AgeSix of the ten prime birthdays I can expect to celebrate before I reach 100 are already past; where a prime birthday is one where both the age and the four-digit year are primes.
Place of birthKarlsruhe
Places of studyUlm and Heidelberg
ReligionUNIX, leaning towards Discordianism
ICBM addressN 48°55'43.4", E 8°23'29"
Leasure activities Whitewater kayaking; karate; maintaining software presented on this site and the site itself; contributing to open-source and other community projects
Karate belt grade1st Dan (black)
KayaksPrijon Pure, Pyranha Ammo, Wavesport EZG
Programming fluidsWhisky, green tea
Geek code GS/AT d- s: a? C++(+++) UL+++ P++ L+++ E--- W++(-) N+ w--- Y+ PGP+ !tv b+>++ DI++ G e++++* h+
MusicHeavy Metal, Jazz, some instrumental and classical music
Favourite songsShed (by Meshuggah), Delta City Blues (by Michael Brecker), Aerials (by System of a Down)


I use various email addresses at this domain. They are given in the context of the respective software packages or other topics about which someone may want to contact me. For encryption, you can obtain my OpenPGP key from the SKS keyserver pool. The key fingerprint is: (Also confer here and here)

pub   4096R/8462BC8A 2014-10-26
      Key fingerprint = 775A DD41 C684 E956 6FBE  106D 5BF4 A87F 8462 BC8A
uid       Volker Schatz <noreply@volkerschatz.com>

(The email address "noreply" does not actually accept any mail.)

See my GnuPG introduction on how to use GnuPG with minimal commitment, and alternatively to configure your GnuPG to use the SKS keyserver pool.


Agglomerations of copper and silicon labouring under my yoke:

My current desktop box. An eight-core CPU, hence obviously a split personality.
My netbook
My hifi stereo player (I like heavy metal)
Raspberry Pi perpetually running for long-term low-intensity downloads and spidering
Isn't all numerics just guesswork? Now defunct, some parts having been reused for chainsaw


Computing for the masses (1)

"I will also nail to the wall the hide of anyone who talks about Exhibit A outside this room, because there are hardware superweapons and there are software superweapons, and we don't know what Exhibit A is, yet. For all we know it's a piece of hardware that looks like a portable shower cubicle then turns round and installs antique Microsoft crashware in your thalamus."

(From Jury Service by Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow)

Computing for the masses (2)

"Do not use Microsoft Word. MSWord uses code to represent commas, quotes, etc. If you try to paste Word into our HTML editor, the code shows up instead of the punctuation.

For example: "Hey Joe! What's up?"

Will look like this: 8200; What&8221;s u;

Which makes us say "Hey, Bill Gates! &*@# you, you @$$ &*@#!" And want to reject your story.

Word Perfect pastes fine into everything else, so it's not like it has to be difficult. Microsoft just sucks and wants us to use their lousy HTML editor, which our Web Goddess hates, on account of it's just a bunch of bugs with a line of code wrapped around them."

(From the Quantum Muse submission guidelines)

Command names

Any command of more than 5 characters is not worth using.

Software packages

Any package with more than 10 (ultimate) dependencies is not worth installing.

Programming languages

"The usual intent of [verbose languages] is that they be as English-like as possible, on the theory that they will then be easier for unskilled people to program. This intention comes to grief on the reality that syntax isn't what makes programming hard; it's the mental effort and organization required to specify an algorithm precisely that costs. Thus the invariable result is that 'candygrammar' languages are just as difficult to program in as terser ones, and far more painful for the experienced hacker."

(From the candygrammar entry of the jargon file)


"News is what somebody wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising."

(Variously attributed, possibly by Lord Northcliffe, legendary English newspaper publisher 1865-1922)

Conspiracy theory

A hypothesis which violates the human propensity for wishful thinking.


"... The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."

"Odd," said Arthur. "I thought you said it was a democracy."

"I did," said Ford. "It is."

"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't people get rid of the lizards?"

"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."

"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"

"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. ..."

(From So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams, Chapter 36)