Google Cardboard VR – nerdgasm!

Selfie with the fully assembled Google Cardboard VR goggles

Selfie with the fully assembled Google Cardboard VR goggles

What is it they say? Once a nerd, always a nerd? I don’t know about you, but for me that definitely rings true. Working in IT, you tend to be surrounded by great people with vast knowledge in both the technical sphere as well as matters of the real world. There’s nothing quite like having a nerdy discussion, being among like minded, not to mention the fact that they get jokes most others just won’t understand. One of those that often springs to mind for me there is the quote “there are 10 types of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don’t”.

Having a boss that’s nerdy sure helps as well, and just recently all the guys in the technical department got a small present from him. The gift was the Google Cardboard VR self assembly glasses, a technology I had read quite a bit about but never bothered to look into, let alone order just to play around with. Today, I brought this present back home and assembled it. My expectations weren’t high, I’ll give you that, but once I had them on I was laughing and having *SUCH* a good time! I actually think I caught myself giggling at one point. It doesn’t take much to please this guy, but this blew me out of the water.

Caaaaardboard!

Caaaaardboard!

One of the most fun things I’ve played around with so far, is the game Caaaaardboard!, which is a game that has you leaping off a building stacking up points as you fall down. The aim of the game is to stack up as many points as possible, without ending up dead on the way down. I guess this is the closest I’ll ever get to being Superman seeing I wasn’t born on the planet Krypton. Good stuff! :)

Technology is fun, and this inexpensive piece of kit proves that without the shadow of a doubt. Do yourself a favour and order this STRAIGHT away – you’ll have some good clean fun!

Artificial intelligence – The ghost in the machine?

Recently there has been quite a bit of talk about artificial intelligence, and the possible problems this technology might introduce. Technology and evolution go hand in hand, and even though some might disagree, I find to be a natural part of the evolution. In our modern society, technology has become just as important as food and water. In this day and age, you would have to work hard to find some field that in some shape or form doesn’t use some form of technology to aid and assist.

But what is artificial intelligence and why should I even bother or worry about it? Read more »

Energy

Energy
It surrounds us
It consumes us
It’s everything and nothing
From the painful birth
At ground zero
The biggest orgasm known
The Big Bang
The genesis of entirety
The cradle of life
From single protons and neutrons
To a whole universe of atoms
Molded into the complexity of creation
From tears and sadness
To smiles and laughter
The common denominator
Energy

It can give life
It can destroy life
Its power so immense
Interwoven in everything
It’s a two faced entity
It has no feelings
Even though energy can create them
It has no memory
Though it imprints them
It has no agenda
But yet lays out the path of everything

It’s like a everlasting tidal wave
Surging over the universes
Like a ship without a captain
It sails across time and space
The needle of the compass
Pointing in all directions
To the darkest corners
To the brightest stars
Leaves nothing unturned and untouched
It embraces it all with its presence
And it does so without prejudice nor discrimination

It floats around us
Forever there
Sometimes visible
At times hidden to the naked eye
Embrace it with what you got
For without it, you would be nothing
There would be nothing
No tears – no sadness – no smiles – no laughter
Nothing

The reason for everything
Energy
Forget the what’s, the who’s and the whys
Energy

Simply energy!

Howto install bindgraph in Ubuntu

This is a simple howto on getting bindgraph installed on your Ubuntu system. Bindgraph is a handy CGI tool written in perl that gathers statistics from your BIND9 installation, so see exactly what sort of DNS lookups are made to your DNS server.
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Accessing MSSQL with perl in Ubuntu/Debian

Have you ever had the need to access a MSSQL database from Ubuntu/Debian via perl? Well, it’s rather easy once you have the right tools. All you need is to install a few things, edit a config file and off you go. Just follow the below instructions and you should go good to go.

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Howto set up a backup MX for Zimbra in Ubuntu/Debian

Have you ever wanted to set up a backup mail exchanger (MX) for your main Zimbra installation? Recently, I had this need for two of my Zimbra installations. Of course, if you run the enterprise version of Zimbra where they offer you the tools to do this without too much work out of the box. But if you just don’t have the resources to put up another full scale Zimbra server, you can achieve much of the same with much less. Of course, it won’t offer you all the bells and whistles that a full Zimbra installation will, but it does the trick if your needs are sparse. Read more »

Howto install Redmine on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

Preface

What is redmine? Redmine is a flexible project management web application. Written using the Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database. What does that really mean though? What it means is that it gives you a great tool to manage your coding projects, either if you’re working solo or working in groups of people doing work on the same project. What’s great about redmine is all the nice little features it offers you, that makes managing your projects so much easier, some of them being

  • Multiple projects support
  • Flexible role based access control
  • Flexible issue tracking system
  • Feeds & email notifications
  • Per project wiki
  • Per project forums
  • SCM integration (SVN, CVS, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and Darcs)
  • Issue creation via email

Having a tool that gives you all this makes it easy to follow what you’ve done on a project so far, what issues that have been uncovered with the code so far, and what has been done to fix these problems. But not only that, it also gives you a great tool to write online documentation for your projects, and have user driven forums for them at the same making the integration between you as a coder and the end users even more tighter. As an added bonus, as with any community as it grows the community starts helping itself, making you able to focus on what’s important and that’s improving your code. Its ties to most modern VCS systems, such as Git, Subversion and Bazaar also makes you able to track code changes in real time through the web, much like you do on Github and similar services.
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Make time for yourself

Joshua Bell performing in Washington DC Metro Station

Joshua Bell performing in Washington DC Metro Station

This is a rather personal post, but after having seen this picture on Facebook and read the related article over at The Washington Post, my fingers started reacting. What was only meant to be a short comment on Facebook ended up with a small rant, but I guess my fingers wanted to say more on the topic than my head originally intended. What it ended up was this short little rant/comment/observation.

Hmmmm, what can you say about something like this? The only thing that springs to mind that there is some truth to this.

I was brought up to enjoy the smaller things in life, as they are a lot more common than those big moments that come so seldom. Sure you tend to remember those rare days/nights more vividly than the small things you experience every day, like someone offering you a smile, a gentle nod, someone opening the door for you, offering you a seat on the bus when you have your hands full of grocery bags etc. At times, even a simple hello is enough to make your day, or someone unknown that you talked to on the phone that seemed so full of life and happy, that you just couldn’t help yourself from being smitten and ending up with a smile and a cheer as well.

Perception is a strange thing. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The problem with modern life is that we tend to be rushed, always going fast, never really taking the time to actually make time, take it easy, sit down and do nothing. Or in this case, to stop up to listen to someone conveying something both immensely technically difficult and at the same time beautiful. Many people complain that “there’s is never enough time” and that “the day should have more hours”. Let’s face it, the day will never have more than 24 hours (unless someone comes up with an ingenious plan to slow down the earth’s rotation), and as for never enough time, the only one that can give you time is yourself.

I constantly hear from other people that they feel they fail to live up to the expectations of others, as they can’t make the time or can’t afford to attend a party, an event or some kind of other social relation. The thing is, even if you were able to make the time and could afford it, does it increase the quality of your life to such an extent that you couldn’t be without? Or could you actually be better off staying at home, putting your feet on the table, opening up a good bottle of wine, lighting some candles and just take a deep breath and relax?

In a world filled with unfulfilled expectations and rush for “something better”, it’s allowed to be selfish and actually think about yourself and how you spend your time. And I say selfish, but is thinking about yourself a selfish act? When push comes to show, the only one you can truly rely on to take care of you, is yourself. Sure, you can have great friends, family and acquaintances surrounding you, and sure they can offer you great insight and advice, but at the end it’s up to you what you end up doing.

This might be a bit of a rant, but what I’m basically trying to say is this:

You are allowed to sit down, take a breath and slow down and think about no one else but yourself. Allow yourself to do just that. Make a date with yourself and enjoy your own company. Why? Because you’re worth it.

goosh installer for Debian and Ubuntu

Yesterday, a guy came into #debian @ Undernet, asking for help on how to install goosh on his Apache server in Debian. I had heard about the goosh project in the past, but nothing more than that. Being somewhat curious, I had to do some more digging, as it turned out the process was far from straightforward. And it didn’t really help either that the project was rather undocumented. But I don’t really like to give up, and took it upon me to find out and solve this little puzzle.

It took me down the path of having to refresh my BASH knowledge and writing up a small installer. The result can be found on Github -> https://github.com/tolecnal/goosh-installer.

Please feel free to try it out, and if you find any bugs please report them back to me (patches are more than welcome).

Valve and Steam forces Europeans to pay in Euros

As some of you might have noticed, my real life has taken precedence over my blogging the last half  year. Ever after having started my current job, it’s been a long process to adjust to a new life with new working hours and a totally different job than what I was used to. For those of you that have been with me for quite a while, know that I used to work as a bartender in a sports pub and worked the really odd hours. But at least at that time, my work was close to home and I had way more free time than I have now. Today, I work the usual nine to five scheme, and pretty happy about that. But seeing as my new job is quite a distance from home, I’m using roughly three hours of every day getting back and forth to work. And let’s face it, more often than not I work more than my assigned eight hours. So on most days, I’m way from home for no less than twelve hours. Many people like to jump into the couch and turn on the telly when they got home, but I need to do something, something that makes me interact and get my load off, something to preoccupy me. And for this, I have gaming.

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