The return of the map

Regular visitors to my site surely will have noticed that the map on the right side disappeared for a while. (No, the other right, theeere => — sometimes it surprises me how many adults still can’t tell left from right! I mean, how does this work out for them in life?). I hoped to write a tool for point-and-click updating my Google map, but this never happened. Yesterday I did some research on a possible OpenLayers solution, because Google is evil, but while OpenLayers being good stuff for free mapping it would have been way over the top for my little Where-in-Space-is-Meinhard-Sandiego locator. So I decided to resurrect the old school static map and its update tool. In the end it became a complete rewrite from ImageMagick shell calls to PHP’s on-board GD functions. Same same, but different. Let me know if you would like to see the source code (expect no rocket science). I might release it under a Shared source license at a later point, hehe.

So, no more “Oh, I didn’t know you were in town, because the map on your website wasn’t working” allowed, sorry. 🙂 2.0

Oops, did I go to the wrong page, I hear you say. After more than four years I gave my website a new design and made it a proper blog with comments, feeds, a nice archive and — that’s good news for myself — a powerful back-end. Some parts are still pointing to the old page, but I’m working on that one. What do you think so far? Comments please!

Hard disk crash once again – yippie!

No important things lost this time.. I have no idea why this happens so often lately. I know that some geeks are reading this, so for those interested how it happened and how I fixed it (or “How a disk crash fixed my heat fan”): I was just working on my “laptop called Weasel” when the electricity went off – that happens here every now and then. Because my battery is broken Weasel switched off immediatly as well. When I booted back up, I got into X and KDE, when suddenly no applications would start. I switched to the text console and could not log in. Ext3 aborts were running over the screen. Very weird.. I booted with a Knoppix CD and checked the hard disk. All partitions (data, another linux installation) apart from my system partition were OK. Phew, I thought. The broken partition lost its superblock and obviously all its superblock backups – “fsck.ext3 -b xxxxx /dev/hda1” failed. So I went for the sledge hammer method that I read about and just created a new superblock with “mkfs.ext2 -S /dev/hda1” (don’t try this at home kids). Now I could at least start fsck on the partition. Well, obviously everything on that drive is garbage now. Fsck is running since 10 min now and currently iteration over /lost+found because of unattached inodes again and again. Yuck. I only hope for a few pictures that are on that partition to appear back again. I have no idea how the filesystem on hda1 could be so messed up from just one power outage. The good thing is that the CPU got so hot now that Weasel’s heat fan switched to its second speed level, which never happened before – I didn’t know little Weasel is capable of making so much noise! The higher voltage on the fan engine unblocked the fan with a little rattle. Some dirt (or a fly as Jaromil’s laptop trapped recently) jammed my fan a while ago and I never got around to open the thing and have a look. So, now the fan works again and the file check is still running, “fixing” my lost+found. Now, where was my Debian net-install CD?

Now running Debian

I finally switched over from Suse Linux to Debian Linux. The result is that my laptop runs a lot faster and more stabile and also some things work now that didn’t before. So for example my little PenCam that I use for snapshots on my travels also is a webcam now. Check to see me and the “website group” working at the EUstory seminar in the Wannsee Forum Berlin.