Category Archives: WTF

Everything that makes me (wanna) use this phrase… :-)

OpenWRT Quality-of-Service module caveat: speed limit

As I still have “issues” with my DSL line being extremely slow during certain times (especially between 18:30 and 23:00), I wanted to use USB tethering from my OpenWRT router to my Android LTE phone to enjoy the massive speed I have in our area (up to 90 MBit/s downlink and 70 MBit/s uplink, according to the Ookla Speedtest.Net).

So I configured the router according to the OpenWRT wiki. The internet connection did not come up immediately, and I couldn’t find out why, so as a last resort I rebooted the router. After I switched on USB tethering again on my mobile phone (which seems to be required each time you reboot the router since the mobile phone then loses the USB tethering connection), I suddenly had a working Internet connection.

However, for some reason the Internet speeds I was seeing in Ookla’s web browser-based speed test (which is a Flash applet) were very disappointing, around the same speeds I’m used to with my DSL line (14 MBit/s downlink, about 0.8 MBit/s uplink). I thought it might be an issue with USB tethering not working well in my build of OpenWRT (still r39582), so I tried USB tethering with my Mac (using HoRNDIS). I got the full speed I expected. So back to OpenWRT…

Then suddenly I suspected what might be going on: Since I had more or less exactly the same speed as my DSL connection (with the uplink of less 1 MBit/s being dramatically slower than what I should get via LTE) I thought about what could possibly limit the speed. And then I remembered that in the “Quality of Service” (QoS) module I configured the speeds of my DSL line (at the top of the page, in the Download speed (kbit/s) and Upload speed (kbit/s) fields). Could it be that these settings actually limit your speed to these values?!

I disabled QoS, and immediately thereafter I got the full LTE speed I expected.

So, another thing learnt.

I hope this helps people who might be in a similar situation…

Don’t neglect your iPhone, or else… :-(

I did not use my iPhone4 for a while (since I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 now, which I like much more), and when I wanted to “revive” it recently as a music player I found that it had burst (no, I didn’t drop it, it was just lying around on my desk):


20130927T100257-IMG_0107Obviously the battery had swollen…

I immediately called the Apple dealer closest to my home and told them about it. They said it’s normal for a battery to burst if the device hasn’t been used for a while. They said I could buy a new iPhone 4 for a “mere” 190 EUR… 🙁

If you Google for this issue you will notice that it’s pretty common, still Apple cares a sh*t about it… I’ve never seen such major battery issues on any mobile phone I’ve owned before — and I had many!!!

Thanks, Apple. This is what you get when you buy from a “premium” manufacturer…

Needless to say that I will never buy an iPhone again…

Snow Leopard’s “Disk Utility” can’t create encrypted image

Two months or so I ordered the Snow Leopard DVD for my Macbook Pro. Finally I had the time to perform the upgrade from Leopard. Before actually doing so, I tried to create a disk image of my current Leopard installation. So I booted the Snow Leopard DVD and ran “Disk Utility” from it. Because the target of that disk image was an external hard drive shared by my team, I wanted to create an encrypted image.

Regardless of whether I selected “128-Bit AES” or “256-Bit AES” as an encryption method, I immediately received the following error message on screen:

Unable to create "Macintosh HD.dmg" (Cannot allocate memory)

What is this trying to tell me? No space on hard drive? Impossible, since the external hard drive is a 2 TB empty drive. Moreover, “memory” usually refers to “main memory”, or “RAM.” So is Disk Utility actually trying to read the whole 200 GB hard drive into the RAM, then encrypting it, and then creating the disk image from it?! I can’t believe that anyone would be that stupid to design a disk imaging program like this…

I finally changed the image format to “Compressed”, and presto, it worked!

Anyway, why, oh why is it so hard to generate “user friendly” error messages? And why does this happen under Mac OS X of all operating systems, supposedly being the “user friendliest” OS in the universe?

This is not the first time I receive such useless error messages in OS X. Hey Apple, care to finally make your homework???

Vista picture “Web Publishing” regression

I just tried to upload some hundreds of vacation photos from Windows Vista to our gallery which I’m hosting on my own root server. It turned out that this would be a not-so-simple task… 🙁

Previously, using Windows XP, this would be as simple as

  1. invoking the “Web Publishing Wizard” from the “Folder Tasks” pane,
  2. clicking “Publish this folder to the web”,
  3. optionally selecting a target size for resizing (a copy of!) the photos before you upload them, and finally
  4. clicking “Finish” to start the upload.

Not so anymore with Vista!

Continue reading Vista picture “Web Publishing” regression

Dell to mislead customers, no compensation, no excuse

My cousin ordered a Dell monitor SX2210, a 21.5″ 16:9 model with a webcam, dual mike-array, FullHD resolution, HDMI connector, and (supposedly) speakers built in.

Getting the webcam working was a no-brainer, but strangely I had massive problems getting the internal speakers running.

After fiddling around for a while with the soundcard’s internal settings under Windoze XP (which I thought might have been incorrect, altho the old monitor’s speakers were working well,) I had the idea to connect my iPod to check whether the speakers are working at all — duh! No sound output at all. 🙁

So obviously the speakers were broken. Consequently, we called Dell to inquire about this. And now comes the unbelievable…

Continue reading Dell to mislead customers, no compensation, no excuse

DPD-Paketdienst-Zumutung: Zustellung an falsche Person

Meine Frau rief mich gestern mit vor Wut bebender Stimme (so habe ich sie bisher sehr selten erlebt!) im BĂŒro an, um sich bei mir ĂŒber den Paketdienst DPD zu beschweren.

Was war geschehen?

Durch eine Versandmitteilung wussten wir, dass an diesem Tag ein Paket an uns geliefert werden sollte. Meine Frau hatte sich schon sehr auf das Paket gefreut und blieb daher den ganzen Tag zu Hause, um ja nicht die Zustellung zu verpassen.

Als nachmittags das Paket immer noch nicht zugestellt worden war, ging sie zum Briefkasten um nachzuschauen, ob dort eine Mitteilung des Paketdienstes hinterlassen wurde. Und in der Tat fand sie eine solche vor — allerdings war diese offensichtlich nicht vom DPD-Zusteller dort hinterlassen worden, sondern von einer uns unbekannten Familie, die etwa 300 m von uns entfernt in der selben Straße wohnt.

Die Nachricht besagte, dass wir das Paket bei ihnen oder einer anderen Familie — mit dem selben Nachnamen wir wir! — bei ihnen im Haus abholen könnten.

Wie ist das zu erklÀren? Continue reading DPD-Paketdienst-Zumutung: Zustellung an falsche Person

Odd runtime exception due to leap second… ;-)

I just discovered a highly unusual issue that really made me laugh…

We have an application that generates event logfiles which contain, among other items, a processing time in ms. These logfiles are parsed by a different application.

On 2009-01-01 at 00:59:59 local time (UTC+1) this application generated an exception because it couldn’t properly parse the logfile. There was a negative processing time which should never occur. WTF?!

Considering the strange date and time and then thinking about it some fractions of a second (;-)) I immediately found the reason for this strange issue:

Exactly at that time a so-called “leap second” was inserted, so that 00:59:59 occurred “twice.” And since the second occurence was just between the first and second measure point, we had a negative duration of 912 ms (instead of 88 ms.) 🙂

Now, is that a strange problem??? Can you beat that?! 😉

Microsoft installs Firefox extension without approval

I just had a very unpleasant experience when I noticed a suspicious Firefox extension in my wife’s XP account, called “Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant.” I immediately blaimed her for installing possibly malicious software, but she insisted it wasn’t her who did it. So I googled for this extension, and had to apologize to her afterwards…

It turned out that this is an extension Microsoft installs into Firefox when you install Microsoft .NET — and of course they don’t even ask whether to install it or not.

Here‘s some simple instructions of how to get rid of this shit… And here some more info…

Gaaawd how I hate Microsoft for these dirty tricks… 🙁

MBP: Internal keyboard and trackpad lock-up

I just had another annoying problem with my MacBook Pro 4.1, running Mac OS X 10.5.6.

I left the machine unattended for like 10 minutes or so, and when I came back the screensaver was active. Sliding a finger over the trackpad wouldn’t produce the log-on dialog, nor would pressing keys on the internal keyboard. The machine was not crashed, however, since the screensaver animation was still running. What was even more strange is that the “Power on/off” button would work — when I shortly pressed it, the log-on prompt would appear.

Fortunately my view fell upon an external USB mouse, which I immediately tried. VoilĂ ! I could move the mouse pointer with the external mouse, but the trackpad and internal keyboard were still dead.

I then attached an external keyboard, and that one also worked.

Back in Mac OS X I stopped all running applications, and restarted the MBP. Afterwards, all was fine again.

What the heck is this??? I thought Mac OS X was famous for its stability and reliability?! Is that what makes it “superior to Windoze” (according to a considerable fraction of Mac users)???

Gallery2 not in Debian 5.0?!

When I upgraded to Debian 5.0 lately I noticed that there is no Gallery2 package anymore in Lenny. So I asked the Debian maintainer about this.

Here’s what he replied:

Gallery 2 is not available in Lenny due to large amount of differences between the previous version and 2.3-1 from unstable. The release team and I decided not to include Gallery 2 in stable due to this disruptive change late in the release process. The gallery2 package from sid can be installed via pinning.

WTF?! 🙁