Last Day


this is it. My last day at work, nothing left to do  just waiting for my signatures. I’am nearly finished to pack my bags and looking forward to have a last (short) night in Belfast. We have to take the bus  in Belfast at o2.oo in the morning to arrive at Dublin airport on time.

It was a really good time here. My workplace was interesting and I learned a lot of things. Belfast is a nice city and David, Oliver and I had a good time here!

In diesem Sinne, wir sehen uns in Berlin!

Chapter 7: Job, different tasks and apartment trouble

Hello guys,

It’s been a while since my last Blog, I’m apologise for that, but I was kind of busy the last days and additionally I preferred to go outside to enjoy the beautiful weather instead of sitting at home and writing stuff which nobody really reads. Furthermore we have problems to access the internet in our apartment the last days. And it takes a while for me to write my Blogs anyways. Mostly every day a bit because I have other stuff to do at work… yeah, what a bridge…

Well, since my last Blog about my work placement happened a lot at my job. One of my tasks was to do a firmware update on a Dell switch and on a Cisco router (via a tftp-server I set up earlier). After that I had to configure the time zone, the summer-time and SNTP on the Cisco router, not a big challenge but I could lay a hand on Cisco devices at least… xD

Another day I had to completely disassemble a PC and assemble it with brand-new components like a Motherboard, the CPU, RAM, DVD-ROM and a power supply. After that I had to deploy that PC on some desk in the big office.

But a really ‘special’ task was to set up a notebook together with a DVB-T stick for – I bet you anticipate it – watching the Football World Cup. First I tested the functionality and searched for frequencies, after a little while I deployed it together with a beamer upstairs in some kind of meeting room. The original idea was to stream the Football games received via DVB-T to all or many PCs in the office, but any solution (I thought) I’ve found won’t work correctly at last, so it was dropped because other things are more important. Anyways, watching the games via beamer with your workmates together in a meeting room is more fun I think…

My other tasks were for example to install an Exchange Server on a virtual machine running Windows Server 2003 and install a program called Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 for doing some backup compatibility tests with the most recent version of Backup Exec. But the whole procedure was more pain than anything else because nothing worked like expected, so mostly I had to troubleshoot the different issues. However, finally it worked and I could restore a backup from version 12.5 in version 2010 on another tape.

At another time I had to install SQL Server 2005 with SQL Management Studio and programs called McAfee Endpoint Encryption and ePolicy Orchestrator for some tests again, honestly I don’t know what exactly. But same here: it won’t work, one problem after another and all the time boring troubleshooting. A complete reinstall with a new VM solved the problem at last.

Well, enough of the work for now…

We three from the Danesfort apartment had a kind of strange incident on last Monday. Actually it started 2 weeks earlier. At some beautiful morning, I was in my office yet, I got a call from Riccardo, who was still in the apartment. He told me that just a second ago were 4 strangers in our apartment standing right before the bathroom where Riccardo came from. They asked him if they can have a look at the bathroom he said. And Ric, drowsy as he was, forgot to ask who they are and what they want, he only noticed that they weren’t burglars or something like this. So it must be some official visitation…

I was really upset about that and just called the office where Kevin normally works (FGS Partnership) and talked to a secretary first and to Donal, Kevin’s boss, after that. I told them that I’m very unhappy about this incident because we had no time to prepare for the visit, therefore our whole valuables like notebooks, even money and other stuff were ‘spread’ all over the apartment plus we had no time to clean and tidy up our rooms. Honestly, I have no problems if someone wants to visit us, but we have to know that to prepare or better: somebody of us is thereby. Thereupon explained Donal that he feels bad about forgetting to give us a call, but on the other side he mentioned that he had send us a mail, but we never received one… After he had apologized that issue he promised that won’t happen anymore… Not a bit of it!

Two weeks ago on Friday Lucia, Kevin’s substitute, wrote as a mail that there would be another visitation on Tuesday at 5pm. We were happy about that massage because now we had the chance to prepare, so we wanted to clean up our apartment on Monday after work and ‘hide’ our valuables.

BUT, on Monday afternoon approximately at 4pm I got a call from another secretary from FGS: “I just want to let you know that there will be a visitation today at 5pm.” I mean what!? Rate my reaction as typical German, but c’mon give me a break, it has to do with some kind of privacy! It’s not only that they changed the appointment without telling us and that our apartment is still kind of untidy, they gave us a call merely one hour before the visitation starts. The only excuse was (again) that Donal mails us one or two days before, but we doesn’t received a mail again except the one from Lucia I told before and that the visitation can’t be changed because the housekeepers are responsible for that. What the hell is wrong with them? If we had known that a bit earlier one of us were maybe able to go to our apartment and could accompany them. That’s it, enough I thought. I asked my boss John if I could leave recently, so that I am able to catch them up hopefully. He totally gets my point and understands so I could go.

On the way home I randomly met Ric in the bus. He knows already what is going on because I called him before. After we reached our apartment we saw a younger woman and two guys in front of the main door. Certainly I asked them if they are the ones who made the visit in apartment 37 and confronted her with the situation. She explained that they had to change the appointment for some reason and that they mailed FGS about the change on Friday (!) before. That’s why we want to talk to Kevin the next days… Also she apologized for that because she won’t be amused if some strangers would ‘browse’ her apartment and underwear or other stuff, especially without letting her know, too. Besides she let us know that there will be another visitation on Thursday at 2pm with some customers who will buy this apartment maybe after we moved out. But that’s Ok because we finally had the time to prepare and to clean up right before somebody comes.

Well, that’s all for now. Sorry again that it took so long but I hope that I’m able to post another Blog the next days. It will be hard I guess based on the fact that we haven’t internet anymore and I definitely won’t buy new access for just 4 days, if that is the cause… But I can’t imagine that… We’ll see. Otherwise I’ll write the Blog and do the upload when I’m back in Germany.

Bye ^^

Last Monday in Belfast

Hi folks,

thats my last week in Belfast! At work  is nothing special to do anymore. I just have to present the information – pc to my co-workers tomorrow. Furthermore, I prepare myself to leave Belfast and go back to my lovely city Berlin. It’s a shame that we could only take 20 kgs of luggage with us. It’s totally inadequate for a stay of 2 months in a foreign country. Well, let’s see …

By the way, german national team was awesome yesterday!

Daily Mail:

„At least the sun’s still shining! Germany crush England 4-1“

Groundhopping Part IV

Thats the final groundhopping part, therefore I have something special for you!

David, Oliver and me organized a day trip to Glasgow and we visited the Celtic Park, home of the famous club Celtic Glasgow (eng. Celtic FC). It took some time to find the stadium and unfortunately we missed the last tour trough the ground. But! On this day we were really lucky guys, a security guard allowed us to have a quick look inside the stadium!
And you may know that I falling in love with this kind of stadiums from former groundhopping parts and the Celtic Park surely drives me crazy, I would like to marry this awesome place! (sry babe ;))

It was a great feeling to get inside the stadium and to see the new green grass! Just take a look on the pictures.

Our hole group were impressed and we agreed to visit the stadium on a match-day in the near future.

More information about the Celtic Park:

  • Architect: Archibald Leitch
    Dedication: 1892 (!!)
    Capacity: 60.832 Seats
    Owner: Celtic Glasgow

That is the last part and I hope you enjoyed it!

This is football!

Oh yes!

I know everyone of you see the match Germany against Ghana and Ozils superb strike! Not a really good performance by N11 but who cares?! We are trough and will face England! Just have a quick look at the UK newspaper today:

The Sun:
„Prepare for GERM WARFARE! – Ozil sets up England blockbuster“

„And so, its Germany in the Last 16“

The Independent
„Capello: ‚We’ve lost our fear factor‘ (Does he know it’s Germany next?)“

Daily Mail
„Ghana 0 Germany 1: Ozil stunner sets up dream second round clash with England“

The Guardian
„The good news: England are through The bad news: It’s Germany up next“

Daily Star
„WWII RELOADED! England against Germany!“

Belfast Telegraph
„England against Germany. Penalties anyone?“

Irish Times
„Germany have old enemy in their sights –  EUROPE’S OLD firm meet again. Germany’s dubious reward for this tight victory over Ghana is a meeting with England on Sunday afternoon in Bloemfontein.““

Everyone here at work are glad to see the match on sunday and the most of them supports Germany (or the oppenent of England). France are out, Germany will face England, it seems as if the world cup finally going to get started!

PS: The Sun isn’t a reliable newspaper but their articles about Germany are very funny and ironic.  So if you have a dark sense of humor, read the full article. It’s worth reading!

„[…] But our boys can clock them out – as long as it does not go down to penalties.“

Requested blog entry

I found a nice offical tool from Microsoft to secure the information – pc.

Windows Steady State 2.5

You can use these tool to configure varied settings for different users (AD user accounts as well). For example you can disable the right-click in Windows Explorer or prevent access to command prompt. I think this program would be a perfect fit for me to solve my task and for everyone who is not confident to edit the registry.

Windows Disk Protection (WDP) is an other part of the tool. WDP helps protect the Windows partition, which contains the Windows operation system and other programs, from being modified without administrator approval.

And its for free!

A good tutorial for Windows Steady State:

Windows Steady State Tutorial Part I

Windows Steady State Tutorial Part II

Stay tuned!

PS: Final Groundhopping Part IV will be released on sunday 27 june!

Mouse on the moon!

To work with SCCM 2007 takes a lot of time. Unfortunatly you have to read reams of log files to know if the installation or package or whatever was successful. Sometimes it is boring, because you just have to wait and push the F5-button every second. We can not interrupt the other employee, therefore it could take hours to push out a simple package and to find out if it works fine.

But I get another small project. To install and manage a information pc for a railwaystation here in N.Ireland. I will use the programm „FLIP PDF“ to convert the pdf files to a flash presentation. The tool is very nice and ease to use.

I just have to wait for the computer. Meanwhile I try to find out how to start the computer via Mouse. Because the information pc has to be secured as much as possible. The only device which the user can use to navigate trough the flash presentation, will be a mouse (and just the left-button).

Its weird, we can fly to the moon but it seems to be unpossible to power on a computer by a mouse. The rest of the computer will be secured by windows group policy.

Thats it so far!

Groundhopping Part III

On a really rainy sunday, Oliver and me visited another football ground here in Belfast.

We talking about Glentoran F.C. and their famous stadium „The Oval“. The club is located in the north-east of the city. You may remember the Groundhopping Part I when I visited the home of Linfield FC? Glentoran’s biggest rivals are Linfield. Linfield and Glentoran are nicknamed Belfast’s Big Two as they have traditionally dominated local football in Northern Ireland.
The Club colours of GFC are green, red, and black.

Unfortunatly the Oval are more like an army base. With really high walls and barbed wire. Therefore it was quit difficult to take any picture inside the stadium.

Oliver and me tried our best, I hope you like it!

Just take a look at the MAIN entrance! You may remember the entrance in Daylmount Park, they are so different from germany.

Another big different to germany is the location of the stadiums. In Germany most of the football grounds are in outlying districts or far away from the city center. In Ireland and N.Ireland you walk through the streets and if you turn around the corner you stands infront of a big stadium. If you don’t look up and maybe notice the big floodlights, by the way they are so cool, you don’t even expect to see a stadium. One reason for this is, most of the grounds a smaller refer to stadiums in germany. For example the Oval have a capacity of 15.000 people.  (Windsor Park:  20.332) I am still addicted to these kind of stadiums!

After we get back home, totally wet, we prepared ourselfs for the first groupe stage match for Germany against down under. Means we tried to get dry.
Then it was time for Pub Hopping! We conquered the Botanic Inn and annexed it. We won 4-0 and celebrated the victory late into the night.

Stay tuned!

…. to be looking for a needle in a haystack

I told you, that a microsoft expert came to us at tuesday. We were able to send out some packages (Service Pack 3 Update) to a few clients.
Unfortunatly there are still some clients who are not configurable by SCCM. Most of them are offline, these are not a problem (just wait). The problem are the clients who are online and still not assigned to the site server.
To find out the reason why, it’s very complicated and it’s like to be looking for a needle in a haystack (only for you Basti ;)).

This weekend is the „girlfriend-weekend“ because Olis and Davids girl will be here and I have to move down to the couch.

Finally the World Cup starts today!! I’am looking forward to see all the matches!


And to everyone who are waiting for another Groundhopping Part:“It’s not over yet!“

Stay tuned!

Chapter 6: Hiking, a fascinating tour and countless hexagons

Hey again!
Well, last time I said that I would blog something like useful information about Belfast, but I would prefer to do this next time because it happened so much last weekend, especially on Sunday the 30th May… Additionally I hadn’t enough time to finish this (a bit larger) Blog earlier, sorry for that.

Since the very beginning of our staying in Belfast Friedrich, Riccardo and I wanted to see one of the steep coasts here in Northern Ireland. Probably the most famous coast over here is the “Giant’s Causeway”, so we decided to check this out on Sunday.
Therefore we had to search in the Internet for the possibilities to do such a trip – and we found a good offer: The travel organization “McComb’s Executive Travel & Tours” offers a tour across the Antrim Coastal Route to the Giant’s Causeway with a few ‘photo stops’ and other attractions included for 20£ per person.
The tour lasts from 9.20 am to approximately 7.00 pm, thus we had to get up early on Sunday morning. At the McComb’s office we bought the tickets and waited a short time before the travel starts. The bus was totally full and our driver, he calls himself ‘Mr. Sexy’ xD, was really kind and funny. He talked the whole trip about the many sights, points of interest and about the Irish and Northern Irish history.
Our first (and short) stop was in Carrickfergus for taking photos from an old castle. At least we realized that we definitely chose the right day – the weather was awesome! While taking photos and kidding around, we were accosted by two girls from Stuttgart: Anna, who studies since two years in Dublin, and Christine, who visited her. Based on that, we found two nice travel companions… 😉

the upper part of the Shepherd's steps with Christine and Anna

Along the Coastal Route we saw so many beautiful landscapes like hills, cliffs and even beaches. The beaches here looked like the Caribbean ones, which were kind of strange and amazing together, because I never expected that in Northern Ireland. A hundreds of photos later we had another short stop at a small and nice harbor and at a viewpoint where we could see a rope bridge, of which more later…

After a few more driving minutes along the coast and through pretty villages and another three hundreds of photos later we finally reached the Giant’s Causeway. The bus parked besides a restaurant, where you could have a meal if you ordered one at the bus driver before. But we didn’t.
Now you had to choose between 2 paths down to the Giant’s Causeway: An easier, shorter and almost boring one or a longer, more exciting path within a stair part called “Shepherd’s steps”. Well the second path sounds tempting, so the girls and we three followed its call.

the hexagon shaped stones of the Giant's Causeway

The path leads us towards the cliffs with an impressive view of the Causeway below. We reached the “Shepherd’s steps” which have approximately 160 steps, it was quiet cool. On the way down we made several stops and watched at the breathtaking panorama. After the stairs we followed the path straight on, looked around again and continued going down.
Finally on the Giant’s Causeway we made a short stop and had a little lunch. While eating we had a good overview of the countless hexagon shaped stones, it was amazing! After the lunch we were going to discover the area and took thousands of photos. At this point I could get the statement from the Irish: “The Giant’s Causeway is known as the 8th world miracle.”, it was really marvelous and I begun to wonder how all these stones get their hexagonal shape. I remembered the old legend which the bus driver told us before:

„Hundreds of years ago there was a giant called Fionn who builds a bridge to walk to Scotland to fight another giant. But when he saw the Scottish giant he was afraid about his size and fled. The Scottish giant followed him. Fionn’s wife laid a blanket on him in order to cover him from the Scottish giant by pretending that Fionn is her baby. Therefore the Scottish giant was afraid, because he imagined that the father of the baby must be very huge, thus he fled in panic and destroyed the bridge in case that Fionn wants to follow him.“

(Not a real quote, but that’s approximate all as far as I remember…)

In actual fact the basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway are originated millions of years ago by volcanic activities, lava flow and some eruptions.

me climbing one of the basalt columns

Some of the stone columns were approximately 8 meters high on one side (on the other side more columns like a hill), so it was a perfect chance for me to climb a bit… 😛 Regrettably the time was really barely and we had to rush with all our doings, although we had 2 hours for discover the Causeway.

Back in the bus we bought some tickets for the rope bridge (4£ per each) and the bus started to move. Our next stop was only a few minutes away in the village Bushmills. There we visited the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery where we could buy and taste some whiskey. Around the distillery was a strange smell in the air, I can’t describe it anymore, but it was kind of funny. ^^
For tasting the Bushmills’ Whiskey normally you had to pay, but lucky as I am (haha) I got a voucher for free Whiskey tasting from the bus driver after a short small talk. We followed him to the bar where I, and even Riccardo without a voucher, drunk a glass of Bushmills’ Whiskey. While this we talked to a trucker from New York who also took part on the trip to the Giant’s Causeway.
After our little Whiskey session we staggered… uhm… walked back to the bus and drove to the last attraction: The rope bridge. On our way to the bridge we had another two short photo stops at an old castle ruin (the bus driver called it one of the most romantic places in Northern Ireland) and at a cliff near a very long and beautiful beach.

I am the posing one in the middle ^^

After we arrived we hiked along the cliffs and I was amazed of the view below: The water was like you would normally expect from the Caribbean – crystal clear and cyan with bright sand below and no seaweed (like almost everywhere today). That fits the nearly cloudless sky and the warm air temperature perfect. Just before the rope bridge was a queue so we had to wait as well, but it wasn’t too long anyways. Finally it’s our turn. We went down a little stair and entered the bridge. The way like the bridge waggled and swung was kind of funny. You had a nice view down between the gaps, by the way… On the other side, there was only a small (but high) island, we enjoyed the nice view and took another 3700 photos. You could see the Scottish coast from there very clear. After a few minutes our time was running out again, so we had to return to the bus.

From now on we drove straight through the country in the direction of Belfast. Time to relax and digest the whole exciting day, but only when you are able to ignore the always-talking Mr. Sexy (headphones are very useful in this case :P)…

We arrived in Belfast shortly after 8 pm, and the bus driver says that this was his longest tour since years. The bus stopped at several points and we had to say goodbye to the girls. We get off at another stop and went home.
Later this evening Friedrich and I went to the Bot in order to relax a bit, but against our expectations it was totally full of people – I’ve never seen such a full pub! No way to relax, but it was fun anyways. All of the girls there were responding well to the Euro vision Song Contest winner Lena, as they heard that we are from Germany. Also we met a crazy English guy, but never mind… xD

Just one more thing: I strongly can recommend this (or a similar) trip to you, it is absolutely a good investment! And prepare to take millions of photos!

Wow, I never thought that I’ll write such a novel… Oo
I hope my grammar is not that bad like Master Yoda’s… xD