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At GROSSWEBER we practice what we preach. We offer trainings for modern software technologies like Behavior Driven Development, Clean Code and Git. Our staff is fluent in a variety of languages, including English.

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Yesterday evening

Posted in NonTech at Tuesday, 30 August 2005 13:29 W. Europe Daylight Time

After my exam (which went well) I didn't feel that good yesterday. I've had a queasy feeling in my stomach and the overall condition was a bit like a hangover (from Saturday?).

In the evening I decided to call Robert, Steffi, Susi and Corinna for a little diversion at the Cospuden lake. They agreed so I picked them up at their place and we drove heading south to the lake. Although the sun was already setting and there were heaps of mosquitoes around we jumped into the water. It payed off since there was a really nice overview about the lake with an softly glowing sky in blue, orange and crimson. When the giggling about the fun we had ceased the water soon became too cold. We got out to get dressed and drove back to Robert's place for a beer or two. I called Martin letting him know about our plans and picked up him in Schleußig.

When we came back Corinna started giving Steffi a massage. This was like cinema for the rest of us as they had chosen to be placed directly in front of us. In the end everyone got a massage (I treated Robert's back) and I went to bed being more relaxed than ever. Thanks Steffi, I owe you something! :-)

Brazilian Steak

Posted in NonTech at Sunday, 28 August 2005 11:08 W. Europe Daylight Time

Every year at Whit sun me and my friends are going to some place in Germany having a few days off in the country. This year we decided to go to Obergeißendorf where the summer house of my family is located. During the days there, Robert mentioned the great steak he ate at a restaurant. So we thought about preparing some of this kind of beef later this summer.

Yesterday evening we (Robert, Robert, Martin, Thomas and I) finally managed to meet at my place tasting beef topped with herb butter, baguette and rocket salad. No doubt we also had beer and vodka. Robert bought a new barbecue set and plenty of meat: 2,85 kg of finest Brazilian steak for us five. This makes about 570 grams of beef for everyone. Knowing this, I didn't eat that much yesterday. It payed off, but after my share of the cow I really felt stuffed. The Angostura Bitter we all had to try afterward did a great job driving my digestion, although its taste was not remarkably good.

The cozy part of the evening took place in my room where we were listening to plenty of of tracks. Unfortunately, Robert was the one with the remote control to skip through my playlist after only 20 seconds of each song. We listened to about 90 percent of the songs this way, only 10 percent were allowed to be heard in their full beauty.

Now playing: Esbjörn Svensson Trio - E.S.T. Live 95 - The rube thing

New music

Posted in Music at Saturday, 27 August 2005 16:21 W. Europe Daylight Time

Some artists/albums I discovered recently and I would like to share:

Audio Lotion - Advanced Skin Care
Audio Lotion - Advanced Skin Care
Esbjörn Svensson Trio - E.S.T. Live 95
Esbjörn Svensson Trio - E.S.T. Live 95
Kid Loco - A grand Love Story
Kid Loco - A grand Love Story

Now back to "learning by doing"... I've got two exams scheduled next week.

Now playing: Kid Loco - A grand Love Story - She woolf daydreaming

Robert is back

Posted in NonTech at Wednesday, 24 August 2005 17:14 W. Europe Daylight Time

Yesterday I planned watching the soccer match Hamburger SV vs. a spanish team (forgive me omitting the details, I'm no soccer fan) with Susi and Jan. We thought about having a beer at "Besser Leben" afterwards, but it all went a little different. Susi came around 9:30 PM and brought Robert with her. Yes, the one who is supposed hiking the Jakob's trail in Spain right now. Instead he is standing in the kitchen preparing chicken stuffed with garlic and grapes in this very moment.

However, I was delighted that he is back home and we had a very nice evening together talking about the Hows and Whys of his rather short trip, listening to music, having some Sternburger and chilling. Welcome back, fellow!

Tonight we'll move Martin's stuff to his new place. Unfortunately Teilauto assigned him a car around 8 so we'll have to be quick hauling the furniture over to the new apartment for we're rewarding ourselves with the chicken after that.

Now playing: Jean F. Cochois - Electronique Love - From the edge of time

Rezept: Huhn mit Knofi und Frischkäse

Posted in Recipes (German) at Wednesday, 24 August 2005 17:06 W. Europe Daylight Time

Hier Roberts Rezept im Original:

  • Du nimmst Huhn (beliebig viel)
  • Weintrauben, nach Möglichkeit kernlos (viele gehen nicht in EIN Huhn, hast Du zwei Huhn, nimmst Du mehr Weintrauben)
  • 20-30 Knoblauchzehen/Huhn - auch nach Gefühl, auch 10 mehr oder weniger kommt es nicht an!
  • Frischkäse (150-200 g pro Huhn)
  • Schnittlauch, Petersilie
  • Salz, Pfeffer

Das Vieh also waschen, trocknen, teeren und federn und dann die Creme anrühren. Die kleingehackten Kräuter, Salz und Pfeffer zum abschmecken, ca. 2-3 Knoblauchzehen kleinschneiden/auspressen und auch noch freudig mit hinein in die Paste. Nun vorsichtig mit den Fingern die Haut vom Hühnerkörper lösen, dazu geht man in der Afterregion unter die Haut und löst diese vorsichtig ab, ist nicht so das Ding, einfacher als man denkt oder es sich anhört. Learning by Trying ist hier die Devise. Nach Ablösung die Paste unter die Haut heben, am besten mit den Fingern und zum Verteilen auf der Hautaussenseite weiter drücken, drehen und verteilen so weit es geht. Sollte schon teilweise bis in die Beine gehen. In Mark und Bein.

Dann das geschätzte Tier mit Weintrauben und Knoblauchzehen füllen. Wem das Schälen der Zehen zu stressig wird, der kann diese auch kurz (2 min) in kochendes Wasser legen, dann pellen die sich (fast) von selbst. Axl meint, das geht auch so und da hat er Recht, but just in case. 1-2 Zehen noch bei der Hand halten, um sie zu halbieren und das Huhn von außen abzureiben (Die Abreibung hat es sich verdient!) und nach der Salbung die geselligen halben Zehen noch die eine oder andere Höhlung oder Achsel, Axel, einfügen, die das Huhn freimütig feilbietet.

Noch etwas Salz von außen auf den Kadaver aufbringen und dann in den Ofen mit dem chick. So bei ner Stunde muss es sich dann bei 180°C im eigenen Saft rekeln, vielleicht auch etwas länger, da lohnt vielleicht auch nochmal ein Blick in ein Kochbuch. Am Ende ist Huhn Huhn und braucht fast immer genauso lange und jeder mag das ja auch unterschiedlich. Dazu macht, was ihr wollt, Rotkraut und Klöße passt auf jeden Fall, aber auch mit Brot, wie wir wissen, ein Heidenspass.

Interview at Saxonia Systems

Posted in General at Monday, 22 August 2005 17:44 W. Europe Daylight Time

Today I had an interview at Saxonia Systems in Dresden. I've sent them my resume to let them check the possibility of me writing my master thesis there.

The interview was nice and fluent and I was happy to gain a little insight to the company, the corporate philisophy and their projects. I especially appreciate the way they're trying to develop the employees' skills in meetings and reviews. I hope they like the work I did until now, too. In about two weeks I'll be notified if I have the chance of joining the company and the topic they suggest writing on.

On the way to Dresden I gave a girl and a boy from Rostock a lift, so the journey time was pretty entertaining. When I got back to Leipzig I drove by Susi and Steffi but I was told that they're on vacation with their mum. Maybe next time.

What an interesting day. Tonight I'll join Gunnar to have some draught together. :-)

Rezepte vom vegetarischen Kochabend

Posted in Recipes (German) at Sunday, 21 August 2005 18:02 W. Europe Daylight Time

Hier die Rezepte vom vegetarischen Kochabend am 11. August 2005:

Torta Verde - Gemüsekuchen

für 4 Personen:

  • 2 Zucchini
  • 1,5 kg Spinat
  • 4 Kartoffeln
  • 1 Zwiebel
  • 2 Knoblauchzehen
  • 2 Eier
  • 100 g Parmesan
  • 200 g Ricotta
  • Salz und Pfeffer
  • Muskatnuss
  • 200 g Mehl
  • 4 EL Öl
  • Wasser
  • Salz

Den Teig aus Mehl, Öl, Wasser und Salz zubereiten. Wasser zugeben bis er elastisch ist. Das Gemüse dünsten/kochen, die Feuchtigkeit aus dem Blattgemüse auspressen, zerkleinern mit Parmesan, Ricotta und Ei mischen, würzen. Den Teil in zwei Teile teilen und ausrollen, eine geölte Springform (ca. 26 cm) auslegen, die Füllung einfüllen, Deckel auflegen, die Teigränder verpressen, mit einer Gabel einstechen. 45 Minuten bei ca. 180°C im vorgeheizen Rohr backen.


für 4 Personen:

  • Saft von 3 Mandarinen
  • 1 Mandarine in Stücken (oder andere Zitrusfrucht)
  • 1/4 l Sahne
  • Salbei
  • 3 Eier
  • 1 Eigelb
  • 3 cl Wodka
  • Meersalz
  • weißer Pfeffer

Den Mandarinensaft mit Eiern und Eigelb über einem Wasserbad schaumig schlagen und den Wodka einrühren, dann über Eiswasser kaltschlagen. Den im Mörser zerstoßenen Salbei zufügen und mit der geschlagenen Sahne vermengen. Mit weißem Pfeffer würzen, in eine Form geben und gefrieren lassen. Vor dem Servieren antauen lassen, mit Mandarinenscheibe und Salbeiblatt garnieren, ein wenig frisch gemahlenes Meersalz und weißen Pfeffer darüber streuen.

Mousse au Chocolat

für 4 Personen:

  • 1/4 l Sahne
  • 2 Eier, getrennt
  • 2 EL Zucker
  • 100 g Zartbitterschokolade

Sahne steif schlagen und beiseite stellen. Das getrennte Eiweiß zu steifem Schnee schlagen und den Zucker mit einem Schneebesen langsam einrühren. Die Schokolade im Wasserbad schmelzen. Die Eigelbe gut verquirlen und unter die Schokolade rühren. Die Eiweiß-Zucker-Masse vorsichtig unter die Schokoladenmasse ziehen und die Sahne darunter heben. Ein bis zwei Stunden kalt stellen.

Mehr folgt wenn ich Gesas Kochbuch gefunden habe.

Rezept: Hühnerteile in süßer Marinade

Posted in Recipes (German) at Sunday, 21 August 2005 17:16 W. Europe Daylight Time

für 1 kg Hühnerteile (Flügel, Schenkel)

  • 2-3 Zwiebeln, in Ringe geschnitten
  • 1 EL Ingwer, in Scheiben/kleine Stücke geschnitten
  • 3 EL Honig
  • 100 ml Reiswein
  • 4 El Sojasoße


  • Ingwer und Zwiebeln in Öl anbraten
  • Herausnehmen und die Hühnerteile scharf anbraten
  • Fond aus Reiswein, Honig und Sojasoße herstellen und in die Pfanne geben
  • Zwiebel-Ingwer-Mischung hinzugeben, alles 20 Minuten köcheln bis Soße leicht dick und konzentriert wird

Dazu Reis und einen überbackenen Salat aus Rucola, Tomate, Mozzarella und Basilikum reichen.

Now playing: Kaizers Orchestra - Live at Roskilde Festival 2002 - Bønn Fra Helvete

A kitchen accessory

Posted in Fun Stuff at Thursday, 18 August 2005 20:49 W. Europe Daylight Time

In case somebody likes to buy a present for the chef :)

[Via schrankmonster]

Now playing: Oasis - Don't believe the truth - Part of the queue

Running on RAID

Posted in Geek Mode at Thursday, 18 August 2005 15:29 W. Europe Daylight Time

Yesterday, almost six weeks after my primary hard drive crashed, I received a repaired replacement. During this time I used a newly bought one (the same model) and set up Windows to be RAID-ready. This means that the RAID option was enabled in the BIOS and Intel RAID drivers for the ICH6R chipset were installed, although there was only one drive mounted. I used the convenient Intel Application Accelerator to migrate the single-drive solution to a RAID 1 array today. The whole process took about two hours. In the meantime I was able to use Windows without limitations. Pretty neat.

I hope the next time a hard drive fails, some software component will inform me about the failure and suggests what to to next. Nevertheless, I hope this won't happen (soon).

Now playing: Bonobo - Dial 'M' for Monkey - Noctuary


Posted in NonTech at Thursday, 18 August 2005 00:40 W. Europe Daylight Time

Today (actually yesterday by now) Julia from Vienna, our first Hospitality Club guest, left heading to Cuba. She arrived on sunday and I was the one to pick her up at the train station. In the evening we went to Markus' birthday party which was nice as always. The next day I had a pretty big hangover since I had too much of the good draught and other things one might imagine. Julia was able to gather additional travel information from Markus and Claudia which were in Cuba for about 3 weeks last year. She was even happy enough to lend a travel book from them.

On monday she intentionally planned to leave Leipzig to catch her flight to Cuba. At the airport she realized that due to some mistake in her appointments book the flight was booked for sunday, the day she arrived. Fortunately she got the chance to book another flight for only 99€ on wednesday, leaving from Frankfurt/Main. She went back from the airport for another two days in Leipzig and Martin and I welcomed her the second time. Due to some work on monday and tuesday I didn't have the chance of showing her the city center so she started exploring it on her own. I think she liked it pretty much as she said she would like to move to Leipzig when she's got the chance to live in Germany again. After all, we had two relaxing evenings with nice conversation and well prepared meals. Today (again, yesterday by now) at 6:30 she left to Halle to get her lift to FF/M. I hope she enjoyed her stay the same way we did!

Now playing: Pelican City - Rhode Island - The pier

Find the three differences

Posted in Fun Stuff at Wednesday, 17 August 2005 19:49 W. Europe Daylight Time


Now playing: David Holmes - Don't die just yet

Now Playing 1.0

Posted in Music | Now Playing at Tuesday, 16 August 2005 23:25 W. Europe Daylight Time

I am a lazy person. As a (every?) developer I want to relieve users from cumbersome tasks that recur often enough to justify an automated solution.

So it is with the cumbersome assembly of the "Now Playing" line on the end of each post I introduced in my first blog entry. I want to let it consist of the following elements:

  • A prefix, "Now Playing: " in my case,
  • The artists of the currently playing track,
  • The album (if any) of the currently playing track,
  • The title of the currently playing track.

The artists fragment should be linked to Music-Map as this service shows a nice overview of artists/bands other people liked - a great way to figure out if you may like that kind of music. The album part should be linked to Amazon so you can dig into the details of the CD and listen to samples. Links should only be added if there's such information available, of course.

The three times I've put together the "Now Playing" line manually showed me that this is definitely such a recurring task. After two days Now Playing 1.0 is ready for take-off. It tells my favorite music player to get the aforementioned info of the currently playing item, queries Music-Map and Amazon's Web Services for the links and assembles the resulting HTML markup.

The application is entirely written in C#. For pulling the track info out of the music player there were little tricks needed: Winamp doesn't support giving the info to out-of-process components so a plugin would be the easiest way to retrieve the info and hand it over to another application through some IPC mechanism. In contrast to that, my goal was to create a solution that's not depended on plugins. After some research I found that VirtualAllocEx() is able to reserve memory in a foreign process. ReadProcessMemory() and WriteProcessMemory() are the functions to manipulate such a memory region. All I needed to do was to set up the query structure in such a way that it resides in Winamp's address space and send the query-track-info message to its main window. Winamp happily writes the desired results into "my" memory in its own address space. After reading them and freeing the block of memory I can go on with the web queries.

As always when working with Platform Invoke, and their VS.NET Add-In was a great help.

DownloadDownload the binaries. Have a look at the NowPlaying.exe.config file as you will need to enter you Amazon Developer Subscription ID (create one here). The string/HTML fragments are stored there too.

Here's the result of the first usage in production mode:

Now playing: Aimee Mann - Lost in space - Lost in space

Check it out

Posted in Fun Stuff at Monday, 15 August 2005 03:36 W. Europe Daylight Time

A very funny video.

[Via Haacked]

The new password manager

Posted in Tools and Software at Sunday, 14 August 2005 13:55 W. Europe Daylight Time

After years of using and recommending Steganos Password Manager as my solution to the lost password problem I accidentally discovered KeePass Password Safe today. This program seems a lot more capable of managing many passwords. KeePass organizes items in a tree view. My copy of Steganos, not the recent one, has some limitations of the UI (i.e. fixed window sizes) that were bugging me the last weeks.

KeePass is open source, extensible, has a nice UI and supports the AutoType feature that fills passwords into controls in a customizable way. See the whole list here.

One drawback: The program is not compatible with Windows Limited Users Accounts (LUA) as it stores the user configuration in the application path (C:\Program Files) which is write-proteced for users. I've attached an Application Compatibility Fix (SDB file) created with the Application Compatibility Toolkit that allows you to circumvent the wrong behavior and let the application save config data in C:\Documents and Settings as it is appropriate.

DownloadDownload, unzip and install the fix from the command prompt:

sdbinst.exe "KeePass Password Safe.sdb"

Time to install this great piece of software, fellows!

Update: The current version 1.02 fixed the problems with Limited User Accounts. No SDB file is needed.

Now playing: Kula Shaker - K - Hollow Man (Parts 1 & 2)

Kris pays a visit

Posted in General at Saturday, 13 August 2005 21:58 W. Europe Daylight Time

Yesterday Christian and his girlfriend Mariana from Venezuela went to Leipzig on their road trip through Germany. I was happy giving both a place to stay. Kris has also been a "Zivildienstleistender", a social service instead of joining the army after school. We got in contact after he was writing an article for the magazine that was delivered to each Zivi about once month IIRC. Since 1998 we stayed in touch by e-mail. As he's a real (and only) cyber-friend of mine, we first met in 2003 when he visited Leipzig for an Ultimate tournament. Yesterday was the time of out second meeting.

I prepared Aline's Noodles for them as they didn't have something well prepared for about four days. When Marci came back home we opened the bottle of wine they brought as a present. Later we went to "Besser Leben", which was crowded as always around 10:30 PM. The alternative was to check out "Schlechtes Versteck" here in Leipzig, Schleußig. We had nice conversations and a little bit too much of beer. In the end the whole company was really drunk, so the decision to leave for our beloved bed was easy to take. Kris was even in the state of taking a nap in the restroom and on the floor afterwards.

Marci woke me at 8:30 when he finally left for his 60 day trip to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. I wish him all the best for his journey!

We got up at 11 this morning (with a little residual alcohol as expected) and started with a good breakfast. Afterwards we went to the city to see some of Leipzigs museums and architecture. Unfortunately my knowledge of Leipzigs history and architecture is very shallow and I couldn't explain that much. I think I'll have to work on that subject. Nevertheless, Mariana was pretty happy to see some of the artisan's work that make the city attractive (at least to me) and I hope she liked it.

On our way back home we decided to visit the "Südvorstadt" where most of the student's life in L.E. takes place and see the beautiful buildings there. On our way we even were invited to a party.

Just for the record: The coffee count for Mariana reached its maximum today at five cups until they left. Of course she's got the chance to have more on their way to Dresden. :-)

Thanks Kris and Mariana for your visit, I'll be happy to host you again. Hopefully I'll find time and money to visit Bordeaux!

Now playing: Bugge Wesseltoft - Moving - Lone

Welcome everyone!

Posted in General at Friday, 12 August 2005 20:19 W. Europe Daylight Time

After years of not finding time to update my web site I decided in opt-in to the blog hype:

A short introduction: My name is Alex (25 years by now) and I currently live in Leipzig. I am looking forward to finish my studies in Computer Science in the end of 2005. In September 2003 I started digging into .NET after years of coding C and C++. Yes, I am not one of the early adopters that used .NET in the early beta stages. I must admit that I'm not too unhappy with that decision (if you want to call it a decision just ignoring new technologies) since the framework lacks some detail functionality and makes the new life as a managed code dev not easier. I am planning to write about my adventures tackling the problems I encounter.

In my spare time I am almost always listening to music as long there's a Hi-Fi setup around me (an audiophile one to be preferred). There is one in my room, needless to say. As a result of my music addiction you'll find a "Now playing" After Blog Mint line at the bottom of each post.

Cooking is also a big all-time favorite. During the years in Leipzig I've developed a tendency to cook for 6 or more people (15 at the most IIRC) which is a good training for managing multiple work items simultaneously. Multithreading for you geeks out there. Just kidding.

Most of the contents that will be found here will be written in english. More to come as stuff happens.

Now playing: Monster Magnet - Monolithic Baby - On The Verge