a harbour cruise in Hamburg

Some impressions from a recent trip to Hamburg – my brother-in-law managed to organise a tour on the Elbe (river) for the whole family with cousins and their spouses & kids. A nice and very exclusive event that once again reminded me how beautiful and interesting the port of Hamburg actually is.


view on parts of the Alte Speicherstadt

I’ve lived in Hamburg from 10/1975 till 01/1976 and 07/1983 till 10/1983 so I wouldn’t really call it “my home” even though my passport says something else. Lakini – if “home is where your heart is”, then maybe Hamburg qualifies for being one of those places.

Continue reading “a harbour cruise in Hamburg”

Frankfurt 101 and the mouse

Bought this mouse for the netbook today – an A4tech X6-60MD in black – which has this retractable USB cord and comes with a somehow smarter “GLASER” diode/sensor which is said to also work on a glass table (most optical mice don’t).

X6-60MD mouse compared to the wireless desktop mouse

Attaching the mouse to the netbook actually adds a lot of convience to the system – the keyboard and tiny (yet brilliant) screen, however, aren’t that comfortable to work on. The keyboard on this 8,9″ netbook has the same size as the one on 7″ netbooks – next step would have been a 10,2″ netbook though which again adds another 0,3 kg. So this combination will have to do fo the moment. Connecting the netbook to a UMTS phone is a matter of seconds, so it really is a perfect NETbook – even on the road.

I’ve btw stayed with WinXP on this netbook (instead of EasyPeasy 1.0 or eeeUbuntu Standard) because of the special function keys that just work perfectly well with WinXP. Resizing the screen resolution to a compressed 1024×768 (instead of the normal 1024×600) is a matter of one key press. This may of course also be possible with a tuned Ubuntu, but again: not as easy as with XP and I just don’t have the time these days to figure it out. Besides, some of my fav. apps only work with XP and not under (the Windows emulator) Wine.

Sooo….blogging from the netbook (I am currently writing this post on the eee 901) is ok, but due to the keyboard not as convenient as it should be. You’ll quickly end up using 3-4 fingers only. :-(


Someone from Asia also needs to explain to me one day why there’s so much plastic involved in the packaging of such gadgets. A simple cardboard box would have done as well! At least this one could be opened easily and didnt require the scissors. Stupid.

Another thing to note about A4tech products is that their drivers are much better than the Logitech software package which bricked my desktop system the other day.

Oh, and it’s really amazing how long the battery lasts on this netbook. @E-Nyce: the wear-out level is down to 93% on this used battery/netbook, which is still ok I think.

Once my 15,4″ notebook (= desktop PC with an external 22″ monitor and external keyboard/mouse) retires (hopefully not too soon), I’ll probably go for a 12,2″ or 13″ notebook from either HP, IBM or Samsung and also make sure that it has a bright enough screen (= not as pale as the one on my 15,4″ notebook).



Took this snapshot earlier this week right here in Frankfurt am Main because it reminded me of Taipeh 101.

I am now officially registered as a resident of Frankfurt/M. It may not be the best city to live in, but it has Germany’s biggest airport and is located in the middle of Germany which means I can reach Hamburg or Bremen (in the North) and Munich or Freiburg (in the South) in 3-4h only. Strategically convenient.

wising up

Standards vs. ergonomy

The main entrance door to the Deutsche Post branch office at Frankfurt railway station.


There’s a fire safety regulation in German law which says that such doors have to open to the outside so that in case of emergency, the panic crowd may escape without any obstacles.

Despite of this regulation and although most doors in shops and offices are designed to this standard, many customers stil PUSH the door to the inside until they realize it opens by pulling the handle. There even is a sticker that says ZIEHEN (= pull).

Always reminds me of Gary Larson’s “School for the Gifted“.

Our future is in Africa


An election poster for the upcoming elections in the Federal State of Hessen. Instead of the usual mugshots of fugly politicians, these guys came up with the image of a tractor, OPEL logo, the Transrapid, a nuclear power plant and some messages that are supposed to attract floating voters.

While I think that Europe and Africa should team up and support each other, the “Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität” (BüSo) is in fact a very small right wing party with quite extreme ideologies. Germany, Europe, the world may indeed need to rethink what really matters – but voters should also inform themselves about the political parties and understand the real message behind such propaganda + how they are being lured into the world of extremists.

Their candidate talks about the “Africanisation” of Germany – e.g. how living standards have deteriorated over the years, similar to many African states (sic!) – and how the German economy nowadays relies on products from the outside.

While most parties actually suck and have similar concepts, it’s still much better to have a working democracy instead of fashists from the US who try to undermine Europe. Somehow similar to what Declan Ganley does in Ireland, but on another level.

paper world


Paris Hilton on the cover of “intelligent life“, a lifestyle magazin by The Economist.

Are you bored enough to read or at least page through any lifestyle magazine these days IF instead there’s something else called internet?

And two more questions on the traditional media (e.g. print):

a) How often do you, as a reader of this blog, read printed lifestyle magazines? And where? Do you buy them?

b) From my perspective as an internet geek (or “internetty”, as a colleague called it one day): where do you read, hear, see the general news? Do you read a (daily) newspaper on a regular basis and supplement this with some extra magazines? Or have you completely moved your news-addiction to the onlinesphere?

Am asking because I think that it’s especially the older generation that still prefers print editions + have been wondering on how this impacts on society in general.

cheap lens covers

Note to myself: never change a running system!

I really have to keep on telling myself not to verschlimmbessern any approved system. Just because a modification is possible, the “hack” often isn’t better.

Case in point: When I recently *upgraded* the original silver cover on my Nokia N95-1 to a black Made-in-China cover, I also switched to a new (and fake) camera lens cover – which apparently comes with a very low-quality plastic lens. The original lens cover isn’t that much better, but it still is. Guess it comes with a polarization filter. So today I’ve switched back to the old lens cover et voilá, macro mode has improved to the old sharpness. Sweet!

macro mode with fake lens cover:


macro mode with original lens cover: