Planet BeClan


April 05, 2007

Matt Henkel (guildencrantz)

Basking in Sun

Working for a giant corporation does have its perks: Among traditional educational oportunities Sun also supplies all employees (including contractors) with a subscription to Safari. As an O’Reilly whore I love this.

by Matt at April 05, 2007 03:29 PM

April 04, 2007

Matt Henkel (guildencrantz)

Animal Memory Explored

Yesterday The New York Times ran the article Time
in the Animal Mind
which gives a rudimentary discussion of several experiments that have looked into whether animals are capable of episodic memory. Although the discussion is decidedly non-technical it’s really
quite interesting, especially coming from an educational background where the cognitive skills of animals was severely questioned.

by Matt at April 04, 2007 04:28 PM

April 03, 2007

Matt Henkel (guildencrantz)

Good idea!

I was in the CLI the other day when I needed to do some conversions. Sure I could switch over to firefox and ask google how many lightyears are in a parsec, but that seemed like a waste of time. Instead I switched to firefox and asked google about command-line converters and found this: it’s an O’Reilly google hack in php which simply passes command-line arguments to google. Since PHP isn’t on my work machine and perl is missing LWP I wrote a little python script:


import sys, urllib2, re

req = urllib2.Request('' + '%20'.join(sys.argv[1:]))
req.add_header('User-Agent', 'UPyF Search') #Google refuses (403) requests from the urllib UA
print'<b>.+= (.+?)</b>', urllib2.urlopen(req).readlines()[-1]).group(1)

by Matt at April 03, 2007 09:41 AM

March 31, 2007

Bezilla Blog

Umm, never mind. (was: 2.0 Branch bug found) crashes when executing the second test at Bug 376110 created.

Update: seems to have been caused by a corrupt bfs and/or cache. Thanks, Fyysik!

March 31, 2007 06:36 PM

Frank Silye

Is it just me?

I tend to pop in read the blog aggregator at Skype once a week, reading about the development of the VoIP client. It is still my prefered way of communicate, simply cause most of my friends and colleagues are using it. But is far from the best, Google Talk seems to be superior when it comes to sound quality.

What worse is that Skype tends to become bloated, the developers behind it are adding more and more useless features for the most of us. The possibility to charge somebody when calling you, account management and the possibility to transfer money with PayPal. These features had to come, they are the very nature of eBay. But it shows how bad the overtake of the company was.

Well, I am as so many of my friends simply gonna continue avvoiding to use PayPal. I am not touching that shit again.

More important for me is the lack of updates of the Skype client for MacOS X and Linux.

by frankps at March 31, 2007 06:52 AM

March 30, 2007

Bezilla Blog

Behinder and behinder

I'm sorry to report I'm falling further and further behind in trying to get Cairo built here. Until I do, I'll be unable to complete test builds of Firefox 3.0 (minefield trunk). The initial alpha release 3.0a3 is available for other platforms. If anyone else has managed to build a fully-functioning Cairo implementation, please let me know - I'd like to learn from your experience. I apologize for the delay; many factors come into play. I'm not giving up, I just have very little personal time to devote at the moment.

Frank Silye

App Of The Week: AppFresh

I just came over an application that will make life easier for many Mac users, AppFresh is an utility that keeps all applications on your Mac up to date by checking the internet for new releases and makes downloading and installing them a breeze. Did you also go WOW. I at least did when I read the application description the first time.


I am not sure that I like that AppFresh also covers software updates from Apple, and that it can be used as a replacement for Apple’s own Software Update application to provide one central place to make sure you’re up to date. But as long as you still can access Apple’s own update application and disable updates you don’t need (iPod ROM updates for instance), I guess that AppFresh is a brilliant solution keeping your applications up to date!

by frankps at March 30, 2007 06:54 AM

March 24, 2007

Frank Silye

Riding a Dead Horse

Seems like also Magnussoft found out that they were riding a dead horse. I stopped using ZETA more or less a year ago, but was following the development to January this year. I don’t know if there was a fight between Bernd Korz and Magnussoft, and I am rather thinking that Magnussoft didn’t get anything back on the money they invested in ZETA.

There is no place for ZETA in the ongoing OS war (Haiku included). There is only space for the three big ones, Windows, MacOS X and Linux. You need millions of dollars to be able to compete with something that is free. Let us face it, the free Ubuntu gives the users more. ZETA 1,5 with burning software, costs you 150 euros and gives you less! Only thinking economicly about it, you should get paid for using ZETA and not pay for it. Is it fair to say it, or even think it? Sure it is! ZETA is being sold as a complete solution, a Windows replacement. Everbody that is sane, knows that this is not true. If you look isolated on the price of MacOS X, you will find that it is a bit cheaper, but far more complete and up to date when it comes to what you today are expecting to be able to do with your computer.

In fact, the OS war appears to be over for me. The market pie is still getting bigger, and Windows is more or less maintaining it’s position. Rumours tell that Apple is getting 9.000 first-time Mac buyers a day! Something that is making the Switch campain a great success. Linux is now getting it’s deserved attention. Dell is currently running a survey of what Linux distro to support, HP reporting that companies are buying thousands of machines with Linux preinstalled and France reporting that their parlament members will be getting laptops with Ubuntu. ZETA is getting far to much attention over at OSNews, nobody else are mentioning ZETA. Then again, OSNews has always had a focus on alternative OSes and it is fun to read about alternative operating systems. But please repeat after me: “ZETA is a Hobby-OS, in the same way as ReactOS, SkyOS and Haiku”. It is one of the best OSes to start learning C++ development. It has a lot of great ideas, and most of them are now also included in other operating systems. The BeOS platform has been dying for 6-7 years already, and this process will continue. Go ahead and ride that dead horse, it is great fun, but have in mind that you are getting no where!!!

Update - March 26

Today, Magnussoft publicly commented why they are pulling out of ZETA-OS:

Die dabei erzielten Verkaufszahlen lagen jedoch massiv unter den Erwartungen von magnussoft Deutschland.

For those who don’t understand German, the sales figures were massively under what magnussoft Deutschland expected. Just about what I wrote above. So, I was sadly right. It will be difficult to do a commercial distro with the BeOS platform (Haiku/ZETA) in the future. A massive, long term investment is needed, something nobody seems to be willing to do!

by frankps at March 24, 2007 08:33 AM

March 21, 2007

Bezilla Blog

It's official - Firefox

Firefox was officially released on 2007-03-20. I've updated the BeBits page to reflect this. If you've already downloaded from my earlier posting here, no need to reinstall.

March 21, 2007 03:25 PM

March 18, 2007

Bezilla Blog

Higher memory usage - or is it my imagination?

Is it just my imagination, the sites I've visited recently, or is it reality that seems to use more memory than Just curious if anyone else feels this is the case, also.

March 18, 2007 09:30 PM

Frank Silye

Fring 3.0 released

Fring 3.0Fring 3.0 got released a few days ago. Important news in the version is support for the SIP protocol and support for Unicode - all of those funny characters that appears instead of Ææ, Øø and Åå should now be real letters!

I wonder if it would work with my VoIP supplier Phonzo?

by frankps at March 18, 2007 04:38 PM

GTalkr reborn?

GTalkr was a web-based Flash program that I used once in a while to connect with my friends on Google Talk. It disappeared in May 2006 as the developers got hired by Google.

Some of the readers over at Customize Talk are affraid that Google is now gonna be focusing more on the webclient then the Google Talk application. I guess they are wrong, and that this is the work of the former GTalkr developers. Why? First of all, cause they got hired by Google and secondly cause of the similarities between the clients. Gtalkr had widgets for Flickr and YouTube, and the new client has gotten the same support for YouTube (that since then got bought by Google) and PicasaWeb (which is Google’s Flickr competitor).

Something that GTalkr lacked was support for VoIP. This seems now to have been added, and I guess this has been the reason why it took more or less for Google Talk to get it’s web client.

I have set up a static Talk page on this site, as a few of my friends cannot install Google Talk on their work machines. You need Flash 8 and a decent OS to use the web client…

by frankps at March 18, 2007 11:05 AM

March 17, 2007

Matt Henkel (guildencrantz)

I’d Rather Eat Beggin’ Strips

I scared myself earlier today: I actually purchased turkey “bacon”. Besides despising the stuff on general principle (pork fat is flavor) I’ve actually tried it a few times (Molly kept it around) and despised it each time.

Well, today I needed to cook up three pounds of chicken breast and have been looking for recipes that use more beans. One of the recipes that I found was a bean and chicken dish that called for bacon. I’d intended to cut some of the fat out by halving the bacon, however when I went to purchase a pound I saw three brands of turkey bacon and decided that I needed to do a taste comparison to see if they are all as bad as I’ve had before.

The test was conducted with three brands: Jennie-O Extra Lean, Butterball, and Oscar Mayer. I placed a strip of each brand on a wire rack over a cookie sheet in a 400°F oven for 8 minutes. Each piece was clearly cooked; I allowed them to cool before tasting.

The Jennie-O was the leanest cut and essentially resembled shaped saw dust. Although cooking crisped it up a bit the rasher remained largely browned, but flimsy. While there was a smokey flavor it wasn’t enough to make this worth eating. Honestly I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of the package.

The Butterball had the median fat content, although it was the best tasting. Not only was the flavor smokey and meaty the rasher crisped very well. No, it’s not going to pass for pork bacon, but I won’t have a problem eating this at breakfast.

The fattiest cut, Oscar Mayer, was the second best for flavor and crisped even better than the Butterball. Unfortunately the flavor was smokey but not meaty, which makes it undesirable for a breakfast accompaniment.

Since I decided that the Butterball was good enough to eat on its own I thought it best to make my dish tonight with the Oscar Mayer: I’d get the smokiness, yet wouldn’t miss the meatiness as much as eating it plain. The dish itself turned out extremely well. There’s a smokiness that comes through the sauce, although some of the chicken is a bit dry.

The original recipe actually called for thighs with skin and bones to be baked in the dish at 350°F. While reading the recipe I decided that the meat should be poached in the tomato, yet I didn’t follow through. Next time I’ll follow this recipe:

Chicken Poached with White Beans and Tomato
225 grams Turkey Bacon
1400 grams Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless
30 milliliters vegetable oil
500 grams Yellow Onion, chopped
250 grams Red Onion, chopped
800 grams Crushed Tomato with basil
850 grams Navy Beans, canned, drained, and rinsed
850 grams Cannellini, canned, drained, and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 175°F with a rack in the middle.

In a large, oven safe, covered, vessel fry the bacon to your desired crispness and remove it to paper towels.

While the bacon fries pat the chicken dry, then salt and pepper it to taste. When the bacon has all been fried check the fat in the pan: if there is approximately 50 milliliters of oil in the pan set aside the vegetable oil, otherwise add it to the pan. Brown the chicken over medium-high heat, about four minutes per side, and set it alongside the bacon.

Once all the chicken has been browned add the onion to the pan and lower the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle the onion with salt and scrape up any fond. Cook the onions for about ten minutes, until they start to caramelize.

Once the onion is ready stir in the crushed tomato and bacon, then settle the chicken in and pour the beans over it. Cover the dish and place it in the oven for 45-minutes, or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 170°F.

Check the sauce: if you want a stronger tomato flavor, and a thicker sauce, remove the chicken and return the pan to the stove top to reduce until you’ve achieved the desired thickness.

by Matt at March 17, 2007 08:07 PM

Frank Silye

Playstation 3: Not impressed

It is just a few days left till the Playstation 3 gets released on the European market. I went to my recordshop today and got the chance to try. The game I tried was MotorStorm, and to be honest I am not impressed of the graphics. My disappointed was: Is this it? It can’t be, let me have a closer look, how is the device connected to the TV… . Sadly, the Playstation demo boxes are completly locked down, so you can’t see anything. But, I take for granted that they were using HDMI for the best possible presentation of the capabilites of the device.

by frankps at March 17, 2007 02:46 PM

External Graphic “Card” - WTF!!!

ASUS claims to be ready with the first external graphic card for those of us that are in the need of more powerful graphic solutions for our laptops, and the price is not scarry at all: $100 USD. The XG Station is an external graphics card case for laptop users, and to use it you will need a modern laptop equipped with the new ExpressCard slot.

Simply add a PCIe graphics card in to the station, and it will connect to the notebook’s core logic via a PCIe x1 conduit.

The device is of course not limited to only improve the graphical experience of your system, it also comes with a Dolby digital headphone jack and it will display the system’s master volume, GPU clock speed, current GPU temperature, FPS (frames per second) and so on…

A brilliant way to get DirectX 10 and HDMI support your laptop, and then hook it up your HD DVD/Blueray player and LCD TV. I can hardly wait for it to get released!

by frankps at March 17, 2007 09:03 AM

16 Digital Radio Channels

NRK, our govermental broadcaster here in Norway, is finally fully going for digital radio. Their future plans are 16 digital radio channels broadcosted in 3 different digital ways: Internet, DAB and DVB-T2.

And the channels are:

It’s fantastic!!! Most of the channels are already available both on the Internet and DAB, but the new digital radio channels will already appear already in June, and over DVB in the autumn this year. I can hardly wait for NRK Jazz. I just know that it is gonna be an awesome product. A lot of great jazz has been and is being produced here in Norway. I just hope that all the music channels are getting enough bandwidth.

by frankps at March 17, 2007 08:40 AM

Testing Lotus Notes 8 and Nokia PC Suite

For quite a while I have been reading about the next version of Notes and Domino 8 (perhaps you better know it under the code name Hannover?), and big was my surprise when they last week got announced as public beta. I have been running Lotus Notes 8 for almost a week now on my Vista desktop computer at home, connected to the university network and our Domino server. As I have understood it, Lotus Notes 8 comes in two versions: One made in C++ and the second one made in JAVA. This means that the Lotus Notes 8 client can run on many supported operating systems, including Windows, MacOS X and Linux. Sadly the public beta didn’t include a Mac version as writing this. The Linux distrobution that IBM supports, is Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (what a horrible long name!).

First time starting Notes 8

Sadly, I am still running Notes 8 with version 7 templates and cannot make use of many of the new functionalities. But the new client looks far more thought through and the new poolished look makes it a pleasant surprise to use. One of the most exciting things that I haven’t been able to test out yet, is that Notes 8 offers a standards-based work environment and features support for ODF (Open Document Format). With IBM Productivity Editors, users can create, edit and save a variety of documents in ODF, including word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents. The Productivity Editors are said to allow users to import and export supported file formats used by Microsoft Office and Open Office file formats, edit those files, and save them in either the original format or as ODF documents. My question is what MS formats are supported? Is the support limited to Office 2003 or does it also support the new formats introduced with Office 2007?

As I am working a little bit from home, on a machine that I have already upgraded to Vista Enterprise, I didn’t manage to get Lotus Notes 7 working. With the public beta IBM only supports Windows XP, but I had no problems installing it on Vista. Configuring it afterwards went as a breeze. It was done in less then a minute, and then I was accessing our Domino servers.

You might have already read that I recently bought my first Nokia phone in years, the E60. One of the reasons for doing so, was Nokia’s brilliant syncronization tool PC Suite. It works brilliantly with Vista, I haven’t ran in to any problems with it. It is the first syncronization tool to sync with Vista’s new Contacts solution (which reminds me very much of People in BeOS!), and it also works with Outlook and Lotus Notes 7.x. I am writing 7.x as I am only using Notes 8 with version 7 templates as mentioned earlier.

Nokia PC Suite syncing

I was out drinking beer with some of my friends the other day, and we got in to discussions about various collaboration tools, and one started complaining about how bad Lotus Notes was as an email client. It turned out that it was one functionality he was missing, and that was capabilities for users to view incoming e-mail by “conversations,” with related messages appearing together to streamline communications. Well, it’s included in Notes 8!

More important for me is the implementation of a simple RSS-reader. This not something big, but simply nice as I can now add corporate newsfeeds in to my Notes environment. It means that I can get news about the services that the central computer department is running next to my calendar and todo list. Making it far easier for me to priortise my work.

RSS feed

by frankps at March 17, 2007 07:09 AM

March 14, 2007

Bezilla Blog

Firefox ready

The Mozilla Foundation will be releasing Firefox any time now (it may already be on the streets when you read this). Our builds are ready, too! You can get them here:


I'll update the BeBits entry once starts pushing to the other platforms (mozilla foundation is taking extra test time, it seems, with this version.)

March 14, 2007 03:57 PM

March 13, 2007

Matt Henkel (guildencrantz)

DUDE! It’s Duck Hunt!

I’m not a gamer. I have a few computer games that I play now and again but usually I’m reading or coding something, rarely playing games. When I power on my PSP I usually have to reset the time, and I gave away my PS2; I have been, however, enamoured with the Wii. Today I found one in a store and picked it up. To use a term I thought would never pass my fingers: OMFG!

Sure I’ve read the reviews about how cool this is. I’ve heard the few people I know who have one rant and rave. I was not, however, prepared to be so impressed by such simple games. When I picked up my console I also purchased Elebits and my roommate grabbed Marvel Ultimate Alliance along with Wii Play—he wanted a second controller and figured $10 for 9 more games was a fair price (we checked six stores, none of them had a spare nunchuck, so we’ve amazoned that).

Although you might attribute it to the lack of second nunchuck it wasn’t the $100 worth of Elebits and Marvel Ultimate Alliance that we lost 5 hours to, it was Wii Play. These little games elegantly highlight the power of the wiimote and are astoundingly amusing. The updated Duck Hunt is arguably our favorite, though the Cow Racing is a riot. I’m not a gamer and I don’t expect to become one now. I do, however, predict that I’ll be reaching for my wiimote fairly regularly to get some relaxation.

by Matt at March 13, 2007 10:20 PM

Frank Silye

OpenID - A Solution Against Spam On Blogs

There is a project that I have had an eye for a month or two now, and that is OpenID. Today I saw that has an interesting article about the project.

If only I could get it working! But there is hope as Wordpress has implemented it for the blogs that they are hosting.

by frankps at March 13, 2007 09:10 PM

Bezilla Blog

Redraw breakdown problem

All you probably noticed, that Mozilla tends to stop drawing newly loaded pages after some time of usage, so only resize or PgDown helps.
I think i catched sequence which leads to such status.

Internal drag-and-drop. Intentional, when you move mails in SeaMonkey, for example, or occasional, when you just like click tab, but are holding mouse key down too long, so cursor moves for a microscopic bit with button pressed.

Is it really so and why it actually happens, needs additional investigation, but at least here is easy way for me, at least, to put Mozilla in that status.

Will see if I have enough time and energy to d/l and build some branch non-cairo version to investigate the problem.

March 13, 2007 08:53 PM

March 11, 2007

David Reid

Washington Square

New York on a cold but sunny day.

by david at March 11, 2007 05:06 PM

March 07, 2007

David Reid

Lunch spot Wednesday - Schiehallion

Sun. Snow. Views. What else could you want?

by david at March 07, 2007 05:15 PM

March 06, 2007

David Reid

Ben Vrackie

Lunch at the top! Views are amazing!

by david at March 06, 2007 12:22 PM

Bezilla Blog

Thunderbird 2.0b2 test builds available

Dave Southern has built up Thunderbird 2.0b2 with only minor patches to the trunk code. I'll let him comment on the details of the build, but we'd appreciate feedback on these builds, especially compared to the 1.5 version currently on BeBits. Please post comments and feedback here. Hopefully we can be ready with a clean set of 2.0 builds when the code freezes. Builds are here:


Give 'em a try and share your experiences.

March 06, 2007 08:36 AM

March 01, 2007

David Reid

why is mail so hard?

I spent most of yesterday fighting with DSpam and Postfix and arrived at the same point I’d started from! It was another reminder of just how messy and complex dealing with email really is.

I’ve been using amavis for a long time now and it works, but even with SpamAssassin and the other tools it still isn’t great at stopping spam. After being told about DSpam I went and had a look and I like it’s concept. Having the ability to train via forwarding on mails that it incorrectly marks seems like such a simple solution I’m surprised I’ve not come across it before. Of course things that look too good to be true usually are, and this was no different.

Integrating with Postfix isn’t too hard and getting a simple setup where DSpam was used for content filtering didn’t take long, but getting the training setup was a totally different proposition. Regardless of which of the methods I tried it kept failing. Having a spam filter that isn’t trained is as bad as having no spam filter, so I’ve reverted back to the old amavis solution for now.

I’m keen to try it again, but without some solid advice about where I was going wrong I’m hesitant to spend too much time and effort on it. Besides, it’s time for a holiday! :-)

by david at March 01, 2007 01:19 PM

February 28, 2007

David Reid

The Goodies return!

Yes, finally, they’re back on TV! About time as well.
For those of you in the UK who want to relive a classic series, Paramount 2 on Friday evening from 9pm - my Sky+ is already set to record!

by david at February 28, 2007 02:18 AM

Bezilla Blog

Maybe expect small miracles

Please test this build thoroughly on your most troublesome sites and post feedback here. I've been beating on Firefox all day and have discovered it does not hang on the SSL sites and other pages that frequently caused problems with previous builds. I originally thought this was because I had disabled IPv6 in the .mozconfig for this build. I rebuilt again without disabling IPv6 and it still worked. Some change made to the branch since the release of 2.0 seems to have taken care of our troubles.

February 28, 2007 12:43 AM

February 27, 2007

Bezilla Blog

Firefox available

Hello all! I finally worked out all the problems with my build environments and have completed Firefox for R5, BONE and Zeta. I'll update the BeBits entry in a while, but wanted everyone here to have the first chance to try the software. Links are:


Only one patch (netpositive bookmarks) is applied. I've been pretty consistent with my .mozconfig options for the last year or so: IPv6 and tests are disabled, as is Cairo. R5 and BONE versions use optimize -Os to reduce executable size; Zeta version uses -O3 and -march=i686. (yes, fyysik, I know -O3 used to cause problems but since Oliver Tappe's 2.95.3 releases, I have never found any problem that happens with -O3 builds and not -O2).

Please note contains no BeOS-specific changes, just the security fixes and other changes made to the branch. Don't expect miracles... ;^)

February 27, 2007 04:45 PM

February 26, 2007

David Reid

flickr pro

Andrew and Toby berated me when I last saw them about my inability to use Paypal to pay for a flickr pro account, so this morning I sat down and tried to figure out why it was proving so hard. After a few tries I managed to get into my paypal account, sort out the credit cards that were registered and so have finally managed to pay for a flickr pro account!

I’ve created a few more sets and will try to keep the pictures a little more organised from now on :-)

by david at February 26, 2007 12:58 PM

RIP suitcase

My suitcase travels widely and has endured a lot of airports and the inherent rough handling that ensues, but it finally succumbed in Atlanta earlier this week. The final journey through the baggage system from concourse E (the furthest from the terminal) to the baggage reclaim area in the terminal saw the suitcases lock damaged in a way that I’ve never seen before. The plastic used in Samsonite cases is pretty tough and able to withstand a lot, so the force required to break it must have been large. It may be repairable, but one of the other locks was also broken and the case is now slightly out of alignment, more indications of some nasty and very forceful event taking place during it’s journey.

by david at February 26, 2007 01:58 AM

February 25, 2007

Bezilla Blog

Firefox on the way

I've solved the problems with my R5 and BONE environments and will post Firefox within a day. Good stuff!

February 25, 2007 10:07 PM

February 22, 2007

Matt Henkel (guildencrantz)

Why am I so nervous?

I’ve quit jobs before & moved on, but I’ve never been nervous like this before. As tomorrow is my last day I feel increasing anxiety over the move. The problem, I think, is that I’ve never actually shaken on the deal; heck, I’ve never even spoken to anybody from EDS (the company I’m technically a contractor for). Sure, all the papers have been signed and I’ve interviewed with my manager (a Sun employee), but I’ve never shaken hands, formed that skin-to-skin agreement with anybody at the company who will be approving my hours. On top of that I’ve never even met anybody from AVI/Apex (the staffing firm that will be directly paying me during the initial contract period). I’ve spoken to two recruiters on a number of occasions, but, once again, there has been no handshake. I think it’ll all be better when I show up on Monday, get my badge, and actually get to work.

by Matt at February 22, 2007 09:22 PM