Posts Tagged Howto

Efficient way to get rid of garbage (by using a bike)

Posted by on Wednesday, 19 February, 2014

A few weeks ago I decided that, with the new year well underway and all that, I needed to get rid of some old stuff lying around. Not only does it take up space in your house, but also in your head. So to get some peace of mind I sorted it into three categories:

  • Stuff I can still use (store in a decent place)
  • Stuff others may have a use for (sell it on the internet)
  • Stuff that could be classified as ‘garbage’

This article deals with the latter category. For instance, pieces of plastic, scrap wood and metal collected over the years for various DIY projects, old hardware and construction materials.

Don’t know about you, but here in The Netherlands we are quite heavy on separation of garbage into various recyclables. So I had a pile of old metal, which is actually worth money. A pile of plastic, which is collected where I live because it can be recycled into fleece sweaters, etc.

Anyway, after all this initial filtering I was left with a pile of stuff that we’ll refer to as ‘crap’, which had no other place to go than the ‘generic’ garbage. Now, I live in an apartment building and there’s a container in front, where we pay EUR 1,70 per ‘click’. Per click I am able to fit a garbage bag of approximately 30 liters in. This is an expensive method to get rid of large quantities of crap!

Of course I could load it into my car, and bring it to the ‘Environment Park’, which is a euphemism for the place where they collect garbage before it goes to the landfill / incinerator. Here your vehicle is weighed upon entry and exit, and you pay per kilogram. But in order to try something different I decided to take the bike…

So I loaded all the stuff onto my bike, both in the front and the back, and paddled in low gear to the Environment Park, riding past the queue of waiting vehicles, drivers bored while running engines were killing the environment. The weighing device was not able to measure the weight of me, my bike and all of the crap on it! I guess this is because it is designed for vehicles, no one ever figured someone would be crazy enough to go there by bike!

So I got rid of my crap, circled around to the exit and again it was not possible to get measured so I could just pass. So not only did I get rid of all my garbage for free, I also got to laugh at all the people standing there in their vehicles, waiting for the queue to move on while they are burning fuel and precious time. Added to that, there’s the kick of going against the system.

So when was the last time you did something ‘the system’ did not expect?

update: as of 2017, the weighing devices have been upgraded – unfortunately, they were able now to measure me and my bike quite accurately 🙁

A howto how not to do academic presentations

Posted by on Thursday, 22 November, 2012

In order to publish your scientific work through conference proceedings, it is mandatory you present your work to an audience of peers at the conference. To some, presenting comes more natural than to others. There are many howtos and excellent books out there how to prepare and execute your presentation, but here I’ll list a few ways how NOT to present.

The purpose of this article is two-fold: make sure you give better presentations, and protect your audience against poor presentations.

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Trailing comma in IEEEXplore BibTeX

Posted by on Friday, 28 September, 2012

As a frequent user of the IEEEXplore database to search for literature concerning wireless networking, I often export a citation to BibTeX for use in my papers.

One of the things which has puzzled me for a long time, is why the BibTeX exporter adds a trailing comma after the last field.

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LaTeX and PRISM: syntax highlighting in the listing environment

Posted by on Wednesday, 19 September, 2012

You may be using the PRISM Model Checker for your research. You may also want to put some code in your text, for instance in your PhD thesis. Using and the Listings environment is probably your best bet. Read the rest of this entry »

Saving power by disabling sound chip on Linux

Posted by on Monday, 10 September, 2012

For years I have been running Linux servers. Some time ago I built a NAS box running Ubuntu Server. I’ve done quite some tweaks to reduce power consumption. But there must be more. Or less, so to speak.
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