Max Romantschuk's weblog – May 2003 archive

Distributed robotics

Monday 26th of May, 2003 – Permalink

I stumbled upon the Centibots Project. They are working on a bunch of robots which can map a building and perform surveillance by working as a distributed, self organizing mobile wireless network. And all this using standard components. I wonder who saw this coming when they got into using Napster/Gnutella... Ultracool stuff!

Embedding linux

Thursday 22nd of May, 2003 – Permalink

I've been lousy at updating the last week. Partly this is due to the fact that I managed to develop something of a typing injury (RSI) at work, and I've been treating it with... you guessed it, not typing.

I found an interresting page on the LinuxDevices site, it's an archive of Linux-based embedded devices. I found the PhatNoise PhatBox car mp3-server-masquerading-as-a-cd-changer very cool. It's a good thing I don't have a car at the moment... otherwise I'd have to get me one of these!

I hope you realize that this means war...

The Inquirer reports that a bunch of renegade MIT engineering students have managed to get nVidia's Dawn (aka Sexy Fairy) demo for the Geforce FX to work on ATI's DirectX 9 -based cards. The lucky owners of such cards can get the goodies and read more on

I wonder how nVidia is going to react. Up until now they'we been claiming that the Geforce FX is the only chip up to the task...

Watercooling going mainstream

Wednesday 14th of May, 2003 – Permalink

Watercooling? It's all about cooling stuff with water. Why water? Because water much more efficient at conducting heat than air... Anyway, I've been folloing the progress of PC watercooling for several years now, and seen the rise of the first commercial kits. They sucked. has a review of the Corsair HydroCool 200. I haven't felt like getting into watercooling before, but now I'm feeling like it's time to take the plunge. For me the biggest reason is reduced noise. Noise is bad, especially when making music...

Although with my luck, it'll take five years before you can get these in Finland.

When copy protection fails

I applaud the action taken by Stephen Marovitch in Melbourne when a copy-protected CD he bought failed to play in Windows 2000, XP and Mac OS X... He copied the CD in order to listen to it... read all about it in The Age.


Monday 12th of May, 2003 – Permalink

I upgraded to a new mail server this weekend. My mail is now filtered by SpamAssassin and Vipul's Razor. It works quite well, and my father is very pleased. He use to get something like 50 spam messages a day, now it's more like 5. It seems ironic that I should run into The Confessions of a Former Spammer this morning.

What I've never been able to understand about spammers is how they seem to think that the spam isn't hurting anyone. That's because the ones who are paying for the spam are the users recieving it. They pay their ISP's for the bandwith and servers, and they pay in their free and/or working time for pressing delete for every second message entering their mailbox. That's just wrong.


Thursday 8th of May, 2003 – Permalink

You know you're not suppose to put aluminum foil in microwaves, right? I did it by accident once, and it scared the... um... I got scared anyway. We'll some people do these things on purpose. I dug up a bunch of microwave experiment pages, and decided to share my findings here. So without futher delay:

Some of these pages are somewhat ugly, but personally I find the experiments interresting and amusing aswell. Don't try them at home though...

Crawing for more? Search Google for "fun microwave experminent".

This, that and then some

Wednesday 7th of May, 2003 – Permalink

Labour day (the 1st of May) came and went, as did the weekend. Not much has happened that I have anything sensible to say about. I used the weekend to put together a Debian (GNU-) Linux based router/firewall. That isn't really much to brag about, but I'm proud none the less. The box uses a HomePNA card to connect to a switch in the basement of our house, and then has to create a PPTP tunnel to access the Internet. It's about as crazy as it sounds, actually. The reason why I'm using this setup is that the service is included in my rent. A dedicated DSL would be better, but would also cost extra. Big thanks goes to my friend Fabian Fageholm for the help!

On another note... I'm looking forward to the lauch of Apples music service in Europe, whenever that will happen. It's great that someone's finally gotten the ball rolling.