Results tagged “Personal”

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.

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Surely you all know this situation. You hear a song or some tunes and within moments your mood just changes from whatever to what the song is about. For me this does not happen very often, maybe just a handfull of times a year or so. And most of the time it's not even a new song but one which you already heard in the past and which you are somehow mentally connected to. Maybe it not only reliably triggers a certain mood but also some memories, good or bad ones.

My personal repertoire of such "mood music" is not that big but maybe the connected emotions, moods and memories are more intense because of that. And I think it's perfectly ok that way.

For example one of those songs is High from the Lighthouse Family which instantly brings up memories of the first girl I've fallen in love quite seriously. Well, as many teenage affections this one was not returned and faded over time. But still, it was the first one. I don't know exactly why it's that song but I think I can remember it being played in the background when I had a close moment with that girl. Or another unrelated example, Das Boot from U96, the one song/melody which got me into listening to 90s-Techno and other electronic music.

I think the last week has proven that I probably can add another song to my pack. It's Madcon's interpretation of their own song Glow for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. Altough I missed most of the show, I accidentially tuned in for this break-filler. And boy, I didn't regret. It took me totally unprepared and after the almost eight minutes of happiness overdose my not-so-great mood from the last few weeks has vanished and I've too been infected with an almost euphoric and happy state of mind. And it's still that way today, even although I've listened to this song now a hundred times and I guess it will keep that way for some time.

What's strange though is that the full effect only hits if watching the video, especially in HD. Maybe it's because it's cutting and choreography is done so that you really see only happy and excited faces for eight minutes and there are so much details in the pictures that you can watch it often and still discover something new and funny. Perhaps its long enough and re-watchable enough so that the presented positive mood just seeps deep enough into your subconsciousness.

But in the end it's completely irrelevant how it works, just that it does! What about you, do you have any similar songs on your mind which are able to turn you completely around?

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It took quite a long time since the last major progress but now there has been another milestone reached. Yesterday I finally decided, after lots of thinking and measuring, which washing basin combination I'll take to finish off the last missing piece for a 100% functional bathroom.

A sample picture of the combo and how I ordered it (I hope this link lasts):

Pelipal Roulette 09

One catch still, it takes about six weeks until I receive it, the delivery is scheduled for July 5th. But then it'll be great :)

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Just a quick posting. Not much happened since last time. Maybe just the fact that a cooling water thermostat in my car was fixed and now the engine reaches proper operating and heating temperatures. Apparently this fault already was present when I bought the car and so I didn't recognize the weak interior heating to be a fault of the car at all. Nevertheless, now it's working and nobody has to freeze anymore when being driven in my car.

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A few days ago I've still been undecisive about Twitter and today you can already find my Twitter feed online at http://twitter.com/kosi2801.

Setup was easy and fast (of course) and the first tweet has been online in a matter of minutes. What took a bit longer was to sieve out the initial list of other people to follow. There's a massive amount of stuff which is interesting to me but many of those also have a tweet-frequency which is much to high for me or contain too much of the trivia-tweets that I've mentioned in my previous post. And I want to keep my Twitter-list at a reasonable size that I don't have to spend too much time with catching up all the tweets. The decision for each feed is not easy, does it add enough information-value for me to add their tweets to my list or does it add more noise?

For now I've settled on feeds that only add a handfull of tweets each day so I can scan over all the news in a few moments and process the linked articles (if any) also quickly. But I also know that this will take some tweaking and accustoming from my side to find out the right balance between interest and value for me.

Since I'm on Twitter now only for a short time I also have to find out how I should set up my tweet-frequency and the content in each. Currently I think it's mostly exactly the trivia I'm trying to stay away in other feeds but I hope that I will level out somewhere that other readers also get some information out of it for themselves.

Futhermore I've decided for now that I'll keep my feed in German, as this is much easier for me to tweet when I'm posting from mobile and don't have an English dictionary at my fingertips (which I use too often even for my own taste). But nevertheless I will respond to tweets and messages in any language I can understand :)

Maybe over time I'll also connect this blog and SIMsalabim to my Twitter feed as it provides a very quick contact possibility for feedback and questions. But I don't know yet if this will happen sooner or later...

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For quite a while now I'm having an eye on Twitter. In the beginning I soon stopped to check it regularly because most of the messages just were meaningful in a context unknown to the reader and weren't even useful as short amusement or something. Nevertheless from time to time I still looked into it especially when there were links from other blogs or news articles centering around it and its technology.

Meanwhile, while there are still lots of those low-value tweets around, some effective real-world uses have emerged. Ranging from instant news (even directly from the NASA Astronauts) to direct product support channels and even political content there are nowadays a lot of Twitter feeds which can affect a much larger audience than just personal messages. This is also represented in Twitters message question which now says "What's happening?" instead of "What are you doing?".

And because of this shift in focus and content I'm again rethinking my opinion of Twitter and really considering to join this social network. Which would also open an additional communication channel to the users who try out SIMsalabim.

But I still have to think about this a bit because currently I'm already drowning in all the news-sources I've set up on Google Reader, FeedReader and email, SMS, IM, etc. I'll already have to find some time in the future to re-check each and every feed and news-source I've listed and sift out the ones which I can really afford to spend my precious time on. And I guess with another source of instant distraction, like Twitter, this wouldn't get any easier...

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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.

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From time to time there is just the need to calm down and chill out a bit. If I'm in the need of some cooling-off-minutes I often just fire up another tab on the browser and head to the video below. It's an ultra slow-motion footage of a Saturn V rocket launch underlaid with a very fitting soundtrack.

For me it is just impressive how much power is generated during this liftoff and what quantities of fuel are burned each second (15 tons each second). To get a size impression just have a look at this image where Dr. von Braun is standing in front of the five F-1 engines from the rocket.

If you'd like to have a technical commentary on a Saturn V launch then head over to this video (Update 2014-01-27 new link to Vimeo), otherwise lean back and relax with this one:


via videosift.com

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Today, while I've been shopping, I've been asked by a poor-looking teenager on a parking site if I had some spare coins to buy something to eat and drink. Usually I'm not reacting on such questions because most of the time these people spend the money on alcohol or other drugs. This time I gave him 2EUR. I don't know exactly why I did it this time, maybe because he clearly said how he wants to spend the money. Nevertheless, I gave it to him and entered the next supermarket, not thinking about it anymore.

Imagine my surprise, when he entered the supermarket just a few minutes after me and coincidental he queued just behind me at the cash desk. And he really bought a softdrink bottle and some sandwiches. And later back on the parking site he came up to me again and wanted to return the change.

Somehow gives me a warm feeling around my chest...

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So that's it. 2010. Feels somehow not very different compared to the last decade, only with more global worries. Maybe it's also because I'm now older and even more interested in the stuff going on globally than I've been ten years ago, but I cannot really tell. Hm, at least I'm still as busy with school as I've been ten years ago...

Nevertheless, I hope you have all arrived well in this new year, and I wish everyone only the best for the upcoming future.

Happy new Year :)

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As the title says. Not much has happened since the last posting. Christmas has been a bit stressful with several attempts of appropiate gift-finding and driving around followed by a quite nice Christmas Eve. On 25th I felt a bit sick followed by massive down-ness yesterday and a bit relief today. I hope the trend continues so that I'm healthy again soon.

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Yesterday I began leaving off the ankle stabilization I've been wearing for quite some time now. Walking without artifical help now feels very strange again. But what's more irritating is that many of the tendons and ligaments in my foot are now shortened and I have a very limited field of freedom compared to my healthy foot.

I hope that by leaving away the stabilization these shortened ligaments will be expanded again. But again this will take time and until then I have to take care not to overwork them or I'll be risking to rip them again before they are flexible enough again.

Btw.: Thanks Ellla for the ultra-short-term invitation to your self-made Oktoberfest yesterday. Saved my evening and lifted my mood :)

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Simplest possible DVB-T antenna
Simplest possible DVB-T antenna
Originally uploaded by kosi2801

As I've recently purchased a new large LCD TV-set which also has abilities to receive DVB without additional devices I found myself in the need of also having to get a DVB-T antenna. I did a short test-drive with a borrowed antenna from my parents but was not too satisfied. There was a proper signal quality but it was far from what I expected. I'm living in direct line-of-sight from the DVB-T broadcast antenna, which is only a few kilometers away, so I should have an outstanding signal quality. But it was just a bit below average. Stable enough for uninterrupted TV viewing but nevertheless I somehow didn't want to buy an expensive antenna to just reach average signal quality.

So I began researching a bit why there was such a bad receiving performance despite the more-than-ideal conditions. As it turned out, DVB-T antennas which are available in the shops have (of course) been designed to have receiving abilities across the whole DVB-T broadcasting bands (UHF and VHF). But since in each area there are only a few channels used these allround-antennas are not the ideal solution for everyone.

I found several guides how to build a specialized antenna fitting for the used channels in the area but since I'm living in the direct proximity of the broadcaster I did a fast try with a simple setup. Just cut off a piece of thick wire from some I had lying around (according to the measurements I found here) and stuck it directly into the antenna-plug of my TV set. And surprisingly I immediately received the targetted channels with even better performance than with the allround-antenna.

I still want to build a proper antenna with correct shielding but for now this works excellently. And I'm also planning to try making a better performing antenna (a "Doppelquad-Antenne") to improve the reception in border areas. If I find the time to build it, I'll let you know.

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Currently I'm trying to make some subtle enhancements to this web presence. If you experience any inconvinience, let me know in the comments.

One very visible change will be the new top box in the sidebar, titled Common, containing all the common stuff which are part of a blog. Like the new About me page. Or a proper tag cloud page, which is not yet visible because of an unknown reason, as it is present in the blogs templates. But I'll sort that out sooner or later.

A new section Similar Entries on each entry's page now lists also blog postings which may be related to the current one. As this is determined by an automatic process I still have to look if it matches my expectations.

Furthermore some tweaks here and there but no changes which are big enough for a separate announcement.

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Mask too big
Originally uploaded by kosi2801

Yesterday I joined some people in a paintball match at paintballaction.at. Since I already played a few times (one time here, one time at another company-event) I instantly agreed to participate when I was asked by ellla1981. if I'd like to play.

The match yesterday was quite fun. We've been eight people, split into two teams and I've been the only one who has played before. Altough it had rained the day before, yesterday the weather was fine and the places where completely dried up. There were two fields, a smaller 35x30m and a larger one with 70x30m. We started with some matches on the small one, which had some obstacles and covers, and switched to the greater one with forts and trenches later on.

In the end all of us were a bit exhausted but everyone was happy and would join another event if we manage to organize one in the future.

Bunny also wanted to join us but had to skip this chance when during equipping with the safety masks we found none which fit him. Some more impressions from the event are visible on my flickr-set.

Afterwards I went to a barbecue where I impressed to cook a bit when I emptied my plate which he filled with three chops, two large fried sausages, and a pile of chewabchichis. Added some bread, some salad and a few drinks and this made a nice conclusion of the day.


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Past Monday finally I handed in one of my term papers for the last term. It has been quite a bit of work but it's now over at last. Just in time, so that I can see how the good weather is over and my plans to do some cycling will probably vanish in thin air.

Just one paper left for university to correct if I find the time. Its not mandatory, as the mark in that subject is already a positive one but it could be much better if I didn't disagree with the professor on some topics in that paper. He gives much more importance on form of the paper than on actual content. For example I gave the different work-packages short-names similar to their project phase, but the professor criticized it being not aligned to the "standard"... This standard was mentioned during the course but never stated as the definitive guideline. Oh well...

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As today is my last day of my current vacation block, here is a quick overview of it.

Most of the time I spent on the term papers which so far needed much more time as I'd initially expected. It's not that I'm unable to understand it but rather that I'm unable to formulate the knowledge in my head in proper sentences which I could write down.

Nevertheless I found some time to also do some different activities altough not as much as I would have appreciated. I've been to the cinema a few times, I dug out my bicycle from the depths of our storerooms, I've paid the city of Linz a visit and also the Ars Electronica Center there which runs science and art exhibitions.

A bit of minor work here and there and that's been the roundup of my vacation. Nothing too exciting this time as the university stuff takes up a lot of time even in the holidays...

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The upcoming two weeks I'll be on vacation again. Originally I planned to perform some sports but by damaged ankle voided my intentions. Nevertheless, I've had a talk with the doctor of my employer and he suggested to start easy not with running but with cycling in about two weeks. So I'll be preparing my old and dusty bike next week, maybe purchase a helmet, and start off easy in my second week of the vacation.

Furthermore I was told that in about 2-3 weeks I could also carefully(!) begin with badminton again. Carefully means, that I should only be going for throwing the shuttlecock back, making targetting exercises and so on, but not chasing every hit or jumping around to reach hard to catch hits.

In these two weeks I'll also have to work some more on two term papers to finish off this term.

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Well, yesterday I had the second appointment in the hospital to check the current shape of my ankle. As I had expected, I could hand back the crutches I got for the past week. Instead of this I got a stiff fixture on my ankle which allows me to move almost normal again but prevents tilting my foot and causing additional ruptures to my damaged tendon.

Of course I've got the expected additional constraints. I have to wear this fixture for six weeks and after that I should stay away some time from indoor sports, which usually are fast sports with high forces on the feet. Instead I should train the muscles to support my foot stability and lower the risk of future weaknesses.

But I was also told that after some additional resting time from now I can also start with easy sports, like running, to shorten the recovery time a bit. Or at least to make the reentry into sports not that sudden with the end of my ankle-stabilisation phase.

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After reading this Time-article about cursive handwriting I thought a bit about my own handwriting style. And I think I can confirm that. When I learned cursive almost all of the handwritten stuff which was written on notes, papers, signs and elsewhere was a clean cursive style. Nowadays my own handwriting style has changed to a strange mixture of cursive and typed letters. I personally even have problems controlling the casing when I write by hand. I have no problem with casing when I'm typing with a keyboard but when I hold a pen in my hand I begin to mix up uppercase and lowercase from time to time. I don't know why, but I cannot get rid of this. Furthermore my handwriting is comparable to the handwriting of a doctor. It merely reminds me of what I wanted to write when I wrote it down. But it's not only me, I also recognized this degraded handwriting on many people, even some younger ones who have not such a long time from their learning phase.

I already thought of improving my handwriting by practicing from time to time but other from readability for others I found no practical reason to do so and that's why I didn't come around to do so until today. But maybe I'll find some time...

(via Lifehacker)

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