Jim Austin’s computer sheds

In August 2017 I had the opportunity to meet Prof. Jim Austin and visit his “computer sheds”. Jim Austin is a professor of computer science and has a very extensive, private collection of computers that he has collected in his warehouses over many years.

The collection is not (yet) a regular exhibition, but if you register in advance, you can get a private tour for a little donation. Also see http://www.computermuseum.org.uk. Below is a loose collection of pictures I took during my visit.

My special thanks go to Jim Austin and Trevor Howard-Smith for the friendly guidance and to the many people helping with cataloging and preparing the collection!

Continue reading

An open secret

In the context of the current discussion about sexual abuse in the film industry, a film produced in 2014 has also been re-staged which looks at the abuse of children in the California film industry and that no distributor wanted to have in the program at that time – “An open secret”.

You can watch this film on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/142444429

Lightbox with PhotoSwipe

In the past I have used the plugin “Responsive Lightbox” for the enlarged display of pictures. Unfortunately, this solution had some weaknesses:

  • No possibility to enlarge the picture view.
  • Swipe gestures quite “jerky” – you can see how the picture view follows the finger movement very slowly

In particular, I noticed the lack of the possibility of image magnification at another website, where I have seen people who have tried to enlarge individual images with the common two-finger gesture on their smartphones.

As an alternative, I finally discovered PhotoSwipe – a JavaScript library that not only allows you to magnify images with a mouse click or finger gestures, but also provides a full-screen view. Also, the response to input is much snappier as in “Responsive Lightbox”.

Continue reading

“BlueBorne” and missing patches

Some time ago, a severe security problem was discovered in Bluetooth devices, which had been given the name “Blueborne” by their discoverers. Operating systems like Linux and Windows already got security updates. Android is theoretically also fixed already – however, only by Google and the devices sold under their name. For devices from other manufacturers the situation is worse if the device has been on the market for more than 2 years.

Continue reading

A bit of luxury

In March 2017 I visited the Berliner Fahrradschau and besides many other interesting things I also discovered the bicycle bell by Spurcycle. I could have bought a copy a the booth but I postponed that since I didn’t know where to mount it – because the handle bar was already quite cramped due to the gear indicators of the shift levers. The mounting of the old bell, a “Charly” by Mounty, was already cumbersome under the gear indicators and I never was very happy with this solution.

Continue reading

Pebble still useable

The Pebble is offically dead  since the end of 2016 where Fitbit bought the software and the production of the hardware was discontinued.

But this does not mean that the existing copies don’t work any longer – Fitbit will turn off the cloud services by the end of 2017 but there is a new version of the Pebble App already available since April 2017 which does not require a cloud connection. Apps which are already installed on the Pebble and which don’t need a cloud connection can still be used. Also side loading of new apps is still possible as in “Nav Me” or “Pebble Camera”.

So my Pebble will still be usable until I got an alternative :-).