Saturday, September 30, 2006

Training in Brussels

I spend the week in Brussels on a "Management Excellence" training course. We learned a lot - with practical hands-on experience - about management, Novell and ourselves. Communication was one important topic, there can go so much wrong, especially with different cultures, languages and via email...

We went one evening in the city centre and my colleague Thorsten and myself took a couple of photos of the city. The ones at day time were bad since the sky was full of clouds but the night photos looked nicer. Brussles has a really fine old town centre, the picture above is taken at the Grand Place and shows the town hall.

After taking the underground back, we walked along the Atomium to our hotel. The Atomium at night looks more like a strange christmas decoration.

I didn't have much time to think about anything else besides the training and therefore took this photo (in front of one of the many chocolate shops) instead as an alibi.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Switching to Beta Blogger

I decided this morning to switch to the beta of blogger to see how much is improved. The layout can be configured much easier than before and there are a few new options. Unfortunately the atom feed for the blog has changed, so if you used it before, you have to change your akregator.

For just publishing a post, there's not much difference. Uploading photos I now see them in the confirmation window, I can add labels to blogs but nothing really fancy. The major facelift you might notice is the Blog archive.

Sunrise in Fuerth

Thursday morning (or would you say night for 4:30am?) Jana left for Provo (see her blog) and I took my camera and bike to cycle to the office around sunrise (7am). The cycle way is along the river Pegnitz and between some idylic meadows. That morning there was some fog on the ground and I really enjoyed the sun rise. I guess I should cycle more often.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Indian Summer 2006 - SUSE Teambuilding Event

Our Prague colleagues invited us to the so-called Indian Summer 2006 event in Harrachov, Czech republic. Harrachov is located in the Giant Mountains close to the Polish border. The event took part after the SUSE Labs conference, so that I had a chance to meet not only most colleagues from Prague but also the Labs developers from Australia, Italy, France, the US etc.

Early friday morning (8am), our group of 25 developers left for Harrachov. Our bus drove us directly to a shooting range where we got some food and practised with air guns. We then went to the Hotel where the first preparation for the saturday event had to be done during our BBQ: Building a team of four people with at least three different nationalities. Our team consisted of Jiri (Czech), Jean (French), Sonja (German) and myself (German).

Saturday morning the "computer adventure like game" started. We were sent running through Harrachov from one place to another where each place corresponded to a place in the virtual world, e.g. we were in the middle of a real forest but our virtual world told us we were in an archive. At each place a short story was written and we could choose which action to take next. Sometimes real and virtual world were connected, in the virtual world we had lots of contacts with miners and therefore visited in the real world an old mine and exited through the emergency exit. Then in the virtual world we were at the end of an alley and had to figure our way out of it - and in the real world we had to abseil from the ski jump. In the virtual world we had the item "hunger" in our inventory and removed that after visiting a place in the real world you would call a restaurant - and the virtual taxi ride was done with real horses.

The game started at 9am and our team was the first team to finish the game around 5:30pm - the last came 4 hours later - but could only answer four out of five questions about the game and therfore did not win. Nevertheless we fully enjoyed the game and walking through Harrochov and its surroundings.

Sunday we visited a Glass factory with a mini brewery. Three of our group got a crash course in glas-making and created a piece of crystal. Unfortunately we then had to drive back to Germany.

The organizing team had done a great job creating the game and planning the whole weekend, all of us really enjoyed it!