Oct 312011

Is it possible to get excited about a technology we never notice when using a computer? File systems do their job and we never give them a second thought. On a fresh setup of Ubuntu 11.10 I have 10 different mkfs.* binaries, allowing the creation of as many file systems. Why is there more than one? Let’s take a look at one I find truly exciting: btrfs, the newest entry in the Linux file system zoo.

What is it?

Btrfs is a file system designed to handle large amounts of data. It is capable of organizing volumes of up to 16 EiB and supports a maximum file size of 16 EiB. To ensure a consistent file system state, it uses copy-on-write, meaning it writes data to new locations and then updates the entry in the file system trees, so the changes only become visible once they have been completed. As a comparison: ext4 (which is the newest update of the ext-family of file systems traditionally used on Linux) supports 1 EiB volumes (1/16) and 16 TiB file sizes (1/2^20). And ext4 is a journaling file system. It records changes to be made before making them so the system state can be restored in the event of a crash.

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Aug 302011

Well, to put this down as “gibberish” would be unfair, because it’s quite reasonable information right there. It’s rather what would be called “continuity goofs” over at the IMDb. Furthermore my remarks in the introduction of the first part of the blog series still apply, that with current HD quality movies, it’s easy to pull up a still and check the information sold to us by the movie makers.

I have to admit, the people responsible for The Bourne Ultimatum have done a pretty good job, both with the movie in general and as far as IT authenticity is concerned. (As a small side-note: sorry, idealists, but I have not read the book)
However, there are a few things (to be followed), where they did sloppy work – remember when Nicky says “it’s being blocked by the firewall”?

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Jun 302011

A few days ago, Google launched their version of social networking in the shape of Google+.
Like most Google projects, this seems to be in a semi-closed beta phase allowing members to invite new people. My guess is they randomly selected Google accounts that were automatically joined into the program for trying it out. Ever since then a huge wave of asking for and giving out invites has occurred.

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Jun 102011

A few weeks ago I created a small PHP script that could extract text messages from an iPhone SQLite storage file. It required the user to have a PHP interpreter ready in order to run the script, which might be an obstacle keeping him or her from using the script.

Because I’m currently having more fun to do some programming in PHP than to rewrite the original script in Java (most people will have a JVM and/or JRE installed), I created a new webpage that uses the original script.

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Jun 082011

The blog series of computer gibberish in movies began with this post, where you can also find the introduction to the general topic.

Following part 1, where they just punched in random keys and numbers, we can see a higher level of “gibberish” in The Girl who played with Fire, because they bothered to put “real” text:

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May 112011

UPDATE (10/06/2011): I started an online version of the script, see new blog post.

For a while I’ve been checking out various programs for extracting and converting text messages from the iPhone SMS storage SQLite database. For some reason they seem to be either for purchase or not doing their job well.
When I found out that all they are doing is pretty much just some simple SQL query and putting the result into various output formats, I decided to quickly write this myself, while keeping it simple and open.

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Jul 062010

After a long history of incidents/accidents, I’ve been using my iPhone 3GS (new bootrom) with regular iOS4 for a couple of days. However, I had to do without any mobile internet – even though my contract was fine and it had been working just fine with 3.1.2.

I’ve pretty much tried every instruction that’s out there which has anything to do with enabling mobile internet. Removing SIM-card, resetting APN (even though my provider doesn’t even need any APN settings), completely resetting network settings – along with disabling+enabling mobile data connections and/+ 3G for a thousand times. The “E” or the “3G” was showing up fine (depending which one I enabled), nevertheless, no connection could be made from any app.

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Jun 222010

We all know those scenes from movies, where we see a computer screen while the NOC-list is being copied or when someone logs into a mainframe in order to disable the power of half a city (via SSH btw). Some are done well or very well (as the mentioned SSH one) others poorly researched or even plain lazy.
While watching such scenes, we usually immediately recognize whether it’s authentic or just crap. Nowadays modern high resolution+definiton movie formats make it even possible to pause the movie and verify all the text that we see on computer screens in such scenes.

Recently, when I watched the (quite brutal) movie “Unthinkable” I saw a real killer:

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