Results tagged “University”


Last Thursday I took the final step in my current education and science activities and finished the Masters' degree exam. This was the goal I've been working towards for the previous two years. Especially the last six months have been pretty tight on time as I have been writing my diploma thesis and preparing for the additional two complementary subject exams which are part of the degree exam.

Well, as the topic already gave away, I have succeeded and passed the exam. With that job done the only remaining duty for me at the University is to attend the Graduation Ceremony in mid-October.

As this now frees up my spare time from almost everything I've been using it in the last years, I can finally begin to flesh out the many small plans I've collected over the years for "the time after University". These plans are manifold and cover topics spanning from finally watching movie recordings over a reboot of sports activities to even tackling some electronics projects. Also more regular activity in this blog is on the agenda.

I'm still unsure on the order of the stuff I'm starting to burn the reclaimed leisure time. But I think I'm not in a hurry currently and may even continue to sleep late :-)

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It feels a bit odd. Knowing that I'm currently sitting in my last lecture. Really, the last hour of learning for my whole Masters degree. Whew.

What's left are of course some lecture exams as well as writing my thesis. And finally conclude it with the exam for the Masters degree.

The dates for the Master thesis and exam are either in June (I doubt that I'll manage that) or in September.

What will I do in the future with my now gained free time....?


In the past weeks I've become less and less active in the social networks I'm in. I'm not exactly sure why I'm currently leaning just to passive consumation of the information stream from those channels.

Maybe there is just to much on my mind. Maybe it's the other way around and I'm just trying to concentrate on some things while fighting procrastination with more our less success.

What has become more clear to me is that if I have stuff to do, it's much more probable to get done if I'm not alone but there is someone else around who also had work to do. One motivates the other. And while this approach is quite effective, at last for me, it is impossible that there is always someone available for providing mutual motivation when I need it until my studies are finished. So I still have to somehow manage to get my stuff done on my own.

Nevertheless, I'd like to thank those people who spent many hours on the past few weekends togheter with me working on our stuff and helping me with getting my stuff forward. THANK YOU!


This is the 6th posting in this year now. My output so far is quite below of what I expected from myself. While I blame stress and lack of time for that until the beginning of July, there should have been some time for an update since then. So the only thing preventing postings has been my own lazyness... Ah well...

Ok, what's changed or noteworthy in the last months? Maybe the most important thing for me personally is that I've purchased a new (used) car. I've been passively looking for potential new cars for quite some time now although I've been very pleased and happy with my car so far. But this time the costs for the required servicing and repairs approached almost 2k Euros without a guarantee that the costs will be lower for the next service intervals. So I decided to take the lemon, say goodbye to my old loyal and reliable companion and pick up something with lower regular costs. Welcome my new car, a blue Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 JTD Emotion with 90 HP. It's in excellent shape and I hope it'll be an as good escort as my previous Fiat which carried me over 180k km in the the almost exactly past 6 years.

The next noteworthy news is that this year I'm a contestant in the Zw�lfkampf which is organized by some friends. It is a series of twelve games where an overall winner is calculated over tracks of 4, 8 or all 12 games. The main event on Sep. 24/25th is preceded by some "sideevent" games in which I made a not too bad impression but they don't count for the finale ;)

Communication is the next topic. Back in May I purchased a new smartphone, the LG Optimus Speed (or P990 or LGOS/LG2X). While It worked for some weeks without a hitch at one day it began to show a very special defect where I could not place or receive calls when I'm registered in the 3G network of my provider. I borrowed some other SIM cards from different providers but the problem only exists with the network of mine. Since I'm denied service for it at my provider (it doesn't have this phone in its portfolio) I have to handle everything myself. Currently (yes, it's August now!) it's on its 4th trip to the LG service from which I hope it will eventually return completely replaced. The previous three times the device was only "serviced" and at one occassion the mainboard (without baseband module) and the camera module (wtf?) were replaced. Of course without effect. At the moment my seller and I are just hoping that LG just relents to sending me a new phone instead of useless servicing of the defect one.

On to the university stuff. Not much to report here, since the last exam in July and last hand-in also in July I pretty much left everything in a standby mode. But I'm warming up already as the next key-dates are approaching and there is still a bit of work to do, exams to prepare for and documents to hand in.

Some holiday-related stuff now. I took two weeks summer holiday at the end of July. Originally I planned to use that time to firstly do the car stuff and to finish building some concrete walls for a terrace behind the house. The car business took sadly longer than expected as my first seller let me down and sold the car to somebody other. I could get my hands on another one as you already read above and retrospectively this was a lucky coincidence as my first candidate car was not in an as good shape and more expensive. The wall works also could not be finished in these two weeks because the bricks we ordered took longer to deliver than planned and also it rained the whole two weeks but for two days.

And finally the work news. Project work in the company is running as usual with maybe some changes for me personally in the near future. But as it's not complete determined, this is all I'd like to say so far. After my holiday I returned in a modified team with three new people and it's still changing as soon one of our colleagues will change to another team and tomorrow we'll receive assistance with another new team member. Yeah, bit of change ;)

Well, that's it for now. I hope that I can raise my posting interval in the future again but I wouldn't bet on that as it didn't work in the past six months....

P.S.: Ah yes, I'm on Google+ too meanwhile. This time with my real name, those who know me are of course invited at any time to show me their presence ;)


Last Saturday was the last lecture of this term. There is still some work to do and some exams lie ahead but the stress has lowered a bit nevertheless. So far the exams and projects went quite ok and I hope the upcoming ones stay within the trend.

I have to admit, that I underestimated (again) the required effort for studying in parallel to my day-to-day work. It wouldn't have been such of a problem if my project environment would have stayed the same since I started studying. But it changed and we got very challenging projects which needed more attention and time than I expected. Today another project started which promises the same requirements, which would be sort of good because it plays in favour of our team. Nevertheless now I hope that I'm a bit better prepared for what lies ahead and I'm confident that I can pull through.


Yep, it's done. As said last month, I've finished my bachelors exam two weeks ago. Unexpected for me was, that I finished this whole degree with good success.

But there wasn't much time to relax because last week my next step in education happened, the start of the Masters Degree Programme for Advanced Security Engineering. I mainly chose this degree because in my opinion it is the final part which finishes my education in IT which is already going on for many years.

This degree will cover the timespan of the upcoming two years and I hope that I will learn even more new stuff about IT, engineering and even some management topics than I have learned during the course for my bachelors degree. The topics of this and last week were already very promising and interesting and the first exercises have been assigned.

Looking forward for new stuff :)


Yes, it's the final stretch of my current university education. On October 1st I'll have to pass the last and final presentation and exam of my bachelors thesises. This means in the upcoming few days I have to prepare two presentations and also have solid knowledge of my bachelors thesises topics. Furthermore I have to prepare for the third part of the exam in (again) another area of expertise.

At work I had also the chance to take over responsibility for the project I'm currently working on in the team while the project lead was on vacation two weeks ago. I've had some difficulties but I think I could manage them although I still have to gather some feedback on my performance during that time. What I already know is that I have to get a bit more organized during the activities of communicating with the customer, performing tasks myself, distributing tasks to others and keeping track of all new information and agreements during that time.

Last week I also have been to Germany and receive a training on a new hardware part which is introduced in a customers infrastructure and which we're integrating with our services. The time in Germany was quite ok but because of preparations for the university I had only few chances to have a look around in the city.


Just a lightning-fast update that I got a call last week already that there has been a seat reserved in the Masters course for me :)


Since I'm in the last few weeks of my Bachelor degree programme at the University, I've been applying for the subsequent programme. I've chosen to apply for the Masters degree in Advanced Security Engineering. For me this is just the logical consequence of my overall education path as it would conclude my technical progression over the last years.

Today I had the face-to-face talk with representatives from the University, which is part of the application procedure. All in all it was the same talk I had when I applied for the Bachelors degree. Just that I knew the interviewer, who in fact was the one who supervised my first Bachelor thesis, I knew the difficulties and challenges when studying and that I knew how I could organize everything together with my private and work life. And it was in English of course, since it's the main education language in this course.

I think it went quite well and it shouldn't be much of a problem getting accepted but who knows... have to wait for the confirmation.


Today we had to hold an official presentation of our project work and/or our bachelor thesis, which we're currently working on (or has already been finished).

I created the presentation over the time of last week and had it ready by Wednesday when we were required to hand it in for the official presentation preparation. The requirements were simple: it had to fit into exactly into an eight minute timespan and cover the basics, our goals and accomplishments of the work.

Again I tried to create a presentation which was interesting and fast-paced and covered everything essential of my bachelor thesis. According to the feedback I received I managed to do this.

I think the key for good presentations is that you intimately know everything in your presentation, each sentence and the order of appearance. It's also neccesary to have more in your mind to talk for each bullet to be able to talk about them and not just read them down from the slides and move on to the next bullet. For me this was not that easy because my retentivity skills are not as good as I wished them to be, so it was even more essential to practice the whole presentation a few times before, preferably even over the course of several days. And it's also important to not learn full sentences to talk but hang on to keywords and topics for each point you want to talk about. This allows you to speek freely and make a much more confident impression than hanging on to pre-constructed sentences. Furthermore, try to not stand still but move a bit, even if it's just a few centimeters.

Of course there are still many things to improve. This time it seems that I had problems with my gesture, keeping my hands below my waist several times which makes an insecure impression. But at least I got my Ahm'ing and Errr'ing right this time and kept it at a minimum.

Kudos also goes to all of my colleagues who held their presentation together with me. All of them were excellent, well prepared and within the given timeframe with only minor points of potential criticism. For me personally most notably was Ellla who I remember as extremely nervous and on the edge of despair when only thinking of having to present something about two years ago. Today she was just self-confidend, fluid speaking and well prepared on stage with only very minor traces of nervosness. One of the best improvements of all of us.

Sure, we all were extemely nervous before today. That's because we attended another presentation of bachelor thesises about a year ago (?) and we remember those candidates' presentations to be on the whole range from a Steve-Jobs-like presentation to almost helpless stammering (boy, this was really ugly at that time) on stage for the required length of time. And it was a much larger audience at that time because our classes were required to attend these presentations as a preparation for today. Today in contrast there were just we, our supervising teachers for the thesises and one or two more officials from the university. Small and well-known audience.

It's been a successful day for all of us, yay! :)


On Friday before my lectures started at the University I attended a guest-lecture of Prof. Rudolf Taschner at the [BG/BRG Kapfenberg[2]. The lecture was called "Rechnen mit Gott und der Welt" ("Calculating with God and the World"). The description in the invitation we received sounded quite interesting and because it was scheduled just before start of my real lectures I decided to join this lecture.

The content of the lecture was about how the mathematical basics have been invented and used by the stronger part of the cultures to keep suppressing the weaker ones, how it influenced the invention of writing and how it helped economics to develop.

The audience was mostly composed by 13 to 17 year old gymasiasts which in the beginning seemed to be not very happy with their presence at this lecture. But over time Prof. Taschner got their attention with really interesting explainations and funny interpretations and at the end of his lecture these gymnasiasts were applauding enthusiastically.

Never seen such young people been so excited about maths and history... If there were only more teachers able to explain their stuff like Prof. Taschner can.


As already announced a bit more than a week ago, I've published one smaller project from the University on Google Code. Now I'm proudly presenting you...


SIMsalabim is an Android application which allows you to manage the contacts which are stored on the SIM card inside your phone. Google Android itself has so far only minor possibilities to work with SIM contacts, it's just possible to copy the contacts from the SIM card over to the phone contacts and that's it. SIMsalabim adds the missing management functionality to copy the contacts between these two lists and also remove contacts from the SIM card.

Currently the project is in a usable state (and a preview APK package is also available here) but only tested so far on my HTC Magic phone using Android 1.6. Furthermore error handling in extreme situations (like a full SIM card storage) is not yet perfect. But I think it's in a state where it should cause no unexpected effects on your phone.

Nevertheless: use it on your own risk. It still may cause all sorts of bad effects and even harm your contact information. Just to be on the safe side ;)

Some documentation and usage instructions are available in the wiki.


I've already ranted about one of our lectures of this semester the one or other time. Today it has been neccessary once again for our C programming lecture that we sat together and I tried to create a rough how-to-do-it-draft for our lecture. It's been different to the first exercise we had to tackle in the sense, that it was more C-technical than the last time and until today I hadn't worked on a Garbage Collector, which is this next exercise.

Well, I tried to work on the problem by working something out from the rough beginnings to the near-implementation details. What we didn't cover today was everything which came near to the real implementation in C. Apart from the easy parts, function calls and list-handling, I have quite a struggle with the details. I don't want to dig deeper here but I can assure you that implementing even a simplified garbage collector in C is nothing I would assign to students which just have learned the easy basics of this language more than two years ago.

Nevertheless, I hope I could help my fellow colleagues a bit and that they now understand our assignment a bit better than after the explainations of our lecturer.

Next time we'll have to dig into the dirty guts of C... Yeah? :(


In my ongoing decision struggle where to host my project work I've now taken a little step forward and opened another project on Google code to try it out a bit more. Setup there has been relatively easy and fast and the SVN source code repository is also reacting well so far.

This smaller project is from another lecture on mobile computing and it will be an application for Android mobile phones. There is still some polishing for this going on as it is still not finished and yet to be rated for a grade by the end of this month. Nevertheless I think it's already in a usable state for experienced developers by now.

When this polishing is done and the application has also some more documentation and more error-handling, I'll post an introduction here. I guess it will be a nice addition to the Android software portfolio as there is not much comparable out there by now. But by it's nature it will only be useful for a smaller audience of Android users. More details on this soon...


Some time ago I've been thinking about where to make my project from last semesters project work lecture pubicly available. I'm still undecided between Sourceforge and Google Code but I'm leaning towards Google Code because I have participated on both platforms and my impression is that Google Code is easier to set up and maintain for smaller projects. And I think that I don't need the more advanced management possibilities from Sourceforge. Furthermore my last impressions from it have been that it has a more complicated interface.

The next thing I have to think about is under what open source license I should put the work. I do want to put it available for anyone but still be credited and maybe receive changes or enhancements to the source.

And finally I still have no proper idea for a name of the whole package. What I can already put public is that it's a piece of code which takes a description of a file-format and generates Java-code which parses files in this format into a defined data structure. I'd like to have a name somehow pointing into that direction but that's not a must.

If you have an idea or suggestion you can leave me a comment :)


Yesterday we had our second evening where we tried to cope with the teaching weaknesses of our lecturer. Since we already repeated the theoretical basics last time this instalment was mainly about diving in the code and trying to solve the different parts of the exercise.

For me this went not too well this time because we were stuck on an algorithm and altough I already had all puzzle parts of the solution in my head I couldn't put it together for a complete result. At least not in C code. I tried different styles of visualisation and drawings to sort my thoughts and wade through the logic but in the end one of my colleagues found a pseudocode solution on which we could use almost 1:1. And it showed me two things. Firstly I saw, that I've been already on the right track. And secondly it showed me the power of high-level languages. I mean I'm quite sure that a few years ago, when I still was working full-time on C/C++-code I could have solved this problem without much thought. But the comforts of high-level languages, all their frameworks and idioms, are so tailored to object-oriented solutions and splitting up the problems in small pieces that I'm not used to picking up so many different loose ends of a problem at once and combining them anymore. I'm very aware of the technological basics but I'm just not used to working at such a low level anymore.

I don't know if this is a good thing or not. On the one hand abstraction and frameworks make difficult problems easy to tackle with and one becomes more productive. But if those frameworks and abstractions are pulled away, many people (and now also including me) would have serious issues coming up with a solution. They know the theoretical path to finish the work but cannot translate it into actual code.On the other hand if there is hardware involved somewhere low level code has to be created to access the input/output and manage the data. On this level people are used to solving many problems by hand, over and over, just because they cannot use ready-made frameworks out of performance or space-constraints. But these people are unused to solving problems which span several logic units or business layers and I'm quite sure that most of them would struggle the same way if they would have to solve an abstract business-problem with workflows, rulebooks and similar frameworks.


Last time I ranted about one lecture where the lecturer is completely unable to bring the content of his lecture across. Nevertheless we have an exercise to work on and a goal to reach, even if most of us have not the slightest clue what it's all about.

As I've been developing in these areas already for more than 10 years (see the old rants in my blog from time to time), there isn't much of new content for me in this lecture and I'm pretty confident of my knowledge there. That's also the reason why it upsets me every time in his lecture how incompetent this knowledge can be presented. I tried a few times to unobtrusively help him out with "explainative" questions to enforce simple answers and help my classmates with understanding. But that's very hard to do all the time and I think he already set me on his personal do-not-like-list.

So we set up a private lecture event within our class a few days ago where I tried to recap everything from the beginning for my classmates and leave out all of the stuff we didn't need for understanding the basics and accomplishing the goals of the lecture (eg. how a parser/lexer framework works to process commandline commands). In the end I repeated all of the content in roughly one-and-a-half hours which were presented by our lecturer in more than ten hours. The only difference was that, according to my colleagues, it was presented in a way which was understandable. If it really turned out that way, I'm very happy with that. Of course I hope that my classmates were honest to me...

Events like these always turn my mind to thoughts if I should really consider to get active in the educational sector. Of course, as long as I'm in education myself, there's no way to do something like that aside from tiny parts within my class itself. But it'll surely stay in the back of my head for the future...


In the last semester we had one lecture where we leared lots of stuff except the things the lecture was intended for. Eventually we managed to get through and we thought that this was just an exception to the common way of teaching here.

Well, we were wrong. This semester there is another lecture where the curriculum is quite clear about what to learn in the exercises but instead our lecturer now tries to teach us all the stuff around these core knowledges which we don't really need but are time-intense and complicated anyway.

What adds to the problem is, that all this stuff is not in the programming languages we've learned so far but in another one (C). Therefore it adds anoter level of complexity.

I hope somehow that we'll find a way through this lecture...


Since it's already time again for a new post and I have currently nothing interesting at hand, I'd like to just let you know that now it's the first day in this winter where water in its frozen aggregate state is falling from above (formulated that way to justify that I've been called 'nerd' quite often in the past few days :P)

In other news, the first iteration of our project for the university has now passed and from my perspective it went extremely well. The teams performed quite good, there haven't been any notable problems and in the end all our goals for this iteration have been met. For the upcoming iteration our lecturer already announced that he wants to distribute the work differently to enforce more conflicts between the teams as he already intended for this first iteration.

But I think our approach to keep the teams in their own "area" at the beginning to let them get comfortable with the development environment, the development style and organization of the project is better for us. That way the less experienced learn how a project can run if there aren't any large obstacles to overcome and aren't demotivated too early in the project. Later on, when they're already up to speed with the development they can be faced with other new aspects of project work like conflicting changes and more intense synchronization between the teams.


Maybe someone still remembers my announcement from June that I want to make my project from the University available to the publicity.

Well, finally the marks arrived and since it's positive I've got the permission to open it to the public. Back in June I wanted to put it up on Sourceforge but since then this site has changed its appearance quite a bit and now I'm not sure anymore if it's the best place to make it available. In the meantime I've also made some experience with the Google Code platform and that's not so bad either.

Furthermore the current name is not very "catchy" so I'll also try to come up with something better than "SableCCTest" or "Dynamic File Parser".


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