Thursday, March 31, 2005

Bloody blogger ate my post! So try again...

I just love intellectual TV. Just watching Arte, showing something about a couple of tree-hugging goths making porn movies to safe the rainforest. Who work together with a couple of plastic-fetishist pine-apple-provo-pogo activists. As a statement against conservatism.

I went for diner with a good friend of mine, a nice girl, who leads a completely boring normal life. She works in a hospital, her boyfriend in a bank, they go together on package-holidays, they are just normal. (Don't get me wrong, I really like her a lot, I think she is intelligent, good looking, all that. There was a time I would have liked to share a larger part of my life with her...) What a contrast...

To be honest: I think the eco-goths and the plastic-fetishists are nuts. I wouldn't be able to be in the same room with them for more than a couple of minutes without feeling the urge to kick somebody...

Friday, March 25, 2005

They're showing the airport movies again on TV! Oh, what great movies they made back then. And using innovative cutting techniques as well!

Why don't they make an airport movie now? Back then, the first was made when the Boeing 707 was new, then for each new aircraft there was a new movie showing the safety of them, until Airport 80 - The Concorde. They should make an Airport 2005 - The A380 now.

Cast: the usual airport cast, if no longer alive, take somebody else. But lot's of stewardesses in miniskirts, please.
Story: doesn't matter, as long as it involves a whole load of pregnant, deaf-mute, 9-year old girls with heart diseases, who have to visit their old sick parents in soviet russia. And stewardesses in miniskirts. And you need Lee Majors abseiling from a Jet-Helicopter. You need the old guy with the cigar ranting about his time back then in the airforce, when people got sucked out of airplane windows every five minutes. Everything needs to happen during a snow storm. Did I already mention stewardesses in miniskirts? Some of them might have random affairs with other members of the flight crew. As long as they have miniskirts...

The transparency feature of the newer x-windows is just amazing...

Just installed three nifty applications I think I will love a lot: F-Spot, an image organiser which helped me already discover that I have something like 8000 photographies on my computer; Tomboy, a note keeping program with wiki like functionality and finally, beagle, which seems to be a really powerful search tool...

The rest: I have spent the week programing hardware with commands like vme_A24D32_write(crate, address, buffer); more than 1500 lines of it. It is as fun as it sounds...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

HELP! I am trapped in a Dilbert Cartoon...
OK, so we have a online library. That is nice. We have actually two of them, one is the online-online library, one is the offline-online library. There is a third one from the CERNLIBS. We not only use the same name for the library but also the library calls are the same, just that they do completely different things. These libs are spread around the system, nobody knows which is where. And we are using automount, so that you only see half of the directories. And all software is written by madmen. I think I just go and shoot myself.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Originally uploaded by perreira.
I put some more photos on flickr, enjoy :-)
Today I installed Ubuntu Linux on my mother's laptop and on my brother's PC. This distribution really rocks! It is based on debian, but contrary to debian it does not suck... It comes with kernel 2.6.10, Gnome 2.10, Openoffice 1.2 and lots of other nifty software. What makes it really good is, there is no choice. Linuxes traditionally are proud of their choice. With XYZ Linux you can choose between 5 gazillion editors! So what. I need exactly one. And I need one I can use. I do not want editors where there is absolutely no sign what to do, you have to read don't know how many pages of the manual to find out, that to just leave the editor you have to type ESC : w q ENTER. I don't bother if it's KDE, Gnome, Windowmaker or whatever, I just want something I can use without reading the manual...

Ubuntu helps with that. During installation it asked only a few easy questions, like which language I want, which Timezone I live in, whicht partition to use. 25 Minutes later I had a system which just worked (TM). Graphical interface, simple easy desktop, Office Suite, Mail, Browser, everything I need. If I want more, there is an easy to use package manager, I could even install CERN-lib (which is physics-analysis-software for hardcore particle physicists) by just two mouse clicks (one to select the package, on on Apply). It has all the nifty features of Gnome 2.10, like automounting of CDs and USB Sticks etc. (now I do not have to issue cryptic commands, I just insert the CD and can read it). It detected the soundcard and just worked. It started the graphical user interface without painful configurations (even on Windows I had to manually install a driver I had to download from the internet on a very hidden place and it really sucked...) The wireless card of my mother's laptop, which was a real pain in Debian and Windows, just worked. The Nvidia Graphics card of my brothers PC, just worked. Installing the printer, two mouse clicks...

And I don't even have to bother for a root account. You never set the password for it, you cannot access the root account... Everything is done via sudo. The accounts you create can be "Administrators" and end up as sudoers. Which I like, because it's simple and understandable.

It just works, that's what software should be. Even my brother thought it was simple to install, and he is allergic to anything non-windows. Linux for humans. If you want to give it a go there is a Live CD you can test it without installing it on your hard disk.

Friday, March 18, 2005

It's 1111111111. unix time, I am busy taking data and making chef-plots for todays meeting (7 hours until my talk...). For Windows and Mac Users (Mac OS 9 and older), that's 1:58:31 UTC (2:58:31 MET).
It's 1111111111. unix time, I am busy taking data and making chef-plots for todays meeting (7 hours until my talk...). For Windows and Mac Users (Mac OS 9 and older), that's 1:58:31 UTC (2:58:31 MET).

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Hurray for my bosses. I came to Hamburg in April last year, with the statement, that I will leave in August. I am still in Hamburg. I told my bosses here, that I will leave end of this month for about half a year. Today I got a phonecall from our spokesperson, if I can change these plans to stay more time, as I am the last one having any clue about the project, new people not being available... Well, I won't. End of discussion. The manpower problem is not my problem, I do not care anymore. If nobody is around, then I cannot do anything. This problem has been known since a long time, I have advised for half a year that I am no longer available after March, so if nothing is done, not my buisiness... (Do I need to mention that I am pissed off by that?)
Today, during breakfast, I watched parliament discussions again. They shouldn't show such things on TV, I always loose my faith into politicians in special and humanity in general.

The discussion today was: Germany's Plan to buld a Tsunami Early Alert System in Indonesia. What they want to do sounds a bit like TollCollect for waves, involving buoys with GPS and stuff. This thing is more than doubtful. We have a lot of experts on earthquakes here in Germany, which are within the top researchers in their field. We also have experts on tectonics, on oceanography etc. We do not have any expert on Tsunamis. Yes, a tsunami is just a wave caused by an earthquake. But it takes much more to understand a tsunami than an expert on earthquakes or an expert on oceanography. You need experts which know all of that and a lot of stuff more. Putting a buoy somewhere which sends an alarm when there is a wave a bit higher than normal or when there is a seaquake is one thing , actually having a trustful alarm system, which does not send too much false alarms and is efficient in real alarms is another thing. So, there is lots of questions to be asked....

What did they ask in parliament? A woman from the greens asked if this system can be enlargened so that all the poor africans on the african westcoast, who were also hit by last years tsunami can be warned. (Well, last year they were warned, because the Tsunami took some hours to reach the african coast...) They were asking lots of stupid things which were not at all related to the real problems. Nobody really asked, can we actually do that or will this be another great disaster in technology development... Do we have the expertise to do that? Nobody asked.

Seems none of them asks the right questions. All have their religions (conservatism, socialism, whateverism...), all have their catch phrases, all have a culprit (the others), all have lost contact to reality. Whenever they want to change something they are working on the symptoms, not the causes. We have to many people without work? Change the statistics and then blame the PEOPLE and the ECONOMY to be lamers... As long as they can rise their salaries and have double incomes, everything is fine.

Two other things, which made me sick: a german health insurer (AOK) is cutting the money for the blinds. Guide dogs are no longer paid, because blinds do not have the right to walk for longer distances. They only have a right to walk short distances and for that a stick is sufficient. And: the german health insurers made high profits last year. Instead of lowering their prices or offering more service, they keep on cutting down their services, but raising their CEOs salaries. Which has been rationalised by "their high responsibility and their high workload, sometimes they have to work up to 60 hours a week..." Well. I will work more than 60 hours this week, I have some responsibility (if I mess up either a new detector worth 1 Million € in Hardware only will be gone, or a working detector worth a couple of million euros will be gone, an accellerator costing hundreds of thousends of euros to run will be in a standstill...), so I am not that far off their responsibilities or workload, I still get twenty to fifty times less than them... And no chance of raise.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Company and its representatives may from time to time make written or oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the Company's filings with the SEC and in its reports to shareholders. One can identify these forward-looking statements by use of words such as "strategy," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "will," "continues," "estimates," "intends," "projects," "goals," "targets" and other words of similar meaning. One can also identify them by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts.

Disclaimer: We lie to you a lot. But you cannot sue us. HAHA! (found on the Kraft MasterFoods Germany website...)

Monday, March 14, 2005

We definitvely need a russian phrase book in our manuals here at the experiment. Babelfish is really helpful, but how do I pronounce "Victor не здесь, он придет в половину час"...?

We need important phrases like "XY is not here", "The detector is broken, please fix it", "It was not my fault", "No, I did not drink your Vodka"...

This sign is just saying: Move on, there is absolutely nothing to see.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Book binding is a lost art.

What this nice representative of Samsung has in his hands is a mobile phone, just in case you didn't recognise it on first look. The following model will also feature a coffee maker, a swiss army knife like functionality, four wheel drive and maybe you can make a phonecall with it. But marketing is not sure if you really want to make a call at all.

Look at this guy. If he would be Stefan Raab (or insert-your-local-late-night-comedy-talk-show-host-here), he would be cool, hilarious, great. As he is just a obese kid, he is funny, strange, emberassing. Funny enough, most of us are like him. We are far from perfect, we do studid things we think are funny, most of them actually aren't. Shall we laugh about him? Yes. As we should laugh about ourselves...

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Just found something wich sums up slashdot comments pretty well: In Soviet Russia, Gentoo trolls you with hot grits down a petrified Natalie Portman's pants being rendered on a Beowulf cluster of Macs.

Some teenagers attacked a 22 year old woman in an S-Bahn Train yesterday. The train was completely filled with people, but the only one helping the young woman was an elderly disabled lady. Hurray for Hamburg's couragious people, always there to defend your dignity.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

In case you want to find more women in science, try wikipedia...

As today is world women's day, gajo simpático pays reverence to famous women in science nobody knows:

Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet-Laumont
born in 1706, died in 1749. French mathematician, physicist, author. She wrote an explanatory book on Leibniz' theories and translated Newton's books into french, adding an algebraic commentary.

Laura Bassi
born 1711, died 1778. First female professor in Europe. Teached by her father and her families doctor, she got a PhD in Philosophy in 1731 and a proferssorship in Physics in 1733. She did some notable experiments on the Boyle Mariott Law, wrote several technical papers, 13 on physics, 11 on hydraulics, 1 on mechanics, 1 on chemistry and 2 on mathematical subjects.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi
born 1718, died 1799. Second woman to become Professor (Mathematics) at a european university. She spoke fluently seven languages (probably some more), her book Instituzioni analitiche ad uso della gioventu italiana is the first book discussing both integral and differential calculus.

Dorothea Christiane Erxleben
born 1715, died 1762. Germany's first woman recieving a doctor's degree in medicine. She learned medicine together with her brother, but she was contrary to him not allowed to go to university. Even without a degree she practized, which lead to polemics from her male colleagues. She responded with a treatise called Gründliche Untersuchung der Ursachen, die das weibliche Geschlecht vom Studiren abhalten (Throurough studies about the reasons which prevent the female gender from studying):

Die Verachtung der Gelehrsamkeit zeigt sich besonders darin, dass das weibliche Geschlecht vom Studieren abgehalten wird. Wenn etwas dem größten Teil der Menschheit vorenthalten wird, weil es nicht allen Menschen nötig und nützlich ist, sondern vielen zum Nachteil gereichen könnte, verdient es keine Wertschätzung, da es nicht von allgemeinem Nutzen sein kann. So führt der Ausschluss vieler von der Gelehrsamkeit zu ihrer Verachtung. Dieses Unrecht ist ebensogroß wie dasjenige, das den Frauen widerfährt, die dieses herrlichen und kostbaren Gegenstandes beraubt werden

In 1754 she got her degree in medicine, only after in 1741 Friedrich the great intervened with Halle University.

Monday, March 07, 2005

In collaboration with Especialista em Generalidades, Gajo Simpático proudly presents Cogumelos Aporcalhados (which is portuguese for something like porcified mushrooms). Stay tuned...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Olha, o kunami fresquinho!

Meet Pedro, my godson. Born March, 2nd 2005, son of Nuno and Mariana. He will be the most beautiful, most intelligent and most well behaved kid on this planet... Well, until I have my own kids.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Les bourgeois c'est comme les cochons
Plus ça devient vieux plus ça devient bête...