Blau SIM in Japan

[Posting because i couldn’t find this information easily online]

Was rather surprised to find that my venerable unlocked Vodafone branded Nokia 5800 XpressMusic (shipped in 2008!) with a German SIM *now* works in Japan. That’s notable as two years ago the exact same phone and Sim resolutely refused to connect to anything!

If only it was something other than stubbornness that stopped me from “upgrading” – i’ve never bought a phone, and see very little need to start now, he Luddited.

The rates aren’t terrible for what i need. It’s 99¢ / min for voice, 19¢ / SMS, and 99¢ / MB for data. The only data i need is for mail, and thus far i’ve yet to manage to the use a megabyte in a week. The only “problem” is that it’s completely impossible to decrypt / encrypt pgp on this thing… well, maybe there is a Symbian pgp mail app out there somewhere, but you have to draw the line somewhere!

Also finally bought the infamous CA-100C cable and can charge thing thing off a laptop / iDevice wall-wart. Worldwide mobility is within my grasp, etc.

GPGMail Beta for 10.10

You can get it here:

For some reason that’s the best link i can find…

I’ve only had it installed for a couple of days and stability isn’t terrible (one or two related crashes i think…) Up until that point i’d be living out of the services menu, which isn’t bad until you need to deal with attachments, and need other command line tools to decode / extract mime parts. Even then it’s not that bad, and will always be free.

Edit: the notes on setting up GPGTools Services are here, and the command line tool for mime is ‘ripmime‘.

Building the GPGTools Mail Bundle


The usual dance. You upgrade an OS X release and your plugins get disabled. As they are working with unpublished APIs this isn’t in the least bit surprising. Apple really should get their act together and make easily extensible – if they can’t include PGP support by default, at least make it easy for the good people that do. Changing the API between beta and GA is a dick move.

If you followed the link above you’ll know that the GPGTools mail bundle is moving to a paid model. That seems like a sensible decision to me. When they get that system setup i’ll pay. In the meantime i wanted to see how easy it was to build from the source. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t get you a working mail bundle.

IMPORTANT: the below won’t give you working GPGMail in!! It just shows you how to build and install the currently broken version.

That said, if you’re interested here are the steps:

  • install XCode
  • clone the git project, In a terminal:
$ mkdir src ; cd src
$ git clone
$ git checkout yosemite
$ cd GPGMail
$ make
  • the above will build everything but fail to create the actually bundles due to an issue with signing. To fix that open the Xcode project:
$ open ./GPGMail.xcodeproj
  • in ‘Navigate’ menu, select ‘Reveal in Project Navigator’. Open the GPGMail project in the left most pane, and select the ‘GPGMail_Updater.xcodeproj’ target. In the centre pane, in the ‘Identity’ section, change the ‘Signing’ to ‘None’. The project seems to auto-save on close… no idea, i’m not an Xcode user.
  • Now go back to the terminal and reexecute the ‘make’ command.
  • To manually install the bundle, close, and copy execute the following:
$ cp -r ./build/Release/GPGMail.mailbundle ~/Library/Mail/Bundles/

And restart It should tell you that the bundle is incompatible and is being disabled. This is the part that the GPGTools developers are working on fixing.

20,000 Days on Earth

2DOE_PosterFor the second time in a year we’ve been the cinema! One of our local cinemas shows foreign language films with subtitles – for it’s eternal shame Germany is in love with dubbing… Fortunately this cinema is quite lovely. We’ve only seen films in it’s smallest room, which i’d guess holds less than a hundred, and is a really relaxing space. It’s also nice to leave not feeling like you might have permanently damaged your hearing…

Anyway, Nick Cave. For a long time Nick Cave was a  regular feature of my listening habits. The Birthday Party, Boys Next Door, The Bad Seeds… all of it, right up until… it’s hard to say when exactly, but something changed. The sentimental religiosity? The difficult to watch rockstar midlife-crisis phase? We parted ways. Of course i still listen to the old work, it would be impossible to get Your Funeral, My Trial, From Her To Eternity, Dead Joe, Swampland, Deanna, and so many more out of  memory. Despite one of his early 90s gigs at the Town & Country Club in Kentish Town (playing Birthday Party songs with Rowland) being my favourite gigs of all time, we also stopped going to the gigs.

This film isn’s about any of those things. This is about the recollections of an aging artist and his art. His relationship with his memories, some of the people who shard them. And, a glimpse into the external world that surrounds the internal construction which houses all of that…

Loosely this is a documentary, but it doesn’t feel very honest. That’s probably not a bad thing – it probably only got made as Cave was able to strictly control the image that is projected. No doubt there is a lot of truth in there, but it’s artfully concealed. Very artfully. I’m not really up on cinematic things, but it seemed beautifully filmed to me, with our besuited subject driving and striding through the south coast of england most elegantly.

Despite the music having degraded to a level somewhere around Neil Diamond singing Enka, if you’ve had Nick Cave in your ears for 25 years, you’ll probably enjoy it. Maybe not as much as you’d enjoy a full on nostalgia trip made to the same standards, but one gets the impression that most of those involved don’t recall enough of the details to tell that tale!

As a footnote, i’m jealous of Warren Ellis’s beard. Very jealous.

Nothing To Say

hafen city

The problem continues.

There is nothing wrong with the photograph (the composition is a little sloppy, should have isolated the building more cleanly, etc) but it just doesn’t *say* anything. How many shots can i take that just are; that don’t reach out and shake you?

Just doing a Bernd & Hilla, to over come criticism with repetition (blah, blah, blah. i’m a fan, save it for someone else!) isn’t going to be at all satisfying. Perhaps the only answer is travel – to be somewhere with more chaos, less control…


Had an interesting conversation with one of my german co-workers today. Having had a brief conversation in German, he remarked that he didn’t know my german level. He probably assumed that i was completely incompetent (where as the reality is that i’m simply mostly incompetent…)

Which is all very interesting, but contrast starkly with my experience in japanese, where i was absolutely comfortable making a fool of myself. The expectation that a foreigner could never hold a conversation in japanese, even at the level of a five year old, made everything easy. Zero expectations.

In europe, where i nominally identify, it’s much harder to be european (english… yes, ok, but i’m trying…) and talking a european language like a five year old. That feels much harder.

Some of this is english being a lingua franca for europe these days (also true in japan but if i’m a five year old in japanese…), but mostly it’s not wanting to make a fool of myself relative to my “native” language ability. It’s really something i want to get over – it’s the only way i’ll increase the rate that i’m picking up german.

Too old for all this.