Transferring Text Messages (SMS) from Nokia to Android

Dec 25, 2009

Around a month ago I replaced my old Nokia 6300 cell phone with the Android-based Motorola Milestone (aka. Motorola Droid). While I could easily transfer all contacts by adding them to my GMail contacts list the text messages (aka. SMS) were stuck on the old phone without any official way to transfer them to the Milestone. Fortunately, there is a solution using Gammu, some Perl scripting and the Android SMS Backup & Restore application.

Lieber rnv, ...

Dec 21, 2009

…es ist ja prima, dass ihr vor einiger Zeit den Fahrkartenverkauf in den Heidelberger Straßenbahnen abgeschafft habt und dafür an fast allen Haltestellen Fahrkartenautomaten aufgestellt habt. Es wäre jedoch hilfreich, wenn diese mindestens eine Zahlungsart akzeptieren würden und ich nicht beim Kauf eines Fahrscheins mittels gut getarnter Icons am Bildschirmrand mitgeteilt bekäme, dass der Automat heute leider weder Münzgeld, Scheine oder Kartenzahlung akzeptiert.

Reducing CO2 Emissions

Dec 20, 2009

<irony>Good news everyone, we have located the main contributor to climate change.</irony>

Running Asterisk on a FRITZ!Box 7270

Dec 20, 2009

Around a week ago I started experimenting with running Asterisk on my FRITZ!Box 7270 to replace my DECT phone, which has been getting a bit long in the tooth, with a SIP client running on my new Motorola Milestone HTC Desire cell phone so that when I am at home and my cell phone is signed in to my WLAN I can use it as a mobile handset for calls arriving on my landline.

As it turned out it is a little bit tricky to get Asterisk to compile for the FRITZ!Box, so this posting is supposed to summarize the steps I had to take and also comes with a neat helper script, which should automate most of the required preparation and compilation steps.

Ext4 Performance Improvements

Nov 24, 2009

In order to speed up the general performance of my personal computer I put an Intel X25-M SSD into it some time ago and made sure that most binaries that are needed to start up Linux are loaded from the SSD. I could not go without a conventional hard disk, though, because the storage capacity of typical SSDs (or the budget that I am willing to spend) is still too limited. While boot times already improved dramatically after adding the SSD, mounting the file systems located on my conventional hard disk was still limiting the overall speed of the boot process.

That was when I read about the performance improvements introduced by the ext4 file system.

Sparse File Support for rsync

Nov 24, 2009

From time to time one needs to migrate large amounts of data from one file system to another, such as when migrating to a new hard disk, setting up a RAID array or migrating a file system from ext3 to ext4. Each time this happens I find myself googling for the exact rsync command to do the sync operation and each time the command line parameters mentioned in most search results neglect the existence of sparse files. So, mostly as a note to myself, here is the rsync command line I tend to use when replicating data to a new file system (including sparse file support):

rsync -aqxPSH _source_ _destination_

Die Schwimmring AG

Nov 21, 2009

Mir lief gerade via jens scholz das folgende Video über den Weg. Bester Stop-Motion-Trickfilm à la Wallace & Gromit, den ich euch nicht vorenthalten möchte:

Smoking Kills... Your Warranty

Nov 21, 2009

Smoking will void your warranty. Well, not yours, but the warranty that comes with your Apple device. However, the referenced article attempts to create the impression that Apple refused to acknowledge the warranty claims because of potential health issues for its service personnel (as that is also what a couple of customers were told), but seems to mostly ignore the fact that over time cigarette smoke leaves plenty of residue [CAUTION: Explicit images, not for the faint-hearted!] on any surface it gets in touch with. I am almost certain that optical disk drives as well as heat sinks and fans would be especially affected by this. A brief Google search did not yield any results hinting at whether smoke deposits are conductive. However, if that would be the case the effect on computer hardware would be even worse.

So, why should Apple be obliged to repair a device under warranty that has been damaged by a certain practice at the user’s discretion? Nobody would request a warranty repair of a computer device that has been dropped into and consequently damaged by water…

Garmin Oregon 300 Firmware 3.30

Nov 21, 2009

In a previous post I outlined how to apply a firmware update for the Garmin Oregon series under Linux without the use of Garmin’s proprietary web updater. In the meantime, Garmin has released a new firmware revision, version 3.30, so if you’d like to update your device to that new version, just grab the .gcd file and follow the instructions in my previous post.

The Economic Impact of Facebook Games

Nov 17, 2009

If there is something that I see colleagues at work doing on a regular schedule, it is them playing games on Facebook, such as Mafia Wars or FarmVille. Games built around scam schemes as the CEO of the company behind these games openly admitted during a talk he gave.

Frankly, I could not care less about people installing spyware or adware on their machines or being tricked into subscribing to scam offers. Those people are in charge of their own destiny and chose to enroll in playing those games at their own free will. If they are falling for these scams just to advance their score in a dubious web game, well, then that’s part of the lesson they have to learn.

However, considering the immense amount of time some users are investing into gameplay there clearly seem to be some addictive aspects associated with playing Mafia Wars or FarmVille. So, what I am actually more interested in is the overall impact these games could have on our economy.