Tag Archives: europe 2009

What? Where did the last 2 months go?

Well, somehow we’ve made it to the end of the first semester of this year, and I quite inconveniently forgot to write about anything since the start of April. This is quite problematic. I guess that means it’s time for me to do my semi-regular dump of notable things. Bleh.

So, where to begin?


So yes, we did arrive safely in Germany, spending a week with my relatives who live just outside of Frankfurt-am-Main in centre of the country. That was a fun week, we spent many days taking in the area, sampling the culture, and preparing for the programming contest the next week. We spent a week in Stockholm, where the contest was held, which was great fun in general (despite being somewhat colder than Germany and indeed Australia), we met many like-minded people, and thoroughly enjoyed the week. In the end, we solved three problems in the contest, which was (just) sufficient to see us getting a ranked position of equal 49th (yay!).

I’ll write up the two weeks spent overseas in greater detail soon (hopefully).

Twitter & Co.

So I succumbed to peer pressure roughly two weeks ago, signing up for Twitter and Identi.ca. As a fun experiment into the field, I investigated how long it would take, and what measures would be necessary, for someone to notice that I was on Twitter, and then follow me. I did this by following one or two people per day, and getting them to drop relatively silent hints about my existence. In the end, it took about a week for someone to notice me, with a fairly blatant reference to me needed to make it obvious. Despite the great scientific breakthrough observed, I don’t think the result is sufficient to write a paper about… :P

My main observation is that Twitter is miles behind Identi.ca in terms of useful features (I like group notices, denoted by ‘!’ tags in Identi.ca, and Jabber-based updating in particular), stability (updating my Avatar in Identi.ca does indeed work first time, every time, whereas it took me 10 tries to get it to work in Twitter), and ability to store my own name (This would make Twitter the first site that I have ever needed to call myself “Chris” as opposed to “Christopher”), that said, Twitter is ahead greatly in terms of the number of people on it, which makes sticking around there a necessary evil (boo for centralisation!).

End of Semester/Undergrad

And yes, it would be amiss to not note that last week was my last week of lectures as an undergrad student (presuming, of course, that all of my exams go sufficiently well), it was mostly uneventful, with the exception of having to hand in two major assignments, prepare and present a lightning talk, and run the session in which it was presented. All-in-all rather busy!

Leavin’ on (a) jet plane(s)

As previously mentioned I’m on one of the Australian teams competing in the ACM ICPC World Finals being held in Stockholm on April 21 — that means that I somehow need to get to Europe, and that somehow is series of flights, today — with a week’s stopover in Frankfurt, to visit relatives who live there.

Flights today are Hobart-Melbourne (not too bad) and Melbourne-Frankfurt via Bangkok (oriental setting), an ugly 28 hours total in transit (that I’m not really looking forward to), arriving at the somewhat inconvenient time of 6AM (just to ensure that any excess jetlag will be comfortably prolonged).

I’ll be trying pretty hard to document my trip here, and this will probably mean that there’ll be a bit of extra noise coming from me on PLOA — for those of you with little interest in what I’m doing: sorry about that!