Tuesday, December 27, 2005


So, I am back at work. The whole institute is empty (deserted is a better word), so less distraction. But while I was away they replaced my LCD display. It was fine so far, but the got me even bigger one (1920x1200), it's huge. How I am supposed to use my CRT (15'') at home ever again???

I like it ;)

Friday, December 23, 2005


I finally graduated (which means that I had my defense). This is in particular great, as I do not need to work for it anymore in the nights - OK, now I work for my current project in the night :P

But at the moment it is good to be home again to step back (while still working), before I have to go back to Saarbruecken right after christmas (still not sure what I will do at Silvester).

The project is getting better day after day, at least I step by step learn how to control it in a better way.

Merry christmas to all out there!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Stupid software

So many things can stop you from finishing a task: Software that will not do what it is supposed to (in this case time out after some time). Or there seems to be a bug you cannot track down (in this case a piece of software that should simulate a tcp connection and misbehaves for a bunch of host). Even worse, if the operating system behaves madly (in this case probably firewall settings that slow down ssh logins and showing strange behavior in tcp flows).

My work would be done for days, but so, I still keep fixing and searching bugs all over the place instead of preparing an awesome talk for Monday to finish my thesis finally :(

Thursday, December 15, 2005


This year is completely different from any one before. Even more is this advent time, while I am still happy how many things work out.

It's hard but I am still on the top!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Work, work, work

It happened today: I worked more than 12 hours (after 11 hours yesterday). This is insane, but will probably help with a lot of things (one is that I get my work done :P). Chocolade and christmas cookies help to survive over the day (the best season of all!).

Friday, December 02, 2005

It's done

I just put the first of my pictures on my wall. Time to celebrate! Let's see, if the next one takes again a month...

Thursday, December 01, 2005


OK, it was pain before in 2004, but it turnes out that Planet-Lab is probably worse today. Took me the whole day together with a colleage to find out why Planet-Lab will behave totally different to "normal" Linux servers. The code was already hacked to work on Planet-Lab, but now I have to redo it tomorrow (an even uglier hack).

There's a lot going on and some friends are really nice to me recently (and I am ashamed I cannot find the time to realise all my idea I have in mind to give back some of the good things they do for me). I am working on it though, and also all the other "important things" I postponed will be done soon... ;)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I had to postpone the beer until tonight. But this time I will definitely drink it. I will send in my thesis tomorrow morning *YEAH!*

Update: The thesis is sent in and the beer was really good :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Stress and bad mood

OK, this Monday (yesterday) sucked so much. As I worked all weekend (including the nights) on my thesis, I was in a bad mood and some things that happened around made me really upset.
At least, the day ended with a long phone call to a friend of mine :)

Tuesday was much better: I WILL finish my thesis today, there are only a few corrections left (and there is already a beer in the fridge to celebrate this great moment). Furthermore, I surprised my supervisor today by being way ahead with my work. Good to hear a "good work"! Same seems to be true for my thesis so far.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Java and the magic JNI

In fact I like Java: No segfaults, the compiler spits out helpful errors and so on.
But at the moment I am forced to use JNI (Java native interface), to access some dll functions from a Java app. As some might know (as Andy does ;) ), this is real pain. Although everything compiles just fine, the JVM will spit out stupid errors which leads you to the wrong places to look for failures. PAIN!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Coming to an end

It's a pain to do "normal" phd work (mainly JNI, what a pain for itself) and finishing your diploma thesis in your leisure time. But finally, it looks like it's coming to an end. 2 or three more evenings could be enough to finish and correct the last few chapters.
Preparing the final talk and the German abstract (which is simply a joke that I have to do it) is then the last finisher before graduating finally. Until that, it results in less sleep for me :(

Friday, November 11, 2005


So it happened today, I am officially no more a citizen of Baden-Wuerttemberg but of the Saarland. Feels a little sad...

Monday, November 07, 2005


So it finally happened. It was some hard work to move all my stuff and furniture, but my dad, roommate and I handled it quite well. Although all the stuff is still lying around on the floor until I will find the time to store them somewhere, I am ready to start eventually living in Saarbruecken and will be able to host guests. ;)

Also I managed to get my Internet to work (and detect some router missconfiguration after hours of search and pain). Still a lot to do though...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Accommodation finally

It's finally done, I found a shared flat! I will move in next Saturday. My flatmates are a Frenchwoman from Paris who studies law and a German who studied psychology and is now looking for a job. More to come...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


So I am back from the SOSP conference which took place in Brighton, UK. Weather and food were really British ;)

I met well-know people from Cambridge which was a very nice reunion. Furthermore some new "friends" from CMU, Cornell and especially MIT. I appreciated the conference a lot (and wine, beer and company).

Oh, yes, by the way, there were also some interesting talks (although not so many networking stuff).

Now I am just back in Saarbruecken, Germany and still have no accommodation for the next month. This will be a pain in the ass for the next days and week.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Annoying things that turned out to be nice

The institute's secretary is giving me a hard time. In the first place she promissed to handle that conference stuff (going to the SOSP conference next week), but suddenly she made me registering by myself. But even worse, today it turned out that she did not book a flight for me and assumed I would do that by myself. Bottom line is also, that she is not here today.

Fortunatelly, the second secretary supported me really nice, booking the flight for me (as it is just too late the flight to London Heathrow is no business class!).

This week is full of trouble and I need a lot of strength to handle it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


To cycle in Karlsruhe is pretty nice, no hills, everything is flat. That's different in Saarbruecken. The university is approximately 5km away from the city and there are several hills on the way (while the way back to the university is worse than the other way).

Today I cylced twice (!!!) to the city to visit two shared flats. Each way in less than 20mins, not bad, not bad. Both flats were nice, I hope to get one of them...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Saarbruecken, finally

I finally landed in Saarbruecken. I have a nice, big and bright room in the MPI guesthouse. Work starts tomorrow and I am excited about it.

We have great weather here. A nice autumn, much sun but already cold. I took my bike today to learn more about the surrounding areas (the guesthouse is on the University's campus which is 3km away from central Saarbruecken). The landscape is pretty, good for nice walks.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Programming lessons

After I hacked approximately 4500 lines of C code lately and cursing the compiler for not warning me when I again write to memory I have not allocated before etc, here is the point where I am happy that gcc will warn me at least if I do really big crap with my pointers.

This does not help in finding the weird causes for some segfaults, but nowadays I am happy with so little...

Monday, September 26, 2005


So it happened, I am sitting in my room in Karlsruhe, the blackboards are empty, the walls are blank. On my desk just a paper and my laptop and the fate to work my ass off to finish this thesis right on time (will it happen?).

My best friend and his wife will drop by on Wednesday for my farewell party. And on Thursday then I will leave Karlsruhe and move home for the next two weeks before work starts in Saarbruecken.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Moving and iTunes

Two things finally happened: I moved my stuff from Karlsruhe back home before finally moving to Saarbruecken in October. And I bought my first song from iTunes!

My dad came by last Saturday and we packet all of my stuff into the van. Man, a lot of stuff. Unfortunatelly I found no shared flat in Saarbruecken so far. I hope I have better luck when I am finally there.

"The Wallflowers - Empire in my mind", a really cool song. My first-time iTunes download and it was really easy. I think I will go on using it from time to time for single downloads when I do not want the whole album (which I still buy as a real physical CD).

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

So much pain

A lot of pain the last days (and more for the next few days at least):

- Finding a good health insurance (lot of work)
- Finding a nice and not too expensive shared flat in Saarbruecken
- Debugging and auditing my C code (pointer hell)
- Working while it is so nice and hot outside (it is also hot inside BTW)

As I might solve the first two problems, the latter two will be with me through the next few weeks. God help me!

Thursday, August 11, 2005


A lot of things are going on these days and I am pretty busy.
So I will take the phd position at the MPI. But it was hard to decide.

But now I have to work hard for my thesis. Finally I fixed my simulation today, I hope I hit the last bug. And I have to write the first chapters of my thesis while doing the first experiment and start programming the second simulation (the important one). But I learned again: C is a real big pain.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Today an eMail arrived from the Cambridge graduate admission board telling me that my application will be processed as soon as possible. I sent in the application more than a month ago BTW - wow, they are so fast.
But this is just a good moment as I will decide where to go today or tomorrow.

A new album by Heather Nova will be released next Monday. I am really looking forward to this one :)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

New energy

I was member of staff for a excursion organized by the church. This means 4 days supervising and teaching 39 kids (between 12 to 14 years old), 4 days planning events and lessons - and of course 3 very short nights (not much sleep).

Although I was a little bit tired on Monday (main reason was that I need to get up at 6 a.m. again to catch a bus and the train back to Karlsruhe), I feel like after a recreative vacation. In terms of my spirit it really was.

So there's a lot of work to do for my thesis, mostly programming. And waiting for news from the MPI...

Monday, July 18, 2005


I just came back from Hamburg. There was a student football competition (mainly mathematicians, but in our case also computer scientists). Surprisingly, we made the 5th place, stopped in the quarter final by a penalty shoot-out.

Hamburg is pretty nice, we saw a lot of the port and walked the Reeperbahn. Weather was a little cold, but fine in the end.

A lot of work is waiting for me now, there's a talk today introducing my thesis and I have an interview on Wednesday at the MPI :)
And on Thursday the next excursion till Sunday (again no work possible during this time). So I have to hurry up to get my job done and to make good for some sleep.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Coding pain

I am coding for days now. Bad thing is, that the code I have to alter has no comments at all. But finally I am on a good way and I got more insightes into the pointer hell. I will be glad when this pain ends finally.

Monday, July 11, 2005


I got less than 4 hours of sleep last night. And plenty of work today, because the next two weekends are again booked out by non-work things. Now I need some more coffeine, the first cuppa from (first) breakfast is losing its power. So more tea now, and a piece from the cake from my granny :)

Friday, July 01, 2005

B hell, C hell

I was right, I found today a bunch of serious bugs in my code (all pointer related). At least I found them without the need of a compiler run. But it sucks.
Give me back Java (although I do not like programming, even with Java), it's easier than C at least.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

C rising and :)

I got to that point again where I think I understand C pointer - although I do not! I will learn this again when I first compile the programme :(

On the other hand I am a step closer to finish my applications, I got a long awaited letter of recommendation just today! :)

And third: My new inline skates are great fun! :)

This makes 2:1 for :) Good day :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Did more sports recently and my Inline skates are crap.
I bought new ones today (surprising also for me).
And so: More sports, yeah.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

run down

Hmm, I guess I run down my Inline Skates. I need to buy new ones next week (which means to me: Mission impossible).
I worked on a presentation about my thesis and started my phd proposal (start means I wrote down some ideas which forms now a random blobb of text). I hope to get this done this week.

C programming starts now, will suck, I am pretty sure.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Up and down

Hard time at the moment, things looking bad yesterday are greatly solved today. Praise the Lord! Good idea and focus helps a lot, too.

Wheather is gorgeous again, although I have to sit in my room and work (mainly code review and some writing). But in the evening there's time to do some sports to recover.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Work in progress

OK, I forced it, but now I have to work: For my thesis and for two applications for positions where I want to start my phd. So a lot of work to do - and the weather here in Karlsruhe is getting better and better. But I have to stay focused on these goals...

Friday, June 10, 2005

Work done

Instead of working on my thesis I did some different work today.
I fixed a bad hang up of the Linux graphic driver of my notebook, which occured when I tried to watch a movie. And my IRDA port is online now, finally.

Hmm, but this was not the work I need to do...

Sunday, June 05, 2005


I recently have to think a lot about my future (the near one): What do I want to do, where do I want to live - at least I seem to have a choice and some opportunities. And the chance to start something great and new.

This is a little freaky and scary, but I still have trust and faith, so what should go wrong?

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Summer showed up in Germany these days. It more than 30°C hot since Thursday and I give my best not to leave the house. Although I will so this evening, going out with a friend of mine for some ice-cream.

But the best part will be tomorrow when I have to attent a festival thing with my wind orchestra wearing a uniform (long trousers, long shirt, jacket), walking through the heat for at least an hour. The broadcast station bringing this event to the local TV set the rules - man, what jackasses.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

MSN drop(ped) dead

MSN messaging stopped working for me yesterday, support in my instant messaging programm Kopete is broken due to server updates. I am not sure when I will be back online, it's hard to get the sources and they have not fixed it yet.

So, contact me in ICQ or ask me to run Skype ;)

P.S. MSN is online again, the kopete guys fixed the bug pretty fast. More astonishing, Debian managed to publish a new kopete package just a few days after that. Nice work, guys.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Working time

So what's wrong with that: After fighting hard to avoid thesis work, I did a big chunk of it tonight (coupled with a glass of great Talheim red wine - from my home village). OK, I teXed some pages this afternoon, but the rest of this week: Almost nothing countable.

I need to work on that, really.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Some fun

I went to a nice and free open air on Saturday to have some beer and of course a lot of fun (great live bands). This open air event was arranged by a local brewery which resides in a inner-city castle (not just on castle hill like the famous and beloved pub in Cambridge) and they served more than 10 different types of good German beer.

So, if you ever stay in Karlsruhe in summer, this is definitely one sight you should not miss (also without the open air taking place)!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

What's your life about?

I spend some time tonight to rewrite my resume. As I am open to work in Germany or abroad I had to do it twice: In English and German. But I think it is quite OK now.
Your life on one page, sad thing by the way. Although this is just a very small part of yourself...

Saturday, May 07, 2005

More communication

Finally I got a headset today, so now I am able to use skype. But for some reason I could not get the microfon to work. After verifying it was not broken (on a second PC), I tried it again in the laptop and managed this time to plug it in properly.

It's always a plugging problem, but we will never learn to check for this first.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Finally, the design of my new Website digital-tea.net is almost finished. I uploaded the project pages tonight.

Although I am not happy with the look of the left menu, I pretty much like the rest. Feel free to send me your critics. :)

So, more tuning for the left menu and I need to write a fancy front page.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Finish Line (part two)

I just got the grade from my last exam (which was even better than I thought). Yes, really, the very last one, so there is just my thesis separating me from graduation. After two months and three hard exams.
A big leap towards the finish line.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Finish Line (part one)

Busy days, tomorrow is my last big oral exam I was learning for the last weeks.
I am happy this hard time is over, so I can start building up my new website (digital-tea.net) and so on (my list of postponed things is pretty long).
So cross your fingers for me tomorrow!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Upcoming music

About a year ago I watched the Movie Magnolia and was fascinated by the soundtrack - written by Aimee Mann.
At the beginning of May she will release her new concept album The Forgotten Arm. If you follow the link you can prelisten the whole album on her website and hear the story of John and Caroline.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Making music

I started producing some sheets of music after arranging for quite a while. Although there are some nice tools for composing (I should have a piano for that but there's really no room here and I cannot play piano anyway) and writing music for Windows, they are either too expensive or just not usable for printing.
So I am forced to split it: Composing in Windows and then switch to my beloved Linux box to write it down for printing.
And the latter step is really outstanding, writing music with Lilypond is so fast and nice and produces professional outprints. I love it!

P.S. BTW, this will be a full score for a wind orchestra and I hope the orchestra I am playing for will play it within the next few months.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

End of it

Yeah, today my account at my (old) institute I used to work for more than two years was deleted. So that's the end of this era.

Hmm, now I should really start to build up my new page. But I still lack the time...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Nice Jazz

I found some nice Acid Jazz - by the way made by Germans: Tab Two.
Relaxing sound, great trumpet, good tune while learning ;)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Monday, March 21, 2005


I started running again. Like I did during my time in Cambridge I try to run every day for half an hour. Did I mention I hate running? ;)
I do a lot of reading the last days, for my thesis and for my upcoming (last) oral exam in Robotics.
And this also means I have to take some kilos of paper with me back home at Eastern.

P.S. Running is still boring and stupid, this will probably never change. :(

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


It's a bright day here in Karlsruhe, after weeks of snow we have now 21°C and sunshine.
So this is my starting date, after doing my last written exams the days before I have now officially my thesis topic:
Mobility Enhancements to an Approach for Structured Overlay Routing in Wireless Mobile Ad Hoc Networks.
What a title (not my idea, though), it will take some time to memorize it. But now I am on my way...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

We always knew it

What will happen if we find out that plants have feelings? More concrete: What will vegetarians do? They stop eating meat because of cruelties against animals. Fair enough, but how cruel are we against vegetables?
This website shows all the vegetable cruelty (and remember: vegetables do not have a mouth to scream!).

Saturday, February 26, 2005


How great are radio headphones?! I can go into my kitchen or even to the toilet while listening to my music. (never tried the shower, but despite the water it might work, too)

But it's still hard to calibrate them to get a crystal-clear tune...

P.S. When I put on my headphones tonight, I could hear the sound output of a different set of radio headphones (I guess the guy was watching "Alexander"). Audio sniffing, here we go.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Snow's in town!

News from the warmest town in Germany (in fact Karlsruhe, where i live!):
It snowed a lot tonight. OK, not a lot but quiet a lot for Karlsruhe.

snowy karlsruhe

That's the view from the window of my room. There's normally not much snow around. But it snowed all night. I was at a mates house and walked home around midnight through the snow, a really great feeling.
A sledge would be great by the way (and apparently a hill, but there's none in Karlsruhe).

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Freshly brewed and infused

After a long time a finally decided to open this blog, parallel to Andy's.
So, look forward to this place, where I will put all my pain and comfort in.