Handing over blogug.ch lists and stats

Posted by Patrice Neff Tue, 22 Nov 2011

TL;DR: I’m shutting down list.blogug.ch and stats.blogug.ch, unless you save it by taking over.

Over the past few years I have been maintaining parts of the blogug.ch project, namely the list and the stats. I haven’t done any actual development on those since 2006 but they have been running fine.

From time to time I even confirmed the blogs to make sure they match our community guidelines. But time has been short for that and the list of unconfirmed blogs has been constantly growing with nobody else picking up the slack. This even though a few people have admin access and access is liberally granted. And of course the stats project shows that people just aren’t blogging anymore.

The final straw is that I now had to switch servers once again, as the old hoster proved unreliable.

So all of this combined brings me to the following decision: I will not migrate my blogug.ch projects to the new server and will no longer maintain them.

Please contact me if you want to take over. I’ll give you the full source code and access to the server.

Barcamp Rapperswil

Posted by Patrice Neff Fri, 16 Oct 2009

Next Saturday, October 24th, there will be a Barcamp at the Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil.

We’ll be talking about mostly geek-topics during the event – though the topics depend entirely on you as a participant. Come and participate. I’ll present as well, though I still have to find a good topic.

You can find all the details and inscribe yourself on the official BarCampRapperswil page.

I hope to see you there.

How I'm saving almost CHF 1000 for public transport

Posted by Patrice Neff Mon, 23 Feb 2009

I currently work at a startup which we’re financing from our own pockets. So I’m always looking for a way to save some money. And I found a way to save almost 1000 Swiss Francs on my public transport bills this year.

The GA is the train flat-rate as sold by the Swiss train company SBB. There is complicated tariff jungle for how much it costs. This is how I bought the GA so far:

Owner Category Price
Me Adult GA CHF 3100
My wive Partner GA CHF 2100
Total CHF 5200

As my wive is not yet 25 I’ll now be able to reverse it like this:

Owner Category Price
My wive Junior GA CHF 2250
Me Partner GA CHF 2100
Total CHF 4350

Savings: CHF 850.

A few detail information:

  • The Junior GA is for people from 16 to 25
  • The Adult GA is for everybody from 25 to 65
  • The Partner GA can be bought if somebody living in the same household as a proper GA. And the Junior GA does count (contrary to what I had expected)

1 Million gratis Telefonanrufe

Posted by Patrice Neff Tue, 28 Oct 2008

local.ch bietet eine Million gratis Telefonanrufe für Schweizer KMUs. Nachdem die Schweizer Banken nun 68 Milliarden erhalten haben, will local.ch auch den Schweizer KMUs etwas schenken.

local.ch zeigt wie’s geht

(Disclaimer: Ich arbeite für local.ch ag)

SBB verbannt Suprise Magazin

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 11 Oct 2008

In der NZZ musste ich gestern lesen, dass die SBB die Suprise Magazine aus den Bahnhöfen verbannt. Dies hat mich zu einer Reaktion veranlasst, das ich über das Kontaktformular der SBB gesendet habe.

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren

Ich beziehe mich auf einen Bericht der NZZ, wonach sie in Zukunft den Verkauf der Surprise Magazine im Bahnhof verbieten möchten.

Diesen Entscheid kann ich beim besten Willen nicht nachvollziehen. Es handelt sich hierbei um ein Projekt, welches der Integration randständiger Menschen dient. Es bietet diesen Menschen eine sinnvolle Tätigkeit und einen kleinen Zusatzerwerb. Für mich ist dieses Magazin ein Vorzeigebeispiel des humanitären Geistes der Schweiz.

Zeitungsverteiler (z.B. die Blick-Angebote von Zeit zu Zeit), Cablecom-Vertretern oder anderen Give-Away-Girls (z.B. die Helvetia zu ihrem Jubiläum) stehen immer sehr aggressiv im Weg und sind ein wirkliches Problem für meinen Pendler-Weg. Die Suprise-Verkäufer stehen dagegen immer dezent am Rand und stehen nie in den Weg von uns Pendlern.

Ich bitte Sie eindringlich auf diesen herzlosen Entscheid zurück zu kommen. Ich kann Ihnen gerne eine Liste mit den wirklichen Problemen auf den Bahnhöfen zukommen lassen.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen

Patrice Neff

6 billion less debts

Posted by Patrice Neff Thu, 26 Apr 2007

Switzerland has managed to go down by CHF 6.7 billion with their debts. That’s a reduction of more than five percent. With that we’re back to our level of debts of 2003.

But actually half of that reduction is due to selling a lot of Swisscom stocks – the government earned CHF 3.2 billion from that.

Even after paying the debts, there is a surplus of CHF 2.5 billion.

Official media release in German and French.

Looking for a frontend developer

Posted by Patrice Neff Wed, 14 Feb 2007

At local.ch we’re looking for a developer in the area of PHP/XSLT development. You will take over work regarding all user-visible aspects with technologies such as PHP, XSLT or Javascript.

A job at local.ch gives you a lot of freedom to explore, find good solutions, learn new technologies, bring in your opinions and knowledge.

We want a developer who knows how to write clean XHTML and CSS, has experience in client side Javascript and is well-versed in XML. We will gladly teach you XSLT on the job but if you already know to program in XSLT so much the better.

If you’re interested, head over to our blog to read more details. You can get in contact with me via e-mail (patrice [at] local.ch) or Skype (patriceneff).

Army weapons kill people

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 16 Dec 2006

In Switzerland most men who serve in military have a weapon and some ammunition in their home. Whenever the Swiss talk about those weapons, the consensus is, that those weapons cause far less dammage than you might think.

Well, think again. As reported by the NZZ newspaper a study by Martin Killias of the University of Lausanne found that 300 people die a year because of those army weapons. I was not able to find the study on the UNIL web site unfortunately.

Compare the numbers:

  • 300 people by army weapons
  • 409 people in traffic (Year 2005, BFS)

There is a full program called Via Sicura to reduce the number of people who die in traffic accidents. The federal council has confirmed the wish to significantly reduce that number. So why don’t we start with army weapons first and just remove them from people’s homes? That would be a lot easier.

Joseph Deiss steps down

Posted by Patrice Neff Thu, 27 Apr 2006

Joseph Deiss steps down as a cabinet minister. There are seven of these ministers and they are the executive power of Switzerland. Personally I have just about no feelings for Deiss, neither good nor bad ones. He just isn't the colorful politician. That doesn't mean that his work is bad, actually it probably means that he has done a good job.

It will be interesting to see who will succeed Deiss. There will certainly be daily news stories about that topic. Currently people seem to talk about Doris Leuthard a lot. She is the president of Deiss' party, the Christian Democratic People's Party.

How map.search.ch created pictures of Switzerland

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 01 Apr 2006

map.search.ch is currently the best map application for Switzerland. By far. And then some more.

Urban(*) just published how they photographed Switzerland from the sky by using a zeppelin. Looks like a lot of manual labor was involved. I'll summarize the post for you, because it's in German:

  • They used analog photo cameras, namely use-once cameras by Kodak. Oh the ecologic waste.
  • The use a zeppelin. Satellites don't provide the quality and airplanes have a problem with vibrations and can't fly low enough.
  • The 141'000 pieces were put together manually. They cut the photos, put them on A4 sheets and scanned the pictures.

Thanks for sharing those information, search.ch.

(*) I guess it's Urban, though the blog software only says "Mueller".

Update: Did I already tell you that I hate April Fool's Day? This article was originally published on March 31 (yes the search.ch blog software also said so) so I didn't suspect anything. Call me a fool if you feel the urge.

Tech job market in Switzerland

Posted by Patrice Neff Thu, 09 Mar 2006

It appears that the Swiss job market in the tech sector is not as bad as I thought for some time. If you are a well-qualified individual you should have no problem finding a job - at least in the Web sector.

Why do I say this? Well, recently Bitflux had a job opening (now filled), local.ch has also been looking, as is now search.ch. namics has a few job openings as I'm sure have other agencies.

All of them have one thing in common which was not always true for our sector: they look for highly skilled workers (though namics also has internships in Baar/Zug and in St. Gallen). A few years ago, companies in our sector were adding people to their workforce like wild and thus had to sacrifice on quality. Now it's the opposite.

I for one believe that is a very welcome change and so do many of my friends. But I also know a few people who profited from the "more liberal" practices during the dot-com boom.

Anyway, I'll add a few articles in the following weeks on how to improve your chances for getting an employment in this area. It won't be rocket science but I hope I have a few tips to share. Those articles will be available in English and in German.

And I suggest you tag job openings on your weblogs with the "jobs" tag. That will allow job seekers to watch the tag (or subscribe to it).

Update 1: Forgot, that KAYWA also is looking for talent.
Update 2: And Google also is looking. (Via relab.ch).