an even better LaTeX system

A previous post the best LaTeX system was a commercial for Gerben Wierda’s i-Installer to get a working tetex distribution. I’ve been working happily with this TeX-system for two years now but recently run into a few (minor) problems. In the process of solving these problems I created myself a second tetex-system more or less by accident. This is what… Read more →

the google matrix

This morning there was an intriguing post on arXiv/math.RA entitled A Note on the Eigenvalues of the Google Matrix. At first I thought it was a joke but a quick Google revealed that the PageRank algorithm really is at the heart of Google technology, so I simply had to find out more about it. An extremely readable account of it… Read more →

the cpu 2 generation

Never ever tell an ICT-aware person that you want to try to set up a home-network before you understand all 65536 port-numbers and their corresponding protocols. Here is what happened to me this week. Jan Adriaenssens returned from an extended vacation in New Zealand and I told him about my problems with trying to set up WebDAV securely. He stared… Read more →

NOG master class

Yesterday I made reservations for lecture rooms to run the master class on non-commutative geometry sponsored by the ESF-NOG project. We have a lecture room on monday- and wednesday afternoon and friday the whole day which should be enough. I will run two courses in the program : non-commutative geometry and projects in non-commutative geometry both 30 hours. I hope… Read more →

antwerp sprouts

The game of sprouts is a two-person game invented by John Conway and Michael Paterson in 1967 (for some historical comments visit the encyclopedia). You just need pen and paper to play it. Here are the rules : Two players, Left and Right, alternate moves until no more moves are possible. In the normal game, the last person to move… Read more →

homemade .mac

The other members of my family don’t understand what I am trying to do the last couple of days with all those ethernet-cables, airport-stations, computer-books and the like. ‘Improving our network’ doesn’t make much of an impression. To them, our network is fine as it is : from every computer one has access to the internet and to the only… Read more →

combinatorial game software

As I am going to give a talk on Combinatorial Game Theory early next month I have to update my rusty knowledge of canonical forms of two-person game positions, their temperature theory and the like. As most of the concepts in this field are recursive they are hard to work out by humans but easy for computers. So it is… Read more →

SSL on Mac OSX

A longer term project is to get the web-server integrated in our home-network as an external WebDAV-server (similar to the .Mac-service offered by Apple). But as this server runs all information about the master-class on non-comutative geometry connecting to it via HTTP to use WebDAV is too great of a security risk as all username/password combinations will be send… Read more →

one week blogging

So far I found it rather easy to post one or more messages a day as I was installing a lot of software or trying to get things working and was merely logging my progress for future reference. These notes are useful to me but probably not to the rest of the world. Another thing I noticed is that I’m… Read more →


What then is all this WarWalking, WarDriving, WarChalking and so on? In particular, why the aggressive War-word in them ? From what I learned, the historical origin of these terms comes from the 1983 movie “War Games” in which a kid sets up his modem to dial numbers until it finds a computer to hack leading inevitably to the US-army… Read more →


We still have an original iMac (Bondi Blue). It runs at 233 MHz, has 192Mb RAM and a hard-disk of 4Gb, so is pretty outdated. Still, when Mac OSX was introduced I had a hard time installing extra RAM in it (for this model you have to take it apart disconnecting all sorts of cables) so it would be a… Read more →

WarWalking (3)

This time we turn to Ethereal, ‘sniffing the glue that holds the Internet together’. Here is the description they give : “Ethereal is a free network protocol analyzer for Unix and Windows. It allows you to examine data from a live network or from a capture file on disk. You can interactively browse the capture data, viewing summary and detail… Read more →

WarWalking (2)

MacStumbler and iStumbler are active scanners sending out probe messages to the basestations and can therefore be detected easily. Moreover, they are not able to detect closed networks. So let us move up one step in the secrecy scale and get some passive network scanners running. The first one is KisMAC which instructs the Airport card to tune to a… Read more →

WarWalking (1)

What exactly is a \’WarDriver\’? WarDriver: One who locates and logs wireless access points while in motion ;[benign]. WarDriving was invented by Peter Shipley and now commonly practiced by hobbyists, hackers and security analysts worldwide. More information about this trend can be found at Even if you are not into this sport, the following (innocent) software may be of… Read more →

dinner’s ready

Not all improvements to our home-network need to be high tech. Here is a very simple measure which reduces the amount of in-house shouting drastically. Often all of us are online, either to work, surf the net, MSN-chat or listening to iTunes and clearly we can easily see which other computers are on at the time. Just click on the… Read more →