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31st May 2019

10:08am: This blog
I'm writing the blog in English because I type twice as fast this way than in Russian (yes I am improving...), and 90% of my friends and friends read English any way. I answer comments in the same language they are posted.

I am trying not to post anything related to my employer, but if I do so, this expresses only my own views and does not represent an official position of my employer.

When I post about some technical topic which seems non trivial and is related to my employer's product, don't expect it to be inside information. If I post about it, it means that this info is already public. Usually I do not post any personal information or anything that is related to my family.

All photos are mine, and I allow anyone to copy, change, do anything you please with them. I don't post "friends only".

Useful tags are: software , idea , Deutschland, freediving and trip report

20th October 2014

9:46am: Munich IoT hackathon over.
1. I was working whole weekend again.


Julia did not like it, despite days off this week.

2. Was glad to see that with ~10% of participants and with ~20% of those who finally built things I could speak Russian.

3. Bugz!!!

16th October 2014

1:38pm: Trip report: Rome
I spent almost five days in Rome recently.

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picasa album

13th October 2014

2:55pm: Little adventure in Rome [2/2]
In the previous post, I've wrote how plans do not quite work with reality. If it started this way, the spiral never goes back on track.

Here is the plan (P), and the reality (R).
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2nd October 2014

4:30pm: Little adventure in Rome [1/2]
The robot movie was shot in a controlled environment. Now I've taken it to Maker Faire Rome to be shown on stage and at a booth.

Here is the plan (P), and the reality (R).
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1st October 2014

10:16pm: Robotino "Waiter"
Some of the stuff I was working on recently in a professional video:



Going to show it tomorrow in Rome if it works (was broken in transit).

23rd September 2014

12:47pm: Hackathon invite
If anybody would like to develop an IoT app on Saturday/Sunday October 18th in Munich, and take home some cool h/w you'll be using for building this stuff,

you may register at the link.
I'll be there most of the time.

9th September 2014

8:15pm: Business trips
I was trying hard not to fly anywhere this year, and managed to collect 5x less miles than usual.
Instead I have a pleasure to stare at moon at least twice every night.

But now in the following weeks I'll have to make couple of trips I could not avoid: to Amsterdam, Rome, Nurenberg, Dusseldorf.

3rd September 2014

2:12pm: Another job in our team
Go to Intel jobs web site, and search for job #741414.

Possible locations: Munich, Paris, London, Stockholm.

2nd September 2014

5:30pm: Galileo gen 1 and gen 2
The best in depth explanation of the technical differences between Intel Galileo gen 1 and gen2

is located not at the official web site, but here. The official web site contains schematics, datasheets, etc, but it is too boring.

30th August 2014

2:09pm: German permanent residence rules changes
When we came to Germany, it was possible to receive permanent residence on the spot as a "highly qualified professional", if one of the conditions was true:
1. "Scientist with exceptional skills",
2. "[University] Teachers in prominent positions or scientific personnel in prominent positions".
3. "Specialists and executives with special professional experience who receive a salary of at least twice the earnings ceiling of the private health insurance eligibility."
My case was #3, so I got permanent residence on the spot, I did not have to wait for 5 years like most of work visa holders.
In a few months after our arrival, the rule #3 was changed to:
"Specialists and executives with special professional experience who receive a salary of at least the income threshold of the general pension". That is a very relaxed requirement, so I thought that any programmer could get a permanent residence on arrival. So I was telling that to those who asked me about permanent residence rules.

Recently I was asked this question again, and found that the rules had changed in August 2012. No more rule #3 in §19. Alas, no easy way any more, unless you are an exceptional scientist. However around the same time they made it easier to get a temporary residence by relaxing market check rules.

18th August 2014

11:47am: Propaganda gomoseksualizma sredi molodezhi
I was re-reading Vorkosigan Saga in a train, and noticed that in one of the books, Ms Bujold mentioned that Aral Vorkosigan was bi-sexual, with strong preference for homosexuality. Unlike prof Dumbledore, who was gay according to Ms Rowling interview and some hints in the text, the case of Aral Vorkosigan was clearly explained by a character (Cordelia Vorkosigan) in the book. I guess Vorkosigan saga must be banned or even burned in Russia according to a new legislation...

And some more news relevant for the topic, directly from "Bezdukhovnaya Geiropa". We've just received another piece of comms from the state of Germany. From an almighty Juegentamt, to be precise. They remind us (parents) that when Jacob turns roughly fourteen, we should make sure he is well understood by his parents if he decides to be gay. O tempora, o mores!

13th August 2014

4:28pm: l33t $pe5k
Any big organization develops its lingo. I won't go down listing the words I use at work that nobody else understands. But few seconds ago on a call with customer I've heard my colleague used an interesting phrase:

"Our team spends many clock cycles on ..." May be the engineers on customer side have caught the metaphor. I guess rather not. My colleague implied that the brains of our engineers work like CPUs, and particular task gets scheduled to run for a fair amount of time to get some CPU cycles spent on running its instructions :)

6th August 2014

5:20pm: Taxman calls
Jacob just got a mail addressed to him - his first ever! I expected that he will get a health insurance card, but tax office works really fast!

The letter states: Dear Jacob Komarov, you've been assigned a taxpayer number. When paying taxes or writing to us, please state this number.

Paying taxes - pretty tough for a 7 weeks old boy, yeah?

30th July 2014

3:42pm: web 2.0 marketing
We are trying to buy something on amazon, as we often do. I am reading reviews now. There are three top brands - A, B, and C. When I read a bad review of A, italways mentions that B and C are so much better. Ditto on B and C. I bet these reviewers are paid by ABC. Or aren't they?

Any way, some reviews are funny, this one demonstrates how Russian words come into German language. Or does it?

29th July 2014

10:29am: Development
I guess the only objective measure at this age is weight.

I should return the baby scales to a pharmacy - they rent it out for 1.5 euro per week. Getting too expensive :)

25th July 2014

12:11pm: What they are looking for?
I still manage to do some freediving training once a week in the pool, but can't plan for any trips anytime soon.

So have to look at my old pics.

I was diving to this company many times, but I did not find out why they all gathered at a boring sand spot. They are all from different families/species with different food preferences, and they were all looking for something.

15th July 2014

10:28am: Diversity
In a previous post, I asked the readers to guess why one section out of four, which make up our new home, is inhabited by people who do not place plants on their windows and balconies.

The answer is simple - every 4th section in the building is allocated for free housing subsidized by the German government. The reason behind is to discourage forming of poor or ethnic neighborhoods. This helps, but is not a panacea. The reason is that the poorest people are not those on dole, but those who work for minimal wage or below.

So the folks who live in that building are diverse - ethnically and socially.

Some like having fun (I've tried to make a pic small so there are no faces just silhouette).

So the question still remains - why they don't like plants? If they don't like flowers that is fine. Our neighbour downstairs have tomatoes, onions, etc on their balconies.

11th July 2014

9:35pm: Moving
There is more than one reason why I am quiet in livejournal. Besides, the project I was working on for last 8 months is over and I am finishing the last bits.

And we have just moved to a new flat. Here is the view from our balcony:

As you may see, the house is built as a square, 6 floors high. In the center, there is another small house. Here is a map: Read more...Collapse )

When heading our balcony, nearly every window and balcony is green because of the flowers. It is visible on the pic that left and right sides are also relatively green - there are flowers on ~70% of the windows. Not so at the house facing us - there is no single plant. Any guess why? (The answer is very apparent for locals)

9th July 2014

10:41am: Backwards compatibility
Just noticed - even in Windows 8.1, my hard drive is C:, that implies there may be floppy A: and B: somewhere. It is fine as long as there are no references to floppy drive...

But wait, when I try installing a new device driver, select "I have a disk" option, the default path is A:!
Cool, Windows 8.1 is looking for a floppy disk...

4th July 2014

9:51pm: Happy 4th of July.
It is really a very important holiday for me. No emails from US, I finally caught up with all the work stuff that I was flunking with recently. Committed all my fresh code to git, and won't do anything work related this weekend :) Except may be testing this device (registration required)

26th June 2014

5:29pm: Two worlds
We have outstayed four neighbors in a hospital room. One of them was a very interesting character.

A Turkish girl, 21. Just delivered a third child. It seemed strange for her to meet my wife, 30+ y.o, delivering a first child...

She smokes 2 packs of cigarettes per day. Lives in a not-too-good Munich suburb. She has many relatives who visited her every day, and each relative has an expensive iphone. They do not hesitate to use phones as jukeboxes with oriental music. Though she does not have any phone, and had to lend one from us to tell her mother that she had just delivered a baby.

When she was discharged from the hospital, she mentioned that she cannot take an U-bahn because she is not able to read a map and signs. She is not religious, does not wear a hijab, does not pray (though IMHO one is not allowed to pray for some time after delivering a baby).

Very nice and friendly young girl. Usually there is simply no place where we could meet people of this background and talk with them, but hospital is exactly the place where one can make any type of connection.

16th June 2014

4:48am: New delivery
I am Out Of Livejournal because of a personal project milestone.

Hope will get back soon.

4th June 2014

5:38pm: Hare beware!
When I was looking at the ppl who check tickets in S-bahn, my only reaction was always: "ну чесне слово, як діти" (c) анекдот. A passenger without a ticket can always easily avoid the check, if he/she is not deaf and blind. However they always get 2-3 fines per train carriage. Why? Because there are usually that many ppl (on average) who genuinely think they have a valid ticket, but they don't. (Just lost it recently/have a wrong ticket type.)

But now it looks like the happy days for free-S-bahn-riders are over.

Yesterday I saw a real change in the tactics of ticket checking. A group of ppl in civilian clothes (not in S-bahn uniform as usual) entered an eastward S2 train on Ostbahnhof. Then they spread along the train and stood still until Berg Am Laim. Right after the doors were closed, they acted all together: each urged a passenger standing nearby to show a ticket, and then quickly proceeded to a next one.

Hare beware!

3rd June 2014

1:38pm: Pelevin is a genius
The text I cut&pasted below was written 4 years ago...

On languages:
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On guerrilla wars.
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On media:
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On tolerance.
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