From 5g to 7g

All my mp3 players so gar have been iPods: I started of with a used shuffle from my brother, which soon got replaced by an IPod nano (2g). As I like listening to podcasts, being able to navigate your playlist is an absolutely necessary feature!  After this one broke, I once again got a used IPod (5g) from my brother. I did not really like the bigger screen, but it had a great feature: An integrated speaker! It was like a portable mini boom box. the sound quality might not have been the best, but for podcasts I didn’t really care Sadly, it reached the end of its lifetime a few weeks ago. I just got a new 7g IPod nano, and honestly, I liked the predecessor a lot better!

I don’t like the touch screen and there seems to be no reliable way to key-lock it. And the worst is, no integrated speaker! The only improvement is the colour. red is way better than green ;)

Finally snow!

After an amazingly warm December and January, we finally got the first real snow on Sunday evening. The mountains look really nice now! The skiers are really happy and miss no opportunity to go skiing. I only enjoy the snowy mountain view when walking home from work ;)

… from one of my few remaining readers about the distinct lack of posts in this blog.

I can not even claim that nothing interested happened in my life since last April.

So what happened since then? The most notable event is probably that I managed to break my foot in early summer. This lead to more experience with the French health system then I ever wanted. I also learned that

– Tram and  bus stops in the French town I live in are more disabled friendly then in Heidelberg.

– Zurich airport is pretty nice for people who need to be pushed around in a wheelchair. Also, Montreal airport was not bad.

– This cannot be claimed for Lyon airport.

– My colleagues are a really great bunch (well I kind of new that before)


I also once again visited Lund which I still like a lot and went on a holiday trip to Provence with my parents.

So basically last year had a great spring and autumn, but the summer was very frustrating.


Back to Heathrow

When I travelled to Japan back in 2008 I got to spent 5 hours in Heathrow Terminal 5 waiting for my connecting flight. It was a horrid experience: Despite the terminal being quite new, everything squeaked sounded in dire need of lubrication.  Upon arriving in Japan, what we noticed first was that it is indeed possible to build escalators that don’t squeak.

Therefore, I was quite happy when my connections for my last trip only had a two hour stay – that is, until I noticed that the plane from France would arrive at Terminal 1. Estimated transfer time: 90 min. Luckily, my plane was on time, and despite arriving at the weirdest gate I’ve ever seen, I caught my flight to NY. Why the gate was weird? Well, we got of via the gangway, and then left the building via an emergency exit to get on the bus to transfer to the main building…

Oh, and Terminal 5? Only the escalator to the safety check squeaked, so it was really nice!


Yesterday was the first time in my life I witnessed an earthquake. Around here, it was not strong, indeed, it was over before I realized what had happened and there seems to be no damage in town.  A short poll at lunch showed that about half of my colleagues noticed absolutely nothing.

Nevertheless, my first earthquake. I hope they stay this unspectacular!

To not see Toulouse

At the beginning of the week, I was on a very short trip to Toulouse to visit some collaborators. All I got to see were:

– the airport

– the hotel

– the chemistry department (a nice, modern building)

– the outside of the cité d’espace (well visible from the motorway with an Ariane 5)

– some Airbus buildings

I didn’t even get to see any big airplanes! How disappointing is that?

I hope my next trip to Toulouse will be longer and include some actual sight-seeing…

Computer worries

This week was just horrid for my computing infrastructure – both at home and at work.

Monday morning started with me no longer being able  access locally stored data at my desktop PC at work. It seems to have been a problem with the hard drive – IT fixed the problem on Tuesday,  at least temporally. Luckily, none of the data was critical, so this was mostly annoying.

Still on Monday, one of our main data analysis computers suddenly started to skip analysis steps. Investigation revealed some error messages about a hard drive. Digging a bit deeper showed, that about 5 days earlier, somebody had tried to connect a USB-drive which was not handled well.

On Tuesday evening, my MacBook refused to recognize its charger. I managed to fiddle it into charging, but on Wednesday, the problem recurred. It charged again on Friday, but not since then…  Currently, my Windows operated netbook continues to annoy me – there is something odd about the spacing of the keys and I continue to hit the wrong ones…

On Wednesday, one of the data acquisition computers at work decided to randomly not transfer data to the storage – this one was easily solved by a restart, but we still do not know why it didn’t transfer. Also, we lost some freshly acquired data due to this.

All of this made me realize how well my computers are behaving normally – these kind of weeks are indeed rare!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.