Happy Halloween from the Mozilla headquarters, people!

Halloween at Mozilla HQ; props to Window for the photo

More photos here!

I, by the way, am the Alien in the picture. (Funnily in real life I am an alien too, here in the US...)

Update: Even more photos? Here.

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Gosh, all these visitors were giving my server a hard time.

No wonder, after my cake story got dugg more than 3500 times, slashdotted, "valleywagged" and I don't know what else...

You guys were very supportive when it came to helping me picking up the tab, thanks! I got a lot of help from supporters who all gave me a dollar-or-so, so I decided to send a small check to the Mozilla Foundation and another one to the OSU Open Source Lab.

The OSU OSL is where some of Mozilla's servers are and they work hard for some of the finest projects in the Open Source world, and they also need our support. Through the collaboration of the OSL and Mozilla, that a whole lot of Firefox downloads can take place flawlessly at the same time, free of charge.

You are great. Thanks again!

(And I hope some people keep my blog in their feed reader :))

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The Microsoft Internet Explorer Team sent us a cake for the upcoming release of Firefox 2! <!--more--> <!-- was: /media/wp/2006/10/fromredmondwithlove.jpg --> Microsoft Cake for the Firefox release

A big thanks to Redmond, Washington!

P.S.: No, it was not poisoned ;)

PPS: My Bandwidth bill was exploding. Thanks to everyone who helped my bandwidth bill by contributing a dollar or two. These are the friendly people who did.

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How do I get the backspace and forward delete keys to work correctly?

  • In the Keyboard section of the Terminal Inspector:
    • Turn on the Delete key sends backspace option.
    • Map the forward delete key to the following string:
  • Add the following line to your .profile:
    stty erase ˆH
    Since ˆH is a non-printable control character, the easiest way to do this is to execute the following command:
    echo -e "stty erase ˆH" >> ~/.profile
    Type the ˆH by pressing Control-V and Control-H.
  • Add the following line to your .inputrc:
    "\e[3~": delete-char
  • Apply changes by doing a source ~/.profile and a bind -f ~/.inputrc.

Very helpful! I found this information on this website. Thanks, desp!

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So, I posted this a while ago in German, but I forgot to put it on the English blog, too:

It's time. After studying at OSU for a year, I now have to go back and finish my masters degree at my home university in Germany, the University of Karlsruhe. Well, almost. My German university demands an internship for the completion of my degree. Thus it's time for me to leave the OSU Open Source Lab and its "most important racks in Open Source". Sad, really sad. And I leave half sadly but happily as well: Sadly, because for a soon-information-engineer, working passionately on Open Source Software while studying (and even getting paid for it) was pretty cool. I could see from the inside what holds the world of Open Source together, and I was pleased to collaborate with some of the finest people in the sphere of free software. Recently for example I even had the opportunity to visit the "OSCON" Open Source Conference in Portland, Oregon. At the OSL, we were not even short on geek-ness: Working only a few feet away from the Linux Kernel master server, important Gentoo and Debian servers as well as Apache and phpBB boxes, that is more than unique and a reason for me to say, Thank you, OSU OSL! But then, there's also the happy side. Because after a marathon of job interviews (around 15, if I remember correctly) with different companies (not 15, of course but I was passed on between different people) I could decide a few weeks ago where I wanted to go for an internship. Of course, it is Open Source related. Since the beginning of October I am proud to work at the Mozilla Corporation in Mountain View, California as a Software Development Intern.

Mozilla Corp. LogoNow I am here (moved to the Silicon Valley), I've been working at Mozilla for a week now and I really like it. People are nice, the environment is geeky and relaxed and I like how many interesting things are happening here. Good to be with you, Mozilla people!

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Truly, there have to be things you are looking forward to at work. Here at the Mozilla Corporation, this is currently the Firefox 2 release:

Firefox 2 Champagne

(picture of my boss' office window)

I can't wait for the Fx 2 release. And a little bit, I am even looking forward to the Veuve Clicquot :)

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So, this last week I had to move to a new ISP with my web pages and domains because the old one decided to close their business. Sad enough, but then I decided to get a new virtual server, mainly because I have much more disk space there now and the performance should be a little better if you only share one physical box with a handful instead of hundreds of people.

Now moving is over and this blog is proudly served to you by my new server (which by the way listens to the nice name aurora, the ancient greek goddess of the dawn).

Aurora serves HTTP, Mail and a little MySQL obviously, all of which using SSL transport encryption where applicable.

My Mail servers of choice are, by the way, exim and dovecot.

I chose Exim for a number of reasons: I recently read a lot of good things about it, for example in the Linux Weekly News MTA comparison. It is easy to set up, quite secure, and it is the default MTA delivered with Debian stable. Then again, as a good example of how well Exim works (and scales) I have my German home university which uses it for all > 20000 people on campus.

I got it working with virtual domain handling, virus and spam filtering and SMTP-Auth over TLS in little time. A few very good howtos are available on debian-administration.org.

Then for IMAP serving, I had the choice between Cyrus, Courier and Dovecot. I decided against Cyrus because fellow sysadmins warned be that it is a beast to set up and there is little use going through all that pain unless you have a good reason to (a big, big userbase for instance?). I only have a handful of users (as you might have guessed from me mentioning a virtual server up there). I eventually decided against Courier because I knew that dovecot was exceptionally easy to set up and it would server IMAPS for me almost immediately.

However, one good thing I used from Courier are Maildir mailboxes. Dovecot can handle them too, and they provide a much better immunity against breaking your mail folder than traditional UNIX mbox files. (They also scale better.) One thing to consider though is the block size of the filesystem, because for every single email at least one of these blocks is going to be used. But the block size happens to be 1k on my virtual box, so even 1000 small emails would only take 1 MB on the disk.

If there are any questions, or if something that worked before magically broke now ;), let me know.

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This was blogged at least a million times today and it was dugg, too. Google updated their photos in Google Maps and Earth all over the world.

This includes high-res pictures of many metropolitan areas. But it was a real pleasure to see that my university city in Germany now comes with the highest possible resolution Google maps has.

Look at the whole downtown area or at an overview of the university campus. That's amazing!

The pictures, by the way, seem to be from early 2005 judging from the fact that the new 24-hour library which was opened a few months ago is still heavily being built on in the picture.

Downtown Karlsruhe on Google Maps

(via Karlsruhe Stadtblog)

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Gartenzwerg, CC licensed on flickrSo, the World Cup has been over for a while, and even though you Americans probably haven't become fluent German speakers in the meantime, chances are you will go there on vacation some time.

I even hope you will.

But can you survive in the fatherland? The German Spiegel ("mirror") Magazine put together a German survival bible for you to practice your German social skills.

Have fun!

(via SF Stammtisch, thanks Jennifer)

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Update on the open source humor post:

In the current issue of Linux Weekly News, somebody wrote an article mentioning the following Python command:

from __future__ import braces

Let's try:

$ python Python 2.4.3 (#1, Mar 30 2006, 11:02:16) [GCC 4.0.1 (Apple Computer, Inc. build 5250)] on darwin Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> from future import braces File "<stdin>", line 1 SyntaxError: not a chance >>>

Hm, not bad for a programming language.

(Oh, and if you didn't understand it, don't worry, it's pretty easy: Python uses indentation to distinguish between code blocks, not curly braces like C, Java and others. And they are proud of it.)

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