were some guys from a Hong Kong company called RiTech (sorry, they will try and maximize your browser… I have no idea why people think they should control the size of my browser?). They had a cool USB flashdrive with a built in fingerprint reader. So the drive would only activate after having seen the right fingerprint — and when it did so, then it would just act like any other USB storage device, and thus be compatible with anything from Linux to Windows.

I tried to get them to tell me the price of such a thingy, but they were not so terribly good salesmen for they seemed to kind of lose interest in me. Oh well, maybe they could tell that probably wouldn’t have bought one on the spot anyway.

Half a Formula 1 racing car

There were also one booth that sported half a Formula 1 racing car. I cannot remember why anymore, but it was a funny “gadget” to show.

Before going home I went to booth L62 in hall 2.1 to get my key signed. I had checked Biglumber beforehand, and had discovered that Andre Dierker would like to exchange key fingerprints. I first had to circle the booth a couple of times, trying to read the name tags on peoples shirts, and finally I found him. We then exchanged key fingerprints on little paper slips — it was good to see that I’m not the only one who carry those things around in my wallet! :-)

I then took the train home, or rather directly to Zürich for my lecture in OOSC.

Is Sarge released?

Debian logo The next stable version of [Debian][] codenamed Sarge was supposed to be released today… They have either done it in a really quiet way, or not at all — I fear that they missed their target date again.

It’s a shame, for I guess there are still some server admins out there who are waiting for a new stable version of Debian — I’ve been running the “testing” distribution for a long time and I’m very satisfied with the stability of it.

My original plan was to stick with Sarge and thus obtain a system which would be stable and only receive security updates. I’m actually not sure anymore if I’ll do that, or if I’ll keep moving along with “testing”. Any Debian users out there — what do you plan to do?

Playing with multi-tty Emacs

GNU logo I’ve installed a new version of [GNU][] [Emacs][] on my [Debian][] system. The cool thing about this version is that is has supprot for multi-tty which means that it can show frames om multiple different kinds of TTYs.

Normally you can start your Emacs in X and use emacsclient to quickly bring up a new frame. This works fine — but in fact it’s a little too much, for you always get a new frame (in the X environment) when using emacsclient. If you are logged in using something like SSH, then what you really want is to have emacsclient show a frame on your terminal.

This is exactly what the Emacs multi-tty support project gives you! Starting emacsclient with the $DISPLAY variable set gives you a new frame in X, as you would expect. But if this variable is unset (as it is in a SSH session without X forwarding) then you get your new frame in the console. You then of course have access to Emacs just as you left it, including all the buffers.

So I can now just leave my Emacs running at my computer, and to check mail I just SSH to my box and connect to the running Emacs process. There I just switch to my [Gnus][] buffer instead of having to kill it first. Very sweet!

Oh, and by the way: the author says that emacsclient starts up faster than vi… In fact, I think I’ll make vi a symlink to emacsclient from now on… ;-)

Nature bugs me

Here in Switzerland we have spiders, just like in Denmark, but not quite… The problem is that they spiders here are so dammed big compared to the ones from back home! :-)

Yesterday evening I went out on our balcony to windup the marquise because it was starting to rain a bit. And when doing so I suddenly saw a dark thing move up under the roof: a spider. I hate spiders, especially when I am surprised by one. If I’m only aware of it, then it’s okay, but when I suddenly see one where I didn’t expect to, then it’s another business.

Of course the circumstances could also have been better: I had just been watching some of the extra material from the Return of the King, in fact I had just seen how they designed the mighty spider Shelob.