Archiv für den Monat: Januar 2011


Spring Festival in China. Since two days in Panyu/Guangzhou, wonderful weather, friendly and happy people, seasonal spirit all over the place.

Finally a dream came true. Roughly 20years ago I sold my much beloved Yamaha RD 350 as money was needed so painfully for studies. Ever since desire never really vanished. It lurked for this one day, yesterday. On the road again.

Mercy has it, it is a Yamaha, or at least something close to it, that picks up great legacy. The new treasure is named *YMHMNA*. And isn*t it a beauty of some kind?


Running a startup in Switzerland

Inspired by Sean, from Dublin and some kind of startup insider, I loosely follow the Swiss startup scene. What surprised me is that Switzerland is under the top 5 innovative/supportive countries in Europe (even #1 according to some sources).

An excellent financial basis is definitively helping, but certainly only one aspect. What is needed is a community and comprehensive facilitation. A comprehensive overview about startup awards and support was recently published at, which itself is a portal/blog around the Swiss startup scene.

Whenever reading about starting a company one of the first advices given is “understand your market”; obviously. So an immediate question would be about size, for instance size of the addressable market in Switzerland for business software (no surprise, I work for a biz software company). One interesting aspect in such research are birth-death rates (growth/shrink patterns). So the question comes down to: how many companies are taking off and how many file insolvency?

According to research by D&B Schweiz, the number of new Swiss company registrations in 2010 is 33550 and the number of insolvencies is 5619, with 1645 of them being a legal artifact with no immediate consequence, so to be ignored (details can be found in the report). Note, 4000 effective losses is a stable figure since 2006.

Given this one (slightly over-simplified) conclusion a healthy survival probability of p~(1-4000/33550)~0,88 along with a plus of 25000 companies per year in terms of market size.

Google Apps and KDE Kontact

It is now roughly 11 years since I turned to Linux and ever since it stays as my one and only OS, for private and professional matters. Isnt that a long time?

Pointless to elaborate why Linux appeals to computer scientist. Yet besides all those nitty gritty technical merits of Linux, it was and still is the appeal of KDE that made up for quite some frustrations. Since the very begining I use KMail, for instance, and I don””t see any reason why this should change as long as the community sticks to its plain design and efficient usability.

So why writing this? I finally bought an HTC Nexus; the Android framework is truly impressive. Consequently, I am now using more of the Google universe since the integration of Android and the rest of Googles Apps/Services is compelling (let””s face it). So an pressing question was how to sync Android / Gmail Calendar with Kontact and the solution is GCALDeamon. The tool is pretty simple to install/use especially in view of the many configurations it supports. Very well done, definitively worth this post.

A good intro to started off can be found at How to make Kontact work with Google Apps. There is little detail though, in particular it doesnt tell explicitely whether to use “file-based” or “http-based/http-server” sync. Both options are possible (c.f. the manual of the tool). It works fine for me with the http-based option.