Here you see a reverse chronological overview of all stories I ever published on my web site. Static content (Pages in Drupal terminology) is accessible via the menus on the left. The list you're looking at now is just all the blog-style postings I made that are not specific to any of my projects.
Typical that every year around this time, I end up writing a new story for my web site. Why don't I do this in between Worldflights?
The main reason is that in my professional life, most events that I could or would want to write about are sensitive in nature. Winning a contract with a major customer, completing an innovative project, finding technical solutions to challenging problems are all very much worth a posting. At the same time, they are the foundation of business success and need to be carefully 'managed'.
Every year early November, World Flight brings together a handful of full-scale flight deck simulators and a few hundred people to raise money for various world-wide charities.
You can follow the event on my photo diary/blog. And please consider a donation to the Air Ambulance, our charity for the last years. Just click on the banner on the Blog page.
This year I join the UK World Flight team in Coventry, just as last years. We made a promo video which gives a nice impression of the amount of work needed to get just one plane around the globe -- let alone seven.
This year's route will bring us from Sydney via India, Russia, Eastern-Europe and Western-Europe to the mid-Atlantic archipelago of the Azores. Then Westwards to the United States, via the Bering Strait to Russia, down through the Far East and then back to Australia.
I don't often "blog" about wild ideas that come by on a common channel that I hang out at, but this one seemed to be nice. With all the hassle around needing to purchase a Windows license if you just want a machine to run Linux, it is time that we face what the market really is about.
Although Matt's simulator is half the globe away and I can't visit him very often, I still am proud to be one of the people that made it work. Matt's sim contains most of the software you see in the left margin. Due to the unique design we pulled off, he still is at the top of the world -- after more than ten years. And this made his sim appear in the Guinness Book of Records. Which makes me feel a tiny bit part of it.
A few years ago I built a hub for a number of temperature sensors, based on the DS1820. Although computers with serial RS232 interfaces become extinct, most server machines still have these connectors, as they are useful for remote console management. The combination of a few DS1820s and the serial interface offers a very nice, cheap way to connect multiple temperature sensors to a monitor.
W3C has published a press release, announcing a new standard that builds a bridge between the world of knowledge organization systems — including thesauri, classifications, subject headings, taxonomies, and folksonomies — and the linked data community, bringing benefits to both. The MACS Project is listed as one of the few existing projects that have successfully provided results in the efforts to use semantic technologies to accomplish real-world goals.
Many people who maintain server computers will know the challenge: how to keep track of all the small changes you make to the configuration of the machine, so that you know a) what you did, b) why you did it, and c) how to do it again? Especially when there is a group of people who share the responsibility of server maintenance, this becomes crucial.
Several options exist to document your changes. In this brief blog I will explain how I learned to do it, using the Subversion (SVN) revision control system and a small set of Makefiles called Caspar which originates at Tilburg University.
Around the change of the millennium, a few National Libraries united in CENL decided to embark on an ambitious project: to semantically link up their native Subject Heading Languages. The libraries felt a growing need to offer end-users a reliable and high-quality crossover from, say, a French keyword system to a German one. This project became known as MACS: Multilingual ACcess to Subjects.
A few years ago I built a small rackmount unit for the IT Services department of my (then) employer, and published how I did it plus the associated software to link it up to the Nagios monitoring software. I keep getting mails from people who used the publication to build their own system, or to improve it.
Talking about my professional life on this web site does not happen often, because I work on projects for customers that usually are not public. Two projects that I can talk about are MACS and TAS3.
MACS has been discussed a while ago, and has seen recent developments towards integration in The European Library. It is one of the few projects where explicit manual work, supported by IT, provides a large amount of crosslinks between existing, independent vocabularies. Although it is not exactly ontology alignment or another semantic web buzzword, it does attract lots of attention. The main reason is that we do have the data instead of writing what we could do if we would have the data.
TAS3 is, at least for my personal web site, a new kid on the block. And it is quite a handful of a teenager.
TAS3 stands for Trusted Architecture for Securely Shared Services. It is a European Commission-sponsored integrated research and development project of about EUR 15 million total expenditure. TAS3 aims to provide a reference architecture that allows people to control what is happening with their personal information, such as healthcare records or employability information. Sensitive stuff, that usually is locked away in heavily protected systems. TAS3, on the contrary, wants to open up these secure vaults and allow your sensitive but valuable personal information to travel to the places where you want it to go. Of course, it needs to be safeguarded against abuse. So TAS3 handcuffs your valuable data to a special agent that travels with it, and watches whatever happens to your data as a dedicated body guard. (more)