Category Archives: Apple

Depression (tropical)

No, no, no ! Don’t you be worried ! Although having been seperated from my loved ones for more than a month now, the psyche of the skipper is still in good shape. Turbulent was the weather which got affected by a tropical depression during these last days. That’s why I’ll do another post with pics of wind and rain.

Sommerzeit ist RegenzeitA look towards the Savusavu Marina in the back of the bayAlex fighting back to his yacht. Heh.Made it !

After being at anchor out at the reef for more than two weeks, a few days in Savusavu are a welcomed change. Because of the forecast I took down the big sunroof and gave it to a local tailor to stich up a few holes. Then we wait for the wind. The weather prediction was spot-on and despite being well protected behind the little island, we still had a constant 30 knots with gusts reaching into the 50ies.

The water in the entrance is getting roughPalm trees being tortured by the wind.The SY Tamora fighting a gust, about 1km up the bay. weather_20140128

It wasn’t too easy doing pictures with the rain coming in horizontally and the light being only slightly above candlelight-level while working mostly with maximum zoom. It was a lot easier on the next day, during the ‘golden hour’ when the water level was at it’s high and we could watch as an australian yacht was pulled out of the mud.

Something's wrong in the Savusavu marina...Damn !! Stuck in the mud at low tide.Closing in with the dinghy. The water level is still rising.At high water the yacht is nearly afloat. (As are the local children.)

The Beneteau somehow got the mooring line around the keel and shaved through it after which the boat was adrift and ended up close to the mangroves. That was pretty lucky – as there is enough coral around to split the thin fibreglass hull. But the lucky boat got stuck in soft mud and could be towed out at the next high tide without any further damage. Two dinghies and a boston whaler from the local perl farm pulled on the mast to lift the keel out of the mud and a dive boat with 500hp pulled the yacht into deeper water.

Weight on the boom, lines to pull on the mast head, all set.Start your engines !Pull ! Pull ! Pull !!She's moving !!!

Back in deeper water and everyone's happy !!Local spectators.Beauty in the Va'a.Going back home just before sunset...

Uh ! And I’ve even got more good news: After waiting for eight weeks, yesterday my christmas parcel finally arrived !!  After months I’ve finally got a decent computer again. Yay !

My old MacBook Pro died in the caribbean when a glass of water was spilled over it. The replacement, a MacBook Air killed itself when the internal (SSD-) harddrive got knocked out. So I had to use the ship’s navigation computer, an old Asus EeePC. It’s a nice little laptop that draws nearly no power but for working with pictures and videos it’s the wrong equipment. That’s why I’m as happy as a child on christmas day to finally have a decent laptop that won’t lag behind when I’m typing my blog posts. Maybe it also has positive influence on the frequency of updates. Only two posts duting the last month ?!? That’s an all-time low, I better start writing again…

Posted in Apple, Learning for life, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | Comments Off

Last night in Bayahibe

Wow ! A week has already passed ! Tomorrow I’ll sail the Rancho Relaxo towards Casa de Campo marina to pick up my loved ones in the afternoon.

Not much has happened the last days. I got about 20 kilo clothes washed, dried and stowed away. Today I cleaned the ship on the inside and repaired a few little things. Finally I found the little crack in a waterfilter that got replaced, a vent of the engine broke and was repaired. And the funniest thing: Just before leaving Viola or Bruno put a lock-code on my iPod ! – Couldn’t use it anymore. ARRR !! The only chance would be to connect it to the computer it was first synced with (which doesn’t exist anymore) or to erase and reprogram it – resulting in the loss of about 55GB of good music. So I tried all of the 9999 possible combinations to the lock. Since Bruno mentioned that it was something with nines, I started from the back.

Now guess what the code was ? Eh ? Well…. 0003. Maybe I should have started from 0000 that would have been faster. But – hey – I got my music back ! Rock’n'roll !!

Posted in Apple, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | Comments Off

Airmail3 with Bluetooth running on Mac OS X

As I’m trying to stay 100% Windows-free also when under sail, I previously used Linux and Wine to communicate via HAMradio. Now I’ve got the time to try around using Mac OS X and have managed to get everything in working order. Which means, you can use Airmail3 more or less natively under OS X without a seperate Windows installation or partition. Here’s how I did it:

Install in that order: PlayonMac, XQuartz, Wine. The last two components can be installed directly from PlayonMac. Once that is complete, get Airmail3 and install it by double-clicking it’s icon. It should be started/installed via PlayonMac. I’m using the version 3.3.081 which also includes the drivers for the Pactor modem. Install those drivers during the initial installation of Airmail3. If you want to get the propagation automagically from inside Airmail, you’ve got to install the (seperate) propagation programm: Open PlayonMac and run a ‘exe-File’ in the same virtual drive, you’ve installed Airmail in ! It has to be the same drive because otherwise Airmail will not be able to find that software.

Now that everything is installed, it’s time to configure the connection Bluetooth-Modem Wine. First the modem has to be paired with OS X. This is done using the Bluetooth-Assistant. The only thing of importance here: Use a ‘user-defined’ pairing-string ! It’s the last eight letters of your modem’s serial number which can be found on the underside of it. Be sure to use the correct upper/lowercase spelling – otherwise it won’t work. Once the Bluetooth-pairing is done, the connection can be tested by opening a Terminal-window (to be found in Applications -> Utilities) and typing the command: cat /dev/tty.SCSPTC-IIusb-COM1
After a short delay, the init-string of the modem should be printed. Now you can close that Terminal window. Attention: If you’ve played around with your Bluetooth-Setup and/or re-installed that modem or whatever… The name of the device can be slightly different. Use ‘/dev/tty.SCSPTC-IIusb-COM1-1′ of whatever is your correct device name.

Now you have to create a COM-port for use in Wine: Start PlayonMac, enter the Configuration and use the Button ‘open a shell’ in the tab ‘Miscellaneous’. A little shell-window will open, in which you have to type the following commandos:

cd ../dosdevices
ln -s /dev/tty.SCSPTC-IIusb-COM1 com1

This will create the needed COM-port for Wine. Now you can close PlayonMac and start Airmail3. Beside your usual settings, only one thing is really important: The Bluetooth-connection seems to be a bit sluggish and therefore Airmail will not be able to communicate correctly with your modem. You can solve this by going to Tools -> Options… Connection -> Advanced Settings and enable the option named ‘Ignore com-port CTS Signal’. If you now start the Terminal, the init-string of the modem should show after about 20 seconds.

Success !! You’ve got Airmail3 running under OSX with a working Bluetooth connection. Yay !

Posted in Amateur Radio, Apple, Freedom, Linux, Sailing | 1 Comment

First short-wave experiments

On saturday I did a few first steps in short wave technology. One of the basics is to be able to receive a wather fax. This is hardly anything new. People have been doing that since the eighties. The thing is: I don’t have a shortware tranceiver and I don’t have a Windows(TM) PC.

So I coupled my trusty handheld SW radio with my MacBook using a 3.5mm ‘headphone’ cable. The software I was using/testing was: CocoaModem 2.0, Fldigi 3.2 and MultiMode Cocoa. After fiddling around with the receiver (using mode: USB) I finally received a faint signal. But that was enough to pull that first weather fax from Northwood, UK !

It’s actually quite amazing that one can receive quite precious data using only standard components and free software – without internet, telephone, WiFi… Well. It was only a test for getting used with the software. The final setup will hopefully consist of a proper tranceiver and a dedicated small Netbook or Laptop with all software installed and configured. Unfortunately the ONLY piece of software that doesn’t exist on Linux or Mac is the SailMail program for sending/receiving emails via SSB. But maybe I can find a solution for that, too.

Posted in Amateur Radio, Apple, Hardware, Links, Net, Pics, Sailing | Comments Off

OpenCPN 2.2 unter Mac OS X 10.6.4

Ich bin ja ein grosser Fan freier Software und begeisterter Nutzer von openCPN. Leider wurde bisher die OS X Version nur stiefmuetterlich behandelt, heute habe ich aber mehr oder minder zufaellig eine aktuelle Version gefunden und diese auch relativ problemlos zum laufen bekommen. Hier also eine Kurzanleitung fuer alle, die auch an bord gerne auf Windoof verzichten moechten:

OpenCPN 2.2 Beta fuer Mac auf der deutschen Seite von openCPN runterladen. – Zu finden unter Beta-/Testversionen. Der Download funktioniert ueber Mac’s Mobile Me. Hier muss man mit Passwort einloggen (findet man auch auf der download-Seite, oben). Danach den Ordner OpenCPN Beta…mpkg auswaehlen und den ‘Download-Pfeil’ am oberen Fensterrand anklicken. Nun wird ein .zip Archiv erstellt, das anschliessend am eigenen Rechner gespeichert werden kann. Das .zip Archiv zuerst auspacken (Doppelklick) und anschliessend openCPN installieren (Doppelklick).

Nun zum komplizierten Teil:

Leider fehlen noch zwei Bibliotheken, ohne die das OpenCPN nicht laeuft. Diese erhaelt man ueber MacPorts. Dieses also runterladen und installieren.

Leider ist OpenCPN als i386 Applikation kompiliert, weshalb die MacPorts-config angepasst werden muss:

Die Folgenden Kommandos fuehrt man in einem Terminal-Fenster aus:

edit /opt/local/etc/macports/macports.conf
Nach build_arch suchen, und die Zeile wie folgt anpassen:
build_arch            i386

Danach die Datei speichern, hierzu ist das Admin-Passwort notwendig !

Nun die erforderlichen Bibliotheken installieren (dies dauert ein paar Minuten !). Und nicht wundern, auch diese Kommandos benoetigen das admin-Passwort ! Beim der ersten Verwendung von sudo wird auch noch zusaetzlich eine Warnmeldung ausgegeben.

sudo port -v selfupdate
sudo port install libpng tiff

Nun noch einen Link anlegen, damit OpenCPN die Bibliotheken auch findet:

sudo ln -s /opt/local/lib /usr/local/lib

Das Terminal-Fenster kann nun geschlossen werden.

OpenCPN starten und freuen ! – Ueber Erfahrungsberichte oder Verbesserungswuensche freut sich der Ersteller des Paketes ! Seine Email-Adresse ist in der Datei Liesmich.txt zu finden, diese befindet sich gleich neben dem openCPN download, am selben Server.

OpenCPN Version InfoOpenCPN 2.2 screenshot

Posted in Apple, Links, Net, Sailing | Comments Off


Tja. Nun hat er also wirklich den Geist aufgegeben. Seit 1997 betreibe ich nun einen Webserver in Wien. Anfangs noch an einem Kabelmodem von zuhause, spaeter bei der Inode in einem kleinen Keller im 8.Bezirk, dann wurde daraus ein richtiges Rechenzentrum im 20. und letzten Endes wurde dann die Inode von UPC Telekabel geschluckt (was man durchaus auch am Service bemerken konnte, ja).

Die Kiste, die sich nun am vergangenen Freitag fuer immer verabschiedet hat war in etwa aus dem Jahr 2001 und hatte sich also schon abbezahlt.

Am Wochenende habe ich in einer Blitzaktion,, und einige Domains von Freunden nach Berlin kopiert und dort laeuft nun das alles auf einem lieben, kleinen MiniMac, der gerade ohne Aufgabe rumstand.

Sobald ich Zeit hab, werde ich den Server neu installieren und dann wieder in ein richtiges Rechenzentrum packen. Das wird aber wohl noch etwas dauern. Bis dahin laeuft unsere Website wohl etwas langsamer, da die Anbindung hier nur 10MBit ist. Tja. Aber immerhin haben alle Daten den Crash ueberlebt. Nicht auszudenken, wenn ploetzlich alle meine Emails (ja, ich hab fast alle noch, ab ca. 1998) weg gewesen waeren. Na und was erst die vielen Freunde gesagt haetten, die auf ihr Emailkonto haben…. Schwein gehabt !

XKCD - devotion to duty

Original comic:

Posted in Apple, Berlin, Hardware, Linux, Work | Comments Off

Ach ja. Fotos. Mas fotitos ! Viiiiiiele Fotos…

Und gleich noch ein paar weitere raufgeladen:

Neues vom Hausbau und Zuhause, in der Rancho-Relaxo (Prinzessin Viola lernt sitzen)

Dann folgen noch… Bilder von der Biennale in Sevilla und Grenada sowie ein paar weitere Fotos von Elektronikbasteleien. – Die bringen dann spaeter auch Licht in die Sache mit dem kaputten ‘Voltage regulator’ (s.u.).

Posted in Apple, Found, LosLocos, Pics, Projects, Work | Comments Off

If you’re doing creative work – use an Apple.

This Anonymous Coward pretty much got it:

“Seriously, why would you want to buy a Mac if you can have Ubuntu, apart from Adobe/Macromedia products?”

Oh, I don’t know, Apple products? Ableton products? Native Instruments products? Steinberg products? Propellorhead products? Corel products? Quartz? Colour matching built right into the drawing engine? A whole slew of audio, video, modeling, graphics, typesetting and printing (as in not your rgb inkjet) and media applications?

“UI looks as funky (if not funkier), more available software, albeit most of it is OSS or free.”

“Looks”. Heh. It’s never been about how the UI looks. The UI is more or less the same as it’s been since System 7. It’s about how the UI _works_, it’s about how the UI acts and feels, it’s about integration, simplicity and slickness. It’s about doing what it does and doing it responsively with a minimal resources. I’ll guarantee you that KDE won’t be nearly responsive on a 233 G3 w/ 192mb ran as Tiger was. Only people who don’t actually use Macs figure that it’s how the UI looks. (and I’ll concede, I think Enlightenment 17, and certain KDE setups are allot prettier, but neither works as NextStep did, and OS X does.) These are the same people who pitch compiz as the greatest thing since the colour monitor, sure it looks pretty, but it in no way boosts functionality, and all it exists for is to look pretty. And lets not forget the CLI, all the power under the hood of a full-out POSIX compliant BSD core, and weather or not you ever actually use the command shell is entirely a matter of preference and choice, and that’s how it *should* be.

“more available software, albeit most of it is OSS or free.”

Again, it’s fairly clear you’ve never actually used a Mac. Fink (apt for Darwin), and DarwinPorts offer the free software. What, you thought the POSIX compliant, BSD core was for show? Ad don’t forget all the wonderful non-free software availible for the platform. How’s that for choice, you get your pick from the best of both worlds.

“The only good thing about Macs is the look of the case, and even THAT is a matter of taste.”

SGI cases were prettier, but I digress. If all you’re doing is checking emails, word processing and some dev work, Ubuntu is fine. But once you get to any level of _serious_ creative work, Macintosh is the only viable option left with the demise of Irix. And let’s not forget the bit about everything working with minimal hassle on the Mac. Ever tried using a graphics tablet as your core pointer in Ubuntu? Or using a KAOS pad? Or just about any higher end, vaguely exotic multimedia hardware, for that matter? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Just as an FWI, I’ve used various Unices for the past 15 years (Irix, Solaris, AIX, Free/Open BSD, Interix, Linux, and Darwin/OSX) Linux for close to 10. But there’s this way of thinking tat doesn’t seem to be too common these days, “using the best tool for the job”. Linux has it’s uses, serious creative work isn’t one of them. It may be good enough for what YOU do, but don’t assume that everyone else’s needs match your own. And for fuck’s sake, if you’re going to criticize something, use it first. You read like one of those pointless Linux distro reviews that bases the whole thing on the install sequence, then offers a generic gnome screenshot, and somehow thinks there’s anything even remotely useful in the article.

Posted in Apple, Found, Links, Net, Observations | Comments Off