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About me

I am an experimental geologist and beamline manager at DESY, Hamburg. My beamline is an extreme conditions beamline hosting a Large Volume Press for in situ studies on materials at high pressures and temperatures using synchrotron X-rays.

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The story of LaTeX

Computers Posted on 2008-08-22 07:55

When I mention that i’ve become a great supporter of LaTeX, many of you might wonder if I have gone bonkers in the head. However, i’m not referring to the stuff you put in cracks in the wall or the tight suits some women like to wear ;-). LaTeX, as it is correctly capitalized, is a professional type setting for scientists or students and researchers in general. It can be used as an alternative to MS Word or any other ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ word processor. You can do much more with LaTeX then word processing however. For example, you can create posters, presentations and even render raster graphics.

It is
often compared to MS Word for being much more professional. The reason
being is that LaTeX does all the document formatting for you.
However, that does not mean you cannot influence how you want your
document formatted. A few lines of code will tell LaTeX all about your
preferences for page margins, title fonts, structure, image placements
and more. Or instead you may simply use the default settings. Different template styles, for example one that defines the layout of a journal article, can be applied in a matter of minutes. In MS Word you’d have to reformat the whole article manually bit by bit.

Here are some reasons why you should give LaTeX a try:

  1. It forces you to structure your document, article, thesis, etc.
  2. Citing other works and cross-referencing figures, tables, equations, chapter sections has never been easier
  3. Equations, no matter how complex, are quick and easy to create
  4. No hassles with formatting (alignment, font properties, etc.)
  5. Almost quirk-proof debugging after compiling your document into a pdf
  6. Professional support for different document styles and for journals. Almost instant transformation!
  7. Easy table and figure placement with captions
  8. Figures can be scalable vector graphics in eps format. No more ugly, low resolution, figures!
  9. Efficient word processing and easy editing
  10. Many journals accept manuscripts written in LaTeX. Really!

course with so many benefits you may wonder why the whole world does
not use LaTeX. The reason being is simple. It requires some time for
you to get familiar with it. Typing documents in LaTeX is a bit like creating websites. You have to think logically. The document is then processed or compiled using the TeX parser and a beautiful pdf document is produced. 🙂 This is why I have set up a wiki / website / forum on the ANU university server in an attempt to create a community to share ideas and teach students to use it.

For an easy introduction to LaTeX I suggest you give the open source software LyX a go. Go to the website here: to download the programme. It will also tell you what else you need during the installation. The website itself is also worth browsing through for information on LaTeX and LyX.


Computers Posted on 2007-09-04 20:58

I’ve ditched Windows Vista for good. It was getting on my nerves after it became non-genuine again. This time it turned out to be caused by a worldwide outage of the WGA (windows genuine advantage) servers. That bit of nastyness wired into windows that phones home every time you log onto the internet to check if you have a legal version of windows. As I later found out, it is said in the EULA that even when you purchase a copy of windows, it still technically belongs to Microsolt. You are just hiring it! I’ve downloaded the latest version of Ubuntu Feisty Fawn and im a happy linux camper now. 🙂 Everything runs the way I want to. I do not miss any windows applications and I am even able to continue playing Quake 3 arena, the only game I’m addicted to at the moment. Two future games, both Unreal Tournament 3 and Quake Wars: Enemy Territory will run natively on GNU/Linux. So…no worries right? 🙂

PS. Compiz fusion, GNU/Linux’s version of the 3D accelerated desktop via OpenGL is awesome! However, it is still in early development so after trying it out for a bit I did find it a bit too buggy still. So I intend to wait for the next stable release (I only tried the latest development build of course).


Computers Posted on 2007-08-28 17:17

Ok so I joined the social network Hyves at last as well. You know, if you do one thing why not the rest aye? 😉 Since Hyves is more of a Dutch idea it’ll keep my international friends separate from my Dutch friends. So it’s all good. Maybe even for the best 😛

Shit so that means I’m pro-active in the following areas:

– This weblog
– Picasa photos
– Facebook
– Hyves
– Quinnware forum
– My website (though not so much)
– Msn
– Google talk
– IRC channels
– Skype

O_o I wonder how long I can keep this up ha ha.

The Power of Procrastination!! (see PhD comic site)

What do you mean “internet addict”? You n00b! =)


Computers Posted on 2007-08-12 15:31

I’ve got a facebook account now so if you are reading this and realize you got one too but you’re not yet in my friends list, request me to be on your list! :o)

Register and search for my full name. Easy peasy.

At first I thought it was like myspace or like a dating site, but it’s not and quite a lot of fun too have your own page! The site is free of flashy animations unless you go out of your way to try and put that shit on it. The layout is pretty good too and you can drag the boxes around until you are satisfied. Just give it a go if you haven’t already. It’s also a nice place to discover your old friends from school or where you’ve previously lived!

See you there!

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