Lenz Grimmer's blog

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emoticon This blog has moved! Lenz Wed, 22 Feb 2006 11:06:23 +0100
This web log is abandoned, I only keep it around for archiving/historic purposes. Please go to the new blog to see new entries. Thanks!

emoticon Organizing the first MySQL UG meeting in Hamburg Lenz Mon, 20 Feb 2006 17:48:34 +0100
Today I sent out the invitations for the first MySQL User Group Meeting in Hamburg on Monday, the 6th of March at 19:00 o'clock. It will take place in the Chinese Restaurant Ni-Hao in Hamburg-Wandsbek. If you would like to attend, please join our mailing list and stay tuned for further info!

emoticon Firefox search plugin for the MySQL manual Lenz Thu, 16 Feb 2006 09:39:19 +0100
I just stumbled over this little helper (written by Christopher Brown-Floyd), which allows you to search the MySQL manual by entering a search term in the web search bar. Neat!

emoticon Thinkpad update: stuck in an endless loop? Lenz Mon, 13 Feb 2006 09:24:00 +0100
This is too funny. I decided to do some housekeeping on my Thinkpad T42 Laptop and checked the installed driver and firmware versions against the latest updates available from the Thinkpad web pages.

Currently, my Laptop's BIOS version is 3.12 (latest version available: 3.19), the Embedded Controller is at version 3.03 (latest version available: 3.04).

The BIOS README tells me:

- This BIOS version will only work with Embedded Controller Program
  Version 3.04 (or higher). Please obtain the additional package,
  Embedded Controller Program Version 3.04 (or higher),
  and update Embedded Controller Program in the system with it.
- If you need to update Embedded Controller Program as well as the BIOS,
  update the BIOS first.

OK, so I guess I need to update the Embedded Controller Firmware first. However, the README for the Controller Update tells me:

- This version of Embedded Controller Program will only work with BIOS
  Version 3.13 (or higher). Please obtain the additional package, BIOS
  Version 3.13 (or higher), and update the BIOS in the system with it.
- If you need to update the BIOS as well as the Embedded Controller
  Program, update Embedded Controller Program first.

I think it's time to make use of my extended service contract and call their hotline. Or do I really have to update the BIOS from 3.12 to 3.13 first, then update the embedded controller to 3.04 before I can apply the latest BIOS update to 3.19? This is insane.

emoticon unknown Lenz Mon, 06 Feb 2006 16:43:57 +0100
Congratulations to Justin and Roger for getting the book out and published! I helped tech editing a few chapters (which looked very promising) and I am looking forward to the complete works. Good job, guys!

emoticon Showcase your OSS project at the MySQL User Conference 2006! Lenz Tue, 31 Jan 2006 11:44:35 +0100
Arjen already mentioned this in December, but let me remind you anway: we would like to showcase some Open Source projects that use or support MySQL in the MySQL Community Pavilion at our MySQL User Conference 2006 in Santa Clara, California.

So if you are a member of a project that utilizes MySQL in a cool way, here is your chance to show off!

Repeating Arjen's words here: Primarily, we would like to hear from projects which are not backed/run by a company, because companies of course already have the opportunity to become a sponsor/exhibitor.

Also, note that the conference is in Santa Clara, California - while we can provide space, we are unable to fund everybody's travel/accomodation costs. So if you are overseas and unable to make it, perhaps someone else more local who also works on the project can come...

Anyway, send message to community at our main domain name, subject "MySQL UC2006 Community Pavilion" telling us the name of your project, a description of the project, website URL, other relevant details, who is involved, and which people would actually be coming to the conference (and their email addresses). Someone from the community department (probably Colin) will collect all the info so we can plan from there.

emoticon Books about how to run a successful OSS project Lenz Mon, 30 Jan 2006 18:37:31 +0100
Markus yesterday mentioned that he started reading "Producing Open Source Software" by Karl Fogel, a book that I plan to read some time, too. The table of content looks promising, he covers a wide range of aspects related to building up and running an OSS project.

In addition to Fogel's work, there also is another interesting book about this topic: Matthias Stürmers master thesis "Open Source Community Building". It takes a slightly more scientific approach and documents the results of actually interviewing the members of various OSS projects about their experiences. It has been around for a bit, Matt Asay wrote a nice review about it in September 2005. I just read the rewritten german summary Mattias created for the german Open Source Yearbook and found it an interesting read! If you are running or plan to found an Open Source Software project, you might want to consult these books for some good advice on how to avoid common pitfalls and how to attract and foster a community around your project.

emoticon MySQL backend support for Open-Xchange in the works Lenz Fri, 27 Jan 2006 16:00:46 +0100
I've had some discussion with the developers of the Open-XChange Groupware server about using MySQL as a storage backend. As it turned out, a long-standing bug report has just recently been picked up and the first patches have been posted. The procedure on how to get OX working with MySQL is also described on a Wiki page and there is a discussion about this in their Forum. So if you're interested in testing Open-XChange with MySQL, give this a try and provide them with feedback! Thanks for your support.

emoticon twinkle 0.5 RPMs for SUSE Linux 10.0/x86 ready Lenz Fri, 20 Jan 2006 16:53:51 +0100
I noticed that twinkle has been under heavy developement since the last time I looked at it. To test it, I created an RPM for my local SUSE Linux 10.0 installation, which I have now placed into my RPM download section.

Unfortunately it's still unusable for me, as the sound is very choppy when using my Bluetooth headset, no matter which sound setting I choose. Which is sad, as twinkle is one of the very few OSS SIP phones that has native ALSA sound support :(

emoticon XAMPP interview on the MySQL Developer Zone Lenz Tue, 17 Jan 2006 18:14:00 +0100
I finally finished my interview with Kai Seidler, who is one of the people behind the very popular XAMPP project.

You can now read the interview on the MySQL Developer Zone - I hope you will enjoy it!

emoticon New MySQL Administrator/Query Browser RPMs available Lenz Tue, 17 Jan 2006 16:25:04 +0100
A few days ago, the MySQL GUI team announced new maintenance releases of both the MySQL Administrator (1.1.6) and Query Browser (1.1.18).

I now built RPMs for SUSE Linux 10.0/x86 - you can get them from my RPM Download section. Have fun!

emoticon See you at FOSDEM 2006 in Brussels! Lenz Fri, 06 Jan 2006 09:51:33 +0100
Yesterday I finished my travel and accomodation arrangements for my trip to the FOSDEM 2006 conference in Brussels, which will take place on February 25th-26th. So if you would like to meet and discuss MySQL-related issues, please get in touch with me! Looking forward to see you there.

emoticon Happy New Year! Lenz Thu, 05 Jan 2006 14:25:12 +0100
I am back from a short Christmas vacation (visiting family in Heidelberg, Germany) and have finally caught up with my mail backlog. Happy new year to all of you, I hope you had some peaceful holidays, too!

Some of the things I did during my days off:

  • Started learning Ruby
  • Honed my SecondLife scripting and building skills
  • Got very annoyed by 1blu, the web hosting provider I chose to host my dad's new web site. Since ordering the new domain in November, I have constantly been fighting with access and configuration problems. I am seriously considering to cancel my account soon, too many of the promised features are either not functioning (e.g. SSH access) or not available at all (e.g. PHP5 support).

emoticon MySQL Query Browser 1.1.17 RPM for SUSE Linux 10.0 now available Lenz Tue, 20 Dec 2005 20:52:23 +0100
Today I gave compiling of the latest Query Browser a shot - the configure script initially failed by complaining about not being able to find gtkhtml-3.0. Which is correct, as SUSE 10.0 ships with verision 3.8... Adding --with-gtkhtml=libgtkhtml-3.8 to the configure options resolved that problem for me.

Source and binary RPMs for SUSE Linux 10.0 are now available from the usual place.

emoticon MySQL Administrator 1.1.5 RPM for SUSE Linux 10.0 available Lenz Fri, 16 Dec 2005 16:41:22 +0100
The subject almost says it all - I just built an RPM of the MySQL Administrator 1.1.5 for SUSE 10.0 (x86) - it's now available from my RPM section, as usual. Have fun!

emoticon Two interesting MySQL Articles on the Quest Pipeline Lenz Fri, 16 Dec 2005 14:09:21 +0100
Quest Software maintains a Portal web site, called the Quest Pipelines. Among others, it also has a MySQL Pipeline, that is worth a visit. I liked these two recent articles: Enjoy!

emoticon Yes, MySQL *has* transactions! Lenz Mon, 12 Dec 2005 15:49:04 +0100
Just stumbled about this comment about MySQL 5.0 in an article about OSS Databases in the Inquirer: "This major release in October has remedied many of these shortcomings with new features including ACID transactions..."

Sigh. Transactions have been supported using the InnoDB storage engine since March 2001 when it was added to MySQL in version 3.23 (as part of the Max builds, it was enabled in all binaries starting with MySQL 4.0). What is it about the Internet that such myths stay around for so long? We even have an article that dispels common MySQL misconceptions like this one, but it seems checking facts is too much work...

More info on using Transactions with InnoDB can be found in this tutorial, which is a sample chapter of the "MySQL tutorial" book by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson.

emoticon Free Vodafone SMSes! Lenz Thu, 08 Dec 2005 13:50:45 +0100
This is just lovely. Today received my monthly Vodaphone mobile phone bill. As usual, it contains a small newsletter that I usually don't really pay much attention to.

But this got me curious, as they announced that I could send free SMS or MMS messages to other Vodafone customers! The only caveat: this offer was only valid for Saint Nicholas Day, which was two days ago already...

emoticon MySQL now available for Mac OS X on Intel Lenz Mon, 05 Dec 2005 14:51:22 +0100
While we have been building these packages internally for quite some time already (we received our Transition Kit in July), the packages of MySQL for OS X on Intel (Mactel) can now be downloaded from our our download pages.

The "port" to OS X on Intel was actually quite trivial: "configure; make"... We only had to fix a few trivial cosmetical issues. As the code itself has already been ported to Mac OS X on PPC and also builds on other x86 platforms (Linux, *BSD, Solaris), we did not really expect any portability issues.

Note however, that these currently are no "Universal binaries" - they only run on x86. Downlad the PPC binaries, if you have a regular G4/G5 Mac.

emoticon Avoiding common pifalls when installing the MySQL RPMs on recent Red Hat/Fedora Linux distributions Lenz Fri, 02 Dec 2005 12:46:37 +0100
While browsing the postings in the MySQL Installation Forum I noticed, that quite a lot of people run into trouble when trying to install our MySQL 5.0 RPMs on recent Fedora Systems or RHEL4. Most of the times the problems boil down to these two issues:
  • SELinux is enabled and set to enforce policies. The MySQL policies don't exactly match the layout of the MySQL RPMs, therefore SELinux prohibits the proper installation of the RPM. This is filed as BUG#12676 in the MySQL bug database. The workaround is to either disable or change SELinux into "permissive" mode, exempting the MySQL service from the SELinux configuration using the system-config-securitylevel tool, or modifying the MySQL policies using this patch (See the bug report for further details). Red Hat actually fixed this in selinux-policy-targeted-1.17.30-2.119.noarch.rpm (see BUG#167551 in the Red Hat Bugzilla).
  • When removing or updating the original Red Hat / Fedora RPMs of MySQL, they leave a /etc/my.cnf config file, that contains a line basedir=/var/lib, which causes the startup script to not find the binaries. Either comment out that line, or remove /etc/my.cnf completely, if you have not yet made any other modifications.

emoticon Switching roles at MySQL Lenz Thu, 01 Dec 2005 15:29:10 +0100
Starting today, I am now a member of the MySQL Community Relations team. This means I will assist Arjen, Colin and Kaj (our fearless team leader) in supporting and expanding our fabolous MySQL user community. I am quite excited about this change, after being in charge of the MySQL release builds for almost four years now.

We have a lot of exciting plans and ideas on how to expand and improve our relationship to the MySQL user community and how to encourage collaboration and discussion. I look forward to being more active in our community and to attend Open Source events and conferences again (something I really enjoyed doing back at SuSE).

emoticon OpenDBCon talk slides online Lenz Thu, 10 Nov 2005 14:45:24 +0100
Back at home and catching up with lots of things. I just uploaded the slides from my talk about "MySQL backup and Security on Linux" - you can download them as a PDF or an OpenOffice 2.0 presentation from my MySQL presentation slides page. Enjoy!

emoticon Greetings from the Opensource Database Conference in Frankfurt! Lenz Tue, 08 Nov 2005 09:18:44 +0100

Yesterday, me and Arjen arrived in Frankfurt, Germany, to attend the first Opensource Database Conference, which is being held in parallel to the International PHP Conference.

In addition to us two, Kaj, Brian and several members of the MySQL support team will be present and available for questions and comments about MySQL. We also have a booth at the Exhibition floor, so make sure to stop by and say hello!

I already met a lot of new and familiar faces and the conference program looks promising, I look forward to the next two days.

The Opening Keynote has just ended. On Wednesday, I will be giving a talk about MySQL Backup and Security strategies - I hope it will be going well.

emoticon Updated RPM documentation finally available Lenz Thu, 03 Nov 2005 13:34:03 +0100
The widely used RPM package manager is quite a powerful tool, but it used to lack a very essential feature: decent and up-to-date documentation.

Maximum RPM has not been updated since the year 2000 and it was really tricky obtaining info about how to use newer RPM features without peeking into other people's spec files.

Some time ago Guru Labs posted the courseware slides of their "Creating Quality RPMs" course. These really give a good introduction into RPM building and are a well-structured guide for RPM beginners. However, they too did not get into the gory details too much.

With much delight I stumbled over a posting from Paul Nasrat today, which announces the availability of the RPM Guide. A first glance over the table of content was promising. I hope this document will be kept up-to-date!

Now if only the rpm.org website would get a new facelift at some point...

emoticon Back from EUROOSCON Lenz Fri, 21 Oct 2005 19:15:26 +0200
Arrived back home yesterday evening and got already swamped with work and the email backlog from the past days... Business as usual.

I really enjoyed EUROOSCON, they had a very nice lineup of speakers and sessions. I met a lot of interesting people and old contacts from previous conferences. I especially enjoyed the Maker Faire on Wednesday evening -I was very impressed by what was presented there. You can see pictures from the conference on Flickr - my own pictures turned out less impressive than these...

emoticon See you at EUROSCON Lenz Mon, 17 Oct 2005 20:43:31 +0200
Just returned home from a very relaxing weekend at the baltic sea - me and Sabina celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary at a very cozy hotel by the sea.

Early tomorrow morning I'll be heading for EUROSCON in Amsterdam. I look forward to being there! I have not been on a conference for quite some time...

emoticon VoIP using a Bluetooth headset on Linux: success! Lenz Wed, 28 Sep 2005 18:28:29 +0200
I must admit I was a bit sceptical, but I was positively surprised: using a Bluetooth headset for VoIP on Linux actually works!

I wanted to switch from my Grandstream BudgeTone-100 to a soft phone on Linux for quite some time, but did not want to mess with a cable-bound headset anymore either.

So yesterday I went out and purchased a Nokia HDW-3 head set. After first testing it against my regular mobile phone, I started by installing the required scn_bt_sco kernel module, which is part of the Bluetooth-alsa package. I needed to work around these small quirks:

  • the bootstrap script expects automake-1.7, while the automake-1.9 from SUSE 10.0RC1 worked equally well - I just hacked the version number in the script
  • there is no bluetooth-devel package - it's named bluez-libs instead and must be installed
After fixing these, the sources compiled and installed fine and the driver loaded flawlessly. Playing a test sound file gave positive results, too.

Next I set up kphone to use ALSA via plughw:Headset as the sound device (OSS via /dev/dsp1 worked as well) and dialed into the "echo test" number on our internal VoIP server. The quality was very good! Today I participated on a first "real" conference call and I am quite satisfied with this setup.

The next task is setting up Skype, so it does not conflict with the sound device - currently it works via /dev/dsp1, but only once - every subsequent call attempt results in a "Problem with the sound device" error...

emoticon First release candidate of MySQL 5.0 now available Lenz Mon, 26 Sep 2005 21:42:11 +0200
Today we finally released MySQL 5.0.13, the first release candidate (aka gamma release) of MySQL 5.0. It's now available for download from http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/5.0.html and mirrors.

Kaj has written a nice announcement about it, I will soon post the regular release announcement, too.

If you have not done so already and you are an active MySQL user - please give this release a try! Our developers have worked very hard the past weeks to iron out the wrinkles, so we would like to know if it works for you, too! And if it does not, we'd appreciate to hear from you - thanks in advance!

emoticon RPM packaging activity Lenz Wed, 21 Sep 2005 12:20:51 +0200
Yesterday was "RPM day" for me. At work, I have been busy building RPMs of the Intel icc 9.0 shared libs that we provide for our MySQL binaries compiled with Intel icc. In addition to that, I created an RPM that contains the required configuration files and scripts to access the MySQL VPN using OpenVPN and SUSE Linux in a convenient way.

While trying to sync my web site to my workstation using the Unison File Synchronizer I noticed that the version on SUSE Linux is quite outdated and refused to cooperate with the unison server on my Debian box. Hence I bit the bullet and created a SUSE 10.0 RPM of unison-2.13.16 - it's now available from my SUSE 10.0 RPM download section. Enjoy!

emoticon A weekend of culture and politics Lenz Sun, 18 Sep 2005 17:14:43 +0200
For a change, we went out to see two theater plays this weekend. On Friday evening, we went to the St. Pauli Theater to watch Horst Shroth in "Nur die Größe zählt", which was very funny. On saturday, we watched a play called Collected Stories in the Rover Rep Theatre, which is located in the basement of a nice irish pub called The Irish Rover. The performance was in english and gave us some food for thought and discussion. Both plays are definitely worth watching! So if you're in Hamburg while they're still on, try to get some cards!

Today, the Bundestag elections take place and I am quite curious to see which party made it. I just casted my vote and I am just glad that the campaigns are finally over. Some political parties really annoyed me in the past weeks.

emoticon Back from vacation Lenz Wed, 07 Sep 2005 12:16:11 +0200
I've been on vacation the last two weeks - badly needed and very relaxing! Some of the things I had done: I also noticed that I am now listed as a speaker at the Opensource Database Conference which takes place on November 8th/9th in Frankfurt, Germany. Time to start working on the slides...

emoticon Up and running with SUSE Linux 10.0-beta1 Lenz Mon, 15 Aug 2005 10:06:05 +0200
Last week I bit the bullet and installed the first beta release of the upcoming SUSE Linux 10.0. Finally, SUSE has openened the beta testing and bug reporting process to the general public and everyone is welcome to participate! I have been waiting for this to happen for quite some time and I congratulate SUSE for making this happen. See http://opensuse.org/ for more details on how to download it and how to give feedback. So far I am quite satisfied! I can already use this beta for my daily work, only a few issues needed manual tweaking afterwards. If you want take the plunge yourself, make sure to read the list of the most annoying bugs before! Have fun.

emoticon Open Source Database Conference 05 in Frankfurt, Germany Lenz Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:55:48 +0200
As others already pointed out, there will be an Open Source Database Conference on November 7 to 9 in Frankfurt, Germany.

The CfP is open until August 19th, I just filed a session proposal about "MySQL Backup and Security Strategies on Linux". Let's see if it will be accepted...

emoticon Farewell, Queen Mary 2... Lenz Tue, 02 Aug 2005 12:25:57 +0200
Yesterday, the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship from Cunard Lines visited the Hamburg harbour.

She arrived at around 5:30 am, which was definitely too early for me to attend. Instead, we decided to watch her departing again, which happened around midnight. You would not have noticed that it was so late already - it seemed like the entire city was still awake and watching. The crowd was huge!

Fortunately we had an excellent view from one of the balconies of the Adobe offices located in the Elbspeicher - thanks to Boris for hosting us! It was truly a great experience watching this huge ocean liner passing by at such close distance. She was escorted by a large number of smaller boats and cruise ships as well as several fireworks along the Elbe river.

I tried to take a few pictures, but my Pentax Optio S4 is not really great for night scenes. Much better pictures have been posted to Flickr already...

Update: Very nice daytime pics can also be seen on Andreas Vallbracht's web site.

emoticon House is painted! Lenz Tue, 28 Jun 2005 10:40:45 +0200
It's amazing how much a new layer of paint can change the overall look of something. We painted our house last week - this is how it looked before and after the paint job:


More pictures can be seen in the Gallery.

emoticon Back home/New RPM Lenz Mon, 27 Jun 2005 19:47:26 +0200
We spent the weekend travelling to Heidelberg, to attend the funeral service for my grandmother, who passed away last week after a long time of suffering. Somehow it's a relief, but I will still miss her...

While taking a walk through Heidelberg in the evening, we bumped into Zak, who happened to spend an evening there after attending LinuxTag (which I would have loved to visit, too). We had a good chat, it was nice meeting at such a nice location and completely unexpected :)

Oh, and I added rzip to the 9.3 RPM download section - in case you need an effective tool to compress large amounts of data... Also send tridge a very generic RPM spec file and the patches I needed to apply to make RPM building smoother (they are included in the source RPM, of course). Hopefully he will incorporate them.

emoticon SUSE 9.3 RPM download section created Lenz Fri, 17 Jun 2005 14:24:56 +0200
I've recently started building RPMs for SUSE 9.3 - you can now get them from the RPM download section. Currently available are RPMs for:
  • eSvn - a Subversion GUI frontend written in Qt
  • samefile - a tool to find duplicate files
  • svk - a revision control system
  • Some additional required Perl modules for skv

emoticon The XT-Stand rocks! Lenz Thu, 16 Jun 2005 08:54:48 +0200
Yesterday I finally received my Laptop stand, an XT-Stand.

I must say I really like it! It's quite small when it's folded, lightweight and looks nice. And I can finally elevate the back of the laptop so that the screen is at the same level as the external TFT screen next to it. It makes working from a Laptop much more ergonomic and it greatly improves the ventilation, too.

The only thing I am a bit worried about is taking it through X-Ray on an airport - I am quite sure it will raise questions just by it's look...

emoticon ATI frglx 8.14.13 available Lenz Fri, 10 Jun 2005 12:46:38 +0200
ATI has posted a new version of their proprietary XFree86/Xorg driver for Linux. My motivation to test it is low, as the release notes still state that it does not support suspend/resume, which I value more than 3D acceleration on my Laptop. However, the ATI devs have been busy: it now comes with a GUI installer, supports more cards and Linux 2.6.11. It's nice to see that ATI is making progress, even though I would have preferred to have the power management issue fixed instead of a graphical installer...

RPMs for SUSE Linux 9.3 are available from ftp.suse.com and mirrors.

But fortunately there is choice: it seems like the R300 project now supports the Radeon Mobility 9600 in my Thinkpad as well. Looking forward to seeing this code integrated in future SUSE releases :)

emoticon A Decade of PHP Lenz Wed, 08 Jun 2005 08:30:46 +0200
Wow, time really flies. Today, exactly ten years ago, the first release of PHP was announced.

I started using PHP/FI (as it was called back then) at my first job when I finished my studies in 1996. Even back then it already rocked and we created many great web sites with it, based on the usual LAMP stack... I really learned a lot back then and PHP is still my preference when it comes to creating web pages with dynamic content.

So thanks and congratulations to Rasmus Lerdorf and the entire PHP community! You all did a great job.

emoticon Blog confusion Lenz Wed, 01 Jun 2005 11:34:23 +0200
I somehow managed to confuse my blog. Sorry if some old entries showed up as new again - I hope it's all fixed now.

emoticon Gallery update: Denmark and Prague Lenz Fri, 27 May 2005 21:11:32 +0200
Boy, I have been neglecting my photo gallery for quite some time. Now with the new web server I finally have some more disk space to fill. So here we go: I've now uploaded some pictures from our trip to Denmark as well as from the MySQL Developer Conference in Prague. Enjoy!

Yesterday I helped organizing the bachelor's night for a friend of mine who will get married tomorrow. We had a great time on the "Reeperbahn" in Hamburg - it was actually the first time since we moved to Hamburg that I was there at night time! Quite interesting. Some pictures of the party are here, unfortunately I could not take my camera into the main attraction of that evening...

emoticon Back home again! Lenz Mon, 23 May 2005 18:19:33 +0200
I am finally back home/work. Last week me and Sabina were on our usual "escape from our Birthdays" trip - this time we rented a car and did a very nice round trip through Denmark. We really enjoyed it, especially the cities like København, Helsingør, Odense and Skagen. We also visited friends from Denmark (Carsten and Mads), which was also very nice.

The week before I was attending a MySQL Developer Conference in Prague. Quite an intensive meeting - it was great to meet old and new colleagues and work together in one room instead of being spread all across the globe as it usually is the case.

Oh, and if you are keen on getting a mug with my name on it, check this one out :)

emoticon OpenBC anyone? Lenz Mon, 02 May 2005 11:38:03 +0200
Some time ago I started establishing contacts via the OpenBC Network. In case you are interested in associating with me, here's my personal invitation link!

emoticon SUSE 9.3 up and running Lenz Mon, 02 May 2005 11:31:12 +0200
The update from Beta3 to the final version of SUSE 9.3 went flawlessly. I am quite impressed! I also installed it on my Desktop machine (doing a fresh install). The only problem there was the wireless configuration - somehow it did not associate with my AP using the (autoconfigured) hostap-plx driver. Using the same settings but switching to he orinoco-plx driver module immediately established the connection. Weird.

emoticon SUSE 9.3 arrived! Lenz Wed, 27 Apr 2005 07:30:26 +0200
Yesterday I finally received my copy of SUSE Linux 9.3. Now I can finally update my IBM T42 Laptop, which is still running 9.3b3...

emoticon Web site is finally back! Lenz Mon, 03 Jan 2005 16:58:07 +0100
Ugh! That sure took longer than expected. Sorry for the long absence - the PC that was hosting this web site before (a Pentium II with 350 MHz and 128MB, running SuSE Linux 9.1) had a hardware failure and I did not have time to take care of a replacement. The site is now hosted on a Genesi Pegasos (using a G4 1GHz PowerPC processor with 512 MB RAM, running Debian Linux). I use this machine as my local Linux/PPC compile box for MySQL, it's quite a neat box! Some parts of the site may still be broken - please bear with me. I will try to get it back into a usable state ASAP.

emoticon Happy holidays and thank you Poland! Lenz Thu, 23 Dec 2004 14:59:59 +0100
I would like to wish you all a nice Christmas holiday season and a Happy New Year! It has truly been an exciting year, both work-wise and in general.

I am especially relieved that the EU has not yet made the final decision on the SWPAT issue. This is in part because of Poland's courage to request that item to be withdrawn from the agenda. Therefore we should all thank Poland!

But we should also be grateful and supportive of the hard work that the folks from the FFII and http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/ have been doing. Thank you guys and keep up the good work! Europe does not need Software Patents!

emoticon Vacation is over! Lenz Mon, 15 Nov 2004 12:09:41 +0100
As usual after returning from a 2-week vacation, I am drowned in email. It will take me some time to dig through that pile...

It was nice having some time off, even though we did not travel somewhere. We made lots of progress with the house renovation, finally all rooms and doors are painted now!

I even found some time to do something I have not done for a while - playing computer games. The games I toyed around with were demo versions of Doom 3 and Need for Speed Underground 2 - they both rock, even though Doom 3 crashed quite frequently for me... I also started playing Americas Army, but I am still stuck in basic training, though.

The sad thing about PC gaming still is that it requires to have a copy of MS Windows installed somewhere. The 3D driver situation on Linux has not improved much in the past few years, it seems. In fact, I get the feeling it has become worse! OK, nVidia seems to have become a bit better, but all other major video card vendors (especially ATI and Matrox) only deliver poor or no support for their latest video cards on Linux at all. Installing these drivers is usually a pain in the back and way to complicated for unexperienced users. Due to license restrictions, Linux distribution vendors are not able to ship and and improve the integration of these drivers in their distributions.

Better 3D support is a major hurdle for getting Linux accepted on the desktop. But this is a typical chicken-egg problem: Video card vendors do not see the requirement, as Linux on the Desktop does not have enough market share. Which it will hardly get, if there is no good support for 3D applications like games...

Frustrating. Looks like I have to wait at least until December until I can give the installation of the ATI fglrx driver another try... Until then, no 3D support for the X.org X-Server... At least ATI claims they are working on it.

emoticon On vacation Lenz Tue, 02 Nov 2004 21:26:19 +0100
The last week was super-busy as we actually released both the first production release of MySQL 4.1 as well as a maintenance release of MySQL 4.0. I will be on vacation this and the next week - I need some time off to finish various house renovation projects. Today I finished sanding off the last two remaining wooden door frames and we began painting the entrance hallway.

emoticon 9.2 RPM section started Lenz Tue, 26 Oct 2004 11:19:03 +0200
Not much content in there yet, but I have now switched to using SUSE Linux 9.2. Supplementary RPMs can be downloaded from http://www.lenzg.org/RPMs/9.2-i386/

emoticon Blog finally updated! Lenz Wed, 20 Oct 2004 22:15:09 +0200
That sure took a bit longer than expected, but I've now finally updated my Blog to use NewsPoster 0.5.2 - thanks to Frank Thomas for providing that update.

emoticon Back from Malta / New laptop Lenz Wed, 13 Oct 2004 12:32:20 +0200
Hmm, long time no post. Life is too busy at the moment, it seems. After returning from the MySQL Developer Conference in Malta (which was great, by the way) I was immediately swamped with work and setting up my new Laptop, an IBM Thinkpad T42. It's a really great machine and I am happy to be able to use this one instead of my trusty, but slow Toshiba Portege. Once I find a quiet moment, I would like to write up my experiences in setting up SUSE Linux on it... On a related note I was happy to find out that a new version of NewsPoster was released! Give it a try, if you are looking for a slim Blog engine without any database requirements. (I know this sounds strange from someone who actually works for a database company - call me a lazy bastard.)

emoticon Greetings from Malta! Lenz Thu, 23 Sep 2004 17:38:53 +0200
I yesterday arrived on Malta, an island in the mediterranean. MySQL is having a developer meeting here - it's really great to meet up with all the people and discuss development issues on a face to face basis...

emoticon New Keyboard Lenz Wed, 15 Sep 2004 23:42:44 +0200
After hacking on the same Cherry Keyboard for more than 13 years now, I could not resist the temptation to get a new one. One of our local Megastores had a special offer. Heck, the old one still used a DIN connector and some keys started to show signs of age. So I am now the happy owner of a CyMotion Master Solar keyboard. Now I just need to find out how to actually make use of all these additional keys...

The only thing I don't really need is the wireless mouse that was included in the package - I can't really think of a better input device that the Logitech Trackman Marble.

emoticon Gallery update: Lübeck/Travemünde pictures Lenz Fri, 10 Sep 2004 02:06:00 +0200
I finally managed to upload some pictures from our recent trip to Lübeck/Travemünde (see my blog entry about it). Pictures are now available in the gallery. Enjoy!

emoticon Latest 2.6.8 KOTD broke CD-burning Lenz Tue, 07 Sep 2004 15:02:20 +0200
I bit the bullet and updated to the latest "Kernel of the day" from SUSE (kernel-default-2.6.8-20040906151119) today. Unfortunately I had to find out that CD-recording is broken in that version. K3B (k3b-0.11.14-3) only detects CD-ROM drives, no burner. SUSE is aware of the problem, both k3b and the kernel have to be updated. ETA for a fix is within the next days. (Thanks to Adrian for the info)

emoticon Power failure Lenz Thu, 02 Sep 2004 22:25:06 +0200
This hasn't happened to me for a very long time. During the early evening, there was a small power glitch, causing all of my PCs to reboot. Then, a few hours later, the power was gone completely.

This outage lasted about 2 hours. It felt very odd - no light, no TV, no Internet. It's amazing how one can get used to such things!

Update: as we later found out, the outage was caused by one of our neighbours in the block next to us. He wanted to build a new garden fence and used metal fence post spikes that are supposed to be hammered into the ground. Somehow he managed to ram one of these right into the power line that supports our block... I guess he can consider himself being lucky to be still alive.

emoticon Back from the weekend Lenz Mon, 23 Aug 2004 14:33:30 +0200
Ah, it feels good to get out from time to time - this weekend we drove to Lübeck/Travemünde and visited the Sandworld and watched all the nice ships that showed up for the Baltic Sail 2004. And on sunday we even took part of a sailing tour with the J R Tolkien - a truly great experience, especially with all the other big sailing ships around. And even the weather played along nicely.

emoticon MySQL 5.0.1 is out Lenz Tue, 03 Aug 2004 20:26:46 +0200
In case you have not seen the announcement yet: MySQL 5.0.1 is out. Among many fixes for the stored procedure and replication code, this version also includes basic support for VIEWs. As this is the first public release of this new functionality, it sure has lots of bugs and it may crash and burn, but it should give you an impression on where the journey is going to. We usually don't publish a release if there are still known critical bugs, therefore it was decided to label it as a "snapshot" release instead.

As usual, bug reports are more than welcome at http://bugs.mysql.com/.

For more info check the release notes.

emoticon Back from a relaxing weekend Lenz Mon, 02 Aug 2004 12:13:29 +0200
We visited my parents in a small town close to Magdeburg this weekend, where they currently stay at a large quarry pond with their camper.

The water was great and the wind too - I sailed quite a lot using my parent's small "Laser" sailboat.

emoticon Server trouble Lenz Wed, 28 Jul 2004 12:11:39 +0200
Grr, this is driving me nuts. My web server dies quite frequently right now, no idea why. Sorry for the inconvenience...

emoticon Installing Mac OS X 'Tiger' in PearPC Lenz Thu, 22 Jul 2004 17:21:17 +0200
I must say I am very impressed. Even though it's quite slow on my poor Athlon 1.3 GHz, PearPC is currently installing Mac OS X Tiger without a hitch. Kudos to the PearPC developers!

I will try to build a SUSE RPM of it...

First screenshots can be seen at http://www.lenzg.org/export/PearPC/ - that's as far as I have come so far, it's still busy installing...
I will add additional pics once I have made progress.

emoticon Urgent business proposal Lenz Mon, 12 Jul 2004 19:24:25 +0200
I had a great laugh while browsing these scambaiting sites - hope you enjoy it, too:


It's good to see that these 419 scammers can actually be tricked with their own greed as they try to do it with their victims...

More links to "scammers scammed" can also be found here:



emoticon SuSE 9.1 RPM section started Lenz Mon, 28 Jun 2004 21:45:57 +0200
Now that I have SUSE 9.1 running, it was just a matter of time when I first stumbled over a package that is not included in the distribution.

The first two packages qca-tls 1.0 (required for psi) and kphone 4.0.3 are now available from the 9.1 Download section - enjoy!

emoticon Back from vacation and new server Lenz Fri, 11 Jun 2004 22:40:18 +0200
Boy, it's amazing how fast three weeks can pass by when you are busy.

I am back to work now, swamped with email but with fresh energy.

This server has also been moved to a dedicated machine now (just a small PII/350MHz/128MB), so this web site is no longer dependent on my workstation and its frequent reboots! They both now run SUSE Linux 9.1 - I have not fully decided yet if I love or hate it....

Moving everything to run under Apache 2 surely took me some time.

Oh, and there are some new pics in the Geek Shirt Gallery

emoticon Vacation and hidden gems Lenz Mon, 17 May 2004 23:02:55 +0200
I am finally on vacation for the next two weeks - I could really need it. Unbelievable, I am still spending days from last year's vacation for this. We won't be going anywhere, as there still is so much to do in the house - the current project is called 'paint the doors and door frames'.

The SUSE web and ftp servers host quite a lot of interesting web pages and documents. Here are some examples of the gems hidden in there:

Do you know more?

emoticon What ever happened to Epitera? Lenz Wed, 05 May 2004 13:54:46 +0200
At one of the New York Linux Worlds (I can not remember the exact year, but I guess it was in 2000), I snagged a very funny T-Shirt labelled "Absolute Linux" from a company named Epitera. They described themselves as: "Epitera is developing a state of the art easy-to-use (Linux) desktop environment for the home market. Our system will include a personal assistant, powerful graphical interface and true Internet orientation.". Back then I was wondering what was wrong with KDE and GNOME...

The year is 2004. The Domain http://www.absolutex.org is being redirected to a strange web search engine, http://www.epitera.com/ now points to a site advertising weight management products. Seems like there was no demand for yet another Linux Desktop?

LinuxDevices still has a a short article about the product and company. The original web sites can still be found, too - they still exist as references for the web designer that created these pages once:

emoticon New Geek Shirts gallery started Lenz Wed, 05 May 2004 13:29:08 +0200
I noticed that I have a huge stack of T-Shirts in my closet which all have one thing in common: I snagged them as a freebie on one of the various Linux/Open Source events that I have attended over the past 6 years. Some of them have really nice graphics and are of good quality. Many of these were made by companies that actually don't exist anymore.

So somehow these shirts are historic documents and I decided to take pictures of them before they wear out. I just started the collection, but I will add more and more pictures to the Gallery as time goes by. Enjoy!

emoticon Why Bill Gates does not get it Lenz Mon, 03 May 2004 10:24:34 +0200
I just stumbled over a copy of Bill Gates Open Letter to Hobbyists in which he claims: "Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free?"

That letter is from 1976. Looks like even today he still has not grasped what Open Source is all about...

emoticon Back online Lenz Tue, 27 Apr 2004 17:36:04 +0200
OK, my website is finally back after two weeks of absence - I was travelling and I usually don't let this box up and running when I'm away for longer. I need to find a better solution for that...

Anyway, I'm now back from the MySQL User Conference 2004 in Orlando Florida (for some impressions of the Event see Mike Hillyer's blog aggregator), which was followed by a MySQL Staff Meeting in Cancun, Mexico right afterwards. Pictures will be online shortly, I hope...

I am still a bit jetlagged and even though I was able to grab my mail most of the time, there is a huge backlog to wade through...

emoticon A new wooden deck and fence Lenz Tue, 06 Apr 2004 22:48:44 +0200
More garden improvement took place the past two days - we now actually have a fence around our garden again (the old wooden one was broken apart) and we built a wooden terrace (made out of Indonesian Bangkirai aka "Yellow Balau" wood - a very robust wood).

Pictures of it can be found in the gallery, as usual.

emoticon SuSE 9.1beta reviewed Lenz Fri, 02 Apr 2004 22:30:30 +0200
Well, the cat is out the bag - here's a review of SUSE Linux 9.1beta on Linux.com. It's fairly positive, bearing in mind that it's still in beta...

emoticon More house renovation pics online Lenz Fri, 02 Apr 2004 22:16:22 +0200
We have been quite busy in the past weeks, both work-wise and regarding our ongoing house renovation and garden reconstruction after the sewage pipe had been replaced. More pictures of the house and garden progress are now in the Gallery.

On the work side, we are very busy with finishing the release of MySQL 4.1.2 - we try hard to have it done and released before the MySQL Users Conference in Orlando. I will be there too! Looking forward to it.

Also the beta test of SUSE Linux 9.1 is nearing completion - Beta4 actually looks quite promising. Lots of new stuff! I found a few tricky bugs and they were quick to fix them, as usual. Keep up the good work, guys! SUSE Linux still is the best Linux distribution around.

emoticon Gallery update: New house pictures! Lenz Tue, 16 Mar 2004 03:16:33 +0100
After a long time, I finally found a moment to update the House Gallery - it now includes an album with pictures of the sewage pipe replacement that took place as well as pictures of the wood work in the garden. More pictures of the still ongoing house renovation will follow soon! I now have a Pentax Optio S4 which will hopefully help me to update the Gallery in a more timely fashion.

emoticon Printing on Linux Lenz Mon, 01 Mar 2004 17:03:09 +0100
Interesting rant from Eric Raymond about his experiences configuring a CUPS printer. He should have probably tried SUSE Linux instead...

Configuring a printer never has been that easy before. Setting up printer sharing between my laptop and the desktop (with an HP LaserJet 5L attached to it) with YaST was a snap.

emoticon New package: gtk-qt-engine Lenz Wed, 18 Feb 2004 22:57:53 +0100
Now available from the Download section: A SuSE 9 RPM of gtk-qt-engine, a GTK theme that enables GTK to use Qt widget styles. Now finally Mozilla FireFox and xchat look like all other KDE apps!

emoticon Updated package: scribus Lenz Wed, 18 Feb 2004 22:20:10 +0100
Now available from the Download section: SuSE 9 RPMs of Scribus 1.1.5, a very nice desktop publishing program.

emoticon New package: xclip Lenz Wed, 11 Feb 2004 13:56:01 +0100
I have not been updating my blog for a few days, as I am currently busy with getting MySQL 4.0.18 released (it's still in the works as of now). All available spare time was spent on getting various house renovation chores done, oiling the wooden staircase being one of the most prominent ones.

Anyway, while I was looking for a solution to insert a large piece of text into the X clipboard (to be able to paste it into a text input field of a web page that does not support file upload), I stumbled over this little gem: xclip.

You can now download an RPM from the Download section

emoticon Gallery update Lenz Mon, 02 Feb 2004 11:12:48 +0100
Updated the Gallery to v1.4.1-pl1 yesterday to fix a potential remote exploit. If you are still running an older version, consider upgrading soon...

emoticon Orkut invitations - thanks, but thanks! Lenz Mon, 02 Feb 2004 11:09:29 +0100
I have received several invitations to join Orkut. After reading quite a lot about it in the past few days I initially was very curious and felt flattered to be invited to join now. But after reading Orkut's terms of service and their privacy policy I decided to resist my curiosity - I don't feel comfortable providing so much personal information to a foreign company, even though it sounds like a fun and interesting new way of creating a new social network. Jeremys thoughts about this are also worth a read. So I'd like to thank everyone who invited me so far, but I will not become a part of this network... I hope you understand.

emoticon Too much snow Lenz Thu, 29 Jan 2004 19:10:10 +0100
It has been snowing quite heavily today - something totally unusual for Hamburg, As soon as I was done shovelling the whole footpath to our house, it started snowing again! How annoying.

emoticon New package: ttcp Lenz Wed, 28 Jan 2004 12:18:57 +0100
A new addition to the download section: ttcp, a small tool to measure network bandwith, which can also be used as a tool to pipe data via a network (similar to netcat).

emoticon Flash Games Galore Lenz Wed, 28 Jan 2004 09:45:28 +0100
If you're into Macromedia Flash games and animations, check out these sites:


Thanks to Nico for the pointer!

emoticon New package: camstream Lenz Mon, 26 Jan 2004 21:31:19 +0100
During my crusade to get an USB webcam hooked up to my box for video streaming, I stumbled across this neat little tool, which is very helpful as it includes some special support for Philips USB webcams: CamStream, a tool for webcams and video grabber cards. Get it from the download section.

emoticon Back from a long weekend Lenz Sun, 25 Jan 2004 23:47:23 +0100
Yesterday we've returned home after a prolonged weekend (took Thu+Fri off). I switched off my PC while we were gone, just in case you were wondering what had happened to http://www.lenzg.org/.

Thursday was my Mom's birthday and I had my first secondary school class reunion after 17 (!) years on Friday. So we rented a very nice car for the trip and drove down to Heidelberg.

The class reunion was quite funny, almost everybody showed up and we had a great time, looking at old photographs, laughing about stories of the past and talked about what happened to us since we left school. It was nice to get in touch with my classmates after such a long time.

My sister gave me her old Philips PCVC680K webcam, which I hope will be more suitable for my needs than the cheap Tevion USB webcam that I currently use - it frequently resets the USB which makes it unusable for streaming images.

On the home-improvement side, I installed an ISDN connection for my father's PC (he was still on a 56k modem). Installing the ISDN card and drivers was a bit of an adventure (finding drivers for Windows 98), but was a snap in comparison to locate the corresponding wires on the other end of a 25m cable (between about 10 similar looking cables that all ended in the same wall outlet). But after some fiddling and measuring I connected the correct wires. But even ISDN looked quite slow in comparison to my 2Mbit DSL line at home... I'm spoiled.

The trip home on saturday evening was stressful, as it began to snow and there were several car accidents along the route we were driving. But fortunately we made it home safely.

Today was mostly occupied by oiling our wooden staircase, now that it has been sanded off completely. Unfortunately the final colour does not exacly match our expectations - we need to find a solution on what to do with the staircase on the ground floor. We don't really want to use the same colour again, even though it might look a bit strange to have two differently painted stairs...

emoticon New package: fsv, the file system visualizer Lenz Mon, 19 Jan 2004 21:42:32 +0100
Just added fsv to the Download section. It fascinated me from the screen shots - reminds me of the file system browser that was shown in the movie Jurassic Park

emoticon Website Mixmaster Lenz Mon, 19 Jan 2004 17:39:21 +0100
Another funny discovery: the Website MixMaster at http://www.topfx.com/cgi-bin/mixmaster.cgi

A funny example.

emoticon Remixed Anti-War propaganda posters Lenz Fri, 16 Jan 2004 11:40:25 +0100
An interesting collection: http://www.cafeshops.com/warposter/

emoticon New package: neverball Lenz Tue, 13 Jan 2004 18:35:09 +0100
And another addition to the RPM download section: Neverball 1.0.0 is part puzzle game, part action game, and entirely a test of skill.

emoticon Visit Planet SuSE! Lenz Tue, 13 Jan 2004 18:32:39 +0100
James did a great job on Planet SuSE, an RSS aggregator for SuSE-related Blogs.

Congrats on the new CSS look, James! Well done.

I had to make some small changes to the NewsPoster RSS creation, I hope that Thomas will accept these patches, once they are in a usable state. I am thinking if I should try to make NewsPoster RSS feeds RSS 2.0 compatible...

emoticon New package: vcr Lenz Tue, 13 Jan 2004 11:19:24 +0100
I made a new addition to the SuSE 9.0 RPM section: vcr, a text console video recorder. Enjoy!

emoticon The Empire That Was Russia Lenz Tue, 06 Jan 2004 21:12:42 +0100
A truly amazing collection of color photgraphs from the beginning of 20th Century, worth a look. "The photographs of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) offer a vivid portrait of a lost world - the Russian Empire on the eve of World War I and the coming revolution."


emoticon Happy New Year! Lenz Mon, 05 Jan 2004 13:30:51 +0100
A Happy New Year to all of you. I have been away from the PC for a while, celebrating Christmas with my family and continuing with our ongoing quest of renovating our house. As a result, the wooden staircase and the door frames in the ground floor have now been sanded and we hope to be done with this soon.

I also updated this Blog to NewsPoster 0.5.1, which now uses a new theme based on my suggestions. Thanks to Thomas Alfeld (the Author of Newsposter) for including it!

emoticon Linux tip: use submount Lenz Sun, 21 Dec 2003 18:52:04 +0100
This makes working with CDs/DVDs much easier on SuSE Linux:
  • Install package submount
  • Edit /etc/fstab and change the mount options for /media/cdrom and /media/dvd:
    /dev/dvd             /media/dvd           subfs      fs=cdfss,ro           0 0
    /dev/cdrom           /media/cdrom         subfs      fs=cdfss,ro           0 0
  • Now mount the devices (no need to insert a medium).
  • Be happy to be able to work with these devices without having to mount/unmount them all the time
The only downturn: YaST seems to be confused by this and tries to mount the DVD nevertheless. I will try to find a workaround for this.

emoticon No more paint on the staircase Lenz Sun, 21 Dec 2003 18:40:36 +0100
This weekend was dedicated to the task "Refurbish the wooden staircase".

Which was much harder than expected, as our original plan (sand off the two layers of paint and old carpet glue) did not work - the sandpaper clogged very quickly. I wasted almost all of the sandpaper I purchased on the first two steps of the staircase.

We then resorted to using a hot air gun to peel off the old paint/glue first and then we sanded off the remaining paint residue, which was much faster. It still took us almost the whole weekend to just get rid of the paint - more sanding will have to take place before we are done with the staircase to the first floor. Especially the corners are hard to get done - the orbital sanding machine is way too big for these, even though it's indispensable for the larger surfaces. Fortunately we also have The Mouse for these areas.

And we still have the one in the second floor... Fortunately this one is not painted.

When we're done sanding, we will simply cover the wood with two layers of Osmo Hardwax Oil (as we did in the living room).

emoticon Overhaul of the 'powered by SUSE' page Lenz Thu, 18 Dec 2003 16:08:23 +0100
The Buttons page has been updated a bit. I've reorganized the order (newest buttons on top, moved the obsolete designs in a separate table) and added a new static button, contributed by James Ogley. Thanks, James!

emoticon New 'Powered by SUSE' button available Lenz Tue, 16 Dec 2003 02:26:42 +0100
I could not resist to toy around with Gimp 1.3 a bit: I've now updated one of the "Powered by SUSE" buttons to match the latest look of the SUSE chameleon - you can get it from my buttons collection. Enjoy!

emoticon New House pictures online Lenz Fri, 12 Dec 2003 19:16:43 +0100
I've finally managed to take a few pictures to document the renovation progress that has taken place in the meanwhile. We now have a kitchen and a functional bathroom!

emoticon Vodaphone annoys me Lenz Mon, 08 Dec 2003 15:18:22 +0100
A minute ago my mobile phone rang and a sales person of my beloved phone provider Vodaphone wanted to ask me a few questions. Not enough that they spam me with SMS ads quite frequently, they now even call you directly!

Anyway, he was happy to inform me that I am entitled to obtain a brand new cell phone now that my contract will be prolonged for another 24 months. He also wanted to know, what features I would be looking for when shopping for a new cell phone. As I have not really thought obout this (since I am very satisfied with my current model, a trusty Siemens ME45), I was not too helpful for him to fill out his survey form. He then started making suggestions of his own ("How about a long battery life? That's something that everybody wants to have"), which I happily accepted, just to get rid of him.

But as I was not able to name a new model, he threatened to call me again at the end of the week - I should make up my mind in the meantime and choose a model from their web site.

I surely would like to do that, if the web site would not refuse my web browser with a stupid error message...

emoticon Dean Kamen at Cyberposium 2002 Lenz Mon, 01 Dec 2003 16:17:29 +0100
I recently watched Dean Kamen's talk (Real Video Stream ~1hr) at the 2002 Cyberposium at the Harvard Business School. Very interesting and insightful. Dean is the inventor of the Segway HT and many other things.

Too bad the Segway is not available in Germany yet...

emoticon Edgar shows your Jabber status Lenz Thu, 27 Nov 2003 10:26:45 +0100
Spotted this on Nicos blog: "Edgar is a Jabber bot who's primary focus is to provide users' status information on webpages."

Very neat, I just added it to my front page as well.

emoticon Yet another Linux-powered appliance Lenz Thu, 27 Nov 2003 09:58:34 +0100
While searching for a replacement of my current phone, I stumbled over the Siemens Gigaset SX550i dsl/cable, which is both a WLAN Access point with integrated DSL router and a cordless ISDN phone. Just exactly what I was looking for! And to top it all off, it seems like the Firmware of the WLAN-Router is Linux-based:

$ strings siemens_en_1.00.24_pre3 | grep linux

Unfortunately I did not yet manage to extract all the files. Hmm, I wonder if Siemens would provide me with the sources to this firmware as well...

emoticon "MySQL 4.1 spatial extensions" slides now online Lenz Wed, 26 Nov 2003 22:02:15 +0100
Early on November 2003 I was giving a talk about "Spatial Extensions in MySQL 4.1" at the International PHP Conference 2003 in Frankfurt, Germany. You can grab a copy of my slides from here.

emoticon MySQL 4.1 and PHP5 Lenz Wed, 26 Nov 2003 11:37:02 +0100
Yesterday I went to a meeting of the Hamburg PHP User Group to listen to Zak's and Georg's talk about "MySQL 4.1 and PHP 5.0", which was very interesting. Zak and Georg were giving the full-lenght version of that talk as a Power Workshop at the International PHP Conference in Frankfurt a few weeks ago. I was glad I got a chance to listen to it yesterday - many good new things are coming up there.

emoticon SuSE 9.0 RPMs now available Lenz Wed, 19 Nov 2003 13:33:14 +0100
As I have updated my systems to SuSE Linux 9 in the meanwhile, I have started rebuilding some of my RPMs. They are now available from the download section.

This also means, that I will not provide SuSE Linux 8.2 RPMs anymore. Sorry!

emoticon New house pictures online! Lenz Wed, 12 Nov 2003 15:11:37 +0100
I've added some new pictures of our ongoing house renovation effort to the Gallery. They show many rooms after we have already started plastering and covering the bare walls again. It looked much worse a few days earlier :)

emoticon Back online! Lenz Mon, 10 Nov 2003 13:08:31 +0100
Sorry for the downtime - my Internet connection has been switched over to our new house now and it took me a while to set up my new office there. I had two weeks of vacation and was very busy with renovating the house. Lots of things have happened in the meanwhile - I will post about these soon (incl. new pics).

emoticon The Blogworld is a small one LenZ Thu, 23 Oct 2003 22:37:47 +0200
This is a funny story. Mike Perry is a guy I used to meet on many US Linux trade shows, when I was still working for SuSE and he worked for Linuxcare (well, he actually still does!).
As I do, too, he reads Dan's Blog every once in a while and noticed Dan's comment about his Jabber chat with me. So he follows the link, finds my home page and my Jabber account info on there. So we had a nice chat and talked about the good old times and what we are up to - the Internet makes it so much easy to keep in touch and up to date with people, even on long distance.
It was good talking to you, Mike! There actually even is a picture of Mike and me at LinuxWorld '99 in San Jose :)

emoticon Speaking about MySQL at PHP Conference Lenz Grimmer Mon, 20 Oct 2003 20:27:07 +0200
Not sure if I am ready to do that, but I will be talking about the Spatial extensions of MySQL 4.1 at the International PHP Conference 2003 in Frankfurt, Germany. My talk will be at Wednesday, 11/05/2003 at 8:00 am... Which makes me a:

emoticon Wall tile hell Lenz Wed, 01 Oct 2003 21:59:53 +0200
This is my last post for today, my hands and arms are numb and tired...

After the kitchen was gone, we could focus on removing the wall tiles in the bathrooms. We already started hammering them away manually in the guest bathroom last week, which was a lot of work. Only equipped with a hammer and chisel, we managed to hammer down most of the wall tiles within a few hours. It's amazing how different they stick to the wall, depending on what's beneath the tile cement. On some parts of the wall, they simply fell off in one piece. On the other wall I almost went nuts - I had to hammer them down piece by piece.

Fortunately the guest bathroom is rather small. For the kitchen, main bathroom and the floor tiles in all rooms we have now rented a more powerful toy - a Hilti combihammer. Rock'n Roll!

emoticon The kitchen is gone! Lenz Wed, 01 Oct 2003 21:48:44 +0200
We first tried to actually sell the kitchen via the local newspaper. Several people called, but either never showed up or did not take it - I sometimes wonder what people expect for 150 EUROs for a complete kitchen with a fridge and a stove.

As we needed to make room for the new one, we started tearing it down yesterday. This morning, we finished the work and rented a van to drive the stuff to the bulky waste collection place.

It's unbelievable what kind of stuff you can find behind a kitchen cupboards that were hanging there for more than 20 years. Ugh! Cobwebs were the least ugly things behind there. But now the kitchen is gone (we only kept the electric stove to sell it separately) and we can finally start removing the wall and floor tiles to make room for the new ones.

emoticon Life is busy... Lenz Wed, 01 Oct 2003 21:36:54 +0200
Some of you may have noticed that I did not update my site very much recently. The reason is simple - I am way too busy with getting everything sorted so we can move into our new home.

Yes, we've actually bought the house and have already started renovating it. It was built in 1959, but has been constantly maintained and renovated. However, there are a few things that we would like to change before we move in:

  • Replace all floor tiles in the basement to get rid of the current colourful mixture (three different styles of tiles is too much)
  • Get a new kitchen. The previous one was already very rotten and filthy. But I shall spare that story for a separate blog comment :)
  • Completely modernize the guest bathroom. We decided to move the wall around the entrance door for about half a meter to make more room for the bathroom. The toilet and wash basin will be replaced, too.
  • Completely overhaul the main bathroom. Instead of the bathtub, we will get a big shower and move the toilet next to it. Also, the wash basin will be moved from the right to the left wall.
  • Get rid of the wooden ceiling in the staircase. It makes the room way too dark and small - we'd rather have plain white walls there.
  • Hundreds of other things I currently can't remember.
As you can see, there's plenty of stuff to do! That's why I currently devote most of my free time to house renovation...

emoticon New RPM updates available Lenz Tue, 09 Sep 2003 14:43:14 +0200
The following RPMs have been updated in the Download section:
  • mysqlcc-0.9.3
  • scribus-1.0.1

emoticon Gallery updates Lenz Mon, 08 Sep 2003 12:24:02 +0200
Some news in the picture gallery:
  • Updated Gallery to 1.4RC3, adjusted style to match the rest of the site.
  • Added some pics from our wedding (finally!)
  • Moved the GS500E pics into the Gallery

emoticon Picture Gallery now online! Lenz Tue, 02 Sep 2003 13:32:22 +0200
I finally managed to finish the setup of Gallery for my home page. The first album I added are the first pictures of our new house!
The Zeppelin pictures have also been moved into the gallery now. More picture collections will follow.

emoticon rss-glx-0.7.6 RPMs available Lenz Mon, 01 Sep 2003 23:50:15 +0200
Just noticed that there was a minor bugfix update for the Really Slick Screensavers.
RPMs for 0.7.6 are available for
download now.

emoticon Next Newsposter will use my theme! Lenz Mon, 18 Aug 2003 13:32:26 +0200
Last week I got contacted by Frank Thomas, the primary author of Newsposter, the software behind my blog.
He asked me if he could use the style/theme of my web pages as the default theme for his next Newsposter release. Of course, I agreed happily!
I feel very honoured - this way I was able to provide a small contribution for a software I use.
This is a good example that you don't always have to contribute to Open Source projects by providing code - many times artwork, documentation or translations are very welcome, too.

emoticon Bought a new geek-toy Lenz Mon, 18 Aug 2003 13:19:23 +0200
Yesterday there was a flea market right across the street of where we live. We decided to sell a few things there as well - I got rid of some old PC components (a BIOS-less SCSI controller, an IBM DCAS 4GB hard disk and an old ISA-Bus Trident VGA card). Amazing that people still buy this old stuff.
While browsing the market, I stumbled over a Microsoft SideWinder Joystick (the one without ForceFeedback). I just had to buy it, as it was quite a bargain. Plugged it in, configured it with SuSE's YaST without any problems.
This significantly increased the flying experience with
FlightGear (which truly rocks IMHO!).
Microsoft's Software may suck most of the times, but their hardware (especially input devices) is usually well-thought and robust.

emoticon xscreensaver-4.11 RPMs available Lenz Mon, 11 Aug 2003 21:56:42 +0200
After adding the Really Slick Screensavers package, I felt a strong desire to update xscreensaver as well.
A SuSE 8.2 RPM of version 4.11 is now available in the download section, too. Enjoy!

emoticon rss_glx-0.7.5 RPMs available Lenz Mon, 11 Aug 2003 17:52:51 +0200
If you are an eye-candy geek like I am, you should take a look at the Really Slick Screensavers collection, which provide some additional screensaver modules for jwz's xscreensaver.
A SuSE 8.2 RPM is now available in the download section.

emoticon transcode-0.6.9 RPM available LenZ Fri, 08 Aug 2003 16:08:15 +0200
New transcode RPMs are available in the Download section.
Unfortunately it seems like my changes to the RPM spec file had a nasty side effect on Red Hat - I will work on a fix (it's actually not the spec file itself, but the Makefiles that install the docs).
Update: Patch has been sent to upstream maintainers, the current RPMs already include the updated spec file.

emoticon mysql-graph RPM available Lenz Fri, 08 Aug 2003 12:27:45 +0200
Me and Jeremy (another one) have been hacking on mysql-graph recently. The updated version is now available from my Download section.

emoticon mytop-1.4 RPM now available Lenz Mon, 04 Aug 2003 21:36:56 +0200
Yesterday, Jeremy released version 1.4 of his neat little tool mytop. Grab it from the download section.

emoticon transcode-0.6.8 RPM now available Lenz Thu, 31 Jul 2003 14:36:08 +0200
As I needed to find a way to split a 1.4GB AVI file into two individually playable chunks, I searched the Net and found transcode.
An RPM of version 0.6.8 is now available from my download section
I needed to make some modifications to the spec file, which I have sent upstream, too.

emoticon Back home - site is online again Lenz Tue, 29 Jul 2003 11:03:39 +0200
Sorry for the downtime, but I can't leave this box up and running when I'm away for several days in a row. We attended my sister's wedding, which was very nice!

emoticon mytop-1.3 RPM now available Lenz Wed, 23 Jul 2003 11:22:12 +0200
I've just added an RPM of Jeremy Zawodny's little MySQL monitoring app mytop to the RPMs page. Enjoy!

emoticon Congratulations, Mads! Lenz Tue, 22 Jul 2003 22:06:40 +0200
mmj is now the proud and happy father of a boy. Congratulations from me and Sabina!

emoticon Site will be down from 24-28 July Lenz Tue, 22 Jul 2003 08:15:12 +0200
Please note, that this site will be down from Thursday, 24th until Monday, 28th. Sorry for the inconvenience!

emoticon New packages available Lenz Mon, 21 Jul 2003 18:58:51 +0200
Some new RPMs have been added to the Download section: mvc-0.8.2, mpgtx (even though the project seems to be dead) as well as some Perl modules for the GD library (I needed them when I was trying to get ReportMagic working.

emoticon Geek toy fun Lenz Mon, 21 Jul 2003 10:19:13 +0200
Yesterday we went to a flea market and there was a booth selling these tiny remote controlled mini cars. I had to have one of those - lots of fun! I also bought an Acer USB bluetooth stick last week. Linux seems to detect it fine, but as I don't have any other bluetooth device, I can't do much testing...

emoticon Scribus 1.0 RPMs available Lenz Thu, 17 Jul 2003 11:21:21 +0200
After spotting a request from Nick Murphy for RPMs of Scribus 1.0 on the SuSE Linux mailing list, I got curious, as I had not evaluated Scribus yet. After downloading and building an RPM of 1.0 (which was a snap, using the SuSE 0.9.7 SRPM as a template), I must say I really like it! It starts up fast and looks very professional. The RPM is available from my SuSE 8.2 RPM page.

emoticon WhyLinuxSux Lenz Tue, 15 Jul 2003 09:01:29 +0200
Recently, Microsoft held a special education course for its partners and sales people, educating them about how to effectively argue against Linux. Interesting read, the slides are available online on the Gray Matter Web site.

emoticon Web site updates Lenz Mon, 14 Jul 2003 21:24:05 +0200
  • Thanks to James I today fixed a nasty Apache configuration error that was redirecting URLs to kallisto.local instead of http://lenz.homelinux.org when people tried to access my site via the two external domain names (lenzg.org or lenz.grimmer.com, which both don't have enough web space to host this site)
  • James also added a link to my collection of SuSE 8.2 RPMs to his web site. I am sure that will drive some additional traffic to these pages...
  • I've started installing Gallery and will move all my various picture collections into there step by step. Still fiddling with the base configuration, though...

emoticon Blog is now online... Lenz Fri, 11 Jul 2003 14:39:47 +0200
I've now linked this blog to my home page and left a note on my Advogato diary. I wonder, if somebody finds it!

I've been pretty bad with keeping my Advogato diary up to date. I wonder, if having it on my own home page will make a difference...

emoticon psi-0.9 RPMs linked from affinix.com Lenz Thu, 10 Jul 2003 11:44:27 +0200
Seems like Justin has finally added a link to my SuSE 8.2 RPMs of psi 0.9 on the Psi Download pages - I've been bugging him for this for quite a while now :)

emoticon Testing the new blog and new style Lenz Thu, 10 Jul 2003 10:45:45 +0200
A first test post of my new personal weblog. This one is driven by Newsposter - how do you like it? In addition to that, I've also tweaked the style sheets a bit. I could not stand the old look anymore...

Page created on Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 13:54 by: Newsposter/0.5.2 ("Resurrection")