Category Archives: Uncategorized

#weeklyreview 09/22

Climate Demo 03.03.2023

On Friday my daughter an me joined the #FridaysForFuture gang for a nationwide climate justice demonstration in the Berlin.

In Berlin there were reportedly about 18.000 people on the streets. First there were a couple of speeches at the Invalidenpark and some musician were playing. The ones that stood out for me were Santiago Rodriguez and “Provinz

One important topic was the upcoming public vote (Volksentscheid) on Berlin Climate Neutral by 2023. I hope you all got your vote notification and do you cross at the right spot. We need to push the government to do the right stuff.

3D Printing

Finally fired up the 3D printer last week to print another one of the moon globe lamp. That print took almost 2 days to finish. Now need to print the remaining parts for the stand and assemble it.

Sport

Started running again after 2 weeks ob absence. Felt good, but also rusty… I’m gettting old I guess.

Also started to do the indoor rowing again in the office gym. Feels good to get back into it and feel the old muscles getting stretched again.

And we were lucky on Sunday that there was no ice on the lake. It was still frozen on Thursday. So the water was pretty chilly but I managed to swim for about 4:30 min. Temperature outside and inside the water was ~ 2ºC.

Even my wife joined us this time and went into the water 3 times and took a few strokes of swimming. Wearing a neoprene suite, but nevertheless. Knowing that she’s suffering from severe ME/CFS for the last 4 years, this is a big deal for her.

Adventure

A friend of mine asked whether I’d join them to find a sophisticated geocache inside one of the old soviet bunkers in the area. Since we really didn’t had anything else important to do on sunday morning, my daughter and me joined. The entrance was a venting pipe that wasn’t designed for chubby unicorns like me. But with a bit of wiggling it fitted through 😉

#WEEKLYREVIEW 08/23

Tech updates

  • had to scrape my Pixelfed instance and re-create it
    • DB was somehow broken
    • started from scratch and noticed that Mastodon instances seem to automatically follow my account again. Looks like Mastodon is treating it similar to an account migration in the Fediverse
  • Also set up some Jenkins CI/CD pipelines to update Pixelfed and Elk automagically if there are updates on the upstream repos

Health

  • finally got my 4th COVID vaccination. Last one was from November 2021 an expired meanwhile. I’m still lucky to not have catched the disease at all so far. But why take a risk?
  • swimming on Sunday was good. Sun was shining and no ice on the lake. Water temperature was between 2-3ºC

Black Holes

On Wednesday K2 and me have been at the presentation of Dr. Victoria Grinberg on black holes and her research about them in the Zeiss Grossplanetarium Berlin.

It was very interesting to learn how she’s using black holes as “x-ray “light bulbs” x-ray the solar winds of blue giant stars.

Illustration by Dr. Victoria Grinberg https://www.sternwarte.uni-erlangen.de/~grinberg/#doodles

Books

  • Had our 3rd family book club session on Sunday
    • Kids are slowly getting into it
    • I’m currently reading “” and found some memorable quotes

Diese und andere ähnliche Heuristiken legen ein übergeordnetes Prinzip in der Entscheidungsfindung nahe, das der Wirtschaftswissenschaftler und Nobelpreisträger Daniel Kahneman als Verfügbarkeitsheuristik oder auch WYSIATI bezeichnet hat. WYSIATI steht für What you see is all there is (auf Deutsch: Was du siehst, ist alles, was es gibt) und meint unsere Tendenz, uns bei Entscheidungen auf die Informationen zu verlassen, die gerade verfügbar sind, statt noch umständlich nach weiteren Informationen zu suchen.

Die Illusion der Vernunft” – Philipp Sterzer – page 149

In unserem Zusammenhang ist die wichtigste Erkenntnis diese: Allein die Tatsache, dass wir uns für etwas entschieden haben, lässt uns gute Argumente für diese Entscheidung finden.

Die Illusion der Vernunft” – Philipp Sterzer – page 151

Movies

  • watched the whole 1st season of “The Consultant” at Amazon Prime with the brilliant Christoph Waltz – rating 4/5
  • StarTrep Picard Season 3 – rating 4/5 so far

Music

  • lately on heavy rotation “What’s your pleasure?” from Jessie Ware
    • she’s my latest Discovery from my automated Spotify playlists
    • to me she sounds like a mixture of Kylie Minogue, Roisin Murphy and Sophie Ellis Baxtor – very groovy.
  • On our trip to the countryside on the weekend I was listening to “The Blues Brothers – Original Soundtrack”
    • this recalled memories of a show act we did back in school at one of those legendary parties where I played Elwood.

Embedding content from Pixelfed

Testing some Pixelfed settings here

I think in order to have posts from Pixelfed embedded into other sites the Pixelfed posts have to be public (accessible to anyone in the Fediverse) and also the Pixelfed instance needs to be accessible without authentication (INSTANCE_PUBLIC_LOCAL_TIMELINE=true).

#weeklyreview 07/23

Tech updates

  • new version of GoToSocial deployed. It still crashes Ivory and other Fediverse Clients don’t seem to like it either
  • set up a continuous update pipeline for Elk – the fediverse web front-end – using Jenkins
  • Fixed my Pixelfed Avatar problem – my account should show an avatar picture again
  • switched the Docker engine on my home server to send logs to my NAS – to take off disc pressure
  • set up my own LinkDing instance to host my bookmarks

Movies

Sport

no Sport this week due to reasons. Now swimming on last Sunday due to too thick ice on the lake.

3D Printing

finally got some 3D printing done again. Tried out the new release of the PrusaSlicer which now sports organic support structures. Means, it will generate support structures that look like organically grown trees to support the overhanging parts of the models. This will save time during printing and also a great deal of material.

Fedithoughts

There are quite a bunch of Fediverse services meanwhile. And it’s nice that one can have a Twitter-like experience on Mastodon, an Instagram-like experience on Pixelfed, a GoodReads-like experience on BookWyrm etc.

But what slightly annoys me is the fact that it’s all separate accounts. People would have to follow several accounts of me to consume the various content types. Wouldn’t it be nicer if it would be just one account to follow and maybe just select the type of content that you wanna see? WordPress has different types of posts. What if WordPress would be fully Fediverse capable and could be used as the single account home instance. I would use the Pixelfed client to post pictures there and consume a stream of pictures from other people I follow. I would use one of the many Mastodon clients to consume a Twitter-like feed. Or I’d go to the web page itself (the Blog) to consume all content types at once.

Thoughts?

#weeklyreview 06/23

Sport

This week got a bit messed up as I didn’t made it into the office. So I missed my rowing sessions in the gym. Also missed the running with a friend on Monday as it was rather icy and slippery outside. But towards the end of the week I got my cadaver out two days in a row for running in the park at least. First day I really felt the rust. Second day, although there wasn’t any rest day in between was much better.

On Sunday we were swimming in the lake and had to toss off some ice. The lake was almost covered with a thin layer, but fortunately near the beach it was open.

Betraying Capitalism

Our oven broke the second time now in about 8 years. Every 4 years the lower heater seem to burn out. Last time I had it repaired for about 180 EUR. This time, with some hints from the Fediverse I managed to swap out the heat pipe myself. So the whole repair was only 20 EUR. Hope it lasts the next 4 years at least.

Disclaimer: This is seriously dangerous stuff if you don’t know what you’re doing. The kitchen ovens usually have their own dedicate power circuit and fuses because they draw so much power. This is current that can and will kill you if you make mistakes. So please don’t try this at home unless you’re qualified.

Bleeding Edge

Since the Pinafore Web-Based Mastodon client is discontinued, everyone seems to gravitate towards Elk as a replace. The elk team is building a rather beautiful web client for the fediverse. It can be tried out on their own instance at https://elk.zone/ or one can host it herself.

I tried the latter and built the Docker container to run the service. There are some caveats to that. The documentation is still rather sparse and doesn’t mention that the service must be accessed via HTTPS and also need a proper domain name. But thanks to Boerge I moved past that hurdle and got it somehow working. Of course not after some more struggle with file permissions in the Docker container. I submitted a Pull Request to the Elk team to fix the documentation and docker-compose.yml. Let’s see when this makes it into the main branch.

#weeklyreview 05/23

phew, this week was … slightly turbulent at the beginning.

  • f**ed up the hotel booking for the baltic sea and basically booked two hotels. Fortunately at different times. So we changed plans quickly and went earlier to Binz to not let those booked rooms expire while we had already payed them.
  • renovated the kids room and gave one wall a nice green color. Kid is happy
  • Baltic Sea at Binz was good. I like all wheather and we almost had all sorts of weather. Mostly stormy and cold. Sometimes rainy and icy. But also patches of Sun and an awesome sunrise on the last day
  • Spend a lot of time reading in and out the sauna (my kindle is sauna proven)
  • Finished the last book of the Trisolaris series: Death’s End
  • Started a new book: “Die Illusion der Vernunft
  • Against my habits I was not swimming in the baltic sea. While I don’t mind the temperature I would need to be able to swim before I get cold. Since the beach is very shallow, I’d have to walk about 50 m into the sea before I could swim. Thats too much for me.
  • I did however went swimming on Sunday again back in our little village lake. We had to break the ice to get into the patch of free water. Water had about 1ºC.

#weeklyreview 04/23

Trying to be a little more consistent with the language this time.

Why English anyway? Multiple reasons.

  • most of my friends understand english. quite many are not german speaking at all.
  • I’m using an english keyboard for almost all my devices due to to work reasons. Writing german on an english keyboard is a little cumbersome

Fediverse

After Twitter has cut off several 3rd party apps the folks over at Tapbots have finally released their Mastodon Client app named “Ivory“. It has been excitedly awaited since their “Tweetbot” app was one of the best apps for Twitter when Twitter was still a thing. So I’ve installed Ivory as well and do like it. It has the potential to take the crown from “toot!” for me. I actually don’t like the candy design. But the rest feels promising.

Meeting people

On tuesday I met my previous boss for the last time as a colleague. She’s moving on, leaving the company after several years. She was the one dragging me from System Engineering to the Product Management side. But more importantly she was a voice of reason the in the crazy circus that we used to call “leadership team”. I will miss her as my boss and as a colleague. Fortunately her new position isn’t too far away from our office.

On thursday I managed to visit @moellus in his natural habitat – his kitchen. That was long overdue. Thanks for the coffee!

Sport

Unfortunately I didn’t reach my goal of 2x running and 2x rowing this week. Schedule was a bit messed up due to a doctors appointment and us leaving Berlin early for the weekend.

No Swimming this week as there was ice on the lake. It’s only about 0,5cm thick. But too much hassle for me to get it off for swimming. I’m not an ice dipper (you only dip your body for a few seconds into the cold water. Maybe repeatedly) but a swimmer. I have to go in a swim away for as long as the body seems to work. Concentrating on the swimming and monitoring the muscles whether there are signs of them getting stiff or weak distracts me from the cold and allows me to stay in the water for several minutes. This is not possible when there is ice.

I tried to break very thin ice while swimming. While it seems possible physically, the ice shards are very sharp. Since I’m swimming just with my swim trunks I had cut my arms, legs and back on these sharp ice shards. One doesn’t feel the cuts in the ice cold water actually. But when you get out it looks like you’ve been tortured …

Bookmarks

Here are a few booksmarks I saved throughout the week:

Reading

I’m at about 1/4 done with the “Death’ End“. Still manage to read every night and sometimes even a few minutes during the day.

To encourage more reading in the family, we established our own private book club. We want to meet every two weeks and talk about the books/material we’ve read. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a book, but can also be a poem or some longer paper etc. The emphasis is on active and conscious reading and reflection on the material and reading itself. This sunday we had the first session and I think it was a good kick-off. The kids shared the books they were reading and what they liked about the books. Of course it was unusual at first to have a “formal meeting” about that. But I think we’re on to something here and look forward to the next session in two weeks.

ToDo

Boerge was asking in his weekly review about To-Do-List apps. I have to admit those didn’t really work for me so far. I like the concept and read quite a lot about various systems and apps. Of course it all started with “Getting Things Done” from David Allen. I’ve got OmniFocus on my devices and be using this occasionally.

In addition I’m using a view shared lists in Apples reminders app for things like groceries and remembering what to take/bring out to our house.

3D-Printing

Again a week without 3D-Printing. Just didn’t had the time nor a concrete model that I wanted to print. Still very much in love with “The great wave off kanagawa

#weeklyreview 03/23

Nerdkram

  • when adding new entries to .env for a docker-compose.yml .. make sure you put them also into the environment: section of your service to actually make use of them. Was searching for quite some time why my Minio didn’t properly made use of Prometheus …
  • Set up a playground for Homeassistent and ESPhome. Nice thing about ESPhome is, that it’s got readymade firmware for many microcontroller boards and one can just flash them via the Browser.
  • Mattermost has finally release their Mobile app in Version 2.x. Most notable feature is the support for multiple Mattermost servers. This is very important as the self-hosted Slack-alternative grew rather popular the last years and the likelihood that you have to use multiple is increasing.
  • tried out the new 7.51 firmware from the FritzLab for my ancient Fritz!Box 7490. Seems to have wifi issues with my setup. So I switched back after about 1 day

Sport

  • on track with running 2x per week
  • trying to get more rowing done if time permits
  • swimming in the lake at 1.5ºC water temp on Sunday

Sightseeing

  • visited the Museum Barberini in Postdam. Nice collection of famous impressionist pictures
  • stunning that most of the pictures didn’t even had protective glas. You could really see all the great details of the pictures. There were watch guards in every room though.
  • we used the VIP treatment and were able to get right into museum with the car.
  • on thursday I had to pick up my daughter somewhere in Neukölln. The usual route was blocked due to some blockage on the Ringbahn so I had to travel the U1 and U8 route in Neukölln. Quite a different world from Friedrichshain. There are so many small shops of different purposes. I wonder how they thrive at this size in this economy.

Product Management

  • one very important question for product managers to decide the priority of a certain feature is: “Whats the business value of this feature?”
  • It can be further specified with questions like “How exactly does this make our product better?”, “Which problem does it solve?”
  • If you don’t have a very clear answer to these questions, then you’ll have a problem with the delivery of that feature.

Books

Weather

  • finally some snow. at least for one day

#weeklyreview 02/23

nerd stuff

On monday my Mastodon server acted up. I noticed that images were not properly loading but only displaying a blurry preview. But not all of them, just some. I suspected issues with the Object Storage Provider IONOS that I had recently configured.

After some digging I found out that my host couldn’t resolve DNS names anymore. Somehow the resolver died. So I rebooted the whole machine … not remembering that I had unfinished business in /etc/fstab which shadow mounted my home directory causing new weird issues …

In the wake of blaming the external object storage provider I had started looking into open-source alternatives. Like open-source software to set up a self-hosted S3-compatible object store. Stumbled over minio.io and quickly did a test installation on one of my machines at home.

After fixing all the issue on my server and finishing the setup of minio, I was ready to test it on some real live services: my personal Pixelfed instance. Since I’m the only user on that one, I considered it a safe playground. After a few rounds of trail and error (Pixelfed documentation still gives me the shivers) I’ve got the configuration right and test postings worked as expected.

Ready for prime time

I had configured my Mastodon instance at https://hub.uckermark.social/ to use external object storage provider for media content. The reason is, that Mastodon caches all the media in posts it federates. This can grow to several gigabytes very quickly. The more users on remote instances you local users follow, the more content the Mastodon instance will cache.

I followed the article of Thomas Leister, admin of the Mastodon instance https://metalhead.club/ to configure the S3 compatible storage from IONOS. While that technically worked out, I wasn’t really happy with the IONOS administration interface. They currently do not show any metrics for the object storage nor the data transfer. That means, flying blind for using their service until the invoice arrives. They claimed to have a billing API where the data is supposedly available. I had a brief look at it and decided that I’m too lazy to go that route.

So when IONOS issued the warning, that my trial period will run out in a few days I have decided to switch also my Mastodon instance to my self-hosted object storage backed by Minio. I copied over the existing data from IONOS object storage using the Minio Command Client. That is really comfortable.

I’ve also hooked up my minio server to Prometheus and Grafana for insights into the usage

Screenshot of a Grafana Dashboard showing several metrics visualized as line charts. One pie chart is showing capacity.

Sports

To fight some of the kilos and the rust in general I’ll try to move more. Started that pledge with a run on Sunday. Wanted to start light with maybe 5 km to get back into it. Of course I overdid it with 10.99 km. Payed the price with sore muscles for 2 days.

While our weekly swim in the lake doesn’t count as much moving maybe, we still did it and I spent 3:12 min in the water. I’m heavily cursing at myself and the world when getting into the water. That part doesn’t get easier. But after 3 strokes of swimming thats forgotten and all that remains is the good feeling of beating oneself.

On Wednesday I finally sorted out my access to our office Gym and hit the rowing machine for 30 min and 7 km.

Friday another short round of running with 6.1 km.

For the coming week I found a partner to run hopefully more regular again here in Berlin at home. Lets see how that pans out.

Reading

Almost done with “The Dark Forest” by Cixin Liu. Memorable quote

The historical facts of the Middle Ages and the Great Ravine prove that a totalitarian system is the greatest barrier to human progress. Starship Earth requires vibrant new ideas and innovation, and this can only be accomplished through the establishment of a society that fully respects freedom and individuality.

The Dark Forest – Cixin Liu

Warp

In den vergangenen Wochen hatte ich mal Warp als Terminal getestet. Dafür gabs Einladungen und man musste sich da irgendwie für die Beta Anmelden. Anfangs sah das auch alles ganz schick aus, aber mir kam es schon gleich etwas komisch vor, dass da so ein Hype mit Einladung und künstlicher Verknappung gemacht wurde. Dann vielen mir einige Settings auf, die ich auch nicht mag. Z.B. das Warp als SSH-client eine eigene Implementierung nutzt, damit es im Output seine Blocks verwenden kann. Heißt für mich, das mein ganzer SSH-Traffic durch einen SSH-Client geht von einer Firma bei der noch nicht wirklich klar ist, welche Absichten sie hat.

Jedenfalls bin ich erst einmal wieder zurück zu iTerm2. Da weiß ich was ich hab 😉 Warp werde ich dennoch weiter aus dem Augenwinkel beobachten.

Searchtodon

Jan Lehnardt apparently had too much spare time over the holidays. So he did what Janl does and created a search engine for ones own Mastodon timeline: Searchtodon

This is based on the free Elk browser interface for Mastodon