The Letting Go (why does it hurt so much ?)

As some of you know, I had some company the last few weeks by two amiable girls from Belgium. We did some hanging out, went out a couple of times and basically had a great time.

One thing I didn’t thought was possible, is them getting close to me (as in “I’d really like them to stay some time”) and as I gave them a ride to the train station yesterday, I really had my problems. Out of the sudden I had a feeling not to let them go, or is it the feeling to let friends (and I’m talking about real friends) slip by, without even knowing them for more than 3 weeks.

Well, it’s too late now; they are back in Eupen by now (hopefully 😥 ) and I’m probably never gonna see them again.

Again Deutsche Bahn

So, as some of you know, I decided to spend New Year’s Eve with my cousin and my aunt. And how did I get from the warmish north to the coldish south ?

By train as usual, that means Deutsche Bahn … I already had my gooood experiences with German Rails back in May when I headed to LinuxTag 2006.

This time it was a bit different. At first the train from Stralsund to Hamburg was a replacement train, which had no reservations and only first class wagons. One pro and one con. The contra being that my reservation was nullified (meaning I had ordered one but didn’t get one).

Next thing was, once I was in the ICE to Stuttgart they checked my ticket. The first conductor noted that my Weltmeister BahnCard (which I bought back in May) isn’t valid anymore. But I told her that I got a letter from the Deutsche Bahn, telling me that the Card’s validity cycle has been extended till 31. December 2006. She told me that she had no knowledge of that but let me be with that.

The next conductor that came along, told me that the BahnCard was invalid and I had to pay the difference I bought with the invalid card. So he demanded 31,50 € from me, which I paid. Also he told me that the BahnCard is still accepted by his ticket machine. Afterwards he gave me a receipt for the payment and went along.

The next conductor (seems like they took turns) asked me for my ticket, which I handed to her together with the receipt I got from the previous conductor and my BahnCard. So she checked all three, told me that my BahnCard was invalid and seized my BahnCard and went away.

That was pretty much of my adventure with German Rails on this sunny Thursday.

Once I’m back home, I’m going to write a formal complaint together with a demand for compensation directed at the appropriate office.

DB Adventure Travels – part 3

Heh, I managed to catch the S1 to Hellenberg and got of in Stuttgart Rohr. The S-Bahn doors nearly squashed me.

I’m now at my aunt’s place, sitting on the sofa and relaxing a bit. My aunt was really happy when she saw me (as she always is if I or my brother comes by).

I’ll go to bed in a few minutes, Saturday is getting really stressing. I need to get to my cousin and his wife (and my little grand cousins). I even need to buy a new LCD display for my aunt, since she somewhere red that those need 70% less power.

DB Adventure Travels – part 2

Boy, right after I wrote those lines they announced everyone heading to Stuttgart should get of that train and take another since they had to replace the damaged end car. I even had to switch platforms again.

I’m now sitting in that other train, it’s pretty much overfilled with people who are all and everyone angry at DB. I’m gonna take a cab from Stuttgart Central Station to my aunt’s place since it’s getting later and later. We’re now supposed to arrive at 22:48 but the train already has ten minutes delay.

I’m really curious what happens next. Two missed trains, a broken one … Maybe the cab driver takes me to the wrong place. That put the crown on that day.

DB Adventure Travels – part 1

I’m now sitting in the ICE (on a little child seat), it arrived with 20 minutes delay here at Frankfurt Airport but we’re still standing here with problems on the end car, so it’s gonna take a while.

It’s one of the newer ICE’s and the interior looks really great. I even managed to get some wireless connection!

LinuxTag – part 3

I’m now at Frankfurt Airport and I nearly got on the earlier train to Stuttgart which I wasn’t able to catch, according to the service guy. I was facing the same problem than the morning before. The damn doors closed right in front of my face. Meh, Friday seems to be my bad luck day.

I’m still waiting for the ICE supposed to leave at 20:54 but it’s currently having eighteen minutes delay. My cousin messaged me earlier that she’ll collect me at Stuttgart Central Station. The day is nearly finished now and I’m awake since yesterday morning 07:40 minus that three hour break. I’m still pretty excited that I really got to Wiesbaden and I really enjoyed that little trip (even if it was a bit expensive).

LinuxTag – part 2

I’m sitting in the S8 to Frankfurt Airport where I’ll switch to the ICE to Stuttgart to visit my cousins and my aunt. Linux Tag was quite amazing, I finally met some of the people behind OpenVZ (Kir and Kirill), saw a bit of Andrew Morton’s Kernel FAQ (Kir told us that) and met some people including Bertl, doener, derjohn, zeng, foo, … of the linux-vserver community. Both workshops were quite interesting and I learned a lot of things about openvz and it’s userland tools and linux-vserver (finally I understood the CPU Tokenbucket system).

Even if I didn’t arrive in time to watch Kir and Kirill’s presentation of openvz and its features completely, I managed to watch Kir demonstrating the live migration between two different nodes. Even if Kirill needed to reboot his system due to a readonly filesystem (it was / that was the whole bugger) I have to admit it really impressed me (since that’s a feature we had to pay 3000€ for VMware ESX and no I don’t want do hear a single word about it). Sadly the OpenVZ stuff isn’t ported yet to SPARC so I’ll keep vServer running on the U1 (Ultra1). I also met Hollow in person, which really was the highlight of all days. He was my mentor when I joined Gentoo and is the person that I’m doing most of my work on Gentoo / Linux vServer / OpenVZ related things. Bertl’s talk nearly took four hours but those four hours were quite informative and interesting. He held a general introduction into virtualization theory (which took him two hours). After a small fifth teen minute break he demonstrated most of the things possible with linux-vserver (including resource limits to kill kill certain memory/cpu hogs).

Demonstration ended at 18:10 and we got back up to the Linux vServer booth were I finally managed to ask Bertl about his patch name versioning scheme. And I finally understood it!

We also stopped by at the SWsoft booth to say goodbye to Kir and Kirill and to talk about the SRPMS but they already had left. We did some group photos of all present at the Linux vServer booth. Afterwards Hollow and I grabbed our backpacks and took of to the station. On the way we had a little discussion about problems and stuff that we recently noticed. First was the /dev/console virtualization effort, since we switched from init-style Gentoo (which we removed from the utils) to plain. The virtualization would show some effect if you’re wanna be able to see what’s happening on the startup phase of a vServer. Second thing was the reintroduction of the fastboot bug (that’s what I call it). The util-vserver package leaves a plain and empty file in the guests root filesystem, which really annoys me. The third thing is the vserver-init.$( mktemp )´ file that is placed in /tmp but isn’t deleted after startup is complete. Another thing we talked about was the vserver stop´ which only waits for the vkill timeout to kick in but isn’t going to stop the vServer by itself.

LinuxTag – part 1

Boy, that day started great (irony). I was supposed to get my lazy ass up at 04:20 am to be at the station at 05:27 am, taking the train to Wiesbaden (together with Hollow).

But someone in this odd world doesn’t like me. I somehow managed to turn off the damn cell (that was supposed to wake me up) and slept till 05:10 am, till Paula came in and woke me up. She told me she was awake since half an hour and she waited on me to step into her bedroom.

She also told me that we have to go now otherwise I’m not going to catch that train (for which I had a reservation!). We got into the cat and drove over to the station (damn, you can’t imagine how I hate red traffic lights!). She parked in the non-parking area and we ran through half the station, till we noticed the train is supposed to be on platform 15. We were already at platform 22!! So we got back running through the station with my heavy backpack (carrying my notebook and some stuff I had to put into it earlier in my morning rush) and my heavy trolli.

As we arrived at platform 15, the ICE was already beeping, indicating the doors are getting closed / locked. I asked the conductor if there was a way left to get on that damn train. She told me, there is one only way three wagons ahead, and it was the only possible way to get on that train (each wagon is approx. 30m long), so I started shouting at the conductor standing in the door to let me in. But it seems he hasn’t heard me. Damn you, fscking conductor.

I was standing in front of that damn train and saw it leaving the station. You probably can’t imagine how I felt in that moment. I was pretty much wasted, completely out of breath, standing there.

After the train left the station Paula asked me, why I stopped running, there were only three or four wagons left. I told there, that I’m completely wasted and that damn conductor I shouted at, hasn’t heard me.

Standing there on the empty platform, I was completely clueless. She told me I should look for the next available train that would take me to Wiesbaden. I thought for a second, to skip the trip but decided to search for an alternative. I looked around and saw an ICE Sprinter (which needs an extra reservation) to Frankfurt a. Main. So I called the information (was Paula’s idea) and asked for the number of DB-Ticket Service. The lady messaged me, since she couldn’t put me through, the number and I took another call to a service hotline. It was a 0900 number (at 1,49€ per minute).

Another lady answered my call and I asked her for a reservation for the ICE Sprinter (leaving at 06:25). That damn reservation cost another 10,00€. I booked that, as I really intended to show up in Wiesbaden. He service-lady asked me a couple of questions (personal, for their system to get the 10€) and it was finished. I only had to catch my reservation at the next service terminal.

After searching such a terminal for a minute or so, I collected my reservation and felt much better. Now I’m sitting in the train (Hollow tried to call me a couple of times) being around Mannheim and writing my blog post on paper (still need to hammer it into the keyboard).

My mood lifted pretty much and I’m looking forward to meet Hollow, kir, team leader of the openvz team, Bertl, the guy behind the linux-vserver kernel.

I’m still tired, tried already to sleep but the moving train makes that nearly impossible. My stomach is hurting, my head is a bit dizzy but it should be ok later (I hope so). The damn pressure on the ears drives me nearly mad (I’m not used to switch heights in that speed, Northern Germany is nearly flat and there isn’t that altitude difference that I’m experiencing right now).

I’m still impressed of Munich (who knows, maybe I’m getting a job there in the near future), my head is full of information of those various locations I visited in the past 1½ days. Also full of great memories that I’ll not forget so fast (I’m hoping at least).

I’m already thinking about my summer holidays. Maybe I’ll spend them also in Munich and not in Stuttgart where all my relatives are. But those holidays should be a bit longer than two days, it really hurts to leave again so fast.

So far from my little adventure, more as it happens.


I just woke up and thought I really should blog about that.

The trip was quite interesting so far, saw some things that really looked odd.

At first the was some kind of Police protection (30 or so with shield visor) for only 5 people at Pasewalk Hbf.

Pasewalk Hbf - Lots, and lots of policemen!
Pasewalk Hbf - Lots, and lots of policemen!

A friend of mine picked me up at Berlin Ostbahnhof and we drove all the way to Munich. While we stopped for gas (1,44€ per liter super unleaded)

Somewhere on the Autobahn - Shitass expensive gasoline
Somewhere on the Autobahn - Shitass expensive gasoline

I saw something that driven past us. I saw it later again and took a picture. The thing I saw were two German transport/reconnaissance tanks “Fuchs” on low-loaders (since the tanks aren’t allowed to drive upon the motorway in peacetime).

Somewhere on the Autobahn - transport/reconnaissance tank 'Fuchs'
Somewhere on the Autobahn - transport/reconnaissance tank 'Fuchs'

Another thing I saw was a badly deformed BMW on a tow truck.

Somewhere on the Autobahn - totaled BMW
Somewhere on the Autobahn - totaled BMW

While driving to the city I saw some pretty nice and also some odd things. At first, we driven past the Allianz Arena which is pretty amazing. The whole outside of the stadium consists of air cussions which are differently illuminated, depending on which team is playing there. White is for the national team, red for the F.C. Bayern München and blue for the TSV 1860 München.

Entering Munich - Allianz Arena
Entering Munich - Allianz Arena

The odd thing I noticed was an old man (with a really nice beard) driving a really odd bike.

In Munich - Old guy, riding a <b>*really*</b> weird bike
In Munich - Old guy, riding a *really* weird bike

As we arrived in Munich, we took a trip to the Isar (which is a really nice place to be), setteled down for an hour and enjoyed the beautiful view at the Isar and St. Maximilian.

In Munich - View at St. Maximilian from the riverside
In Munich - View at St. Maximilian from the riverside
In Munich - Looking at the Isar
In Munich - Looking at the Isar

Later we went to the Augustiner Brewery, where they serve also in the Bräustüberl. For the first day in Munich I have to admit, Munich seems like a great place to live.