Sunday, September 14, 2008

Visiting the Old Jewish Cemetery

Today Jana and myself tried to educate Jonna about Jewish burial rites. We took part in a guided tour of the old Jewish cemetery in Fürth. Unfortunately it seems to have bored Jonna, she slept nearly the whole time. Jana and myself were glad to finally be able to visit the burial ground since it's only possible to visit it as part of a guided tour. It has been in use from 1607 until 1906 (some stones are dated up to 1919) when the new Jewish cemetery as part of the new town cemetery was founded. Part of the burial rites is that a cemetery is not changed, so e.g. the burial stones are left as they are. Together with the growing plants and trees, this give the cemetery an interesting atmosphere.

A few more photos are found in my gallery.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Visit in the "Erfahrungsfeld zur Entfaltung der Sinne"

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with my brother's family at the "Erfahrungsfeld zu Entfaltung der Sinne" (experience area to evolve the senses) in Nürnberg. Not only the kids had a lot of fun but also us adults. I took the pleasure in taking two interesting photos with mirrors:

A self-portrait of myself in a distorting mirror and

a photo of a box with mirrors inside and viewing holes - the reflections were really interesting.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Wintec WSG-1000 and Geotagging under Linux

I've bought myself a new toy: a Wintec WSG-1000 a GPS datalogger with LCD display. It's compatible on the software side to the Wintec WPS-201 - with a minor detail - so that Linux software supporting the WPS-201 worked for me. I wanted to buy a datalogger for geotagging my photos and favored the WSG-1000 due to it's LCD display with many informative options and the long battery life. An alternative was the Holux M-241 which shows far less information on the small LCD.

Software that I have been using or evaluating so far:
* viking: allows to manage GPS data: You can plot and manipulate tracks and waypoints. The mapping part needs some more love but the rest is rather interesting.
* gtk-g-rays2: Allows to configure the Wintec receiver.
* gpsbabel: An application to download the tracks from the datalogger, convert them to various formats and manipulate them. This needed a small patch to support the WSG-1000. I've added the patch also to the openSUSE 11.0 distribution.
* GPicSync: Allows geotagging of photos. I first had to debug this since it did not want to geotag my directory with photos. It turned out it handled only Nikon RAW files ending with uppercase NEF but my files ended with a lowercase nef. The trivial patch has been sent upstream and the upstream author directly accepted it.
* geotag: Another application to geotag photos. It also allows to display photos and tracks via google earth.

For now I'll stick with gpsbabel to download tracks from the datalogger and with geotag for the tagging.

For basic visualization of tracks, geotag does fulfill the needs I have right now - and for more advanced work, both viking and gpsbabel allow track manipulation - viking in a graphical interactive way, gpsbabel via command line.

I do not know my logger good enough to figure out how useful gtk-g-rays2 will be - but it's good to know that it exists.

As openSUSE user I was interested to note that GPicSync is available from the openSUSE BuildService and gpsbabel is part of the openSUSE distribution. I needed to compile gtk-g-rays2 and viking myself - and geotag comes as a jar archive that I could easily launch.

If you know some better applications, please tell me.

Spring in Fürth's Stadtpark

Thursday was public holiday in Germany and I took Friday off as well. This gave Jana and myself some time for walks around Fürth and we especially loved the signs of spring in Fürth's Stadtpark.

There were a lot of beautifull tulips everywhere.

This morning Jonna and myself enjoyed watching a family of geese having breakfast.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

First week of our new life...

Our daughter Jonna is now 8 days old - and since Wednesday both of my girls are at home and I'm slowly getting used to nights with changing diapers instead of sleeping. On Wednesday it was snowing when I awoke and I had to dig out the car since it was covered with more than 5cm of snow - an interesting parallel to her birthday when it was also snowing but the snow did not stay. Now it's getting warmer, so perhaps we can soon show Jonna the Stadtpark in sunshine!

She fascinates me every day - the way she sleeps, cries or makes a grimace. She also seems to enjoy cuddling with her parents. She's eating well and gaining weight daily.
For those of you with kids, that's hardly something extraordinary - but for me everything is exciting ;-). I'm glad to have some more days of vacation to see her grow - and to find a rhythm in domestic live.

She's sleeping now in the same cradle that I slept in already, just the curtain has been sewed especially for Jonna by Jana.

I've been encouraged by all the kind words and congretulations we have received. Thanks a lot!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jonna Ylvi Jaeger

Yesterday - on the 21st of March - was our personal beginning of spring: Our daughter Jonna Ylvi was born. The name Jonna (for pronunciation listen to is a Finish female version of the names John, Jan or Jana, Ylvi means little female wolf and is Norwegian - and when we choose it we did not know that she would be born at full moon.

The first night she tried to check how sharp her finger nails where. During the day the scratches started to heal.

Jana thinks that she has the eyelashes from her dad. She looks really peaceful when sleeping - and can also cry rather loud.

She's 55cm long (21.7 inches) and weights 3750g (8.28 pounds). Compared to her daddy's hand, she's still tiny!

Jana and myself are happy and grateful to have our daughter!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Geese Chase

The Stadtpark in Fürth is home for two dozen or so geese - both Canadian and Graylag Geese. Today my wife and myself enjoyed watching some geese. Around a dozen were grazing on the meadows and suddenly started to fly to the river in groups of three.

They flew straight to us,

but luckily over us and turned to the right,

and landed directly - three meters behind us in the river.

It was quite impressive to see the birds flying that close. I'm glad that my camera was up to speed for capturing this.

Large sizes of these photos are available here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

openSUSE Community Manager Starts

After three months of interviewing and one week of setting up everything for the new openSUSE community manager, I'm looking forward to actually work together with Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier. Read more about him at his openSUSE blog: and this blog entry.

I was impressed by the many enthusiastic people that applied for the job and the comments they made about the project and how they wanted to get involved. For all of us interviewing, it was tough to choose between these interesting candidates - it looked like comparing apples and oranges. I'd like to thank all that interviewed and were interviewed!

The last days I've had quite a lot discussions with Zonker and I'm enthusiastic about working with him. I also look forward to drinking a beer or two with him soon in Nürnberg.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Klaus, Gary,...

Walking around in Fürth I found the perfect motive for all of us who are celebrating their birthdays today:

A special happy birthday to my colleagues Gary and Klaus!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Stadtpark Photowalk

This morning Jana and myself went for a walk through Fürth's Stadtpark with cameras and attached macro lenses.

The morning was a bit foggy, it had frozen during the night and now the sun came out. Some plants still had some ice on them, and others only had water drops from the unfrozen ice. It was a really nice morning - I just would not call this winter.

We finished the walk with a visit to our favorite bakery (Cafe Barbante, Jakobinenstr) to buy some pieces of cake.

KDE 4.0 Release - and openSUSE Packages

On Friday the KDE community has released a major new release: KDE 4.0 (click here for the announcement). The release is the result of more than two years of coding, debugging, documenting and creating artwork.

I have installed openSUSE factory (our developement version) together with the KDE 4 desktop on my Laptop and gave it a quick test this week: The desktop looks much cleaner and polished, the new icons and the oxygen theme have a fresh look. Gwenview - the image viewer - has been greatly reworked and streamlined. The desktop gave audible feedback for many actions - something I would personally rather disable but others might like it.

The System Configuration has been redone and the modules look really nice. Changing underlying libraries does not always give visible results - but in the case of KDE4, you can see that the new libraries and frameworks have been rewritten and enabled the developers to write better applications and tools.

The "Zoom out" feature confused me, I don't know what the real benefit of it is. I also hit some bugs, e.g. the desktop effects did not work for me directly (I'm glad that this is so nicely integrated and finally easy to setup). I also missed a few features, e.g. the panel is a bit too large for me and I have not found a way to create a smaller version of it.

I suggest to look also at the KDE 4.0 Visual Guide which provides a quick overview of various new and improved KDE 4.0 technologies.

Not all packages have been ported to the new framework but you can use KDE 3 applications easily on the KDE 4 desktop. I could use the 4.0.0 release for my work without major problems.

All in all, it looks to me like a promising .0.0 release - it is the foundation for a great desktop and I look forward to see major KDE3 applications ported to KDE4!

KDE Four Live 1.0

Testing KDE 4 with openSUSE

You can install packages directly from the openSUSE Build Service. On openSUSE 10.3 you can use 1-click-install to get the KDE 4.0 desktop environment:

Alternatively you can choose to install a more basic KDE 4 desktop.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

qtpfsgui - HDR under Linux

Thanks to Adrian, the openSUSE Build Service has now pre-build binaries for the HDR tool qtpfsgui. The packages can be downloaded and installed with 1-Click install directly from the Build Service.

I went out tonight and took some photos in Fürth - and then played around with qtpfsgui:

Grüner Markt, Fürth.

Using a different toning algorithm, the same photo can look quite different, far more like a painting.

I do like both of them - and guess I'll have some fun in the next weeks exploring qtpfsgui.