August 30, 2003

Fire in the hole

My peppers started ripening this week, and I have already eaten a few. Some Jalapenos, 'Spaanse', sweet and cherry peppers have featured in meals already this week, and possibly plenty next week. Very very tasty. No lemon peppers are ripening yet though, but hopefully within a week or two. I guess it's a good idea to start freezing some to squirrel away for the winter.

I feel all warm inside. Delicious.

Posted by Ben at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2003

Sun at last

Had an excellent day sailing with Wouter, Jenn and Phil yesterday out on the Loosdrechtse Plassen. It's hard to beat sitting back in the boat with the tiller in one hand and a beer in the other. Or relaxing on the boat letting lunch settle in. Now if only we could have stayed to check out the floating party.

Maybe next weekend :)

Posted by Ben at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2003


Oakenfold show went on till 5 and I feel goood. Had to get up at 8:30am for work, too. Now I'm deaf, tired, and satisfied. That was a great show.

Posted by Ben at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2003


Sweet...tomorrow night (Thursday) Paul Oakenfold is playing in Amsterdam at Paradiso. And I'm going. I hope no-one expects me to be coherent at work on Friday.


Posted by Ben at 12:05 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2003

A reward of beer

A couple of months ago I stopped drinking beer during the week, for fear of getting a beer gut. It was a luxury I could only indulge in on weekends. It's not easy though, with many many different tasty beers from Belgium available.

In order to be able to enjoy again, I decided a couple of weeks ago that I could reward myself with one mid-week bevvy each time I went for a 45 minute jog beforehand.

Much happier! I'm now on three per week. :)

Posted by Ben at 09:25 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2003

Nova interview

I was interviewed by Sydney radio station Nova today, about life in Holland. I managed to record it off the air and encoded it as this mp3 file..

Of course, the interview moved around to the issue of marijuana availability here. What wasn't mentioned in it is that no, I'm not a stoner.

Posted by Ben at 04:30 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2003

In case you missed it

Last weekend, checked out Amsterdam Parade (not related to the gay parade). Lots of fun theater, people, food, music, and hangover-inducing beverages. Of particular note:

See the merry go round! Round, round! At some insane speed, leaving people screaming. Seriously..that thing was about twice the legal merry-go-round speed limit.

Knuckles. Theatre at its best, with 45 minutes of pure, sweet violence. Think of Tom and Jerry with Humans, acted out live. Absolutely brilliant.

The Silent Disco. Completely wacky. And funny as fuck. This is an open disco (in an open tent) where you go in and are given a set of headphones to listen to the music and DJ. Then dance. To those on the outside watching in, it's a unique and insightful experience of watching people make even bigger fools of themselves. Highly recommended for comedy value.

It's on till this Sunday. Check it out. And it helps to understand some Dutch.

Posted by Ben at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2003

Busy weekend!

Looks like next weekend is a bundle of joy:

  • Anna's birthday party on Saturday night. Invited by Jenn. Only met them all last Saturday.
  • Being interviewed by Sydney radio station Nova969 on Sunday. At noon - hope I'm up after the party.
  • Chiz has her birthday party on Sunday evening, that will be a lot of fun I hope. It's only 15km to Utrecht...if I get pissed enough, I can walk home and will be back before I know it.

What's with all the recent birthdays? My brother just had his on the 6th, and another friend recently too. Are Novembers that boring/romantic?

Posted by Ben at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2003

Oil - it needs oil!

So after some duscussions with Leo, who sold me my bike, it turns out that to solve a long-standing problem of jerky gear changes and crunchy gearboxes, I need some new oil. Having had the oil changed only a few months ago, I was puzzled. So anyway. I head off to the shop yesterday and pick up a bottle of oil. I remember too that my lights dont work and grab a new coil to replace the burnt out one on the alternator. Riding with no lighting at night is starting to get a little daring.

Normally the gearbox takes around 250-300ml of oil. However on draining it, out dribbled a measly few spoonfuls. Hmm. Oil leak. Running on a smear of oil. Quite lucky that it's not smoked up on me yet. Puzzled, I top the oil up. I resealed the plugs and discover the source of the leak. The cover to the gearbox is missing a screw! Oh crap! Make mental note - oil holds better when cover is sealed. Hopefully today I can get a new screw and fix the leak for good.

Murphy's back from holidays too - the coil is the wrong one. It's a Bosch, and I need an ISKRA. At least I now know how to get it out. A bent set of points taught me the way not to get it out.

Posted by Ben at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2003

Recipe #3 - Fried Rice

Everyone knows fried rice - either as a side dish or a main meal, depending on quantity and whats in it. My own version is very simple to make, tastes very genuine, and is 100% original.

Fried Rice

You will need:
  • Rice (variety of choice), about 200g per person
  • Peas
  • Bacon
  • One egg, lightly beaten
  • Soy sauce
  • Laos
  • Garlic
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Fenugreek
For the rice, I have discovered this method which works every time:
  • In a saucepan, ass a teaspoonful of oil and heat it up a little.
  • Add the rice, and cook on a low heat for 2-3 minutes in the oil.
  • Add twice the amount of water as you have rice. Stir a little.
  • Simmer for 10-15 mins or until the water has almost completely boiled away.
  • Turn the heat off. Stir through and cover.
  • Leave for 15 mins, fluffing with a fork every 5 mins.
Then, for the rest do this:
  • Briefly cook the peas (ie boil them!)
  • Add a spoonful of oil to a large frypan or wok.
  • Lightly fry the bacon in a low to medium heat
  • Add a dash of soy sauce, a crushed garlic clove, a dash of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of laos, a couple of cloves, a quarter teaspoon of fenugreek, and a little chilli powder or chilli oil if desired.
  • Turn the heat to high, and add the rice.
  • Stir the mixture constantly - occasionally add a spoonful of water so its not too dry.
  • Add the peas.
  • After a few minutes, pour the beaten egg into the mixture and mix constantly. It will cook in under a minute.
  • Serve!
Very simple and very tasty. You can also try adding a few other things for more variety.

Posted by Ben at 08:14 AM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2003

Best Fucking Legal Argument

From the world of the wacky comes this court briefing, regarding the constitutionality of the word fuck. A hilarious and ingenous read filed by the defence lawyer of a kid accused of basically telling a school principal to fuck off.

Posted by Ben at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2003

Global IPv6 adoption

One of the hottest topics today in the networking world is that of IPv6. The newest version of the Internet Protocol has been in development over the last ten years or so, and will hopefully replace IPv4 as the standard addressing scheme for all internet enabled devices. IPv6 is designed primarily to address the issue of the scarce IP address space that plagues IPv4.

But will IPv6 be adopted by the masses and take over as the primary protocol for internet communications?

The problem with IPv4 is that it has a total address space of around 4 billion addresses, with a practical limit of 250 Million devices. Given that around 1 billion people have easy access to the Internet, it's easy to see that there just isnt enough space for everyone. Plus multiple devices for each person. This scarcity of address space has resulted in several ways to overcome this:

  • Strict allocation policies, so that addresses are only given out based on the number of devices that will be connected. So a requirement for four devices, for example, will result in being allocated four addresses. And you have to really want to have these devices connected.
  • Network Address Translation is a scheme that allows many computers located behind a gateway to all access the internet. The non-routable addresses behind the gateway are translated to a routable address on the gateway so that a single IP address can allow dozens or hundreds of machines to access the internet. This is a bit of a hack however, and breaks many applications which require direct connectivity between devices.

With these basic limitations, management of networks becomes complex, and adoption of new technologies is stifled. One of the most promising new technologies is voice over ip. This enables one to conduct voice conversations over the net, essentially bypassing the phone companies and eliminating phone call costs.
But VoIP requires direct connectivity betwee endpoints, which is very complex when NAT is involved. And the scarcity of IP addresses makes getting addresses for these "IP telephones" difficult. Thus VoIP will have a slow adoption rate.

IPv6, on the other hand, has a huge number of addresses available. Not 4 billion, but some number too large to write in words. The actual number is 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456! To compare, IPv4 has 4,294,967,296 addresses. With this many addresses, IPv6 has enough for every household in the world to receive trillions and trillions of addresses. So with ample space, any device is freely able to connect and obtain full connectivity to the internet without complex justification and messy NAT schemes.

The potential uses with appliances, peer to peer applications, and gaming are quite numerous, and the speedy adoption of IPv6 is necessary to take the internet to its next level.

But will people adopt it soon? The IPv6 community is quite small, however it grows each day, and it seems to have accelerated over the last year. There are more and more networks that are supporting IPv6, and fairly soon most networks will support it. However, native IPv6 connectivity for consumers may be sometime off. Many providers are uncertain as to the stability of installing IPv6 on their access networks. Indeed, much of the access gear avaialble today has little production quality IPv6 support so the upgrades may cause other instabilities. Without testing, it will take longer to iron out any bugs. Providers must be willing to test this now, or risk being left behind.

Many providers also seem to be scared of offering consumers full internet access. There are some TOS agreements around that restrict what can be done with the connection (eg no servers, one computer, etc) which completely conflict with the spirit of IPv6. Providers will need to be willing to offer the standard /48 allocation of address space (as recommended in RFC3177) and to permit full connectivity in and out. If restrictive providers simply give a single IP address or a single subnet, then that will severely limit the potential uses for IPv6. Fortunately most providers that I know of in Europe are planning on providing a full /48 to subscribers - as to whether this policy is adopted by US and Aussie providers is yet to be seen.

At the same time as providing network readiness, there also need to be applications that support IPv6. At the moment the application support is quite extensive. Many web browsers, email applications and news readers support IPv6. However, on the whole, most applications do not support IPv6. Peer to peer applications and IM programs are currently IPv4 only. Once these are ported to IPv6, then the adoption rate should increase significantly. Porting to IPv6 is usually incredibly simple, with just a modification to the socket sections of the code. These applications will then work on both IPv4 and IPv6 at the same time.
There are a few applications for which it gets a lot more complex, with data file formats and various other sections of the code requiring modification, but overall it can generally be done with little overall impact on the program. Coders should be encouraged to ensure Ipv6 support is in their applications, which will help to spread the adoption of the protocol everywhere.

As of this time, IPv6 support is available in most Linux distributions, Mac OSX, and all windows versions from WinXP upwards. It's ready to run and we should start using!

Everyone who can should do the net some good and adopt IPv6 in their networks and applications. By offering full support for the protocol, the benefits of it can be realised sooner by all. I for one am doing my part, having set it up on my home boxes, and started rolling it out on the network at work. With 1.5 million users on this network, I'm hoping this has a large impact for the adoption of IPv6.

For those without native IPv6 connectivity, all operating systems that support IPv6 can get connectivity via tunnels. A quick search for ipv6 tunnel broker will come up with various sites to get your own tunnel and subnets.

More information is available from:

Posted by Ben at 04:49 PM | Comments (1)