Farewell PlanetLab

After joining Jacobs University, I ordered two computers in order to join PlanetLab, a truly innovative distributed computing and experimentation infrastructure at that time. The two computers become part of PlanetLab about 10 years ago and they recently asked to be retired. I think 10 years of service for mostly unknown researchers running even more unknown experiments is a great achievement and so I pulled the plug. I hope the silicon can enjoy the remaining time in the rack (with less heat) until its time to make space available for others to come.

IETF 98 Remote Participation

The IETF is meeting in Chicago this week and I am participating remotely via Meetecho. The remote participation service is improving every IETF it seems, saving me from a lot of long distance traveling hassle during the semester. While the people providing the remote participation service do a wonderful job, I believe a big part of this working well for me is that I know many of the regular contributors good enough from prior meetings I attended in person so that I can extract many soft signals just from the voice stream.

Motivators in computer networking courses

It appears that there are many motivators that instructors use to make students follow and even enjoy the material taught in computer networking courses. The really strong motivators seem to fall broadly into three categories: Competition and games between students or groups of students. Implementation of real-world protocols and systems where students build something that can be used (by them) afterwards (in principle). Trapping students into developing wrong solutions can be a tool to make them think critically and to make them realize the need to adopt a clear methodology.

Active learning, flipped classrooms, online learning, peer reviewing, learning analytics

I am enjoying a Dagstuhl seminar on Using Networks to Teach About Networks where people talk about their experience with modern teaching methods such active learning, flipped classrooms, online learning, peer reviewing, and learning analytics when teaching computer networks. (Some people even talk about using blockchains to maintain student records.) And then there are of course discussions about what do we teach students and why and which tools people have found useful for student labs.

Flamingo evaluated four times excellent

The Flamingo project has been evaluated ‘excellent’ four times. It was a great piece of teamwork to achieve this outstanding result. I enjoyed sitting in a review meeting today with the feeling that there is hardly anything that can go wrong. Lets see whether we manage to keep the Flamingo spirit alive. Looking back, I think the highlights were the meetings where we discussed the research projects of our PhD students.

Bye Bye Flamingo

The last report for the Flamingo project has been submitted today. The final project review will take place next week and hence it is getting time to say bye bye to the Flamingo project. I truly enjoyed the four years of the Flamingo project.

Good Bye eecs.iu-bremen.de

About 10 years ago, we became Jacobs University Bremen and as a consequence of the name change we had to transition DNS names from eecs.iu-bremen.de to eecs.jacobs-university.de. In order to not break things unnecessarily, we kept serving the eecs.iu-bremen.de zone but now the time has come to shut it down. We received DNS queries for eecs.iu-bremen.de after turning it off for a while but after some weeks queries for the retired zone seem to stop.

Switching from NanoBlogger to Hugo

I have always been a fan of static web pages. When I started to think about a personal web page in 2005, I ended up using NanoBlogger as my content management system since it allowed me to write blog posts in a terminal (over ssh) using my favorite text editor, it did not require much on the server side, and it was a rather cool shell script hack. The world moved on since 2005 and content management systems became really big and also quite usable (I can edit content on them easily even without my most loved browser plugin It’s All text!

Occasionally it is good to pull the plug

The Internet is everywhere. As educated citizens of the modern information age, we believe we know what we are doing when we sign up for online Internet services. But we (too) often ignore the fact that we also collectively work towards a world where without the Internet, we are nowhere. Back in a day, before the digital revolution, people were buying and thus owning content, nowadays we get content streamed but we do not own it anymore.

Streak-Running Experience

Every runner knows that variations are important; running always the same route at the same pace is not only boring but also ineffective from a physiological point of view. I am neither a fast nor an ambitious runner - I usually run distances around 10 km (sometimes less, sometimes more) and I do three runs per week. I prefer to run a mixture of new routes and well-known routes. I enjoy exploring unknown areas by running through them and I am used to travel with running shoes in my luggage.
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