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At GROSSWEBER we practice what we preach. We offer trainings for modern software technologies like Behavior Driven Development, Clean Code and Git. Our staff is fluent in a variety of languages, including English.

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Musik zur Arte-Reportage "Expedition ins Gehirn"

Posted in General | Music at Friday, 28 April 2006 18:55 W. Europe Daylight Time

Es gibt neben meiner Verwandschaft sicherlich weitere Menschen, die die Hintergrundmusik der dreiteiligen Arte-Reportage "Expedition ins Gehirn" toll finden. Marci und ich haben den Titel bereits beim Ansehen der Reportage als bekannt eingestuft. Heute haben wir im Schnelldurchgang die Musikkollektion von Tosca, Lemon Jelly über Lemongrass gescannt und sind schließlich bei Boozoo Bajou fündig geworden. Es handelt sich um Track 6 auf dem Album "Satta", er trägt den Namen "Down & out" (RealMedia-Hörbeispiel von Amazon).

Boozoo Bajou - Satta

Now playing: Boozoo Bajou - Satta - Down & out :-)

Automatic NTLM Authentication in Firefox

Posted in Tools and Software | Browser at Friday, 28 April 2006 11:47 W. Europe Daylight Time

I didn't know this is possible, but Firefox actually supports automatic NTLM authentication for certain domains. Whereas there's a global setting in IE to enable Windows Integrated Authentication, you'll have to enable NTLM authentication in Firefox on a per-domain basis.

This is especially useful if you are browsing intranet sites using Firefox that require NTLM authentication. In this case Firefox will bug you with a username/password dialog when accessing the site unless the domain isn't whitelisted.

Firefox NTLM Settings

There are good reasons for explicit whitelisting:

By default, Mozilla rejects all SPNEGO challenges from a web server. This is to protect the user from the possibility of DNS-spoofing being used to stage a man-in-the-middle exploit (see bug 17578 for more info). Moreover, with Windows clients NTLM may be negotiated as the authentication protocol. So, it is paramount that the browser does not freely exchange NTLM user credentials with any server that requests them. The NTLM response includes a hash of the user's logon credentials. On older versions of Windows this hash is computed using a relatively weak algorithm (see Hertel for more info on NTLM authentication).

[Via Dare Obasanjo]

Now playing: Big Bud - Fear of flying - Rice'n'beans

Monad is Dead, Long Live Windows PowerShell

Posted in PowerShell at Friday, 28 April 2006 11:12 W. Europe Daylight Time

Finally, Microsoft has given the new Windows CLI (codenamed Monad) its name: PowerShell. <rant>I can't help myself, but I believe there could be a better name. Why didn't they just stick to Microsoft Shell?</rant>

The product is currently RC1 (download versions for x86, x64 or ia64 and the docs), I will start using it as soon as I get the opportunity of writing a new script.

Update: I found a good reference to the beta name "Monad" in the first chapter of Bruce Payette's book on PowerShell.

“The Monad, of which we shall here speak, is nothing but a simple substance, which enters into compounds. By 'simple' is meant 'without parts.'”
From THE MONADOLOGY by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (translated by Robert Latta)

In the Monadology, Leibniz described a world of irreducible components from which all things could be composed. This excellently captures the spirit of the project – to create a toolkit of simple pieces that you compose to create complex solutions.

Rezept: Kaninchen in Rotweinsoße

Posted in Recipes (German) at Sunday, 16 April 2006 10:31 W. Europe Daylight Time
  • Kaninchenrücken und -keulen
  • 1 Flasche kräftiger Rotwein
  • 2 Lorbeerblätter
  • 10 Pfefferkörner
  • Ringe einer Zwiebel

Rotwein, Zwiebelringe, Pfefferkörner und Lorbeer aufkochen und auskühlen lassen. Kaninchenrücken und -keulen über Nacht darin marinieren.

  • Knochen des Kaninchens
  • Suppengemüse, kleingeschnitten
  • 1 gewürfelte Zwiebel
  • 1 EL gewürfelter Speck

Alles anrösten, mit 1 l kochendem Wasser ablöschen, salzen und pfeffern. 45 Minuten kochen lassen.

  • 1 EL gewürfelter Speck
  • 1 EL Margarine
  • 1 TL gemahlenes Piment
  • ½ TL Zimt
  • 2-3 TL Zucker
  • Saft einer Zitrone
  • 1 Packung Studentenfutter

Speck in Margarine auslassen. Das abgetrocknete Fleisch darin von allen Seiten anbraten. Anschließend die die gesiebte Rotweinmarinade und die Knochenbrühe hinzugeben. Mit Piment, Zimt, Zucker und Zitronensaft würzen und bei niedriger Hitze gar schmoren. Kurz vor Schluss 1 EL gehackte Nüsse und 1 EL Rosinen zugeben. Die Karottenscheiben aus der Knochenbrühe wieder hinzugeben, Soße andicken.

Dazu passen am besten Klöße und Rotkraut.

Winamp Visualization Not Loading

Posted in Tools and Software at Saturday, 15 April 2006 15:28 W. Europe Daylight Time

Winamp LogoRecently I had problems getting my favorite Winamp visualization WhiteCap working. I suspect it got stuck after updating Winamp to version 5.2 some months ago. I usually start visualizations only when a beamer is connected to the machine and therefore noticed the flaw just yet.

Winamp just didn't like loading the plugin, i.e. WhiteCap didn't show up in the list of available visualizations. A reinstall of the plugin didn't help. Today I took the time to debug the error in a Virtual PC instance and found the source of the problem. First I thought there's something wrong with my Winamp installation. A comparison of the VPC binaries against the ones installed on my "real" machine showed no differences. As I prefer to use the user-specific settings feature introduced in Winamp 5.2, it was time to take a look at the Winamp profile located in C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\Application Data\Winamp\. A strange little file named winamp.pic sits there and looks just like a list of available plugins.

CDDBControlWinamp.dll	!
CDDBUIWinamp.dll	!
enc_aacplus.dll	!
enc_lame.dll	!
enc_wma.dll	!
lame_enc.dll	!
libmp4v2.dll	!
ml_audioscrobbler.dll	!
read_file.dll	!
vis_ctrlfreak.dll	ControlFreak v2.50
vis_WhiteCap.dll	!
vms_desktop.dll	!
wmahelp.dll	!

The WhiteCap plugin (vis_WhiteCap.dll) is listed there, so Winamp seems to know about the plugin. Unfortunately, the file format is documented nowhere (at least I couldn't find it). But as the ControlFreak plugin is annotated with a name instead of an exclamation mark, I decided to give a little edit a try. I replaced the exclamation mark after the WhiteCap entry with "WhiteCap".

CDDBControlWinamp.dll	!
CDDBUIWinamp.dll	!
enc_aacplus.dll	!
enc_lame.dll	!
enc_wma.dll	!
lame_enc.dll	!
libmp4v2.dll	!
ml_audioscrobbler.dll	!
read_file.dll	!
vis_ctrlfreak.dll	ControlFreak v2.50
vis_WhiteCap.dll	WhiteCap
vms_desktop.dll	!
wmahelp.dll	!

After restarting Winamp the WhiteCap visualization worked like a charm again! Phew!


Now playing: Space Night Vol. 6 - Thievery Corporation - It takes a thief (Version 2)

Windows Vista Features on XP Today

Posted in Tools and Software | Design at Saturday, 15 April 2006 12:09 W. Europe Daylight Time

There are some utilities available today that mimic some UI features of Windows Vista. Here are some I use:

Customizing the Firefox UI

Posted in Browser at Tuesday, 04 April 2006 19:27 W. Europe Daylight Time

Firefox LogoThe last weeks I've been totally blown away by the Firefox user experience. Not only that it is a fast and standards-compliant browser, there is a vast list of extensions out there to tailor the browser to your needs. All plugins I've seen so far work and are updateable in non-admin environments. One may think I am an extension junkie, but see for yourself.

Some days ago Gunnar recommended the Yahoo! Widget Engine to me. I've decided to give it a try and I am pretty happy so far. The volume control widget even replaced the volume control that comes with my sound card. As I use the volume control fairy often, I like it to be visible on top of other applications. The widget engine allows just this by setting "on top" in the widget's properties. Add a little transparency and you're done. I've decided to place the widget in the lower right corner of the screen. However, Firefox has some controls placed there that aren't clickable because the widget sits on top of them.

Standard Firefox Status Bar

Firefox won't be Firefox if there were no means of moving the controls out of the way and thus giving access to both the Firefox buttons and volume control: There is the possibility of placing a userChrome.css file inside the Firefox user profile under C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<Random Number>.default\chrome\. Using this CSS stylesheet, it's possible to control any aspect of the browser appearance.

 * Do not remove the @namespace line -- it's required for correct functioning
/* set default namespace to XUL */
@namespace url("");

 * Pad the status bar from the right if Firefox is maximized to display Yahoo's
 * volume control widget without underlying Firefox controls.
#main-window[sizemode="maximized"] #status-bar {
  padding-right: 172px !important;

Once the above file sits in in the profile directory, each time Firefox is maximized the status bar is indented 172 pixels from the right.

Customized Firefox Status Bar

I was surprised to see that I was able to put the stylesheet together in about 5 minutes. There's plenty of documentation and samples on the web regarding XUL applications, and Firefox is one.

Now playing: Ethereal 77 - Landscapes - Baltica

Desktop Backgrounds

Posted in Design at Sunday, 02 April 2006 02:05 W. Europe Daylight Time

I am constantly in search for good background images. To me, a good background image has a nice motif (that is, looks good), is colorful in an undistracting way and has large uniform areas to place icons and other stuff. High resolution and great quality is also important since my desktop is 1600 by 1200 pixels.

I've collected a pretty large amount of images over the years, but the choice of the right image is always a rather longish process that isn't repeated too often. Once an image has been chosen, I'll stick to it for weeks or even months. The last one pleased my eyes since last August.

The other day I found a new resource for inspiring desktops: Mando Gomez' mandolux. This guy is specialized in high-quality photographs and illustrations that are even available for multi monitor configurations. The site even offers a RSS feed, the images are also available on flickr. So this is my new desktop, delighting me for next couple of months:


Other desktop image galleries can be found here: