September 29, 2004

US Election Polls weighted to Bush without reason

The Left Coaster has a post on the american election polls how Gallup modifies its polls to give Bush a larger lead.

So if you are reading about polls and voter statistics these days don't trust them. There is just no ultimate lead for bush, it's just almost random number playing by the poll companies.

September 21, 2004

Gettin' mobile

Last friday my girlfriends notebook became a case for its producers support: The power connector inside the notebook broke and rendered it almost un-rechargeable.

But she needed a Notebook for her education instantly and so she had to purchase a new one because there was no way to rent or borrow one from anywhere.

I took the chance and bought her old one from her, taking the support hurdles on my back but ending up with a mobile PC after everything has been handled.

Yap. When it's back Knoppix will have a meeting with it :)

September 17, 2004

Throwaway mail addresses

Were you ever in need of a mail-address to just receive THAT ONE mail and forget about that address afterwards? For example to create a one-time account somewhere to just download a simple demo of something (this nasty stuff seems to get used more and more in the net, but for what reason)?

Well, you can use such addresses without registration/creation, even without the need of login at:

Just take care to use a really one-time address and NEVER use it for important mails. Everyone can read it if he guesses the address!

If you want it extra-easy, Mailinator generates one-time address- suggestions for you on its frontpage, even with an instant-login link for that address. A'la

September 15, 2004

Converting Outlook Address Book to Mozilla Thunderbird

Today I took a try to convert my corporate Outlook Address Book and I'll document my way around here so that it can possibly help others which are facing the same problem.

I had to choose a manual way, because the tips in the Thunderbird FAQ couldn't help me.

My solution is not that advanced but at least a first step which works for me for now.

If you have any enhancements, comments or rants, please leave a comment below!

So lets get it on!

Our environment is a global Mailserver and Addressbook based on Exchange (version unknown) which we are accessing through a VPN tunnel.

What I wanted was to import our local peoples names and email addresses into the Mozilla Thunderbird Address book.

First I searched our local contacts using the department field in the contacts search and exported the result into my personal contact list.

Then I clicked through "File"->"Import and Export"->"Export to a file"->"Comma Separated Values (Windows)" and chose my "Contacts" folder as source. Finally I saved the data to a file which took quite long, say ~3 hours for ~200 contacts. Nevertheless.

Now the file contains the contacts in following (unusable) format: "First Name","Last Name","Business Phone","Mobile Phone","E-mail Address"

The E-mail Address is not a but in a format which looks like a LDAP identifier:


Since the first and last name are contained in the LDAP-string, I decided to let some Regular Expressions do the job for me to strip out the LDAP stuff and insert the part.

I was using the Regex Coach for this job but following regex should do the job on plain perl for the curious ones of you:


In Regex Coach I entered


into the Regular expression area,


into the Replacement string area (on the "Replace" tab on the bottom) and copied the contents into the Target string area.

On the bottom you see the Replacement result containing the almost correct content.

But since I'm not that experienced with regexes, it only corrected every second line. No problem, I copied the result into the Target string area and let the regex over it a second time. Voil?.

From the ~200 contacts about four were still wrong formatted, but easily spottable. I corrected them by hand and saved the file.

Then inside Mozilla Thunderbird I entered the Address Book and chose "Tools->Import->Address Books->Text File" and opened my corrected file.

On the next dialog I only let "First Name", "Last Name", "Work Phone" and "Primary Email" checked and shifted the fields on the left to match their counterpart on the right side of the match-table.

Pressed OK, and imported the contacts.

September 14, 2004

Back from vacations

stretch... Yep, back at work. And almost anything is left as I leaved it behind.

No customer action, no emergency, no progress in my immediate area. So no notable stress-level.

Just an hour ago a meeting ended where our head of overall development picked together people from various (independend) teams and discussed problems on a specific project. This project meanwhile has quite a log of defects and errors. So we discussed the top defects in a medium group.

All people brought in their experience with similar problems on their own projects and some different possible solutions and views to the problems came up and I personally think it has been productive for everyone. It was also a knowledge-exchange for the people not concerned with this special project.

If you have long-lasting or always recurring problems on your project, try to discuss them on a slightly higher niveau with someone who has nothing to do with it. But be careful to pick someone with experience!

September 7, 2004

More MT enhancements

And I keep on enhancing my blogging experience. Today I installed Markdown a Movable Type plugin which allows me to easier write and style my blog entries.

Especially the creation of links is much easier...

If you are a Movable Type user, check it out.

It is in the Developers Contest Plugin Pack anyway, have a look at the others too.

September 5, 2004

MT problem tracked down

I finally tracked down my problem with the post three days ago:
Because of an unknown reason if the title starts with "Advert" the entry gets no date through the <$MTEntryDate$> tag. There are also no links in all indexes, archives or on the next-/previous-links on the individual entry pages.

Well, I changed the title on that entry from "Advertisement" to "An advertisement" and everything is working again.

Strange. Found also no documentation or any sign of such behaviour on the internet. Am I the first one who recognizes this or is that the result of a plugin? Don't think so...

September 3, 2004

MT issues in vacation

I'll start into my second vacation week of this year in about 15 minutes, so it's possible that this post can be the last for the next week.

What makes this a bit less likely is that I saw that somehow my yesterday's post somehow has no permalink. If you look at my index page, there is "Posted to Personal by Kosi2801 at | Comments (0)". No permalink with the time after "at".

I tinkled around a bit, if I add another post everything is ok but if it contains the same message from yesterday, the permalink is gone. Very strange.

I'll try to tackle it down by removing parts of the message until I can reproduce it with minimal content and then debug my templates, perhaps it's something in there.

September 2, 2004

An advertisement

A friend of mine shortly pointed me to his website, Project SCA.

There he offers an open-source class collection for common PHP tasks for download.

I cannot tell much about the quality or usefulness of the code, I'm not an experienced PHP coder, so I can just give opinion in other areas. For example the website still lacks nice examples and the contact- and language-buttons on the top right side are a bit out of view. Perhaps they would fit better below the menu entries on the left.

Otherwise the website makes a clean and ordered impression, easy to look at.

Perhaps the stuff would also fit good somewhere on as a project. There it would also be easier for other people to stumble across and the whole project management would be in an uniform environment.

BTW.: Commenting on posts is back, but some leftovers from my experiments are still left. Ignore that parts with the security code, they are disfunctional and have no effect whatsoever.