Category Archives: University Hagenberg

Reality related education in Hagenberg

In the fourth semester at the University of Applied Sciences in Hagenberg, my project group started creating a mobile flirt application, FastFlirt. The aim of that application was to

  • be very easy to handle,
  • bring people with similar interests together
  • and show good results very quickly.

During our research, we discovered a similar application already available on the market, which had the major flaw to rely on text messaging. A user first has to send the current location and afterwards got information abount people currently at the same place. This might work for static situations, but on train it would fail.

FastFlirt automatically sends Geo information (current GPS data) to a central server and delivers results instantly. One thought we had, was that the great diversity of mobiles and mobile operating systems could be a problem. Not anymore with the new iPhone 3G. And some guys really think that this is the next big thing on a global view:

Basically they consider an iPhone 3G with integrated mobile community support would reshape how we interact with each other. An they are right, why didn’t Apple implement something like that? A google search with relevant keywords doesn’t bring up any good results at all.

Building relationships through electronic devices (facebook, flirt sites,…) has the drawback of beeing very superficial. Most people hardly fill out profiles, and who really maintains profiles on social networking sites on a regular basis? It’s usable to get to know people very quickly, on a basis of a few significant facts as matching music favourites, age, … But how could we push this very basic matching?

The next step of flirt sites (or mobile flirt application) after there was a matching, reading through the suggested profile and maybe sending E-Mails to each other for a certain amount of time, will be to meet in reality and check how reality compares to the virtual impression. At this stage, a lot of time has already been invested in finding out more about each other. And the decision to find out more about a particular person was based on very basic matching facts. Wouldn’t it be better to start from another direction, and match people based on their very personal thoughts, ideas, dreams,…?

A personal web diary application could serve as a framework for this idea. Can you remember what you did four weeks ago? Or two months ago? Or can you see certain topics in your life emerge, as others probably decline in interest? This additional functionality could motivate more people to use that service. In the background, the systems matches people based on their entries.

The difference to ordinary blogs is not obvious: Blogs usually don’t contain the very private thoughts of a person, thoughts you’d maybe not even share with a single other person. In the new system you’d be encouraged to trust it and write down everything you got on your mind though. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said: “Writing stories is one way to get rid of past things”. The service could also be advertised as a tool for your psyche, your mental healthiness.

People can only read other peoples entries if they match on certain topics. And also then, only parts of the entries are accessible. A special feature for premium users could include to be able to read more that just an extract.

Some people might find it useful to not automatically get matched with others, but to decide when they’d like to get matched. “Press the button and find out who’s like you!”.

If you have any ideas, suggetions, interest… in those ideas please let me know.

Be there or be square

‘Be there or be square’ was the headline of a housparty of a friend of mine a few months ago. Well, yes, my last post was quite a time ago. I don’t really liked writing for the past few weeks, what is probably because of your’re getting more and more involved in every day live of where you are: in work-life of my university, private-life with friends, and my life, I’m still kind of on my own. Well, that wont change, I know that there will come the time when it’s time to go.

More and more people are leaving now. Especially the exchange students, who were here for one semester for about 3 months, are leaving for holidays an Australia vacation now. I met some really nice guys, and we probably will catch up in Sydney for New Years Eve. The firework should be great there 🙂 And if I’m staying in Sydney at this time, I’ll still have a good time. I really love speaking English all day long, it’s getting better and better. Especially when I talk to Germans it’s great to speak a language, where nobody of us is professional. Some of them are trying to speak German, but I don’t really care about German. I love English, and it’s one of the reasons why I’m here, to learn some English. So why speak German? I’m not like those Asian guys grouping together and talking their language all the time. That’s kind of boring. Not just for us, must be boring for them too. As soon as I’m kind of interested in Australians, I have to talk their language, otherwise I’ll fail. And nobodys’s perfect, especially not oversees students 🙂

Today we celebrated Kim’s farewell, she’s going to leave for Germany on Tuesday, We’re going to catch up somewhere in Europe probably. Would be quite cool. Some of the guys I met are going to be in Europe for the next semester. So there’s a good chance to meet some of them. Especially the Austrian guys from around Upper Austria. But Germany and Greece is not that far away either. It’s just exciting seeing all those people doing the same thing as so many other people, who already took this step.

By the way, this weekend was about halftime for my internship here. A bit of a summary for the last few weeks:

  • We got some search engine log data from a VERY famous computer company.
  • For the last few weeks, we’re trying to analyze this data
  • To get the data, we proposed a speacial thing to do with the data
  • Now we’re kind of running out of time: Just about next week to go, then we have to deliver results
  • We, this is are two Lab members, Gavin, Tim, and me.
  • So, tomorrow and over the weekend our nice little two Java programs are going to analyze the data
  • And at the beginning of next week we hopefully got a nice breakthrough 🙂

I’m helping here and there, trying to make things easier for the guys. I feel like an intern, and would never say to be something else. I read papers, but don’t do any serious research, I think about how to solve problems and suggest my ideas, but never really have all the responability to get results. So just how it’s meant to be, it’s great!

This week I got a parcel from Teneriffe. My parents went for vacation, and sent me a book and lollys from there. They also sent some nuts, but Australian Post decided to take out those nuts because of Quarantine reasons. I could send those nuts back to Austria, but it’s about 45 bucks to do this. Well, it’s about half a kilo of nuts, maybe I should do it…

So people, I hope you liked reading another post from Down Under. If you have any ideas, how to make this nice life a bit nicer, let me know. My grandmo is gonna send me some cookies for Christmas, hope those Post guys don’t eat them. And I also expect some Austrian guys on their around the world journey around Christmas, maybe we’re going to a nice island close to Adelaide before. The best thing for them: They probably can stay in my house in a room which is going to be empty for a few weeks. They just stay for a few days, so it should be no problem.

What I just thought of: There are a lot of blogs like this out there, especially about KWM internships around the world (see the link bar to the right). Most of people started to write, when their internship started. But it seems like the longer they do their internship, the less they write. Why’s that? I’d love to read a lot more about your daily life and work. What you’re doing in Vienna, what you’re thinking in Munich. What are you exploring in Stuttgart? And what about Berlin? What’s up in Wisconsin? Some people seem to write quite constantly and provide some insight to their lifes: I know whats up in Canada, and I know what’s going on in Stockholm. But there’s so much more outside. So, guys, please start writing again. I love reading your impressions from home and around the world 😉

Just another little thingy here: FH Hagenberg started again. That means, I have to do some stuff beside my internship over the Internet. That was quite tough in the first days for me. It just sucked. Reading all those posts and then trying to formulate my own opinion to a topic where everything has been said already. But now I’m getting more and more used to it.

To conclude with a questions: When there’s a person outside you are feeling very close to, how do you know what your relationship to this person is or could be? I thought about asking, which I might do. But sometimes words are just boring… 😉

Got mobile!

Although it’s Sunday, most stores are open. So I went to Kmart for the first time in my life and purchased a pre-paid SIM for 4 $, my number is

+61 40 181 76 55

Send me a message! At least, you don’t have to pay for incoming calls, as you have to in Canada. Beside that, the first minute costs about 1 $, then 80 c/min (about 0,6 €/0,5 €). Every time I reload with 30 $, I get 120 $ for standard calls (reloading with 100 $ would get me extra 900 $). I can use that credit to call in any network here. But: credit expires after 30 days.

Also bought: a sleeping bag (to keep me warm @ night), 32 rolls of toilet paper, three pair of socks, a towel, post its, college block and house shoes for 60 $ (36 €). Wanted to check my credit card balance afterwards, but when I try to get my SecureCode (which is necessary to check balance online), Paylife always tells me, there’s a temporary problem (which lasts for hours now).

Had that house meeting today (instead of next Friday). Landlord communicated some things regarding kitchen cleaning: everything should be cleaned up right after use, “use-it-clean-it”, etc. We’re all fine with that.

Tomorrow’s my first day at University. Gonna meet with my supervisor Helen @ 10:30 @ “her” building, D3-13. She’ll show me around and stuff. This is the campus map. It’s compareable to the Hagenberg Campus. They also got a lake (like Hagenberg does under the Ellipse). But everything is way bigger. Took me 20 minutes to run around that lake today. Next to the lake there’re living houses everywhere. And across the street opposite to the lake there’s the campus.

Looking forward to meet up with Helen tomorrow and get some idea of my upcoming projects.

Catch ya later.

Three men, three bikes, three destinations

(Hopefully) passed all the exams last week. Semester final party was great, most students where at the lake, drinking, playing beach volleyball and having fun. For me it was great to get in touch with some people I didn’t really got in touch before.

From Monday I’m gonna be ten days off for a tour through Austria. The route is

Linz -> Vienna (bike), Vienna -> Innsbruck (train), Innsbruck -> Linz (bike)

It’s gonna be tough, but together we’re about to make it.

What’s going on?

The last week of exams started with a quite easy one. Nevertheless I’m happy to be finished with this one. So there’re still three exams and two presentations left this week. Last and hardest one on Friday.

Hopefully it’s going to be a sunny Friday. We’re planning to party at the campside of Pleschinger See. And I’d really like to bring my swimming island with a nice palm on it.

Beside that important plans my dad and me are going to get on our bikes next Monday and drive from Linz to Vienna, then pick up my dads’ brother, hop onto train to Innsbruck and then head to Linz again with our bikes. We suspect to return in Linz around 23th.

After that journy I’ve been thinking about doing a short Tour de Europe, which I got really excited about yesterday. Austrian Railroads have some nice offers, for example the InterRail ticket flexible, five days on trains within 10 days for about 160 €. Did you know that: You can go from Linz to Stockholm in about 24 hours? Quite neat.

Beside that: I need money. Therefore, I have to sell my car, look here.

bwin in Hagenberg

Those who’ve watched The Big Lebowski will remember Walter (played by John Goodman). Actually, Thomas H. Grohser, Senior Database Engineer at bwin looks something like Walter, what I really appreciated.

Here are some facts about the bwin databases:

  • 2000 bets per second
  • 400 webserver
  • largest DB: 5 TB
  • total data: 100 TB
  • 450.000 queries per second
  • 170 different applications, >= 1 new release per day

Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? bwin has a mission, numbers are priority:

  1. zero data loss
  2. availability of 99.99 %
  3. 450.000 queries per second (with that, they’re worlds’ # 2)

Since foundation, they didn’t loose a single row, that’s for almost 10 years now. bwin can go back to every particular state, within the last seven years. In fact, availability is between 99.992 and 99.993, which means about three to five hours downtime per year, where two hours are planned and used for maintenance and updates.

How to achieve that? Standards, massiv redundancy and “Work by the book” are key factors. Every server has the same hardware. And if there appears any error on administrators’ eight wide-screen TFTs, there are strict orders what to do. Of course administrators are redundant too, it’s almost like on an air plane.

bwin does backups, constantly. They have two data centers, each connected with two first tier suppliers, each providing two 2-Mbit lines. The datacenter are constantly exchanging backup data and transition logs.

Between their datacenters, bits are pushed through with 16 GB(yte) per second. Some more top server (Itanium 64) features:

  • 32 CPUs and 64 cores
  • 64 GB of memory (storing bets from the last two to three days)
  • 64 network cards (requests are split per country, each country has a specific NW card)

Impressive facts. Thanks for the speech, I really enjoyed it.

Wakeboarding!

A few weeks ago, a few people completing Communication and Knowledge Media (and the former study path Computer Based Learning) got together and had a good time at the Feldkirchner Seen. As I’ve read in an internal University forum, there’s an ongoing collapse competition looking for the best wakeboard collapse. So I’d like to hand in my favourite and some other nice shots. We tried well, most of us for the first time.

Kneeboarding is quite easy, and so Wakeboarding is, as long as you got it right in the starting phase: strain your arm muscles, try to keep the upper half of the board above the water, then prepare for the lift wire tension and expect everything to happen very fast now. As soon as you are something-like on the water, keep your butt strained and your hips to the front, and there you go 😀

english teacher and me, we made it to the first curve...Dsome did very wellothers kept trying ;)DDseems like I got it...... suddenly some problems occur ...fighting with the water!almost recovered... but then...D)