One of the banks I deal with uses one-time transaction numbers which they send in bulk by paper mail every now and then. (Pity that the local banks aren't as enlightened...)

The notion of "TransAction Numbers" I like, carrying the paper slip I don't - because paper encrypts so very badly and I'm lugging my Palm with me all the time anyway.

gocr takes care of the OCR, and generally works fine but BSTS...if comparing two sheets of meaningless numbers wasn't so ridiculously, mind-numbingly, dull. Can't have that.

So I had to look for a cheap, quick and dirty solution for that not-quite-problem, and after ten minutes I had it: espeak.

It's a fairly simple speech synthesizer, which unfortunately insists on pronouncing numbers as numbers, not individual digits, but a trivial half-line of perl data massaging took care of that.

Sure, espeak sounds like a post-lobotomy HAL 9000 with a hangover, but hey, it makes sanity-checking of the OCR results a lot faster and easier.

(Enlightened) Laziness is a virtue :-)

[ published on Sun 29.08.2010 23:24 | filed in interests/comp | ]

Conny has left the building. Still in transit: yesterday BNE-AKL, a few hours in Auckland, then AKL-LAX and many boring hours to be whiled away in Los Angeles. Now she's close to boarding her last flight, LAX-PHL, and should arrive back home in Philadelphia tomorrow morning local time.


And it's pretty empty in this here house, without her around.

[ published on Wed 18.08.2010 11:58 | filed in still-not-king | ]

This human universe is a mess, what with the authoritarian assholes always lusting after (& usually getting) control, and I for one am quite sick of it.

Therefore Tor appeals to me, a lot: no logs. decent crypto. grass-roots. hard to subvert completely. Good.

So in an attack of unwarranted altruism I'm doing my tiny bit to improve this bloody place. (mind you, with limited bandwidth and not as an exit router just yet, cause I want to monitor that experiment a bit longer before I extend the service)

Update (Sun 08.08.2010 14:46):

Just like owl - who knows how to spell its name: "wol" - doesn't know much. More specifically it knows nothing about whom it is relaying Tor traffic for. Since today, wol also serves as an exit relay for a small number of well-known services.

[ published on Thu 21.01.2010 13:33 | filed in interests/crypto | ]

I don't get it why people pick an Arduino for their electronics projects: they're expensive, fat gadgets in all senses of the word fat: bootloader, IDE, board size, dev environment complexity...

A $5 PIC can do the same things and exposes you properly to what you're doing - preferrably in assembler, not C. Sure, large projects are better coded in C - later on, after you've mastered the low level; until then there's nothing better than assembler for learning how a computer works.

[ published on Fri 06.08.2010 20:58 | filed in interests/tinkering | ]
 me in 1972 later that year around 97/98 me, myself and i in 2010 november 2013, still not king of style
  • born sometime in 1972

  • Austrian by chance, now living in Australia by choice

  • classic hacker in appearance and habit

  • graduate of the Technical University of Vienna (with the degree of "Dipl.-Ing. Tech. Math." which is somewhere between a "masters" degree in computer science and/or mathematics and a full PhD) and more recently of Bond Uni (with a PhD).

  • unix/linux sysadmin, security consultant, developer etc.
    This is clearly not my full resume; if you need one please ask.

  • and lots of other things no one cares about to know...but if you do, have a look in the interests section.

Update (Fri 06.08.2010 14:23):

I suppose it was time for a new photo, and Conny delivered a nice one :-)

[ published on Thu 01.01.2004 13:15 | filed in about/me | ]

Here are some shots of the progress of the Wheely King towards a decent-strength bumper:

 wk bumper wk bumper wk bumper

This 2008 version in metal didn't last a day (or more precisely the epoxy resin didn't hold it together long).

 wk new shocks locks wk new shocks locks

Shapelock is a pretty cool stuff: malleable from 60°C upwards and pretty strong when cooled down. This metal-plus-plastic bumper survived a good two years and quite a few rammings caused by a certain Kid Who Loves Full Throttle ;-) - but eventually the metal supports succumbed to said kid (the shapelock parts were still fine).

 wk status july 2010 wk status july 2010 wk status july 2010 wk status july 2010

And this is the latest version: a bumper make from shapelock only, no more batteries high up but shortened packs low and on the side of the frame, a fully locked rear diff, a grease-and-blutack-LSD in front, and decent tires on beadlocks. Looks dud but it works pretty well now :-)

[ published on Wed 04.08.2010 15:53 | filed in interests/tinkering | ]

Concrete apparently doesn't cut it anymore, We Must Have More Sandstone.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 02.08.2010 15:37 | filed in interests/au | ]

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