Thursday, December 31, 2009

the wrap up

I'm wrapping up an interesting year, with just a few highs and several lows 'll need to work on for quite some time. Interestingly enough, the average might be comforting, but maybe one would wish for more (clustered? :-) average values rather than highs and lows :-)

Lets see how 2010 would be... Happy holidays and A Happy New Year! :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

how to automatically create/extract multi volume TARs

For the past year(s) or so I've been running into situations where I have created some code snippets to help me out with my (hobby) projects, only to lose them later from .bash_history :-)

This is about to change now, thanks to the great hints I find evey now and then via Jeremy's linkblog and the inspirational "splitting large files with TAR"

First, we need to introduce the following TAR helpers

Then, we create (i.e. 1MB) TAR multi volume/part archives on the fly

Extracting is again, almost painless :-)

PS. I hope the gist is showing ok, Blogger's preview is blind to it :-(

PPS. The above code was successfully tested on Debian/Ubuntu, on some other platforms (i.e. RedHat) --volno-file might start counting from... 2 (stupid!). You can always modify to use its own increment scheme (same as Take care!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Where is Google/Android heading?

Powered by a large gold minting machine (its advertising & search business), Google runs the most power efficient datacenters, indexes your world, listens to you, virtualizes your mobile, puts you on the map and many other things (to come). What is Google up to? really...

Imagine a world where everything is connected, imagine a world where your (Android) mobile phone dials home and starts the owen, makes the coffee, orders the missing groceries from the shop (wait, the Android powered fridge will do that :-)

Surreal? Not really.

How about speaking to your own android, giving him/her instructions, asking for advice. Is it far fetched? Not really.

The cloud will do all the magic, will be the soul in your small appliances if they are underpowered. The cloud will know more about you than you ever will, but it will (always?) be on your side. Assisting, Helping, Advicing. Far fetched? Yes.

Still, doable. And Google is the front-runner...
The next 10 years will prove me wrong, or maybe not :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

how to use Google Voice from abroad

Remember how to watch Hulu from abroad?

It gets even better, now with Google's Voice :-)

This how-to requires of bit more work, energy and maybe commitment ($$), but I'll keep it short, I don't want to bother you with the technical details (sic).

You'll need:

+ Google's invitation to the service (it helps if you enroll :-)
+ the "Hulu setup" (Opera, SecureConnect, SSH access)

(then it gets interestingly harder)

+ US DID number (googling "free DID" should help)
+ Asterisk setup to hook the DID into and pass the call to...
+ your VoIP client (the free X-Lite comes to mind)

Then type your DID in Google's Voice,
answer the incoming test call,
key in the test PIN and you're set

PS. many thanks to my * friend (you know who you are :-)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

how to watch Hulu from abroad

Well, it might not be that easy & cheap to do it, but lets march / dream on :-)

You'll need

+ VPS or better in the USA (or just SSH access :-)
+ a bit of luck to get the evaluation for SSH Tectia ConnectSecure
+ decent browser (that's easy, isn't it? :-)

The ConnectSecure evaluation will expire after 45 days, but if you're reading this I'm sure you have enough money to fork / buy your own copy. The magic is worth the investment since ConnectSecure will allow you to transparently tunnel any of your applications (Windows or Linux :-) across the water so that they'll feel "at home" over there.

Enough talking, lets jump to the meat of the problem - the configuration

create a new profile, you'll need a hostname and an SSH account

go to Filter Rules and select the application to be "teleported"

optionally you can disable the small security popup shown during operation

then you can Get Happy :-)

Friday, May 29, 2009

one step closer

via Cata

Monday, April 20, 2009

a small dedication to my readers

From the department "thank you for reading this" here goes one time Spotify invite for the first / lucky reader who posts an intelligent comment on this post (including some sort of contact information :-)


Friday, April 10, 2009

the magic moment in human development

There seems to be a "magic moment" in the development of your new born, which is the moment when the eyes of the toddler meet his/her mother's eyes. You can see then on the toddler's face a smile that needs reassurance and express safety. That's the moment regarded in the developmental psychology as the "magic moment".

momentul magic: cand ochii copilului se intalnesc cu cei ai mamei si vezi zambetul acela de siguranta pe fata copilului. asta e considerat in psihologia dezvoltarii "momentul magic".

Thanks to my old friend S.P. for this piece of wisdom :-)

Friday, March 20, 2009

some stats for shared vs dedicated hosting vs free dns

For the past year I've been monitoring via Pingdom one dedicated server, one shared server from DreamHost and a free DNS server I'm using for my hobby/pet projects. The results are not that scary (well, it depends how tough are you :-), still they shed some lights on your options when it comes to hosting.

First, lets look at service performance agains simple tests

DreamHost - shared hosting - one line echo() .php script

Pretty crappy for half a year, huh? :-)

The dedicated server - one line echo() .php script

The dedicated server (US) fared better (just watch the slowest average)

But the free DNS service is a complete nightmare (one name->ip query)

Then the network conectivity: answering ping requests.

DreamHost - shared hosting

Responses from the dedicated server (US) - slightly better

Responses from the free DNS server (EU) - about the same

Global uptime, free DNS (for this one is more like global downtime :-)

Global uptime, DreamHost - shared hosting

And the crown goes to: Global uptime, the dedicated server

PS. Yeps, I'm again late with this report. You should see my drafts / todo list  :-)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Amsterdam is overrated

(I don't usually publish (much) here in Romanian, except for some quotes a bit time ago :-), but this one made me laugh and reminded me of some other 1st experiences abroad; it will be a pitty to lose all the details by translating the text)

Disclamer: the original author retains all the rights & responsability for the below text. It is published here as satire (=for lower IQs, it will contain: wit, irony, sarcasm, etc)

Here it goes:

finlandezi (adica niste suedezi mai fini).

io mi-s bine, sanatos.

Am trecut 4 interviuri, in urma carora am aflat cu suprindere ca sunt foarte calificat si foarte motivat. Asta inseamna ca o sa-mi dea cel mai modern model de carutz, nu?

Ma rog, in cursa au mai ramas inca 2 gigei dar aia "nu se ridica la experienta si calificarea" mea in cafele, tigari si flori. A exprimat-o altfel si pare de bine, o sa aflu exact in vreo saptamana. IT mangeru' e din parinti nemti, nascut si crescut in Africa de Sud, educat in Anglia, calificat in Franta si acum lucreaza in Olanda. Tehnicu' e din Argentina, scolit in Spania, actualmente olandez. multa UE, sa zic asa.

Legat de interviu, IT-manager-u' s-a exprimat la prima intalnire: "imi place entuziasmul tau, exact asta imi doresc. Mai sunt 5 persoane pe care le-am intalnit dar sunt asa... apatici si dezinteresati. Si eu nu inteleg! De ce te-ai angaja intr-un loc in care nu vrei cu adevarat sa fii??". No comment dar merita un premiu pentru inocenta.

Ideea ca Amsterdamu' e un perpetuu loc de distractie si ca e cel mai prietenos oras este overrated. Vezi in jur numai fetze docile de buldogi, cu niste ochi cleiosi care baltesc sub niste frunti nu prea inalte, dar late si ferme. Politicosi si seci, amabili si la fel de caldurosi ca o procedura de debugging la tacacs. Pe cat de lenti sunt pe doua picioare pe atat de sprinteni devin cand au o bicicleta sub fund. Skill-urile mele in mersul cu bicicleta - ca viteza - egaleaza acum, o spun cu mandrie, categoria 55-65 de ani. In primele doua saptamani nu puteam sa ajung nici octogenarele ranjite, plecate sa moara demn in Lidl (magazin de haleala - n.a.).

Emotiile lor imi sunt si acum necunoscute dar dupa atitudine ai spune ca numai dezmierdatul intim cu razatoarea, electrocutarea copiilor, Amsterdam Torture Museum si o caseta linistitoare gen "Christmas Snuff" le-ar putea zmulge un zambet sincer. Sa nu uitam ca acum fo' 400 de ani (in 1568, mai exact) cand protestantii olandezi i-au batut pe spanioli de s-au cacat pe ei niste draguti d'astia de-ai mei le-au smuls din piept inimile nesimititlor de catolici, au muscat din ele si apoi le-au aruncat spre inamic spunand: "mancati-le voi, cainilor, ca astea sunt amare".

Niste scumpi. Acum cresc flori si vand zambitori iarba - cum sa nu-i iubesti?

Femeile lor sunt niste zeite si sunt convins ca undeva in adancul lor (da' foarte in adanc) sunt niste fiinte minunate. La fel de docile si de zambitoare si absolut vitale pentru casa cand e vorba de cumparat un nou frigider, o noua usa, un nou sifonier sau orice altceva are exact aceleasi dimensiuni si nu mai e deci nevoie sa masori.

Legat de vreme: olandezii au vremea ca limba, deci isi merita soarta.

Totusi si ultimul maturator stie o engleza impecabila, ceea ce usureaza mult dialogul. By default cand intri intr-un magazin vanzatorul isi arata dintii intr-un mod prietenos, dupa care urmeaza un fel de gargara cu ceva scarbos tinut pana atunci sub limba, tu ii spui calm ca nu intelegi ce ragaie si el isi cere scuze si incepe sa se exprime uman.

Cu turistii nu prea am avut de-a face deci nu stiu decat ca fac galagie si mizerie si trebuie sa moara.

Pentru cei macinati de niste intrebari fundamentale le pot raspunde acum: da, negri chiar put. Si chiar sunt nesimtiti.

"Oamenii au nevoie de joc si de pericole.
  Civilizatia le ofera munca si siguranta."
Fr. Nietzsche


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ideal gift for your (geeky) Valentine

The recipe is quite easy to follow: head to Shapeways, order for printing two hearts (puzzle), deliver them to your Valentine :-)

It will be his/her task to put the pieces together (there are no hints in the box and having 2 models scrambled increases somewhat the difficulty)

Yes, Shapeways will "print" (3D) in different materials your 3D drawings or you can borrow from the existing designs published by their users and have the 3D model delivered to you.

PS. Sorry for breaking the news quite late to you, our "hearts" were ready just last night :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Google steps in Nokia's backyard

in short: Google buys old paper factory in Finland to build datacenter

as always, the Devil lives in the details:

Today, Finland-based paper group Stora Enso has announced that Google is buying the buildings and most of the Summa Mill site, where production of paper was ceased in January 2008, for approximately €40 million ($51.7 million) via TechCrunch
Summa mill, which consumed 1,000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year via Reuters
China's long-term onshore and offshore wind electricity potential is estimated to be 1,000 giga-watts (Cui, ed. 2008:273) via PERI

As always, Google= (power) Grid + Water

Monday, February 2, 2009

mySQL training fail

Dear X,

due to some technical issues, we have lost the evaluation for your onsite class... ... and sincerely hope that we have an opportunity to work together again in the future! 


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Google's Epic Fail

I was a bit busy sipping a beer and chatting about Google, okidoki? :-) so I missed this epic fail, but now I'm staying still and wonder: how can you claim you have the brightest working for you, when your core business can fail for the stupidest of them all: input validation. top 25 programming errors (ever) describes the top spot quite well:
It's the number one killer of healthy software, so you're just asking for trouble if you don't ensure that your input conforms with expectations.

So funny how the small autodestroy button of a big ship can be placed in the hands of an external party, so much for the bots. I guess Google's interviewing (step-by-step) process should now start with: 0. if bot, skip

Update: after all, it seems Google fubar-it alone, blamed others then retracted. Interesting, even more.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the state of the language in the Romanian state

There used to be a continual stream of smart people leaving Romania (I guess it still happens) and the side effects of it were hidden for a while (at least to me), but not anymore...

Having a bit of time on my hands (and annoyed by the Romanian banks) I decided to write to the Romanian National Bank (BNR, bank regulator), then to the Ombudsman's Office (ANPC) and ask for clarifications. The result was that they don't give a fuck (yeah, no -- or **, I really mean it) about the EU regulations and what the local banks are doing), plus their incompetence / language skills has hit the roofs / rocks already.

Quoting from BNR's answer (undersigned by 2 directors):
Conform regulilor Uniunii Europene, regulamentele emise de Parlamentul European şi de către Consiliu sunt acte normative de directă aplicare, nefiind permisă transpunerea acestora în legislaţia naţională.
It seems they had to consult some foreign language document before answering, but their translator left the building long time ago (maybe to EU?) so they had to go with one of the cleaners (did they stop her from sweeping the halls?!). What she did was to translate (what might have been originally): not required into not allowed (using the wrong mop/synapse)

Quoting from ANPC's answer (undersigned by 1 director):
Totodata, va comunicam faptul ca ANPC a initiat un proiect de Hotarare de Guvern prin care v-a fi desemnata Autoritatea responsabila cu supravegherea respectarii acestui regulament
Looks like the cleaner strikes back, this time while on the job at ANPC and forgets to spell check the (director's) answer properly.

And a piece of advice to the Romanian directors: when you reach this level of incompetence, just hire 2 secretaries. Obviously our "friends" above had only one (the entertainment one). Be smart, hire another one to do the real job while the first one keeps you busy. Don't be an a--!

PS. I do think that the communication between parties is private, so I won't publish their names (without consent)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

worth watching

The Pirate Bay is soon on trial in Stockholm (during Feb-Mar 2009) and Warner Bros & friends just got more friends (in an YouTube vs WMG saga)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the Oops moments

(big) Oops: I moved my FeedBurner account to Google, to discover later how their best recruited/brain/IQ tested pigeons/monkeys/bots royally FUBAR it, hence my feed is dead :'(

(small) oops: while playing with the new (for me), I noticed that I might be able to insert ads into my feed, which I shouldn't be allowed to, maybe due to: bad, bad me? anyway, thank you guys: you're really the generation pro!

(funny) oops: while dialing a bit ago to US I was about/ready to say: "Hi! Do you speak English please?" (yeah, my English, not yours :o)

PS. I'm not quite into ads, I just want to spread my AdBlocker love :-)