Newest entries



Website overhaul

I have been busy the past few days (ok, weeks) with a general overhaul of the website. I didn't quite finish, as my inital plan included filters, so the content of the site can be filtered by interest. For example, a recruiter might care only about my software stuff, while someone coming from the periphery projects should not be bothered with old academic writings. However I found that implementing filters with Jekyll would compromise too much of what the framework is all about.

I would have needed to implement page delivery within a scripting languare, most likely python 2.6, and deliver the pre-generated and filtered content depending on session settings. But then I might as well use a whole framework like Django for this. So instead I will create custom landingpages for specific interest groups. I think that's an okay compromise.

Here's a list of what changed with the overhaul:
  • Improved blog post stylings
  • Crosspost entries from other websites like tumblr
  • Content-page generation is now done with Jekyll, which vastly speeds up updating the site and gives me more incentive to actually doing so
  • Fixed some "card" stylings. Still somewhat broken on Chrome, but I really can't be bothered to deal with Chrome right now
  • Team flags to indicate where I shamelessly promote content that I did not create alone
  • Automatically populated "Newest entries" slider
  • More love for mobile devices. Still needs some work
  • New content. (New as in "I had it lying around".)

Sometimes in the next weeks I will probably push another small update for pagination and aforementioned landingpages, but other than that this website hopefully can keep running for a while without needing major changes again. Let me know if you want so see specific things fixed, updated or otherwise mangled... Hahaha, who am I kidding? Nobody is reading this.

Inside out has changed how I view my mind (or: How descriptive titles sometimes read like clickbait)

[Insert standard disclaimer how I am writing this post late at night just after watching the movie and therefore it’s biased and most likely does not reflect my opinions in the future.]

If you have not watched Inside Out, I can wholeheartedly recommend doing so at your earliest convenience. I like the movie not just for the reasons I will get to shortly after this literarily necessary introduction. It’s very enjoyable even if you don’t read anything into it. Want a movie recommendation for what you whippersnappers call “Netflix and chill”? Then watch Inside Out… if it were on Netflix.

Like many, I enjoy any movie with sufficiently high production values, but “liking” is another category with tougher entrance criteria. Inside Out manages to do so by providing a valuable analogy for how I (we?) think. I’m not claiming that anything in the movie is accurate. Remember the person in the cinema constantly sighing and rolling their eyes? Probably a psychologist/neurologist.

However, in the absence of memorable analogies for my own thought processes and inner workings of my brain, the emotions-drive-us-but-memories-define-who-we-are abstraction made itself comfortable in my brain seconds after the credits rolled. As I was walking from the cinema to my home, I was in the usual movie euphoria that always grips me after watching a good movie. But instead of walking around in one of the common power fantasies or constructing fictional worlds and how I’d rule them, I found myself imagining what a scene of the movie in my head would look like.

Take for example a situation where I encountered two men standing around at a corner not far from the cinema. Looking back now, I can easily imagine what happens in that would-be movie scene: As I observe the men, Fear recognizes that 1.) it’s dark, 2.) these persons are lingering and 3.) we are in an area not under any surveillance. So now Fear and Anger are both at the console, mentally preparing for what could kinda, maybe, possibly happen. My attention focuses on the men, I tense up and shift into a walking pattern where I can quickly move without tripping on the somewhat slippery floor.

At the same time, Joy jumps around trying to push various buttons to make me realize that while a conflict is possible, it is statistically unlikely and I should not falsely accuse these men of bad intentions, causing Disgust to throw in a remark about how stupid all other people are. Dunno what Sadness is doing.

After I passed the two men, and predictably nothing happened, Joy can then pull an I-told-you-so and the memory, a mix of fear and anger, get’s passed along the machinery. Again, while this is certainly not an accurate depiction of what is actually happening in my brain, it is sufficient to make me reflect at all. If I just walk around constantly thinking “Well, I have no idea how my mind works. Isn’t life mysterious? Let’s call up the fu-”, then what’s the point of reflection? Maybe I can find better analogies or even the occasional almost-fact where I can pinpoint a particular thought or action to an exact process (usually fallacies and mind-traps). But for the Greater Picture, Inside Out has just handed me the rough draft for The Theory Of My Mind. A draft can be refined, a blank page cannot.

There was another situation in the cinema with our favorite social nemesis, the movie-cellphone-talker. Disgust driving, but Sadness recognizing that it might be an actually important phone call, Anger pushing random buttons, Fear and Joy playing cards. I probably should not start picking my life apart situation by situation, turning everything into animated movie scenes, but I feel that I now can analyze myself much better than before.

So in conclusion, that’s why Inside Out is not just a good movie but a great one and you should totally watch it. I will also gladly accept any scorning replies how totally wrong I am and why I have poisoned my mind with false crap.

TL;DR: Inside Out depicts not-to-wrongly how my mind works and I now can apply this to situations of my life for improved introspection.

IFF - Micro-post-mortem


IFF - Playable here

This was my entry to the Ludum Dare 32 game jam, under the theme “An unconventional weapon”. You play as, well, an abstract thing, being attacked by swarms of other abstract things. Your only weapon? The confusion gun. Hitting an enemy with it turns them to your side (or back to theirs). Survival becomes a questions of carefully converting enemies so they perish by friendly fire.

Development was honestly a bit half-assed. I tried a new framework, which is always a terrible idea for a game jam, and promptly ran into some issues I couldn’t fix. Why do bullets fly through walls? That’s not a design choice, that was just an ugly fix to improve performance.

Gameplay-wise I think it’s not too shabby, for my standards anyway. If extended to a fully-featured game, I could see this game actually being fun. However commenters pointed out that I did a horrible job of making the limit of conversions clear. I just blame it to the fact that GUIs are hard… *cough*

Overall, I am a smidgen proud of this game and hope that this is about the right amount of pride I’m supposed to feel.

A small content update

[Insert apology about how I don't update this "blog" quite as much as blogs are supposed to update, despite the fact that I never intended it to be anything other than a place to post updates for this site and that I'm not really a blogging person.]

So here are a few new things you can check out:

All systems nominal, we are go for launch

No, hold up! Communications? Communications, are we go? Hey, can someone wake up Communications?
You awake now? Great, let's do this again.
Flight coordinator? - Go!
Engineering? - Go!
Communications? - Comm... - Go!
Catering? - Go!
Vehicle Crew? - Go!
Weather? - Go!
Safety Monitor? - Go!
Alright, we don't have all day, just launch the damn thing.
We have liftoff, Gentlemen!

IKEA - done and done

I always thought it a meme or kind of joke, that IKEA is supposed to be hard to assemble. But because of the double-edged sword of Poe’s Law, there may be some truth to it. So here are a few pointers from someone who enjoys assembling IKEA furniture:
  • The instruction manual is everything. During the construction there’s only one true God, and that’s the manual.
  • The manual is intended to be understood without words. It was created from an engineering perspective. Keep that in mind and try to get into a headspace where you are an engineer working with the blueprints from a fellow engineer. If it helps, imagine you’re assembling a turret in the midst of a battlefield and you need it working before the spies and scouts are closing in. Dammit Jim, you’re an engineer, not a doctor!
  • Proper tools go a long way. Borrow them or buy a basic set.
  • You are provided all the parts you need. If there are some left at the end, you missed something. The rare exception is when they ask you to hammer in 56 nails to fix those non-load-bearing decorative back-panels. I don’t think they even count how many nails they put in the package.
  • Also, although it is highly recommended, they never provide long screws to fix the furniture to the wall. Buy a pack to last for all eternity.
  • If they ask for two persons to do a step, it’s either due to upper body strength or due to coordination fiddling heavy parts into sockets. If you are confident enough, there’s nothing stopping you from doing it all on your own. Just don’t put the hospital bill on me, when you are crushed by a 80kg clothes wardrobe.
  • Always lay down the parts in the same orientation as the manual. It saves a lot of time rotating parts in your head.
  • IKEA loves chirality, because they always provide an opportunity to mistake two symmetric parts. The manual shows the correct orientation, but it’s easy to miss. Check, check, check the manual.
  • It shouldn’t need saying, but never ever skip a step. Why would you do that? What has the world done to you to make so cruel?
  • Screw in everything tight and hammer in nails all the way.
  • Everything fits. If it doesn’t, don’t make it, but find out what you did wrong. Except wooden plugs, they need some encouragement to fit. A hammer is plenty encouraging.
  • Vent the room when you’re done. I know the chemicals smell awesome, but there’s a reason glue-sniffing is highly not-recommended. Vent every couple days for a month after. I didn’t sit through a course to calculate the dosage of chemicals gasing out of furniture, just so you can complain about headaches!
  • If someone has preconceived notions of your ability to assemble stuff based on your gender, tell them to fuck off. If you have these notions yourself, I ask you to reconsider your reasons for this.


This one is a classic. The Mandelbrot set is a truly complex fractal that was discovered by, surprise surprise, Benoît Mandelbrot. Probably while doodling around, because that’s how a lot of neat stuff is discovered.

What you see in the picture is a visual representation of the complex plane. The point where the two biggest blobs touch, is (0,0), while the line extending on the x axis from that point in both directions are the real numbers.

For each point the following series was iterated and if at any point the value got above 2, it was considered divergent and colored according to how many iterations it took. All black points are, very likely, part of the Mandelbrot set, because they stayed within bounds for many iterations.

z(n) = z(n-1)² + z(0)

The beauty of this fractal is how many shapes and other fractals there are hidden within the border region between parts of Mandelbrot set and the remaining complex plane. Just enter ‘Mandelbrot zoom’ into youtube’s search bar and enjoy.

Correction: The Mandelbrot set is not an actual fractal. It looks like one, but the copies are not identical to the original. This is however a distinction only purposefull for determining certain features of fractals such as the fractal dimension. It should also be pointed out, that the series is assumed to start with the point in question as z(0) and n is an integer greater than zero.