unicorns and laser beams

As part of my computer science studies I needed to work on a research project which I finally finished not too long ago – the title: “Planning of 3-dimensional complex cutting trajectories for robot-assisted surgery”. I worked on a program for a robot-assisted laser surgery on bones (in particular the human skull). It’s written in C++ using Qt and VTK. My task was to work on the planning module. The surgeon can mark points on a model of the patient’s skull and then connect them either with straight lines on the skull or create more complex connections. This was then used in another module to calculate positions and movements of the robot that was handling the laser. Laser beams ZOMG! All this will hopefully help make skull surgeries safer and less invasive as well as allow surgeries currently not possible due to tool limitations.

Despite having contributed to KDE for a few years now pretty much all over the place this was my first really big C++/Qt coding experience. I’ve not really touched KDE code in all those years except a few small changes here and there. Unbelievable right? Not really. On the one hand I think that so far KDE was better served with me doing community work – and maybe always will? And on the other hand it was damn scary. Oh and of course there was no pressure to climb that rather huge imaginary mountain and learn all the stuff I’d need to actually be any useful in that area. This university project helped quite a bit with both now 😉 This is btw also one of the reasons why I think GSoC is so invaluable: It gives the needed pressure and incentive to not give up when things get tough that some people (including me) need.

The robot, laser head and a plastic skull:
setup spline cut (circle) after

Cut on the plastic skull:
finished spline cut (circle)

Cut on a part of a pig’s bone:
finished spline cut on bone

And the actual planning program:

Thanks to Jessica, my advisor, for having patience and letting me screw up a few times. Thanks to everyone working on Qt and VTK for letting me do amazing stuff.

Guess it’s time now to find a good KDE project to get my hands dirty on. Be warned 😀

Oh and next time a new contributor vanishes: Nudge them a bit. They might just be standing in front of that huge imaginary mountain and need someone to tell them it’s not actually that huge or give a helping hand. And if you’re standing in front of it yourself right now: Don’t give up! Take it step by step. You’ll get up there.

Amarok Developer Sprint

The Amarok developer sprint in Berlin is at full speed and the Amarokers are having an awesome time

Tuesday started with me being late for my ride to Stuttgart due to a meeting. Finally at 4am on Friday Frederik, Sven and I arrived in Berlin. We had a nice chat with Nuno, Leo and Gerard. Czessi of kubuntu-de organized a really nice flat for us with comfy beds to fall asleep in.

Friday morning we went to the KDAB office in Kreuzberg and where greeted with lots of music and generally everyone having a great day. May 1st is starting as a rather nice street festival here. After playing a first round of table football (note to self: need one at home! need one at home!) we split into two groups, one doing API review of the Amarok codebase and the other one planning the PR part of our world domination plans and talking promo, website and artwork. Todos for everyone 😀 In between being all serious and making Amarok rock even more we went out to get food at a Moroccan restaurant next door (everysone visiting KDAB: get food there – it’s delicious!) and enjoyed the atmosphere. We left Kreuzberg later in the evening right before police closed the U-Bahn station. Fun being in Berlin on May 1st 😉

Amarok developer sprint
Amarok developer sprint (by Frederik)

Saturday was all about discussing ways to make Amarok’s user interface better. We had everything from “awesome but totally un-doable” to “yea this is pretty cool and might work”. Stay tuned for what will come out of this. Leinir and I did some card sorting to improve the context menu that pops up when right-clicking on a track in the playlist. It currently contains 11 items most of which are not the way they should be. Sebas was able to convince Frederik to join him in hacking on the networkmanager applet. We had delicious food around the corner again, Vietnamese and Indian this time. And of course we had a few good table football matches again 😀

Leo, Nuno, Max and Gerard having fun (by Frederik)
Leo, Nuno, Max and Gerard having fun (by Frederik)

Today started with making action items out of the discussions of the previous days, discussing bigger short and long-term plans and going through critical bug reports. After some really good Persian food, Leinir and I evaluated the data we got yesterday and came up with a very nice new context menu for the playlist. Others worked on implementing some of the action items we agreed on earlier like making it possible to remove the context view with a command line option (no option for now as we are in string-freeze). Night ended with a serious table foodball match which Leo, Sebas and Nuno totally rocked 😛

Conclusion: Berlin around the KDAB office and the office itself is the awesome. Thanks to KDAB for providing us with a great location and hosting. Thanks also to KDE eV for helping with funding. Stay tuned for some cool stuff 🙂

Friendship

Yesterday I was chilling with some of my friends. We bought Chinese food on our way and got a fortune cookie for everyone. Mine said “You are lucky to have such friendships”. And indeed I am.

Do you appreciate your friendships enough?

Thank you for being such great friends; the ones near and those far far away 🙂

Kavka

I just came back from Substage where Markus Kavka (a German MTV-host) was reading from his new book “Elektrische Zahnbürste” (electric toothbrush).  It’s a collection of articles he wrote for an online-magazine. It was sooooo cool and entertaining the whole evening.

Ah and he got extrapoints for signing my book and being about as tall as me in highheels (for those who don’t know me: that’s rather not tall *g*). So never trust a TV-camera – they are shameless liars 😉

If you ever get the chance to see him live (reading or as a DJ) you should definitely take it. It was so worth it.

new fotos



Scully4

Originally uploaded by nightrose.


I went to visit my family and as always I just had to visit my gorgeous cat Scully 😉 (She’s staying with my Grandma)

Although I visit her only twice a year or so she’s always happy to see me.

Since I had some time and the weather was nice I went out to take some fotos and Scully was happy to be my model.

Erfahrungen mit T-Com und T-Mobile

Episode 1: Zuletzt bei McDonalds: An der Kasse liegt ein Flyer der T-Com für ihre Hotspots bei McDonals aus. Mitgenommen und mal angeschaut um sich über die Preise zu informieren. Und gestaunt. Die bringen es doch tatsächlich fertig, auf einem Din A4-Blatt (vorn deutsch, hinten englisch) ihre Preise nicht zu nennen. Und gleichzeitig nennen sie auf dem selben Blatt ihre Abrechnung unkompliziert und transparent.

Episode 2: Bei einer Recherche für info-dschungel.de suchte ich nach Preisen und Konditionen für Datentarife um die einzelnen Anbieter zu vergleichen und einem Kunden einen Ãœberblick zu verschaffen. Die Tarife waren auch recht schnell gefunden aber es blieb doch die ein oder andere Frage bei T-Mobile offen. Umgeschaut und callback gefunden. Klasse, die rufen mich also zurück und beantworten mir dann sicher meine Fragen. Formular ausgefüllt und als Rückrufzeit 11 bis 13 Uhr am selben Tag ausgewählt. (Ich hatte es etwas eilig und es war wohl so gegen 12.) 13 Uhr verstrich und kein Anruf. Ok, vielleicht haben sie ja viel zu tun. Der Tag verging und ich bekam keinen Rückruf. Damit hatte sich meine Anfrage eigentlich auch erledigt und ihre Preise würden einfach nicht berücksichtigt (da sie sowieso recht unatraktiv waren). Das ist nun 5 Werktage und ein Wochenende her und ich habe immer noch keinen Rückruf bekommen. Offensichtlich brauchen sie meinen Kunden nicht als Kunden… Soll mir auch Recht sein. Aber wenigstens eine E-Mail hätten sie schicken können. Oder hab ich die E-Mailadresse zum Spaß angegeben? (Bei Vodafone habe ich mich auch zurückrufen lassen. Da wurde ich aber nach keiner Zeit und keinem Datum für den Rückruf gefragt und ich hatte daher auch nicht mit einem sofortigen Rückruf gerechnet. Heute hat man mich zurückgerufen und sich entschuldigt, dass man erst jetzt auf mich zurückkommt. So war das ok.)

Also:

  • Mehr Transparenz und Ehrlichkeit gegenüber den Kunden.
  • Transparenz reinpacken, wo Transparenz drauf steht.
  • Fehler eingestehen.
  • Verspechen einhalten.

Dann klappts vielleicht auch mit dem Kunden. Lernt ihr hoffentlich noch. Irgendwann.

Bonding-Messe

Bonding (collage)

Originally uploaded by nightrose.


Gestern und heute fand an der Uni Karlsruhe die Firmenkontaktmesse Bonding statt.

Und da gab es natürlich auch das ein oder andere Goodie. Bei fast allen Firmen gab es Kugelschreiber. Aber einige hatten sich richtig was einfallen lassen und sich so sehr positiv von den anderen abgehoben.

auf dem Bild von oben links nach unten rechts:
1. kleine Auswahl der Kugelschreiber
2. Schachtel mit M&M´s von Arthur D. Little als Medikament aufgemacht – natürlich mit Beipackzettel der auf die Wirkung ADL´s aufs eigene Unternehmen hinweist 😉
3. Seifenblätter von Comsoft – ideal für die Handtasche
4. Frisbee (?) von Inforte
5. süßes Koziol-Lesezeichen von Merck
6. Gummibärchen – Ich gebe es zu: ich habe zuerst an Gleitgel gedacht als ich Lubricants gelesen hab 😉 Wäre doch auch mal ne Idee für ihren nächsten Messestand *g*
7. ein kniffeliges Schraubenpuzzle von Invenio – ich werde noch eine Weile daran sitzen…
8. Notizhalter von Leoni
9. mein persönliches Highlight: Massageball von Lurgi

ohne Bild:
Bei der Boston Consulting Group gab es Glückskekse mit einem zur Firma passenden Spruch und URL der Homepage.

Zusammengefasst: Es war sehr interessant und ich werde mich jetzt dem Stapel Infobroschüren widmen den ich mitgebracht habe und einige der angegebenen URLs abgrasen.