ads' corner

FOSDEM and FOSDEM PGDay 2024 Review

A review of FOSDEM 2024 and the FOSDEM PGDay 2024

PGConf.EU 2023 Review

PGConf.EU 2023 is over, time for my personal review of the conference. Overall we got good and very good feedback, for most parts.

Extract better GPS coordinates from images using exiftool

Sometimes I have to extract Exif information from images, mostly the GPS coordinates. The coordinates coming raw from the images are not very helpful.

Advent of Code 2020: "Seating System" - Day 11

Your career as a hacker brings you more and more unreasonable tasks. Today you arrive at the ferry station, head to your next gate (no one mentioned if you even got an ice cream), and figure out where to seat. Even though you are the first person in the waiting area that does not stop you from knowing the seating habits for all other passengers, and calculate their seating patterns.


Advent of Code 2020: "Encoding Error" - Day 9

Uh oh, either the ice cream at the airport was bad, or the cocktails are not good for you! How else can you explain that you hack the airplane systems with some paperclips and break the XMAS encryption, while the plane is airborne? The plane’s on-board systems emits some cryptic numbers and your task is it to decrypt this. Wait, did I say task? Who gave this task to you? Oh well, please be careful, if you shorten a circuit you might as well crash your own plane.


Advent of Code 2020: "Handheld Halting" - Day 8

You fixed the colours of the bags yesterday) and security allowed you to leave the baggage section and go get your ice cream before you board your next flight. On the flight the kid next to you recognizes you as the great hacker you are, and asks you to fix a problem with the handheld game console. Go and hack the bootloader while no documentation is available because the mobile internet is off. Turns out someone coded an infinite loop into the bootloader, and missed that fact during testing. What testing, do you ask? Well, let’s not jump too deep into details, you have to hack a bootloader and make a kid happy. It’s Christmas soon, after all! And your cocktail is waiting!


Advent of Code 2020: "Handy Haversacks" - Day 7

They really trust you a lot … Now all flights are delayed, that’s quite usual in advent times. Except it’s 2020 and no one is traveling anyway. But they also impose more regulations, and now bags need to have colours, and bags need to go into other bags. And someone has to figure it out. That’s right, it’s you! I hope the stopover is long enough to at least grab some ice cream!


Traveling in Cuba (offline)

In 2019 I was in Cuba for a conference that took place there.

During the preparation of the trip it occured to me that internet access in the country is on the one hand slow and not well developed. On the other hand, that mobile internet access via roaming is obscenely expensive. It was foreseeable that I would have to do without mobile internet for a week, and consequently without online navigation. Preparations are in order.

These preparations were divided into two areas: before the trip and during the trip. For a while I thought about buying a map (this paper thing that you hold in your hand), but outside of Cuba you can’t find good maps for tourists which you can buy in advance. And the available maps looked rather outdated, and without enough details. As a result, I scratched this option from the list.


Very Important Ingress Couchsurfing Badge

Let me tell you how easy it is to operate 50 opposing Ingress agents from your couch. And let me tell you how you get recognized as a very important agent by the opposing faction. All you have to do is go out, enjoy life with your family, eat ice cream, go on business or vacation trips - and then sit back on your couch and wait. Ok, the ice cream part is optional. And you have to leave a resonator or two behind, in remote Ingress portals. Maybe add a shield, for fun and the Engineer badge.


Seattle

Our first full vacation day was more or less for relaxing, and recovering, and getting rid of the jetlag. Therefore we stayed right in Seattle. Our plan was to walk down to the Great Wheel and to the Aquarium, what we more or less managed to do - with some detours.

After a late breakfast in the hotel, we headed out towards the Great Wheel at the waterfront. For sure, the first group of Ingress portals, and the first mission we played, got us right to the Seattle Public Library.