Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Problem on E71/S60 with SMS delivery receipts

For the last 2 weeks or so I noticed that on my E71 SMS [1] delivery receipts (or reports) quite frequently (~50% of the time) are displayed as plain text SMS, instead of hidden and just used to update the delivery status of the message.

Such a report then looks like this:
id:0010520070 sub:001 dlvrd:001 submit date:0812311708 done date:0812311708 stat:DELIVRD err:000 text:Test
This is
a) not very readable
b) totally useless (since the message will stay as "Pending"...)

Most annoying is, that my operator (A1) charges for the delivery receipt (equivalent of 1 SMS).

[1] "texting" for the native speaker amongst my readers.

Why Microsoft should not do phones

1. See today's news about the dying Zunes (they are not phones - I know - but the same category of devices)

2. A coworker and friend just got an Sony Xperia X1 ... cool phone, if it were not for the Windows Mobile inside. What he (a long time Nokia user) discovered was, that you should not switch off the phone when you rely on the alarm to go off in the morning, because it then wont.

Yes. True.
With Winodws Mobile, the d*** phone is stays switched off and the alarm just wont sound.

The ipod did it again

Just a couple of days ago, my iPod touch put me in panic mode, because the downloaded apps would not start.
The solution was to install one (any) additional app from the store (a free one, preferably).

Yesterday, he's done it again [1].

Again I had to install a free app.
First time it was the cool (but pointless) "Night Stand".
Yesterday it was the "WiFinder"...

This is getting annoying...

[1] speaking of "he's done it again" - reminds me of the good old Pepsi ad.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My new iPod touch

So – for about 3 weeks now, I'm proud owner of an iPod Touch. I was not unhappy with my old iPod nano, but it was a good chance and a good deal.

In brief:

  1. The Nokia E71 is most definitely the better input device. With anything you have to write (no matter what), you are better off on the E71.

  2. The iPod (touch) is the superior reading or consumation device. Emails, web pages, feeds, ... everything. Just better.... and cooler.

  3. iPod (and iPhone) are the first mobile devices, that display an email primarily in its HTML alternative (if there is one), and not just in plain text. I know that the verdict is still not out on whether HTML emails are a good idea, but the display on the iPod is excellent... more fun to read emails this way, than on the Nokia. Then E71 is able to display the HTML part, but only if you open the “attachment.html”.... cumbersome.

  4. The lack of running programs in the background or in parallel on the iPod/iPhone is annoying. The E71 is far superior in that respect. E.g. having Gmail, Twing (=Skype) and Twitter client run in the background – can't do that on the iPod.

  5. The lack of a clipboard has already been widely ranted about, so I will restrain myself from joining in. Since I use the clipboard on the E71 about once every 2 weeks or so, I don't really miss it on the iPod

  6. Ah, yes, and the nano was easier to carry around - as his Steveness already demonstrated years ago.

Still a great device. Especially to watch TED through iTunes.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weird iPod touch behaviour

Proud owner of an iPod touch that I am for about a month now (more on that later), I noticed something odd today:
All of my downloaded apps (twitterific, facebook, rememberthemilk, ...) stopped working. They would sort-of-start but immediately return to the home screen before doing anything. The build in apps did all work nicely.

I googled for this, and found that I actually had to install an additional application from the app store, and lo and behold this did solve the problem. Whatever the reason...

Friday, December 19, 2008


There's a great podcast/interview on IT conversations with Dick Hardt about Sxipper.

Sxipper is a free Firefox add-on that saves you time by keeping track of an unlimited number of usernames and passwords as well as the personal data you share every day over the web. The company's mission is to make your interactions with the Web simple, keeping your data private and secure.

Dick Hardt, founder of Sxip, joins Phil, Scott, and Ben, to discuss the product, as well as the entire issue of privacy and identity on the web, as well as how to market plug-ins as products.

Find it here or on iTunes

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This site is optimized ...

Just found this:

Copyright © 2008 ... [This site is optimized for Mozilla 1.7]

Who in 2008 is using Mozilla 1.7 ????

Friday, December 12, 2008

So I surrendered...

... and signed up on facebook.

Not sure if I really wanted this.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Update on Access Point Groups for the E71

Just to report back on what I recently posted about the lack of Access Point Groups on the E71 or rather (third party) replacement thereof ("Access Point Group equiv for the E71")

I've been using Psiloc Connect ever since (and of course paid for it, in the meantime) and it works like a charm.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Glassfish and MySQL event in Vienna

As one of my last tasks as a SW guy in Sun Austria, we'll do a Glassfish and MySQL breakfast tomorrow. Starting at 830 at the "Salzberg". See details here and here.
Alexis will do one of his great glassfish presos/demos.
Looking forward to it, hope to see some of you there.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What I dislike about the E71 / S60

As much as I like my Nokia E71, there are some regressions vis-a-vis the previous Nokia pure-phones I had:

The 6233 could schedule a call - you had a calendar entry that represented a call to another person.
When the notification would pop up, you just had to press the green button to actually call this person.
Quite handy.

Not on the E71. Does only know of "Meeting, Memo, Anniversary, To do", but not of "Call".

Quite disappointing.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm done with Palm

So, with my new E71 I'm now really done with Palm - thank you very much.
On the T|X, email was unusable, browsing was awkward, it was unstable, and Palm did not fix any of the issue.

I first started out in about 1999 with Palm Vx, then moved to an m500, later to a Tungsten T, T5 and T|X.
I did have the bluetooth adapter, the Wifi adapter and the wireless keyboard (I really thought I'd use the palm with the keyboard instead of a laptop when travelling... ).
I used it for data entry (offline and online/web, spreadsheets), for taking notes, as a pure PIM of course (i.e. address book, calendar), for email (wireless), and for playing simple games.
It never was much of a music player (not at all,a actually).

That's all past now.

I still love the Palm as a concept and what it did for they industry years ago. But I hate the attitude of the company.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Access Point Group equiv for the E71

Recently one of my first rants about the Nokia E71 was, that Nokia dropped Access Point Groups from connectivity options:
"its predecessor, the E61i had the concept of access point groups , where you could group e.g. your home Wifi, your office Wifi and your 3G connections (i.e. access points) into one group, and then assign this access point group e.g. to your email connection settings. So email retrieval would work on any of those networks, but go over the faster and cheaper Wifi first.
No longer possible with the E71."

However, there is a 3rd party tool called Psiloc Connect that does exactly this: re-introduce access point groups, or rather a single access point (which you then can configure in email, fring, synch ...) which itself checks and decides whether to you WiFi or fall back to 3G/GPRS.

I'm testdriving this for a couple of days, to see if it is worthwhile the 9.95 €.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Shapes from the crowd

Here's an excellent post from Christian about flickr (geo-) shapes - derived from crowd-sourced tags.

Shapes from the crowd - Christian Spanring

The 2 examples he gives (Vienna boundaries, and Vienna inner city) to me are typical examples of the "wisdom of crowds" effect: quite accurate with a large enough sample and good mixture of people within the crowd (Vienna boundaries) and sometimes "totally off" with a specific narrow topic and (therefore) a badly composed crowd (Inner city vs Stephansdom).

It also highlights the problem with tags, that - especially on flickr - it is unclear what the are used for: the place where the picture was taken from, or the motif...


Friday, October 31, 2008

No more email SMS notifications

So, after 8 years or so I finally switched off the SMS (=aka text) notifications from my private email account to my mobile, since 95% of those notifications are pure spam.
I sick and tired of being told by sms that my penis is to short...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Being overconnected

Yesterday while I was travelling from Graz on the train back to Vienna a good friend and colleague (Chris) was trying to contact me to arrange for a meeting (a.k.a. beer) later that evening.
He was actually trying almost each every means of communication available to him, so I received (within 1 minute):
a) a voicemail
b) an email
c) a tweet

I cannot escape him.
(and I don't really want to)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Extension from Thunderbird to Shredder

I now updated my extension to also work with Shredder (the Thunderbird3 beta).
Seems like - again - the internals of the mail popup menu changed:

  • First of all the user agent now reports "Shredder" instead of Thunderbird.
  • Then - after a lot of debugging - I had to replace the
  • Problem there is , that text contains more then just the emailAddress used to, and I had to parse it...
And XUL on Thunderbird/Shredder is still not easy to debug.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My new Nokia E71

The Noka E71 is probably the best Nokia (smart) phone I ever laid my hands on.

And I have to admit that I hated Symbian based phones in the past... the communicator series, etc.

They were slow, hard to use, had a bad form factor (ok, that's not really related to Symbian), and so forth.

And when the iPhone was first released I really thought, I'd never move from my POMP (plain old mobile phone) to a Nokia SmartPhone...

Enter the E71.

  • It is fast.

  • It is lean (SW wise I mean)

  • It has an excellent form factor.

  • The display is brilliant.

  • It comes with Wifi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS (my order of importance, should be more space between 3G and GPS … ;-) )

  • Email actually works:

    • not just „ POP over IMAP“, but the phone client and the server actually stay in sync.

    • I can actually read an email (ok, more display size related, then phone OS)

    • I can see and open attachments … and read or work with them too

  • The camera is OK (not really important to me, but still; see this for a test)

  • Gmail, Gmaps, Skype (via fring), flickr-upload work amazingly well for a phone.

  • The tiny QWERTZ (the german layout for QWERTY) keyboard does work well. Better than the virtual keyboards on iPhone and friends.

Still, there are some classical Nokia goofs (you did not expect me the ever stop ranting about nokia, did you?)

  • its predecessor, the E61i had the concept of access point groups , where you could group e.g. your home Wifi, your office Wifi and your 3G connections (i.e. access points) into one group, and then assign this access point group e.g. to your email connection settings. So email retrieval would work on any of those networks, but go over the faster and cheaper Wifi first.
    No longer possible with the E71.

  • Automatic email retrieval is a cool thing, but can you spot the missing item here ?

    Why - oh why - just not every (1) hour ?

  • I can no longer schedule a call in the calender. That's really a loss to me... I used that feature a lot for “scheduled call backs”. I still can set a reminder of course, but there is a lot more typing involved – both when entering the reminder as well as later when doing the call. It used to be just one click (on the green button).

And I get a full new set of typos when SMS/texting now that I moved from T9 to QWERTZ ;-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wow - Mobilkom austria and fring launch partner program!

The only part where mobilkom austria seems to "get" the post PSTN/incumbant/closed-network era is VOIP...
Now they partner wirth fring (mobile skype et al client)

Mobilkom austria’s A1 and fring launch partner program!

via - thanks

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sun Ray and Austrian Smartcards

Together with a good customer and active member of our Sun Ray community we finally got the Austrian Quick cards (sort of a nationwide e-Purse solution for Austria) to work in Sun Rays.

So you can now use your Maestro (“Bankomat”), University Campus Card and other cards of the same type and layout as a Sun Ray token.

Together with the Austrian health care card (“eCard”) we can now claim “100% pop coverage” - as mobile operators do – for Sun Ray compatible cards. Great. I love it.

I'm still unsure how willing users are to actually use a payment card for IT authentication. I know that we don't read any data from the card other than the serial number, but does an end user trust IT equipment with their “money“?

Let's see over the next couple of months.

Here's the way to get it to work:

Download the two smartcard configuration files that Niki Waibel was kind enough to create:

AustrianECard.cfg for the eCard and AustrianQuickEPurse.cfg for the Quick card (or most likely both).

Store them to the /etc/opt/SUNWut/smartcard/ directory on your Sun Ray server(s), and place them on a prominent position with the probe_order.conf (they are #1 and #2 in my configuration here ;-) )

utrestart the Sun Ray Server to make it pick up the change, and voila, you should be able to use the new cards as proper and valid Sun Ray tokens.

Feel free to use it. Should you experience problems, just post a comment here.

Warning: a new Sun Ray Server software patch will most likely remove those files or overwrite the probe_order.conf.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gadget week

Last week I got my new Lenovo Thinkpad T500 to replace my (still IBM) Thinkpad T43p (disk and fan already made noises like a bad diesel engine).
2 Days ago I got my Nokia E71 to replace my 6233.
And coming weeking I guess I'll buy me the Nikon D300 to replace my D70.

Expect postings on all of this next week.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

[TechCrunchIT] Selling the Downturn: Schwartz and the Silver Lining

Excellent analysis of Jonathan Schwartz's latest blogpost and Sun internal memo by Steve Gillmor

Selling the Downturn: Schwartz and the Silver Lining

The question now becomes: What insight does Schwartz bring now to the conversation with customers. If they are, as he writes, under stress, and therefore “open to change”, what combination of leading edge hardware and system integration of virtualization will produce immediate results in a climate where Sun’s focus on financial services is likely to be challenged by a wave of mergers, buyouts, and outright collapses. Schwartz and Sun have blazed a trail to the cloud computing enterprise, but now they have to defend themselves against having done perhaps too good a job of turning the market toward the new reality.

Firefox 3 and Twitter

... don't work well with each other.

For some days now (I feel that it was with the 3.0.2 or 3.0.3 update from FF) whenever I type into the twitter status input field, it slows down, grabs 100% of the CPU and I can type at a rate of 1 character per 2 seconds !!!

It seems that the javascript for updating the counter for the remaining characters (just right above the input field) is doing this, but I cannot really prove this.

Strangest thing is, it does not do this with IE or with the very same FF version running in a virtual box (different profile, though). I also started FF without any extensions (firefox -safe-mode) and disabled spell-checking.
No difference.

Could not find any hint or reference to this behavior on Google.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Delete nor Not Delete

I noticed a strange co-incidence between Lightning (the Calendar plugin for Mozilla Thunderbird) and the crappy mail client of my Nokia 6233...

Both cannot delete the item you are currently viewing.

In Lightning (and I guess in Sunbird as well), when you open an event (or todo item) you cannot delete this very item from the menu or toolbar.

There is simply no delete function.
Only in the various calendar views, but not on the item itself.
This annoys me, because here is exactly the place where you see and know most about the potential delete candidate... what better place to delete it ?
(btw: I already filed bug #392021 against it, but it does not move... maby I'll grab it myself one day)

Same in the email client on my Nokia 6233:Not that anything really works there... The 6233 does something I dubbed "POP over IMAP", since it uses IMAP as a technical protocol layer but only offers POP like features.

There also, I cannot delete the mail I'm currently viewing. I have to go back to the inbox and delete it from there. Crappy.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Daily Show Full Episodes

Finally, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart publishes the full episodes (not just snippets) on the web.
This is most important for Europeans without satellite or cable TV... finally.

A bold move for traditional media, I thought.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thunderbird compose HTML vs plain-text

I just noticed that there is a short-cut to kinda toggle between HTML and plain-text in Thunderbird when composing a message.

You just have to hold the shift-key when you "launch" the compose/editor window, and it will use the opposite mode of your profile.

So, when you have HTML on per default, and want to compose a new mail in plain-text you just hold the shift-key while you hit the "Create a new message" button.
Or when you hit Reply, ...


Does not work inside the composer window though.
Since I have not found a toggle button (extension) for it so far, and always going through Options->Format->Plain Text Only is a bit cumbersome, I'll write one ...

Someday. But for the time being, the shift-key helps.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dopplr's obsession with planes

Dopplr - the great and cool travel social network - has an obsession with traveling by plane, that I cannot share.

Since they started recording the means of transportation for a trip (by car, by train, by plane, ... on foot) to calculate your carbon footprint, the default setting is "by plane" no matter what the trip.

Even for a trip that is only 200km... or less.

I checked if I could overwrite this in my traveler profile, but I cannot (or at least I did not find the setting for it)

When you tweet or email a trip, dopplr does not even parse a string like "by car" - which would be easy to parse, given the clear and narrow dictionary "by plan", "by train", "by car", "by bus", ..., "on foot". One could really look for those strings literally.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Some Flickr Observations

Just some random thoughts and observations around flickr.

  • I don't get explore – or the interestingness.
    I do have (or did have) a couple of my pictures in explore in the past, but – quite frankly – I only see the explore-worthiness of 2 of the 5 - guess which.

    It's been a long time
    I don't really want to understand the algorithm, really, I just don't get it. That's all.

  • Why for example are my 2 personal favorites (of my own pictures) not in explore ?

    Cafe ArchieTip of the wing
    That's what I really don't understand.

  • Why did flickr change their start page?
    I now cannot distinguish that easily between activities on my pictures (comments, favs) from activities by me on other pictures. That used to be separate, and I quite liked it.

  • News drive(s) flickr views... [2]
    I do have aStadt des Kindes couple of pictures of my next door (or rather vis-a-vis) building, the "Stadt des Kindes" (read: City of/for children) - an abandoned former children's home and/or orphanage in Vienna. Used to be quite progressive 30 years ago - both, from a pedagogical and architectural point of view. Now the building is about do be demolished and the demonstrations against that of course made it into the local news... All of a sudden the stats on my Stadt-des-Kindes picture went significantly up, which google-image search being the #1 referrer[1].
    Strange ... but feels good.
So, thanks for listening.
Good night.

[1] I know that the HTTP header is called "referer", but don't blame me, if the standards guys don't know proper English.
[2] Does not really rhyme well, but what the heck.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New flickr home page

Flickr has upgraded (or is just about to upgrade) their homepage with more dynamic and community oriented features. More details here on the flickr blog

Sunday, August 31, 2008

GUI broken ?

Isn't a GUI utterly broken, when the status bar (of the main window (!)) says "Opening Main Window..." for half a minute ?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Windows file type registration for OOo 3.0 Beta for Windows

Just installed the latest 3.0 build over the previous one, and all the Windows Explorer integration was lost.
I googled around a bit, and found this on GullFOSS:

"If you test the 3.0 Beta on the Windows platform, you might be wondered about the missing system integration. Well, we decided to avoid the system integration in the Windows registry, because it conflicts with an existing system integration of an OOo 2.x, that you are probably using for your daily work. But if you know, what you do, you can of course get the complete system integration for your Beta tests. You only have to set the global property WRITE_REGISTRY, that is used as condition in the Windows Installer database. So please use

setup.exe WRITE_REGISTRY=1

or if you prefer the direct call with Windows Installer service:

msiexec.exe /i WRITE_REGISTRY=1"

I reinstalled with setup.exe WRITE_REGISTRY=1 as stated above and it worked like a charme.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Firefox 3 - finally

I finally moved to Firefox 3.

Because one of my favorite extension (add-on) was not FF3 compatible, I was still using FF2 only.

ConQuery was (is) the culprit. It is only 2.0.0.* compatible, and even if you "patch" the max version to 3.0.* it of course does install and run, but cannot parse the opensearch plugins from mycroft. So it was unusable.
Interestingly is was working with those search plugins nicely under FF2 ... odd.

I had FF3 only running in my virtualbox, but not on my "main" desktop. And once you get used to the speed of FF3 you will get annoyed when you have to repeatedly go back to FF2.

Only yesterday, I found out that I was kind of using the wrong extension in the first place, since there is a Context Search add-on for FF as well, which runs perfectly with opensearch, FF2 and FF3.

So there was no more obstacle...and I'm on FF3 now.

So much faster.
And the awesome bar is really awesome... or at least better than the old one.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Dopplr and Twitter problem fixed

A couple of weeks ago, Dopplr (the social travel network) announced support for twitter (and email and sms). That is, you can send a tweet to the dopplr user on twitter with your travel details, and it will automatically get added to your Dopplr account as a new trip.

Of course you first have to register your twitter user with your Dopplr account... (why this is, and why the number of identity silos as ever increasing is a different story, and I'm sure I will rant about identity in social networks soon here).

You do so, by sending a (private/direct) message to the Dopplr account with a secret key (kind of thing) that you get from Dopplr. Once you sent this, the link between your Dopplr account and your twitter name is established, i.e. messages from this very twitter name will be associated with your Dopplr account.

From then on, you send messages like

“I'm going to munich from Sep 23rd to Sep 29th“

to Dopplr and the trip will be added automatically. Confirmation is sent both via twitter and via email.

In my case, however, the registration failed.

Dopplr just would not react to my registration message. Simply ignored it. I first thought, that I did something wrong, but today I got an email from Matt Biddulph , the CTO of Dopplr:

Subject: Apologies for a recent problem in Dopplr's Twitter support

This morning we discovered a bug that has affected about 60 Dopplr accounts, including yours. It meant that when you sent us a message to associate your account with your Twitter account so that you could send us trips, it didn't work correctly.

We've just fixed the bug and deployed new code to our servers. If you'd like to try again starting at then the process should now work.

I'm sorry for this problem, and hope you enjoy using our new Twitter feature.

Matt Biddulph,
Dopplr CTO.

I tried the registration again, this time it worked.

Dopplr replied with

Thanks, now we know who you are on Twitter. Full usage instructions are at

within a minute or so, and then I was able to add my sample trip to Munich (this is just an example, don't expect me in Munich at that time).

Which is then confirmed by an email:

Subject: Re: Your twitter message to Dopplr

Thanks for sending us a message by twitter.
We automatically created a trip to Munich, Germany (from Vienna,
Austria) between September 23rd and September 29th

We won't share coincidences from this newly-created trip with your
fellow travellers until August 13th. This is to give you a chance
to check and correct any problems in interpretation.

If you'd like to check, go to
personal link deleted

Yours sincerely,
The Dopplr Team.

I love the idea to put the new trip into a kind of quarantine for 10 days, but still publish it then by default.

So it works great now.

I was so surprised by Matt's email, that (I guess for the first time ever) I replied to him thanking him for the service.

Unusual... even for cool startups.

(email published with Matt's consent)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Update on gmail mobile vs https

As reported earlier, I had problems with both the new "Always use https" option on and still use gmail from my mobile.

So, first of all, I installed v1.5 of gmail mobile for my 6233. This did not go through the JavaME update process, because it seems Google changed the download URL for it. Just point your (built in) mobile browser to and you can download from there.

According to the gmail blog and help center there should be a way to have "Always use https" on and still use the mobile app.

If you have the latest version of the app (1.5), you can work around these errors by also enabling the app's own 'Always use secure network connections (slower performance):' setting from your device and then signing out:

  1. Select Menu > Go to > Settings.
  2. Check the Always use secure network connections (slower performance): option.
  3. Make sure the 'Always keep me signed in' option is NOT checked (in order for you to sign out).
  4. Save your changes.
  5. Select Menu > Exit Gmail.
  6. Restart the app and sign in.

I tried this, i.e. activated both, the "Alway use secure network ..." on the mobile and the "Always use https" on the web (and turned "Always keep me signed in" back on again after a while.

Now I always get signed out of the mobile application whenever it tried to connect to gmail with a
Username and password do not match. You provided (...)

error message.

So, still does not work.

Had to turn "
Always use https" back off again...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gmail mobile fails when "always use https" is turned on

So, of course, when Google released the "Always use https" feature in gmail I (paranoid as I am) turned it on.
At a seemingly unrelated time later my mobile Gmail on my Nokia 6233 failed to connect with the (misleading) error message
"This program requires a working data connection... Please check you signal stength."
- whilst the GPRS/data indicator is active and all other apps work.

I did not get the correlation to the https setting, but a couple of days later (yesterday) it struck me... and it turned it off again ... voila, gmail mobile wors again.
(and turned it on again -> fail ,turned it of -> works).

Turns out, that this is well documented:
Some products that connect to Gmail, like Google Toolbar, are not yet compatible with https. We're working to identify issues like this and get them fixed, so visit your product's Help Center if you encounter problems after enabling this setting. In particular, check out this Gmail Help Center page if you use the Gmail mobile app, as you may initially hit an error when you try to use it (we're working on a fix).
(from the gmail blog)

Bad thing is, my 6233 is running with gmail v1.1.1 and there does not seem to be an update for it...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fighting with XUL in Thunderbird

For some strange reason that I have not figured out yet I totally fail to reference the „Move“ menu in the Thunderbird Message menu... odd.

Have to dig deeper into this.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Finally a Thunderbird bug fixed

One of the TB "bugs" that bugged (no pun intended) me most was that a couple of controls (menuitems etc. ) did not have an ID associated with them , and so were not really (or not really easy) for extensions do overlay.

But since (hot of the press) this should be fixed:
Bug 411481 – Make it easier for extensions to overlay the TB menubar by adding IDs

Let's see how complete....

Vacation vs email

After a 2 week vacation (a "near offline experience") I managed to reduce my business email inbox from 450 unread items to 17... Those 17 I really have to act upon.
(And I'm not talking to email I receive from a maillist, or other inboxes like Flickr, Friendfeed, Google Reader, ...)

Which means that in 2 weeks time I have <4% meaningful emails ?
Ok, I've read about 80% of the emails - at least the subject and the first couple of lines - on my Palm through my bluetooth/6233/gprs connection. But that was trouble enough.
a) VersaMail on the Palm T|X does not successfully delete emails on the (IMAP)Server, not matter how often you tell it to...
b) Neither das the Nokia 6233 built-in email client; though it says it does IMAP and it from a pure protocol level does it of course, it simply only offers POP functionality, though; i.e. retrieve, mark-read on the server (always on retrieval, how annoying) , but no delete.
c) more and more emails tend to be HTML, so neither the Palm nor the Nokia is a good interface to read them - unless you can get actual information out of a "Your email-reader does not support HTML...."

Time to get an iPhone or Blackberry ???
Or are the above stats (<4%!) telling me, I should not even bother with mobile email anymore (after I successfully have worked with it (and implemented it earlier myself) since 1999...
My god, that was last century ...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Offline... how strange

As followers of my Dopplr profile already know, I'll be offline for 2 weeks, and I guess totally offline.
I'm not really use to that anymore, hasn't happend in the last 3 or 4 years...

Lets see how I can cope with it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Now all presentations from JavaDeus08 available for download

Well, the <title> kind of say it all... here's the link. 3

I've been playing around with the latest 3 builds for a couple of weeks now...
One of the nicest changes in the Writer is the zoom functionality, which (quite frankly) s^h^h ^h was not that good in previous releases.

Now it looks like this:

You can actually zoom by dragging the slider... as expected.

A lot better than in the old dialog:

So lets forget about that.

btw: you can safely run OOo 3 (developer builds) alongside an older version (e.g. StarOffice 8 in my case).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wordle - Beautiful Word Clouds:

Wordle is a cool online tool to create really beautiful word clouds out of a given ... eh .. dictionary, if you will, or list of words, actually. The more frequent a word is (in this list) the larger it will be represented of course.

Here is my tag cloud for this blog (as of just before this post):

Wordle can also go directory to a accunt and pick the tags as input from there.
So here's my tag cloud:

You can change the orientation, font, colorings, ...

Quite nice, I thought.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Presentations from JavaDeus 08

The first set of presentations from JavaDeus08 are ready for download. Just follow the download link from the event homepage.

Cool gmaps // twitter mashup

Walterra has hacked a cool mash up with twitter "weather data" for select Austrian cities and google maps to present a twitter weather map for Austria.

Most probably technically not really challenging ("Done in three hours" in his own words), but the idea (to get the data from twitter) is just great.

This is just a simple example to illustrate the hidden power and possible emergence that lies within social media, presence services and livestreams.
This is a quick hack inspired by Using summize I fetch messages from twitter which contain words about the weather in Austria's federal capitals. A simple algorithm measures what people are talking about and renders a KML file which gets displayed above

Thanks to phreak20 for the hint.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tupalo badges

Tupalo (see here) now also has bagdes (i.e. widgets), which allow to embed a spot on your webpage / blog; in their own words:
The Tupalo Spot Widget code is available from every Tupalo Spot page, allowing you to embed a formatted business information widget into your posts. The Tupalo Spot Widget is perfect for those with a blog or website allowing Javascript.
Works fine.
2 minor issues, though:

  1. I'd also like to have a widget that lists my favorites on tupalo (=dynamic), not only 1 single spot (=static)
  2. the styles don't seem to work smoothly, see the title in the screen shot:
    I haven't looked into it with too much effort, but I guess they just don't really provide their own styles, or they are broken.
Apart from that, good work, guys.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

If blogrolls are indeed dead ... I said... why then did I still have one here, you might ask.

Fair question.
So I removed it.
I haven't updated it in years anyway...


Saturday, June 21, 2008

JavaDeus 08 was a huge success

On Thursday we [1] hosted Austria's first major Java Developer conference [2] in St. Pölten on the FH campus - as I already reported.

The event was - not only in my opinion - a great success. We had 400+ people attending (not counting the Sunnies), from students over smaller and larger ISVs to coporate developers. We had a mix of Sun and non-sun content, a mix of local and international speakers. And it was free (literally as in "free beer").

Starting with an excellent key note from Reggie Hutcherson (Manager of the Sun Technology Evangelism group), followed by the coolest demos, most importantly of the SunSPOT thingies - small Java programmable "thing" with light and 3d motion sensors and stuff... We gave on set of them away for free, and one is still to be won - or rather earned with a good idea for an application.

In the afternoon there were 4 parallel streams of break out sessions, covering everything from MySQL (were we obviously were not clear enough that the 2 presentations were not the same, sorry), openESB (excellent presentation and demo by Jason), GlassFish by Alexis (who else ;-) ), NetBeans by the Netbeans guys from Praha, SunSPOT details by Salzburg Research, etc, etc. And of course and outlook on Java 7 ...

Presentations will be posted for download on the Sun site soon (Monday, I think), I will put up a reminder here on my blog as soon as they are ready.

I had excellent conversations throughout the day and - apart from being slightly stressed - enjoyed every bit of it.

One of my favorite moments was, when - more sales focused - colleagues came almost running out of the really good jMaki presentation by Doris Chen and complained that people were talking about actualy code in there. *grin*

After that beer and BBQ were well deserved by everyone... still 200+ at the party (I guess), people only started to leave when Germany started to beat Portugal and we had to watch it...

Other reports on the conference should be searchable with the keyword "javadeus08" or "javadeus", or can be found on and technorati. (That is the plus side of a unique name like JavaDeus... apart from that, I still don't like it).

See y'all next year, at JavaDeus 09.

[1] Sun Microsystems, if you don't know by now ;-)
[2] well WE [1] think it was the "first major..." and people at the conference confirmed this. Sorry, if I missed someone else's efforts.


Just noticed that TinyURL also has a (more or less) proper API.
with yoururl of course being your url...

Try for your favorite blog and see what you get.

The History Of Regexps - Part 1

via m³s online Pamphlet

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Firefox 3 and extensions

I just installed a Firefox 3 (rc3) (just 2 days before the big download day) in a virtual box to check how my extensions would be working after an upgrade.

The results are now in, and they are quite a disaster:

Only and greasemonkey continue to work...

Apart from that FF3 seems to work perfectly.
I already got used to and love the new autocomplete feature in the addressbar...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tupalo and a search plugin for it

I just created and published a search plugin for Tupalo or to be more specific for Tupalo in Vienna.

Tupalo is a great social platform for finding, reviewing and recommending just stuff in your neighborhood - and that's also their slogan.

Unfortunately their search is limited to a location / city you have to select first... which is OK when you search on the site, but quite cumbersome for a search plugin, since it cannot know which city you are talking about.

Hence, Vienna only... you can change the city yourself... you'll figure out.
The plugin can be found here on the mycroft page. Enjoy.

Still - finally an Austrian startup again - with a great idea. Excellent job, guys.
Their progress and new stuff can be found on their blog (where else).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dopplr - finally - 2.4 Million Cities

Just got an email (and there is a blog post too) that I was kind of longing for for months now .... see here, here and here.

Dopplr Blog - 2.4 Million Cities:
"We’re also including destinations that aren’t cities - things like islands, national parks, and ski resorts. So in future, Dopplr is more likely to recognise names of places you’re travelling to. We’ve made other changes to the gazetteer too, tweaks to the way it guesses which destination you mean when lots of locations share the same name."
And indeed - Saalbach, Krems and Mödling are now finally searchable - or findable, rather... well just THERE.


Are Blogrolls dead ?

Well the title of this post suggests a yes and that's what I feel.
Why ?

I haven't updated mine in months (if not years). Not (only) because I'm lazy, but I did not see a point in doing so.

They used to serve as a social network (or at least some kind of social graph) amongst bloggers... but that's no longer the case. Social graphs are now in the social networks (not in twitter, though, mind you).

I guess one reason is also that links are dead - as Steve Gillmor has been pointing out for years.

Don't get me wrong on this, I still like being linked to, but not for the sake of the link, but because I get a hint that someone feels I had something important to say or report or an interesting thought. And a link is only one way to make that statement, and not more important (to me) than say a tweet or IM or email or a real chat, where she/he responds to a post.

Reminder - JavaDeus in AT next week

Just a quick reminder to everyone.

We will have the Java Developer Conference "JavaDeus 08" next week Thursday (19 Jun) in St Pölten.
Presentations and discussions will cover Glassfish by Alexis, OpenESB by Jason, MySQL, Java7, Sun SPOTS etc.
See the agenda and details here.

Register - if you haven't already.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Interesting error page

While an Apple conference (and iPhone 3G announcement) is bringing twitter down (as expected), I found a more entertaining error page:

Very helpful. Thanks.

Twitter vs WWDC 2008

So, expectations are quite high at the crossroads of twitter and the iPhone.
Not only does eveyone (kind of) expect twitter to go down during the announcement, the twitter teams seem to be prepared for it as well.
See e.g. here amongst others.

Maybe expectations are a bit too high for both of them ... the (supposedly all new and now even more exciting ) iPhone, and the twitter coverage of it.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Good color coding

I like the way tells my that the password I entered was wrong:

A green check mark ...

That's how you indicate an error. Not this panicky red or yellow stuff

Glassfish configuration for DB2

I ran into this problem at least twice, so here is the solution (at least for my own reference in the future):

If you want to use a DB2 (UDB) database from glassfish v2 using a Type 2 JDBC driver [1], you must make sure that the (native) library db2jcct2.dll (or .so) is in the (native) library path. The error message usually says something like "Failure in loading T2 native library db2jcct2".

This DLL resides in your DB2 install directory bin directory, e.g. C:\Programme\IBM\SQLLIB\BIN\db2jcct2.dll on windows, so you have to add this directory (C:\Programme\IBM\SQLLIB\BIN) to the glassfish (!!) native library path in the JVM settings

In the domain.xml config file this is the
native-library-path-prefix="c:\programme\IBM\SQLLIB\BIN" option of the java-config setting.

In the admin web GUI it is on the Application Server page;

under the JVM Settings -> Path Settings you will find the option Native Library Path Prefix:

One additional note:
[1] The IBM Type 2 JDBC driver is the one that uses the native DB2 client (used to be called Client Application Enabler or short CAE at my times with DB2 UDB v5) for DB2 access and connectivity. Hence, the necessity to be able to locate the native DLLs... So when the appserver and the DB2 engine run on the same host, you should use type 2 as well.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Way out

Way out
Originally uploaded by roetzi24
As part of my ongoing service to the general public, I'll provide you with a way out today.

Print it (or download it to your mobile device) and take it with you.

This way, you'll always find a way out

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

NYT and the 'new media'

In today's article about Don Grantham leaving Sun for HP, the NYT writes:

Sun Global Sales Head Resigns, Bound for H.P. -

"In a blog post, Sun CEO Schwartz referred to Grantham's departure in seemingly jocular terms. [...]

Sun could not immediately be reached for comment."
Dear NYT, there is a blog post - you even quoted from it. This IS A COMMENT.
Please understand blogs... please.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Towel Day

I (again) totally forgot about Towel Day this year until just after it ended... probably because I was offline that day (in Scotland).

So in order to always remember it, I created a (public) GoogleCal entry for it. You can subscribe to it via this button ...

And in doing so, I noted that when you publish a recurring event on GoogleCal (like I did, see the Google button above) it does not carry the recurrence information with it...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thank you, twitter

Another reason to like twitter ... or the guys behind twitter: in their announcement/warning of the upcoming downtime, they linked the time to, so everyone can see it in their own timezone.

Since I receive a lot of event invitations from the US I know that his is quite unusual... totally the exception.
So, thank you, twitter.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dezentralized Twitter

A couple of recent Gillmor Gang episodes were dedicated to the concept (and necessity) of a decentralized twitter, and/or opening up twitter...

At one point, Marc Canter says:
"But there could be technically 100 Twitters, each controlled by different vendors, and we could have a backend kind of DNS thing to federate users. So if I registered with Pownce or Jaiku, my handle would work on Twitter, or vice-versa. And that’s what I’ve been saying."
More of Marc's reasoning on his blog here.
I don't think this can ever happen - as a DNS like infrastructure.

DNS might be a nice model of decentralization (in probably most ways), but to me it is a very one-way model of propagating data ...
You don't have to push data through DNS... it get's pulled by a host lookup... that's why I say "propagate".

But you have to push tweets. You cannot have every possible Twitter-Clone instance (and there would be hundreds, if you really open it up) pull data from every other clone... no way. And DNS is not a model for pushing data...

To make one thing clear: I agree with Marc that twitter needs to be decentralized in some way... I just don't feel that DNS can be the model for it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Restore Natural Order

I just noticed that Thunderbird saves the world.

If you click on the column selection button in one of the table views, e.g. Inbox, or the Lighning event list
you get a "Restore Natural Order" action.


If only we had that in the real world.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

X.500 ?

Today I saw (quite an expensive) a car with the vanity license plate "X 500" on it.

The owner is most definitely not from IT or any tech business, since no one here in their right mind would choose to associate themselves with "X.500"...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Skype, Google and YouTube for fun and profit

Just noticed that I had some dust on the sensor of my DSLR (Nikon D70). And while I was IM'ing with a friend (Max) on how to get rid of it, I googled for "nikon d70 sensor clean" and the first hit I got was this video on YouTube, showing how to clean the sensor of your D70 from dust.

I then only needed Max to tell me that I could use any straw instead of that blower thingy (provided that I don't spit through it)...

e voila: I followed the instructions, did not spit, and the sensor now is clean again.

Thanks, Skype, Google and YouTube.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Stupid UIs

Another addition to the collection of stupid user interfaces.

This week's award goes to Nokia for replacing a YES/NO dialog with two buttons (green checkbox for YES, red crossy thingy for NO).
Well, it is intuitive, but keyboard shortcuts (Y, N) no longer work.

Well done.
Thank you.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Why OpenID should have relevance for the enterprise

As with federated identities, I thought that OpenID had no space in the enterprise.

The main thought was, that OpenID make me the owner of my identity, and lets me choose where to use it. This is usually not what the enterprise wants. My enterprise identity, i.e. my accounts and profiles with the IT systems of my employer, belongs to my employer, not to me.
So, why should an enterprise care ?
Well, there are people who use their corporate account names and passwords on external sites as well.
They might use it for their email account, or eBay, ... Or they use their corporate email address to register with amazon and others who base an account on a email address. And usually, people tend to use the same password as well.

Bad idea.

But this (mis)concept exists, since there are "external" account, CompuServe, AOL, fidonet, whatever... and of course all those fancy sites on the web. And this behavior could never be eradicated. Because people (and therefore users) are lazy bastards.

Well - you can write and publish policies that forbid this (and all enterprises have those), but frankly, who cares. Who even reads them.

So why not turn 180° and actually allow this... even more: encourage it.

Become an OpenID provider and let users use their corporate account to login at your openid provider site. That way, the can stay lazy, but never give a password to other sites... They only enter it at your site(s).

The only drawback right now is, that there are still not enough openid enabled sites... but they are growing... rapidly actually.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

New StarOffice/OOo language feature

Just noticed that OpenOffice 2.4 and (therefore) StarOffice 8 Update 10, have a new faster way to select/change the language for the spell-checker - right down in the status bar (where you actually expect it).

A click on it, and you can change the language.
Fast. Intiutive.


Friday, May 02, 2008

A case for Identity Federation for the Enterprise

When it comes to identity management enterprises today tend to only care about user provisioning, compliance and (worst of all) single-sign-on.

Identity Federation - like Liberty - is usually not really considered. And I neglected it, too, since customers were not really interested in it, or asking for it.

However, there is a good use-case for federated identities across within enterprises... I choose to say "within" because the case I'm about to make is when the user should not see enterprise borders:

Consider an outsourced process - like HR in our case at Sun - where your employees have to access an application that is outsourced as well. People then have to sign on to computers that are not being operated by you (your IT).

Big deal... those application can easily access my directory (LDAP or AD)... so why should I need identity federation there?
And you might even trust those external application to securely access your directory this way.

But you don't want your users to enter their corporate userid and password at any remote site - even if you trust that company.

If you do, you open up big potential for fishing... By using federation you keep the input mask for your userids and password within your IT, operated by your staff, transported only over your network. There is no chance that the password can get intercepted... or at least the risk is not higher than within your own network.
That's the point.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

StarOffice 8 Update 10

StarOffice 8 Update 10 has finally been released as patch 120187-14 for Windows.

Contrary to previous patches, this one was quite troublesome to install: on both of my Windows machines (both with SO8 U9 already installed) the installation failed quit at the end with a failure to read the source .MSI file (claimed to be a network error, but that was just a crappy error message, all install sources were local). It then removed the whole U9 update, but StarOffice refused to load afterwards (incl reboot) because of missing DLLs and/or DLL entry points.

I had to repair SO8 base, then re-apply U10...

As I said, happened twice for me – cost me 2hrs each time ... so be careful.

Xing now shows contact map on Google Maps

Xing just added great (beta) feature to the Contacts page.
You can now view your contacts as a map using - of course - Google Maps.

Here's my map (you might want to click to enlarge)

Works surprisingly well, i.e. most of the people seem to have meaningful addresses in their profile.
And the visualization - as often - adds information.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

(shell) History meme

Just stumbled upon this nice piece of not-so-useful tricks... but fun.
via Tim Bray ongoing � History
history | tr -s ' ' | cut -d ' ' -f 3 | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | head -n 10
92 tarantella
69 ls
26 cd
13 clear
12 tail
11 rm
11 exec
11 cat
8 date
7 man

I must have been doing a lot of SGD/tarantella stuff lately. Can't explain the date, though ;-)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dopplr and city data - no progress

I ranted about this earlier, but there is still no improvement.
Dopplr does a lousy job regarding its 'catalog' of city data.

Citrix Rumors...

I heard a lot of rumors during the last year or so about Microsoft buying Citrix... now IBM and Cisco joined the list...

Rumors of IBM or Cisco buying Citrix?, from Brian Madden on

Friday, April 11, 2008

MacBook Air

I had the chance to "lift" an MacBook Air recently, because a co-worker got himself such a beast.
Boy... great device... really.

One can argue about the lack of ports and connectivity.
E.g. only one USB port and no ethernet, only WiFi.
Not the perfect enterprise laptop, therefore.

But to me it is the iPhone of laptops... gets people hungry for Apple.
Drags them into the stores and to the Apple brand.
Any maybe get a more "enterprisy" device.

Surely a plus for Apple.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Whoever changed the application or infrastructure behind

Thank you.

Performance and responsiveness is now on a level where you can actually work with it.

Java Conference in Austria

Finally, Sun talks Java again in Austria. [1]

On June 19th there will be a one day Java Conference called JavaDeus[2] in St. Pölten.
Free admission of course.

Topics will cover Java 7, Netbeans, openESB... as well as some not-so-directly-Java-related stuff like MySql and Solaris Dtrace... stuff for developers, if you will.
Details can be found here at

[1] Not only do I work for Sun, but I'm also involved in organizing this event.
[2] don't blame me for the name.

Speed Dial killed my Firefox

Strange... I have been using the Speed Dial extension for Firefox for quite some while now, and a couple of days it started to kill my Firefox after startup...
First I though it was the Norton §$%&/() product.... but then I played around with
firefox.exe -safe-mode
and voila it worked again.

Disabling extension by extension revealed that Speed Dial was the culprit.

So it had to let it go.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Got rid of my printer

A couple of days ago I got rid of my printer at home... and old Lexmark [1] ink printer.
First of all because it was broken.
Secondly because it has been broken for about half a year... and I never really did mind... because I did not even want to print anything.
So now was a good time to discard it.[2]

Boy, did I suddenly gain space on my desk.

And I'm one more step closer to the paperless (home) office.
If that will ever work.

Reminds me of the decade old saying "We'll have the paperless toilet before we have the paperless office."

Still true today.

[1] well exIBMers just have to buy Lexmark, don't they.
[2] actual trigger was windowcleaning... and I had to move the printer to the side to get access to the window.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Worst german computer term ever

Well, maybe not the eternal #1 ... but still a good candidate is .... drum roll ...


This is the german term quite frequently used for buttons & push-buttons.
Literally it means "switch(ing) area"...
as in switching gears or switching the light on ...
and area as in they area where you can actually do the switching.

This is such a stupid and inappropriate term...

Boy, even leo knows about it.

How to recognize malware?

The best indicator if a piece of software is malware (i.e. any kind of malicious software that wants to harm you or others) is that it does NOT come with a 4-10 page disclaimer and license agreement that you actually have to scroll down and read - page by page - and accept.

If it comes with one of them, its legitimate software that actually ran through a legal department. No malware there.
If it does not come with it... be afraid, be very afraid...

Then again, if a legal department was involved with the release of software, ... be afraid as well... or even panic!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I just created a litte Java app that downloads prefedined (=selected) photos from flickr down to my palm.
I noticed that I can do this quite easily without the need for a conduit.

So here's what id does.
  1. You create a set in flickr and add the files you want to have on your palm, let's call it "flickrpalmr" per default.
  2. The program picks this set from the defined user (=your user)
  3. Downloads all new pictures from this set to the palm photo installation directory, into a new set ("flickrpalmr", again)
  4. if there was a photo in this directory that on flickr no longer is in the defined photo-set, it removes it from the directory as well.
  5. hotsync the palm
This works due to the fact that the media conduit in palm really syncs the folder
<palminstall-directory>\<hotsyncname>\offline copy location\Internal
bi-directionally. Every subdirectory will become an Album on the handheld.

So the directory c:\programme\palmone\txr\offline copy location\Internal\flickrpalmr\ gets sync'ed to the Album flickrpalmr on my T|X.

If I remove a picture from the photo-set on flickr, it will be removed from the directory and thus from the palm.

Then you have to cron (or create a "scheduled task" under windows) for the java program for e.g. every hour or once a day... e voila.

Not the nicest integration, but it works.

What I initially wanted to do, was to avoid the set, but go for a tag only. You'd just have to tag your photos with "flickrpalmr" (or whatever you'd prefer), and that'd be it.
The flickr api, however, does not seem to expose a method to retrieve all picture from a user with a given tag.
You have to walk through all the picture and then for each photo check, if it is tagged with "flickrpalmr". With 500+ pictures this is extremely slow. And it does not make a difference if you only want to sync 20... you have to enumerate all of them.
So I went for the photo-set.