Saturday, July 31, 2010

Public Transportations

That is something that I rarely use. Not because I always take the car or never leave my home, but rather because every place I have to go is usually quite accessible with my bike. So I ride that.
For some places, though to none of those I (have to) go in regular intervals, I take the car instead if I don't find it easy enough to take the bike. Or sometimes when the weather is bad or I have to take along stuff that I couldn't safely transport with my bike, then I too resort to the car.

Also noteworthy is that I have no car of my own. I mean, I don't work yet (so financing it would be .. a little hard) and as said, so far I can go everywhere by bike. The car I take otherwise is one of my parents two cars.
This of course implies, that the car is free at this specific moments and that I am not away for too long.
This seminar I had was neither easily accessible by bike, nor could I take the car, so public means of transportation were called for.

As I said, I don't use them often. The internet supplied me with a quick search for when to take what train and where I have to change trains so that I can arrive in time.
Sadly I was dumb enough not to read too carefully, and upon the only change of trains I catched the wrong one. Without noticing.
Shortly before the final destination it was called out, that the train has to halt some stations before, because of some renovations and that instead a rail replacement service will be provided.

For simplicity I will call the final destination city FD (as in Final Destination), the one I got to with the train X and the one I had to get to D (as in Destination).

I got in that bus, which drove me to FD. This city however was not where I am supposed to be. I thought that the bus might have skipped my destination and looked for a train back to X, though I could not find one.
I phoned the organizer of the seminar, reporting that I will get there a bit later. The woman on the phone also told me, that I was in a rather small city and it would have been better if I'd have 'stranded' at some other city like X instead. She proposed taking a Taxi, though I wouldn't get that money back (since I am forced by law to take this seminar, I can recollect the money I needed for the travel).

I saw that the bus I came with was still there, so I asked the driver if he knew how I can get to D, though he didn't even know that city. The bus is circilng between those two destinations (FD and X) and I was like, hey, that woman said that I can get to D from X, so I took the bus back again, looked at the train plan and violá 10min. to go.

I waited 10 minutes, but there was just another train in the wrong direction. I looked at the plan again and found out, that this specific train only goes on weekends. Damn.
Though a little further was another going to D, also driving workdays.
So I waited again and finally arrived at D.

With a small detour I got where I was supposed to go, just in time for lunch. Since I reported that I would not arrive in time, there also weren't any hard feelings.

As I got there the second time (since I was able to go home on the weekend), the mistake became clear to me.
I looked on the Internet again to find out if I did something wrong and checked at that point where I had to change trains and, well, it turned out that I took one train too early.
This time I took the right one and arrived with no difficulties on time.

This experience made me much more confident with using public means of transportation.
At the first ride I felt kinda insecure and was worried that I'd take the right trains 'n stuff, but you can easily just check the plans - or if you really do get lost somewhere you just look how to get back to the next bigger station, since most likely you'll get a train to your desired destination there.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So what have I been up to?

This post will briefly go over the productive stuff I have done while not posting in my blog.

I have been going a little bit further on my Linux-port of ViruZ (e.g. I now know where I left off, fixed some issues, but still have startup-bugs).

I took a new look at D, specifically version 2, which specifications now seem to be written down. I've written a hello-world program in D2. I'm looking into using a D-compatible version of OpenGL (I couldn't find no pretty API; I'll probably be using DerelictGL) and possibly port my C++ ViruZ to it for some unknown reason. Seriously though, yes it will further delay ViruZ, so I'm looking to get a working demo of it in C++ first and then port it. The demo will have less features than promised in some earlier blogpost.

And most of my time has gone into a virtual-filesystem using PhysicsFS and a fancy, threaded content-loader; threaded as in loading stuff in the background (unless specifically instructed otherwise) so you can have animated loading screens or possibly loader further content while the game is running. This and some more for Solace.
I must say that I do very much like it, though some parts have been almost driving me mad (damn templates :P). It also not as pretty as it could be, but it does its job well.

Solace is a project I recently joined. You can read some stuff about it here. You can also look for the devs in #solace-dev on freenode (IRC).

I've been using Doxygen to write a documentation from inside the code via especially formatted comments.
I don't like it too much, but it's probably the best way to approach it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Traffic Jam

You might notice a slight similarity in this and the previous' blogpost titles. That is because I wanted to merge those two at first, but - as you can very well see - I seperated them.

By Traffic Jam I do not mean the actual traffic jam, but much rather a musical event here in my home town.
This year was my first attendant there, and I have gone from it with mixed feelings.

I think most of it was rather enjoyable. The music was mostly fine to pretty good. I expected more metal than punk, but I was informed that this actually was the case the last time. It was contemplated that the event might have become more main-stream and thus less 'extreme' music was voted in.

Anyways, this was also my first time dancing proper pogo. I enjoyed it very much, and it was quite a bit more tiring than I thought. I'm looking forward and dancing it again.

This also brings me to my next point: I feel uncomfortable with 'normal', more traditional dances. One band, Russkaja, animated the people to do this kind of dance in one of their songs, while I prefered to - and also did - stand still. Two friends of mine tried to actively get me to dance, but I resisted.
Needless to say that I felt quite out of the picture.

Another negative point is the loss of time. I usually listen to music in the background, while doing something else. Other than that I use it to pass the time faster when waiting for something.
One might argue that two days - which were not even completly spend at that event - might not be much time and it is okay to enjoy oneself. Well, I did do so, but within two days much can be done. As the proverb has it "Live everyday like it is your last".
Not to say that I am a working machine. Frankly I am not. I would probably have spend quite a while playing Unreal or something if I wouldn't have attended to that event.

So in conclusion, parts were fun. It was defentially worth the experience.
I left a bit money there, but you have to give some to get some.
There were akward and unconfomiting moments, and some I enjoyed, though I am a bit hard for that on myself. In the end, the time lost will probably not matter - I don't even know if I might have spend the whole time being unproductive anyways.
I consider going again in two years - the periode from a year was increased to two years due to personal constraints of the organizers - if the lineup sounds right.

P.S.: As you could see, I had no internets there :-( Though I got back for the weekend :-)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Internet Jam

My Internets has been quite unstable the last two weeks.
Here's a output I got from pinging Googles primary DNS Server, which I used to see if some site was down or if we were offline without having to check the router:

--- ping statistics ---
12350 packets transmitted, 7864 received, +2340 errors, 36% packet loss, time 12383330ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 28.203/37.691/255.649/17.831 ms, pipe 3

The errors main occurred when we were restarting the router, which would often help to get some Internets for a small timespan.
Sometimes just a minute, sometimes a few hours.

It seemed to have gotten better the last few days.
We already sent a complaint to our provider, but so far they only replied with a bunch of questions, some of which the answers were actually contained in previous E-Mails, some questions where I wonder why they matter (e.g. what OS we are using) and some legit ones.

I'll be going on a seminar for two weeks starting Monday about the civilian service I am doing. Dunno if I get Internets there to write more posts.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Most Remarkable Album On This Entire Planet

It's actually to late to give a shout-out for it, since the donation-time has ended, though I was lucky enough to read about it and leave a small amount just before it ended. I am actually the last one who donated.

So anyways, that am I talking about? Well, The Most Remarkable Album On This Entire Planet. You can see my name at the bottom of this list here.
I've been enjoying paniqs music for a while now and I am confident that I will also like that album.
You can listen to a collection here, find (presumably) all of his work over here.
I also mentioned this guy in a blog post before.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blog on fasting

Well, since my transitioning to Linux I seem to have forgotten most about the Blog.
Additionally, at that time I was getting ready for my oral Abitur exams, then 1.5 weeks pause and then alternative service.

I'll presume that some of you are not too wandered with german laws, so here's a short version about mandantory military service.
Since 1956 (afaik) it is written in our basic laws, that each male must be mustered for military purpose. If you are fit enough, you have to do a certain time of service, I know it was 2 years once, right now it's 9 months and soon it'll probably get down to just 6 month.

Apart from getting discharged as unfit you can also get away from it if two of your brothers already participated, if you're married, there's also something when your education requires you to not do it at this moment and some more. But basically, most will get mustered.

Now since the government doesn't want to force you to disgregard your moral and ethic understanding, they allow you to write a conscientious objection. That will get send to some government institution, read and decided if it is coherent so they will either accept it or not.
If they do not, you can write up a second one and I think if they also decline this you will have to either obey or sue.
I'll not debate what I think of that right now.

My first write-up was declined, my second, which was written with the help of my father, writing stuff up about how my ancestors were involved in the second world war and how my moral and ethics about war were affected by this and then it got accepted.

So, if they will accept your conscientious objection you will have to perform civil service.
As I am already a member of the German Red Cross, I looked for a spot there and got into the assisted transport.

So that's where I'm at now, and this is finally a new blog-post.
More to come.