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Manue & Me

 Joerg's Blog 

 

If you are reading this, you must definitly be bored.
Either that, or you're looking for information about this site and/or its author.
For the first group of people I advise YouTube. For the second group, well, read on.

This is my personal blog page. I'll be referring about all things happening to me - that might be interesting for whoever reads it. I can not garantee it will be very high level for everyone though... But it is mainly maintained for far away relatives/family to have a glimpse of what I do with my life.

So - what is a blog anyway ? For this - check out Wikipedia - they have the best description for this. If you want to contact me - you'll have to reformat my E-Mail - so - good luck.

What I am ? I call myself a hacker.
Please note - most people think about the bad guys doing bad things to other computers. Well - I would say - that those guys are the Black Hat guys - also known as crackers. What I call myself - is a White Hat hacker. See it as a system administrator using professional tools to probe the robustness of his own systems and networks, and trying to get the maximum out of the used hardware - making its use as efficient as possible. This is legitimate - as I do not break into anything - while crackers attempt gaining unauthorized access to systems for eventual unethic actions.
The difference between hackers and crackers does not lie in the tools or techniques they use (the same hammer can be used to build a wall, or break it down), but in their intentions !
For me - building a stable and secure system is a very interesting challenge, and to know it is stable and secure - I need to test it with all tools available. And this is what I like doing most.


Please note that all I say on these pages is for personal use only and under no circumstance has to be taken/used/copied without my explicit written permission !

 

Luxembourg Steampunk Convention   [ 
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Anno 1900

 This time we decided for a genuine Steampunk Convention where we would meet (and compete ?) with other fans. On Friday September 27th we headed for Luxembourg in order to spend the following day strolling at the Minett Park Fond-de-Gras where the Anno 1900 Steampunk Convention is held (https://anno1900.lu/). It was an industrial site where iron was extracted. It closed in 1964 and finally preserved. We parked the car at Petange and took a 1900 train there. On site, we enjoyed street entertainment, a victorian market, exhibitions of Steampunk creations, discussion with fans like us... We even hopped on a real steam train running on coal and visited the iron mine. Concerts were also organised and we really had a great time.

Needless to say that we were all made up, with costumes having evolved since the Japan Exhibition (take a look at the pictures here). And considering the fact that it was a bit chillier than last July, we were quite happy to have added some layers. But my wife has decided that summer costumes had to be worn during spring and summer whereas winter costumes had to be planned for autumn and winter. So she is working on new projects hopefully ready for the next Anno Convention or the Haworth Convention in Yorkshire (Britain).  

Written on Monday, 4 February 2019 - 18:38 | 1679 views
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Awesome Mix Vol. 1   [ 
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 When watching Guardians of the Galaxy, seeing the Walkman and listening to all this music I have to admit that I became quite nostalgic. Remembering that I still have a Kenwood KX-880HX Tape deck boxed in the basement, and a box full of old tapes, I decided to actually get it up and hook it up to my audio system.

Note that I bought this tape deck 26 Years ago, so I suspected it not to work anymore. What was I wrong. Connected, put a tape in it, hit play - and awwwwwwwww.....
My memories came back while listening to my own Awesome Mix tapes. Note that I have named them Private Top I, II, III, IV, V ... etc.
Needless to say that I have quite a lot of these (more than 120 tapes). Even some dedicated Car-Mix tapes were in that Box.

I really started thinking about this. Realizing that after 26Years that hardware still works and these old recordings bringing a quite awesome audio experience. Which hardware that is built nowadays, is still able to work 26 years after ? Except space-probes probes, none come to my mind. Especially still looking so good after that time.

Update:
I started Digitizing my Private Top tapes. Sadly, some are not working nice anymore. They are shifting on the heads and the sound is bad. Thing is, all Maxell XLS-II Tapes are still working. All TDK SA-X and even the very expensive at that time - Metal based tapes, are providing a real bad listening experience. But the quality the old Maxel XLS-II Tapes provide is amazing. Especially if you have used a good Vinil disk as source. The comparison of a same song from a CD or from the itunes store just makes you realize how much detail and amplitude we have lost through the CD Digitization in 44.1KHz. Only alternative really are loss-less FLAC or SACD's at this time. 

Written on Saturday, 24 January 2015 - 18:52 | 8496 views
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SteamOS games vs. win7 ?   [ 
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Steam OS

 For very long years I was forced to actually use Windows 7 to play some of my favorite games like Left4dead2 and Metro Last light. Recently, after having upgraded our rigs using SSD Disks for the OS, and making a plain new Win7 installation and fine-tuned for gaming which actually does not permit any anti-virus to be installed, I thought I had very fast systems for the games.
Alas, as for many windows games, I rarely pass 3 hours without a crash in high complex environment. It simply just crashes.
Doing some research, it averred that some drivers do not work together. On my wife's rig by example, Bioshock and Metro wouldn't run because of an incompatibility of the Audio-board drivers. After buying her a Creative 100 Euro audio card, these games became playable but still crashed. What is it, that under windows, and ENTERPRISE supposed to be OS, you spend hours fine-tuning, updating, scanning the system to get rid of one bug that makes a game crash ? Fed up ...

As I said, the rig's are upgraded with an SSD, and this time I split the disks to also have SteamOS installed on them. i5 2.7GHz QCore CPU's, 8GB of Ram, GTC660Ti Graphic boards, 250GB SSD for the OS, and 2x1TB HD for each OS's data-storage.
Steam OS boots in a matter of 10secs max. and is ready for selecting the game. After configuring the audio (which is at max-level by default), you start the game (like Metro last light or recently Metro 2033 Redux) and you're in awwwww... the game just runs. There are no visible differences to the Windows version (except for the occasional usual game crash). I spent last week-end on a 8 hours session. Not even one crash. Not one time only did the system had to load the data (which under Windows results in the typical waiting/stuttering especially in fierce battle moments where one can't afford it). Loading time between maps is practically non existing...


In fact, if I put it down as it is now - SteamOS not only accelerates all load-times of the game, is rock solid, does not harass you with all the updates that take ages, does not ask you to do a security scan of the disks etc. It just runs, fast and nice ! Thank you Valve ! for bringing out this OS. Now - all we need are some more AAA titles so I can dump my windows partition completely (which I must admit is a waste of good storage-space)! 

Written on Sunday, 14 December 2014 - 20:54 | 7809 views
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Achievement unlocked: Biker !!!   [ 
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Biker

 last year, when my wife and myself were sitting having a cafe, we thought about what to do when getting a little older (again). At that moment, we saw a couple cruising by on a Chopper - and we both looked at each other and knew it was time to actually get a bike. Only - none had a license to drive such a beast. Note also, that I had read some books in the past where I had imagined myself driving a bike ... a special one - a Kawasaki Vulcan
That's when I started informing myself to take lessons. As I made my Driver's license when I was ~18 Years old, I had to pass through theory again. So I took the lessons etc. and when I wanted to finally pass the exam, first drawback ! My "European German License" could not be used to take the exam. I had to change it into one "European French License" first. That process took 3 months and I was absolutely not able to find out which papers were required. Called 5 different locations and checked various web sites. None was able to provide me really a listing of all require documents. When reaching the official place to request the license change, I was told there are still some documents missing. Anyway - having fixed that, 2 months later I was told I still had to provide them the number of points I may have on my German license, and 2 weeks later again, I was requested to pass a health check. In the end - after 4 months of struggling, I could finally pass the theory exam. Total time of the first exercise, 6 months ...
Then came the driving lessons. I had 2 exams to pass here. One showing if I was able to actually control the bike, including tests in Slow driving, fast driving and excessive braking as avoidance of obstacles at elevated speed. Passed that exam 2 months after the theory.
Last week on Thursday, I finally got my last exam where my driving/cruising skills were to be evaluated. What can I say - I also passed that exam on the first try (as all others BTW). So - from now on, I can get out there and look for a bike, and I can call myself a Biker ! 

Written on Sunday, 31 August 2014 - 17:32 | 8089 views
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Gorgeous winter nature   [ 
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 while driving back from work (France to Germany actually), I came across a frozen crystal world. I had to stop the car - and take some pictures. This was just too beautiful ! Check it out by yourself ! (Click on the picture for full resolution)



 

Written on Sunday, 26 December 2010 - 15:35 | 9247 views
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Media and political manipulation starts to be successfull ...   [ 
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Usual suspect

 while reading the news about fullbodyscanners, and what people think (Sorry - German) about their usage in Germany, they think it will make life more secure by taking the airplane etc... Videocameras will make shopping areas, dark places at night, more secure.
I tend to admit that the shopping mall will be more secure against thieves, as there are way more security people around. What about empty places ? Do you really think these will be more secure just because there is a camera you can disable by just taking out the cable ?
And - the fullbody scanner ? Are your really sure the scanner will be able to detect explosives terrorists have swallowed ?
Damn - if you really do - your capability to think by yourself has drastically dropped already. Please lign up in the huge Low-IQ Lane...

I personally tend to believe that most people do not realize they are giving away their right to have a personal opinion, freedom of speech and privacy. Through this, I have to recognize - the media are playing well in the hands of the politicians. Manipulation of the masses has started. It's already very strong in countries like the US and the UK, but the rest of europe follows. Soon, we will be asked to remove information we put on our website Blog's (as this one) because we argument against their security politics. What will follow after ?
Orwell's vision of a fully controlled state is actually almost there already. We still have a slight chance to fight against it. However - as soon as we provide the government the responsibility of our Intellect, we give up whatever our Fathers have fought for. Freedom to live with your own mind

With this said - I remember a quote I heard once from Albert Einstein:

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe

Note however, that the longer I look at the way Human masses move - the more this quote gets valid. And another quote I tend to tell here and there is:

The average IQ of a mass of people decreases linearly with the number of individuals composing this mass

Eventually we should start to think about reducing the number of individuals in our governments. This could drastically increase the number of Intelligent decisions. 

Written on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 - 11:05 | 6304 views
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Masters of the world, or who rules us ?   [ 
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Usual suspect

 Many people tend to believe that governments tend to rule our country. Well - really, think about it ! Who actually rules us, the world ?

Do you really think that any politician has the power to really rule a country ? (except of course if it's a dictator).
In my personal opinion, I think western worlds have long given the power to the big multinationals. Why ? Well - simple. They have the money - to dictate their own laws, will and rules to our Governments.

Just look at 2 different sectors like Music copyright, Medication. What do these sectors have in common ? A very strong (money-wyse) lobby. They can buy almost everything, and even the right to make their will get through court if it is required in terms of media support. The few people that go against them have no chance. They run out of money way before they can even achieve something meaningfull in court. So - who wins ? guess what - the Multinational.
And - what do governments do to help these multinationals ? Simple - keep people uninformed (aka stupid) to better control them. Not correct ? Well - just have a look at the existing TV Channels.

At home - I do have a Satellite Dish, and the receiver presents me with 650 available Channels. From these 650 Available channels, about 600 are encrypted. So - for me, totally useless. From the 50 remaining, 2 provide some interesting programs from time to time. All the rest - public brain-washing. What do you get ? Filtered information (filtered, not in terms of what could be interesting for the Public, but what sells best), News-channel, Soap-Opera's, and show's... What do all these programs have in common ? Well - they (even info-channels) do participate in people's misinformational education. And - with time, it's getting easyer and easyer for governments and multinationals to control people's wills, as with time, they forget what an Own Will is.
By example. What is a publicity spot ? A way to inform people that a new product exists. But what will that spot also suggest to most people ? If they don't have it, they don't belong to the average citizen. So - let's go out and buy it. And - if you look at the frequency these informational spots occure, you'll see that they tend to show up way more often than by example the program, movie you are obviously watching.
But what is the worst part in all that ? In germany by example you have to pay GEZ Gebuehren, a monthly fee to finance the non influenced News aka. neutral point of view of the provided information by the government. However, if you see the amount of publicity spots you get into the normal day, and the quality of the news provided - guess who controls the information flow ? And - if you compare the news from different channels, what difference exists in there ? Almost none - only the logo's have been changed.

So - to make a long story very short - what can we do about that ?
Think for ourselves, and don believe all that is coming through the news channel.

As a small exercise for yourself - just have a look at the media hype done around the Swine flew. Well, I'll give you a very small hint. Check out - when the swine-flew vaccine has been patent protected, and when it was made public ... Do you really think the Virus knocks at the door of Multinationals one year before it actually hits ?

And now - please tell me, who you would call Stupid in all that ?  

Written on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 - 19:12 | 6352 views
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Running amok   [ 
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Usual suspect

 It happened again. At the same time, in the US and Germany - and now - politicians are looking for a culprit !

I feel very sorry for the dead and their relatives. However the one to blame is the actual system and those controlling it.

Of course - as everyone expects, Killergames are the ones !
And this, without any valid background. I mean - what would you expect from politicians in Germany setting up a half-Billion Euro package for Banks, giving 2500,- Euro to everyone trashing his old car and buying a new one (ecologically spoken, this is a catastrophy. The energy and resources you extract from our planet do not justify this), and just 100,- Euro per child ? I mean - children are our Future - and our future is less important than the financial crisis and the car industry to them. This only shows - to all of us - that cars are more important than our future !
And now - having no one to point the finger at - they say the killer games are responsible in making our children go amok ?

Dear politicians - do you really believe in what you say ??? Are you really that stupid ?
It's not the killergames that make our children run amok. It's the entire system, starting at the family, education and human environment.
Fix that one first, and you'll see our children having better ideas for their future.

For me, playing so called killer-games (actually Unreal Tournamen 3 / Warfare Mod, and Left-4-dead), these are games which do actually tighten the team-spirit, teach people to work together to have a chance to win the game. This is as entertaining as playing Hand-Ball which is also a Team-Game. Also - if you watch TV - have you seen how much blood, brutality, death you see in a so called real world ?
Where - dear Politicians - is your involvment in getting our kids integrated into Teams ? By giving their parents money to buy a new car in a financial crisis ? By making sure there are enough people to pay the rent of the 60 and 70 generation and making it very hard for any woman to raise a child in our work-environment ?

For me - it is very clear who to point a finger at to denote the culprit (even though I usually never finger-point at anyone).

You - Dear Politician !

As long as you don't care about the people and staying in your political microcosmos, these things will happen over and over again. And I am afraid, there will be nothing you can do about as long as you do not do something for the people instead of listening to the best paying lobby !

And please - tell the media to stop fingerpointing at the Killer-Games, they can't do a thing about it. These are programs, have no intelligence and they can't defend themselves...

 

Written on Wednesday, 11 March 2009 - 21:06 | 6199 views
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New work computer ...   [ 
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T61p

 once in a time - you get a new computer at work. This time - I got a T61p - developer version. means - Big Memory (4Gb) and big screen (1900x1200) in case you need to develope something, you can have the editor open, and see your results on the same screen. I admit however - that the resolution is very small on that not so big screen.
Anyway - as I'm dealing mostly with linux systems, I decided to put KUbuntu Intrepid Ibex 8.10 64Bit on it. Needless to say - that the installation went smooth, no problems at all. Everything worked out of the box. Even my UMTS Card from t-mobile. Just had to configure the APN, and voila.
Special keys as the 3 Multimedia keys (audio) are doing what they're supposed to do.
The Only real problem I had - was to get VMWare-Player to use correct keys again. In fact - I was not able to use Delete/End/Home Keys, as all arrow-keys were gone. Seems it has something to do with the new autoconfiguration the Ubuntu X-Server performs. After using my google-Brain-Extension I came accross this Link. Solution 3 worked for me. So - now I have a running machine, and can do run some 3 VMware sessions in parallel without noticing a system slowdown. 

Written on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 12:55 | 5700 views
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They fight ...   [ 
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Smiley

 Looks like Microsoft has finally decided to fight the Opensource movement. Take it as it is - and make your own comments on it - but it seems XP's life will be extended to face competition from the Opensource camp.
Check for yourself.

Linux is the operating system (OS) running the current poster child for low-cost laptops like Asustek Computer's Eee PC, released in January and costs just Rs 18,000. To counter this, Microsoft maintains that it wants to see Windows on ULCPCs, and wants to provide the best possible Windows experience for the devices. 

Written on Monday, 21 April 2008 - 06:47 | 6114 views
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