April 25, 2005

Wikipedia offline edition - again

Update: There is an easier way now available, altough without Images. See Wikipedia offline edition - reloaded for details.

I'm still trying to somehow pack the Wikipedia onto a DVD. Still with no luck.

But today I finally managed to copy all files from my work-computer where I stored them until now to my personal notebook where the processing of those pile of files should work much faster.

Since this all is still a dump from the wikipedia of somewhere around July or October last year I was thinking of how I could update this dump. What's really a problem is that the Wikipedia has significantly grown over the size of a single DVD-R and had quite a few layout-improvements like those side-tables especially visible on scientific pages.

Also the wiki2static.pl Perl script is quite outdated so this introduces further problems.

Well, what are my options?

  • Download an ready-to-burn image file. Con: Only german edition.
  • Fix up wiki2static.pl. Con: I'd need to somehow reverse-engineer the Wikipedia-software itself.
  • Run a Web-Spider across en.wikipedia.org. Con: I'd have to carefully fine-tune the spiders settings to not get pages I don't want (discussions etc.). Also I don't want to stress Wikipedias bandwidth that much.

All possible but none really acceptable for me. But the last one was sexy so I stressed my mind a bit more and came up with a fourth possibility:

  1. download the Wikipedia database, containing all pages data
  2. download MediaWiki, the Wikipedia engine
  3. download Uniform Server, a small-footpring all-in-one webserver-package
  4. Set up the Uniform Server, launch the MediaWiki platform and import the whole Wikipedia database

At this point, I should have a locally running instance of the Wikipedia, just lacking all media-files because they are not included in the database. But theoretically it should be possible through MediaWiki or an Apache URL-rewriting to redirect all media-links to the real files.

Then I start up a Webspider and crawl my own Wikipedia instance. The Pro of that is, that I can adjust the layout and contents of the pages just as I like.

The final problem will be the sheer size of everything. I was thinking of somehow down-sampling all of the images to a slighter lower quality which should squeeze out some more space.

I really have to think over that a bit more.

April 15, 2005

Changing the Messenger

I don't know why, but today I gave Trillian another try.

I tried it several weeks ago but deinstalled it again because I couldn't get it to work reliably through our NAT and firewall. Either it didn't connect or if it connected, the ICQ-server didn't accept my login.

I would be fine with ICQ itself but some of our customers use Yahoo Messenger to quickly communicate with us. And in the end the memory footprint of both, ICQ and YM, was just too much to get comfortable with it. And I decided to switch to an IM which supported both. Well, that was some weeks ago and was a complete failure.

But this time everything worked seamlessly. I installed Trillian, gave it my logins and pwds and set the connection-setting to some un-blockable ports like 80 (HTTP) for AIM and 443 (SSL) for ICQ. Connected and whoa, everything green. No error messages and all contacts present.

Its your luck Trillian that I give faulty software a regular try-again.

April 11, 2005

Moving around

Last week I moved from the workplace where I worked for the last three years to a new workplace in another block of the building.

The reason of that is because another project caused the other people of my team to move out several months ago. I were the only one left. Didn't matter that much because I have responsibility of completely seperate stuff.

But now I finally decided to change my location too because the people of the other project distracted me too much from my own work.

The move took around six hours split over two days and now I've ended up with the largest workplace of the people here and enough room for all my small and large stuff. I took everything with me, computers, papers, equipment, pictures and even plants I've grown and acquired from others over the time. Well, the old place looks quite sad now without the slightest green but that's not my problem anymore. I just left my old chair behind because a new and probably better one was standing around lonely at the new place.

The only things which got worse are the larger distance to my teamleader and the worse (if even existing) WLAN-connection.

April 4, 2005

Silent PC ideas

Some weeks ago I found a note about flexible heatpipes in the german computer magazine c't. An article about silent computing and a reference to the Teschke - High end Low noise forum.

There, a product named PhasePlane was reviewed and apparently got quite good results.

It even seems that these aren't that expensive either so I'm really thinking of making my machine at home as silent as possible. Currently the processor fan sounds as if it is near the final states of its life.

With that I could also take the chance and transfer the stuff in my current tower case in another case which makes it easier to change things and put parts into and out from it.

Anyone a nice big PC case left?

Update: Changed review link to a better version.