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About this blog

These are the ramblings of Matthijs Kooijman, concerning the software he hacks on, hobbies he has and occasionally his personal life.

Most content on this site is licensed under the WTFPL, version 2 (details).

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Winter Efteling :-D

Last weekend, I've been at the winter Efteling. The Efteling opens up for a few weekends during the cold season, with an icy theme. Last weekend was the first. Brenda had been buying a lot of Madras Chicken from Knorr, which bought us six tickets at a discount. We offered two to Dennis and Alice and gave the other two to Suus and Gijs for their respective birthdays.

Monkey Matthijs We also knew about a few other friends (LARPers) who would go in the same weekend, but a whole throng of LARPers turned up last Saturday (about 25 to 30 I think). Apart from that, it wasn't too busy at the park, so there were hardly any lines during the day. I have a nice souvenir picture from the Pandadroom (Panda dream) attraction (since everyone knows the Pandadroom isn't so much fun because the fancy 3D animation, but because of the playground with video games that comes after!).

Since we did about every attraction in the park, my brains were upside down in my skull and I was pretty exhausted when we finally got on the train home. Yet, I was not headed home, since my aunt held her birthday in Eindhoven, which is pretty close to the Efteling. I joined in on the party and was not in bed before 0530.

I went home the next day after breakfast (halfway the afternoon), back to Brenda. As you might imagine, the exhaustion had hardly lessened, so I decided not to get up together with Brenda Monday morning at 0650. Good thing, since I managed to sleep until 1300 for a whopping 13,5 hours of sleep. Didn't know I was that tired...

 
0 comments -:- permalink -:- 17:04
Folk weekend in Mattstedt with the Gonnagles

Gonnagles logo

Last weekend, I've travelled to Mattstedt, a small village near the center of Germany, to attend a folk festival there. The Gonnagles, a Dutch folk band, were performing at the festival and asked me to help out as an audio technician (since not all of the Gonnagles could attend). Liking the opportunity to do some more sound engineering, do some dancing and hang out with the Gonnagles, I agreed to come along.

Route to Mattstedt

After I said yes, I realized that the Festival was quite far into Germany (5 hours from Enschede, though on the way there, we got caught in a traffic jam making it 7,5 hours, plus 1,5 hours from Amersfoort to Enschede). Still, I shared the car with nice people (Erik and Moes on the way there, just Erik on the way back) and the festival was nice, so in the end it was worth every minute of driving time. Moes, Erik and I also travelled on friday instead of saturday, leaving an extra fridaynight for dancing and saturday afternoon for relaxing.

During the festival, I ended up helping out with the audio engineering of the rest of the festival, instead of just the Gonnagles' performance. There were two audio technicians there, but neither of them were very experienced in setting up a live performance and getting to the bottom of any problems that (always) show up. Also, the rented equipmented wasn't quite top-notch quality, which didn't really help either.

Fortunately, I was able to help out a bit and debug some problems with the PA system and monitor speakers. On saturday, I also did most of the mixing for Cassis, one of the other bands. Apparently people thought I did a good job, since I got a lot of thanks from people who apparently thought I single-handedly saved the festival from horrible sound quality (which would be underappreciating the other technicians, which also worked hard to get everything running).

The festival itself was nice as well. I always enjoy the performance of Parasol, who are very talented, but I also enjoyed the other bands. The weather was good, so I had some nice relaxed moments lying in the sun, I listened to good music, shared some nice dances with a pretty German girl, and just had fun.

So, again next year?

 
0 comments -:- permalink -:- 16:59
New pet: Pelle the pelikan

Pluche Pelle the pelikan Sanquin

For the occasion of my fourtieth blood donation at the Sanquin blood bank, I got a nice pluche pelikan (which is their mascotte / logo). It got a nice spot on top of one of the speakers on my desk, where it has a nice view of my room.

Are you a blood donor yet? More donors are still needed in the Netherlands, so sign up now!

Related stories

 
0 comments -:- permalink -:- 16:58
Blood donor

Sanquin

As of today, I am officially a blood donor. I've been at Sanquin, the national blood donation organization, this morning to deliver half a liter of blood. I have been there once before, to let them take a small amount of blood for blood tests. Apparently they found nothing obviously wrong with, so I was invited again. Depending on the need, I will be invited a few times each year to give more blood.

Blood donation is something that has been on my "todo" list for quite some while now, so I decided to simply stop delaying and do it a while back. I think that everybody should think of being a blood donor. A lot of of our health care is dependent on donor blood. Since people expect health care whenever they need it, can't we expect people to give blood whenever needed?

What scared me a little, was that Sanquin Enschede is still short of a lot of donors. They are aiming to have another 1450 donors, while they currently have about 5000. Considering that Enschede has over 150.000 inhabitants, that amounts to just over three percent. Surely there are more people prepared to invest some time in this?

So, are you not a blood donor yet? Sign up now! It will only cost you some time every now and then, the people are very nice and there's free drinks and cookies involved :-)

Edit: This used to say Enschede had only 200 donors, but that turned out to be 200 hundred new donors in their current campaign for new donors. In total, Enschede has around 5000 registered donors.

 
3 comments -:- permalink -:- 16:58
Moving out, Moving in

This week is the last week that I'm officialy living in my own room at the Calslaan, I've been busy moving out over the last few weeks. The room is nearly empty now, I've spent my last friday removing the planks from the walls and replacing the plugs by fwall filler (Unfortunately, the plugs did a pretty decent job at staying put, so there are still some remains of them in the wall...).

It's probably no surprise that I'm moving in with Brenda, at her place in Twek. Since she got here own place there over a year ago, I've been "visiting" her more often and often. Since I'm now spending most of my (free) time there, it makes sense to make that official as well. It doesn't feel like that big a step (since the living together part happened gradually), but actually moving in together is still a next step of commitment (which I am happy to take).

We finished most of the moving stuff part a few weeks back, just before I started my internship at Recore Systems. This is the one-but-last part of my studies, after I finish my internship in august, I have only my final thesis remaining (though that's gonna take at least 6 more months). So, the end is in sight, but still not so near :-)

 
1 comment -:- permalink -:- 15:45
Passed the exam!

Last monday (very early, they thought it was a good idea to plan my exam at 08.00 in the morning...) I passed my driving exam. It was my first try, so I'm quite happy to have passed. So, next Lextalionis, I can also physrep ghouls with a driver's license :-)

 
2 comments -:- permalink -:- 20:31
Sleeping late and being late

After a few weeks of being busy and getting not enough sleep, I've finally managed to sleep really late this morning. Since Brenda had to go to work today (ie, get up at 7), we went to bed early yesterday (around 2330). I didn't get up together with her but slept on until 1300, for a total of more than 13 hours of sleep. And, for the first time in weeks (or maybe months..) I feel fully rested. Now let's try to keep this up.

I'm writing this while I'm in the train to Enschede. As you may well know, the dutch railways have completely redesigned their schedule, to make it 'better for the majority of passengers'. So far I have found nobody that belongs to that 'majority', but, optimistic as I am I expected the new schedule to be better able to be without delay.

Well, consider my bubble bursted. When I arrived at the station in Ermelo the train had a delay of 10 minutes, which ended up being 15 minutes when the train finally arrived. The only positive thing about the new schedule is that this didn't really matter, since I would normally wait 20 minutes at Zwolle so I am still in the same train I would have been in without delay (though this train to Enschede is also delayed, so in the end, I am still late...).

On a related note, did you know that it takes you exactly 6 minutes to walk from Brenda's place to Ermelo station when you walk really fast because you forgot you had no bike available?

 
1 comment -:- permalink -:- 16:29
Summer 2006: Summary and highlights

Anyone that knows me just a little, will know that the emptyness on my blog this summer, has not been caused by a shortage of things to write about. Quite on the contrary: I've been doing so many things I could have written about, that it didn't leave any time to do the actual writing. By now, classes have begun again, so I won't be having too much time soon either. So, instead of full length posts about all the fun stuff, I'll do a one post summary. I might even make it short.

De Randmeren

So, where have I been this summer? I've been around, but most of the time somewhere in Harderwijk or Ermelo, at either one of my parents or at Brenda's. Most of my summer has been spent helping out at sailing school "De Randmeren" my father started this year. I've mainly been assisting with administrative tasks and boat rental, but also with giving sailing lessons. Since they have just started, I have been setting up most of their administration, both financial and other. I've even been working on an online customer administration system, but it has not been deployed yet (I'll leave that for the winter, together with a complete website redesign by Brenda). During one of these weeks, Tin came over from Enschede to help us out with the youth sailing lessons. Thanks, Tin!

Apart from making a few bucks by working there (though not much, since it is still a starting company), I've been getting a lot of experience, in various areas. The last two weeks I've been working there, I was my father's replacement, since he went on a vacation. Those weeks, I've been basically running the company, together with the other owner, Erik. Very useful experience.

Exodus

Another major time sink during this summer was Exodus, an event by Evolution Events, for which I have been organising. I've mainly been busy with the various IT support tasks, which went well mostly (could have been better if I would have had some more time...). The event itself, at the end of august, was quite succesful. We have been receiving a lot of positive feedback from our participants and we are happy with how the event itself turned out. Best example of this was the saturday night dinner, which was served fully IC, so people continued playing not only over dinner, but even when doing the dishes!

Camping

Somewhere in between there I've been spending some time with Brenda. We have been away for a few days of camping, by bike! Brenda has done cycle vacations with her parents for years and has wanted to do so again together with me. This year, I've finally gathered enough courage and Brenda arranged me a decent bike (borrowed from her neighbours), so nothing stopped us anymore.

We've been cycling for 4 days, starting in Ermelo, going to Elburg, Wesepe (near Olst), Kootwijk (near Apeldoorn) and back to Ermelo, for a grand total of about 150 km. Pretty impressive distance, for me at least. We have been staying at nature campings (Small, cheap campings, having only bare sanitary), in a brand new hiking tent (only 2kg!) I gave Brenda for her birthday.

Other stuff

Furthermore, there is some other stuff I'd like to mention (and possibly write some more about in the future). Last week, I've been scourging the "boeldag", a yearly second hand market in Ermelo. Apart from some useful LARP stuff, I found an original NES, for free! I've tested it this week and it worked, at least somewhat. I do need to find/build a power adapter and some controllers, since I got it completely bare. I've also found the NES is a fairly simple machine, which makes it ideal for modding and hacking :-) Nice for the stack of nice-projects-when-I-have-some-time.

Ever since I've purchases my notebook, I have been looking for a name for it. Somewhere during this summer, I've finally named it "Xanthe", a name I came across a while back that stuck around. Now all I need is a catchy name for my blog (and a matching .nl domain name)...

Just last week, I've finally decided to do the embedded systems master here at twente. I've been through some trouble to participate in a few courses for which I didn't subscribe in time (ie, before the summer).

 
2 comments -:- permalink -:- 19:10
Paintbal & Toothpaste

Did you know that the sound of a nearly empty tube of toothpaste is almost identical to the sound of a paintbal gun, only less loud?

 
2 comments -:- permalink -:- 01:29
Miscellaneous stuff

This post is about a bunch of stuff that happened today (or has some relation to that stuff :-). I am currently waiting for the bus to take me back home, so perfect opportunity to write some things down. If only the sun would come back now... I will not write about last weekend's Symbols event, I am working on another, huge, post about that.

CDP exam

So, this morning was my CDP exam. I had not prepared too well, following only about half the classes (they weren't too good anyway...) and not making all of the homework exercises (meaning that even if I would make the exam flawless, I would only get about 8 out of 10 marks).

Still, I was planning on passing this course, so I teamed up with Bas, who also had to do the same exam (but didn't really follow the course at all this year). This turned out to be a good idea, since it prevented both of us from getting distracted too much. We made our base of operations at the Inter-Actief room, so we would have a printer to print some reference material (the exam was open book). This reminds me, I have to drop by there sometime this week to pay for the pages I printed....

Anyway, I found the exam this morning to be easier than expected, I actually had an answer to all of the questions. So, it seems I might have actually passed after all.

Stupid PIN codes

Anyway, after this exam I was planning to drop by the postal office to pick up my new bank card. Exactly two weeks ago, I was trying to pay for Laurens' birthday gift in a store and I realized I didn't remember my pin code anymore. Everybody forgets stuff sometimes (especially me), but knowing your own pin code is so natural, that it feels as if your mind is seriously broken if you don't remember it. Complete weirdness. Anyway, since I had a few vague ideas about my pin code before suddenly remembering the telephone number of Inter-Actief and mistaking it for my pin code, I got my card blocked.

Next day, I made a trip to the bank, who promised to give me a new pin code, since I still didn't remember it. Four days after forgetting it, I suddenly remembered my code again, but it was no use anymore. Anyway, I got my new pin code, but also some other letter from the bank for which I needed to identify myself to get it. Probably a new bankcard, though the guy said I would only get a new pin code. Ah well. Since I was away last weekend, I had to pick it up at the postal office.

Postal WLAN

So taking the bus to the postal office (expecting to have to drop by the bank too to activate the card), I realized there that it would not open for another half hour. But, there was sun and I had my laptop, so I would write some about Symbols for my blog.

I ended up yanking my laptop's on-board WLAN card into scan mode, to see if I could get an Internet connection and hang around on IRC. I found multiple unencrypted WLAN networks, of which one seemed particularly interesting. It's network ID was "default", which offered a good chance to a non-secured open Internet connection set up by someone not taking the effort of reading any manual or getting some clue.

It turned out that associating with the access point wasn't that hard. Just tell the SSID to wpa_supplicant and be on your way. On the other hand, getting a DHCP lease proved impossible. I suspected the network to be statically configured, so I fired up my favorite packet sniffer Ethereal and made it listen. I was hoping to get a few TCP packets that would allow me to guess the network range and gateway address. No such luck. I did receive a few DHCP DISCOVER packets, which turned out to be not all mine.

At first suspecting that someone else was also trying to get a DHCP lease, or probably just the PC that was supposed to be connected by this access point, I decided that the DHCP server was probably off or broken. That's when I noticed that the DHCP discover packets were not aimed at the access point, but actually originated from this access point. I didn't know why, but this AP was trying to get an IP address.

As kind as always I decided to boot my own DHCP server (it's always nice to run a real OS on your laptop) and give the poor AP an IP address. This actually turned out to work, so I was hoping to get some Internet connectivity soon. Pointing my web browser at the IP address I just gave to the AP gave me a nice login screen, for which my second try (admin/admin) worked. So, I could now easily reconfigure just about anything on this AP (which I didn't, because that would have been rude). It turned out this was just a access point and no router, that had it's LAN interface set to DHCP client. Probably the DHCP server on the LAN was unavailable (or the AP wasn't configured at all, perhaps) and for some reason it didn't just direct it's DHCP requests to the LAN interface, but also to the WLAN interface.

Anyway, since the LAN side of the AP was only configured by my DHCP server, I had no idea on how to actually reach the Internet from here. Also, the postal office opened, so I had played enough and got back to the useful stuff. I finally picked up my bank card (which was activated immediately, so no need to drop by the bank).

I was planning on dropping by Simon too at Saxion, to talk about last weekend's Symbols and the System we are going to develop. But since he was at home sick, I did some shopping and went home. Now (it's after dinner as I finish this post) it's time to do some learning for Thursday's CLP exam, again together with Bas. We already decided we would allow ourselves to do some coding on Claud-IA, the to-be-built user management system for Inter-Actief. But, first some CLP...

 
2 comments -:- permalink -:- 19:59
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