The end of an era

May 10th, 2011 2 comments

Too early and unnecessarily you had to go (i.e. you had been “let go” by someone).

Office door of Stimme and me

Office door of Stimme and me

Categories: English, German, Other Tags:

Ritter Sport

January 15th, 2011 No comments

Man soll ja nicht immer nur meckern, deswegen zur Abwechslung auch mal ein Lob: Ich hatte bei Ritter Sport über Weihnachten selbstkreierte Tafeln Schokolade bestellt, sahen auch super aus. Allerdings hat die Lieferung ziemlich lange gedauert (über einen Monat iirc). Heute bekomme ich ein Paket von Ritter Sport, ohne bestellt zu haben:

Als Entschädigung für die Wartezeit unaufgefordert sechs große Tafeln Schokolade und acht kleine, das finde ich dann doch wirklich mal kundenfreundlich, deswegen hier auch mal die positive Erwähnung eines Unternehmens ;). Und vielen Dank dafür.

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My take on GTD (getting things done)

November 30th, 2010 No comments

After coming back from my trip to Cuba, my inbox was pretty filled, as usual. But even after sorting out there were almost 70 emails left (not counting newsletters), that were still important in one way or another. And I noticed that I actually missed some stuff that was supposed to be finished already. This was when I decided, that using your inbox (+labels) wasn’t enough anymore to stay ahead of your work, if you have a job situation and personal projects similar to mine (research assistant). A colleague told me that he is using the method of Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen.

The gist of it is: Whenever you get an email (or anything else) do it immediately if it can be done fast, delete or delegate it, or file a task of it to be done when you have time for it. This way, you can concentrate on the task ahead while you can free your mind of currently unnecessary occupations. Now, with due-dates and priorities you can go to through your tasks step by step, always having exactly one goal in mind (of course this is a shortened version of the system, see google or wikipedia or the book for details).

So I started to convert my emails to tasks and actually liked that a lot. I wouldn’t miss important things anymore just because they were lost in my inbox somewhere and I could make a list of “next tasks” to focus on. Additionally, this is extremely well supported in, and there was a nice android app named got to do with full synchronisation support. However, that was still not the optimal solution. While it drastically improved the organization of work and helped with having an overview of the total amount of work to be done, I got lost fast due to the amount of tasks (75 currently) and I almost lost more time organising tasks than actually doing work. The main issue is on how to sort your tasks, my colleague used a different system than I, and we both were using different systems than David Allen. None of them was really fitting in my opinion.

David Allen’s system isn’t really suitable imho, if you have a lot of “private” taks (in my case, most of them stemming from my dissertation, as well as private projects) and you are not assigned to a small number of specific projects; I can’t make a specific project for every task, as in my job there are dozens of very different assignments. So I used a number of general projects like “work (general)”, “dissertation”, “teaching”, “project proposals”, “private projects” etc. And using due date for sorting tasks isn’t working either, as most points of my dissertation don’t have specific due dates – so will never be on top of the list and thus never be a “next task”. Manual sorting isn’t really cutting it either and priorities are too inflexibel. After about two weeks of using the system, I think I found a way which is somewhat suitable (and much better compared to simple note systems or just emails):

  • Every Sunday I sort out all tasks I want to finish next week and file them under the status of “next task”
  • All tasks get due dates; in case of unspecific tasks e.g. regarding my thesis, they get due dates when I want to have those finished at the latest. Task not to be done within the next week are marked as “active”
  • All other tasks, where I have not yet decided on a due date but need to be done are marked “planning”
  • Everything else which I just want to do when I’m in the mood or when there’s plenty of time (like learning something new) is marked as “someday”
  • I use priorities to sort tasks having the same due date, but that’s just a bonus
  • The order of sorting in Toodledo is thus: status → due date → priority (without pro subscription only two criteria are allowed, however that’s not a big deal)

I have two additional tips for the use with toodledo:

  • When using gmail, it’s easy to link tasks with permalinks. Just paste the gmail url and replace #mbox with #all, e.g.:
  • The stylish or greasemonkey plugin has a really nice layout enhancement for toodledo:
  • If you have the pro subscriptions, you can use subtasks, to avoid having to many projects/folders; all projects that are short-lived and have a small number of tasks (maybe three) are filed using subtasks instead of folders.

If you are using GTD or toodledoo, too, or have a job situation similar to mine, please let me know of your experiences, how you organise yourself or what way of sorting you prefer. I’d be really interested in that.

Eben mal Altpapier wegbringen…

November 23rd, 2010 No comments

…ist nicht erlaubt, wenn Nachbars Katze in der Nähe ist.

Katze im Karton

Katze im Karton

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rsslibnotify – My very first python script

October 28th, 2010 6 comments

UPDATE: I included tante’s comments and extended the program. The config-file now allows you to define the checking interval and will be automatically created if nonexisting.

I noticed that gwibber removed their rss support for some reason. However, it would be really nice to have the option for libnotify to …well… notify you on gnome when there is something new on rss/atom feeds you find important. Since I always wanted to learn python anyway, I hacked together a small script, which does exactly that. Just create a config file in ~/.rsslibnotify with a number of rss/atom feeds separated by newlines and you will be informed every ten minutes via libnotify if there’s something new. (see update above)

feedparser and pynotify need to be installed prior. Btw. feedparser is giving me errors while installing, however seems to be working without a problem.

Of course this script is far from perfect. Keep in mind it’s my first python script and I worked at most one to two hours on it ;).

Available for download here:

# coding=utf-8
#    Copyright 2010 by Daniel Süpke
#    This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
#    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
#    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
#    (at your option) any later version.
#    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
#    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
#    GNU General Public License for more details.
#    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
#    along with this program.  If not, see <>.
# rsslibnotify v0.3
import pynotify
import feedparser
import time
import os.path
import sys
config_file = os.path.expanduser('~/.rsslibnotify')
feeds = []
titles = []
    file = open(config_file, 'r')
    file = open(config_file, 'w')
    file.write('# amount of seconds to wait before checking for new items\n')
    file.write('interval 600\n\n')
    file.write('# feeds to check\n')
    print('Config file not found! Created example file at ' + config_file + '. Please edit.')
for line in file.readlines():
    config_line = line.rstrip().partition('#')[0] # Remove \n and comments
    if config_line.startswith('feed '):
        feeds.append(config_line.partition('feed ')[2])
    if config_line.startswith('interval '):
        interval = int(config_line.partition('interval ')[2])
if not feeds:
    print('There were no feeds in your config file at ' + config_file + '. Exiting...')
if not interval:
    print('No check interval has been defined. Assuming ten minutes.')
    interval = 600
# Check for new feeds every interval seconds
while True:
    i = 0
    for feed in feeds:
        d = feedparser.parse(feed)
        # Assume new content if there is a new title
        if d.entries[0].title != titles[i]:
            titles[i] = d.entries[0].title
            if pynotify.init('rssnotify'):
                n = pynotify.Notification(d.feed.title, d.entries[0].title)
                print('there was a problem initializing the pynotify module')
        i += 1

Rollins Band – Illumination

August 19th, 2010 No comments

Illumination comes so hard
Makes me see but leaves its scars
At times I wish that I didn’t know what I know now
Thought and thought until I lost my mind
Looked and looked until I went near blind
The path is fair but so unkind

Video (bad quality, unfortunately):

Rollins Band – Illumination

Categories: English, Other Tags: ,

That’s what you get for wanting to work at home for once…

August 13th, 2010 No comments
Categories: English, German, Other Tags: , ,

Die Blogosphäre und Blumenkübel

August 6th, 2010 1 comment

Dies wird ein kurzer, unstrukturierter Rant aus gegebenem Anlass. Es gibt einen, unter Bloggern sehr verbreiteten Typ Menschen, der von sich behauptet eigentlich eine sehr positive Lebenseinstellung zu haben, um dann gleich darauf irgendetwas Negatives zu schreiben. Und zwar in so ziemlich jedem Beitrag.

Gestern verbreitete sich das Blumenkübel-Mem auf Twitter, wo auch ich mitgemacht habe. Ansich ein harmloser Spaß, den man mögen mag oder auch nicht. Aber, und damit hätte ich rechnen sollen, sofort kamen wieder jede Menge Beiträge von Bloggern des oben erwähnten Typus. Diese wetterten natürlich sofort unisono, dass sich die Twitterer mal wieder lustig machen über andere und sich über diese erheben, ob der politisch doch irrelevanten Meldung. Natürlich nicht ohne den Hinweis, dass sich die Twitterer somit wichtiger machen als andere, was einer gewissen Ironie nicht entbehrt.

Ich und bestimmt >90% der darüber twitternden Leute hatten mit Sicherheit weder vor, damit ein politisches Statement zu machen, uns über die berichtende Praktikantin oder Zeitung lustig zu machen, noch hier Medienkritik zu betreiben. Eine Nachricht an die Blogger: Manchmal, ja manchmal macht man auch einfach etwas völlig unkritisch aus Spaß. Den man teilen kann oder auch nicht (und auch nicht muss). Daraus eine Überheblichkeit abzuleiten, spricht aus meiner Sicht nur für die eigene Überheblichkeit, sich ja von der Masse distanzieren zu müssen und sich, oftmals aufgrund der mittlerweile verkommenen Fähigkeit, einfach mal völlig unpolitisch an etwas ranzugehen, zu mockieren.

Natürlich kann man die Aktion politisch deuten. Und natürlich wird man, wenn man von seinem hohen Roß mal runter kommt, auch sehen können, dass es in der Gesamtheit schlichtweg nicht politisch zu deuten ist und auch nie beabsichtigt war – was dann allerdings einen Rant weniger bedeuten würde, in dem man sich von den anderen distanzieren kann bzw. aus der Gewohnheit ausbrechen müsste. Beides muss nicht sein. Wenn man nicht mitmachen will, macht man nicht mit; wenn man nicht versteht, dass nicht alles eine tiefere Bedeutung hat, dann sollte man seine Einstellung vielleicht überdenken.

Manchmal ist Spaß einfach nur Spaß, in diesem Sinne: “Einfach mal locker durch die Hose atmen” 😉

Uni Oldenburg VPN with ubuntu 10.04

May 11th, 2010 5 comments

Finally got the VPN of my university working. I will share how I got it working in case you study/work here and want to use it, too.

I found the VPN to be more stable when started from a shell:
sudo apt-get install vpnc
sudo nano /etc/vpnc/default.conf

Edit the config as following:
IPSec gateway
IPSec ID student
IPSec secret student
#IKE Authmode hybrid
Xauth username YOUR
Xauth password YOUR

Then just connect to the wlan and start the vpn with sudo vpnc.

If you want to use the network-manager, you need to install another package. However, I always get an error message about invalid secrets. If you have more luck, please let me know.
sudo apt-get install network-manager-vpnc
sudo service network-manager restart

Religious logic

April 28th, 2010 2 comments

Going through the university this morning I discovered a poster inviting people to join a presentation. The topic was:
“Understanding what you believe” (Verstehen was man glaubt).

That gave me quite a good laugh, because it shows one of the biggest problem of religion: First you believe, then you have a look as to why and how (i.e. understand). Let me give you a small hint: Its supposed to be the other way around.

Categories: Politics Tags: