Archive for May, 2009

90% of Eclipse users in Germany satisfied

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Today on a Germany news portal a news scrolled by that apparently 90% of the German Eclipse users are satisfied.

Maybe they have pretty low expectations, got used to it’s quirks, or otherwise not know any other IDE, as personally I find Eclipse the most annoying IDE ever. Even Vim and (X)Emacs manage to top it by far - that is not get in the way as Eclipse does all the time. Out of the blue my most annoying issues of Eclipse (for C++) are:

  • builds all files by default, requires to explicitly remove files (e.g. intended for another platform, or tests or old reference files etc, …), this also can result in formerly perfectly fine projects to no longer build when other platforms got new files, …
  • many popup dialogs asking insane questions (do you really want to quit, do you really want to xyz?) which all of the require some “do not show again, remember my choice” checkbox to be checked for a less annoying workflow
  • at least for me in the C++ version it was not possible to change the build output directory (not even by manually tweaking the XML file), thus clobbering debug build files into my project’s debug sub-directory with actually source code utility files in there, …
  • copying a project from one computer to another (VM) made me wonder how on earth to open it, turned out that deeply hidden at: Import (!!!) -> General -> Existing Project into Workspace
  • in one case the generated include paths where also out of of sync from what was shown in the UI, I found no solution for that problem and reverting my project files in the end to fix this, …
  • the latest stable version (Ganymede SR2) does not even start here (obscure Java errors, whatever), only the original (non service) release (Ganymede / 3.4.0) actually worked

All in all Eclipse is by far the worst IDE on my personal scale. Working with it feels like a fight against windmills. Even Microsoft’s Visual C++ Studio is more fun and less annoying to use. Of course currently Xcode tops all of them, …

Tip of the week: do not place aluminum in your dishwasher

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

We where recently flushing some stuff that was lingering in our storage on ebay. One of this was a Mukka Express Cappuccino / Espresso maker. As we wanted to make sure it is really clean when we send it out, we placed it into the dishwasher, which was a major mistake. It came out with the surface corroded, gray and matt, which was due to the maker being made out of aluminum, …

Aluminum with a thin anodized coat usually is not dishwasher safe and can also be permanently damaged! The degree of discoloration depends on the exact aluminum alloy, anodization as well as the alkaline cleaner and the length of the length of contact.

Some materials may be refreshed by additional cleaning with steel wool or an acid cleaner.

Your milage may vary.

Check in-store availability of Cyberport Germany

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

As a note to myself and a hint for others: While the main site of Cyberport in Germany does not list in-store availability of the goods, their not so well known alternative web presence does, …

The reliability of T-Mobile Germany

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

As child I already learned that the German Telekom is not the most friendly and providing company in the world and due to the past experienced I avoided it like the plague for many years. Recently, however, with an US iPhone used in conjunction O2 in Germany I desperately waited long for an unlock possibility to arrive, and eventually decided some 6 months (or so) ago that it’s time for the 3G/UMTS update and had to take the bitter pill T-Mobile Germany is.

I have to say I really regret it. So much that this Saturday morning is a good time to write about it. Not only is it the most annoying customer care company calling ever 1-2 month asking me what other stuff they can sell to me, no: not even their basic network functionality works solidly. Never before was I more often off-line than on-line. Very often non-German server are simply not reachable. Most notably my daily email check in the morning does just lead to “The connection to the server … failed.” and international sites like are not reachable. Strangely this morning other Germany sites like did work, just not our comanpies website and mail server. And this is after a total cellular network
that made headlines even in all regular German newspapers when their network went off-line, national-wide, … And this morning I called to complain about my ongoing “network routing issues” and the person told me (after the automated voice system failed to understand my request) that:

.. they have a known network issue right now and are working on it, … Voice calls should work, but I’m lucky that some German internet sites work for me at all. …

Now this was a 7 AM when I got up and now at 10:30 PM it is still not fixed, …

I even went on asking him if, deduced form my ongoing intermitted problems, they have weekly network problems. But the guy did not wanted to comment. I take this as yes.

I’ll now try to get rid of this iPhone contract early, because, frankly, my first US (UMTS-less, G1) iPhone my girlfriend keeps using with an O2 SIM and network always works without a glitch.

The worst part is that I often get a near heart-attack in the morning because the first thing I get to see is a “failed connection to our companies e-mail server”, that always kicks in some “oh my god are some our servers down” emergency mode in my brain.

I really wonder how Germany’s largest phone and internet provider can have so many ongoing basic “routing” or similar problems. I mean routing some data packets from cellular towers properly should not be too much of a deal with a network also connecting some million of landlines for analog, digital ISDN and DSL. Or are those landlines messed up right now, likewise? Thanks god I cannot tell as my landlines are covered by other providers that apparently do care more about their customers.

wget storm

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Recently I started to notice some traffic storms from strange folks that run wget against our sites and on-the-way grabbing whole Subversion repositories, including tags and branches on the way. Needless to say that is a pure waste of our bandwidth and server CPU cycles. And as it even motivates me to drop a note in my blog, this is not a single occurrence and makes me wonder what the heck the people want to do with the randomly grabbed data and why they can not use proper clients (e.g. the svn client) to checkout open source bits, … If this trend continues I guess I really have to think adding some smarter traffic shaping and quality of service then just dropping offending IP addresses:

iptables -I firewall –src x.x.x.x -j DROP

Flashrom 0.9 is out - and in T2

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Flashrom 0.9 is out, and already in T2. Flashrom is a universal, Linux, BSD, Solaris, etc. - you name it - BIOS flash utility. Now that might have saved me most of the other weekend where I had to update the BIOS of a Sony Vaio laptop, …

Larrabee’s New Instructions

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

A First Look at the Larrabee and C++ Larrabee Prototype Library just arrived via the Intel software dispatch in my INBOX. Enjoy!