set up IRC server using irssi


should get you started
I am using auto away and hilight
this does send push away_messages to iOS

however the push service cost $$$ and bittlbee is not what I want…

basically something that should trigger my pebble would be nice :)
like this:

now I only need an android phone

alternative for @work:
In irssi:
/set bell_beeps on

And in putty:
Go to Terminal -> Bell in the settings, and set “Taskbar/caption indication on bell” to Flashing or Steady (whichever you prefer).

last thing: in screen session housing irssi: Ctrl-A > Ctrl-G (enable audible bell!)

then chose > flashing window or system sound

this is till I have an android phone

URL logger to mysql? > irssi_url_logger

depression prevention

recently I got trapped in one of my “downward spiral” thought patterns while having fun which was a not so pleasant experience… back then when I was in therapy for depression I tought myself some methods for detecting and getting rid of unpleasant thoughts – I used the image of a “black dog” (W. Churchill used that image) so all I had to do was “make the black dog go away”
this did not work last week.
Luckily a friend who has a couple more psychological issues was nearby and recognized my thoughs and the mood I was drifting into.
He gave me a new method to get rid of the “black dog” – did you read Harry Potter? The Patronus charm?

“…will work only if you are concentrating, with all your might, on a single, very happy memory.”

that’s it – even easier than the “black dog” method
It worked instantly because instead of concentrating on something unpleasant (the black dog) I was now concentrating on something which already has a positive bias.

Thank you, you know who you are!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Love cinnamon rolls? Love pancakes? Have them both! These are an awesome decadent breakfast.
Total Time: 20 minutes

Cinnamon Swirl:
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Mix ingredients together and stick in a Ziploc bag. Seal and let sit to thicken.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons milk
Heat ingredients in a saucepan. Mix until sugar is melted and everything is mixed together well.

1. Make Cinnamon Swirl and let thicken.
2. Mix up the pancake batter. I used a just-add-water pancake mix.
3. Form round pancakes on griddle/skillet and cook on medium heat until bubbles start to show (about 2-3 minutes).
4. Snip the end of the Ziploc bag off and pipe on a cinnamon swirl. Don’t pipe too close to the edges or it will melt off.

5. Flip the pancake quickly and cook 2-3 minutes on the other side.

6. Make and drizzle glaze over the pancakes.

HINT: Wipe pan clean with paper towel in between pancakes.


6 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 French baguette
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat the oven on broiler setting.
In a large bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.
Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese.
Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

caring for your raspberry pi

if you have a raspberry that is colocated and on 24×7 you might want to perform regular maintenance on it.
Especially the SD card needs to be taken care of if you don’t want to have it die prematurely.
One thing to do is to upgrade the firmware to the latest version which is easy (when you are running raspian) using

‘sudo rpi-update’

followed by a reboot

then the usual apt-get update/upgrade
change pi’s password (or remove pi entirely) > make sure you add your new user to all the groups the “pi” user had!

now, how to extend the life of the sdcard?
UPDATE 2014: raspian does most of these things, see below for more ideas:

sudo dphys-swapfile swapoff
sudo dphys-swapfile uninstall
sudo update-rc.d dphys-swapfile remove

The next thing was to move /tmp to memory. Just issue:

sudo vi /etc/default/tmpfs

And then set this parameter:


Finally, I wanted the logfiles in memory too. Note that they quietly disappear every time you shutdown, so they are of very little use when your Raspi has crashed. Just issue:

sudo vi /etc/fstab

And make sure it looks like this:

proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/mmcblk0p1 /boot vfat defaults,noatime 0 2
/dev/mmcblk0p2 / ext4 defaults,noatime 0 1
logfs /var/log tmpfs size=10M,noatime 0 0

this is the old stuff: (2013)

everything that read/writes needs to be restricted.
think of things like:
- disable swap
- disable journaling
- the ‘noatime’ flag
- move often used directories to ram disk or external disk (off the sdcard)

another thing to consider is that modern sdcards spread the read/writes over the entire card to minimize wear of a single area – this works pretty well but the card will not let you know that it is breaking, like a PC harddrive will (sector errors, I/O errors, etc…)

so: leaving space over on the sdcard allows it to perform “wear leveling” more effectively – statistically calculated having a lot of space free on the card will allow it to live a lot longer as it can spread the reads/writes across a larger area

command to use; ‘df -h’ <– shows free space on all partitions

now on to my raspberry that crashes weekly and needs a reboot

- noatime seems enabled:
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/mmcblk0p5 /boot vfat defaults 0 2
/dev/mmcblk0p6 / ext4 defaults,noatime 0 1

swap file is disabled already, too

what else can I do?

“I can fix this”

just heard children scream and cry from the other room.. then one comes to the kitchen, fetches scissors and says “don’t worry, I can fix this” and goes back to the room…”

Just stay calm…breathe.. allow them to grow up alone and find their way

on marriage

(found on the internet)

While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly.

This one occurred a mere two feet away from me.

Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jetway, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.

While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands.

For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me.

I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?” “Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked the man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile.“Two whole days!” Two days? I was stunned.

By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me, I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!” The man suddenly stopped smiling.

He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me: “Don’t hope, friend… decide!”

on depression

I decided to write a litle stuff together and find out if I can contribute to this community. I found my way out of a severe depression mostly because of my wife and my work, both giving me incredible stability and acting as an anchor to “pull myself” out” – but I couldn’t have done it without the help of medicine bringning my mental balance back to ‘normal’ levels

Experts agree that depression is caused by low serotonine levels but the experts bikeshed about what the best way is to keep these levels back to normal (preventing the body from absorbing them? substituting them? forcing another drug to synthesize them?) – besides that, most antidepressants have a long history of wicked side effects; loss of libido/sex drive being the worst (but then, thinking back, once you are clinically depressed, the last of your worries is sex…)

I have met people who show signs of depression (there are early warning signs but people mostly ignore them or – even worse – they never mention that they have problems because:
a) they fear it will make them susceptible to trolling and jokes
b) society doesn’t accept depression – you are just “too weak”

Jokes – like the all-too-common attack on ones pride in front of others (email/chat/in public) – mostly used by someone to improve his low self-esteem on the expense of anothers who’s self-esteem has to lower for that to work (‘what a loser/weakling, mietje, watje, etc…”)
and even “go kill yourself” is frequently expressed in pseudo-anonymous environments where people just too carelessly say things they would never say if they could see the impact of what they are saying in real life. (missing non-verbal component of a conversation)

Society – the way we live it at the moment – judges people by what they are but by what they achieve – this is expecially dominant in the finance world but also in germany where i come from – your school degree is so incredibly important there because it alone will open the
door to higher education or to a good job. You can just not apply for a job without the right papers, there. A thing the Dutch have solved at a better level (speaking of experience there)
Also look at the German stereotypical “my car has to be better than the neighbors car” – this also works for sales / consultants.
Would you buy a 500K Euro server cluster from a consultant that visits you in a Toyota Aygo? (no offense, Mattronix, just stating facts from sales pitches in our company…)
So, this society.. how does it react to you being depressed? Probably helpful and proactive but the problem is you, you grew up being competitive, being “better than the others” – your school, your
parents and your work all tell you that only achievements count (even video games these days focus on these instead of a good storyline or immersive experience…)

So what do you do when you feel the others all can party on, work harder and achieve more and you can’t even drag your body out of bed or to the social evening at the hackerspace where hugs are free and friends are happy to listen to you?
You are afraid. Afraid to be stigmatized as a “loser” and that is precisely what will happen.
Of course, not publicly, everyone will act helpful and try to comfort you (that dreaded line “everything will be okay” – if you want to see me in hate-rage just say this to me when I feel bad!)
But behind your back they will start to make plans to assign your work to someone else, someone more capable, afraid you will become another number on the ‘long term illness” list, check how they can get rid of you and find someone less of a loser.
Or do they? Maybe you just imagine this because you are depressed and everything is painted black anyway so it will turn out worse?
Once your self esteem suffers it gets worse

The Dutch have a word for this: “piekeren”
- I have yet to find an English and a German word for it but this is the worst of it, this constant thinking, grinding, questioning, judging, asking, rejecting and never having a silent moment for yourself. You can overload yourself with projects and work to make sure you never have a moment for yourself so you don’t start to think in spirals but that works only as long as your energy reserves last – at one point you will fall – and the longer you have postponed it the deeper you will fall.

It is a downward spiral and it feels great to feed it more negative things, something your brain excels at when you are depressed – you perceive everyone who tries to help you as an intruder, an enemy, withdrawing yourself from people even more – eliminating the only thing that can help you get out of it – your friends.
And in the end you are alone with your thoughts… and then the thoughts about suicide start… and they seem like a very good solution the more you think about it…


“suck it up” doesn’t work once you are in there – you have to ask for help, probably take meds for a couple of weeks and – most importantly: Work actively on a plan how to prevent this from happening again
Accept that you are depressed, analyze your life, the last years of your life, what you did, what moved you, what motivated you, what frustrated you – talking to a psychologist helps tremendously to untie this knot that has formed in your brain and changing your lifestyle somewhat is absolutely neccessary – just eating pills won’t get you out of it.
I have started searching for institutions who deal with depression and expecially depression in young people who associate with a tribe, with the internet community, for example hackers and gamers – these people don’t have a social network as someone has who goes dancing every weekend – they have peers all over the world but they might not be able to ask for help because the normal rules of society don’t apply to them. Let’s find them a safe harbor, show them that there is a way out.

No more hacker suicides!

Please contact me if you want to take this further, have other ideas, want a hug or know of someone who had other experiences – please, I would do everything I can to prevent someone from becoming clinically depressed.

and last but not least:

Quote: “I don’t talk about it much, for a variety of reasons. I feel ashamed to have an illness. (It sounds absurd, but there still is an enormous stigma around being sick.) I don’t want to use being ill as an excuse.”

debian startup script skeleton

#! /bin/sh
# /etc/init.d/blah

# Some things that run always
touch /var/lock/blah

# Carry out specific functions when asked to by the system
case “$1″ in
echo “Starting script blah ”
echo “Could do more here”
echo “Stopping script blah”
echo “Could do more here”
echo “Usage: /etc/init.d/blah {start|stop}”
exit 1

exit 0

You should ensure it is runnable and owned by root.

sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/blah
sudo chown root:root /etc/init.d/blah

Then you need to register it to run at startup.

sudo update-rc.d blah defaults