Gebrauchsanweisung für die Pfalz by Christian Habekost My rating: 4 of 5 stars (To my English-speaking audience: There’s a Google-Translate button at the bottom of each page and the next review will be in English again.) “Es ist ein spielerisches, ritualisiertes Hin- und Hergezerrtsein zwischen Minderwertigkeitskomplex und Hybris.”(Der Autor über die Pfalz) Vor gar nicht langer Zeit schrieb ich bereits darüber, wie gern ich mittlerweile ...

Ich bleibe hier, von Marco Balzano Es ist keine 24 Stunden her, als ich tief seufzend neben meiner Frau ins Bett sank und mein Schicksal beklagte, schon wieder ein… komisches… Buch zu lesen. “Über Südtirol”, sagte ich und meine Frau antwortete, “Oh, nein, Südtirol – Faschismus und Nationalsozialismus, lies doch etwas Leichteres…” Sie hatte – wie (fast) immer Recht – und Unrecht zugleich. Ja, die Geschichte ist n...

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh My rating: 5 of 5 stars In 2014, I came across Allie Brosh’s first book “Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened”. Apart from funny stories from Allie’s life, it contained the story of her experiences with depression. Reading about that in what amounts to a crude comic was a singular experience for me – despite sufferin...

Fox 8 by George Saunders My rating: 2 of 5 stars For Fox’ Sake – what a disaster! What an unholy mess of a novella! Our protagonist, Fox 8, who is, you guessed it, a fox, gets a quick glance of what humanity is capable of.This is a promising premise and, if excitedly well, could lead to an interesting story. Unfortunately, it turns out foxes don’t “speak” English very well and I don’t have much patience for sentences like this: ...

Die Bagage by Monika Helfer My rating: 3 of 5 stars Der Literaturkritiker Denis Scheck hat dieses Buch empfohlen (“Auf nur 160 Seiten entfaltet die Autorin Monika Helfer eine beeindruckende und gehaltvolle Geschichte über Familienstrukturen und Beziehungen.”) und sein Wort hat für mich Gewicht. Wie so oft, wenn’s dem Esel zu wohl wird, naja, Ihr wißt schon… Das Problem dieses kurzen Büchleins ist, daß es die einerseits sehr persönli...

Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey My rating: 3 of 5 stars Oh, well, this will be a difficult review to write, I guess. I really like this series and its ideas, its wonderful characters, the brilliant writing, etc. etc. Along came “Cibola Burn”: We find ourselves accompanying Holden and his crew through one of the rings into the great unknown – into which a band of settlers from Ganymede made it before him and pretty much started colonisin...

Hamster im hinteren Stromgebiet by Joachim Meyerhoff My rating: 4 of 5 stars Einer meiner Lieblingsschriftsteller ist von Beruf Schauspieler. Nach vier großartigen, teils autobiographischen, Romanen bedarf Joachim Meyerhoff keiner großen Vorstellung mehr. Wenn also Meyerhoff ein neues Buch geschrieben hat, dann muß bei mir literarisch alles andere hintanstehen. Das ist nichts Neues. Neu für mich persönlich ist allerdings, daß ich dieses Buc...

Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow, what a ride! After the excellent “Leviathan Wakes” and the almost equally great “Caliban’s War” here I’m sitting and wondering what to write about this more than worthy successor… When I first encountered the “The Expanse” series, I was sceptical: – I do not like science fiction literature.– I do not like soap operas (so why would I lik...

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey My rating: 5 of 5 stars This was a tricky one for me… I have tried reading science fiction before and (usually) didn’t like it. It was all too often dark, gritty and bleak, set in a dystopian universe in which pretty much everyone acts completely self-absorbed. Thus, I disavowed science fiction in books because I’m a closet optimist: I’ve subscribed early on to the philosophy, the idealism and optimisti...

Black Bear Alibi by J.C. Fuller My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have no idea how this book actually made it onto my to-read list. Anyway, it was a quick and sufficiently satisfying read. It’s a rather simple mystery with an interesting premise: A ranger, our local hero Philip, finds the mangled corpse of a young local woman. Together with the new sheriff, Lane, he tries to find out what happened. This is a topic we’ve often read about before but th...

systemd in Exherbo – what’s happened so far…
Exherbo / September 12, 2010

It has been quite a while since I last wrote something about my work on systemd in Exherbo, so here’s an update: What has been accomplished so far: The Exherbo patches are done. Do NOT try to submit them upstream yet, though. I’ll take care of that when the time is ripe. Lots of services are done. You can boot and run most systems using systemd now. I’ve built new amd64 and x86 stages without any init system so you can...

systemd in Exherbo – Rules of Engagement
Exherbo / June 9, 2010

As you may have noticed, I’ve recently added systemd to ::philantrop for use in Exherbo. I’m writing this to warn you that I will break systemd (and consequently your boot process) until further notice recklessly, repeatedly and without prior warning to anyone make clear what I intend to do with systemd in Exherbo make a plan for myself. What I want to do first is get a feeling for systemd and see if it might have the potent...

Exherbo – what we’re good at, what we should improve
Exherbo / April 17, 2010

Exherbo has developed nicely since we went public about it two years ago and even though we haven’t yet accomplished all of our major goals yet, I think we’re doing well. In this post, I’d like to comment on a few things that we’ve accomplished, some we’re still working on and some which we yet have to deal with. This is, of course, just my personal point of view and not necessarily shared by any other Exhe...

Gentoo packs it up – joins Exherbo
Exherbo / April 1, 2010

In an unexpected move, the Gentoo trustees have contacted us, Exherbo, recently with a suggestion. Disappointed with the intense internal quarreling among Gentoo developers (which Gentoo has been famous for anyway), the general inability of the current Gentoo council to provide the necessary vision and strategic governance for Gentoo as a whole as well as the lack of implementation of newer EAPIs in Portage, the trustees deemed it neces...

Recognition
Exherbo / January 10, 2010

What keeps me doing things in my life are primarily two factors: Money and recognition. Not necessarily in that order. In my job, I’m being paid to do what I do but I couldn’t ever be satisfied with just that. What really thrills me is being recognised for the professional I am. Receiving an email from a customer that simply said “Thank you. You’re one of the few persons I can always rely on.” made my day. ...

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan
Book Review / January 26, 2003

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan My rating: 1 of 5 stars So nicht, Mr. Jordan Auch bei mir der Eindruck, daß Jordan schlicht nur noch Geld machen möchte. Um seine Figuren, die er lieblos und farblos beläßt, geht es ihm nicht mehr. Den Inhalt dieses Bandes könnte man problemlos auf einer DIN-A4 zusammenfassen.Ich hatte nicht viel mehr erwartet – wohl aber erhofft. Ich werde auch den nächsten Band kaufen, aber ich kann ...