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/template/media/country/at.gif Klaus Johannes Rusch's Random Thoughts RSS
Read my random thoughts blog. The usual disclaimer: These postings are my own personal thoughts and do not necessarily represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.
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Hinzugefügt am 07.03.2011 - 10:12:00
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The not so extreme extreme tour
Extreme cold, extreme weather, extreme wind, the 24h Burgenland Extrem Tour has seen them all. This year was unusual with near-perfect conditions, dry weather, temperatures around the freezing point and almost no wind. Only the high fog blocked the sun throughout the day, painting the landscape in a diffuse gray light.After last year’s participation had ended abruptly, I was looking forward to another opportunity to participate in this unique event. Months ahead there was no doubt that I would be well-prepared and ready. Sadly, reality strikes and in the last two months I skipped most planned trainings for various reasons, good or otherwise, and barely scored 40 kms without any long runs. At 04:30 in the morning a happy crowd started the journey in Oggau. Thanks to the dry weather, the tracks were much easier to run and faster this year. The first supply stop in Balf offered hot tea and cold chocolate cookies, good for a quick stop, and I reached Hegykő about half an hour earlier than last year.The tour continued on frozen dirt roads and hiking paths alongside the Fertő-Hanság National Park, best known for its bird population. At this time of the year the only birds I saw were starlings flying in formations. Leading through an absolutely flat plain, the paths never seemed to end.I got as far as Apetlon and, with an extra round through the town, finished here after just shy of 60 kilometers running and walking. That's more than half the distance of the 24 h Burgenland Extrem Tour, still a few kilometers missing for the full tour around Lake Neusiedl.Congratulations to all finishers, extreme thanks to the organizers for another well-organized event, and I will be back for the 24 Stunden Burgenland Extrem Tour in 2021! #running #fdl #livelovemove #BurgenlandExtrem
24.01.2020 - 23:11:00
68 kilometers: The Ups and Downs of Wien Rundumadum 2019
68 kilometers, 1525 m elevation, 90000 steps – that’s how far I got this year at the Wien Rundumadum, the running event around the city of Vienna. While I dropped out again, it still marks the longest distance I ever did, albeit at a decreasing pace, but more on that later.Last year I felt much better prepared but had screwed up on coordinating with family, now I had everyone’s blessing, although my family still thinks I am crazy, and probably rightly so. There were many familiar faces among the 83 runners who gathered in the early morning, ready for the 130 km course. After picking up the GPS trackers and getting a quick race briefing, we started at 05:30 am.Having failed on the training plan and skipped most long runs, I knew that I lacked both mental and physical strength for a long distance run and was expecting some ups and downs. What I was not prepared for was the first energy low and a serious slowdown after merely 5 kilometers at a comfortable pace. An energy bar later I was back on track and happily moving along, except for a short detour to Cobenzl after missing a turn at Kreuzeiche. Reportedly, I was not the only one literally going for the extra mile here.The first supply station had little to offer that appealed to me, heavy donuts are not my favorite food during activities. Tired of cold iso drinks I settled for only two bottles of sweat hot tea, which unfortunately didn’t go well with the sweat gels, so I skipped those. The second supply station after Lainzer Tiergarten had sweat rolls, which were not too bad once salted. The only real food was the soup generously provided by Traildog Running, many thanks to the team for offering something hot and salty.There I was joking about having enough of a buffer to finish the remaining distance by walking, however moving on, my pace, which was already around 40 seconds per kilometer slower than last year, continued to drop and I was only half way through. Despite the optimistic predictions of my smartwatch, it became painfully obvious that I would not reach the finish line within the 24-hour cut-off time. The only co-runner going at a similar pace had fallen behind a while ago, and the prospect of doing the next segment through the Lobau national park all by myself wasn’t terribly attractive.As night was falling, I decided to drop out. I had done more than half of the course, including most of the inclines, run longer and farther than ever before, and overall was at peace with myself and the world. Needless to say that after a lovely family dinner and a good night’s sleep I wonder if I should have done another segment, or maybe more.If nothing else, the experience certainly has prepared me better for the next opportunity to go around Vienna: looking forward to WRU 2020!
03.11.2019 - 21:12:00 ...
Happy birthday,!
The IBM homepage launched on May 24, 1994. What started with a few pages and an audio welcome message evolved into a global web presence, and I am honored that I have taken part in that journey. Hard to believe it's been 25 years already.Happy birthday,, and welcome to the Quarter Century Club!Related links:IBMIBM homepage history in screenshots by IBM's first corporate webmaster, Ed Costello
24.05.2019 - 07:31:00
Switching password managers: PowerShell to the rescue
As if dropping your beloved password manager and starting with another product wasn't hard enough, there is also the challenge of moving credentials to a new system. For many years I have been a happy RoboForm customer. The password manager integrated nicely with all browsers I use, had an easy to use interface and a flexible password generator, and with some fiddling also allowed selectively sharing family passwords on some computers only.Photo credit: Image by Jan Alexander from PixabayThe integration with Firefox deteriorated when legacy extensions were dropped from the browser, and the new RoboForm extension never quite reached the same ease of use and consistency in the user interface. Time had come to look into alternatives, and the choice was a combination of KeyPass, the the popular open source product, and 1Password, an the enterprise ready solution that supports shared vaults for families and teams.The migration seemed easy: RoboForm does have CSV export capabilities, although somewhat hidden in the latest version, and 1Password claims the ability to import RoboForm CSV files, only after a few attempts the results were mixed, to say the least. Some userids ended up in the password fields, and multiline notes were interpreted as tags. Clearly something wasn't right. 1Password support explained that the format seems to have changed recently, with RoboForm now exporting cards with the fields ordered asName,Url,MatchUrl,Login,Pwd,Note,Folder,Rf_fieldswhereas 1Password expectsName,MatchUrl,Login,Pwd,Note,Folder,Rf_fields,UrlThat's where my new affection for PowerShell comes into play. This would have entirely doable in REXX, Perl, Python or any other language I have used for reformatting data, but parsing and generating CSVs can be tricky to implement or require additional modules. Not so in PowerShell, where the conversion from an arbitrarily ordered CSV with headers is a simple one-liner:Import-Csv -Encoding UTF8 -Path $infile | Select-Object "Name", "MatchUrl", "Login", "Pwd", "Note", "Folder", "Rf_fields", "Url" | Export-Csv -Encoding UTF8 -NoTypeInformation $outfileAnd voilà, all data automagically ends up in the right fields.
28.03.2019 - 21:25:00 ...
Going extreme, briefly
The eight edition of the 24 Stunden Burgenland Extrem Tour around Lake Neusiedl took place this weekend. Having signed up and cancelled twice for health reasons, I finally made it this year. A big thank you to my friend Erich, whom I had talked into going for this together three years ago and who was kind enough to give it another try.I was super excited the days before and somewhat relieved to see others talk about their rising panic as well, both the distance of 120 kilometers and the unpredictable winter weather make this more extreme than the typical running event. Fortunately the storage capacity of the running vest put a natural limit on how much I could possibly pack to feel prepared.Following the spirit “LIVE LOVE MOVE”, as the organizers put it, the 24 Stunden Burgenland Extrem Tour is not a competition but a huge collective adventure, a road to new experiences, life-long friendships and also a path to yourself.  Right from the start  the tour is very relaxed, a large crowd of people moving along the narrow tracks, usually in small groups, not worrying too much about their pace, chatting and having a good time. The weather started out nice, with temperatures around the freezing point and only a light breeze, and the bright moonlight illuminated the snow-covered tracks up and down the vineyard hills (so much for Burgendland being flat). After slipping a few times on the snow-covered tracks, I once scored points for an elegant telemark landing that should later knock me out of the tour.We passed the green boarder near Fertőrákos, and enjoyed the beautiful landscape and the sun that finally broke through the clouds. As we progressed to Balf, the first supply station offering tea and snacks, we decided to each run at our individual speeds. While I managed to stick to my planned pace on average, walking uphill and running downhill, my ankle was increasingly hurting and I was happy to reach the second supply station at Hegykő. Unfortunately taking a break here didn’t help, on the contrary. Getting back into my shoe I could barely walk, let alone run. Thus ended the tour for me early after just 34 kilometers.Back in Oggau, the nice lady who recognized the finishers with a medal insisted that I should get one too, kind of an honorary mention I guess. Doing just one fourth of the tour was certainly not what I had planned but still a good experience, and above all I made new friends and learned a few things for the next time.Congratulations to all finishers, who successfully beat the weather and the strong winds in the second half of the tour, extreme thanks to the organizers for a great event, and I am looking forward to the 24 Stunden Burgenland Extrem Tour again in 2020!
25.01.2019 - 18:00:00
Crazy I like, ultra I ran
It’s been a crazy week, starting with the Wachau marathon last Sunday, the Vienna Night Run on Tuesday and two days at a conference in Berlin, returning last night. Today I participated in the Wienerwald Ultra Trail and finished the 55 km Diamant-WUT in 08:25 hours. So proud to join the ranks of ultrarunners!The day started somewhat chaotic. After a short night’s sleep I managed to spill water all over my backpack and the kitchen floor while trying to fill the water reservoir, switched to bottles instead which are easier to handle, then rushed to Purkersdorf to pick up my starter bag just ten minutes before the starting time. Ready, set, go!The course mostly runs through forest areas, with a mix of forest roads and single trails, and some six or seven ascents account for a total nominal elevation gain of 1,900 meters, although my tracking device recorded slightly less. Weather conditions were just perfect, with clear skies and low temperatures. After a while we were a group of three,  Francisco Javier from Argentina and Ulrike, going at more or less the same pace, having a good chat along the way, occasionally one of us dashing off only to be caught up at the next ascent or supply station.At the 45 km mark I was already super-happy that I had gone beyond the marathon distance and still felt pretty good, and together we managed the remaining distance, the never-ending series of smaller ascents before finally going back down to Purkersdorf, where we all happily finished within a few minutes’ range.Thus ends a crazy week with a total of over 100 km in running competitions; time for a break now.
29.09.2018 - 13:40:00
Gornergrat Zermatt Marathon: Up to new heights!
Im Oberwallis im schönu TalDa löifunt alli widär MalÄn Marathon mit EmotionzZielband gseh, das isch diinä Lohn(from the official Gornergrat Zermatt Marathon song “Alli gliich” by Sam Gruber)Yeah, I did it! Seeing the finish line was the main goal for the Gornergrat Zermatt Marathon, my first full marathon this year. On Saturday I finished this fantastic alpine racing challenge from St. Niklaus at 1,116 m all the way up to Riffelberg at 2,585 m in an excruciating 7:22:13.5.The weather forecast had started with rain and thunderstorms a week before the race and got better by the day, with only light rain on Friday when I arrived by train, and a perfectly clear sky and sunny weather on Saturday. An alphorn quartet, which welcomed the runners at the start in Sankt Niklaus, was the perfectly fit to the picturesque mountain landscape.  The first half of the run to Zermatt was quite easy, with plenty of shade along the track and only 500 m vertical height, and the headache that had plagued me for the first few kilometers magically disappeared.The second half was more challenging, with steep inclines, mostly in the sun, and varying terrain from comfortable hike paths to rugged areas and single trails. The beautiful nature along the route and the absolutely stunning views on the king of mountains, the Matterhorn, make it well worth the effort and enjoyable. After all, this is not so much a race against the competition but against yourself – and the clock.The small margin against the cut-off time was shrinking rapidly. With not enough energy or time left, I had to forgo the admittedly quite arrogant goal to take on the extra 3.4 km to the Gornergrat for an “insane ultra” (organizer Olivier Andenmatten) and happily settled for the marathon distance this time. What a relief when I crossed the finish line and received my marathon medal and the finisher pack!Thank you to my wonderful wife for giving me this very special birthday gift and sending me off to Zermatt!Also thank you to my running partners in crime for their support and encouragement. When I had mentioned the remote idea of going for the Gornergrat Zermatt Marathon a few weeks before the event to Egon Theiner, he suggested to give it a try: “Not sure about your current training level, but then, nothing ventured, nothing gained!” It was well worth it, and congratulations Egon on your successful ultra run.Lastly, the organizing team and the many helpers deserve a big round of applause for making this an absolutely perfect event. With the many friendly and helpful people at the supply stations and along the course, everything just worked fine.PS. Did I get to see the Gornergrat after all? Of course, I took the train up to the summit right after the run to enjoy the panoramic view.Related links Photo gallery of my marathon run and the Sunday hiking tour on FacebookGornergrat Zermatt Marathon official websiteGornergrat Zermatt Marathon emotions video on YouTube
08.07.2018 - 09:00:00 ...
WeAreDevelopers 2018 conference notes – Day 2
Thursday was another busy day at the WeAreDevelopers 2018 world congress in Vienna. Some of the logistics challenges with missing or unannounced overflow areas have been resolved, and I did even see a picture posted of the afternoon snacks, so they do exist but seem to be going fast. The -BB booth at least had some nibbles left.A major upgrade of a JavaScript framework or switching to a different framework altogether can be quite a hassle, as most of us probably have experienced. Tracy Lee (@ladyleet) started day 2 with the bold promise of writing highly reusable, future proof code. The secret sauce to enable this magic is Reactive programming and the RxJS library for reactive programming using Observables.Following Tracy’s intro, Michael Hladky (@michael_hladky) looked into the gory details of RxJS schedulers, with live coding and cool demos on stage. There are several types of schedulers, asapScheduler, asyncScheduler, queueScheduler,  animationFrameScheduler, virtualTimeScheduler, and testScheduler. The execution order of events depends on the type of scheduler. Little known and hardly documented is the fact that introducing a non-zero delay effectively turns any scheduler into an asyncScheduler, which may lead to unexpected results.Security analyst Florian Grunow (@0x79) shared his security hall of shame with examples of insecure Web Applications and creative but futile countermeasures. Surprisingly, the security issues are still largely the same as a decade ago, like clear text credentials, missing authorization checks, sequential ids, autocomplete passwords, and cross-site scripting attacks.Non-alphanumeric cross-site scripting is a good example of why input validation and stripping some special characters is not sufficient, for examplethis['ale'+(!![]+[])[-~[]]+(!![]+[])[+[]]]() Colm Doyle(@colmisainmdom) showed how companies are using #slack to enable ChatOps 2.0: Bringing ChatOps Principles to the Whole Organization. Organizations are wider than just technical teams, and command line interfaces may not be for everyone. Shopify, one of the companies mentioned, has a pretty detailed description of their incident management procedure on their engineering site.In the afternoon, Horst Kargl of Sparx Systems gave an introduction into modelling using Enterprise Architecture tools and languages like UML and SysML; not sure if the agile aspect was covered in greater detail later, as I had to leave the session.Writing Perfect Code with Standard and ESLint by Feross Aboukhadijeh (@feross) could have been the shortest talk ever:  npm --install standard; done. Fortunately there was more on programmer errors, best practices, and style issues, and how linters can help with these. Pretty neat examples of broken or otherwise surprising JavaScript code, for example[]==![]    // true []==false  // true ![]==false // also true, yikes!Continuing the awesomeness was Una Kravets (@una) with an exciting story about the past, the present and the future of CSS. The past was ugly hacks and lots of browser specific code, been there, done that. The present already held some surprises unless you have been following CSS developments closely, and the future capabilities range from “Wow, I had no idea you could ever do this” to some really crazy stuff.  @supports, display: grid, the will-change property, CSS variables, variable fonts, font animation, ambient light media queries are among the more recent features, with varying browser support (read: mostly not working in IE). comes handy when implementing a grid design using flexbox. What was particularly nice was the fact that the presentation deck itself was HTML+CSS, allowing live demos of most features from the debug console.Flavia Sequeira and Ernst Naezer of ING shared the evolution of their API journey at ING, from the initial API discussions to a working API management practice, and the benefits of regulatory pressure in the form of PSD2. What makes a good API? APIs are different from Web services in that they should be designed from the outside in.The categorization into self, screen and stage APIs depending on who they are made for sounds about right, and the POST to GET is a commonly seen pattern both for security reasons and request size restrictions. The one thing I wish we had thought of when designing APIs a while back is the /me pattern for the authenticated user, instead of passing the user identification again in the request.Rounding off the day, Matthias Huttar (@matthuttar) took the audience on the journey to trunk based development, explaining the importance of successful builds and being on time at kindergarten, and energizing the crowd for the last session with a superfast round of high fives.Trunk development is great for well integrated teams that value speed over safety, and can help reduce cycle times, conflicts and ultimately errors and rollbacks if done right. There are scenarios where trunk development may be less suitable, including highly regulated environments such as financial services or utilities, as well as open source projects where the circle of trust is much smaller than the circle of contributors. Related links Day 1 conference notes
18.05.2018 - 00:26:00 ...

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