at work i have to use an outbound mail server that requires smtp auth. that's fine, except postfix expects that you save the password in a file for sasl. my paranoia level disagrees with passwords ending up on disk unencrypted, so i decided to improve matters by convincing postfix to use the kernel keystore for accessing passwords.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sat 12.09.2015 15:31 | filed in interests/crypto | ]

I don't know why I'm so reluctant to document or write about trips; do and see and sponge up experiences and enjoy: yes, absolutely. photograph stuff and write up: not really. So it's no surprise that I've been back a full week already before writing this, and haven't got too many photos to show.

Anyway, to the story: this year I booked three weeks of vacation in one go, with the aim to hit the roads and dirt tracks westwards and see what I can see and wander around until I run out of time or energy. One tentative aim or pivot point, so to speak was to be Cameron Corner, where the borders of Queensland, NSW and South Australia meet in one spot.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 07.08.2015 20:57 | filed in interests/au | ]

...is pure hardship, just plain horrible.

 gold coast beach
[ published on Mon 08.06.2015 17:27 | filed in interests/au | ]

...eingekastelter! lt. dem standard ist österreich "führend" beim haftstrafen-verhängen - leider negativ-führend.

"ob gross, ob klein, mir kastln alle ein!"

(klaro, das passiert natürlich nur denen die keinen Politischen Papa haben der's einem richtet. warum die bladen weniger wegen brutalität eingekastelt werden ist nicht ganz so klar.)

[ published on Tue 19.05.2015 21:31 | filed in interests/anti | ]

i've given up paragliding. sold 2/3 of my kit already (my somewhat-but-not-totally old and very little used glider is still for sale - my older-than-remembered but totally unused reserve is not for sale, as i don't know what to do with it).

i miss being in the air. a lot. i don't miss the perpetual worries and the feeling of utter helplessness - not if, but when - the moving masses of air take control out of your hands. i also don't miss not having become yet another data point in the PG accident statistics.

so, for now, that's it. flat earth. blue sky. me dreaming.

i hope to return, but if it happens it'll likely be in something more rigid than a paraglider.

[ published on Wed 13.05.2015 19:14 | filed in interests/flying | ]

hello, i'm az and i'm an old fart: i really like graffiti - i always have, since 1998 when i bought my first palm iii.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sat 25.04.2015 19:21 | filed in interests/comp | ]

The wind station has gone through its third and hopefully final R&D iteration, and I think now it's alright - but it was a bit of an odyssey to get to this point.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 26.04.2013 15:07 | filed in interests/tinkering | ]

Even its original perpetrator agrees.

I don't like my browser running code provided by strangers (who are very unlikely to have my best interests at heart).

On the other hand, having a site that works reasonably well with dinky screens is nice.

Combine those two sentiments with my love of tinkering, and it won't come as a big surprise that I eventually did find a way to have both responsive layout with a popup navigation menu, but without any JS (or server-side magic).
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sun 22.03.2015 11:13 | filed in interests/comp | ]

The Windows 10 announcement: certified hardware can lock out competing OSes means that it would become much easier and more common that the computer you've just bought does not boot anything but MS shiteware.

[ published on Sun 22.03.2015 10:03 | filed in interests/anti | ]

Beim Herumstöbern bin ich über diesen ÖBB-Unfallbericht gestolpert, und hab den sehr lustig gefunden.

(Den Italienern ist eine unbemannte ÖBB-Lok Richtung Villach "ausgekommen" und dem Bericht nach sind daraufhin alle kurz wie die kopflosen Hendln herumgelaufen.)

Der Bericht selbst ist wunderbar. Die Formulierungen sind eine wilde Mischung aus Altösterreichischem Amtsdeutsch, elendigen Abkz. u.dgl. - und sehr witzigen Nacherzählungen bzw. Übersetzungen der Zeugenaussagen.

Auf Seite 13 lässt sich da der Italienische Chef gscheit aus, und auf Seite 17 wird klargemacht dass zum "Energischen Auffordern" das mit den Armen wacheln ganz klar dazugehört.

Insgesamt sehr Österreichisch, das Ganze.

[ published on Thu 12.03.2015 20:37 | filed in interests/humour | ]

Da sind sogar die Trotteln besonders unbeschreiblich deppert.

lernern
[ published on Tue 03.03.2015 16:54 | filed in interests/anti | ]

Two of my unstressed WD20EARX disks have just crapped themselves almost simultaneously after 21846 hours of operation (or 2.493 years), with just 49 power cycles and disk temperatures never above 45 degrees C. Both disks were manufactured in June 2011, but WD's warranty period for consumer gear is only two years.

The culprit? WD's damn idle3 timer which I wasn't quite aware of until a few days ago; hdparm only says 'power management not supported' and I trusted that to mean 'no spindown'.

That timer contraption parks the disk after just 8 seconds of idleness. Guess what: both of mine shipped with the default setting, 8 seconds, and racked up a load cycle count around 2377000. (That WD disk series is rated for a minimum of 300000 load cycles, certainly not 3 million).

Update (Sun 22.02.2015 11:09):

Seagate: see data run! run, data, RUN!

Well, the competition isn't much more reliable. There are four ST2000DM001-9YN164 in my colo'd systems at the other end of the world (climate-controlled datacenter, stable power, no nasties whatsoever).

One of the damn disks is going tilt very, very quickly. After just a measly two years. See az not happy. Run, Seagate, RUN! >:-(

Power_On_Hours 17774
Power_Cycle_Count 24
Power-Off_Retract_Count 17
Load_Cycle_Count 131
Airflow_Temperature_Cel 25 (Min/Max 23/32)
Temperature_Celsius 25

And the damning:

Current_Pending_Sector 88
Offline_Uncorrectable 88

And it's deteriorating pretty quickly, about 16 new duds every day or two. Fortunately it's all RAID-1 and the replacement is already ordered.

[ published on Sun 23.02.2014 17:47 | filed in interests/comp | ]

The British Isles have a reputation for being a culinary wasteland (pickled eggs, offal pie, absolutely dead mashed vegetables combined with meat red enough to hop of your plate, etc. pp.), but I guess this here might be an example of colonial one-upmanship:

 wooster plastic wooster plastic

This Australian wooster sauce boastfully claims that it's made from 50% recycled plastic. I'm not quite sure whether I want to know about its other "premium quality ingredients".

[ published on Mon 16.02.2015 16:59 | filed in interests/au | ]

...at least when the mail has finally brought you a toy like this one:

 udi 839 quadcopter

That's a UDI R/C 839 quadcopter, which cost me a measly AU$35 (shipped). Really tiny, lots of fun to fly, very much worth it.

[ published on Wed 11.02.2015 21:25 | filed in interests | ]

I find it very interesting how Stiegl is increasingly present in the Australian beer market; a few years ago you'd find it only in very very very special beer pubs, but that's changing. In December I had a few here on the Gold Coast, at the Bier Cafe in Broadbeach. (On tap, not bottled.)

And now even Aldi has it - except that for silly hysterical raisins most of Oz still requires totally separate bottle shops, and in QLD Aldi's booze branch is mail-order-only for that reason.

With the also ridiculously high alco taxes factored in, the lovely Stiegl costs about 50% more than the decent local brews; $7.6/litre vs $5/litre. No surprise that lots of Australians do home-brew; even I do it every now and then.

While I intensely dislike the City of Salzburg (it's the anus mundi as far as I'm concerned), I wholeheartedly endorse the products and/or sevices of the Brauerei Stiegl :-)

[ published on Sun 08.02.2015 12:45 | filed in interests/au | ]

Not much to be said about him, except that he's pretty good but very dead, and the book, except that it's slightly weird but very good.

[ published on Mon 02.02.2015 20:21 | filed in interests | ]

...but the local weather sucked nevertheless: still 86% humidity at 2100.

Today is also the day on which I gave in (to a recommendation by a friend) and spent $249 on a Rowenta DH4120 dehumidifier (on special/clearance at Hardly Normal, RRP $590 or so). It's now been running since 1730 and I just emptied out 4l of water, and the relative humidity inside is now 68%, not qute perfect yet but not as dripping wet as earlier.

We'll see how the thing does over the next few days, especially whether it's big enough to handle the 200m^3 of my place.

[ published on Wed 14.01.2015 20:54 | filed in interests/au | ]

-- karl kraus, wobei es sich fragt, ob der kraus über die (erlogene!) gschicht mit dem verschlampten hitler-brief gelacht oder gewettert hätte.

[ published on Sat 22.11.2014 22:46 | filed in interests/humour | ]
 the magic excel dryer
[ published on Tue 18.11.2014 07:29 | filed in interests/humour | ]
pricks

(see here if DSW is not a term you're familiar with...)

[ published on Thu 13.11.2014 18:17 | filed in interests/humour | ]

"clearly we can't have that! so, up the pain!" must be mozilla's official line. point in case: firefox 31. (inflicted upon us as a security update from debian's marginally bearable ff24.)

by and large humans are pretty lemming-like and flock to the "oh, shiny!" but when it comes to FF 31 the natural reaction is more like "booh, shitty".

the ui layout is plain stupid. the options and choices are gone. it's less usable than all the older versions of FF. it's a memory hog. it manages to both waste more screen real estate and show less useful information simultaneously, which is quite a feat.

An editor is a tool for saving programmer-bukkake to disk. -- Anthony de Boer

oi! mozilla team: less wanking. please.

(unfortunately there are no real workable alternatives: midori isn't flexible or solid enough yet, and with chromium the stoopid never goes below 11.)

fortunately there are lots of other people who also hate the default setup and have spent some time cooking up useful extensions for getting FF back into a workable state:

[ published on Sun 19.10.2014 13:53 | filed in interests/anti | ]
stop-data-retention_infographic

source: andrew bath's site

[ published on Thu 09.10.2014 19:40 | filed in interests/anti | ]

source: the ever-topical and refreshingly nasty First Dog on the Moon

firstdog-21st-centuryfirstdog-attack-800wfirstdog-eggplant-800w
[ published on Mon 29.09.2014 19:54 | filed in interests/anti | ]

So the local *unspeakable* *elided* with the big ambitions, glib tongues, short memories and minimal brains have decided to play the "nasty evil terrorist" sock puppet once again - very likely because

  • it's convenient for justifying all kinds of absolute abuse,

  • the sheep will nod their heads and be suitably subdued by your fear mongering propaganda,

  • and you never have to substantiate any of your divine inspirations - because you can always just handwave some soopersekrid rule that says you're not allowed to say anything about those "threats" - but hey, they're "imminent! honest, trust me". bwuahahaha...

As we all know pretty well there's a ridiculously low risk of the evil bad torrorists (who are obviously "everywhere" according to the *unspeakable*s) terminating you, yes you!; much lower than the risk of you getting mushed by traffic & croaking, or slipping in your bathtub & croaking or...gazillions of other causes.

As a matter of fact i'm quite sure that you're much more likely to be killed by your own government (or one of its allies and sundry henchmen) than by the nasty oh-so-ubiquitous terrorists.

Refuse to be terrorized! (and please do enjoy your noodles)

[ published on Sat 13.09.2014 14:48 | filed in interests/anti | ]

(dear english readers, sorry but that's all quite utterly untranslatable.)

 allerdings wirklich sehr potsdings...

wenn ich mir die letzten 40 jahre globale realpolitik anschauen würde dann wär mein resume 'mehr verlogene scheisse als die "seriösen" politiker kann so eine krach-rosa bettina auch nicht anrichten, und da wärs zuschaun wenigstens lustig.'

[ published on Sat 13.09.2014 09:20 | filed in interests/humour | ]

They are pretty cheap to buy, nowadays, but I prefer making my own if possible - that has the added benefit that I get to understand how it works (or why not).

The intertubes have linked to that diagram for ages, but that one doesn't work. The diode needs to be installed blocking the MAX's TTL output connection, not the input.

This is because the Yaesu radios use the Dallas 1-wire "bus" system, which works by holding the line level high when idle, and to transmit either of the two parties pulls the bus low (for different amounts of time to signal 0/1).

With the diagram as shown above the MAX's pull-up output overpowers the Yaesu's minimal current sink when it tries to pull low, so its transmissions go nowhere.

With the diode blocking against the TX pin, the Yaesu can pull the signal low to send and the MAX TX pin level is isolated. Transmitting to the Yaesu works because when the MAX pulls low, current flows across the diode and the Yaesu sees the low level. Slightly weird, but it works.

Here's the trivially simple Yaesu programming cable that I whipped up:

one FTDI breakout board (I have lots of MAX232s around, but dealing with the extra 5V power supply is less appealing than just using a cheapy usb-to-rs232 module), one diode and one dismantled 4-pin/TRRS plug.

CHIRP works fine with that cable and both my VX-5R and VX-7R.

 simplest yaesu cable possible cable and vx5r
[ published on Sun 07.09.2014 14:26 | filed in interests/tinkering | ]

"Gold Coast Show Day" - das ist ungefähr so weltbewegend als wie ein Kirtag in der Provinz irgendwo hinter St. Blöden.

Mehr weltbewegend find ich das Feiertags-Faktum an sich; etwa so unglaublich als wie wenn in Wien alle frei hätten und alles zu wäre, weil's in Sopron den "Tag des Kukuruz" zelebrieren.

[ published on Thu 28.08.2014 21:09 | filed in interests/au | ]

I find the new 'good & cheap' cookbook by Leanne Brown pretty cool and very inspirational - and it's free :-)

Cooking for just myself isn't my idea of fun, but a number of the eminently practical ideas from Leanne's book I've already used successfully.

I'm lucky in that I don't belong to the prime audience for her book, however; for me the appeal lies in her simple, straightforward, low-to-no-frills and fast-ish cooking projects.

[ published on Mon 11.08.2014 19:58 | filed in interests | ]

I just finished rebuilding an Ikea Jansjö lamp into a portable camping lantern. It's not quite Luxo, Jr. but it'll do.

 not luxo jr not luxo jr

The Jansjö has a very long flexible neck, and to me that's the most essential aspect: it lets me have light on the table surface without having anything to suspend a lantern from. All the other common camping lanterns suck in that regard as they need to be suspended - or they produce lots of glare and no light on the table.

The Jansjö has one 3.5W white LED and needs 4V. I threw away the transformer and the concrete weight for the base, then glued the base to a plastic cylinder that once held 25 dvds - that has just the right diameter and has space for one adjustable LM2596-based step-down converter, and one set of repurposed laptop lithium cells (four in series).

Very simple, same XT60 plugs as all my other rechargable stuff, and packs up reasonably small.

[ published on Thu 24.07.2014 19:41 | filed in interests/tinkering | ]

There are very good technical reasons for why SMTP has an envelope that is separate from the mail headers. DMARC ignores those completely and insists that the envelope matches the mail body and headers.

Net result: DMARC completely breaks mail forwarding and mailing lists. The fun part for anybody running mailing lists (like me) is that there are no alternatives - to appease the DMARC cretins you'd have to violate real mail standards or make your lists broken by disabling useful features of proven efficiency (like VERP) and exposing all your subscribers to bounces and other crap.

In the physical world DMARC would be like prohibiting blank envelopes and requiring that all letters must have the full letter head printed on the front of the envelope.

"this letter contains a new credit card - please steal me!"

Clearly only cretins would think that's a good idea. The list of cretins who insist that DMARC being a great idea includes yahoo, aol and hotmail.

I hope yahoo's dumb move does serve to 'improve protection' - by prompting people to go to somebody more sensible for their mail hosting.

[ published on Sun 22.06.2014 12:49 | filed in interests/anti | ]

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