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News 8 years Ago
 
Published by packi on

If you ever need to get a bank clearing number from a IBAN string, this page will help you complete your quest ;-)

 
News 10 years Ago
 
Published by packi on

When I arrived yesterday’s evening at my flat I was greeted by two firetrucks and a police car. The first thing that came to my mind was: “my workbench is on fire” (I was experimenting with RGB-LEDs over the weekend).

Fortunately it turned out that the elevator’s motor was overheating and produced smoke. I hope it’s not due to the weather as it turns out to be a very nice week:

 

 
News 11 years Ago
 
Published by packi on

 I’ve been studying for nearly three years now and have come to the conclusion that there is not one “typical” but several groups.

Lets define some attributes:

Dumb
They’ve more or less successfully completed an apprenticeship or some sort of higher school, but never really understood the matter that they were confronted with
Intelligent
Basic understanding and the ability to connect and understand things quickly
Lazy
A student with this attribute skips early lessons, does not bring the required books and rarely prepares him-/herself properly for his exams
Ambitious
These students will prepare for hours and weeks in advance of an exam do their homework and come prepared to their lessons

And recombine these attributes into a group:

The dumb-lazy ones

Their the minority on the campus. Not that they won’t try but you can just apply twice for a course. Normally you’re getting rid of them after the first year (assessment).
They won’t prepare for their exams even if they’re in great need of being properly prepared. Members of this group are often told to be victimized by World of Warcraft or IRC.

The dumb-ambitious ones

Those students are great dictionaries. Staying up late before their exams, learning every detail by heart, being prepared for those “but I’ve written int in my script” type of questions. Never getting too good marks they will turn to the teachers if their marks will approach the “fail”-level and cry their hearts out.
They won’t understand anything outside their view of field (or course material) but boast about their “in depth” knowledge (hacker tools anyone?).
Where they really bad at are the lessons in the laboratory where the metal hits the meat. Failing to connect the little parts they seldom finish any given task.

The intelligent-ambitious ones

Here are the “A-graders”. Studying well before the exam (well, before nightfall anyway) they will be prepared pretty good for any exam and got the brains to back up anything that they haven’t read.

The intelligent-lazy ones

Those are the practitioners. Using their knowledge to connect the whole picture they do fairly good but never exemplary regardless of their brains to back it up. They’re just not ambitious enough to do exemplary.
Digging deep into the matter, even if it’s not required to do so their interest lie in the practical application of the subjects.

Me?

Where do I fit in you’d ask? I’d put myself into intelligent-lazy corner, because I seldom prepare myself for my exams proper enough to do really well, but its the lab where I can spend hours debugging hard- and software problems.

Oh and one more thing, most students I came across really do love beer. Cheers!

 
Published by packi on

As I don’t want to get lost in some online casino (the ones that are actively spaming this blog for example) the search for an off line alternative has begun. I’ve stopped my quest after discovering PokerTH.
After downloading and untaring the first trap is that it doesn’t compile the usual ./configure && make && make install way but is served as a KDevelop project. No problem for me as I usually use KDevelop for my projects but surely a show-stopper for a gnome user (you know, the foot thing), not willing to install KDevelop just to try it out once.

After firing up kdevelop and a successful compile run later you’re presented the following screen:

Some time later in the game (just before I folded):

Anyway enjoy the last hours in 06 and see you later in 07 (or in 06 2.0 as portrayed in todays userfiriendly strip).

 
Published by packi on

Copyright (c) Visa International Service AssociationYesterday was my money day. I had to take care of some financial aspects of my life, not that there any to speak of.
Anyway, I’ve got a letter from my bank to call their security section. Earlier I’ve received an email with the same content, but put it down as a poorly executed phishing attempt.

Well it turns out (as far as I can remember the phone conversation) that there was a leak at Visa International in mid December and my CC No. was possibly amongst the leaked bits and bytes.
It seems that its secure to use the card over the internet as long as the number is not stored at Visa International. Somewhat ironic. On the bright side the new CC is (obviously) free.

The other thing to be taken care of was my rather steep tax-bill, but even that could be sorted out.

 
Published by packi on

Just in case you’ve wondered why it’s been so quiet lately, here some pointers:

  1. Busy on projects not yet published
  2. Working on school projects
  3. Just working
  4. Being a lazy person

Well it was, admittedly, mostly number 4, but I’ve published some articles over at Encodo’s new Blogs.

 
News 12 years Ago
 
Published by packi on

In The Recruit the story makes us belive that the CIA has a program called ICE9 which can replicate itself through the powergrid and due to that ability pass all firewalls. Even with a broader distribution of ethernet-/internet over powerlines that might prove to be difficult since this would again have to pass a firewall.
Antitrust tries to convice the watcher that a satelite based broadcasting system can remotely broadcast movies to every handheld device. With todays cell-phones one can’t really exchange businesscards properly (well, I can’t).

While the plot in both movies make it people raise their eyebrows, the actual realization differs greatly. And that is what finally counts (at least to me).

The Recruit uses the a Hollywood like “special operating system” with people having “root access granted” just by typing some code on a console that suddenly appears.
Antitrust on the other side seems to be using some kind of linux and they actually show some Java code that Milo’s working on:

            if (buf[0] == (byte)'G' &&
                buf[1] == (byte)'E' &&
                buf[2] == (byte)'T' &&
                buf[3] == (byte)' ') {
                doingGet = true;

Being a geek I’ve tried to locate that code and found it here. Its a sample implementation of a very basic webserver from sun.

On my quest to find more information on the “password hacking” code used in The Recruit I’ve stumbled upon this site. A site dedicated to “hacker cracker/security” related movies. They don’t show any framegrabs but ASCII art of the computer screens within the movies. Geeky!

 
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Last week I’ve received a call from a headhunter asking me if I was interested in an new working environment.

Later in the call she explained to me that she was looking for Java developers. There seems to be an ravenous hunger for Java programmers in Switzerland since there is no place in the internet that describes me as a Java developer.
Its not that I don’t know Java well enough to finish my exams early, its just not documented anywhere on the web (well, at least it was not).

Weird.

 
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This “Most Secret, Eyes Only” classified message from General Harold Alexander to Sir Winston Churchill on August 30th 1942 marked the beginning of Rommels defeat. General Alexander agreed to notify Churchill with this monosyllabic word the minute he got attacked by Rommel. The German General tried to capture Cairo and drive the British back to the sea. Fortunately he was met by the heavily fortified British Eighth Army under its newly appointed commander General Bernard Montgomery

Not as historic as this past event, but as relevant to me: The new semester has just started. With this new semester I’ve go half the study time under my belt. Yay! To make sure I’m completely distracted from learning I’ve ordered me some books from Amazon.

 
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Just got word from Claudio that our movie has been selected to be played and judged at the “Talent Screen Offscreen Selection”. Ten to fifteen movies which didn’t make it to the final selection are going to be on screen there. This places our movie at a ranking of 30 − 15 which is not bad for a bunch of geeks competing against semi-pros (*must resist to put smileys into the text*).

Anyway the “Offscreen Selection” will take place at Thursday 13.10.2005 at the Kulturmarkt in Zurich.

 
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As our movie hasn’t made it to the top 10 our team went to the celebration / election of the best movie to support the people who “invided” us to this contest.

At 1725 I was already late for my bus and I had to iron my shirt. Got my bus and some cash and at 1745 I was at the train station fetching a beer and reading a 20min-weekend. For five more minutes I didn’t notice that I have to get a ticket to Zurich but furtunately I remembered that part early enough. So much for focusing on the task at hand.

Around 1830 we got to the meeting point at the train station in Zurich where we were supposed to meet the people who needed (and as later discovered deserved) our support in the upcoming election. They didn’t show for another five minutes. A call discovered that they’ve changed their minds and went straight to the club (thanks for telling us!).

Its about two kilometers from the Zurich mainstation to the Mascotte. Misjudging the distance and keen on saving SFr. 2.40 my collegues decided to walk. I could have saved to shower as I was dribbled with sweat as we arrived twenty minutes later (including a stop at a liquor-shop, ran out of beer).

Standing in the crowd for some 15 minutes (club policy forbids to let people in in a steady flow, even if they have tickets *sigh*) we entered the club an fetched us some SFr. 7.00 beers (Carlsberg). First they showed all top 10 movies (with some really bad comments from a hired “clown” in between them), after that it was election time.

To decide which one of the films is worthy to take the “Talentscreen Trophy” they had a “noise indicator” which showed the mean value of last ten seconds (in decibel). After the first run we had two winners: Bobby and another one I can’t quite remember (I think it was the one with the shoes). Both achived a value of 107 dB. After the second one Bobby had 108 dB (remember it’s logarithmic) and the shoe-film stayed at 107, very close call!

Bobby is a stop-motion movie done by the team we went supporting this evening, they made the crowd laugh and cheer while running, that really something. After they have been interviewd and we all congratulated them we had to get something in our stomachs, expecting the evening only getting longer than not by knowing the winning team.

After a not too bad meal at the “Spaghetti Factory” we wen’t back to the club for a couple of beers. Some of our compagnions had to leave since the live in the highlands of Switzerland and don’t have train/busconnections through friday night/saturday moring. We took of at 1150 to the “Kontiki Bar” for another couple of beers. At 0130 my last two collegues had to get their train to St. Gallen and I was “left alone” with the remainder of the winning team. We went back to the Mascotte and arrived there at app. 0150 including a short stop at McDonalds.

Back at the club some semi-drunk dancing and a couple gin tonics later they closed down at 0400 leaving us no where to go but the train station. Our multicultural clique started the dangerous and tiring journey to the train station. A guy from Canada, one from Austria, a girl from Germany, one from Switzerland and me formed a multinational convoy (nah no horses or APCs) to the trainstations where we arrived at 0530 (you have to take things slow this early in the morning y’know?). Their train to Lucerne was due to leave at 0540 and I had mine on 0548 so it was time to say good bye.

At 0610 I got out of a train half asleep and tired and boarded my bus. Got home at 0615 brushed my teeth and immediatly dozed off.

The next day I felt strangly well given the amount of money I’ve converted to beverages. It was, not counting the mid-night snacks and dinner, about SFr. 130… Till next time…

 
Published by packi on

I thought I’d start this article with a movie quote which will fit the content (The quote is from “Gone in 60 seconds” btw.).

As mentioned in my previous post we were participating in a moviemarathon with a team consisting of freaks and techies with almost no experience in the field.

It started on Thursday at 1100. Getting Urs an Joel from the train station nearby and leading them to my house.

At 1200 we received a call from our other participants who were Finding a story for the film which had to be five minutes long proved harder than we thought.

At 1700 we all agreed on the baseline of the story and began some preparations work for the shooting during the night.

Hmm… time is running out, gotta go to celebrate our movie actually finishing but not entering the top 10 (party will take place at the Mascotte Club in Zurich).

Get the movie here while I’m drinking myself sensless. Will update this post later on. Bye!

 
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I’d never thought that I’ll have two jobs at the same time, but since last tuesday I do.

Since the company I worked with since 1999 has not enough work to be done, I have to stay at my 20% part-time contract (the .plan was to extend the contract to 100% during the summer break).

But now I was able to pick up work at Encodo Systems AG a small start up consisting of former emloyees of the company I still work for. I stared on tuesday and have been setting up an Asterisk server (which finally works, more on that later) and picked up a fight with their backup software (piece of sh*t won’t backup).
I won’t get a fixed rate contract but a hourly rate, so I’m another mercenary on the battlefield of the IT industry (one of my employers mentioned the word “whore” but I prefer “mercenary”).

 
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Just received a letter from school that I’ve passed my exams. So its the third semester for me after this summer break (Not that I’ve ever doubted it ;).

 
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Preparations for todays campain against the Newtons and his companions are going well. We are beefed up using our secret potion (as in beer and chips) and watching “Glimmerman” on our video projector.

The Newtons, Teslas, Watts and the Carnots will be tactically and physically challenging but nothing will stop us from slaying their heathenish theories and stick their heads high up on poles, in order to show “them” that nothing can stop us!

*Men in white suits are pulling me away from the keyboard*

+ATH0

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