Technology /blog/technology.html This is my (Markus Gattol) weblog. You are currently reading the category "Technology" which is one of several categories on my weblog. This category is about any sort of "Technology" that does not fit into one the more specialized categories (e.g. Debian) on my weblog. en-us Emacs Muse MongoDB Berlin /blog/technology.html#MongoDB%20Berlin Ooops... we did it again! This time the MongoDB caravan will visit Berlin.

MongoBerlin will take place on October 4th in Berlin. I will be there, giving two talks. One will be about MongoDB and Python with special regards to PyMongo. With the second talk I will address MongoDB's Map/Reduce feature — something that by nature often posses quite a hurdle to people which are new the paradigm of distributed databases.

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Markus Gattol Wed, 04 Aug 2010 00:00:00 BST /blog/technology.html#MongoDB%20Berlin
Best Python Shell there is /blog/technology.html#Best%20Python%20Shell%20there%20is The default Python shell is all right. bpython however is what you want to use for speed and comfort.

If you think any of the following sounds like a good idea, then bpython is for you: autocompletion, inline syntax highlighting, shows us the expected parameter list as we type, rewind what we typed not just graphically but also internally i.e. the command stack, preload Django models, ship of contents to a pastebin site, configurable theme, record and reuse command history, etc.

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Markus Gattol Sat, 22 May 2010 00:00:00 BST /blog/technology.html#Best%20Python%20Shell%20there%20is
MongoDB Conferences /blog/technology.html#MongoDB%20Conferences It is hot, it is hip, it is happening... it is MongoDB! This summer the caravan will visit Europe. At first the United Kingdom, then, shortly after, moving on to the continent where it will camp in France before entering a Starship and...

MongoUK will take place on June 18th in London, MongoFR June 21st in Paris. I will be there, giving a talk on MongoDB together with a colleague of mine. The subject will be Building web applications with PyMongo and Django.

Next to talking about the pure MongoDB/Python/Django solution stack, we are also going to take a look at use cases outside the Python domain e.g. how would you go about solving the problem of the complexity/cost/scalability barrier imposed by traditional RDBMSs (Relational Database Management Systems) like for example MySQL, Oracle or PostgreSQL.

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Markus Gattol Mon, 17 May 2010 00:00:00 BST /blog/technology.html#MongoDB%20Conferences
Resume an SCP Transfer /blog/technology.html#Resume%20an%20SCP%20Transfer When transferring data through an insecure network like, for example, the Internet, we need to make sure it is secure.

That is not enough however, we also want to make sure we do not have to start from scratch only because the transfer got canceled for some reason.

Here you can see how to resume an SCP session after the connection got canceled for some reason.

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Markus Gattol Fri, 14 May 2010 00:00:00 BST /blog/technology.html#Resume%20an%20SCP%20Transfer
How does your Business handle Hardware Purchase for Staff? /blog/technology.html#How%20does%20your%20Business%20handle%20Hardware%20Purchase%20for%20Staff%3F How do does your business handle hardware desire/need for staff? Is it totally random? Is it super-strict? Maybe it is smart and satisfactory for all parties involved?

Well, right now I have a 30 inch screen and I just love it. The way this is handled, at my current (May 2010) employer, is so that the company pays for a basic setup and when somebody wants e.g. a bigger screen, they pay the additional costs on top of the basic setup themselves. This is actually what I have introduced here two years ago and it is good for four reasons:

  • Motivation: folks are happy when they can have a say about their equipment in general, this is especially true for technicians and even more so for the Geek-by-nature type of person. It is my believe and experience that if you give them the gear they desire, they will be happy and thus more productive which in turn is good for business.
  • Costs: to keep the costs in line with the general budget, the business will never have to pay more than the basic costs even if somebody decides he/she needs a SSD (Solid State Drive), a bigger or second screen, more RAM, etc.
  • Fairness and Transparency: in my opinion the most important bit, those in charge avoid having to deal with things like jealousy amongst staff since everybody gets the basic setup and what is above it gets payed for by the particular person himself. That is fair and no problem with regards to teamspirit which I consider utterly important. Actually that was the reason why I introduced this scheme in the first place... to have a flexible, transparent, fair and yet controllable scheme which stays within certain boundaries (financially speaking).
  • Saves Time and Energy: It is not and should not be a superiors job having to deal with things like Mommy, why is it that A got X and I just got Y?. He or she in charge not just wants to stay out of it but avoid this childish game entirely which is exactly what this scheme does.

Bottom line: everybody loves and values this scheme now, superiors, controlling and those who want a little extra candy on top of their standard cake.

We never had any childish jealousy thing going on here since the time this scheme was introduced, and now management has one thing less to think/care about.

The way it is payed for by the employee is so that it is subtracted from his salary in the following month/week/etc. after purchase. To the outside world it looks as if the business payed for it entirely which is good in terms of VAT (Value added Tax).


Update: Since I got comments like Nice, but that only works for small businesses because... My current employer is a fortune 500 business with tens of thousands staff and although we have this flexible scheme with my division, security, provisioning and the entire life-cycle thingy works smoothly simply because we made it so.

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Markus Gattol Sat, 08 May 2010 00:00:00 BST /blog/technology.html#How%20does%20your%20Business%20handle%20Hardware%20Purchase%20for%20Staff%3F
One to do it all /blog/technology.html#One%20to%20do%20it%20all%2E%2E%2E I figured I am going to wait another six or so month until I get myself the one... the device to do it all — music, on the go Internet, cell, GPS, WiFi AP, communications device, digicam, etc.

Yes, I am looking for a gadget which allows me foster my unappeasable urge for freedom... geographical independence that is. What am I talking about?

Well, in a nutshell: I want an iPhone-like gadget which can also be used as WiFi AP (I know that is possible; crazy hack needed). For that gadget I also want to support syncing my music out of the box with common music players like for example banshee. Of course I can tinker around and hack something together to make it work but then I am not 19 anymore... time matters! Out of the box it shall work, all FLOSS of course... unfortunately that sounds like a dream as of now.

After evaluating the situation a bit it seems a mixture of all available gadgets out there would be just what I want:

  1. Openmoko, all FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) but again, as of now (November 2008) still a lot of manual work to do if you need non mainstream apps.
  2. The iPhone... well sorry mates but no matter what, closed source is closed source... Into that; what the heck is wrong with all you crazy Apple fan{boys,girls}? Before Apple you probably were all crazy hardcore catholics, and then, all of a sudden, you people belong to the church of Apple Inc. Interesting...
  3. Google's Android? Yes, seems to be the most promising. However, seems this whole thingy needs at least another year before it can be considered a serious choice.
  4. Blackberry? No. Although I do a lot of email, I would rather use some gadget to connect to the Internet and act as a wireless AP so I can use my subnotebook to do a lot more than just email which is pretty much what a Blackberry thingy can be used for aside from basic stuff.
  5. All the rest like for example those fancy Nokia etc. PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) pretty much look like jokes to me anyway. I am so not going to buy some windows mobile vendor lock-in crap...

What also totally sucks is that folks like me want to be online on the go... if possible stick to you habits i.e. 24/7 no matter where; train, restaurant, museum, etc. Try that with current mobile Internet plans... only 3GB or so free traffic per month plus insanely high roaming fees once you travel outside your country just sucks! At least in urban areas in Europe I want mobile Internet with flat rate and 10+ Mbit in both directions.


It is a pity! /me just has to wait another year or so until he makes a move towards one device to do it all...


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Markus Gattol Tue, 18 Nov 2008 00:00:00 GMT /blog/technology.html#One%20to%20do%20it%20all%2E%2E%2E
VMware so not my Thing /blog/technology.html#VMware%2E%2E%2E%20so%20not%20my%20Thing%2E%2E%2E These days it seems folks are running towards VMware like moots go for the street lantern. I usually do not need to thinker around with VMware but today I had to.

I had to provide some folks with an VMware image. The image would then be loaded onto an IBM BladeCenter with an attached EMC SAN (Storage Area Network). The OS (Operating System) within the image was Debian simply because I wanted it to be Debian-I-simply-rock-harder. I opted for the current (June 2008) stable release (4.0 also known as Etch).

The first question for folks that do not fiddle around with VMware on a regular is how do I create a VMware image? Well, you do not. Why? Because it can be downloaded here. From there it is a simply task. Put it onto some storage media (USB stick, CD, etc.) or move it via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or make some other funky move to get it to some place where it can be picked up by the VMware wizard. In my case the VMware wizard was no Debian respectively *nix wizard at all so I meet him at their datacenter so we would work together to get the task done.

There I used a local console and edited /etc/network/interfaces to configure the IP address, netmask and gateway. Then I installed the package openssh-server, made some changes to /etc/ssh/sshd_config and last but not least edited /etc/resolv.conf.


VMware may be nice but I prefer FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) like OpenVZ for example. I also have no need to run Windows or anything else aside from some Linux. I do not like VMware simply because it is no FLOSS, creates yet another vendor lock-in and is way to complicated to use, understand and deal with.

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Markus Gattol Mon, 16 Jun 2008 00:00:00 BST /blog/technology.html#VMware%2E%2E%2E%20so%20not%20my%20Thing%2E%2E%2E