New year new install

Hehe…I managed to screw up my windows installation today, so today is reinstall day. Thanks to my ssd configuration the reinstall is pretty quick, but it’s still a hassle to remember all the stuff you had on your computer and reinstall it all…oh well…almost done and the system feels extra snappy again – not that it was sluggish before or anything, once again thanks to the ssd as my system drive.

To repair or not to repair

R.I.P. LJ5n?!

Yesterday something ugly happened. My trusty old network printer, a HP Laserjet 5n, bugged out on me. I printed some documents and there was a paperjam. Usually that would be no big deal, but this time it was. The toner cartridge thought it was a good idea to spill loads of toner onto the paper in print. Combine that with the paperjam (in the fuser) and you have the ultimate ugly ugly ugly result. The toner pile on top of the jammed paper melted into the fuser. Did you ever see how some grams of toner look like after they’ve been cooked? Me neither…until yesterday that is :-(

So now the big question for is: should I try to repair the damage or should I buy a new (used) printer to replace the whole thing?

I think there’s a chance that I can clean out the fuser…if that was the case I would just need a new toner cartridge and it would be as good as new. But if not…it’s really not worth the effort as the fuser unit is the most expensive part of the whole printer and what’s even worse, you can get one of it’s successors (e.g. the 4050n, sometimes even the 4050dn including the duplex unit) for less than 100 Euros these days…

Email outage

A message for all people who sent me an email today which bounced back:

I just noticed that I didn’t get any emails today. So I looked up my server settings and the status and everything seemed fine, but in reality the imap-daemon had crashed, without the monitoring service noticing it, argh! So it could be that some emails, especially addressed not directly to my address, but to an old one, have bounced. If it was something important please feel free to resend your mail as everything is back to normal now. Thanks and sorry for any inconvenience!

New phonelines + dsl provider

“Konkurrenz belebt das Geschaeft” is an old german saying (roughly translates to: competition is good for trade), which seems to be so true in the current online- and phone-market. We’ve had our phonelines and dsl-setup from the biggest german provider (Telekom (T-Com + T-Online)) forever, but it seems it’s time to move on. We were paying a nifty amount of 74,19€ basic charge for a ISDN-connection (two digital lines), dsl-setup with 768kbit down, 128kbit up and a flatrate. As they’re changing their port-setup you’re forced to upgrade to 1MBit down, 128kbit up on January 1st 2005 – as this is an auto-upgrade there’s nothing you can do about it, apart from moving on or paying 4 €/month more for this “speed increase”. This would bring up our basic charge to 78,19€ which equals 106,10$. :brickwall:

As I think this is ridiculously high for the provided service I told my folks that we should look around for alternatives. As I’m the geek of the family I did the checking and came up with different solutions.

  • Leave ISDN-connection with Telekom and switch online stuff to cable. This would have cut the online-costs to 39€/month (Telekom: 16,99€ + 29,99€ flat = 46,98€) – an improvement, but not quite the cut I had hoped for. :tdown:
  • Switch complete connection (ISDN + DSL) to the competition. In this case to the second largest phone provider (Arcor)…and bingo. Just made the switch (just waiting for the paper work being sent our way and we’re gone – see more details below) :tup:

The Arcor deal is quite sweet:

  • ISDN just like with Telekom. They’re handling all the switches and legal stuff (canceling the old commitment to Telekom, switching over all our MSNs, etc)
  • They’re offering both a DSL-flat and a phone-flat (all calls are free, except for calls to mobile phones).
  • The DSL basic charge and the flatrate are way cheaper.

Cost factor:

  • ISDN basic charge: 19,95€
  • DSL basic charge: 10€
  • DSL-flat: 9,95€
  • phone-flat: 19,95€
  • upgrade DSL to 2MBit (2MBit down, 192kbit up): 5€
  • Grand total: 64,85€ (equals 88$)

Now that looks more like it. We’re saving around 14€/month, but wait, that’s the absolute minimum as we’ve got a phone-flat now, which we didn’t have with Telekom, so it’s gonna be even more, month after month after month (we had one invoice of less than 100€ in the whole year 2004) – and I’ve got double bandwith as soon as the switch is made :mrgreen:

Godaddy Domain Madness

After receiving a mail from GoDaddy that they’re selling .info domains for 1$ (first year) I registered some yesterday…online to come back today and find out that the price rose to 1.95$ :-(

Nontheless still a good deal and I guess I’ll get some more domains as I’ll finally have some time to start some new projects from November 1st onwards…

Amazon launches search engine (A9)

Hmm…Amazon ended beta testing and has officially launched it’s very own search engine called A9.

I just tested a little and it really reminds me of Google especially when I search for my own sites. I guess I should read a little as I’m really interested what type of ranking etc they’re using to optimize their search results, what kind of crawler they’re using etc…

update: now that makes sense, A9 uses the Google search engine along with other helpful resources like IMDb. So I guess the only “true innovation” is their user-specific preferences (cookies need to be enabled). I guess they’re using the history etc for statistics and placement of results (similiar to the “customers who bought x also bought y” on amazon)…

GMail Invite anyone?

I know I know, enough already some might say, but yes…I’ve got some GMail-Invites left…so if you’re still in need of a GMail account…feel free to drop me an email:

Ingoal [at] with subject: – GMail invite and don’t forget your first and last name…First come first serve ;-)

Gmail Filesystem?!

Are you one of the many beta testers of Google Mail (GMail)? Then you might have thought about what to do with all that GMail space (1GB). Richard Jones thought about it too and came up with the GMail Filesystem (GMail FS). You can read more about it on Richard Jones’ Homepage.