Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ireland day 1: Dublin (part 1)

So here I am now, in Dublin.
Flight was relatively relaxed, only few turbolences. I was a bit nervous before departure that I have forgotten something important so I would be taken off the plane in the last minutes, but everything went fine.
Isa recommended the three days ticket by DublinBus, the local public transport company, because I'll move to her tomorrow. I had some issues with the ticket's RFID chip, it was damaged so it could not be read. Luckily the bus from the airport(line 747) has its first stop at O'Connell Street, directly on the opposite side of Dublinbus headquarters and exchange was quite easily.
You have the possibility to get a "Freedom of Dublin" ticket for 24 € for adults and 13 or 14 euros for Students. With that ticket you can go on the dublinbus sightseeing and normal bus lines and drop off at any place you like. However, all desired places can also be reached by foot easily, so in my eyes you should think about it twice. As the ticket is valid for 3 days like mine (I paid 13.50 €  without the sightseeing feature) it is only worth if you either want sightseeing by bus or go to the outer regions.
After arrival I went to "The Times Hostel", which is a footstep away from Trinity College. On my way there I passed the O'Connel Bridge, which is wider than it is large.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Holidays in Ireland

Readings free time at University Dortmund is nearly over, it ends on 10th of October, but I still had to take some of the holidays from work, so I decided to spend part of the time into a one-week-trip to Dublin and Leixlip, a small town in County Kildare, Ireland.

Let me mention I never made such a trip before. Of course I've been traveling by plane a few times, but always with friends or family. Now I'm flying alone the first time, to a country I rarely know except from the news or wikipedia. I'm not scared, in contrary! I'm exptremly curious what I will experience and a bit nervous, to be honest.
So, I'll take the plane from Frankfurt Hahn Airport here in Germany to Dublin at 29th September and come back on 5th October. I'll stay one day at a hostel somewhere there,for approx. 15-20 € a night. I only once slept in a hostel before (in Munich) and I guess this will be interesting ;)

From Thursday on Isa, an Au-pair and good friend which I know from my old school, invited me to spend the rest of the days at her. She is a really kind, funny and lovely person(you know, that kind you can phone with five or more hours at a time and never get enough) so I'm very happy that we will finally meet again after 2.5 years :)

I don't really know what exactly will expect me either in Dublin or in Leixlip at Isa, so I'm very curious about all this holiday thing.
From what I guess Isa and me will have a lot of fun, because we have a lot of things in common, so I am very glad we have contact again since a few weeks.
We will see :)

Well a few things I know fore sure: In Leixlip it will be about 10-15°C outside temperature, with wind and rain, Guinness beer(I can't get enough of this wonderful stuff!) and the mysteries of different kinds of whiskey which will reqire some personal research, including an intensive case study...

Hopefully I get the opportunity to post some pictures and experiences omy f trip in here, so hang on!


Friday, September 03, 2010

Going AdSense-free

Hello everybody,
some of the best ideas you can get by just cycling.
So while cycling home, I thought about my blog, what to write and about the adverts, too.
When I started blogging, I thought it would be a good idea if people can show they like my blog by clicking one of the adverts. The point is, this did (expectedly) not work out for me and to be honest, I like your personal feedback more than any money.
Plus, I discovered AdSense and Google Friend Connect lets the page load in about 6 seconds and I hate nothing more than slow web pages.
So, to protect your privacy and improving your reading experience I removed all adverts from the page. Now it takes 3 seconds with Firefox and 0.5 with Chromium.
If you love my blog, just feel free to leave me a message or comment, you'd make me very happy by doing so. Nevertheless if you think you cannot be thankful enough, just feel free to have a look at my whishlist on Amazon :)

Hopefully you are now able to really enjoy reading this blog, plus I have a little candy for you: You will not have to wait much longer for the next post, only a couple of days maybe!
So just have a visit here from time to time or directly grab the RSS feed from the right column :)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Upgrading to KDE SC 4.5

Recently KDE SC 4.5 came out and as I always try live on the cutting edge of software, I tried to update it which first ran me into the fact KPackageKit wouldn't update half of the whole KDE.
I found out by some googling(shame this became a verb! Forestling should become one...) that the reason is that the kubuntu-ppa might contain older packages than kubuntu backports, so the solution was to just disable all source which were no kubuntu archives.
For upgrading just add
deb lucid main
deb-src lucid main

into /etc/apt/sources.list.d/kubuntu-backports-ppa using your favourite editor or KPackageKit and run sudo update apt-get update (KPackageKit does that for you automatically).

If you are lucky you just have to run
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

If this does not work for you, just try alternating those two, eventually with the -f parameter until everything is installed and then reboot.

I discovered today that the ibus package wasn't installed, too so I installed it and run ibus-setup. We will see what that brings :)
KDE SC 4.5 runs a bit smoother, but sometimes it consumes peaks of 20% of the 1.8 GHz CPU of my T42p (which is still a good laptop :) ).
Have fun!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

On a short word: Printing using an LPT port over network

Recently I damaged the JetDirect card of my HP LaserJet 4050, because I accidentally drawed the network cable in the wrong direction, so the plastic cap an the card holding the cap broke off.
As a new card costs about 20-30 Euro, which I as a poor student simply do not have, I had to solve the problem otherwise. I discovered that my desktop computer doesn't have a LPT port anymore, but the laptop does. So I alwas printed using that laptop.
Now I thought, why don't access the printer via network, as the laptop is running all the time? So, to do it as easy as possible I simply installed samba, uncommented some lines in /etc/samba/smb.conf, hacked some 'restart smbd' in the terminal (the Samba start script was switched to upstart) and just selected the now shared printer on my desktop pc (which runs on Win 7 again -.-).
Plus now I can easily exchange files between laptop and desktop pc. Horray!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Upgrading the T42p to Ubuntu Lucid Lynx (10.04 LTS)

A week or so ago I upgraded my IBM ThinkPad T42p(which is a very good laptop for a (now) very fair price of ~400 Euro on ebay) to Ubuntu Lucid.
Upgrade ran quite easily although the upgrade application had some visual bugs, but everything harmless. I hadn't enough space left on the first try, so it was time to delete some "garbage" applications (a good moment to do so :)). A big minus was that you cannot leave the installation unattended because sometimes windows pop up asking regarding this or that package. Okay in a way this makes sense, but why isn't the installations first simulated? The user could be asked for decisions which are then remembered to go through the upgrade process silently...

Well, after everything was done, I rebooted. I counted from splash screen on and didn't came to 10 until the login screen showed up.

First thing I discovered was that the backlight was dark and if setting to maximum via function keys, it went dark again after a while. Luckily I'm not the only one with this issue. Found a temporary fix on some ubuntu forum and everything is fine again now :) I also removed the PPA version of Firefox and Thunderbird to install the stable ones(much better regarding Firefox - I once had to use Opera for 3 weeks!) and everything is running fine again :)
I even discovered that Rhythmbox is a very good and nice replacement for Wine + Foobar 2000 (which runs nicely but has no "from system to playlist" file drag & drop). One thing it lacks of is silence skipping.
In foobar there is a plugin where pieces of a track are skipped if they are below a volume level (e.g. -48 dB) for a certian time, which is really useful for tinier DJ-ing. You can put a 10 seconds crossfade and a 3 Second silence detection for below said -48 dB and foobar could become a good replacement of a hundred bucks audio software for smaller parties.

Next thing to do is to extend the home partition on LVM, it is running out of space with no chance to save some any more....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Amplifiers and ground loops

In the students home where I lived, a bar was openened yesterday and I had to put some professional audio equipment there which I lend from a good friend of mine. It was a very big success and my first time I was the DJ, but people sung and danced 8-)
Because the whole equipment, means the amp rack, 2 top speakers and one huge subwoofer of exactly the size of an ground loop. I assume my computers power supply unit is responsible for that (its been actually 20 Euros, which was really cheap for 420 Watts some years ago).
Today I luckily found a very nice solution around this issue: My work laptop does not produce a ground loop, so it is predestinated for a PC to amplifier rack connection. On my main PC I use foobar2000 (there is no good linux alternative and sadly, I'm on windows again for some reason). So I found edcast which is capable of streaming to Shoutcast and IceCast from foobar(it's actually a DSP plugin). Because I hate Winamp and Icecast is OSS, I used the latter. Now it nicely streams my foobar playlists to the VLC media player of the laptop. Theres a control delay of about 5 seconds, but regarding the point that the audio gets ogg encoded and VLC buffers 1200 ms, I'm really fine with that.
Now the whole students home has to listen to the music I like, it is very loud in my room now. I even changed my IM status message to "Students home now listening to [track] by [artist]"...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Goodbye Windows, welcome Kubuntu

Yesterday I discovered that my Windows 7 RC1 reboots all 2 hours(which I already had expected) and there was a Kubuntu 9.10 CD lying on my desktop. As I successfully use it on my company's laptop with no issues, I decided its the right time to install it for my private everyday use, too.
Said and done. But after installing the nvidia drivers plus a dist-upgrade, KDE won't show anymore and I discovered it was not 64-Bit. Jens recommended me to try Kubuntu Lucid Lynx (10.04 beta 2) and now I am a really happy and satisfied Kubuntu user.
The installation process itself was quite laggy, but finally it worked fine, including current Firefox and Thunderbird (yeah, finally 3.0). Before I did anything other, I searched for proprietary graphics drivers (for my NDVIA card) via the "Hardware Drivers" utitly of KDE. Surpise, surprise, everything already set up and running fine! WLAN - no problem. Sound over S/PDIF - no problem(just push up the digital device in Multimedia settings for all media types).
When it came to S/PDIF for VideoLAN player, it costed me some time, but finally I just tried setting the sampling frequency to 48000 and it worked fine again :)
Then a pidgin here, a KsCD there, all fine.
I even installed a really cool game called Kobo Deluxe (a 2D space shooter) which ran without any issues!

It came me into mind that the (K)ubuntu logo, the nice-looking ring, could be a wedding ring: Once you get first familiar and then married with Ubuntu Linux, you won't be able to betray it - it's just to awesome to really going back to windows :D
Besides Windows 7 costs about 85 Euro for Home Premium with nearly no usable software(okay except Media Center maybe) and with Ubuntu (and other Linux distributions) you can get everything for free, can take a look at the source, report bugs which are quickly solved in most cases and there's so many free software available in places where the appropiate windows replacement would cost hundreds of dollars. Just think about The GIMP vs. Adobe Photoshop...

Just COOOL! 8-)

Thursday, April 08, 2010 or how I learned to really love

In a recent post I wrote about the new client and combo stations(plus some technical details in the last one).

What is a combo station? A combination of radio stations, which are coonnectable by using "and", "or" and "not" (plus some nifty extra options, I'll come back to that point later on).

As it took always a very long time to create those combo station urls by hand, I wrote a nice application(which seems to be stable, but also may contain bugs). So I'd like to introduce you into, as I call it. Written in pure Java, using NetBeans(too bad it's not eclipse, but NB has the better GUI creator :P) and the best thing: GPL license(with the restriction of non-commercial use) and source included :) Note that the API bindings for Java by JRoar are used, you can also obtain a fresh copy from

But I guess you came here because you want to listen to combo stations, so click the link below(sorry for hosting on RS, had no better place atm):


You can run it via "java -jar ComboFm.jar" from the ComboFm/dist/ folder from your OS console. (Hopefully a linux distibution :P)

For Windows users:
  1. Create a file named "runComboFm.cmd" inside the folder to where you unextracted
  2. Open it with Notepad(right click -> Open With -> > Notepad/Editor)
  3. Paste the following code:
    @echo off
    java -jar ComboFm/dist/ComboFm.jar
  4. Save file, close Notepad and run the file by double-clicking on it.
  5. Have fun ;)
If I'm on windows again, I'll add a starter app :)

Usage instructions
Basically you just select a station type on the top left, select or type a value at the combo box beneath and hit "Add->". If you want to change the logical connector, you can just select the station on the right from the list box and select another(like 'and' or 'not'). Thereby, you can ignore the 'or' of the last item(tiny UI bug, doesn't affect the result). Don't worry if you added a station by mistake, you can just hit "Remove" to remove the selected station from the list.
Now let's concern with the sliders and the checkbox at the middle left.
Mainstream controls the amount obscure/mainstream music you want to listen to(left = 100% obscure, right = 100% mainstream). Setting this to 100% obscure will result in an interesting station.
  • Repetition steers the repetition rate of the artists.
  • Discovery switches discovery mode on or off.
Now just click one of the 'Copy' buttons.

Web browser url:Paste direcly in your browser's address bar and hit return.
Radio client url:Listen to the station with your favourite client.For desktop client, paste the url in the text box of the player's start screen(where you tune into stations) an hit play.

My Personal opinion is that combo stations drastically improve the listening experience of the radio, even if you only play with the sliders you can listen to very awesome tracks you didn't knew yet or of which you forgot the name a very long time ago. Good Job, I really love it!

And to you, dear reader:
Happy listening! I hope you enjoy right in these minutes.

Note: Combo stations is a pre-alpha feature of, so you take the consequences if you use for listening to these stations! I am not responsible for what you do and cannot take any risks resulting in the usage of

Combo station urls

In this blog post I'll tell you how to create combo station urls. station urls always start with "lastfm://". For combo station urls, an example might look like
See that long character string after rql/ ? That is just simple Base64 encoding and RQL means "Radio Query Language". If you'd use a decoder like this one,it will decode to
tag:pop not simart:"Lady Gaga"
So, there are key-value pairs and logical connectors (valid ones are 'and', 'or' and 'not'). The above query means "play everything in direction of 'pop' tag, but not Lady Gaga's similiar artists". I think you got the idea...
The point I did not mention yet is that there are some nice options available. Let's change our query a bit:
tag:pop not simart:"Lady Gaga" opt:mainstr|0.55 opt:rep|0.6 opt:discovery|true
Huh? Lots of opt(ions)! mainstr stands for "Maintream", where the value range is from 0-1(0% to 100%). The less the value, the more unknown artists will occur in your station. Same goes for rep(etition), but in this case you can control the artist(or track?) repetition rate. I think "discovery" is kind of self-explanatory(discovery mode on/off). Here you got a nice table with names, values and descriptions:
user[username]personal station
library[username]a users library
loved[username]loved tracks of user. After Nov 17 2010 this station is not available anymore!
rec[username]recommendations for a user
neigh[username]neighbour radio of user
ptag[tag of user]|[username]Personal tag radio of a user. The '|' is NO or!. After Nov 17 2010 this station is not available anymore!
playlist[playlist-id]A playlist station. Use user.getPlaylist API call to get playlist id's of a user's playlist. After Nov 17 2010 this station is not available anymore!
adv[username]Play a user's mix radio.
simart"[artist name]"Similiar artists of an artist. Keep the quotes around.
tag[tag]Global tag radio
group"Group Name" or [groupid]Group radio
opt:rep|[0-1](default: 0.5)Specifies the track repetition, means how long it will take until the track is played again
opt:mainstr|[0-1] (default: 0.5)Type of tracks played(obscure to popular)
opt:discovery|[true|false] (default: false)Discovery mode on/off
Note that the options are all optional and thus have a default value. Connect name and value with a ':', except for the opt: values. If a value contains a space, it must be enclosed with double-quotes(""). Known Issues
  • Discovery mode is subscribers only.
  • In the Base64 RFC specification there is a space after 76 characters in the encoded string. Apparently the web and the desktop client cannot handle this space, so you have to remove it and everything will work fine.
Have fun with constructing the urls and implementing it in your app!
Very much thanks to Norman (nova77LF)(glorious creator of the Radio Query Language) for clarification on some points :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In short: The advantage of no power

In the second week of this month I went to munich again, because working together in the office with Jens and Manuel is much more fun than sitting there alone.
Somehow I forgot that USB-cable I usually use to charge my cell phone, so it ran out of battery after a few days. Since then I was very astonished how I good I can live without it. The reason for this might be that mainly used my cell phone as a (alarm )clock with telephone/SMS functions. First I used KAlarm to wake me up with my favourite music, but this wasn't very energy friendly(okay I want a beach right in front of my appartment in Dortmund, but not THAT fast :P), so I bought a normal alarm clock which can receive the time signal of the atomic clock in Frankfurt(its signal range is over 1500 km, so you might be able to receive it as well). Purpose was that if I travel around putting batteries in and out, I didn't want to have to set the current time each time and it costed about 8 € which is a fair price.

Since the batterys got no power, I do have it, means total control over when I want to call, to whom and so on.
This is real freedom! I just love it :)
Maybe I should buy a wristwatch and put the cell phone away (nearly) forever...(and the secret services would not be able to trace me anymore....big brother is watching you ;) )

Donations, plus and a few words about Jesus and religion

Yesterday I had some my kind minutes and I donated one month subscriber to a good mate in New Zealand and was happy about doing so. Not that I am not a very friendly and nice person, but I love to make other poeple happy.
Today I was thinking what to write in my next article and I thought "you always wanted to donate some money for a good purpose".
So, why didn't I do it before? Lets shift that question a bit for now.

First time I made thoughts about donating money was about 2 years ago. I was in 12th class at german high school and in religion classes we read a really awesome book called "Was würde Jesus heute sagen"("What would Jesus say today") by a german politican called Heiner Geißler. From this book, a learned many things and thanks whoever I read it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Testing the next generation client

Note: The software shown is in pre-alpha status and might change any time.

This morning I was just wondering what to do with this wonderful day. So I had a great breakfast with some cooked eggs, a cup of coffee, some corn flakes, watched some TV and took a bath afterwards. But what to do then? Start a new Java project...uhm I coded all week long, but the sun does not shine that much outside.

So lets install the current client from github. At this point, a big green plus to the programmers at for putting the whole desktop software of the git repository(which includes the radio player, too) under GNU General Public License. Thats awesome!
Looking at the Network graph, I saw that eartle has the most recent version. As I am not familiar to git yet, I lauched a console and typed "man git" and read the manual of git.
Afterwards I did
mkdir ~/lastfm
cd ~/lastfm
git clone git://
So far, so good. After trying the normal compile way (./configure && make) I ran into some errors.
I read the README's, installed the missing packages and additionally I got liblastfm via "git clone git://". I compiled the latter(you have to install some additional packages) and gave the client a try. It failed with an error that "boost" could not be found. I googled a bit and did
sudo aptitude install libboost-dev
Eventually you have to install boost-build, too. Tried again, failed again, this time for something called "yajl"(Yet another JSON library". Too bad the package is only included in the new Ubuntu 10.04. But I did not want to wait one month for the next version, so I downloaded the source via
$ git clone git://
I compiled it, then switched to the lastfn-desktop folder and compiled successfully:
cd ~/lastfm/lastfm-desktop
Then I tried to launch "./_bin/radio", but it did not find some librarys. I guess the way I fixed it was really dirty(copied the required librarys to /usr/lib) and I will undo that and try a better way next time.

The client

From console, I ran
cd ~/lastfm/lastfm-desktop/
_bin/radio -stylesheet app/radio/radio.css &
Main window
Main window
It has everything to satisfy your needs. Looks quite simple, but is very effective in functionality.
Hybrid stations
Hybrid stations
You can mix up up to three different stations, like your recommendations, Meat Loaf's similar artists and the contents of a plalist. Awesome feature!
Hybrid stations advanced
Hybrid Stations advanced
If you check "Show options" you can connect your selected stations with words like 'and','or' and 'not', so you could do something like "play my radio station and the chillout tag, but not Lady Gaga".
Now playing
Now playing
Shows the currently playing track, has all needed buttons. Tag and share are inside the dropdown arrow at the lower right corner.
Station settings
Playback options
More popular or more obscure? You decide. You cannot only select the popularity of the artists you want to to listen to, but also how often they should repeat(in percent).
The tagging window
The tagging window
The tagging window is awesome, you can drag tags directly into the text box on the right. Too bad it currently always displays the wrong track.
About window
About window
So do not tell me I would tell you fairy tales ;)

One word on functionality before finishing: The client is still pre-alpha, plaback often just stops, stays silent and then continues after a couple of minutes.

As I am a curious guy(especially regarding the API), I wondered about those lastfm://rql/somelongstring URL's in the console output and took a look at the source(horray to GPL :) ). What I disovered? Its the station url for the hyrbid stations...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Testing Java HTML parsers

A few weeks ago I had to code some data export for which I had to test the speed of a bunch of Java HTML parser/cleaner libraries to have a valid XHTML output.
Jens proposed me to publish the results here and I thought that would be a really great idea.
At first, I'd like to present each one to you first and hopefully give some useful pieces of information on them. "Maven" means if the library can be found in the Maven repositories.

Jericho HTML-Parser

License: Eclipse Public License/LGPL
Maven: Yes
Has many features, like recognizing PHP tags and is easy to use.


License: MIT License
Maven: Yes, but only the "old" builds
JTidy is tiny and pretty fast, can output wellformed XHTML.
Has bad internal exception handling(lots of empty catch blocks!)


License: BSD License
Maven: No
DOM based, supports XPATH(really cool). Has a good bunch of confuguration options.


License: Apache Software License
Maven: Yes
Good, fast, seems to be famous


License: Apache 2.0
Maven: Yes
Parses HTML and provides a SAX handler. Entry class is "Parser" to which a custom SAX handler can be given.

HTML Parser

License: GPL


License: LGPL
HotSAX looked pretty fast, but according to the homepage it is still in pre-alpha stadium, so it was not useful for my task.

Java Swing HTML parser

Comes with Sun Java.
XHTML is a more strict form of HTML 4.01, but this parser only supports HTML 3.2, so it was not in question for my purposes. Just wanted to mention it here.

Cobra: Java HTML Renderer and Parser

License: LGPL 2.1
Major plus of this one is that it is capable of parsing js and CSS, too. The browser is a good start(my admiration for that project!) although it fails all ACID tests. But nevertheless, this hasn't to say anything about the parser's quality.
One con is that this library is really slow.

Mozilla Java HTML-Parser

License: Mozilla Public License 1.1 (MPL 1.1)
The setup is not really suitable for a multi-developer setup so it fell out of the test selection.

Test results

Task was to load a predefined, really errorneous HTML document and select all <a> tags.
I used JUnit tests for each parser/cleaner and the measurement was taken ten times, while the first one was skipped due to the compilation time.
4Jericho HTML150±59

Jtidy is listed before Jericho HTML because it had the better deviation.I first used HTMLCleaner, because its advance in time was really big. The problem was that it couln't handle some of the real input data. HotSAX was pre-alpha(although the results are very good), so JTidy was my next choice as I needed reliability. I had not a single problem with it, it works really fine.
Last point to say is that the results of the Cobra parser are very bad...

Jens is working on a website so I can provide you the testing source code, I will put a link to there when it is online.
If anyone is interested in more detailed statistics, just contact me and I'll put them here.

As someone recently has begun to work on JTidy again, I'll try the SVN version soon and tell you the results in another post, promise! I hope they improved the exception handling.
Have a look at this piece of code:
public Node parse(InputStream in, OutputStream out)
Node document = null;

document = parse(in, null, out);
catch (FileNotFoundException fnfe) {}
catch (IOException e) {}

return document;

That's gruesome, isn't it?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Icons, Limit by Frank Schätzing

Today I tried to create some nice icons for twitter and for "bookmark this page", one with a bird, two with t's and one with a star inside. Especially the star was kind of difficult, as the icon was 20x20 pixels. If you try to center the star by it's top peak you are either one pixel too much on the left or the right side, as you need an odd number of pixels to do so(if the star's most top pixel should be centered).
While trying to draw a star manually I occasionally used Google for "gimp star" and found the Gfig-Filter, which can create some really nifty shapes using vectors - and a "create-a-star" button was there, too. Currently there is one major drawback: The lack of a zoom function. I tried using Kmag(KDE Magnifier) and it was useful, but if you try drawing on 20 px, the mouse cursor covers larger parts of the image. Luckily there's already a ticket on GIMP's bug tracker :)
The result was acceptable, but I had to solve the centering problem and make some corrections. The solution was quite simple: I took the raw shape of the star and made the peaks 2 pixels instead of one, so its peaks got round.

After breakfast I went to my grandparents and because these visits sometimes can take longer than expected, I took the book with me which I recently bought in Munich. It's called "Limit" by Frank Schätzing and only costed about 26 Euro for 1300 pages. I only read ~150 of them until now and - truely- this book is awesome! The main plot takes place on 2025 and is about harvesting He-3 for power generation using nuclear fusion. As always, the facts Schätzing presents in his book are very well researched(plus a realistic extra candy of science fiction like in "The Swarm" and respects most recent political developments like Barack Obama supporting green energy.
This book is really awesome! Currently no english translation seems to be available at so I could link to it, too bad.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A few words about myself

My name is Tobias and I was born on 26 Oct 1989. I currently live in Dortmund and study physics, but my heart still is in Remscheid(Germany) where the discoverer of the X-rays, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, was born.
Physics is really fun to me, because all physicans are staying children and love to play(including me).
There's just another point to mention: I love programming, mainly Java and Visual
Most people think physics and informatics are unrelated to each other, but in my opinion that isn't really true. In both you have to solve problems in a strictly logical way. Because I code since I was in 2nd class of elementary school it really formed my way of thinking this way, to have a problem, split it into tiny pieces, reduce it to something simple and then just solve it. Same way as you do in physics, too.
The bad thing about physics is that in moste cases it is way to expensive as a hobby, but programming is not.
So I stick with programming. I currently work for a small, but really great software company called headissue which develops for a ticketing page for events in and around there using Java. The work there is very much fun to me, although the problems to solve sometimes could drive me nuts.

Privately my main interest is for and its API, so I'll post here about that from time to time, too. My main projects are, a .net library for the API and LastFVS.
LastFVS is something similiar to Google Moderator, but way better. It was annoying that there were feature requests in the web services forum but no overview and no vote counter was available. LastFVS perfectly fills that gap, offering a good voting functionality, login via account and a comment functionality which supports some BB-codes, too.

Hope you will visit my blog from time to time, I promise that I'll try hard to present you an interesting mix of (mainly technology, programming and related) topics :)
If you'd like to, you can also subscribe to the atom feed of this blog. If you are using Firefox, the FeedSidebar add-on is a good point to start with.