Code for München – Open Hack Day

After having participated in the app@night hackathon last week (they call themselves the largest hackathon in all Europe, by the way, even though I do not have any possibility to verify that) I found another interesting event to show up the next weeks. It is called “Code for München – Open Hack Day” and will last just one day. The goal: create some mobile or web application using big data and concerning one of the most beautiful cities in the world – Munich. Again there were no restrictions like required programming abilities, each team would possibily need some creative heads as well, not only those coders able to realize everything. Though I am not quite sure if I already meet the requirements to build up nice and useful applications from scratch in just a few hours, I am really into the idea writing algorithms and programmes to ease up oder improve life in Munich via small digital helpers. So let’s be curious about the outcome! Of course I will inform you in detail afterwards. The event will be at the Kunstpark on Saturday, November 29th.

Subscription – for all of you!

Just a very small post about one specific feature of my blog: of course you are able to subscribe to my site and thus being informed about every single new article I will write from now on. But even more! As far as I have tested until now you will not only receive a mail telling you I have spent some more time writing extraordinary content. The mail does even contain the whole text! So if you are working hard the whole day and not being able to spend any time in front of your laptop or desktop, just subscribe and you will be able to read my thoughts on your mobile devices as well – even offline (depending on your mail application). So just give it a try and subscribe now! And if you don’t like it anymore, feel free to unsubscribe. I won’t be personally offended, I promise! 😉

Good commentary appreciated, but the bad one…

No, the headline is not expected to evoke any (positive) commentaries under my articles. Even though I appreciate every single snippet of your opinions and I do even more love to discuss with you about particular topics. Why that? Because commentary – and thus feedback – is really important for anybody who is producing creative work and sending it out into the world. All these craftspeople (as far as not having been replaced by machines yet) know about their work’s value because of the amount of customers buying their products. If many people tend to buy your things, you must have done something perfectly well. If there are not so many people taking care of you and your crafting, you should try switching to another job.

Continue reading Good commentary appreciated, but the bad one…

Review: the app@night hackathon at LMU

Two days ago I wrote about the app@night hackathon at LMU Munich which I was about to participate in. There was no chance for me to write something in the meantime, so let me briefly sum up and discuss the last two and a half days.

Continue reading Review: the app@night hackathon at LMU

app@night – hackathon at LMU Munich

This weekend will be full of work for me – work here being coding, hacking, learning about new technology. Why that? Because this weekend there will be a hackathon at my university, the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, called “app@night“. As I have never participated in any hackathon before, I am not really qualified to explain what that might be. As far as I understood, hackathons are coding events, most times lasting for one day or one week at its best, aiming to learn about coding, to work with other people and to find out about new technology, new frameworks, new programming languages (here the link to the English wikipedia entry). Our specific hackathon will last for the whole weekend and includes several programmes concerning mobile development, especially Google Glass, Android smartwatches or iOS, to mention just some of them. There has been no restriction to students of computer science, so I guess there will be people with quite heterogene background. I am really excited about our task, our group (at least I already know 2 out of 5) and, of course, the outcome. We will be working with Google Glass, and I am really, really excited to put my hands on one of these devices! 🙂

WhatsApp – have you seen my message?

First things first: I don’t use WhatsApp. I’ve used it a long time ago, before they had decided to take money from their users. Even though it was just some cents, I was and I am not willing to pay for a company which is not willing to speak with its customers, to inform them about future technical plans or recent problems, especially concerning data security. And after being bought by facebook, WhatsApp got even less interesting to me. But that are personal feelings and decisions and not universal. But of course I do use some instant messaging systems, especially Google’s Hangouts.

Continue reading WhatsApp – have you seen my message?

Restart – again

Looking back on the history of my blog evokes a strange feeling inside of me. In 2007 (when blogs had already spread across the web) I started to write about various topics. About problems I had to deal with at that specific moment (when I had been 20 yo). About new films, books or games I consumed and about what I wanted to share my feelings and thoughts with other people, not only friends, but also and mainly strangers in the world wide web. About some stories I wrote myself, as I used to have much more free time when having been a young student. To sum it up – several articles about things with less or even no public interest.

Now it is the end of 2014 and things have completely changed. Content Management Systems like WordPress are commonly used by private people, but also companies to present themselves as modern webusers. It has never been easier to create a professional website with just a few clicks. Maintaining the website is no problem anymore – nowadays the plugins and basic plattforms update themselves regularly, posting new articles is just typing some text into a predefined box and afterwards clicking “Publish”. Deeper knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript? None of it is needed anymore. Well, it is, if you want to adjust your site to your personal needs. But CMS tools allow many more people to create good looking and maintainable sites than ever before.

So, probably that is the best reason for me to stick with WordPress, even though I study media informatics and should be perfectly well able to create a good looking site on my own. But this blog has always been some kind of content area of my life. I never wanted to change too many technical aspects, and I never wanted to have to invest too much time into developing a complete new site. I wanted to write text, to write about my thoughts and feelings and present these thoughts in a reasonable way. Even though this might be the 4th or 5th relaunch of my blog, I don’t want to change these priorities. Text is first! Content is first! Of course I can’t tell about the future, but at the moment I am perfectly happy with what I got here.

The most important change to me is the language. I used to write in German for the last seven years as I am German and German is my native language. You can imagine that it is much more difficult to write long English texts when you are not used to it. However, no one is able to avoid English nowadays (and there is no need for that, anyway) and so I decided to change my primary writing language to English, in order to train, to learn and to get used to it. This decision has some impacts and advantages for my articles:

  • I use much more time for each article, as writing German texts is quite easy for me and translating their content into English still needs some time.
  • I write much less per article (which might be an advantage for you, dear reader: my German texts used to fill several pages and no one wants to read such long texts on the internet).
  • I can get reviews and corrections by my readers (which I really would appreciate, as you won’t be able to become better without anyone telling you your mistakes; a rule not only for blogs, but for all aspects in life).

And, hopefully, I will get some new readers outside of Germany or German speaking countries.

However, there may be topics which are quite difficult to explain in English, e.g. literary texts. It will take some time until I would be able to write magnificent English novels (just joking) and so I will stick to German with such cultural expressions. But as I don’t have as many time as seven years ago, the amount of long literary texts in this blog won’t be that high.

What will I be writing about? As this is a private blog, there is no strict field for specific topics, but some aspects of my life will be core content:

  • Informatics
  • History (especially Egyptology)
  • Politics
  • Cultural products (e.g. books, films, games, theatre productions etc.)

And, of course, I am always open for suggestions. Tell me about anything you want me to think of – if there is a possibility to write a nice and short statement about it, I will do so. I’ll take it as a personal challenge to deal with your ideas. So, I hope you had fun reading this first introduction into new (and English) content. Let’s see where this project will head to. 🙂