Visit to Vienna

Michaelsplatz

Last week I visited Austria’s capital city for the first time in my life. While the weather was not very pleasing — to say the least — Vienna itself kept its promise. It has a historic centre with many magnificent buildings like the “Burg” theatre, the opera. The town hall resembles a church with its many towers. Various churches and cathedrals wait to be visited, what I did with St. Stephan’s Cathedral, St. Charles’s Church. The culturally interested finds many museums and sights like Hunderwasser’s house. I visited also MUMOK, the museum for modern art. Its building resembles a monolithic black block from the outside.

DESERTEC studies: MED-CSP

This article originates from a presentation given by Hani El Nokraschy, one of the leading persons of the DESERTEC foundation. He presented the foundation’s vision towards a sustainable generation of electrical energy and drinking water around the Mediterranean Sea for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. His presentation covered the three main studies called MED-CSP, TRANS-CSP and AQUA-CSP. CSP stands for Concentrating Solar Power and is the key technology for exploiting the huge potential of solar energy that shines on Africa’s deserts. Continue reading “DESERTEC studies: MED-CSP”

Hardstroke – [2009] In Front Of The See Through Eye

Hardstroke  - [2009] In Front Of The See Through Eye - Cover art

Merry Christmas! This release doesn’t at all sound like snow flakes or a silent night, but is a furiously vibrant example of a fusion of extremes. Rock guitars, electronic chord clouds, funky bass lines, disco-like beats seamlessly blend together to a very distinct listening experience which casts feelings of euphoria and nostalgia. But just listen yourself to some tracks of this exceptional Bypass netlabel release. Continue reading “Hardstroke – [2009] In Front Of The See Through Eye”

Ceilings

I collect some types of very specific photos. One of them are photos of rooms’ ceilings. Over the years I took many boring, but also some interesting pictures. Rotunde was taken in the museum “Pinakothek der Moderne” in Munich. It is so adorable on a sunny day. Next comes Blue steel from “Zenith” in Munich, a live concert hall. The next photo is an exception where I accidently was on the photo: Curious is from a room called “Stüberl” in a small hotel in Hirschau in Oberpfalz. The red Disco ball hangs in “da Silva”, a music bar in Regensburg. The last picture was taken in the cellar room of the same small hotel as picture no. 3.

Stay Ali – [2009] Vati Vati EP

Stay Ali - [2009] Vati Vati EP

Stay Ali is a trio from Sweden founded in 2006 by then 15-year-old guys. They produce an energetic mix of techno, electro and disco music. They remind me of Fatboy Slim; especially this release sounds like it was influenced by Justice. If you want some good dance music for a party, get this album! But I better present you two tracks which represent the range of this release: Continue reading “Stay Ali – [2009] Vati Vati EP”

Macro photography

As my compact digital camera (a Fujifilm Finepix F100fd) lacks a big zoom lens I have to exploit its strengths: a wide angle lens. It plays out its advantage on group photos in small closed rooms and in macro photography. Suitable victims to train how to take macro photos are flowers: Pretty, colourful and — especially — static. It took me some time with my first camera to properly use the focus and know the limits (minimum distance) of the camera. An “AF!” warning is a good sign to not take the picture but reset the focus on another point of the object.

Architectural details (like a statue in the Zwinger in Dresden) or interesting objects (a beamer lens, a blue-glowing artwork on Tollwood, sunglasses) are other motives worth being captured. Insects usually are too fast, but when you are lucky you can find an unlucky exemplar (like the sitting bee)…

Amish82 – [2009] Shovels And Cava

Amish82 - [2009] Shovels And Cava (Sutemos024)

Phew, what a nice electro release! Amish82 remind me heavily of The Knife and Fischerspooner. While this release is very simplistic in construction, the resulting arrangements sound surprisingly rich and danceable. Some kind of “flaw” are the remix version tracks (6-15) while there are only five original tracks. But those five tracks deliver enough quality for many hours of joyful listening. But hear, judge (and download) yourself… Continue reading “Amish82 – [2009] Shovels And Cava”

How to use custom-made Themes under Windows XP/Vista/7

Deskmodding is the art or the act of customizing the appearance of the graphical user interface. Usually this is done on the level of the operating system, but there are also single applications that allow to modify their appearance by so-called skins. For the operating system Windows it is not possible to easily change the default appearance as the selection of themes that can be selected is limited to a handful of designs like the classic Windows interface, Luna for Windows XP and Aero since Vista. Windows Media Center Edition brought a revamped version of Luna which became very popular.

But apart from those designs, Windows does not permit to select user-made themes. This is due to a check in the file uxtheme.dll in the system32 folder. There are dozens of downloads of patches that promise to replace the file with a patched version that permits so select whatever style one prefers. But it is easy to download the wrong patch or even get a virus on one’s computer this way. But there is an alternative: UxStyle. Continue reading “How to use custom-made Themes under Windows XP/Vista/7”

Using Funambol to sync Thunderbird(s) and Windows Mobile phone

This is an article explaining how to synchronise one calendar (+tasks) and one address book of two PCs with Thunderbird (Lightning plugin for calendar) and a Windows Mobile phone. It is based on the open source synchronisation server Funambol and needs one of the computers to act as a server. The advantage to other solutions I tried (like FinchSync or the Addressbooks Synchroniser add-on) is that it covers all synchronisations even between different device types.

One disadvantage of my how-to is that the data which is synchronised is transmitted without encryption. However, it is possible to somehow use SSL encryption for the data transfer, but so far I am afraid of the effort to reconfigure all again now that it works. Another disadvantage concerns the fact that currently only one calendar and one address book can be synchronised. While this restriction does not bother me now, it might render this solution useless for you. Continue reading “Using Funambol to sync Thunderbird(s) and Windows Mobile phone”