Have a bite…


… if you still can ;-)

I found this in the online shop of one of our customers which distributes dental equipment. The device is called “Lippenexpander” and I have no idea what practical use a dentist may have for it but it’s no pleasant picture at all.

Today’s little PC-Problems

Today, I deceided to track the daily PC-problems I have to solve, just because I wondered why I generally think that PC’s suck and to learn how much time I lose just for fixing things that should work.

Today’s list of software-stupidity I’ve had to learn:

  • floAt’s Mobile Agent has a feature to react when the connected BT phone comes out of range. I’ve configured fma to lock the workstation as soon as I leave it. Quite nice. Every time the BT connection now drops, the screen is locked. Unfortunatly, it does not check for the cause of the connection drop: If it’s because I’m just quitting fma, it locks the screen anyway. This stupid thing happend to me just one time too many, so I decided to post this whole entry here.
  • I’ve 1 GB of RAM in my Thinkpad which, I think should be enough for the machine to swap only very rarely. Then: Why is my system virtually unusable because of swapping if I bring Firefox in the forground after is lied in the background for an hour or so? I’m not blaming Firefox for this. I’m blaming windows for it’s less-than-optimum memory handling. Why swap if it’s not needed? Why has the system to stop responding when it’s swapping?
  • On the Exchange Server, I’ve set up a daily backup-task using Microsoft Backup. It never run and did not provide any error-message at all. Why? Because the command-line created from MS-Backup’s planning assistant was too long to be executed by windows. Why is such invalid command line created? Why is there no error message?
  • I had to support one computer where surfing to any website immediatly created a 404-error. I’ve double checked – the pages where there, the websited did in fact work. Cleaning the browser-cache (the supported person insists on using IE) helped. Why? What was the problem?

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

I mean: I’m writing software myself and I really check not to do such stupid things. They happen. They happen all the time when programming. Your mind is thinking completly differently when you are buried deep in program code. But then: Why don’t the people take some time to actually test theiur products? Why do such stupid things happen? Why can’t we live in a world without bugs? Without software-stupidity?

Apple, you are coming closer and closer…

Too bad!


The red train you see in this picture is the new model of trains, Forchbahn, a small train leading from Zürich zu Forch and Esslingen, recently bought. This is the very same train that sohuld have been used for public transport next monday. The first new model for 12 years.

Now it seems that I have to wait for some more time before trying it out ;-)

Personal Toolbar

My own bookmarks-management is somewhat non-existant. Those few pages I’ve actually bookmarked are the ones with long URLs (longer than lwn.net for example – a page which definitely is one worthy of being in my bookmarks-file). There are so few bookmarks, that I use only the “Personal Toolbar”-Feature of Mozilla Firefox – the Bookmarks-Menu is completely empty.

As I wanted to do some coding and tweaking around with MovableType, I’ve deceided to create this little tool which renders my original bookmarks.html from my mozilla profile to something more useful.

I initally tried to just apply a CSS-style to the original file, but that was not possible because a) it has much too less named identifiers or structure to style it properly, b) I would have had to do some coding anyway bacause I wanted to display the bookmark-image and c) the original file is nowhere near XHTML-compliant – so that’s another reason which would have forced me to do some coding anyway.

I hope you like the thing and forgive me those two “evil” links – there is virtually no way to get to subtitled animees the legal way, so I have to refer to “other” channels. Much the same with english video games: You simply can’t get them here in Switzerland, so I usually buy the german version and download the english one (Broken Sword 3 was the last one).

Responding to search-strings

I’ve just looked at the logs of this webserver and – under the search strings used to find this page, found this: <blockquote>delphi cannot debug anymore</blockquote>It happens that tough I have not written about this particular topic, I certainly have some hints to this fellow searcher (although, they possibly come to late now):

  • Have you compiled your project with debug information? (Project/Options/Compiler).
  • Have you rebuilt your project after changing above settings?
  • Do your files by any chance have Unix-Lineendings? If so, the debugger won’t work
  • Have you restarted your PC? Sometimes this works too.

I’m quite sure there are more things that could make the debugger unusable, but unfortunatly I can’t currently think of any more of them. Maybe becuase just the ones listed above are common enough that I remeber them? Delphi is very nice, but sometimes it can be so unstable


I’ve just finished a first version of a printing-stylesheet. Now when you print one of the pages here, you will get a more suitable layout without navigation and background-colors.

The more I’m working with stylesheets, the more I begin to like that. There is virtually nothing you can’t do, it’s quite browser-interoperable, it’s easy to do. It’s just nice.

Now the only thing left to do is to convice Richard also to use CSS whenever possible so that our company’s webpages get the same clean code.

Very nice!

Going on

Now that I’ve created the new design for the front page, the next step was to get working at the archive. As I disliked the Popup-Window, MT created for comments, I had a look into the detail view of an entry, aka. the individual archives.

It’s not yet linked from the new index-page, but here’s an entry using the new template. You may see that I’ve chosen some more useful filenames for the individual entries, that the sidebar is now also visible in the sub-pages and that the comments still look like they did in the old MT-layout – richard has not provided me with a good looking comments-template yet.

By the way: This would be an entry with trackback-pings. Looks quite nice to me.

If you by any chance visit gnegg.ch, tell my what you think!

That’s it… for now

With the monthly archives now working, I finally enabled the new layout per default. There are still some tweaks to do, but those will require me to learn even more CSS which is the next thing I’ll do. And there is the search results template still coming in the old design. Will fix that too.

But for now: Enjoy!

Many thanks go to Richard for providing me with the template.

CSS – I’m getting into it

With my recent motivation in posting here, the desire grew to actually create a layout for gnegg.ch. I’ve asked richard whether he would be so kind to create one which he actually did. Many thanks Richard.

Now my knowledge in HTML is quite limited. The last time I actually did something in HTML besides tweaking some templates here and there to enter some dynamical content in, was about three years ago – way before CSS was something browsers did actually understand.

So – to make things interesting for me, I deceided that I will use no tables, no old-fashioned HTML-hacks, but straight CSS and DIV’s for “converting” Richards Photoshop-File to something your browser understands.

At first, it was quite difficult, but I made quite some progress as the time continued. The code looks quite nice too.

But have a look for yourself.

Currently I’m working at adopting the layout to the rest of this MT-based pages which at first will involve quite some reading the documentation. Until I’m ready, the alternative index-page above is the only thing you’re going to see about the new layout, but it’s already MT-integrated, you if you want, you can bookmark it insted of the old index-page.

I will post some newbie-notes for CSS-beginners later on.