Home stretch

After a long search for an internship I finally found a fitting one which began today.
The tasks that are ahead of me appear to be challenging, but after a little familiarisation phase I should be able to get them done. Wish me luck.

So, as soon as I’m finished with this one (end of the year), I’ll be able to start my diploma thesis which will mark the end of my university journey…finally…(no need to shout yet, after all it’s going to be almost another year before all is said and then, but it’s still a good feeling to be on the “home stretch”.. :-) )

Final exams

I’m in the process of writing the last exams of my uni career. In total I’m going through 4 exams. Three of them are for the extension block which consists of 8 weekly hours worth of courses. I had the first one (4h) on March 3 and it went really well, as far as I can tell.

Today was the second exam: the deepening line (Application Systems, …)…this one was a 45 minute oral exam…and it didn’t go all that well, at least not as planned. I revised for roughly 2.5 weeks for this one and tried to get a grasp of ALL the stuff that was distributed along well over 1k sheets…I guess I was prepared for “top level” or overall/comprehension questions, but most of the questions resolved around 2-3 topics and where aimed at

  1. comprehension / knowledge
  2. deep(er) knowledge
  3. connection with other stuff

…and I just couldn’t get into the groove and tbh in the end I was happy that I even passed…final result: 4.0 (1.0= best, 4.0= pass, 5.0 = failed). My first 4.0 in the main study period :-(

On the bright side I know that it’s over, I passed, which means two down, two to go…although it bugs me that this one put a dent in my grade average (prior to this oral exam: 1.84, after it: 2.02)…ah well, now it’s time to chill a little and then hit the books hard again for the upcoming exams (extension courses “Software ergonomics” – April 7th and “peripheral devices” – April 5th)…two good grades in these exams will lift my grade average again and I can finally “drop the pen” on April 7th…the only things left to do then are:

  1. 3 months internship
  2. 6 months diploma thesis

Roundup

Wow, it’s been a while since I last posted something around here. With all the christmas, new year and different other stuff coming up, it was hard to find the time, but now I’m back.

Server, Domains, etc: Although Ingoal’s Insight… is still hosted with Dreamhost, I’ve got my dedicated server up and running now, finally. So, I’m probably moving this site over sooner or later, as there’s no point in paying twice, although Dreamhost’s hosting packages have just been updated once again: quatrupled (space) and octupled (bandwidth) to be precise, so you can get 20GB of space along with 1 TB of bandwidth for as little as 7.95$/month. Check it out!

Apple: Does MacBook Pro ring a bell? Intel Core Duo (dual core Pentium M) along with the possibility to run Windows (although not officially supported by Apple). This is certainly good news, and I’m really considering switching to a Mac in the near future (although I’ll wait for the update of the iBook, MacMini and PowerMac series before I make a decision about which way to go).

Fantasy Footie: After the good run in the old year I started to drop in ranking again and it’s going to be a hard fight until the end of the season, I’m not sure I can surpass Mr. Price, but at least I’m giving it my best shot – and one way or another, it’s has been fun.

Uni: I’m currently taking some time off and I’m in the need to find an internship, as this is the last thing on my todo list before I head into the final exams in March/April…then I can start my diploma thesis, which I can hopefully complete before the end of the year.

Ingoalnetwork: The sites are finally completed and some network sites have been added, for news about the network head over to the new network blog.

Chitika: After the bad experience in October I stuck around and since then they’ve been working hard at improving their overall solutions (the product of emini-malls themselves, almost real time audits, etc) and I’m happy to report, that their reports are now much more accurate and with the addition of european support the clicks and hence the revenue has really been stabilised. On another note: I receive the first payment (for november) just days ago, so I’m really satisfied now, I’ll keep you updated about it the following months…in the meantime feel free to check their blog and our give their emini-malls a test run.

Poker: For all the newsworthy stuff about my new passion poker head over to my poker-blog.

Update…

Alrighty, I’m back.

Uni stuff:

  • “Marathon sessions” payed off, our uni document was ready just in time to goto the copy shop to be binded as a small book; handed in on time :tup:
  • Exams are over, for now. Yesterday was the big day: Wissensverarbeitung (knowledge engineering) + Verteilte Systeme (Distributed Systems). Did go quite well, at least in knowledge engineering, don’t really know about Distributed Systems, but hey…I’ll find out in some weeks…glad that it’s over ;-)

Fantasy footie:

Not a particularly good week again, but I’m still keeping touch to the top…

  • Mr. Price’s score this week: 46 points (270 points total) – currently in 2nd place
  • Ingoal’s score this week: 32 points (249 points total) – currently in 6th place

FC Marbach II:
I didn’t attend the match vs Hochdorf on sunday due to my exam preparation, but I know the result: FC Marbach II 4-1 SGV Hochdorf :-)

Health:
I picked up a nasty cold sometime last week, so it was hard to concentrate on the exam preparation, the exam itself and all the other tasks. Now that this is all behind me, I’m taking some time off to really get better and it’s paying off already – after the first decent night’s sleep in a while I’m feeling better already, today. God bless medicine :-)

Politics:
It seems that weeks after our general elections the big parties are finally converging into a settlement…maybe we’ll have a new chancellor sooner than we all thought. I’m really curious whether it’s going to be Angela Merkel (CDU) or Gerhard Schroeder (SPD – current chancellor) or a third person (!).

Grade joy

After waiting for weeks and weeks for the results of the exam from March 18th 2005 I finally got my hands on my grade: 1.3 it is :mrgreen: (for all “non-germans”: 1.0 = best, 5.0 = worst here at uni).

So the 7 weeks of preparation really payed off :tup:
This brings my grade point average to 1.67 :tup: :tup:

I think I deserve a beer today…off to the pub ;)

Get your grade while it’s fresh

So, finally the email arrived containing the information I’ve been waiting for. My grade for the often talked about uni project (see sess2004.com, #1, #2 and #3)

The final grade of the project is calculated as follows:

  • 1. Presentation = 20% – my grade: 1.0
  • 2. Oral exam = 30% – my grade: 1.3
  • 3. Work on project = 50% – my grade: 1.0

This leads to the following calculation:
2 * 1.0 + 3 * 1.3 + 5 * 1.0 = 10.9 / 10 = 1.09 = 1.0 :mrgreen:

Now you might wonder why I’m smiling so much, yup, 1.0 is the best grade there is! :-)

Closure (update)

Update: All went relatively good…now it’s finally over…time to idle a lot ;-)

Almost all done. Now I just need to finish the presentation and then at 2pm it’s showtime :-)

Wish me luck ;-)

Closure

Well, well, well. It has been more than a year now since I started my second uni project (Service Engineering Support System: S.E.S.S.). Now we’re on the “final meters” or the home lap as one might put it. After all this time it’s hard to get yourself together and close out. I’m currently writing the documentation of one of my parts (database) and it’s really annoying. Nontheless it needs to be done as I’ve got more stuff to do (official final meeting and project presentation will be this thursday afternoon) and I need to prepare the following stuff until then:

  • Do own documentation of all stuff I did…done
  • Preprare groovy presentation so that the “outsiders” will understand the essence of our work in progress
  • Get all documents together and print them out…scheduled for November 24th done
  • Write project retrospective…done
  • Get all code and burn it scheduled for November 24th in progress done
  • etc etc

That’s the main reason why I wasn’t posting to much here or on SPF! So I’m really looking forward to this thursday at it’ll finally be over and I’ll have some free room to breath again (although other stuff has already piled up so there’s no real “idle-period” right away :-( ), but hey I don’t complain, after all christmas holidays aren’t all that far away anymore ;-)

Google Research Director visiting…

As I already posted here the Research Director of Google, Monika Henziger, visited us yesterday evening. The “lecture”/presentation was about the past, present and future of Web Search Engines. I was really surprised to find out that she’s indeed german, although she has spent the recent years (after aquiring her promotion at Princeton) in the US, nontheless she held the presentation in german, which was really easy on the ears – especially due to the fact that it’s always hard to following something after 5pm.

Duration: 60 minutes followed by 30min of questions

After explaining the basic stuff (reverse indexing, etc) she told us about load balancing and the way it’s handled with google (roughly). Then she presented some new (beta) studies/projects of google (personalized websearch and some others) and recommended to have a look at the Google Labs page for more information and invited everyone interested to get involved after graduation to contact her then (monika[at]google.com).

It was really interesting to see and hear someone from the actual it-working-world, although the basic parts of information/web retrieval were a little boring to me, as I’ve worked my way into the deeps of that last year when I had to do a presentation and paper about “Information Retrieval on the internet” (the german paper, 30pages, pdf-format can be found here (2.893 KB)).

Posted in Uni

Project update

Well, well…how fast can a year go by? Very fast. I almost cannot believe that one year has already passed again and that the project is coming to it’s end (official project deadline is this sunday, october 31st).

So how did we do?
Due to one thing and another (parallel project for the first half of this project, developers dropping out, general workload, etc) we won’t have the desired system up and running. This is a bugger, although I (and most of the developers) can say: we put up our best effort, it just wasn’t meant to be – always look on the bright side I guess ;-)

So what now?
As this week is the official end of the project, it seems that we’re finishing up in the “unofficial time” until the project presentation. Seeing that this is a uni project, this is quite common. Now we’re left with the hard job to

  • analyse the whole system/concept
  • document the functionality of everything that is up and running so far
  • analyse what isn’t implemented yet and document how we intended to do it
  • collect and archive all documents + the source code
  • write a final report
  • hand in final report
  • prepare the presentation of the project
  • present the project
  • party a little that it’s over
  • wait for the grade

What’s next?
After 1.5 years of nonstop (uni) project work it’s time to relax a little as I really feel “burned out”. So I decided to make this semester (which has already started on October 18th 2004) a more quite one – as I already participated in all the lectures that I want to write an exam about I guess I won’t visit any lectures. I will relax some weeks first (maybe 2-4, we’ll see), where relax will probably just mean that I won’t do anything related to the uni and that I will catch up with numerous other (private) projects and close out some To-Do point on my list. Here’s what comes to mind:

  • Generate content and put up my new business site (I’ve already done the design and setup the framework (Mambo Server) – a snapshot can be found here. This will replace my current (old and crappy) site: dvserviceih.de
  • Rebuild and reinstall first pc and install third pc – third pc you might ask, yup I’ve got three pcs at home (+ one laptop). It’s time to reinstall my first (or main) pc due to the fact that my Windows XP installation has reached it’s lifecycle (resulting in numerous explorer-crashes and the like). In the process I will replace one of the hdds with a bigger one (60GB -> 160GB) and will take that spare 60GB hdd to good use in my third pc (which was running knoppix from cd so far), where it will be home of a linux distribution (I’m still unsure what distro it will be, but I guess I’ll go for Debian 3.1).
  • Work through pile of “old” customer requests, e.g. fixing some pcs etc
  • etc
  • Not to forget one major To-Do point: sleep long, have fun, play games, go out with friends,… ;-)

Then I will, at least try, to prepare me for the next exams (I intend to write at least 2 major ones this time, which will result in me having to learn stuff from up to 12 lectures) – longterm this time, not in adhoc last-minute round-the-clock sessions ;-)

Posted in Uni

Director of Google Research visiting…

Wow, the Director of Research from Google is visiting my university next week. It will go down on thurdays 28th october…I’m sure going to visit that session.

“The Past, Present, and Future of Web Search Engines”

Abstract:

Web search engines have emerged as one of the central applications on the internet. In fact, search has become one of the most important activities that people engage in on the Internet. Even beyond becoming the number one source of information, a growing number of businesses are depending on web search engines for customer acquisition.

In this talk I will brief review the history of web search engines: The first generation of web search engines used text-only retrieval techniques. Google revolutionized the field by deploying the PageRank technology – an eigenvector-based analysis of the hyperlink structure- to analyze the web in order to produce relevant results. Moving forward, our goal is to achieve a better understanding of a page with a view towards producing even more relevant results.

Google is powered by a large number of PCs. Using this infrastructure and striving to be as efficient as possible poses challenging systems problems but also various algorithmic challenges. I will discuss some of them in my talk.

Posted in Uni

Keep ’em comin’

Wow. Got another grade today: another 1.3 for my seminar about Instance-based learning. I guess I’m on a roll atm :-)

Posted in Uni

Learn baby learn…(update)

Man, my head is full. I guess there would be still more to do, but I just can’t focus anymore. Time that this exam is over (will be approx. 11:40 german time tomorrow)…Wish me luck :-)

Posted in Uni

Learn baby learn…

…exam inferno…learn baby learn. Exam is coming up this friday morning, so I got today, tomorrow and thursday left to get all the stuff into my head. What kind of exam is that you might ask. The exam is an oral one which will have a maximum duration of 20 minutes. The topic is “research and development management” and the script I’ve got to get into my head is 559 pages! :-(

Good thing I started to learn early on (note: lie)…

Ah well…I worked my way through the script in the last 3 days and now all I’ve got to do is get the summary of it (I always do my own summary on such huge scripts which brings the important stuff, or at least the stuff I think will be important, down to far less pages – in this case 39 A4-pages) into my head. Then it’s time to warm up my mouth on friday morning and the flood of words can begin ;-)

Wish me luck :-)
I’ll give you an update after the exam on friday afternoon…

Posted in Uni