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...intermittent thoughts

genau solche Morgen haben in Deutschland dieses Jahr gefehlt...

Einfach ein traumhafter Morgen heute! Direkt hinter unserem Hotel liegt die Cambridgeside Galeria Mall und dahinter wiederum liegt ein kleiner Kanal, in dem Aussichtsrundfahrten nach Harvard starten. Kurz vor 10 bot sich dann dieser Ausblick:

Cambridge, MA

In the Air tonight

In these seconds we are leaving Germany to take a ride over the Atlantik. Target is Boston, Massachussets. I am going to attend DNUGs Lotus Lab Tour. This is a five day journey containing three days with Lotus. One thing is of special interest to me. We are going to be quite close to the MIT (map)- I really hope to catch a view to it that days. After all I'll be back on Thursday - maybe I have the chance to publish something in between.

in flight blogging

well, thats something new to me. You won't be able to read this until we arrive in Boston - but there's enough time to write about the start of this trip.

When we arrived at Frankfurt today, already two things had happen before: at first we were quite late and had to hury when leaving the office. Not the best idea for my injury from the accident in June - running is still not possible. Then we finally catched the ICE to Frankfurt two minutes before leaving. After starting the train I found out to having left my train ticket on the office desk - that was another 65€ just for the ride - Deutsche Bahn cannot accept electronic tickets on a monitor because they cannot push their stamp on it (No, I don't believe, thats weird - thats simply German bureaucracy, and I knew it before).

When we then arrived at the terminal, everything was crowded and packed. Finally after one and a half hour of waiting in the line (first, business and economy travellers were completely mixed) we got the check-in tickets and the comment we will possibly not catch the plane because we are ona waiting list. Well, of course Felix asked why was that - and then we got the information about a lot of flights having been cancelled during the storms the night before. That was quite a news to me - having a seat reservation and being cancelled from that reservation to get another who already missed his flight passenger on it. Sounded more than some less professional cheap and ugly airline than the comfortable and famous Lufthansa. But hey, that was maybe just a wrong information. I thought all the time poor receptionist - you are the bringer of bad news, not the reason - everybody around us was angry as we also started to get now.

Then, several minutes and security checks later, we finally got to the departing gate and had to wait in the line again. Exactly at the person in front of me the agent said: "we cant take anyone anymore - the flight is overbooked".Well, that was no good news and we got in a very angry mood. Around us other poassengers needing to catch other flights, buses, and all that stuff - everybody was angry and aggressive. Then the agents started to get aggressive in response - very human but not professional at all. We have to wait behind the lines, they have to work through the other passengers and such stuff. Ok, what passengers? They were unable to take anyone anmore - and so they took one after the other and told them the same bad story.. Eventually there was a call telling them another plane with booked passengers for the same flight was not in time and so these seats were going to be free. Instead of calling us to distribute those seats, they started to give them away to the passengers closest to the desk. Luckily I was close and quick enough to be one of the first. Felix and me got the defintly last seats on the machine we were originally booked on. Well finally I am in the plane. Just in the middle of a packed and very small row. Nice people around me, and everybody has to tell its own story ;-)

bloß keine Updates installieren

Die Installation der Lenovo Updates war der Fehler des Tages! Mein Rechner hat die neue Software mit einem Bluescreen beim Booten quittiert! Schuld ist der neue Grafikkartentreiber - vermutlich.

Wie dem auch sei, meine anfängliche Panik und Wut ist mittlerweile völligem Unverständnis gewichen. Nachdem ich eben mit dem Lenovo Software-Support telefoniert habe, habe ich allen Ernstes den Ratschlag bekommen, neue Updates nicht zu installieren, weil die ja fehlerhaft sein können und in diesem Fall auch sind. Wenn wir jetzt also in dem Qualitätsbereich angekommen sind, das fehlerhafte Software gepatcht werden muss und die Patches vorher durch den Kunden getestet werden müssen, dann sind wir wohl auch nicht mehr weit von dem vollautomatischen Patch für den Patch entfernt.

Auf meine Vermutung, dass dieser Patch eben genau nicht getestet wurde, bekam ich zu hören, dass man natürlich nicht auf allen Systemen testen könne und dadurch ein Restrisiko bleibe. da frag ihmih doch, wozu gibt es dann eine extrem große., langsame und schwerfällige Update-Sofwtarem wenn sie nicht erkennen kann, mit was für einem Typ Hardware sie es zu tun hat und offensichtlich falsche oder mit dieser Hardware ungetestete Software zum Update anbietet.

Was hab ich also nun gelernt:
  • Lenovo-Software ist fehlerhaft - das ist grundsätzlich nicht ok, wird aber durch Patches ausgebügelt
  • Die aktuellen Patches sind völlig unbrauchbar und so schädlich, dass man sie besser nicht installiert
  • Lenovo traut seinen eigenen Patches auch nicht und rät den Kunden, die Patches erst nach einer gewissen Zeit einzuspielen, um nicht Gefahr zu laufen, dass die Updates, die auf Grund fehlerhafter Sofwtare nötig sind, mehr oder gar schlimmere Fehler einspielen als sie beheben.
  • Leider werden die Patches nicht richtig getestet und es besteht eine gewisse Chance, dass die Patches zu einem Fehler führen.

Zum Glück haben wir die Deinstallation des Patches auch hinbekommen und mein Rechner arbeitet wieder. Glücklicherweise hat diese Hilfe auch kein Geld gekostet  - als Kunde, der man ungewollt einen Betatest durchführt, muss man also glücklicherweise nicht auch noch dafür bezahlen.

voll durchdacht...

haben sich die Leute von Lenovo ihr aktuelles Update. Und bestimmt genau kein einziges mal getestet:

Image:voll durchdacht...

Nachdem ich gerade locker 10Minuten gebaucht habe, um eine recht beachtliche Liste an Updates seit August angezeigt zu bekommen, bringt der Versuch, die mehrere 100 MB großen Pakete herunter zu laden nur folgenden Bildschirm. Ich vermute mal, Lenovo will sagen, die Lizenzbedingungen sind derartig inakzeptabel, dass man sie einfach ablehnen muss :-)

Leider kann sich ein normaler Kunde auch nicht an Lenovo wenden, um zu diesem Problem eine auch nur irgendwie geartete Hilfestellung zu bekommen - da solche Probleme nicht von der Gewähleistung für das Gerät abgedeckt werden und die Hilfe für Softwareprobleme für jede Anfrage extra bezahlt werden muss. Dabei spielt es keine Rolle, dass die Probleme einfach durch schlampige Programmierung und fehlende Tests entstanden sind - als Kunde zahlt man eben auch dafür. Ich vermute recht stark, dass die Antwort nach ungefähr zwei Minuten zuhören sowieso lauten würde: "Installieren Sie bitte das Gerät vollständig neu."

Browsershots

Jens just came up with a very good tipp. Browsershots.org creates screenshots for a huge amount of different browsers. Just enter the URL to check and choose the browsers you want to see screenshots from, wait a couple of minutes and you are done. Renederd screen shots are even downloadable as a zip-file. Very cool!

This is how blog.gollmick.delooks like:

Image:Browsershots

As I see it Internet Explorer and Opera are the only one browsers unable to render the CSS in this site correctly. OK, latest versions of IE are, but elder versions look crazy as hell. I think Opera is emulating Internet Explorer way too good - it even renders all its errors the same way...

Styles optimized

Huh, that was quite a bit of work! Since my last design changes there were quite a couple of problems with Internet Explorer users. The navigation on the left did not show up on the left but below the content or just on the left and the content was moved to the right out. Today Sascha gave me his kind assistance and helped me to optimize the mess to also support the buggy IE. First attempts were really promising but then we had to end up modifying the template.
Why? Well, if you're going to create some standards compatible site, you have to put all the messy CSS code into an extra file and load it via contitional CSS directives for the IE. These directives appear like an html comment to other good browsers and enables you to create standards compatible HTML and CSS while also providing extra directives for the Internet Explorer. The hard thing - depending in the html construction of the page we had to include these directives after including all other CSS directives. Well, that really does not sound hard - but DominoBlog generates its very own CSS includes and it does it at the very end of the header. So creating a conditional directive in the header was quite useless since it appeared just before the other directives. Since of the cascading construct off CSS the correctly defined CSS values overwrote those specifically created for IE. So I had to find a way to insert these directives after the blog generated directives and before the end of the head-section of this web site. That reminds me of the discussions we had right two hours after releasing TIMETOWEB 6.0 and when we first had the opportunity to automagically include CSS files into a header - we simply had made the same mistake and my colleagues fixed that in about just a couple of days. DominoBlog does the same. So I had to modify that behaviour. The only way was to modify a function in the DXLiveContentEngine ScriptLibrary. Said that, I just started to recode one function. The outcome is functional but not nice in my opinion. I think I will have another session to make this solution even nicer. Well, maybe this session will never happen because Sascha comes up with another and even better solution for that site - not needing to use conditional CSS. We will see...

Image:Styles optimized

Well, not all problems are fixed so far. But at least the site looks very much better now in IE. I will See, what I can do to fix some more IE probs in the next days.

neue Grundschule

In Naumburg hat letze Woche die evangelische Grundschule St. Martin eröffnet. Direkt hinter dem Dom. Die Südtürme vom Nordwestturm aus (HDR) Das Gebäude kenne ich nur zu gut, hab es aber leider nach dem Umbau noch nicht ansehen können. Meine Kamera war auch dabei - allerdings ist keines der Bilder von mir gemacht - alle von Andreas, er berichtet Näheres im Naumburger Tageblog, weitere Bilder bei: Flickr

Clouds

Just got back my borrowed camera and Andreas was so kind to give me a private lesson in digital photography. So we went out to the beatuiful Saaletal this afternoon and took some shots. After all I found myself missing the USB 2.0 cable. Well, thats the one thing that really annoys me on the D200 - it simply does not work with a USB 1.1 cable. I would expect it to work simply somewhat significant slower but in fact it is not even recognized (Windows states it has an error during install then). Fortunately the other Andreas just gave me his CF Card reader so I was able to read and convert the RAW images:

Abendstimmung an der Klopstock-Quelle