Stephans Blog
Private Blog

This is the private blog of Stephan Bösebeck, covering topics like Multicopters, Drones, Games... Leisure stuff...

covering topics like Multicopters, Drones, Games... Leisure stuff...

entries : 137 << 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... >>

latest blog entries

clensed from hacker content


My drone pool

latest updates

My drone pool

clensed from hacker content

Rückenschmerzen nerven… :-(

category: security

clensed from hacker content

2017-05-20 - Tags: jblog

so, I just took the time (hours) to clean all old imported blog entries from hackers content.

Was not as easy as hoped, as the hackers just changed some posts and added some links in there. The links usually did not work anymore, but it is annoying anyways.

I hope, I removed everything. If you see anything, please let me know...

category: globsl


2017-05-20 - Tags: jblog

hi ho,

as you all know, the software here is quite new and of course i found some bugs i did not realize till I went live...

unfortunately I cannot deploy without downtime yet sorry

I will try to keep it to a minimum!


category: globsl --> drones

My drone pool

2017-05-20 - Tags: drone Drohne

During time and usage the number and kind of drones one flies change... so I wanted to show here my current pool of drones. This will change over time, of course. These things tend to get broken more or less often - if you do it right emoji people:smirk So, hier is a list of all flyable drones...

Some words for the technology behind it. Not everyone does know, what these mean:

  • the Frame: I name my drones like my frames. As all frames are different, this is no problem. Usually made of carbon or something that is similar stiff (needs to take an impact), determines the size of the quad and which propellers you can mount (for FPV-Racer usually something between 3 and 6 inch). These frames are available in a lot of different shapes, but you can put them more or less in two classes: X and H-shaped. I own more H-Shaped drones - they look better.
  • the flight controller. This is the brain of the thing. This is controlling all motors and speeds them up or down to hold a certain angle in the air. This is what makes the flying so much easier than it used to be. There are hundreds of flavours, but I prefer KISS (Keep It Super Simple) - like that motto. The Hardware of those FCs is more or less similar, but the software available for them differs: KISS, Betaflight, CleanFlight, BaseFlight, RaceFlight (KISS and Raceflight are closedSource!)
  • the ESC: these are the speed controllers for the brushless motors. They actually pump in the Amps to the motor to make them spin faster. The FC tells the ESC to increase or decrease speed and they will send these speed settings to the motor accordingly. I also use ESC from KISS here, as they work great in conjunction with the KISS FC.
  • The motors. As mentioned above, those are brushless electro motors. These are also available in tons of different shapes and colors. If you build an FPV-Racer with a 5" prop you usually have 2206 Motors (this number describes the with and height of the stater, the part of the motor, that actually produces force). For 3" racers usually 1306 Motors are used. Then there is the KV-Number. This has nothing to do with kilovolt, it determines rather the rpms per volt. Meaning, if you put 10 Volts to a 2100KV Motor, the RPMs the motor does would be 21000. For 5" racers these KV is usually in the range of 2000-2500kv wheres for 3" racers it is about 3000-4000kv. I use in my 5" builds Schubkraft 2205/2500kv and Cobra 2206/2100kv motors, for the 3" I used Emax RS 1106 (you need to buy those in 2 spin directions!) and DYS 4000kv.
  • the FPV-Camera: this is no HD camery, this is just for transmitting an (analog) signal to the googles of the Pilot! you just connect it to the video transmitter and the pilot will see, what the camera sees. I use a Runcam Swift Rotor Riot Edition and a Runcam Owl Plus and the 3" use a Eachine 1000tvl.
  • video transmitter (VTX): very important. But actually, most of the different flavors are similar to use. Some of them have additional features like Smart-Audio. This is cool, as in FPV you usually do not need audio transmission. (you would only hear feeping and rushing from the props and motors). So you can use that, to actually have the FC change settings of the VTX! So you can change the VTX-Settings via an osd or with your Taranis!
  • OSD - on screen display. This is put in the middle of the Vide Camera to the VTX and will add some text to your video feed. Like current Voltage of battery, currently drawn AMPS and such. But you can also use that to change settings in some cases
  • PDB: Power distribution board. This is taking the power from the Lipo and puts it out to the different consumers (motors, VTX, Camera etc). Sometimes there is additional funktionality added to it like a integrated osd or special LED controllers. I build the Matek PDB with OSD into the 5" quads - the 3" have an integrated kiss board.
  • the Transmitter: It took me quite a while to understand that, but if you have a transmitter, you also need a corresponding receiver that understands, what the transmitter is sending. Every vendor do have their own system. I went for the ecosystem of FrSky and use the Taranis X9D Plus which I can really recommend to anybody. If you want to get in to this hobby, you should first get yourself a propper transmitter! This one you can plug into your computer and can practice until you finished your real quad. I got mine from Amazon

but now back to my list:

  1. Phantom 3 Pro - super cool drone, but no comparison to the others. This is simply a different thing, A flying camera. Not a copter with a camera. You can do areal photography or filming with it super easily. Just love shooting vids with it:
    I got mine from Amazon
  2. the first FPV-Racer. From big to small emoji people:smirk the Lisam210 Frame. is a 5" Racer, KISS based, Schubkraft 2206/2500KV Motors
  3. the Emax Nighthawk 200 - my first self build or self rebuilt drone...
  4. my first under 250g copter: Redux 130. There is a KISS AIO CC in use, that is one board, that combines FC, PDB and 4x ESC. Super easy to built. my only X-Frame... hmmm...
  5. my second u250g copter: a Shendrones Shrieker 130 - super nice. But it seems, the motors are a bit to strong for the little one. The Lipo is empty after about short flight already.
  6. Eachine Qx95 - does not fly at te moment, but it is a fine indoor racer. (although it as brushed motors!)
  7. Blade FPV
  8. and Blade FPV Pro

    - great to fly indoors if the weather is bad emoji people:smile

So, that’s it for now. It will be changing over time. And I will post some things about how to build them, and what I learned during time.

category: globsl --> drones

Drones and such...

2017-05-19 - Tags: drone Drohnen legal gesetzliches

Some of you might know, that in Germany there is a new regulation for drones and UAVs (unmanned areal vehicle). I just wanted to post something about that. As this is my Hobby and I'm directly affected by this...

I already wrote some things about that here.

Now, since a couple of months this new regulation is effective, wich is aiming a lot at those camera carrying drones like Phantom and such. (This list is not intended to be exhaustive. This is what I researched for me and my type of flying)

  • you are not allowed to fly higher than 100m - but you might get a permit (new)
  • you need to stay in line of sight
  • you are not allowed to fly above crowds of people
  • not allowed to fly near highways (Bundesstrasse, Autobahnen) and water ways (most bigger rivers)
  • not near official buildings like police and such. Also not near or above factories (Nuclear Plants)
  • not above private property, unless you have a permit from the owner. (or your drone does not carry a camera or video transmitting device or is lighter than 250g)
  • all drones that are heavier than 250g need a non flammable plate with the full address of the owner
  • if your drone is heavier than 2kg, you need a proof of knowledge (some kind of test, I guess)
  • everything heavier than 5kg can only be flown if you have a dedicated permit for that thing
  • flying at night is forbidden
  • drones heavier than 250g can be flown FPV only if you have a spotter nearby, who will warn you if anything happens. Before the new regulation, the spotter actually needed to be ably to fly the drone...
  • is your drone lighter than 250g, you can fly without spotter, and you do not need a plate on it
  • in all cases, you need to have an insurance
  • it seems like, it is not necessary to have a special permit if you want to fly for business (or it is easier to get one)

in addition to that, the old No-Fly-Zones (Airports, Helipads etc) are also still valid. Also flying in natural reserves usually is vorbidden.

For the usual drone-Flyer thit actually does not mean a lot of change. Well, except for those, who like to fly 200m high, this might be a bit annoying.

But the most important thing, it seems nobody actually knows, that these regulations existed and do exist! Especially the media is not really a role model here. It seems like every 2nd shot needs to be a cool drone shot, no matter if flown over cities, private property, autobahns or whatever.

Just the other day on RTL, they filmed in the garden of some Messie using a drone! I bet they did not have a permit for doing that. Not only that flying above private property is forbidden, also it is not allowed to invade someones privacy with or without a drone - and this was privacy invasion, if you asked me.

No wonder people get afraid of this technology. "Can you film me from up there" and if I show them, what kind of photo that is, they are usually reassured.

But if dad goes in to the next tech marked and buys a drone for his son, the guy at the counter will not tell him, that he needs to have an insureance and for that heavy thing you need to have a proof of knowledge and btw. flying before the age of 14 is not allowed"... No, he will not say something like that, because that might prevent the deal.

realy a sad world

category: Computer

New blogging software

2017-05-16 - Tags: java jblog security

I did complain about wordpress several times (for example here). I took that for an opportunity, to take on my software development skills and use a weekend or two to build a new blogging software. Well, th result is this wonderful (well... hop so) page here.

PHP sucks

To stop all PHP fainbois from whyning, I do not like PHP very much, because I don't know it very much. Hence, wordpress is also kind of a mystery for me. The configuration works with luck, let alone get php to do what you want in a more secure way.

so, my blog was hacked several times during the last year now and this is pissing me off! So, I wanted to use a java based solution, but it seems like there is no simple, easy to use one out there.

so why not do it yourself?

exactly. That was my thought also. Could not be so complicated, could it? So, I wanted to create a blogging software that

  • has a simple technology stack
  • does not need a complex plugin funktionality. If it cannot do, what I like it to do, i rewrite it
  • themes or designs... well... er... could be better, but I think this is ok
  • Security, that is the point. I created the blogging software (called it jblog - not rally creative) myself and it is not so complex as wordpress. So we should be ok. I guess. But I know for sure, that th standard wordpress exploits wont work no more!
  • Intrnationalization... also a topic. jblog does only do 2 languages, German and English (I do not speak more, so I don't need more for my blogs).
  • whitelabeling. I have a couple of domains, I wanted to reuse / revive with this project.
  • one administration: I did not want to create the same thing 3 times, I wanted to have the same thing look like 3 different hings. Hence there should only be one administration page.


I am quite ok with what I accomplished here. Although it took longer than one weekend, it was finished quite fast. I lik that.

But please: if some links do not work anymore, some images look strange or are missing - I will fix this eventually emoji people:smirk

the different blogs - this blog here

the private main blog. Will cover topics like hobby, drones, games, gadgets etc. - the java blog

There I will put all my opnsource stuff, like morphium. And all the other programming tips and tricks I wrote over time. Hmm... seems like 'java blog' is not the right term...

This should be a business site anyways. So, here I will put in topics about my professional carreer, Scrum, processes etc.


well, this is going to be tough. I cannot produce content for 3 full blogs. Even filling one is quite hard. But I will try. And we will see, how that works

technical discussion

as mentioned above - not here, but at emoji people:smirk

category: security

Sometimes, I hate Wordpress

2017-04-04 - Tags: php blog

This site was hacked again!

Well, the title is a bit missleading, as it is not only Wordpress at stake here, it is also related to php and obviously apache also.

I was not very active here for a couple of weeks, and obviously missed an update for Wordpress and some of the plugins. And that was enough for a white hat hacker to hack the site... well white is probably not the right color, as he posted links to illegal sites here.

Disclaimer: It was not me adding those links to download portals of illegal stuff! unfortunately I cannot tell, where the attack came from.

But I can tell, that he only had access to the Wordpress-Stuff. This happened again! << Sarcasm_mode >> Apache, PHP and Wordpress are in this respect really a _great_ team... << / Sarcasm_mode >>

I know, that this will cause some people to call me a troll, but I can tell you, from a professional point of view, there are way better solutions from a security point of view to create websites. Yes, most of them are complicated and complex. But at least, you cannot get hacked that easily...

PHP is a fine language, if you want to build a calculator or something like that. For professionals this is crap. Even Facebook needed to create their own interpreter (yeah, because of speed issues, but who knows what else).

Sorry, this php stuff pisses me off... was hacked here, that happened to customers of mine using PHP-based software....

Need to find something more reliable...

category: Tweet --> globsl

Tweet: War ein toller Vortrag von @TCole1066 gestern auf...

2016-10-26 - Tags: tweet

sorry, no english version available

category: globsl

Drohnen und so.

2016-10-08 - Tags: drohne fpv

no english version available yet

category: Computer

The Infinite loop of performance improvement

2017-05-20 - Tags: tweet fun

category: Computer

The ErgoDox EZ reinforcement kit...

2017-05-20 - Tags: ergodox-ez

What's that?

The first persons to get the ErgoDox EZ were lucky, and happy. Only until they learned, that there is a little flaw in the first Batch of ErgoDox-EZ's (what's the correct plural for that?). The thing is, if you happen to connect your EZ to the computer without having the two halfs connected properly, the keyboard might stop working for good. Everybody from the first batch got this little Email from Erez explaining things and offering this reinforcement kit. I chose the reinforcement kit - as it needs a bit of soldering, it might not be the solution for everybody.

Just to make that clear, this does only affect a very little number of the first customers to receive the ErgoDox-EZ - only those, from batch 1 - not batch 1a or batch 2. Only if your ErgoDox got this batch number. And you got an email from Erez about this problem, too. So, if you did not receive this email, you probably have a different batch.

Why do I create this post, if it does not affect a lot of people:

  • maybe in future times, this might be interesting for others. and for me as well...
  • I want to show (off) the internals of the ErgoDox-EZ and the very good quality of it
  • and for the fun of it

This kit needs to be soldered and fixed at the PCB of both halfs of the ErgoDox, but it is actually not that hard...

What's in this kit?

Today I received the Reinforcement Kit from USA. It took quite some time to get shipped and through customs. Which is a bit strange, as the kit only contains

  • two very little PCB
  • two new backplate stickers for your ergodox halfs
  • a 3 page instruction manual with photos

And that's it! The two little PCBs need to be soldered to the PCB of each keyboard half, should not be so hard....

Installing the kit.

It took me about 30 minutes in total to do that, and I'm really not practiced in soldering such delicate things. It worked fine, as it seems.

First you need to remove the stickers from the back, as below the sticker there is one screw that needs to be removed. You only need to loosen those screws and then take the lid off...

To remove the stickers, a cutter actually comes in very handy.

Just to mention: on the big sticker there is actually a little small sticker with your serial number. I removed that first (also with the help of the cutter) and kept that for reattaching to the new stickers afterwards...

After that, remove those screws one after the other. That should be more or less self explanatory😉

I kept the screws "lying" in the holes, so I did not need to search for them when putting everything back together. So I removed the lid with the screws still inside the holes, but lose.

You might have noticed that I put some valcro tape on the back of both halfs. This way I can "stick" them together for transportation purpose. In my case it’s a bit tilted, so I don't need to remove the tent. Makes transporting the ErgoDox EZ a bit more safe and easy.

So, back to the Reinforcment Kit. When you removed it lid, you reveal the real beauty of your keyboard, the inner soul ;-)

"Above" (or below, depends on your point of view) the inter-keyboard-half-connector (or simple: audio jack), there you need to solder the little PCB that came with the kit to the PCB of the keyboard:

If you have a look at the labels on the keyboards PCBs, they're actually wrong... meaning that the left half of the keyboard is actually labeled right. But this is probably due to the production process. So keep calm, all is ok..

So, now you only need to fix the kit-PCB to the big one. This not that hard to do, you only need to solder it on 4 places. What makes it a bit hard is that it is so damn small! If you're not used to soldering such delicate things, take your time. For some experienced guy this is probably done within a couple of minutes.... I took my time doing that... and it ended up being really kind of ugly:

it really does not look good, but it seems it is working fine. At least the keyboard is... and that's what counts for the moment ;-)

After soldering you only need to repeat the steps above in the opposite order... and voilá! You reinforced your Ergodox-EZ!

I asked Erez how would I know, if the soldering went on well? How do I know that the fix is in place properly.... the answer was "if your keyboard is still working, everything is fine." - So, as I type this on my reinforced ErgoDox-EZ, it seems to be all fine!

category: Tweet --> globsl

Tweet: My week on Twitter: 1 Mentions, 4 Retweets, 378 Re...

2016-02-09 - Tags: tweet

sorry, no english version available

category: Tweet --> globsl

Tweet: ARG... Sky mal wieder...

2016-02-02 - Tags: tweet

sorry, no english version available

category: Tweet --> globsl

Tweet: update for my @ErgoDoxEZ review -ego-shooter suppo...

2016-02-01 - Tags: tweet

sorry, no english version available

category: Tweet --> globsl

Tweet: Sky mal wieder - Servicewüste Deutschland. Macht e...

2016-02-01 - Tags: tweet

sorry, no english version available

category: Service in Germany

Servicewüste Deutschland - Sky mal wieder

2016-02-01 - Tags: servicewueste sky tv

sorry, no english version available

category: Tweet --> globsl

Tweet: My week on Twitter: 1 Retweets, 15 Retweet Reach....

2016-01-26 - Tags: tweet

sorry, no english version available

category: Tweet --> globsl

Tweet: My week on Twitter: 1 Mentions, 2 Retweets, 590 Re...

2016-01-19 - Tags: tweet

sorry, no english version available

category: Tweet --> globsl

Tweet: ErgoDox EZ auf Deutsch | Stephans Blog - und auf d...

2016-01-17 - Tags: tweet

sorry, no english version available

category: Apple --> Computer

Mechanical Keyboard Razer Blackwidow Chroma on the Mac

2015-07-27 - Tags:

sorry, no english version available

category: Computer

ErgoDox EZ in German on a Mac

2015-05-22 - Tags: ergodox ergodox-ez keyboard

The ErgoDox EZ in German on a Mac

This introduction and review is already available in German here. Yes, I admit, I was following the Indiegogo campagne of the ErgoDox-EZ quite a while. And since about 5 days now I'm a proud owner of an ErgoDox-EZ keyboard! Details about the campaign and the ErgoDox-EZ can be found here.

Unfortunately the keyboard was designed for the english speaking areas and does have it's issues with international layouts. Hence it also has problems with the German layout - that means, when setting the operating system to German, the keys are not at the place they should be. At least not with the default firmware. Most of the special characters were "somewhere" on the keyboard - ok, that could be learned. And you need to get used to this keyboard a bit. But some of the umlauts (öäüß) were spread around the keyboard as well. This made fluent typing (if you're touch-typing you know what I mean) nearly impossible. Well, the internet states this keyboard is fully programmable, everybody can make his own layout. Ok, this was not as easy as it sounds, but not as hard as it could be. Especially because I did not only want to fix the German layout, I also wanted to address other issues as well:

  • as already mentioned, the umlauts were spread across the keyboard, often in the lowest row of keys. They should return to the usual QWERTZ-location
  • I did have problems with the space key only being on the left side of the keyboard, as I'm typing space with both thumbs. (update: after using that, I learnt that having space on the right, having backspace on the left works way better!)
  • the location of CMD-keys was a bit bad * the ALT-keys were also a bit awkwardly located
  • I liked the idea of different layers, but the "Coder"-layer was not working with a German layout - about 70% of the keys were just sending the wrong keycodes (sometimes even umlauts) - that means, that about 70% of the keys were actually there, but at a wrong place. And the places were mixed up a lot. So, this thing is so greatly programmable, I read. let's go - how does that work? Well, this was kind of a setback, as this was not easy to find. There are a lot of github projects and forum discussion around the ErgoDox, but not really a simple howto. Thanks to Erez Zukerman (he initiated the indiegogo campagne) and that he replied after just a couple of hours after each of my questions (including the different time zones!), it did not take that long to get into the topic. Now, compiling a new custom firmware for the ErgoDox-EZ is no big deal anymore.

Disclaimer: what I describe here, are my findings, things that worked well for me. I'm not claiming this to be complete, or fitting for everybody (e.g. I cover only OSX German here). And, of course, this is probably not free of errors and faults. So, if you use these information, it's your responsibility. And please, read further documentation.

DE-Layout for the ErgoDox EZ on a Mac

I try to address all the issues mentioned above and created a first version of such a layout - it can be downloaded

here. Feel free to test it... This is what the layout looks like: There are some features I'd like to point out:

  • There are 4 layers in total, default layer (all normal keys), symbol or coder layer (containing all kinds of brackets, symbols etc which come in handy when coding), the media layer (there you can control the mouse and it contains multimedia keys like play/pause, volume up/down...) and last but not least a number block.
  • All umlauts are at their usual location * Because the umlauts are at their usual location, some of the special characters had to be moved to the lowest row of keys (like #)
  • the cmd and alt keys are now in the middle of the keyboard (on both halfs), CTRL is where the upper cursor keys were located. So, CTRL, CMD and ALT are located in a vertical row on the "inner" edge of each half of the ErgoDox EZ.
  • There is a space key on each half located in the thumb block
  • the tab and ESC-Keys were moved to their default location
  • the Caps-Lock-key is a layer switch now (as I don't use Caps-Lock at all)
  • several keycodes (like CTRL) are defined on multiple locations due to several reasons: sometimes I like to type for example CTRL on the right, sometimes on the left half of the keyboard, depending on the context. and I did not always know what to put at a certain key - too many keys there :) As already mentioned, this is a layout that works for me quite ok now. I will probably improve it over time (fortunately that is possible). It is opensource and available in github. Maybe you have additional ideas, how to improve things. Or you create your own custom firmware. But this is just the beginning...

Beginners guide / howto for ErgoDox on a (german) Mac

As we speak about beginning. I did not find a good howto, how to start with the ErgoDox-EZ on the Mac, especially with a mapping the keys and such, creating a custom firmware. There is an english wiki being created right now

here. No real how to or similar. But there are actually not many steps necessary to alter an existing layout, compile a new firmware and finally upload it to the ErgoDox-EZ (sometimes called "flashing" the device). But before we get to that, let's just explain some terms you'll read all the time when looking for information about the ErgoDox.

ErgoDox vs ErgoDox-EZ

The ErgoDox keyboard is already available quite some time now and could be ordered at Unfortunately, it was necessary to build the opensource keyboard yourself. That means, you'd get a lot of parts, you need to put together, soldering them , build a case, etc... And this is not working for everybody, as some of us do not have the time for such a DIY-project, or simply lack the knowledge and craftsmanship. And: if a little mistake happens, you end up with a really beatuiful, but not working keyboard. This is where Erez Zukerman comes in - his indiegogo project addresses exactly that by creating a real product out of an opensource DIY-keyboard. A product, you can buy, like any other product, including warranty and support. But still: everything still is opensource, including the things that are built right now especially for the ErgoDox EZ (like custom firmware)


At the first version of the ErgoDox (not EZ!) could be bought. As mentioned above, this was just a bag full of parts, you needed to do all the soldering and building it up from scratch. But at massdrop you get a configurator which is capable of creating .hex files directly and visually. You can create your layout there and end up with a file you can directly flash on your ErgoDox. There are some issues when it comes to non-standard keycodes, though. So I did not find a way to do the

long type or other special functionalities there. That's why I took the manual approach. If you only need a simple layout, without fancy stuff, the configurator on massdrop might be the easiest way to create a working .hex-file.


This actually is the hardware the ErgoDox (and the ErgoDox-EZ) is built upon. This is not very important, only if you wanted to build an own custom firmware from another code base. You also need to upload the firmware to the ErgoDox, if you want to change the layout. On a mac you can use the tool

teensy loader, which is named after the hardware. This tool takes some .hex-files and uploads it to your ErgoDox. You can download your copy here.

QMK Firmware

This is the standard firmware for the ErgoDox-EZ. You can guess by the way I'm saying that, that there are probably some other alternatives out there. And on github you can find some of those. I did not dive into that topic yet, I'll stick to the "original" for now.


As already mentioned above, the firmware for the ErgoDox-EZ (or more precise for the Teensy Microcontroller) es stored in .hex-files after compiling. Only those files are needed. When you compile, you end up with a whole bunch of new files (like .sym, .obj and alike) which are not really necessary. You only need the .hex file.

How to install a new firmware

This is rather simple if you already have a proper firmware file in .hex-format. Some examples of those can be downloaded from the official repository here. This is the firmware project repository for the QMK-Firmware - there is a subdirectory ´keyboard/ergodox-ez/keymaps´ where you can find some of those .hex-files. My version of the layout can be downloaded here. To install this file, you only need to follow these easy steps: 1. Download the .hex file (if you compile it yourself, you end up with such a file also) 2. Open the App Teensy Loader (see above - Teensy). Then take a paperclip and klick the button on the keyboard on the upper right (there is a little hole in the case). This brings your ErgoDox EZ into programming mode. 3. Open the .hex file (first icon from the left - looks like a document icon) 4. To upload (aka flash) the firmware file to your keyboard, click on the 2nd button from the left ("rounded" Arrow). You'll see a progress bar during the upload process. 5. now klick on the reboot button (small arrow, 3rd icon from the left) After that, your new firmware is installed and used. You should see your changes now. I experienced some kind of "failures" after the reboot, like, the keyboard was stuck in a certain mode, the left half of the keyboard would not react... but I could fix it by just unplugging it and replugging it after a couple of seconds. I flashed the ErgoDox-EZ now about a dozen times, and in maybe a 3rd of those cases, an error like described happened. All could be fixed in no-time. So, don't panic!

howto create your own firmware

To do this, you need to do some preparations. As already mentioned I only consider MacOSX here - I did not try the ErgoDox on Linux or Windows. You should install If you have macports installed, you might end up with an error. We need to install a so called cross compiler. This is a compiler, that produces code not for the hardware it is currently running on, but something completely different. In our case this is the Teensy 2 microcontroller. If you use macports you'd have to find, how to install this crosscompiler. With ´brew´ the installation is just a few lines: brew tap osx-cross/avr brew install avr-libc after that you need to checkout the project from github. Details you can find there, but this is the command, you need (creates a folder in current directory):

git clone
 now go to the directory 

qmk_firmware/keyboards/ergodox_ez. for testing, you should run make there, this will create the default layout .hex file in this directory. The file is called ergodox_ez.hex. If you end up with an error message, take a close look. Probably you only need to install some tools or something. If you want to create a different than the default layout, you need to store the name of your layout into some environment Variable: export KEYMAP=osx_de if you run make now, this layout will be created. If the corresponding C-File exists in the directory

keymaps (here the filename is keymap_osx_de.c. You can easily change an existing C-File, create a completely new one (not recommended), or copy an existing C-File and alter it to your liking. You only need to change the environment variable accordingly. If you need additional information about what possibilities you have with this C-Files and what is possible, have a close look at the project documentation. I really hope, this little howto is helpful for you and your new ErgoDox-EZ!

Features of the ErgoDox-EZ - layout programming details

As you now know, how to compile and upload a new firmware, let's have a look at the features, you might use in those firmwares. I call the process of defining the layout for your keyboard in C-Files "layout programming" - it is not real programming, although there a datascructures involved, some C-experience is surely beneficial. But it is not real programming... you usually do not need to do loops, if-then-else or something. But you need to know some things.


First, every key can be programmed so send any keycode a keyboard might have (and actually mouse also). So, it would be possible, to change the position of keys completely (e.g. DVORAK, NEO or ADNW layouts. All alternatives to the existing QWERTY/Z layout). You could also create a special layout for a special purpose. Like a special software, where you actually do not type a lot, but really use hotkeys and shortcuts. (like in a game or other special purpose software, CAD, PhotoEditing... whatever you use). In the QMK-Firmware, every of those layouts needs a corresponding C-File (see above). In this C-File there is the layout defined as an array of 64bit integer values, every

place in this array determines the key, the value of this determines the keycode that is going to be send from this key when pressed (or released...). Imagine the keys are numbered from the top left, to the bottom right, each half of the keyboard separately. So in my layout, the first keycode in this array defining it is the ESC-Key. The name for that in the C-File is KC_ESC. All "raw" keycodes have the prefix KC_, there are international definitions of keycodes also with their corresponding prefix for the country (like, DE_), but in my case, those keycodes were meant for Windows, not OSX. But that is no big deal, just think about what you would type.


You can have several of those layouts defined in the c-file. Actually, the data structure is an array of arrays, the latter ones defining a layout each. So, when you switch between layout, you can completely redefine the whole keys (with one exception - the key you use for switching between layers, see below) There is one keycode defined, called KC_TRNS, which actually is no real keycode but telling the firmware, "if this key is pressed, use the keycode from the layer below the current one". This does not work with the first (base) layout in your configuration, because we need to have something defined to fall back on. So, when you start up the keyboard, you start with that layer 0, the base layer. When you hit one of those layer switches, you switch to a different layer, lets say layer 3. That means, layer 3 is on top of layer 0. If you have any keys defined as KC_TRNS in layer 3, pressing one of them when switched to that layer, acutally issues the keycode from layer 0. And to make things a bit more complicated: you can actually stack those layers. You could define a layer switch with one key, pressing anotherone will add a layer to that stack. KC_TRNS will then fallback to the layer below in the current stack. This feature could be used, if you need a similar behaviour like with ALT and SHIFT. Think about it: when you Press shift, the keys switch all to upper case, when you press alt, some special characters occur. But when you hit both, the layout changes again, at least for some keys. Acutally, this stacking of layouts is pretty standard. We just were not aware of it... With that you could create your own more or less simple layout, without any layers or any fancy features like long type or something. This is - at least as I understood it - what you can get from the massdrop configurator.

Special keypresses

But there are features, you might enjoy...

  • you can not only send a simple keycode, but also one in combination with a modifier (like shift, alt, cmd, ctrl... and so on). This can be done easily by adding for example LSFT to your keycode, LSFT(KC_7) would send a shift 7 keycode - usually the /. In this case it is actually pressing the left shift for doing that, but that usually does not make much of a difference.
  • you can make a key not sending a real keycode but making a switch to a different layer. in the DE-Layout this is actually done with the "Tab"-key, just switches to and out of the cursor layer. Please keep in mind: your layer-switch key, should always be defined to have the keycode KC_TRNS in the target layer, otherwise you might not be able to switch back. Toggling a layer on and of is done with the function TG(), as parameter you give the number of the layer you want to toggle, like TG(3) which would switch to your layout on index 3 (always starting at 0 (baselayout), this is the 4th layer!).
  • you have the option to define keys to behave differently when pressed long or just typed quickly. This is useful for modifiers. You can have the hyper key issued when pressed long, but when typed it sends a normal keycode. There are actually several ways of achieving this behaviour. First you can use the method LT() where in the brackets you add two arguments. First the layer it shoul switch to, when pressed long, the 2nd one is the keycode to be issued when typed. The other way is to use functions with the suffix _T, like CTL_T(). This one means, issue the keycode for control when pressed and held, but send the keycode given as argument, when typed. In my layout definition this is used for the Y and Minus-key to be also used as CTRL. Which comes in quite handy some times. with that you can define quite some layout - take a look at the baselayout for the osx_de version:

    //Base layer KEYMAP(

        KC_ESC,                  DE_1,         DE_2,   DE_3,   DE_4,   DE_5,   DE_6,
        KC_TAB,                  DE_Q,         DE_W,   DE_E,   DE_R,   DE_T,   KC_LGUI,
        KC_LALT,                   DE_A,         DE_S,   DE_D,   DE_F,   DE_G,
        KC_LSFT,                 CTL_T(DE_Y),  DE_X,   DE_C,   DE_V,   DE_B,   KC_LALT,
                                                                        M(M_MEH_SH_ACUT),       TG(2),
                                                                        KC_BSPC,KC_DEL,         LT(SMLY,KC_END),
        // right hand
             M(M_CTRL_CMDC),  DE_7,   DE_8,   DE_9,   DE_0,   DE_SS,            DE_HASH,
             KC_RGUI,     DE_Z,   DE_U,   DE_I,   DE_O,   DE_P,                 DE_UE,
                          DE_H,   DE_J,   DE_K,   DE_L,   DE_OE,                ALT_T(DE_AE),
             KC_RALT,     DE_N,   DE_M,   DE_COMM,DE_DOT, CTL_T(DE_MINS),       KC_RSFT,
                                  KC_LEFT,  KC_UP,KC_DOWN,KC_RIGHT,        LT(SYMB,DE_PLUS),
             TG(4),       ALL_T(DE_ACUT),
             KC_PGDN,KC_ENT, KC_SPC

One additional thing you should consider. When you have more than let's say two layers, it would be very useful to show the user, which layout is currently active. This is best done using the 3 different LEDs on the keyboard. To define that, you need to have a look at the method

matrix_scan_user. There you can do something depending on the currently active layer. In the case of the osx_de-layout, it looks like this:

void * matrix_scan_user(void) {

  uint8_t layer = biton32(layer_state);

  switch (layer) {
    // TODO: Make this relevant to the ErgoDox EZ.
    case 1:
    case 2:
    case 3:
    case 4:
        // none


I think this is more or less self explaining. The every case statement defines what to do for each layer. So for layer 0 (not listed here) all LED will be off. For layer 1, the led 1 will be on (the red one)... and so on. This function is called periodocally in a loop, so there you could add any other custom code, if you liked. These are the major features, I needed to implement my layout. There are more features, that might be useful (like stacked layers), but for now things work fine. I will work on improvements, if you have any suggestions, just leave me a note...

ErgoDox-EZ - Should you buy it?

Actually, that is a tough question. I think, it was worth it. But I use the keyboard only a couple of days now. I was quite fond of my "Razer Blackwidow" also and that changed over time. In this very moment when I'm typing this text I can only say, it feels very worthy, the switches feel like Cherry (but they aren't), the feedback is good as expected from a mechanical keyboard. Of course these switches do make som noise, you do not only get tactile feedback, but also audible one - I like that noise, but this is maybe not everybodys way of working. I installed dampener rings on the keys in order to reduce the sound wen typing through. But I actually like this "noise" a lot and it motivates me. But that is my personal opinion. And I ordered the ErgoDox-EZ with that Switches that are comparable with the Cherry blue ones, but there are different options. For me the ErgoDox-EZ is very close to the perfect keyboard. There are some things that might be missing (LED backlighting maybe). But I really like it. Right now, I like typing with the ErgoDox-EZ, it also helps me to go easy on my elbows and wrists, which are somewhat aching after a long day. This was one major reason in getting an ergonomic keyboard. I will maybe also create a ADNW-Layout (neo2 based layout, optimized for German and English typing), but that is a very different thing....

Update after one week: Still like typing a lot with the ErgoDox. Especially as i got my custom layout up and running. It makes things a lot more smooth. Typing is a breeze... Also, I have to say, the support from Erez and his team is great! Thanks again. I am really astonished, how quickly I could adjust to the new keyboard. After just a couple of days, it really felt awkward typing on a normal keyboard again. This actually is a good sign!

update after some weeks of use

I got used to the ErgoDox quite fast. Really still like typing on it. And I learned some things about my own layout: having space on both sides of the keyboard is actually not that great. I miss having the delete key easily accessible. So... I removed the space key on the left side of the keyboard and replaced it with backspace, putting the current backspace to be a DEL-key. This seems to work ok... And: I really was not using the CTRL-keys on the upper row. Used the keys on both pinky fingers for CTRL. That works better actually. I put CMD-C / CMD-V there... at least for now. Maybe I'll experiment with macros there... Did not come up with a better solution for that... Also still looking for something useful to put on the Caps-Lock-Key... right now its only a mode / layer switch. Did not come up with something fancy for that yet.  

Annother update - one month in to 2016

I really like typing on the ErgoDox EZ, it feels great, I'm quite fast and my layout seems to be working fine now for me. Although I needed to add some additional features:

Smiley Macro Layer

I thought I need to play a bit with macros and wanted to put some things I often type there. So I decided to create a smiley layer. This is available in the currently merged version of the firmware. When pressing the lowest, rightest key on the left halfs keyboard thumb block you temporarily enter this layer and can type smileys with the right hand side! Works like charm! 😉 :-D EgoShooter Layer The default layout I have created is optimal for typing (at least for me) - but it did not work at all for EgoShooters like Counterstrike global offensive or alike. I had to create an additional layer. But I did not want to waste a key just for switching to this layer, and - obviously - did not want to have a key pressed all the time in order to be "temporarily" in that layer. I wanted to switch from one layer to this new layer and only there... Right now, when enter the symbol / coder layer you can switch to the ego shooter layer by typing the top left key on the right keyboard half. Then all 3 LEDs will be on indicating that you are ready to go for some serious ego shooting ;-) The changes are more or less minimal: * left side backspace becomes space * left side delete becomes control * left side < / symbol layer switch becomes Ctrl * the outer thumb keys on the left side become F1-F4 maybe there will be some additional changes to this, but right now, it seems to work quite good. Happy fraggin'

** Another Month - another update **

Still love typing on the ergodox, but I start feeling uncomfortable writing on a "normal" keyboard. I had to install the "reinforcement kit" last week, as I got one of the ErgoDox-EZ' with a slight fault (look here)

For some reason, I did not like having the numbers on the right side starting with 6, I wanted them to start with 7. So I changed the layout to reflect that. That works fine for me and has some advantages:

  • I could put the # to the top right key
  • I could put the F12 there as well
  • the 6 is now on the left side, top rightmost key. This was CMD-V before. Missing that to some extend. I'll have to have a look for that.

as some time went by, here is a new update again

I played with the layout a bit again. I did not like the asymmetric shape of the numbers, and it did not really work well. I changed a lot of things today:

  • moving cursor key layout back to the "deafult" ergodox
  • adding ISO-Cursor keys to the symbol layer
  • adding a CTRL-SHIFT key on the rightmost, topmost key on the left half
  • needed to move the # somewhere useful. Put it on the topleft key on the right half
  • some fixes, especially adding a , to the number pad. This caused problems with typing some numbers already

maybe this is the best layout for my case. I was astonished how hard it is to get rid of the "used" positions of keys. And I actually do not like to move things to totally different locations - this would mean I cannot type on an usual keyboard anymore fluently. And this is not working with carrying the macbook from meeting to meeting.

really like playing with the programming of the ergodox! this is fun. And it will improve the layout over time. Still need to find some way to build these layout pictures somewhat more easily - right now is's pain!

** Update on documentation **

The layout went through some iterations till today and for now it seems to be ok. Go check it out at github. There is also a new Project I created that (for now) helps me createing a png of the layout so that you get a better overview. Later this might be used to create layouts as well.

Check the post here and the github page here

the current layout looks like this:

category: Apple --> Computer

Have to dump my favorite Mail Client due to Exchange

2015-03-25 - Tags:

sorry, no english version available

category: Apple --> Computer

Opinion: iOS or Android or Apple vs. the World

2014-09-17 - Tags:

sorry, no english version available

category: Computer

OSX Yosemite Beta 7

2017-05-20 - Tags:

no english version available yet

category: Computer

OSX 10.10 Yosemite & iOS 8 - erste Erfahrungen

2014-08-13 - Tags:

no english version available yet.

Natürlich musste ich mir auch ios8 installieren, wo ich doch schon mit Yosemite ganz gut fahre. Wobei so langsam einige kleinere Bugs auftauchen. In meinem letzten Post zu dem Thema habe ich ja schon einige Bugs erwähnt, es kommen aber noch einige dazu, insbesondere in den Einstellungen stimmt die Ansicht nicht immer mit den wirklichen eingestellten Werten überein.

Continuity und HandOff

Was allerdings wirklich nervig ist, ich schaffe es nicht meinen iMac mit meinem hier im Büro erstellten Wlan einzuhängen. Er geht nur über Kabel ins Netz. Das ist auch der Grund, warum Continuity und Handoff hier nicht funktioniert, denn dazu müssen die Geräte ja im selben WLan sein – IP-Netz reicht offensichtlich nicht aus.

Hier ist es so, dass alle Geräte, egal ob über Kabel oder Wlan angeschlosen im selben Subnetz sind. Anpingen der Geräte untereinander funktioniert, allerdings weigert sich der iMac seit Yosemite standhaft, sich ins Wlan einzubuchen.Roblox Hack Free Robux

wobei das nicht ganz stimmt, er bucht sich ein, bekommt aber keine IP-Adresse. Auch wenn ich die manuell vergebe, funktioniert kein Datentransfer, nicht mal Ping funktioniert – da stimmt wohl was mit der Verschlüsselung nicht

Ein test mit einem Apple AirPort Extreme hat dagegen reibungslos funktioniert. Klar, dass die neue Software erst mal mit der Hardware aus dem eigenen Hause getestet wird. Und auch klar, es ist Beta Software. Und da MUSS es ja noch Bugs geben… Insofern alles ok.

Neues Feature: Markup

Ein Feature, dass ich im letzten Post unterschlagen habe ist die neue Markup Funktion in Mail. Wenn man ein Attachment in eine Mail hinzufügt, kann man (je nach Dateityp), Markierungen in der Datei machen (wenn es sinn macht – bei Audio-Dateien geht das nicht. Bei PDF, PNG’s etc sehr wohl).

Wenn man das oben gezeigte Menü aufklappt und dort auf „Markierungen“ geht, kann man in der Datei (hier ein Screenshot) „rummalen“… allerdings funtkioniert das etwas besser als „üblich“. Normalerweise sehen mit der Maus gezeichnete Markierungen meist aus wie das Gekritzel eines 3-Jährigen. Hier jedoch werden die eingegebenen Formen erkannt. Apple Mail macht da auch einen recht guten Job mit der erkennung. Meine „Kreise“ sehen mit der Maus gezeichnet wirklcih eher krakelig aus, aber Mail erkennt den Kreis. Auch Dreiecke und Vierecke funktioineren ganz gut.

Macht man eine Linie und am „Ziel“ einen Spitzen Winkel erhält man einen Pfeil – meist etwas gebogen. Aber nachbearbeiten kann man ja auch immer noch.

Des Weiteren kann man auch seine Unterschrift (ähnlich wie das in Mavericks bei geht) einfügen oder Formen oder Text.

Bei der erstellung der Screenshots für diesen Post ist mir genau diese Funktion allerdings mehrmals abgeschmiert. Läuft also noch nicht ganz Rund das mit dem markup. Aber die Idee ist super!


Das Update hat auf den ersten Blick recht wenig neues gebracht (fotos dazu gibt’s ja zur Genüge). Klar, die neue Tastatur bemerkt man recht schnell. Aber sonst sind sich iOS7 und 8 sehr ähnlich. Man kann nicht auf den ersten Blick einen Unterschied ausmachen. Erst die Details machen es.

Stabil scheint Die iOS8 Beta 5 auch zu sein – zumindest auf meinem iPad funktioniert (fast) alles reibungslos. Ein paar Kleinigkeiten klemmen schon noch, wie z.B. dass die Multitasking-Bedienung nicht immer funktioniert oder das einige Apps nicht wirklich kompatibel sind. Aber das wird sich sicher noch ändern.

Da einzige, was wirklich auffällt, ist die neue „Tipps“-App. Da werden einem ein paar Hilfestellungen für den Umgang mit iOS8 gegeben. Die spotlight-Suche wurde auch verbessert und macht was her….

die Erinnerungen-App ist jetzt etwas „Bunter“ aber vom Funktionsumfang her nicht wirklich „gewachsen“.

Neu ist natürlich auch die Möglichkeit, per iMessage Sprachnachrichten zu verschicken, Dafür gibt es neben dem Eingabefeld für den zu sendenden Text ein kleines Mikro. Tippt man da drauf, kann man eine Nachricht aufnehmen und dann versenden. Wirklich praktisch, wenn man grad nicht so viel tippen kann.

Siri soll angeblich auch leistungsfähiger geworden sein, aber das kann ich im Moment nicht bestätigen. Die Erkennungsrate ist bei mir genauso gut oder schlecht wie vorher und so wirklich eine Neuerung in dem Normalen Umgang habe ich jetzt nicht gesehen. aber das kann ja noch kommen.

Sonst ist iOS8 auch recht gut geglückt, die Stabilität ist für ein Stück Beta-Software wirklich ganz ok.

category: Computer

OSX Yosemite public Beta...

2017-05-20 - Tags: beta compatibility osx test yosemite

no english version available yet

category: MacOS / OSC --> Computer

Mail App und Google Mail

2014-07-24 - Tags:

sorry, no english version available

category: Computer

Update zum "Frust bei 1und1"-Post

2014-06-27 - Tags:

sorry, no english version available

category: globsl

Neuer Bug in IOS - Keylogging möglich

2014-02-26 - Tags:

sorry, no english version available

category: Apple --> Computer

Riesen SSL-Bug in OSX - alles total unsicher und gefährlich

2014-02-25 - Tags: ios osx security

sorry, no english version available

category: Computer

Virenscanner am Mac / Iphone

2014-02-03 - Tags:

As some of my readers are not that good in reading and understanding German, I'll try to write some of my posts, which might be interesting in english also. I hope everything is understandable so far ;-) - This is not a translation, just a rewrite in English. Lets start with the last post about Anti-Virus Software

Anti-Virus software on the Mac or iPhone?

People are more and more concerned about viruses. Also Mac users start to worry about that threat. So, is it neccessary to install anti-virus software on the mac? I was asked that question several times lately...

First of all, this question it totally justified. Everyone should harden his computers and phones as far as he feels safe. Actually, more than a feeling would installing an anti virus software on the mac not produce. As of now there is a handfull of harmful software known for the mac, all of them will be filtered by macs own security mechanisms and thus are not really a thread anymore.

At the moment the Mac is safe - but soon...

"Soon it will be very bad for Mac users. Viruses will come..." I hear that every year. When the new market share numbers are published and OSX gains. Then everybody tells me, that the marketshare is soon reaching some magic percentage when it will be so interesting for Virus-Programmers to write Viruses for Macs that ther will be a flood of malware. Or will there?

Of course, marketshare is definitely influencing the number of malware for a certain system. But in addition to that, you should take the necessary effort and feasibility into account. And the use... (in terms of malware: what could I gain? Keylogging? Botnet?)

I think, one should take both into account: Is the system easy to hack, it will be hacked, even if almost nobody is using it. Is the systems' marketshare not that high, but relatively simple to hack - it will be hacked! For example: the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) is being attacked far more often than the marketshare leader Apache. When a system is very hard to hack, you need some good incentive to take the effort. Which could be the reason why there is no real virus for Linux or OSX.

And when I write "hacked" its more in a viruses term of use - not remote hacking of user accounts. And: it needs to be done more or less automatically by software. Otherwise there will be no real virus or worm. If somebody wants to hack a certain machine and has the knowledge, he can do it - depending on resource, effort and motivation ;-) I knew a hacker once, you could hire to hack the servers of an competitor for example. Those things are always possible. But this is almost always an administrative problem. There is no real protection against those guys. You can hack any machine you can physically touch - resources and motivation required, of course. Best example: the Jailbreaking of iOS! But if there is enough motivation, resources and knoledge, you're not really safe (see NSA & Co). So it's a question of effort: to hack the machine of a 14 year old student is definitely not as interesting as hacking the machine of a CEO of a big company or a politician.

Same thing is valid for malware and viruses: Malware is not developed for the fun of it (well, at least most of the time it's not). People want to make money with them. This is the only reason why there are Viruses! Maybe that's the reason why there is still the rumor, that actually the Anti-Virus-Software vendors pay some virus developers to spread viruses every once in a while. who knows... i cannot rule that out for sure. I met some Russian guys who claimed that to be true. If so, then I don't understand why there is so few malware for Linux and OSX. That would be a huge market for Anti-Virus-software vendors - millions of users, complete new market segment worth millions or billions of dollar.

I think, viruses are only developed to directly (data theft, credit card fraud etc) or indirectly (by spamming, using hacked machines as bots on the way to the real target, bot nets etc) to MAKE MONEY! And when money is involved: the effort and resources necessary to achieve that must be lower as the estimated revenue of course. So we are at the combination of effort and marketshare again. Marketshare influences the potential revenue (assuming that when more machines are hacked or affected by malware, more money is being made), efforts are the cots. And in some cases this is obviously not a positive figure...

malware in general

First of all, you need to distinguish between the different kinds of malware. In media and the heads of non-IT-guys all malware is named "Virus". But it's necessary to know what kind of software pest is out there in order to be able to protect yourself against those effectively.

The media and in the heads of non IT guys usually every malware is called a "virus". But in order to be able to protect yourself from those malware, it is important to know exactly what you're dealing with. You can classify three different kinds of malware: Viruses, Trojans and Worms - but there are some mixtures of those in the wild, like a virus which spreads like a worm - hence toe umbrella term "malware").

  • a virus is a little program, which reproduces itself on the system and does dort it's dirty stuff. most of the time, those viruses do exploit some security holes in order to get more privileges. If those privileges are gained, the virus will do things things, you usually do not want him to do - like deleting things, sending data do a server...
  • a trojan is most similar to a virus, but needs the users help to get installed.

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