"In het verleden behaalde resultaten bieden geen garanties voor de toekomst"

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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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Reviving Xanthe somewhat

S270 notebook

I was prompted to write this post after I got an email from another S270 user, thanking me for all the info I posted about these machines. He was also having power supply issues, with all the same resulting troubles I had (keyboard stuttering, USB issues, etc.).

He said he fixed this by simply replacing the notebook power supply and all his problems were gone. Interestingly I had already tried that and it didn't work for me, so we were having different problems.

Another reason for writing this post is that I actually fixed my power supply issues a few months ago. I can't really remember what prompted me too look into it again, but this time I didn't have anything to lose - I wasn't really using Xanthe for anything anymore. I opened up the casing completely, took out the mainboard to properly access the underside.

The power connector felt like it was fixed to the mainboard pretty tightly, but I put my soldering iron to it anyway. I just let the solder reflow nicely.

To my surprise, this actually worked. The power connector now powers the laptop properly, without any blinking. I suspect that the solder in one of the contacts had split and caused a flakey connection.

So, Xanthe is still idling around in a cabinet somewhere, but at least she's now usable as a backup or LARP prop sometime :-)

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 22:20
Opening attachments on another machine from within mutt

For a fair amount of years now, I've been using Mutt as my primary email client. It's a very nice text-based email client that is permanently running on my server (named drsnuggles). This allows me to connect to my server from anywhere, connect to the running Screen and always get exactly the same, highly customized, mail interface (some people will say that their webmail interfaces will allow for exactly the same, but in my experience webmail is always clumsy and slow compared to a decent, well-customized text-based client when processing a couple of hundreds of emails per day).

Attachment troubles

So I like my mutt / screen setup. However, there has been one particular issue that didn't work quite as efficient: attachments. Whenever I wanted to open an email attachment, I needed to save the attachment within mutt to some place that was shared through HTTP, make the file world-readable (mutt insists on not making your saved attachments world-readable), browse to some url on the local machine and open the attachment. Not quite efficient at all.

Yesterday evening I was finally fed up with all this stuff and decided to hack up a fix. It took a bit of fiddling to get it right (and I had nearly started to spend the day coding a patch for mutt when the folks in #mutt pointed out an easier, albeit less elegant "solution"), but it works now: I can select an attachment in mutt, press "x" and it gets opened on my laptop. Coolness.

How does it work?

Just in case anyone else is interested in this solution, I'll document how it works. The big picture is as follows: When I press "x", a mutt macro is invoked that copies the attachment to my laptop and opens the attachment there. There's a bunch of different steps involved here, which I'll detail below.

See more ...

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 22:38
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.


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!


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
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