Archive for 2008


Yahtzee's Pentagon

My guess is that there’ll be at most one reader who agrees with the headline, while everybody else needs some context. Now, once upon a time, in a small country known as Australia, there lived a certain Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw, who was and is mostly known for his cynical, amusing and not-safe-for-work (you’ve been warned) video game reviews. They’re called “Zero Punctuation”, and as you’d expect he hardly ever pauses while mocking a game. A good example to get started would be the following video (4:37 minutes), mainly because it explains the heading of this article (Note that some RSS readers don’t play videos, just go the main site then).

Tomb Raider Underworld

So, I’m through with the actual game, for which I already reviewed the demo, and I have to say that I liked it better than I’d have thought. Much better, in fact. It’s not perfect, but it’s nice enough that I feel bad for just critizing it all the time. So as an experiment, I’m only going to say nice things about it.



Is it “unexpected twists in final panel” week? And I’m talking about story, not punchlines here.

Tomb Raider Underworld Demo

First of all, completely unrelatedly: Wohoo, new Star Trek trailer!

Photography Competition: Scruffy Universities

The State-wide student council meet of North-Rhine Westphalia (or however you’d translate it, the german term is the equally horrible Landes-ASten-Treffen NRW) has started a photography competition to showcase the at times appalling state of buildings of universities in the state. I think the idea is good, but the execution leaves a little to be desired.

Note about MSDNAA

The average person seems to think that computer science students mainly listen to lectures about repairing broken scanners, blue screens of death and so on, and that consequently they are best at repairing broken computers and that there’s nothing they’d rather do. This got extremely odd today when random (at least to me, sorry I don’t have a great memory for faces) people asked me while riding in an elevator.


California Proposition 1A

In California, in the context of the overall elections, there are several propositions for the people, one of them being Proposition 1A, which is all about providing money to build a Californian High-Speed Railway. Now, I don’t know much about californian politics, but I do know something about high-speed railways (same as every interested German), so I wanted to post some information here for Californians who might happen to land here.

Brisingr stuff

Me and the Eragon Series (also known as Inheritance Tri-plus-one-o-logy) have a weird sort of relationship. I think the books are badly written, neither plot nor setting are original and certainly not well thought out. In short, I agree with every word ever written on Anti-Shu’urtugal. And yet I find myself enjoying reading the books. Brisingr is no exception in any of these regards.

RWTH Bogie at Innotrans

I was recently at Innotrans 2008 in Berlin, and apart from many interesting trains, I also saw a new bogie at Bombardier’s stand, at which there were stickers with the logo of the IFS of RWTH Aachen university.


Innotrans 2008

I’ve just returned from Berlin, where I was at the Innotrans public days.

EU Tenders

There are many ways of getting reliable information about the railroad business.



Short notice: Recently there hasn’t been much happening here, as you may have noticed. That’s going to stay that way for at least, if current plans work out, a month. To quote highway construction sites: Thank you for your patience!

Update on Categories

In my recent post on Cocoa Style I did, among other things, say that it’s a great idea to put lots of stuff in categories. Now, Brent Simmons, author of NetNewsWire gives a different opinion on this in three separate posts on his blog (and no, he didn’t do that because of my article, thanks for asking). I thought this could be interesting for you as well. Mr Simmons has way more experience than I do, so I’d rather follow his advice than my hunches.

Torsten's Official Cocoa Style Recommendations

I know quite a lot of people who are into Cocoa, especially just starting right now, and they don’t know yet what is right or wrong. So to help them, I thought I’d write down some of the basic rules that I follow while developing, so that they could copy them and declare me their god and master.

Free Software Foundation vs. Apple

The Free Software Foundation is currently campaigning against the iPhone. They object to the restrictions on what applications can be installed and the existence of Digital Rights Management1. And of course, the Mac community is largely negative towards this.


Switch with NSString

Recently, i.e. yesterday, I was asked whether you can do a switch() with an NSString, like this:

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

I’ve been meaning to tell you about it. Then I forgot. Then they took it off the internet, only available as a download on iTunes, so I couldn’t. Now it’s back online over at Hulu (with modest amount of ads. If it tells you that you can’t see it outside the US, just close the window, it does work), so what are you waiting for?

Violent Video Games

The debate is as old as video games themselves. In fact, it’s older, seeing as it was first about movies, TV, music or comic books. There are traditionally two sides: Those who think it corrupts our youth, and those who make and use it and think it’s a valid form of art (usually they have a lower age average). It should be pretty obvious that I’m on the pro-video-game side. So I’ll turn this on it’s head and seriously ask: Are we correct? Are video games truly not a problem?

Coruscant Nights

Star Wars Coruscant Nights I Jedi Twilight by Michael Reaves is a book with a surprisingly long title that I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now, but always forgot. The plot, as summarized on the back, is about a Jedi who, after the killing of most of them in Episode III, now has to work as a private investigator, helping people in need, when he suddenly gets hit by a mission from his former Master.

How to break Cologne's main station

Question: A single axle of an ICE 3 is derailed, right in the middle of the leaving tracks of a station that is always overloaded anyway. How long should it take to fix that?

Epoch VI

I just noticed: The NEM 800 (sorry, no english version. I decided to link to the french one instead because there are quite a few visitors from France here it seems) now includes a definition of Epoch VI. We’re now officially in the future!

Cocoa for everyone!

There’s something I wanted to post since the last meeting of [Cocoaheads Aachen], but forgot. The actual Cocoheads meeting is mainly for people who are already familiar with the framework. To address those who wish to learn about it, there will now be a Cocoa course for beginners.


Official Election Recommendation for the US presidential elections

You’ve waited for it, and here it is:’s official recommendation for the US presidential election 2008!

Red vs. Blue is back!

Two blog entries on the same day? Sometimes I just outdo myself. Today’s top message: There are new episodes of Red vs Blue.

Keynote over

So the WWDC keynote is over, and Apple announced a lot of stuff. Let’s see

WWDC Bingo

WWDC is happening again, and as usual, John Siracusa created a bingo card.


Cocoaheads Aachen

Yesterday evening was the first meeting of Cocoaheads Aachen. The entire thing is an informal meeting for people who develop with Cocoa in the Aachen region. It’s being held by RWTH Aachen’s Media Computer Group, but is open for anyone who is not at the RWTH as well.

New Comic Section

One of the plans when building the gallery for railroad pictures was to move the comics over there as well. I finally did that, the new section is under the old link

On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness

What a week. First of all, we had Star Wars Legacy of the Force: Invincible. Then there was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystall Skull. Now, I finally finished Penny Arcade’s game On The Rainslick Precipice of Darkness Episode One. As a short summary: The game isn’t Indy, but it’s still lots of fun.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Fun fact: I had to look up the movie’s title, because I was only calling it Indiana Jones 4. Anyway, I just returned from the cinema.

Star Wars Legacy Of The Force: Invincible

I just finished reading the last part of the Star Wars Legacy of the Force series, called Invincible. For those of you will still read this book, this contains spoilers. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, this will be boring.

New Article on

The train in the game looks vaguely familiar

I haven’t updated my other website project, Trains In Games as much as I should, I know. I guess I’ll have to think of something for the site to make it more attractive for others that doesn’t involve me working more, because me working more didn’t work so far. However, I have a new (short) review online now!

Wieso die Modellbahnbranche in Schwierigkeiten steckt

In the Eisenbahnkurier, a german railroad magazine, there is a low-volume discussion about why there are too little new people interested in model railroads. Everybody agrees about the general problem, which is that too little young people and children enter the hobby and stay there. The question remains: Why? As a more or less young person who is interested in model railroads, I thought I’d offer my point of view about this as well.


Karlspreis und Thalys

Today, the Karlspreis will be awarded in Aachen. This price, named for Charlemagne (Karl der Große in german), goes to people who have done great deeds for the unification of Europe.

Only german

Bahnprivatisierung beschlossen

CDU und SPD haben sich bei der Bahnprivatisierung geeinigt. Herausgekommen ist das vom SPD-Parteitag favorisierte Modell, bei dem die Bahn in zwei Teile gespalten wird, von denen einer zur Hälfte verkauft wird.


I’m considering adding Avatars to the comments here.

Railroad Photography

And now for the reason why I did the new layout: The site now also has a Railroad photography section. Kinda neat, isn’t it?

New Design

Look around and you’ll see it. Yeah, that’s more or less it. I mean, honestly, what can you say about a new design?

Note to self

There’s a huge sign at the front of regional express trains. It says where the train is going. Look at it. Don’t trust the station speakers when you are listening to an iPod, as you might miss something.


Alfa Romeo MiTo

Short note: Alfa has announced it’s newest product, the MiTo, and now there’s also a blog for it. Unfortunately, the RSS feed for the blog is only italian, which is a language I kind of don’t speak. But hey, at least you can use it to be reminded of new posts.


French Translation of Comics

Il y a un translation de mes BDs sur, fait par Slinc.

Comic: Annoying Internet Meme

All the time I wanted to make a new cool Tomb Raider Comic, but I never got a good idea. Finally I gave up the “cool” part.

DTM 1994

I wanted to share a nice video I found on Youtube:


Only german

Technische Informatik

In Technischer Informatik wurde heute folgende Funktion in PowerPC-Assembly gezeigt:

Apple Keynote Notes For N00bs

There are some people who are comparatively new to the Mac community I know, who may not be aware of all the customs that accompany a Stevenote. Who would be better than me to introduce them to the customs? Everyone else, that’s who, but since they’re not around, I’ll do it. Even if you think you already know it all, read this to either find out new things or prove me wrong.

The best in the tower

I just finished reading “Die Bestie im Turm” by Tom Wolf. This is a crime book set in the beautiful city of Goslar in 1527, and it’s great.