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Diary, January 2008

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1   2   3   4   5
  6   7   8   9  10  11  12
 13  14  15  16  17  18  19
 20  21  22  23  24  25  26
 27  28  29  30  31

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Thick fog

When we went outside to watch the fireworks in the street, we discovered that there was a thick fog outside. It was impossible to see the otherside of the street. The smoke from the fireworks did only make the visibility worse. Because of the thick fog you could not see much of the fireworks. All you could do is listen to the noises. This kind of thick fog is very rare, and I cannot remember having it seen before on new years night. Later on the news there were some stories of accidents and people who needed someone to walk in front of the car as a guide. We did shaked hands with some of our neighbours, and I talked a little with our neighbour who had just become a father. I looked through the window at his wife holding their son.

Friday, January 4, 2008


I took some extra days off after the new year for the purpose of cleaning up things in our home. Last Sunday we already cleaned up our stair cupboard. Then we spend some days cleaning the attic. Wednesday we sorted out many things and brought them downstairs to the livingroom. Yesterday, one of my sisters came and she took all the things she thinks she can still sell and took them with her. This morning, Li-Xia and brought the remaning things, including two broken computer monitors (the 7156E and the Highscreen MS 1460 P), to a recycling goods shop. There is still a lot of cleaning left, but I am very happy that we have made a start. Also in the light of Li-Xia having Alzheimer's Disease it is important that we have a well organized home.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


One of our computers, named ester, the one Andy often uses to search for pictures, is having serious instability problems. Lately, it started to experience lock-ups and spontaneous reboots more and more often. Yesterday, it became worse. I ran chkdsk and defrag, which took several hours and ran without problems. But this afternoon, it started to reboot or lock-up almost ten seconds after it had started. Also in safe-mode it displayed this behaviour. In DOS mode it still seems to work okay.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Today, I read about Study Reports Reversal of Alzheimer's Symptoms Within Minutes. This refers to the article Rapid cognitive improvement in Alzheimer's disease following perispinal etanercept administration by Edward L. Tobinick and Hyman Gross. This article also contains a link to a "small" video clip in which the wife and son of a patient with Alzheimer's Disease describing the remarkable effect of etanercept (Enbrel) being injected in the spine.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Waterworks in patio

Last Wednesday, I attended the presentation (picture) of some water works designs at the school of Annabel. In the past months they worked on the design of some water works for a patio in the Scholingsboulevard school building in Enschede, which is being constructed at the moment. The design of this building was made by IAA Architecten. The patio measures 10 by 35 meter and sit in the middle of the building between two cone shaped towers. One of the constraints is that the water works should operate on precipitation. Many designes of the students contained a collection tank, but I got the idea that most did not understand why it was needed. It made me think about all kinds of designs myself. I came up with a design of a device which could throw water in the air, and which is powered by water itself. If I would have had to made a design, I probably would have used some water wheels that would pump the water from a resevoir under the patio and that are powered by wind and sunlight. The water which would be pumped up to about three meters above ground level, would flow down through all kind of devices and set these into motion.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fixing "ester"

This weeking, I spend most of my time in an attempt to fix our computer ester, which became instable earlier this week. On Friday, I got the "Ultimate Boot CD 4.11" from the system administrator of our company after I told him what I was going to do during the weekend. This proofed to be very helpful. On Friday evening, I first ran "Memtest86+ v1.70", "Memtest-86 v3.3", and "Windows Memory Diagnostic" to affirm that there were not problems with the memory of the computer. Then I used "SeaTools for DOS v1.09" (for Seagate and Maxtor) to check if the harddrive was okay. No problems were found. I did launch "DOS Navigator v6.4.0" but that did not help me. I tried "Windows 98 Start Here" CD, but that did not work, as it seems to require that windows is running. Next I tried Windows 98 installation CD, but that reported that there was already an operating system installed. Next I focused on partition tools and I used: "Ranish Partition Manager v2.40", "PTDD Super Fdisk v1.0" (not usefull, reported all kinds of errors), "SPFDISK 2000-03t", "Vivard Ver 0.4", "Active Partition Recovery v2.1.1", "The Partition Resizer v. 1.3.4 (c) Zeleps 1994-2000" (which complained about the first partition having invalid CHS values), "Salvation HDD Scan & Repair v3.0" (not applicable), "TestDisk v6.6" (no use), "XFDISK v0.9.3 beta", and "FIPS v2.0".

On Saturday, I continued. I again used the Windows 98SE install CD, which started to execute ScanDisk because the first partition was marked as needing checking. ScanDisk also performed a surface check, but after almost two hours this was aborted with many errors. I guess these errors were not real errors, but due to the CHS values not matching the LBA values. I used "MBRTool V2.3.100" to look at the master boot record. Quite a nice tool, which allows you to view the bare contents of the partition table. I did learn a lot about how it works. The first two entries of the partition table contain:

80 01 01 00 0B FE FF FF 3F 00 00 00 E3 B9 22 01
00 00 C1 FF 0F FE FF FF 22 BA 22 01 76 16 71 02

I also tried "MBRWork v1.07b". Again I tried to install Windows 98SE again, and again ScanDisk was giving me problems. I searched the internet for more information, but I could not find anything usefull.

Finally, I decided to install Windows 98SE on the second, almost empty, Seagate ST51270A drive. In order to do this I had to swap the drives, which involved taking out the drives, changing jumper settings, reinstalling, and switching cables. Installation went fine. I decided to remove the latest installed program, the Grisoft AVG 7.5, from the main (now second) drive. I swapped the drives again (same procedure as above) and when I booted the first drive, it did not give any problems anymore with locking-up or rebooting spontaneously.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Old power lines

This morning, I received an email from Jochem Veenstra, with two files for Google Earth containing information about no longer existing power lines and parts of power lines that went underground. He also maintains a web site about (old) railroads in the Netherlands that contains some files for Google Earth. Some weeks ago, I send him some corrections with respect to some railroads around Enschede that had disappeared. He found out about power line investigations. I told him that I would always be happy to receive additional information. The files he send me are based on a details maps from 1960. I might incorporate the information of these two files in my own file, giving him credits of course.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Notebook

Last weekend, I watched the movie The Notebook. I looked at the user comments on Amazon. Most of them being very positive about this very romantic movie. It was only one page 13 that I came across this review with the title Unrealistic Portrayal of Alzheimer's Disease, that expressed so very clearly my own hesitations about this movie. These kind of movies can give you the impression that Alzheimer's Disease is not too bad after all.

Qu'ran movie

Today, the Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, visited the European Parlement. During his visit he stated that if the release of anti-Muslim movie of Geert Wilders would lead to voilence that he it would be his own fault. Furthermore, he stated that if Wilders would burn or tear the Qu'ran, it would encourage war and bloodshed. And that it is the responsibility of the Dutch people to stop him doing so. The Grand Mufti does not believe in the right to insult. "He who insults the Qu'ran or the prophet Mohammed, also insults the European values to respect the faith of others." (Based on this Dutch article.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sheik Ahmad Bader Hassoun

Yesterday, Sheik Ahmad Bader Hassoun gave a speech to the European parlement, where he pleaded for peace. According to this European Jewish Press article he made the following statements: It truely seems that this man is a peace seeking person, however, if one reads the following quotes from an article one gets a different impression: What is an open and free society, if certain people state that if you offend their religious views, you should not be surprised to be answered with physical violence? One cannot come to any other conclusion than that Sheik Ahmad Bader Hassoun places (his) religion above culture and civilization, because culture should always honour religious views.

Playing without board

This evening, Annabel and I went to the university to play Go. When we arrived, Araldo was just getting himself some coffee, because he was the first. He told us that Edze would come to say goodbye. Araldo and I decided to play a game where I got seven stones ahead. He had a cup with him for Edze. Edze also arrived and sat opposite to Annabel. He asked if there was another board, but there was none, because we had only brought one set. Then he just got a stone and put it on the table. Annabel followed his example, and the started playing on an imaginary board. I took a picture. When Rudi arrived, Edze and Annabel played some games on a 13x13 board. Edze gave the book 38 Basic Joseki by Kiyoshi Kosugi and James Davies from the Elementary Go Series, Vol. 2, to Annabel. Later, she gave it to me. Suddenly, Edze was gone, and had forgotten to take the cup with him. We discussed whether this was accidential or on purpose, as it is a rather ugly cup, that Edze and Araldo won last year as being part of the team from Enschede. Rudi watched the game as it was progressing between Araldo and me. When we counted, we discovered that I won with ten points. This is the first game I won in a long time. When we left, Araldo and Rudi started a game.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Racing horse game

Some days ago, I found a racing horse game in the conference room of our offices. I guess we got it as some kind of present. I immediately regarded it as a stupid (because it uses a dice) and unfair (because it had unequal tracks) game. When I studied the rules, it appeared that they were incomplete. It stated that the goal of the game was to get all your horses across the finish, while there are whole in the track through which you can lose a horse. Elsewhere, I read that you win when you are the first to reach the finish line or if your opponent has no horses left. If you throw six you are allowed to insert another horse at the start of your track. That makes the game more interesting, because it allows more than one horse to be in the race and thus gives you a choice which of the horses to move forward. When I thought about it last night how to calculate which is the best choice, I suddenly realized that you also need to take the behaviour of your opponent into account, because their is a choice between speed and safety.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Here in the Netherlands the temperatures are above average, but in Siberia they are measuring record low temperatures. Also in Urumqi, where the family of Li-Xia lives, the temperatures are very low, around -35 degrees during the night.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Deventer murder case

Yesterday, I heard about some new developments within the Deventer murder case. It concerns the advice (full text in Dutch) of the Advocate General to the request to reopen the case. In his advice mr. Machielse concludes says that he sees no reason to reopen the case. It is now up to the supreme court to take a decision. Mr. Machielse argues that the statements made a witness is unreliable. This witness claims that a man, who was closely related with the victim, informed him that the victim was murdered the day before her body was found, clearly indicating that this man had inside knowledge of the murder. Although the witness is making very bold claims, mr. Machielse claims that they must be wrong because they do not match with a police statement about a hearing of the witness about four weeks after the murder took place. The witness claims that the two police men seemed not very interesting in his statement, also because the witness could not, from their point of view, give a clear identification of the man involved. The witness himself never had any doubt about the identity of the man, as he knew him in relationship with the victim.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Acinetobacter Baumannii

In the past week, two patients in the IC unit of Medisch Spectrum Twente, the hospital in Enschede, have been found to have a multiresistant Acinetobacter Baumannii infection, also know as MDRAB. Because of this, the military installed a temporary IC unit and operation room outside the hospital on the parking place.

This months interesting links

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