Du bist was Du isst!

Ein interessanter Artikel über die Dummheit und Faulheit heutiger Westweiber:

Tacheles! Wisst ihr, ich frage mich in der letzten Zeit, warum wir immer noch alle glauben, wir werden einmal 100 Jahre alt!

Ich bin froh, dass ich eine Frau habe, welche noch selber kocht, und welche diese Kunst auch noch den Kindern beibringt. Im Westen findet man das kaum noch, und in den USA wird heute schon mehr Geld für Medikamente ausgegeben als für gesundes Essen.

Bitcoins Today

The last few days I was reading a bit anout bitcoins and learned a few things about them, though i still did not read the paper. More informative than bitcoin.org are the bitcoin wiki and howtobitcoin.info.

I thought transactions are free, but they are not (only sometimes). Bitcoinfees.com describes these fees very good.

There seem to be plans to create a bitcoin fund. This will lead to a more widespread use of bitcoins. A good thing for the network.

As long as nobody gains access to more than 50% computing power. An interesting read is here. The wiki contains a list of (known) weaknesses of bitcoins.

After reading a bit I thought “let’s give it a try” and installed the standard client, bitcoin-qt. After starting it I found out that it downloads the whole blockchain, the whole history of all bitcoin transactions ever made, from the net. It showed far more than 100 weeks remaining and for every week downloaded it became slower. I thought there must be a faster way and found this forum post about a bootstrap file. I downloaded these 2.7GB (zipped) and let bitcoin-qt import it. This import was pretty fast, unfortunately still 28 weeks were remaining. I waited almost one day to see it reaching week 21 and the wallet grew to a size of about 6GB. So I gave up. This is unacceptable.

Fortunately there are other clients which do not need to download anything. Or if they do download something it is not noticable. So now I am using Electrum.

The good thing of all this is, I have now a nice bitcoin address to accept donations:

Marble Cake

I found some recipees for marble cake on the web. After filtering out the ones with ingredients not available (or difficult to organize) here in india I settled for the following recipee. I reduced the amount of maida since I don’t want a granite cake ;) and replaced butter with margarine:

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Beep Off!

Linux’ beep is much too loud. This is very annoying. I haven’t found a way to turn down the sound. But here is a way to completely switch the beep off (at least on debian):

cat > /etc/modprobe.d/pcspkr-blacklist.conf << EOF
# beep off you beep beep beep!!!
blacklist pcspkr

Also just remove the kernel module to get the same effect without reboot:

rmmod pcspkr

Aaah, much better now :)

Running Python Application from Zip File

In the last few days I wrote a python application. It contains some GUI code using pygtk, some communication code, and some files containing register definitions. All in all it’s about 20 files.

Since most users will use it on windows it would be nice to have an executable or a package containing all code. I tried py2exe, but the resulting executable didn’t work. So I was searching for a different solution.

The solution should be:

  • Easy to distribute (one or two files).
  • Easy to create.
  • Work everywhere.

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Zia Anna Torte

Die Angaben sind für eine etwas grössere Torte, die in Klammer sind für eine kleinere Torte.

  • 225g (150g) Butter
  • 225g (150g) Zucker
  • 6 (4) Eigelb
  • 180g (120g) Kochschokolade aufgelöst
  • 180g (120g) Mandeln gerieben
  • 4 (3) gehäufte Esslöffel Kartoffelmehl oder Maizena
  • 6 (4) Eiweiss schlagen und unterziehen
  • Torte bei mittlerer Hitze (180C) 40 Minuten backen

Happy baking :)

Manipulate PDF Files

A while ago I wanted to remove some pages from a PDF file. I was searching for tools to do that, but I didn’t find a solution. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this blog post: Merge multiple PDF files into one file. There G33kgrrl describes a few of pdftk‘s functions. But it has quite a lot more functions. Read the manual to see what else it can do.

I hope I will remember this blog entry the next time I have to manipulate a PDF file ;)

Webserver gives a few kB and stalls

Today I wanted to download a few standards documents, about 15 PDF and ZIP files. But this stupid webserver always just sent between 100kB and 700kB, then it completely stopped sending data. This was annoying me. I wanted to look into these documents.

Don’t panic!

wget has a nice --continue option. This way I can hit CTRL+C and continue. repeating this until I have the whole file. But this is too cumbersome when downloading many and/or big files. I wanted a completely automated way to do that. And there is one, wget has many more options. Keep retrying forever and set the read timeout to 3 seconds:

wget --continue --tries=0 --read-timeout=3 URLS...

Tadaa! It downloads everything, problem solved :)