Good grief, it’s been far too long since I last blogged.
I got myself a computer a week or two ago, an Asus A6K laptop. So I finally have a computer to call my own which I can use here, wohoo. Not bad either, Turion 64 and GeForce Go 6200, not quite top spec (especially the RAM, only 512 MB) but an order of magnitude better (and more portable!) than my desktop PC at home which (particularly with its 19” CRT monitor) is too huge to take on the plane. I managed to install Ubuntu on it (courtesy of this hall’s other resident geek Yaakov, from Connecticut) dual booting with XP Home (which was bundled). The first thing I tried to do with it was install Operation Flashpoint… but to my horror I found I’d left CD 1 in my desktop’s CD drive. Argh! Oh well, at least I have Neverwinter Nights to fall back on.
Apart from that, I’ve been playing around with IPv6. 6to4 tunnelling works perfectly from Ubuntu (although I have yet to figure out how to get the setup to persist across reboots). Under Windows a 6to4 tunnel is set up automagically when you install the IPv6 protocol via the usual networking GUI. However it seems there is a stupid bug in the Windows IPv6 stack that means it only routes to 6to4 addresses (2002::/16), so you can’t access the native IPv6 internet (including the famous test site kame.net). I tried fiddling about with the command line network config tools (i.e. netsh) to change the default route to send all 2000::/3 (i.e. global scope) traffic through the tunnel, but that didn’t work. It seems this stack is just inherently broken. Sigh. No wonder nobody uses IPv6 yet, the vast majority of the computer using public is completely unable to access pure IPv6 hosts.
The other thing I was missing until recently was music. I had attempted to burn all my music in Ogg Vorbis format to CD-R, but for some unknown reason my CD drive objected to this. Besides which I haven’t had any way of playing music until I got this laptop. Well, the latter problem is fixed (see above), and I also fixed the former problem a couple of days ago by buying a pile of CDs at one of the local shopping centres. Here they are, in the order they happen to be on my desk:
- Runter mit den Spendierhosen, Unsichtbarer! by Die Ärzte. For the meaning of the title see my translation of a biography of the band. Something like a softish hard rock, say Green Day or POTUS. (Edit 22/09/2006: When I wrote this it was rather a long time since I had heard either; Die Ärzte aren’t really like them at all. Check them out on last.fm.)
- Sehnsucht by Rammstein. I’m sure lots of you know this album already so I don’t really need to explain it, except to say that I don’t have anything remotely like it in my collection. In particular the above album couldn’t be more different.
- The Very Best of Bach. Self explanatory – a collection of bits from various Bach works. Naxos and therefore cheap.
- Beethoven’s Symphonie Nr. 9 and Mozart’s Requiem. Again these probably need no introduction.
- Finlandia, Karelia Suite, Op. II and Lemminkäinen Suite, Op. 22 by Jean Sibelius. I was inspired to buy this in particular because I heard some of it at a Finn’s birthday party.
- Showbiz by Muse. Mostly because it was so cheap (€6.99, not to be sniffed at) and because I like Muse anyway. On first listening doesn’t seem to be as impressive as either of their other albums to date.
Well at least I’m satisfied musically for the time being, unfortunately I have a few Refarate (report, usually verbal), Klausuren (written exam) and Prüfungen (oral exam) coming up. Most after the Christmas break fortunately, but I need to make sure I’m signed up for them. (It turns out the Germans’ reputation for bureaucracy is due to them being crap at it – there is no central office that keeps track of which courses which students are signed up to.) Anyway, my plane home is booked for Saturday so that’s when I’ll be getting home. Annoyingly late but I had no idea if I was able to come earlier when booking, so Christmas Eve it is. I have a bit of shopping left to do and also some research at the library (which the lazy buggers closed at 2pm today due to the holidays).