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We're back from a two week vacation. This time we went camping - tent and all.

Nearly 4000km on the road... But first we visited my dad in Solingen in the West of Germany. We did a day trip together to the Mosel region for some hiking and visited Eltz Castle.

Our next stop was Bavaria where we finally saw the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. We took a hotel room there.

Our real destination was Lake Garda in Italy. But because it got late, we took a hotel room in between again. Finally we camped for a few days at La Quercia Camp Ground. The weather was excellent (except for a huge thunderstorm during the first night) and we went swimming everyday and visited the small little towns around the lake.

Until we got bored and made a trip to Verona and Florence. Both cities were really nice, even though they can't compare to Rome. Of course we needed a room near Florence, because our tent was still at the lake :-).

When we returned to our tent at the lake, we found that the camp ground had filled up over Whitsun. To our dismay with a bunch of annoying Germans who stayed up all night playing terrible music. Maybe we're old, but that was not what we had in mind for our vacation :-\. So after a sleepless night we said fuck this shit and packed up.

We had seen enough of Italy for now and wanted to go up north again to camp a few more days somewhere closer to home. Our first stop was Tyrol in Austria, where we spent a night in in a nice Hotel in the mountains.

In retrospect, we should have stayed in Tyrol. It's beautiful and quiet there and it has camp grounds, too. But for some reason we had set our mind on camping at a lake somewhere in East Germany. But first another stop in a Hotel at the north of Bavaria after we visited the World's longest castle in Burghausen. Do you notice, that we kind of suck at camping? 8-)

Well, East Germany was a bad idea. Boy, was that depressing. Large areas still seem like a wasteland to me. Lots of towns in disrepair with many abandoned houses. Nice roads (thanks to generous government funding, I guess) but absolutely nothing to see. Finding a decent restaurant for lunch proved to be hard. Even the weather had gotten worse.

So we arrived in a bad mood at a camp ground near Leipzig. We had a look at it but our mood did not improve. Sure there was a lake, but what to do during the next days?

I had a look at a map and noticed the Harz was just one more hour away. We had liked our recent visits there. Especially Quedlinburg had impressed us. So we booked another hotel night there and stepped on the gas.

What a marvelous decision that was. The hotel was right in the historic center, the sun came out again and we ate well. We finished the day with a very entertaining guided walking tour, some hot chocolate with rum and a walk through the illuminated city. Wonderful.

Our last days we spent on a camp ground in Thale (still in the Harz mountains) which was really, really nice. We also took a hike along the Bode river where I used to hike with my parents when I was nearly thirty years younger.

So our “camping trip” consisted of maybe 5 or 6 nights in a tent. We seem to be more the camper van type. It's so much more flexible and less hassle than setting up a tent. We wouldn't want to do that every night again, which explains our many hotel stays. If it weren't so fucking expensive, we'd buy our own camper van.

Photos after the jump.

Last updated: 2014/06/15 14:52 · Permalink · Comments

Seven Years Later

This must be some kind of record. About seven years ago I ported the JavaScript port of a C library for SemaCodes to PHP. Back then I encountered a bug in the original C lib that I wasn't able to fix and wrote to the mailing list. Unfortunately the library was pretty much unmaintained and I never got an answer.

Until today, when I got a mail from Jesse Crews:

Andreas Gohr, Fri Jun 29 15:56:47 CEST 2007:

I have a problem with the DataMatrix exncoder:

Underscores are not encoded correctly in the barcode at all times. If the underscore is the 4th or later character in the input, it will be encoded as a carret char (^).
Please, let me know if I can give any more information.

Do you remember this? I recently started using iec16022 and encountered this bug. In the remote event that you haven't lost interest nearly 7 years later, the encoding fault was caused by set 2 being incomplete. '_' is code 26, but '^' and FNC1 were both missing from the set, causing text (C40 and text) encodings to encode '_' as code 25 ('^') instead of the correct code 26.

iec16022ecc200.c, line 257 reads:
*s2 = ”!\”#$%&'()*+,-./:;⇔?@[\\]_”
but should be *s2 = ”!\”#$%&'()*+,-./:;⇔?@[\\]^_\232”

Awesome. Even though QRCode is more or less the defacto standard nowadays, my PHP semacode library finally works. Better 7 years late, than never =).

The updated code is available in the Github Repository.

semacode, php, cellphone, bugfix
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Last updated: 2014/04/16 20:47 · Permalink · Comments


We just returned from a few days in Venice. The weather was fantastic and the city is as beautiful as everyone says. As usual, a selection of our photos can be found below:

venice, italy, vacation, photos
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Last updated: 2014/03/13 20:31 · Permalink · Comments

Cat Content

Today was a wonderful sunny spring day and my friend Anne asked us to join her for a Tierpark1) visit. And that we did. So here are just a few impressions and some (big) cat content.

tierpark, zoo, spring, photos
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1) the other zoo in Berlin
Last updated: 2014/03/09 19:20 · Permalink · Comments

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