Results tagged “Personal”

Friday night, my fianc`e had a crash with my car. Luckily nothing serious happened to her. The car on the other side doesn't look still so good. In fact, now it's about a meter shorter than before.

Everything should be covered by insurance but it's a bit stressy to contact all people and provide the correct information to everyone. Hope, everything goes fast, I really need a car to get to work and back.

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Recently there are many shows on TV with charts of the best lovesongs, the best discosongs, the best countrysongs, the best cabrio-hits and every other possible grouping. You surely know what I'm talking about.

Well, while being busy with avoiding those shows I couldn't resist on remembering which music titles had a bit of impact on my personal life. Which I remember, which I associate with something...

  • U96 - Das Boot, this is the song which brought me into electronic music at the beginning of the 90s. I liked it that time and I still like it. Sadly this style of music has become old. I'd still like more of that.
  • Loona - Bailando, was a summer-hit when when my best friend got his first girlfriend and I was very often hanging around with them and "making party". These were the best summer nights of my life so far... The summers of late 90s.
  • Lighthouse Family - High, was playing when for the first time I had the feeling that a girl was replying my emotions. Well, she didn't, it was only me fooling myself into that. Teenager-stuff...
  • Eminem - Without me, and
  • Outkast - Hey ya!

The latter two don't remind me of a special moment or event but rather such a feel-good-emotion which I rarely get otherwise. There are only few other moments or things in my life which can bring this special emotion up from inside me. Such things are the songs from Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames, irish stepdance or when I came together with my girlfriend.

Nevertheless, music can cause emotions and feelings quite often inside me. But rarely in the intensity of the examples above...

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Do all Wordpress-based blogs have the same layout?

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Had a great long weekend. Weather was hot and sunny and we used the time to clean up some rooms and paint our upstairs kitchen-room.

Painting took two days but now we'll have a nice kitchen with three walls of light sun-yellow and one wall with a special effect orange/mandarin and white, smeared stripes and rough facing.

Looks very great.

On the other side I just noticed that my recent wikipedia dump, which is not yet finished, already has a size of ~12GB. Over a million files so far.

I wonder how I'll get that on portable media if I already have such problems with the dump of last year.

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You surely know that situation: You're doing something, doesn't matter what, but suddenly a scene or small snipped pops up in your head from a movie you saw in your childhood. You have absolutely no idea what the movie was about nor what its name was but you want to know that. You want to watch that movie again badly.

I had this feeling with some mind snapshots of a movie. What I knew was that it was about aliens from the 10th dimension, a scientist travels there by going through a mountain in a rocket or something, when he comes back he is able to see aliens from that dimension which are appearing as normal people among us. That's it, everything I knew about the movie. And for years this "teaser" of the movie popped up in my head without warning from time to time. Dammit.

But just a few hours ago I came over this strip in the Sinfest webcomic.

Look at it. Don't mind the actual content of this panel but look at the right top. The creator of these comics adds his name and a different "title" on each panel. This time his sign was "Evil From The 8th Dimension". WHAM! It hit me. I knew that sentence.

A quick Google search came up with a movie called "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension". Read through the description and yep! that's the one I've been searching for for ages. Perhaps I'll try to get my hands on a copy of that if I mind. Dunno because it's also listed on badmovies.org...

At least those flashbacks are hopefully over now. Another one which caused me that experience was "Spaceballs" but I resolved that mystery years ago already.

Do you also have or had such mysterious movie-flashbacks? Tell me!

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Whew, had no time to post something for quite a while. Nevertheless some interesting stuff has happened meanwhile.

Firstly I did download the german Wikipedia DVD I mentioned in my previous post and had a look at it. Quite nice work guys, the only thing I miss is that the included Digibib viewer doesn't automatically open up the Wikipedia database and I always have to manually choose "Run from CD/DVD". The cause could also be on my side, I did an install of Digibib from the mounted .iso-file of Wikipedia which had some drive-letter, deinstalled it, burned it to DVD and reinstalled it from another drive-letter. As far as I remember when I had it just mounted it DID actually start up the Wikipedia itself, but my mind could be betraying me.

Secondly I tinkled around several things with my own offline Wikipedia and gained some more insight. I managed to get a local MediaWiki instance running with a rather recend database dump. But then I quickly noticed, that my idea of crawling a local instance isn't that trivial. For example the wikipedia meanwhile seems to give back a full HTML page if I just want to view a single image. It also seems to create some sort of thumbnail on the originating page which is IMHO just wasted space for an offline edition. Another point was that if I would crawl through that local instance the spider would probably create the same directory structure as it would encounter from the wikipedia: everything in one directory. > 500.000 entries in a single directory are not acceptable for me because it would take aeons to open that directory in a file browser. There are also other obstacles like page-layout and links to interactive pages (configureations) but I guess these could be avoided with some skin-hacking. Generally I suspended that idea for now and went back to the wiki2static alternative.

On that side I had successes as well as failures. I bugged a bit around with my last years dump and I think for that specific dump I have made good progress on some problems:

  • Size: I found a rather comfortable way to free up some space. With the batch-conversion mode of IrfanView it is possible to downsample the image quality of almost all image-files so that it is hardly visible but saves loads of space. The advanced settings of the batch-conversion even allows to keep the whole directory-structure of the media files intact. My particular settings for conversion was to downsample all JPG-like files to 75% of quality and remove all EXIF- and other optional information. I also processed all PNG files to be saved with maximum compression. There were surely other optimizations possible but the two points above already gave me more than 1 Gigabyte of space, enough to fit all content on a single DVD now.
  • Burning Tool: Since Nero turned out to be completely useless for such a vast amount of files I was looking for alternatives. I found one with K3b for Linux which at least is able to import all Wikipedia files into a project. For that step alone I had to create a gigantic (1,8 GB) swapfile for Linux wich was used up to ~80% after importing from K3b. Didn't try to burn actually because I tried to navigate inside the project which caused massive RAM swapping happen. I killed K3b after about an hour or so. Next time I won't try navigating but burning instantly after import.

Well, all these problems will have to be re-evaluated with the recent version of Wikipedia because there is now much more content, articles as well as media files, to be considered.

Thirdly, I have looked into CrystalSpace development again, digged through some API docs, tutorials and articles. Slowly I'm getting a bit more comfortable with the whole stuff. Perhaps there will be more on that from me in the future. I'm quite confident because this CrystalSpace stuff is around in my head for years now.

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Ok, we arrived home safely on Saturday evening.

London had been a very nice trip and hasn't been as expensive as I expected. We have visited many places and sightseeing-spots in central London, walked very much, went by underground and had a nice hotel to stay in the Docklands.

Some problems were

  • initial difficulties to locate the hotel
  • my MasterCard not working at the hotel but everywhere else
  • misunderstandings on the hotels side about the price of our staying
  • major problems with my credit cards when paying the hotel bill

But besides that, everything worked quite well and smooth.

Quick impressions:

  • London and its surroundings are a relatively messy place
  • the top of chimneys on the houses are quite funny
  • only fast-food is affordable in most cases
  • pharmaceuticals are cheap as nowhere
  • culture-mix everywhere
  • lots of interesting places
  • fine weather
  • taken too few photos

That's for now, going to catch up suspended work...

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Tomorrow we'll be travelling towards London. I'm a bit excited already, if everything will go well for that week.

During packing the bags I was a bit worried because there was still so much room left in the suitcase that I have the constant feeling to have forgotten of something important. Well, I have my clothes, shoes, soap and toothbrush, pullover, emergency clothes, reservation printouts, timesheets for arrival and departure, passport, copy of passport, credid cards, emergency money, backpack, something to read. That should be everything I need, even more than I'll need I guess.

We'll see...

The next thing is that at the moment, the MT-Keystrokes-Plugin for MT has quite effectively cut down any spam comments I've received so far. I'm curious how my spam will look like after vacation. I hope it doesn't just cut down ANY commenting besides my test-comments...

OK, I'll be off for a week now...

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If someone wants to improve his fitness with me consider contacting me so that we can buy a pair of those Shocking Guns together.

Then we can hide in the forests or somewhere else in the jungle around my home and set each other on fire ;)

If you know me personally contact me directly, if not just drop a comment below.

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This week is a bit more stressy than the past ones, because we're planning and organizing our trip to London next week.

After a lot of bookings and cancelations and cost calculations finally we're on the best way to spend a nice week in the UK.

We're going to stay at an Ibis hotel in the center of London after we arrived with a Ryanair flight on upcoming saturday.

What makes everything that stressing is that my girlfriend is not here to help but currently in Germany and comes back just one day before departure.

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Some more stirling engine links to remember:

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This Stirling Engine thingie I stumbled across last November doesn't want to get out of my head.

So to not forget them I've some more links:

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As said in a previous post I've been looking out for such self-referring jokes in "Stargate: SG-1".

I found another one in the episode "Fallen":

When SG-1 arrives at the new planet one if the inhibitants asks Jack O'Neill "Is this a Jaffa?" and looks at Teal'c. O'Neill then responds: "No, but he acts one on TV."

Looking out for more Stargate-fun....

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When I told you what keeps my computers running, it was thought as a joke.

But somehow, Toshiba got that wrong.

They want to equip an Alaska village with a Micro-Nuclear-Reactor as power source.

Boy, I hope this doesn't catch momentum...

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If you ever wanted to know:

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Just a few interesting links...

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Today finally the snow hit our place and how it did:

Yesterday when I went to bed it was snowing only a bit having about 2mm on the streets. When I woke up today we had a cover everywhere of at least 15 centimeters. The streets were not prepared or cleaned and down the hill from home was quite an experience with the car. On the highway my highest speed was around 65 to 70 km/hour (except in the road tunnel, where I drove 110 km/hour).

It's always impressing how much too fast I see others driving under such conditions...

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I've been trying to get a decent ADSL connection for two months now but without great success.

What I want is:

  • broadband or at least faster than analog modem
  • some sort of flatrate or at least a high transfer limit, like ~15 gigabytes
  • not too expensive, my limit lies around 50 to 60 Euros

But it seems that I'm too far away from a big city or a Point-of-Presence of any provider.

It seems that Telekom Austria makes it quite difficult for competitors to provide proper and cheap access to broadband technologies.

I'm a bit sad about that situation but I'll keep searching for an alternative...

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I just found a page showing off dozens of cool optical illusions (english page).

Perhaps I'll take one as printout or desktop image.

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Sorry for not posting during the last few days, have been busy with holidays.

Just posting tell you that I'm still here.

Many thoughts on the things going on in South East Asia.

Fun: Just watched "Stargate" (episode "Chimera") and catched a scene where Sam is humming the StarGate theme... and gets a comment from O'Neill on that :) Are there any other such "strange" scenes or comments somewhere in the Stargate episodes? Eventually will dig a bit on that.

Update: added some links

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