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Digital Backups

Everybody knows you should do backups. Over the years I developed a system that hopefully keeps my digital data secure against loss. I followed two principles during setup:

  1. important data should be stored on at least two different physical storage mediums → protection from loss through media failure
  2. very important data should be stored in at least two different physical locations → protection from loss through disaster (like a fire)

The whole thing roughly looks like this:

All of this is in permanent flux. Paper backup is coming soon (blog post in preparation) and will probably result in the integration of Google Drive somewhere in the grand scheme of things.

Some more details after the jump. I'm also interested in your strategies. What do you back up and where?

Last updated: 2014/08/16 22:43 · Permalink · Comments

New Link Blogging

When you're reading this at (and not in a feed reader) you might have noticed that the “Linkblog” has vanished from the navigation.

For too long this part of my website was laying dormant. However I still like to have a way to share interesting links in a semi automated way. These links are created and curated at various places (my Pinboard bookmarks, InoReader shares, Stackoverflow questions, Github activities, and so on).

They were originally aggregated at Friendfeed - a service that became a wasteland after Facebook bought it years ago. So I set down and wrote my own aggregator. It's a DokuWiki plugin that uses DokuWiki's feed aggregator SimplePie to fetch the items from their various sources and stores them in a SQLite database. From there they can be recombined as a new single RSS feed as well as be integrated into the website here.

The new RSS feed will also try to provide the actual content the links point to by using the readability service. Sometimes that's works great. Sometimes it's a mess and you're better off following the link.

The links BTW are now shown directly on the front page chronologically mixed with the actual blog posts.

So if you're interested in the links I share, either subscribe to the RSS feed or follow me on Twitter.

linkblog, sitenews,
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Last updated: 2014/08/02 19:46 · Permalink · Comments


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
Last updated: 2014/04/16 20:47 · Permalink · Comments

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