8 October 2007, 02:31 by mark hoekstra

project: iNoPhone nada headset

click to go to the projectpage

Even though this started out as making a headset for my beloved iNoPhone nada, in the end it became much more… *^_^*

iNoPhone nada headset (projectpage).

Comment - permalink

2 October 2007, 23:25 by mark hoekstra

oh no he didn't...

click to enlarge

Today I got a very nice package from the postman. An iPhone in all its hacked 1.0.2-firmware glory! *^_^*

Now there’s a whole story attached on how and why this iPhone is now mine, maybe I tell that some other time.

Honestly I didn’t think I would get myself an iPhone, but somehow, I ended up with one! ^_^

Now I do think this is one overhyped piece of technology. When you listen to the fanboys, it’s almost as if it’s the biggest invention ever.

Fifty years ago, men launched the Sputnik and you could even say that the internet found its origin that way. Now that’s stuff we (care to) remember fifty years later. (And I even care to remember slashdot exists for 10 years ^_^) But the iPhone? I hardly doubt it. I’m not gonna wait for it and have my go on this one. This model already has some minor damage (that’s one of the reasons this one is now mine, even though it’s perfectly usable), so taking it totally apart and really have my go doesn’t break the ice, it’s already broken (imho).

Ah well, we’ll see! For now some pictures:

looks like it’s weather to stay inside…
click to enlarge

hardly used!
click to enlarge

you gotta be kidding me! ^_^
click to enlarge

...and of course, the first pic I shot ^_^
click to enlarge

Comment [3] - permalink

25 September 2007, 01:58 by mark hoekstra

picnic project: RFID racket reader

Well, I’m just back from Amsterdam, where I spent a couple of days on Mediamatic‘s RFID & Physical Computing Hackers Camp for the upcoming Picnic conference / festival.

Here’s a snapshot of what I did there ^_^

click to enlarge

But no, I haven’t been building a bomb of some kind. The complete projectblog is overhere:

RFID racket reader



It seems that the racket is presented as a project on its own on picnic, nice!

picture credit: mark wubben
click to go to the corresponding pic on flickr

Comment - permalink

22 September 2007, 16:57 by mark hoekstra

playing around with RFID in Amsterdam

click to enlarge

I arrived in Amsterdam, for a couple of days of Mediamatic RFID & Physical Computing Hackers Camp @ Picnic 07.

Luckily I already prepared some stuff at home, which involves old tennis rackets but more on that later. This also is some sort of little holiday for me so I’m gonna make sure I’ll enjoy myself.

Comment - permalink

18 September 2007, 02:01 by mark hoekstra

fixing some romantic damage

click to go to the flickr photoset

A friend of mine, Annet, used her boyfriend’s (also a friend of mine) iBook a while ago but at the same time held it to close to a candle. I’m still not sure what she had on her mind at that time, but well… ^_^ She called me in panic back then (this all happened a couple of months ago) “Mark! what should I do!!!” ... Soooooo, (even though it sounded quite bad on the phone…), I told her I would fix it and everything would be all right, I mean, how couldn’t I? A woman in panic on the phone, you *need* to ease that down, no matter what, right? *^_^*

Anyway, shortly after, a pic arose on flickr and there I could see that this *massive damage* (on the phone I asked three times “it’s still working right?”, cause I could hardly believe by how it was described to me, that it was still working), was not so massive after all, but still, this would need some work.

A little while ago, the boyfriend, Lykle, asked me if I would fix this same iBook for her upcoming birthday so he could give her this iBook, all fixed and customized. (there were some other small issues with it too, which needed to be fixed) But of course! I already some sort of promised that, soooo… here’s what I made of it:

(people who subscribed to my RSS plus feed already saw these pics in my flickr-stream)

click to go to the flickr photoset

click to go to the flickr photoset

Comment [2] - permalink

7 September 2007, 00:12 by mark hoekstra

happy times! building server number two ^_^

Although my current server is still running very happily (uptime is now 462(!) days), I’ve been collecting parts for a second server ever since I got my current one. Or, better put, the current server (now something like two years ago) was part of a bigger deal and that came with lots of server/Xeon parts, but not one machine could be build from it… It took me almost three months of trading back then to build my current server out of it and I’ve been having (spare) parts laying around ever since. Around the same time I got the innards of my current workstation (also a dual Xeon and for the reason I already had the CPUs) and just today I finally got the last parts I needed for my second server, just before everything becomes obsolete! *^_^*

click to enlarge

Anyway, getting a second server hasn’t been high on the priority-list the last two years. I’ve just been collecting parts I’ve stumbled upon (for the right price).

So, what is it?

The chassis (the last thing I bought) is a Chenbro 21706 with an optional SCSI U320-backplane and single Fortron 650 watt PSU.

I’ve got four Maxtor Atlas 10K V disks, 73GB and even though they’re not new as in ‘just rolled out of the factory’, none of these drives has seen service before. They’re from different production dates/batches, all four of them so that makes them very nice for a RAID-array, right? (as a matter of fact, I only recently changed my mind about that, raid-arrays of identical disks from one batch is a baaaad idea ;-)) For that RAID-array I’ve got an Intel SRCU42L hardware RAID-controller, which I used in my workstation before, but there, I’ve now got two 15K SCSI-disks without RAID (36GB for the OS and 73GB for data).

The motherboard is an Intel SE7501WV2 which is actually (almost) the same board I’ve got in my current server, the FSB on this one is 533MHz while it’s 400MHz on my current server. There’s 4GB of memory on there and I’ve got two Intel Xeon SL73L 2.4GHz/533FSB CPUs.

...and that’s about it! ^_^

click to enlarge

From an upgrade point-of-view, this server will not be *that* much quicker than my current one (I guess), although disk I/O gets a nice upgrade (from two IDE-drives mirrored in softRAID to hardware RAID10 with four drives on SCSI U320). The memory gets doubled (from 2GB to 4GB) and the FSB goes from 400MHz to 533MHz. So, it’s already older (but proven) technology, that’s how I like it and that’s what I could get/afford. I love the whole package even though you could probably build a single Core2Duo system in a 1U enclosure with more oomph if you only look at raw calculations per second. Still, I wouldn’t trade this machine for something like that. Next to that, my current server will remain in service and this one get’s stacked on top of it! That’s the biggest upgrade of them all. *^_^*

(not exactly how Moore meant it, but ey! ^_^)

It’ll allow me all kinds of funky configurations. I’ll start off by putting this site as the only thing on this machine and from there on I’ll review my current server, maybe put some fresh disks in there and have that whole machine as a hot spare…

Even though my current server runs Gentoo (and probably will be for a while), this new server will start off running OpenBSD. (with the amount of t-shirts I’ve got from them, I don’t have any other choice! ^_^)

Ah well, we’ll see how it goes… four Xeons for powering one blog, madness!!! ^_^

(quad core xeon, geek technique style :D)

Comment [7] - permalink

3 September 2007, 00:27 by mark hoekstra

itanium desk

Well, it’s awfully quiet on my blog lately. I’m working hard behind the scenes though and when I look in my imaginary calendar (really, I don’t use a calendar or agenda. I memorize all my appointments and when times are really busy, I write down a couple on one piece of paper, that’s all…) september promises to be even busier, behind the scenes that is… So, even though I’ve got some fresh content somewhere in the coming days, I thought, in the mean time I blog something that popped back into my mind… and that’s this awesome desk I saw a little while ago:

click to enlarge

chipdesk at evilmadscientist.com
Matt Tovey’s Homemade 2.8-TFLOP CPU Desk at Gizmodo.com

...now somehow I wish that desk was mine, *but*, of course, for that I would need to have access to a couple of hundred(!!!) CPUs on their way to the trashcan and I don’t, but I already have an SGI-mug which would look nice on top of it! (that’s a start, ain’t it?) *^_^*

click to go to the corresponding pic on flickr (ooooold photo…)

It’s too bad the original blogpost is down. I read it partially when it was up and I believe this guy was involved in upgrading a whole bunch of machines to spiffier Itaniums. There were also some pictures on flickr but they’re gone too, so I guess the poor guy wasn’t meant to blog this after all.

Now looking at the remaining picture of his desk with a SGI-mug and keyboard, my guess is these machines were …SGIs and my theory (highly speculative, I know) is that either the company who uses these machines and/or SGI and/or Intel probably insisted in getting these CPUs *in the trashcan* for the whole upgrade to take place for a certain amount of money and make sure there’s not one way these CPUs surface anywhere and now, with this desk hitting the big blogs, someone probably isn’t that amused… It’s a wild guess, but I’ve seen similar things happen before, having to shred perfectly good hardware because of some contract or such.

I truly hope for this guy, if my theory is right, that he doesn’t have to shred his desk. That would be a real pain, wouldn’t it?

If I had almost a million in working CPU chips, I’d be spending my time on eBay, not building a table

...well, he would probably be in more trouble if he really would be selling these CPUs…

Still, I wonder what the real story is…

Comment [1] - permalink

24 August 2007, 12:46 by mark hoekstra

article in Make: magazine

A while ago the ever great people at Make: magazine asked me if I could write a piece on my bicycle iPod charger. But of course I could! *^_^*

The result of that and much more bike-related geekiness can be found in Make’s new issue, number 11. On newsstands (in the US) on August 28.

photo credit: Phillip Torrone, click to go to the corresponding pic on flickr

my charger and a preview of the article
click to enlarge

From August 28 on, I guess it’ll take a while before you can find this issue in the better bookshops *around the globe* ^_^ For instance, in my hometown there’s one bookshop I know of who sells Make magazine and normally they carry a whopping one copy! (but still!) ^_^

Make: magazine

on this site:
How to make a bike charger for your iPod!

Comment [3] - permalink

21 August 2007, 00:25 by mark hoekstra

summer update

Well… it’s already been a week since I last updated… hmmmz… Somehow my trip to the CCC drained quite some energy from me. I already came back last monday evening (a week ago now) and headed back to work on tuesday.

Anyway, let’s pick up the pace again, shall we?

I’ve been busy with my old SGI Indigo2 lately and in between other things and finally she now runs like a dream. Thanks to SGI’s Supportfolio I downloaded IRIX 6.5.22 and that’s also the last version of IRIX which can run on this old machine. Now I did have my troubles to get it all going (including Galileo Video) but much of that had to do with me not making up my mind *^_^*

click to enlarge

It still is a brilliant machine though. It’s old, but it puts a smile on my face whenever I’m working on it and that’s a whole lot more than much of the nowadays tech can do (not all, but lots of it). Anyway, I’m now getting to grips with SGI’s Movie Maker. Expect some craziness later on ^_^

click to go to the corresponding pic on flickr

And then, at this very moment there’s a summerfestival going on in my hometown, Noorderzon. My favourite rockstar and friend, Krause performed there, in some sort of experimental setup, in cooperation with Format GAVA. She performed in this rooftop like building, I’m not sure what they are called in English. These are quite common in Dutch city parks, where small orchestras could perform. Anyway, for this festival this building now has big videoscreens as its walls and she performed in the middle of that. From the outside, as the spectator, you couldn’t exactly see her, but you could see a videostream of her music on one screen (the spectator somehow always can see two screens simultaneously) and another, synced to the music videostream of old video material. As a spectator you were handed a pair of wireless headphones and in total it became a breathtaking show. I did take pictures myself but Mattnh posted much better pictures on his blog and his homepage.mac-page.

click to go to mattnh’s homepage.mac.com
(you need to scroll through the pics to find the ones of Krause btw…

click to go to mattnh’s blog entry

Oh, by the way, if you like what Krause/Susanne is doing, you can vote for her at De Grote Prijs van Nederland (which would translate to something like ‘The Big Prize of The Netherlands’). This is one of the major prizes/competitions for talented and upcoming musicians in this country so help her get her spot in the finals! (even if you wouldn’t have a clue what this is all about ^_^).

What you need to do is this:

Click on this link, scroll down until you see Krause. Fill in you mail address and hit ‘stem’ (which means ‘vote’). After a while you’ll get a confirmation in Dutch, hit the link in there and then you voted! (quite similar to some of the comment-systems out there)

Oh… I tried this again and there’s another step in this (they really know how to get someone to vote ey?). After you clicked the link in the mail, you’re being transferred to a page where you need to *confirm* your vote …

don’t forget this last step!!!

As a big thank you, you’re allowed (but only if you voted!!!) to download one of her MP3s here *^_^* :
Krause – I lost my tampon (MP3, 7.1MB, 3 minutes 5 seconds 320kbps)

And then, at some point on one of the nights on the CCC, there was this little table, in between the MiGs, in the rain with people from the United Transnational Republic sitting there. Their printer already didn’t work anymore and also their MacBook couldn’t hold the rain any longer but somehow I was intrigued by their ‘action’ and initiative. To be honest, I still need to read my way into everything, but still. They offered to make me an ID for 10 euros and somehow I couldn’t resist. But, because of all their equipment going south, I only filled in the paperwork and paid for my ID, but today, I got it in the mail!

looks official to me… ^_^
click to enlarge

Oh, and as a last one (geez, what a rant), I made this pic on the CCC...

click to go to the corresponding pic on flickr

...and as it seems now, more people made the same pic of the same cloud on the same time! So now we have a Flickr group called The fuckin’ same cloud (thank you, fotobonk) ^_^

earlier on this page

SGI Indigo2 related:
...and some gear which came home with me!
cleaning out some old machinery

Krause related:
a(nother) rockstar in my hometown! ^_^
...and again it’s sunday *^_^*
Krause lost her… well… *ahem* *^_^*

CCC related:
on my way to the CCC!
...and I arrived!
CCC – day one
CCC – day two
CCC – day three, four and five ^_^

CCC flickr set

Comment [4] - permalink

12 August 2007, 03:18 by mark hoekstra

CCC - day three, four and five ^_^

the message I got from a fortune cookie
click to go to enlarge

Yeah yeah, I know, I’m now going on a FFWD through the camp now, but well, I mentioned it before but this is supposed to be my holiday also. So I somehow decided to tune back a little on blogging about it right now. I have been frantically uploading my pics to flickr though so that probably gives a more detailed view on what it’s about out here(...) *^_^*

Anyway, I’m still having a splendid time out here and I’ve still got one day to go although I’m already wrapping up overhere right now.

I’ve had a hands on with the OpenMoko phone, which is a very nice ‘device’. It’s hardly a phone at this moment, you need to make calls from the commandline which has its own charme of course, but still…

Anyway, I think one of the developers is right when he said that normally a manufacturer puts linux on a phone because it’s free, not because they’re so open source minded. So where you normally would get a ‘linux-phone’ with an old kernel and such, this is a properly linux-driven device… now if they only get the phone-bit right… ^_^

click to go my pics tagged ‘openmoko’ on flickr

And… I’ve also had a hands-on with the OLPC-machine also known as the $100 laptop. Some of the well known cypher punks are here and they brought these machines on which they do all sorts of development. Well, what can I say? I think it’s a very nice machine and well, it’s been too short to say anything useful about it. It’s just very nice and I would like one, yes please. Same goes for the OpenMoko btw. ^_^

click to go my pics tagged ‘olpc’ on flickr

And then… my holiday has lots of OpenBSD camp culture in it, so that means lots of Humppa music and … even a bikini contest!

click to go the corresponding pic on flickr


btw, I only do coffee/cola/water and ‘normal’ cigarettes but that’s a little hard to believe right? even though it is the truth, really!

btw(2), I guess I won’t be blogging anymore from here but I will continue to add my pics to flickr ...

humppa! ^_^

earlier on this site:
on my way to the CCC!
...and I arrived!
CCC – day one
CCC – day two

CCC flickr set

Comment [1] - permalink

Previous Next