September 2004

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vom Zivildienst ist da.

Der Anfang

findet morgen um 8:00 an der TU Wien statt.

Don't Panic!

BBC started broadcasting the newly recorded tertiary phase of the (in)famous Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy audio book. And the best thing is, that the episodes are available online for one week after the radio broadcast.

Außerdem startet hr2 am 10.Okober das gemeinsam mit YouFM produzierte Hörspiel zu Tad Williams Otherland. Wird hoffentlich ähnlich gut wie das Buch.

Guten Tag

Wir sind Helden auf Ö3? War das nur ein Ausrutscher oder versuchen die ernsthaft ihr Programm abwechslungsreicher zu gestalten?

After a short offline period my site is back online again. Serendipity destroyed the whole site when I wanted to upgrade to the newest version. Yes — I had a backup, but somehow it did not work correctly and I wanted to seize the oppertunity to ditch s9y. So now I try my luck with pLog. I could rescue all old entries, but the comments are lost to the new software, as manually writing the database entries is just to much work :-) .

Over the next couple of days I’ll learn a bit about the pLog plugin infrastructure to bring back the booklog and I’ll hopefully find a more creative template than the standard one.

I’ve used computers with a GUI for more than half of my (not too long) life, but now is the first time I’m actually using a trackball instead of a mouse. Not yet sure if it is really more ergnonomical than a good mouse. Sure, it removes all stress from the wrist, but now all the strain comes to my thumb. Also, I’m not really acustomated to this — for me — new way of moving the pointer yet. At least now I know how important the application of Fitts’ Law is to application design, especially for people new to using computers and GUIs.

Legal downloading of music is a nice idea and Apple surely has a lot of revenues from the concept, but what to do when one is a Linux user? Here in Austria we have three online music stores, all of which use the same system. So today I wanted to see if they offered some good alternative/indie music besides all that mainstream stuff one can get everywhere. At first I headed over to Aon Musicdownload. All I got was the following message:

The site you have tried to enter requires Internet Explorer 6 (or better) with Windows Media Player 7 (or better) on Windows XP, 2000, Me or 98.

If the Telekom does not want to earn money, I thought, I’ll use some othe music provider. Next try was at

Leider wird das von uns eingesetzte Audioformat WMA mit dem Kopierschutz über digitales Rechtemanagement von anderen Betriebssystemen außer Microsoft Windows nicht unterstützt. Aus diesem Grund ist ein erfolgreicher Zugriff unter anderen Betriebssystemen wie z.B. Mac OS oder Linux leider nicht möglich.

At least they tell the reason why it won’t work: The store uses WMA, which of course is a proprietary codec by Microsoft and thus simply cannot by supported by other operating systems.

The remaining alternative is Apple’s iTunes store, which will start to operate in Austria in october. Unfortuntately, Apple’s copy-protection algorithm (paradoxically named FairPlay) is even more a secret than Microsoft’s one and there is no iTunes version for Linux.

Good news are that RealNetworks cracked Apple’s FairPlay and Apple might license its algorithm. Maybe DRM music will get more interoperateable in near future?

Meanwhile, as far as I know, the only way to get downloaded music to play on any device is burning on a CD and reripping or intercepting the sound output in some other way (e.g. connecting the line-out with the line-in jack) – which is a bit cumbersome…

30 Tage …

… dann ist der Zivildienst vorbei! :-)