Fri

11

Jan

2013

F-Secure Antivirus Corrupts Git-Repository

I recently ran into some errors dealing with my git-repositories.

git fsck --full --progress

returned many errors like

bad sha1 file: .git/objects/1a/._32dbc32bce8958123ce808f49556bd0f8b3609

or

error: non-monotonic index .git/objects/pack/._pack-d780ff46242cce174a2067e9a5a1cc363cc66df0.idx

Looking into the problem, I discovered, that practically every single files had a corresponding one starting with ._ which contained only one line: Mac OS X 2??ATTR[????com.f-secure.clean1This resource fork intentionally left blank

F-Secure for Mac OS, which I installed without seeing the necessity, nor danger wrote these files into the whole repository and corrupted every single checksum.

After deinstalling F-Secure for Mac OS, I could fix the git-repo by running this command:

find . -name ._\* -type f -delete

To permanently stop the samba server from accepting these files, add

veto files = /._*/.DS_Store/ delete veto files = yes

To your smb.conf

0 Comments

Sun

22

Apr

2012

txt2tags on textmate

I love the power of plaintext and texteditors. For adding more semantic meaning, I have experimented with the lightweight markup-languages txt2tags, emacs org-mode and Markdown. All three have their stengths and weaknesses. Txt2tags adds the ability to export to many different formats. Markdown is well supported on many editors on Mac OS an iOS. Org-Mode has so much power, calling it a markup-language is actually not doing it enough justice. If you are new to emacs, it takes a long time to learn it.

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Mon

12

Mar

2012

Put Fun Tasks Into Your GTD

When I first read David Allen's book "Getting Things Done", I liked it. It sounded like a great way to organize your life. But somehow it did not work for me. I did not have the reliable and trusted system. I experimented with all kinds of software, but none fit. The first one that I really filled with my tasks and my thoughts was Thinking Rock. But somehow the system grew full of stuff that I was supposed to do, after a short while I developed a resistance to even look at it. I startet missing deadlines and mistrusted the system despite the fact, that it was technically reliable. I blamed the software, because I felt it was not pretty enough. When I converted to Mac, I started using OmniFocus which provided a better user experience.

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Wed

24

Nov

2010

Fair Trade by Contracts

In a recent TED Talk, Auret van Heerden, showed the shocking dark side of globalization.

 

Governments seem helpless in the face of this problem. Around the middle of the talk, he shows, how the power of contracts can help solve this.

 

Of course, we, the consumers must pay a lot of attention to what we buy. Products that are not manufactured in an ethical way, should be bought less, so that companies with bad codes of conduct have a disadvantage over those with good codes of conduct.

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Fri

12

Nov

2010

Trigger tweets with cron and mysql

Adventskalender are a popular German countdown to christmas. Every morning, you open a little door with a gift or chocolate behind it.

 

Our local Lions Club, sells such a calendar with prizes behind the little doors. Each one has a unique number. The numbers get chosen randomly every day. They are published in the local newspaper and on our website.

 

It is basically a lottery. Lots of people look up the numbers.

 

This year, I wanted to also publish them on twitter, so calendar-owners simply follow @lionswerne and get the numbers every morning. Manually tweeting every morning would not be fun.

 

Here is how I wrote a little script, so my Linux-Computer takes care of this automatically. If you are doing something similar, you can follow my instructions. Let me know, if it was of any help.

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Mon

04

Oct

2010

Institution vs. Collaboration

Another great Ted-Talk. In 2005, Clay Shirky explained, that the communication cost is rapidly falling, thus making classic organisation-structures unnecessary in many cases as decentralized collaboration becomes very easy.

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Tue

28

Sep

2010

No-Reply

Imagine an annoying kid yelling for your attention. He is jumping up and down, pulling on the leg of your pants, when you are doing something else. Even getting right in your face and interrupting you when you are watching your favorite DVD. Then finally, you give in, turn to the kid and talk to it. Right in that moment, he freezes, covers his ears starts humming, so he can't hear you and yells back at you, that he does not want to talk to you.

 

You would definitely be irritated.

 

The real world scenario is the common practice of no-reply-addresses with which businesses tend to talk to their customers. Here is my experience with 1&1. They are real attention seekers. For the last ten years, they are sending me spam mail and putting advertisements on websites I visit. Recently, they even started interrupting my television with their tv-advertisemts. Always when I did not want to communicate with them. A few weeks ago, they even called me at work to tell me how much they liked having me as a customer.

 

Wow. I was flattered. As a symbol of their gratitude, they even wanted to give me something - for FREE. A melekstsheensh. Whatever that was. I kept asking until I figured that it was just a problem of enunciation and the product was in fact called Mail-Exchange. That made more sense. BTW, this is something that might annoy me even more: mixing languages. But the marketing-people at 1&1 came up with the name and now the employees have to use it in German sentences. End of story.

 

During the course of the phone-call, it turned out, that the phone-droid was selling me an expensive upgrade with just the first month free of charge. I kept asking, what the shiny new product was for and he told me that I definitely had to try it. It was basically about having information at hand on any device. On my phone, desktop or work computer. I should try it and I could quit any time if I did not like it.

 

That sounded fair and I was curious. The contract was done via a telefone recording and a few minutes later, I received an email about my new Mail-Exchange. But within minutes after I downloaded the manual, I was disappointed. The lengthy pdf-document illustrated how to set up stuff, that I already had by using an iPhone, Apples Mobile-Me and Dropbox. No new features, just complicated setup-procedures. A look at the clock told me that I was just talked into wasting half an hour of my workday. Time better spent doing anything else. Most favorably with my wife and children at home.

 

So I looked for the button to quit this Mail-Exchange time thief before it started costing money. I could not find anything, so I replied to their email and asked them where to find it. The answer was nice and quick. The button was not implemeted, yet, but I could send them an email anytime I wanted to quit. 

 

Right after that, I received an email asking me how I liked their support. It included a link to a questionnaire. Well, my answer was not that simple and I did not want to simply click a multiple-choice answer. So I decided to write them an email about my experience and my personal perception. It might help them improve the product, the documentation and their marketing. After writing and sending it, I felt better and wanted to continue my work. Suddenly, I got an automatic reply telling me that I did something wrong: I replied to a no-reply-address. The web-server was configured to treat my thoughts as spam and deleted it so that nobody would ever waste their precious time reading it. That really got me angry. They had no problem pesting me for the last decade and now that I had something to say, they told me, that they did not like to hear from me. 

 

I can understand, that not every company likes to be bothered with off-topic requests, that do not have much to do with achieving their goals. I fully understand Steve Jobs, when he told a student who basically asked Apple to do her homework to "leave us alone".

 

Heck, she got the attention. Getting told that your mail was discarded immediately feels a lot worse. Why do companies still use no-reply-addresses?

2 Comments

Mon

20

Sep

2010

British Humor: Fatal Beatings

In my previous blog-post, Sir Ken Robbins said, that schools kill creativity. Rowan Atkinson takes it a step further and shows, how schools kill.

 

I just love british humor. Rowan Atkinson is known all over the world as Mr. Bean, where he is funny without talking.

 

Watch him in a live performance delivering really black humor.

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Sun

19

Sep

2010

Schools And Creativity

Of the many TED-Talks, this is my favourite. It is funny, smart and - as far as I can tell - very true.


Sir Ken Robinson talks about how schools kill creativity in our society. In the talk, he point out, how children are not afraid to be wrong. "If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with something original."

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Sat

18

Sep

2010

Limited government

When I hear politicians talk about the necessity of an internet kill switch, data retention (Vorratsdatenspeicherung) the war on terror and such, I get the feeling that the nation-state is getting too much power over us and is ruining our freedom.


It boils down to the question of what the scope of government should be. I do not have an answer, but I like the idea of leaving as much power and freedom to the people as possible and to avoid a totalitarian society.

 

When I came across this very old recording of Nobel-prize-winner Milton Friedman talking about limited government, it resonated very deep with many of my believes.

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Sat

18

Sep

2010

Flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's talk at ted starts very slowy and it takes about 8 minutes, till he finally cuts to the chase.

 

He describes the emotional state that many people experience when they are completely immersed in a challenging task they like.

 

The flow is something that I sometimes reach when writing software, plan or design something I care about. A ringing telephone then feels like an alarm clock waking me from a dream state. It seems to come from a completely different world.

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Tue

14

Sep

2010

Depublizieren: A New German Law Puts An Expiry Date On Information

Our government has recently passed a law that could be from the novel 1984 by George Orwell. I am sure, many of you have read the book and remember that it is about creating new words and messing with archived information.

 

Whenever it suited that distopian government, they went into the archives to delete and manipulate content, so the real history could not be traced and they redesigned their language, creating new words and giving existing words new meaning.

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Mon

13

Sep

2010

Johnny Cash: One

Johnny Cash is one of the few musicians, who are authentic. He was even original, when he covered songs from others. He has the gift to sing in a way that really gives meaning to every single word.

 

The best example in my humble opinion is U2s "One".

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Sun

12

Sep

2010

Let Children Learn By Playing With Computers

Alan Kay gives a great TED Talk about teaching or rather giving children the chance to find things out by themselves.

 

The whole talk is 20 Minutes. The really geeky and fascinating part starts at 12 Minutes, where he demos a software from the 100$-Laptop "One Laptop Per Child".

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Sat

11

Sep

2010

Inspiring Video: Last Lecture

A very touching and inspiring video: Knowing that he must die of cancer soon, Professor Randy Pausch gave his last lecture in front of 400 people.

 

It is more than an hour to watch, but well worth it. He talks about his childhood dreams and what he has achieved in his 47 years. The importance of of hard work and failure.

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Fri

10

Sep

2010

Tinkering School

I accomplish a lot buy tinkering around. Lead by my curiosity, I sometimes spent hours with a piece of hard- or software until I figured it out or made it to something I want it to.

 

Early on I was entrusted with a computer. So this video resonated with me. It is about kids who learn "You can figure things out by fooling around"

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Fri

10

Sep

2010

Cool video: Creation of harbour

Harbour is a worldwide community effort, to revive the xBase Language. The first goal was to make it fully Clipper compatible. After that was accomplished, it keeps growing. Now, it compiles on almost all platforms. So your old clipper-code can easily be turned into a Linux or Mac Application.

 

Somehow the development of a software project is very abstract. I found a video, that is also abstract, but stunningly beautiful. It visualizes 11 years of active development.

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Thu

09

Sep

2010

Joel Spolsky: Simplicity vs. Choice

For years, I follow Joel Spolsky in his blog. He has a very personal and convincing style of writing and opened my eyes on many topics.

 

Here is a very interesting talk in which he explains, why users always ask for simplicity although deep in their heart they want a lot of features. If you read his blog, there is probably nothing new in this talk, but it is very nicely presented.

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Sat

27

Feb

2010

From CA-Clipper to Windows in 5 Minutes

Do you still have old DOS-Programs based on CA-Clipper running on your system? This Howto shows you, how to speed up those programs by compiling them with hmg.

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Wed

24

Feb

2010

Announcing: PostgreSQL for HMG

I just finished my first howto. If you are a harbour or hmg-developer, you can read, how to get started with PostgreSQL.

 

Read it here: PostgreSQL for HMG

 

Have fun reading and leave comments, if you liked it and especially if you did not like it. Point out mistakes, errors or make fun of me, if you feel like it.