#weeklyreview 26/24

fancy Chinese food

discovered a new Chinese restaurant in Berlin Mitte. It’s apparently authentic as you have a hard time finding labels in German or English. And the food selection is also rather exotic 🙂

They have kind of a buffet with ingredients you pick into a small basket. When you’re done, you go to the cashier and select a flavour of broth you like to have your ingredients boiled in.

The ingredients range from veggies, mushrooms over chicken feet, duck blood, chopped beef stomach to various sea foods components. Only think I was missing was insects. But maybe that doesn’t go well with broth.

It was definitely delicious

since it was very warm this week in Berlin (~ 30ºC ) I of course had to make a few cold brews with ice cubes. Always delicious and refreshing

Finally got my printer dialled in to properly print on the Zweckform labels for the automatic ASN assignment in PaperlessNGX

School concert

This school years concert of the instrumental classes at the gymnasium of K3 was again impressive. The kids really did progress with their skills over the last concert in winter. Given that most of them play the instrument only since almost a year. Especially strings don’t seem easy. Some kids are obviously more talented (and were also learning their instrument since several years at home already) than other and got a solo. One girl of the 6th grade was playing a harp – stunning.

Spicing up video conference

Took inspiration from a post on Mastodon and build a little LEGO stage to attach to the Laptop lid and spice up video conferences 😉

Weekend – Party time

On Saturday we went to a little party at friends in the next village. The weather was awesome, the food delicious and pets cuddly 😉

#weeklyreview 25/24

herbal hike (?)

On Sunday we participated in the first herbal hike in our village. A local lady who’s quite knowledgeable about local herbs and their application for medical and cosmetic usage took a small group of people in a hike through the meadows and forest. She was showing us the various plants and explained how to identify them and what they might be used for. Quite interesting.

Cooking

Kiddo loves pasta. And she also loves cooking herself. So we went to make proper Spaghetti Carbonara. You don’t use cream! Just pancetta, egg yolk, grated pecorino cheese and a few spoons of the pasta water. That makes for a very creamy and rich carbonara.

Paperless Document Workflow improvements

I read an article about how to improve the document archiving process with PaperlessNGX. One basically wants some sort of clue between the paper document and the scanned digital copy. So that when you have either document, you can quickly find its counterpart. Paperless has a field for Archive Serial Number (ASN). You can sequentially number your documents if you want. Now you’d also want that serial number on the original paper document as a tie between the original and its digital copy. The trick is, to put a tiny sticker with a pre-generated ASN on the documents before scanning. Paperless can detect this ASN and use it as the serial number of the scanned document.

I was following the instructions in this article to enable the respective settings in my PaperlessNGX setup.

Paperless gets the ASN from QR codes. The stickers container QR codes and a text representation of the ASN for humans to read. The article also contains a link to a Python script which can generate sequential QR codes for various label papers.

I ordered the Avery Zweckform L4731 stickers which are 25,4mm x 10mm small. They fit on almost every document and are still readable. The trickiest part was to print them properly. The python generated labels didn’t seem to fit properly. The margins seems to be off at the top and bottom of the paper and thus the labels were overlapping the cut out stickers. I found out that one can also easily generate the stickers on the website of Avery Zweckform. They have an online editor for the labels which can generate sequential QR Codes and sequential text numbers. At the end you’ll get a PDF generated that you can print out. My print settings had to be A4 paper and explicitly set to scale 100% (not scale to fit or something else) on my Epson WF-4830. This gave me perfect printouts on the pre-cut sticker paper.

public dinner in the village

On Saturday it was finally time for our yearly public dinner in the village. We would gather at the patio in front of the church and dine together. Everyone brings their own food to be shared with other and table cloth and tableware.

This is always a lovely occasion to meet the neighbours, have good conversations and of course good food. It always amazes me that even without coordination there no duplication of food. People just get creative and bring their specialties.

and of course I got my nails done fancy by the kid 🙂

#weeklyreview 24/24

3D printing & design

after fixing my printers hotend (the heater was broken) I created a stencil to help put lines on plain paper. That was quick and easy in AutoCAD Fusion 360.

Gotten back into using Fusion360 I also quickly designed and printed a ring to hold the support rods for our tomatoes in place.

And finally I modified someone else’s model of a curtain clip to work with my strong neodium magnets. The original model exposed the magnets and since they are super strong the clips would come off the curtain when trying to open it.

I modified the design so that the magnets are inside the model and covered by a thin layer of filament so they wouldn’t directly touch when two clips connect. The tricky part was to insert them mid print. Took a few iterations, but now it’s working and the clips are sturdy.

Beer & Burgers

we finally managed to meet again for our irregular/regular beer and burgers meeting. The weather was a bit challenging as it was still quite chilly in the evening. It did not rain at least.

Garage

Finally took the car to the garage for it was complaining about its routine maintenance cycle. Driving through the city… always a challenge as it’s super busy. Best part is always the commute back and to the garage with public transport…

Pottery

Finally picked up our stuff from paint-your-style. My cup came out nice I’d say 🙂

Visit to Szczecin

On Saturday we took a quick visit to Szczecin in the evening. Had an awesome dinner at Karczma Polska. I had one of the best duck with red cabbage I’ve ever eaten 😉

#weeklyreview 23/24

There we have June already. About 40% of the year already gone.

Went swimming with my daughter and managed to capture a pike on photo

Resurrected an old iPod touch from the drawers as kiddo needs a dump music player for the upcoming school trip. This isn’t entirely trivial anymore. Today one usually only got streaming. Now to find digital music for offline playing is a bit of an exercise. Fortunately she loves my old music as well and also listens to a lot of podcasts that are available for download.

Next challenge is headphones with wires …

Spend quite and amount of time and filament this week to calibrate the 3D printer properly. Just to find out that the heater on the extruder eventually was broken. Fortunately I still had the old Extruder laying around and could swap out the whole thing.

Got myself a little treat off Kleinanzeigen: an old GDR Marschkompass F73 from Freiberger Präzisionsmechanik manufacturing. Thats a famous GDR compass that we used to have on the scouts club. Unfortunately I didn’t preserve my own and now had to get a used one. But it’s in decent shape after all those years and the packaging looks original as well. Only the instruction manual looks a bit odd over this scanned version here.

On Friday my daughter and me went once more to the local “Paint-your-style” shop. You can paint various items of pottery here and they’ll burn and glaze it for you to pick up. Really looking forward to pickup my new cup 😉

#weeklyreview 22/24

Aaaand another one to finally catch up on my weekly reviews …

Not too much to write about actually. So might just do a photo dump. Weekends are still largely occupied by dealing with the firewood. Still splitting and stacking.

On recommendation of Blumi I gave Espresso/Tonic another try. Had in once at “The Barn” and didn’t like the sparkly coffee at all. But with ice cubes and a decent tonic it’s actually not that bad. At most as weird as my usual Orangespresso 😉

On Wednesday we had a lovely reunion with two old friends and ex-colleagues. Nice gathering on the BRLO BRWHOUSE at Gleisdreieck. Was a bit afraid it might be too crowded as just around the corner the re:publica took place. But it was OK.

And because of the re:publica another good friend of mine was in town and had a bit of time to meet over breakfast the next day. Again near the Gleisdreieck … so another city bike ride.

I did not attend the re:publica this year. Couldn’t be bothered to be honest. Which is also a bit of the essence of the format I guess. When it started we had these central social network that everyone was on. Now it’s all scattered. The ones remaining on the Nazi-Show run by Space Karen and the others scattered across the Fediverse and some attempting commercial social networks again. The common ground seems to be gone.

My daughter draw me a cool picture of Paul 🙂

#weeklyreview 21/24

finally handing out this very late review because … life 🤷‍♂️

Anker USB hub Ethernet Port

I had bought the Anker 565 11-in1 USB-C hub because it’s got a good review from a German tech magazine. But at some point it stopped working with its Ethernet port. The LEDs lit up briefly but the network interface didn’t show up in the OS. I tried debugging it for a while and initially thought it is a problem with Apple Silicon Macs because the adapter was working on an older Intel Mac at home. I even contacted Anker support but there were only semi-helpful. At least they were asking for some debugging information and had recommendations on cross checking etc. The adapter normally doesn’t need any drivers to be installed as macOS does contain all needed drivers already.

Eventually I narrowed it down to be an issue with my own machine as the adapter was also working on my son’s M1 MacBook Air. So no problem with the Apple Silicons.

Eventually I found a Reddit entry where people were discussing about Broadcom ethernet chipsets and their drivers. Then it came to me that I also had a specific driver package installed for an older USB-C adapter with ethernet chipset. This one was needed for that particular chip. Apparently that driver captured the device when the Anker USB-C hub was connected and crashed, rendering the ethernet port unusable.

After I deinstalled that driver the Anke USB-C Hub was working fine again with its Ethernet port … 🤷‍♂️

Token2 keys

Finally got my Token2 T2F2-PIN+ Release2 Type-C FIDO2, U2F and TOTP Security Key with PIN complexity feature keys delivered and started playing around with them. These are special in the way that each can store up to 300 passkeys. I’ve got two models: one just USB-C and NFC, the other a Dual Port USB-C/USB-A and NFC. They both also work on the iPhone.

First task was to set the PIN on both. on macOS that’s the only use case where I need Google Chrome. This can configure the PIN for security keys via Settings -> Privacy & Security -> Security -> Manage Security Keys -> Create a PIN

One can also manage the individual entries on the security key via that method.

I’m using these hardware keys for Passkey authentication now. To add that physical layer of security over just storing the passkeys in my macOS/iOS Keychain or 1Password.

I use two keys and create all passkeys on both for redundancy in case I’m loosing one of them or they eventually break.

Debian BookWorm override DNS for DHCP Pihole

I’m running a bit of a convoluted network setup on my MacBook because I hate online advertisement. The best ad-blocker I’ve seen seems to be Pi-Hole. This blocks advertisement on DNS level. Means all the ad-sites just don’t resolve in the browser and rather getting a DNS error message rather quickly. That way pages load quickly without the ad and tracking parts and this solution works on all applications. Even non-browsers.

For this to work PiHole has to be your default DNS Resolver. Usually you’d get your DNS resolver via DHCP from your router. And I bet in most cases the router itself is acting as the DNS resolver as it’s the case for most FritzBox routers in Germany.

Now if you roam with your laptop between different networks you’re also switching the DNS resolver frequently. Changing your home DNS resolver to a PiHole in the home network doesn’t help when you’re in the office network or other locations.

So I opted for a Debian linux virtual machine running on my Laptop to do the blocking. I’m using UTM for virtualisation and running the Debian ARM version for performance. However I had to tell the Debian that it should get a DHCP address from hosts network stack but ignore the DNS resolver and instead use its loopback interface for DNS. This is where the PiHole software would run the DNS resolver.

Debian 12 (Bookwyrm) is using the systemd network manager. That’s why just changing the file /etc/resolv.conf doesn’t solve the problem. One has to create a file in /etc/systemd/network/ and name it like <interfacename>.network (e.q. enp0s1.network) with the following contents

[Match]
Name=enp*

[Network]
DHCP=yes
DNS=127.0.0.1

As you can guess … these settings apply for all interfaces matching the Name pattern, telling systemd to do DHCP but use 127.0.0.1 as the DNS resolver and ignore the DHCP provided resolvers.

My macOS then got a special network location profile which is also using DHCP in general, but overriding the DNS resolver (I don’t know why it’s always called “DNS Server” in most settings… thats not a DNS Server but a DNS Resolver!!! ) to point to the PiHole virtual machine (which is always getting the same IP address from UTM)

#weeklyreview 20/24

On Monday the daughter of a colleague joined us in the office for a day of “Schülerpraktikum”. She was bright and curious and tried to follow us into the depth and breadth of working in a digital map making company. Hope she took something away for her

On Tuesday my personal trainer examined my exercise posture in the gym … and of course I did it all wrong. All power, no control. She tortured and lectured me for about 1 hour before we got to our weekly run.

I guess I have some homework to do now 😉

a fox casually strolling along in our backyard among the townhouses

On Wednesday I met with an old friend over beers. He was my first mentor in my first commercial job about 24 years ago. On my way back late in the evening I saw a fox casually striding along between the people “Strasse des 17. Juni”. A rather large and busy road crossing one of the many large parks in Berlin.

Thursday morning Leo and me met in Treptower Park to enjoy the good weather and work a bit outside. We both had online meetings that we took from there and I guess the colleagues on the other side of the screen where a little envious about or open office 😉

Mandarin ducks with little ducklings in the Treptower Park

On Saturday we took a trip through the countryside again to visit some plant share market, get new soap from Naturseifenmanufaktur Thoma and ended up having ice cream in Prenzlau and a visit atop the Marienkirche.

#weeklyreview 19/24

Almost time for the 20/24 already. But I felt lazy this week 🤷‍♂️

Finally moved to a new department which was in the works for some weeks now. Take on the duty to bring back program management in our organisation to gather with a team to establish more formal business planning and operations again.

We had all this in the past and let go of it at some point. Now apparently it turned out there was value in this kind of work. Now let’s see whether we can make this more sustainable and visible this time.

The week was short due to some public holidays. Nevertheless worked on Friday which most people probably took as bridge day.

Of course there is still woodworking to do. “Convinced” (gave the choice of either one 4h session or 2 x 2hr sessions) the kid to help with the wood splitting. Almost done with the splitting now. I think another 2-3h session and we should be done with the splitting at least. Just the stacking remains. Will try to get this done over the next couple of weekends.

3D Printing

attempted one more model of a charging stand for Apple iPhone and Watch. It looks nice, but turned out to be totally unstable. My phone (iPhone 12 Pro Max) is too heavy for this stand. It always tips over, no matter which angle I mount the phone.

#weeklyreview 18/24

Party Time

We are approaching to make our “Walpurgisnacht” party a tradition. This year it was a little spontaneous but nevertheless a very lovely evening with our friends from countryside. We had a small buffet, some drinks and two camp fires (and our guests doubled as mosquito buffet 🙈).

Beach Cleaning

Also a tradition already: the yearly cleaning of the local beach by the village community. We meet with rakes and wheel barrows to clean up the beach on the lake from last year’s leaves and possible trash and branches from the winter. This is a really nice tradition which brings the people together for some activity that everyone benefits from. Of course there is self-made cake and beverages after the work. We were around 20 people and work was done in less than an hour. Now everyone can enjoy a clean beach. The weather was perfect. Not too warm yet, but sunny with a fresh breeze.

Good bye Gittea – Hello Forgejo

I was running my own Git Repo site based on GitTea so far. But apparently there are some discrepancies in transparency that caused a decision by the soft fork Forgejo to consider becoming a hard fork and go their own way in the future. Forgejo seems to be more committed to stay a truly independent and community driven project. So I’ve decided to switch to Forgejo as well. Especially as the migration currently is rather seamless as the codebases hardly differ.

Open Studio weekend

On the weekend it was the annual “open studio” weekend in Brandenburg. Local artist opened their studios and galleries for visitors all across the country. We visited the wonderful site of Silke Schmidt and even bought some pictures of her.

Her place is an old GDR kids holiday camp (Ferienlager) and had wonderful vibes of the past. Had to take a picture of the famous GDR F70 compass that I used to own.

Action Sampler

Another quite magical place was the garden of local artist Siegfried Haase. Beside this being an awesome garden (wonderfully planned and maintained by his wife) there is so much stuff to discover: sculptures he made from scraps and old gear he found around in the area. The whole property is like a large “Wimmelbild“.

And last, not least we attended a session of the Daumenkino of Volker Gerling. We had seen this before two years ago and it’s still magic. One would think ‘how magic can a mere flip book be?’. But what Volker does from it is truly marvellous. Time seems to stop and you listen to his stories and watch the pictures come to life when he presents them. Go check his schedule of exhibits!