Monday, December 08, 2008

Shiny



Christmas present has already arrived :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yay for thinking!

Over on planet.ubuntu.com and other open source blog things, there have been a couple of posts to "What is the first thing you do after installing Linux". Amazingly all of them were "install all the proprietary stuff". Everybody installs google earth, skype, w32codes etc.

So, why keep up the "We do not like proprietary stuff"-attitude and make it hard to install this? Why not just accept that even if it is an evil non-open-source licence, the programs are working much better than any of the free stuff?

I'm just one step closer to getting a Mac...

Monday, November 10, 2008

History

Although we are busy remembering the start of systematic slayering of jews and political opponents in the Reichsprogromnacht at November 9, 1938; and remembering the fall of the Wall in November 9, 1989, there is also pretty important dates we should not forget:

November 9, 1918: Kurt Eisner declares the free state of bavaria, marking the end of monarchy. Bavaria was one of the first states in Germany to actually revolt against monarchy. Kurt Eisner was shot shortly afterwards by right wing Count Arco. Subequently the Communist took over (Eisner was socialist) to form the Soviet Republic of Bavaria.

The conservative uproar following the revolution in bavaria lead to...

November 9, 1923: Hitler tries to putsch him self into power for the first time (the infamous beer hall putsch). He gets a couple of years in prison for it, during this time he writes "Mein Kampf".

Inbetween, November 9, 1918: the armistice of Compiègne starts the end of WWI. After the marine revolted, german military finally accepted the loss of the war. Wilhelm II resigns. Inn Berlin, Philipp Scheidemann declares the german Republic and Karl Liebknecht the Soviet Republic of Germany.

Funny enough, although a lot of important events happened on November, 9, which are all somehow connected and only together lead to some understanding of german history, we only talk about two of them. The Armistice is remembered anywhere outside germany (as is May 8, 1945) - germans do not generally know this date. For the generation of my parents it seems that history only covers everything till 1871 and then starts again at 1950, for my generation it seems that history mainly consists of 1933-1945 (with some hints of middle ages and 1950-1989).

Friday, November 07, 2008

I don't care anymore

As most of the stuff I did voluntarily is ignored, I think I just don't care anymore. Maybe I'll care about my friends, but generally I won't do anything for others anymore. Nobody cares about the stuff I did, so I won't care about anybody myself. I will try to have fun, but if the world goes down, I won't do anything about it. No more nice guy.

(This is nothing job related. This is a late effect of university.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Capitalism

Listening to the news these days is quite funny. It seems that everybody is completely surprised that capitalism in the end works like it is supposed to. If you take high risks, you get sometimes high gains and sometimes -surprise, surprise- high losses. If you have people trying to make a lot of money, sometimes they also will loose a lot of money.

Now some cry for the state to drop in who were hardcore laissez-faire capitalists before (with the notable exception of a very few who keep on and keep the concept, knowing that sometimes you loose).

If you want a free market (which I believe is quite a good thing if you do it right[1]), you'll have to live with a free market.

[1] I wont elaborate more on this, because this will take forever. Basically: there are monopolies which should belong to the state like water, electricity etc, and there are areas where there should be a free market, free meaning that the small farmer in africa can also sell his stuff as the farmer around the corner. On a large scale the big economic powers should not interfere... This is by far not the complete story, a complete coverage of my political and economical views would span about 50 long posts.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The end is nigh! (again)

On wednesday LHC is going to be turned on and we all will end up in a big black hole. It was nice knowing you/it was a pity not knowing you, we had all good fun/we would have had good fun.

Besides that: anybody for scrabble later?.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I hate computers

Today I fought some hours with Ubuntu to get my network working again. It started with the idea to have the NAS no longer attached by WLAN (SLOOOOOOOOOOW) but via a cable (FAST). I clicked on "Network Configuration" in the menu which made all my networking disappear and broke everything. Then I started to configure stuff by hand, which worked for the WLAN card but not for the classical LAN card. For some reason after each reboot it went from ethx to ethx+1, making it to eth181 before I found the problem.

Not necessary to mention that I went half mad during the search for the problem...

In the end it turned out that some completely brainless moron decided it would be a nice idea to have a random MAC address assigned to the LAN card at each reboot (from the BIOS). For privacy enhancement and you cannot switch it off... So the magical automatic hardware stuff of Linux thought "Oh, a new card" and gave it a new number. FUNNY. VERY FUNNY.

Instead of developing computers which go faster and faster (and can drive you mad much faster than anything before), why not just develop something which works? Call me wimpy, but I don't want to spend nights in front of my computer just to get a stupid network card working, this is supposed to be the 21st century...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday at the pub

Three lesbian sports teachers discussing their relationship troubles and telling that they just can't break up, despite trying for months. A group of male goths with fingernails painted black trying to look like a depressed Antonio Banderas. A table with two Brits on the way to getting drunk. The table next to us an elder couple of rock'n'rollers.

What did I learn this night: one woman in a relationship seems to be trouble enough, some kind of self esteem is nice, never get too drunk in public and rock'n'roll never dies. Sometimes I am happy to be pretty normal.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Age of the Dilletante

Sometimes on the intarweb you find the idea that our time is the age of the amateur, like the amateur scientist of the 16th to 19th century; at that time noblemen with to much money and to much time lingered into science and did a lot of important discoveries, today people with to much time can have access to the latest discoveries, to a lot of knowledge, can work on new technologies and do a lot of armchair science. An amazing amount of technological ideas is generated by this new class of idling intellectuals, bored technicians, hobby artists and armchair scientists. Technology and science have been democratized, everybody has access to anything and can become anything they want. Without to much effort I could become an underwater archaeologist, a backyard rocketist or a closet electronicist (I made that word up...).

This is one side of the story. My feeling is that there is another side... Life, work, science, technology have become so complex that nobody can be a specialist anymore. Everybody is an amateur, even the people who are doing stuff professionally. Be it at university or in industry, it looks like nobody has a real clue about what they are doing, everybody is a dilletante. This might be a sign of a lot of change happening, this might be a sign of life growing to complex for anybody to grasp. Nobody has a plan, nobody really knows what is going on. The people who are good on their job have an idea on how stuff works, a vague feeling what happens under certain circumstances. The bad ones just don't have a clue. But nobody is able to tell exactly what will happen.

The age where you had masters of a craft who really knew their tasks, who knew what will happen, has long gone by. Work, Life, Technology and Society have grown so complex that people have yet to keep up with it. The big bosses do not really know how to run a company, the politicians do not really know how to run the country, the technicians do not really know how their stuff works,... Nobody can be certain about anything anymore, everybody is just improvising.

This is the 21st century. Everybody is equally lost...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Neighbors

You might know me as quite peaceful, but my neighbors start to seriously piss me off. Yesterday the neighbor from above started to practice tap dancing at two in the morning (today I had to get up at 4AM...). Tonight the neighbors from below started practicing drum playing at twenty past midnight. They didn't even have the guts to open the door when I rang.

This is extremely bad education. Some times I did make noise, some times a party went a bit long. But at least I apologized with my neighbors and answered their calls. I don't know if I should drop them a note in the mailbox or if I should ring there tomorrow at 6 when I have to get up just to annoy them.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dienstreise

Tomorrow I will start my first business trip (traveling Economy class...), for a week I will go to Chicago (more precise Chicago's suburbia). Pictures will appear in the usual places, stories maybe here if something interesting happens.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Football

It was a nice game, we won. Can everybody please calm down now and go to bed?

These car corsoes are getting really annoying nowadays. I think, fuel is by far not expensive enough, nor are cars. About half of Erlangen is driving around in new and expensive cars now, honking like mad, driving like they never went to driving school and "celebrating" the great and historic victory over the dangerous portuguese, who, if they would have won, would have eaten our children. Or something like that. For a football game this is a bit too much...

Why can't we have fun just walking, jumping around and getting drunk?

(And to be honest, most of the guys and girls in the cars do not really look like they have fun, most of them are aggressively annoyed)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

TV

Tonight on TV: a documentation on management training with Llamas (probably including Ralf the Wonder-Llama), where a lot of managers brabble about win-win situations and other blabla while pushing around Llamas or being pushed around by Llamas.

And on Arte a documentation on Hemingway where somebody got crazy about seeing the actual toilet Hemingway used in Cuba.

For some reason getting crazy about Hemingway's toilet seemed much more normal and intelligent than the managers with the Llamas.

In other news: theres a rumor that the Erlangen Siemens people got a mail that they should't talk about the company on the local beer festival and always refer to the PR office. I think this is completely ridiculous and does exactly the opposite it was supposed to.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I completely forgot what I wanted to post. Bloody Alzheimer...

Besides that: 34 years ago there was the portuguese revolution. People were ready to die for their ideas. Nowadays we just grumple a bit and accept whatever our glorious leaders think of...

About a month ago our government wanted to introduce a law that fuel should contain at least 10% of bio-fuel. Then they discovered that about 10% of all cars cannot live with that type of fuel... This week they started a campaign to ban bio-fuel because it uses up crops which also could provide food. Hurray for a good foresight. Hurray for a consistent planning. Hurray for our intelligent leaders. (Just one example of many) Can somebody tell me how they actually made it to the top, please?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Timetravel

Portrait 1900

Today I travelled back to the Paris of 1900 to get my picture taken by Nadar.
And I want a steam driven Robot.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Interesting People

Sometimes you meet interesting people in the least probable places. Today I went to a saddler in Nürnberg to get his opinion on restoring the outer hull of the body of my DKW. He basically said I could spend a fortune if I want to and that he cannot tell how much it will be... But that's not the part of the story to tell.

On the way home I wanted to see how fast the DKW actually can go. On the way to Nürnberg I checked with a GPS that if the speedometer is at 80, I am actually going 65. On the way back I got the speedometer to touch 100 km/h, so probably I was going something like 80km/h. And then suddenly the motor stopped. Just stopped, did not move a bit. Starting the warning lights I pulled right to the side and started to look at the motor. A small motorcycle stopped just in front of me, a huge pile of luggage hiding the driver. The driver dismounted, took of his helmet and a guy with a beard like Santa Clause appeared. He was a homeless born in Thüringen, about 65, and basically told me the story of his life. He used to drive a DKW lorry back in GDR times, he collected motorcycles, he knows an awful lot about history, he had a living and was well integrated into a social network. And then the GDR ended and became part of the Germany of today... For some reason he lost his job, he lost all of his belongings and he ended up for some months in jail.

Talking to him I understood for the first time why people want back the GDR or even the third Reich. People who were not persecuted nor were part of the system, just ordinary people, actually nobodies. At these times it was ordinary people againts THEM, against the state, against the rich, against the establishment. There were networks, people helped each other to get along. As you couldn't get stuff via the official ways, they developed networks how to pass by offical channels. You couldn't get Diesel engines for your tractor in the GDR, so somebody who had still some pre-war Maybach engine hidden in a barn helped you out. Everybody was in the same deep shit as anybody else, people stuck together.

For some reason this ain't no more today. Everybody is now working against everybody. All these social networks collapsed. As you need to be successful and rich, you cannot afford to help other people. You can only be successful, if other people are unsuccessful. This guy is one of the many people who just lost. Not by their own fault, mostly. He had bad luck, he didn't fit into the system, he got divorced and at is odds with his family, he made some wrong choices. He just fell through the system and now he is living on the streets, no chance to get back into the system, no chance to get a job, no chance to get a retirement pension. He will go on on the street, until he sometime disappears with nobody remembering him.

It made me think. If you talk to people, a lot of them complain that nobody helps, that nobody says thank you if he recieved help from you, that there is no solidarity, no cameradie between people. Which is funny, as everybody gave up on solidarity there cannot be any solidarity. Why not just start to be nice to other people, why not continue to be solidary to your neighbours, to people who are in the same situation, to random people...

As for the motor: it seems that if the spark plugs get to hot they stop working. So after talking to the homeless guy for about an hour, the car started like a charm and I could drive home.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

History repeating

If this is the matrix, where can I report bugs please?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Disorientation

After about three months outside university I feel like I habe been living in the often mentioned ivory tower. A small microcosmos of a very peculiar species of people, all of them pretty much the same, all of them remote from reality, a very protected environment with a very small diversity.

As all of them, I still have no clue who I actually am, what I actually want, what is my goal in live, if there actually is one. Still I have not found my place in the world, nor the path I want to follow. Probably there is no path, but I also don't know that. A lot of people I meet seem interesting, some of the people I know seem boring at times. I think I am completely lost[1]...

A vague feeling also suggests that most of my friends who are not yet married and settled down - and even a couple of those who are do - don't have any clue what live is going to be. On the other hand, I also can't stand people who know by the age of 18 where they are by the age of 80.

I do have an interesting and well paid job, I do have great friends, who I really admire, I do have fascinating hobbies, I have seen quite an interesting part of the world, and basically I should be happy. But somehow something is missing... Probably this is normal. I should get used to it.


[1] I also know that I am completely drunk right now...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

How to wise ass when far from the intartubes...

This is the future, so even though I am still missing a jet pack, I can now carry a complete encyclopædia in my pocket. As I am not that into ringtones, the 2GB memory of my phone are not doing a lot (despite having a topological map of Erlangen and surroundings on it) - so to also help the nowadays much often experienced lack of Wikipedia-Access (how often have you sat in a bar with a bunch of wise-asses who cannot listen to a story without correcting the facts), I installed an offline copy of the german Wikipedia on my phone.

But besides that, a wise man once said: "Never let facts spoil a good story".

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Frauen

Frauen sind oftmals überrascht, dass man das Lenkrad voll einschlagen kann.



Ich glaube ja, dass seit dem der siebte Sinn nicht mehr gesendet wird, die Deutschen langsam aber sicher verlernen, Auto zu fahren. Blinken und denken beim Fahren sind irgendwie out...


(Thx Frunk für den Link)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Qualification

You Need a Better Degree, and we can Help!
Obtain degrees from prestigious non ac Universities based on you life experience.



That's right, you can become a Doctor and receive all the benefits and admiration that comes with it!


Strangely enough this spam flood started as soon as I finished my PhD exam... Maybe I should also get a title from a prestigious not-accredited university, as my german Dr. won't be of any use except to annoy medical.Dr.'s :-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beat Club



Just watching the Beat Club Night, recorded from TV sometime last year. The 60ies definetely had the best drugs... And back then you could be the dream of all young male TV viewers with a name like Uschi Nerke (the picture above shamelessly stolen from her homepage).

The co-hosts were Dave Lee Travis, at first working for a pirate radio station (Radio Caroline) and later the BBC; and Dave Dee of "Dave Dee, Dosy, Beaky, Mick & Titch"-fame. They had damn' good music back then.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

More Music

Soundtrack Wer früher stirbt ist länger tot



Brilliant soundtrack of one of the best german movies ever (if you haven't seen it, go and buy the DVD). Great songs, rock, blues, score music at it's best. And it includes parts of the dialogue like the famous "Dät'n Sie eventuell mit mir vögeln" - "WAS?" - "Also net..."

The Puppini Sisters - The Rise & Fall of Ruby Woo


Not as good as the first album, but still quite nice. Features "Walk like an Egyptian" in Swing Style... Generally nice, but badly produced, sound compressing at work.

Gare du Nord - Sex'n'Jazz


Very good Jazz/Blues/AcidJazz album of a french/belgian combo, very smooth and sexy. Shows that "Die Angefahrenen Schulkinder" were wrong (not yet proven, only a vague feeling...) For some reason the album appears twice at amazon, once for a normal price and once for f*cking expensive, without any obvious difference but a sticker on the cheaper one that it is Volume 1 of a series...

Herr Doktor

You may now call me Herr Doktor and I officially don't have to object anymore. Everything went well in my final exam and the only thing missing is now the printed version of my thesis, which I have to hand in in eight copies soon...

Besides this I went to a quite nice party in a students residence tonight where I again discovered that I am too old and too intellectual to actually chat up girls. They were actually quite nice and I would have appreciated any success, but most of them were still kids (besides being 25+). Very strange, indeed.... Maybe I should get more drunk at parties.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Gazing at the moon...

The Moon

Starting last week I am working at Siemens Healthcare now. I will be doing software and hardware quality tests for angiography x-ray machines and especially the ECG trigger module. And I still have to learn all the stuff for my final exam, which might happen friday in a week (no date fixed yed...).

The picture I took today from my window with the small teleskope I bought beginning of december when I started to learn stellar evolution and re-discovered that astronomy can be fun.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Future



As petrol prices rise and rise and might reach 200$ per barrel at the end of the century (please panic now, this is a radically new insight our national economics institute gained, independently from those nutcases who already said so in the 60ies...) some of our brilliant politicians start to think (time to run for cover) and want to change the energy mix (what a word) to use more nuclear power. I am all for it, let's build the Ford Nucleon! If we get cars with fins like in those of the 60ies, I am happy to sit 1m away from a reactor. Well, actually not, but I want fins! And chrome.

There will be elections soon, so the politicians here start to brabble even more nonsense than usual. I am always amazed how stupid they can be and get away with it, even get elected. Seems to be actually necessary, the higher they are the dumber stuff they brabble.