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

Questions? Praise? Blame? Feel free to contact me.

My old blog (pre-2006) is also still available.

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This is so me...

Everyone has it every now and then: You see or read something that you can completely identify with, thinking "This is so me".

I just stumbled onto this comic.

1 comment -:- permalink -:- 11:17
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.


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
Vacation has begun: Busy but nice

Since I've finished my last exams last week, I have now officially started my vacation. Last weekend I've been gaming a lot, since my (now officially graduated) little brother held a LAN party at our house. Even Brenda played along a few hours of Warcraft. Fun!

This morning I spent sleeping, I had some catching up to do from last weekend. Around 12 I got out of bed, had a nice breakfast and got on the train to Enschede. At 1600, after some nerding in the train and eating ice cream with flatmates in the hallway, I went to the Vrijhof. Pro Deo, my theatre sports club, has been looking for a new director for some time now, since Roel, one of the two directors, will quit coming year.

Since a potential director had been found, there was an introductory lesson where Pro Deo members could meet the director and give feedback about his or her teaching style. It turned out that this potential new director was Regine, an old Pro Deo director who I think is actually member of honour already. So, that should probably work out ok.

At first, I found she had a very direct and potentially negative way of putting criticism. There was a lot of focus on the downsides of the played scenes and how to improve on that. There was not so much attention for what went well. She also regularly interrupted scenes to give feedback, which my former directors did not do or not do so much. I have not yet decided whether I actually like this style, since it is now just "different". I was however impressed with the way she worded her thoughts, with only a few well chosen words the essence of a scene or her critique was transferred.

Tonight, an official member meeting (ALV) was held by Pro Deo. The time between the lesson and the meeting were spent eating and relaxing together, which added a lot to the overall niceness of the day. A key point during this meeting would be the vacancies in the board. The current treasurer would stand down, leaving two positions vacant. One was already filled by Marijn, but there was no treasurer found yet.

I myself have been thinking about taking up a position in the Pro Deo board. It has been something I have been wanting to do for a while now and I thought this would be the right moment. Initially, I did not want to take up the position of treasurer, since I had already done that for a year at [Inter-Actief]. Yet when last week discussion progressed, it seemed like a position as treasurer was a good idea anyway, since it required little introduction for me to get to work and allowed me to easily scale the amount of time invested in Pro Deo.

I had nearly actually committed myself to taking this position, but I eventually declined. I already have a lot of commitments and activities that cost me attention and time, so adding another one will only cause me to invest even less time in everything, making all the things I do a little less satisfactory. Having chronically too much things to do in too little time, I thought it best for both me and Pro Deo, that I did not squeeze Pro Deo somewhere in between all my things.

The ALV itself was a pretty long one, with a lot of useful suggestions from the participants. A few discussions were a lot longer than they should or could have been, but the end result was pretty ok. The vacancy of treasurer has also been filled, though only temporary, so the ALV ended well.

To finish the day, we went to the Vestingbar for some drinks and talking. The weather was great, so we spent the night outside on the terrace, with music and drinks. I've been doing some catching up with two of the Pro Deo ladies I didn't speak to for a while, having some very nice conversations (even with both of them at the same time! ;-p). But now, after a busy but very nice day and night, I can go to bed peacefully, knowing I won't have to get out in the morning. At all.

1 comment -:- permalink -:- 04:06

This Monday, I've attended my grandfather's funeral (or actually, of the father of Ineke, my father's new wife). It was nice, at least so far as funerals go on the niceness scale. A few family members said touching words in remembrance and also the church minister had a nice story (Even though I am absolutely no christian, these things are why I think the job of a minister is quite respectable and useful).

We spent the first part of the day in church, where people spoke and sang. We continued in the crematorium, where (after having to wait a while) some more people said some words. We then headed back to the church, for drinks and lunch. The end of the day was rather ok, I spent some time talking to family I had not seen in a while. We finished the day visiting my place in Enschede (my grandfather lived near here) for a cup of tea.

Since his death was not too sudden (He has been in a nursing home for terminal patients for two weeks), I was still able to have an intelligible conversation with him a week before and he turned 91 not too long ago, I seem to be coping with this loss pretty well. Sure, it hurts, but this is pretty much how it is supposed to be and how he wanted it to be. And that makes it a lot nicer.

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 20:37

Yet another attempt at a short post, which will most likely fail horribly. Anyway, I'll not even try to describe all the fun stuff since last post (Weekend of sailing at my father's newly opened sailing school, the elf fantasy fair, a sewing weekend for Evolution Events, learning functional programming) and skip ahead to yesterday.

Simonic invasion

Yesterday, I had a date with Simon, with whom I am going the build the LARP administration system thing. He is finishing his studies here in Enschede (he lives in Apeldoorn), so he dropped over after his day's work. We spent the evening fiddling arround with phpPeanuts, a framework for building information systems. I had high expectations of it, while Simon was a little sceptic.

It turns out the framework is probably highly usable, but (as most open source software) has a little lacking documentation (or actually, it's documentation is lacking some useful structure). We will probably use it and now we have a feeling for how it works and what it can do, we can start designing our thing. I am also quite confident that our cooperation will work out properly, since even though I am way more of a linux wizard than he is and have more php experience than he has, we are quite up to par on the conceptual level. Should be fun.


This morning I had a meeting with part of my design project group, to finally finish our product (Pling) and get our grades. On our todo list are four things: Getting highscores to work, ironing out the last bugs, getting our server to compile to a native binary (it's java) and finishing the technical documentation for the server.

Today, we spent the morning finding bugs and fighting compilers, and concluded this would not really work out. Compiling our java server native seems impossible due to the mysql library we used and debugging in flash is pretty impossible... So, we might not be able to finish this project fully, in that we will probably not deliver a fully working and useable game as we had hoped.

Ir. Niels

This afternoon, a flatmate, Nelis, held his final presentation. He is now officially Ir. and MSc. After his presentation, the usual (but nasty) questions and the drinks afterwards, we (most flatmates went there) went home to order food. Since I, together with Bert, was the last sober person, I ordered us shoarma. We had a fun evening hanging around on the balcony. Even though they were quite wasted, I had fun lauging with and about them. We've just finished with a nice campfire. So, I'll get outside again now, I think the fire should still be burning.

1 comment -:- permalink -:- 23:08
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
It's magic!

w00t! I lost my left glove about two weeks back, around the computer rooms at our faculty. I think I had them when I was there, but I didn't have them when I got at my bike. Yet, they were not at lost and found, so who knows where they went...

Just now, I walked out of the computer room through the same route as two weeks before and I saw it lying in a bush. It's a little dirty and rough, but I got 2 gloves again! Yay! :-)

2 comments -:- permalink -:- 18:01
Feeling good!

W00t, I've been having a nice night. Instead of my usual routine of not wanting to do things and delaying them, filling my time with "useless" coding or fiddling with my laptop or pc or stuff like that, I have spent all night doing "useful" stuff.

I had already spent an hour or two last week sorting out my cluttered email inbox (260+ messages) that contained emails that I was planning to reply to or that needed some action before they were fully handled. I had reduced the number of messages to 30 or so, that needed some action of some kind (and ten or so email discussions with Brenda that slowly died and still need sorting out). Mutt showing an empty mailbox

Today, I've looked at a bunch more mails, and instead of postponing them more, I actually did stuff and reduced my inbox to 12 messages. Besides that, I've done some work for my Bachelor Referaat, helped fixing our pandora registration, read the Inter-Actief financial semi-annual report and even found some time to do a little nerding in between.

In short, this was a very nice night, with no delaying, postponing and wasting time as usual. I'm even going to bed before 0200, which is not as bad as it could be (though still improvable, I'm pretty tired). But hey, you can't do everything at the same time :-)

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 01:45
I wasn't even drunk!

This morning I got up to get to college, felt terribly tired, so decided to skip college and sleep for two more hours (which helped a lot ;-) ). Thinking that I had left my bike at the train station yesterday, I've been walking around the campus today (being late everywhere because I kept forgetting I had to walk).

When I was walking back home just now, I found that I did not leave my bike at the station, but it was next to our flat, exactly where it should be. Not really sure how I got the wrong idea, I haven't even been drinking yesterday... Ah well, all this walking was probably good for my aching leg muscles from yesterday...

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 00:05
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