“Unix is a user hostile operating system”

I found the almost complete “Computer Chronicles” recordings on archive.org – and boy this is fun!

I picked some episodes and found very interesting things – like this particular episode from 1985. It’s about Unix and obviously one of the presenters has his very own opinion about Unix.

Source: Computer Chronicles 1985 “Unix”

Since we’re writing our own google-scale filesystem… we should …

… build ourselves a case for the test machines with lego duplo blocks… like the founders of google did.

“It’d be hard to believe but yes, Sergey Brin and Larry Page made their first 40GB Google Storage Server with lego casing.”

original-google-storage-server

Source: http://zedomax.com/blog/2008/08/04/original-google-storage-server-made-with-legos/

Skype scares me…right now.

I had a Skype call today with a colleague and we came across the remaining 1,40 Euros on his SkypeOut balance… As many of you will know this SkypeOut balance is limited to 180 days. So when you’re not using it for 180 days it’ll be deactivated. We didn’t know this at that very moment we just talked about it what would happen.

And minutes later this happens:

I did not do anything with skype. I did not search on skype.com nor did I do anything else except talking about the subject with my colleague over skype. And there it is: The information we just talked about… you have to do a call once every 180 days to keep your SkypeOut activated…

Am I a bit to paranoid on that matter? It just matches a bit too well … and that would explain why Skype is using that much CPU cycles while calls are made…

in game advertising

Hmm… Once upon a time there was a guy with an idea. The idea simply breaks down to this:

“Sell full price games to people and get an extra revenue out of in-game advertising.”

So here we are: I just found pacific city in crackdown literally plastered with Dodge advertising. Once day it was Dell… if you’re playing in the UK you’ll probably get army ads… how sick is that.

The first game that got this kind of in-game advertising was Testdrive Unlimited. The advertising was only available in the US of A and when you bought the game there it wasn’t full-price but $20 less than a full price title – because of that in-game ads. As an european player you didn’t see any ads and you had to pay the full price.

To be clear: I don’t think in-game advertising sucks. I just think that if you’re gaining revenue from in-game advertising you should share it with the players who actually bought the game. (e.g. lower the game price).

In the case of crackdown there’s no lower price. And that sucks.

speedup Mail.app (or at least try to)

“As everyone knows, it is possible to get quite a speed boost out of Mail.app by stripping all the bloat out of its Envelope index, an SQLite database Mail uses to store senders, recipients, subjects and so on.”

It can lead to a speedup of Mail.App. Despite the fact it decreased the Envelope Index for me it wasn’t really noticable… but your mileage may vary.

Source: hawkwings

I guess… I guess I am wrong…


What happens when an API uses guessing to identify which character encoding is actually used in a text file:





  1. Open Notepad

  2. Type the text “this app can break” (without quotes)
  3. Save the file
  4. Re-open the file in Notepad


And the explanation: Notepad uses as windows system method called “IsTextUnicode()“. In the MSDN Library article on this method you can read:


“This function uses various statistical and deterministic methods to make its determination, under the control of flags passed in the lpi parameter. When the function returns, the results of such tests are reported using the same parameter.


The IS_TEXT_UNICODE_STATISTICS and IS_TEXT_UNICODE_REVERSE_STATISTICS tests use statistical analysis. These tests are not foolproof. The statistical tests assume certain amounts of variation between low and high bytes in a string, and some ASCII strings can slip through. For example, if lpBuffer indicates the ASCII string 0x41, 0x0A, 0x0D, 0x1D (A\n\r^Z), the string passes the IS_TEXT_UNICODE_STATISTICS test, although failure would be preferable. “


That simply means, that the method fails on detecting the correct character encoding. Aftermarket Pipes tells us:


“It actually runs a couple of heuristics over the first 256 bytes of the data and provides its best guess. As it turns out, these tests aren’t terribly reliable for very short ASCII strings that contain an even number of lower-case letters, like “this app can break”, “


Source 1: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/intl/unicode_81np.asp?frame=true
Source 2: http://apipes.blogspot.com/2006/06/this-api-can-break.html

Nintendo treasury

Sorry for the caps…:

“ON A TRIP TO THE HAMPTONS THIS WEEKEND I STOPPED AT A GARAGE SALE. AS I WALKED UP TO THE HOUSE I NOTICED A BIG PILE OF SUPER NINTENDO/NINTENDO GAMES. AFTER SELLING ME AROUND 100 GAMES FOR $40.”

“THE SELLER TOLD ME HE WORKED AT NINTENDO FOR 10 YEARS AND PART OF HIS JOB WAS TO GO AROUND TO THESE NINTENDO COMPETITIONS. HE SOLD ME ALL TYPES OF GAMES THAT HE SAID WERE PROTOTYPES(INCLUDING 5 COPIES OF THE STARFOX COMPETITION GAME.””

What a serious find!

Source: http://pixpipeline.com/users/jollerancher

the quiet revolution

“An elegant vertical-axis wind turbine, quietrevolution has been designed and developed by XCO2, an established low-carbon energy consultancy and engineering practice.

Virtually silent and vibration free, quietrevolution is ideally suited to both urban sites and exposed locations.

The simple and robust design (patent pending) has just one moving part, maximising reliability and minimising maintenance requirements.”

Vertical-axis wind turbines not only look very sci-fi, but when you add LEDs to the border of the turbine you can use them as a display:

So I leave you with a patent pending revolution which produces power and is virtually silent…whatever that means.

Source: http://www.quietrevolution.co.uk/

first official ps3 screenshots? something smells bad in sony land…

This is what is called the first official screenshots of a Playstation 3 game…:



Well… that looks a little bit different from the pre-rendered screenshots we where shown earlier… the final devkits will be available in June… Launch in November… Blue-Ray drive…Cell Processor… 60 GB hard-disk… what’s this thing going to cost? My first born? A 1000 Euro? In my opinion the only reason why Sony does not allow a closer look is, because people would see what die PS3 really is capable of…which is in no way more than a 360… I for myself expect exactly the same graphics and features the 360 delivers today… but when I look at the screenshots… well – maybe I was to optimistic with the graphics….

Source: http://ps3.ign.com/articles/695/695890p1.html

Martin Pointed Me To This Promising Company Which Is Out There To Bring Us Great Portale Media Playersbut At The Moment

Martin pointed me to this promising company which is out there to bring us great Portale Media Players…but at the moment… no real information is available on their website…but the start is done…international blogging…good way to start…


Source: http://www.venzero.com

has the XBOX 360 self-destruct integrated circuit?


Rumors and more rumors about the IBM eFuse circuits in the XBOX 360 CPU… Funny if it’s true and I can think of funny things to do with the CPU when modding is detected… B-)



(IBM)


“Some may say that I should strap on my tin foil hat, but in fact VID data is stored in the eFuses, it may be possible to shut power off to the CPU permanently or increase the core supply to the point of self-destruct.

Remember that VID “111111” or “111110” (VID order 4,3,2,1,0,5) indicated “NO CPU” therefore no supply power to the core.

This is just one possible scenario and may give new meaning to “FRAG your opponent”.


Source 1: XBOX CPU Design
Source 2: http://www.google.de/search?hl=de&q=efuse+IBM
Source 3: http://www.xbox-scene.com/tech-info-xbox360.php

++++ NEWS +++ GOOGLE PREDICTS EVERLASTING LIGHT BULB AND COLD FUSION +++

Oh well that’s not really news. Some say that Google utilizes the “big harddrive” that’s inside our planet earth… and some say that even gravity does not apply for google employees….



In fact… that’s all bullshit. Please Google. Be careful with words like “unlimited” … more text over here


Source 1: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=1113
Source 2: http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/669.html

what happened last night…


I really really hate those moments. This morning around 0100 AM the server that hosts schrankmonster and some more websites crashed after more than 200 days of flawless operation. I arrived at the server room at around 2 and rebooted the machine – but it did not boot – instead it kept rebooting and rebooting…



I turned it off and decided to come back after some hours of sleep with fresh diagnose software and a just-in-case operating system install cd…


Well I turned the machine on, booted into memtest86 and no errors were found… I rebooted and voilá – the machine came up and everything worked.


What the hell was that? :-( Any hints? (no there is nothing of interest in the system event logs)

blast from the 11 year old past… Sony will use MPEG-2 on BlueRay?

That’s exactly what I was frightened off. If it’s true – what are those morons thinking?! (are they?)

Anyways – they have to fill at least 9 Gbytes of space. And in times of MPEG4/AVC/WMVHD when 720p movies with full 5.1 sound are only around 4-5 Gbytes… you have to find a way to fuck the customer.

So – expect great MPEG2 HDTV movies with 3-4 times the size of their current-generation encoded equivalents… and all that just to fill the space… What’s the point in having the space and the technology when we’re not going to use it?

Source: the news

uhh, so the Intel Yonah comes with 64-bit?!… that’s news!

We all know that some of the newer Pentium 4 processors have the EMT64 extensions – which are just the licensed AMD64 commandsets poorly emulated by the Intel processor.



Now the news came up that the current “Intel Core Duo” Chip – whose codename is “Yonah” also has such a EMT64 extensions. That would make it quite interesting to see how some of the 64 bit operating systems perform on the chip…I doubt it would be faster than the 32 bit – but at least more features means more fun for the geek.

Source: Intel Yonah hidden features exposed