After more than twenty years without one, I got finally around and acquired a mobile phone. It is a simple Nokia phone that does not even have a camera (Yes, those phones without camera still exist) or whatever toys most modern phones have. So I guess it is just right for me since everything I want to do (for now) is to get in contact with my father to get home with him after university. Until now, I took the phone of my mother for this purpose, and that is why she wanted me to get an own one. I, for myself, could still live without it.
Originally, we wanted to use the same contract that my brother uses for my new phone (since my mother does already the same), but it turned out that they recently changed prices and a prepaid tariff was cheaper, so that is what I have now. Anyway, I find all this tariff stuff overly complicated. We spent nearly an hour in the Vodafone shop.
I tried to install our new laser printer, a Samsung CLP-600 on my linux machine. The first problem was that the printer uses a proprietary printing language called SPL, Samsung printing language. After some minutes of googling I found splix, a free SPL driver. Samsung also offers a linux drivers for its printers, but they only distribute binary and old drivers that have some limitations. The printer is accessed via a windows machine (using samba) which seems to work quite well with cups. However, the only thing it printed was a page that tells me "SPL-C ERROR - Please use the proper driver".
After having read Johannes' blog post I actually felt a bit fooled. I then got into contact with the splix developer on #splix on freenode who told me that our model is most probably too recent. The Samsung guys seem to have changed some compression algorithm which he needs to reverse engineer. I hope he succeeds eventually. Unfortunately I cannot really help with that since I have no experience in this area at all.
The installation on my Windows Notebook went fine however. The only thing was that it did not discover the printer automatically but I needed to tell it the IP address and Share Name of the machine directly connected to the printer; probably because there is another router between the notebook and the rest of the home network. After that, it copied the necessary drivers and stuff automatically through the network onto the notebook, I needed no more click to make the printer ready which I found quite impressive.
Today I wrote my first exam at university in experimental physics. The topic was classical mechanics (Kinematics, Dynamics, Energy conservation and stuff). I really cannot say whether it went good or not. There were 6 problems to be worked on within two hours. I spent the first twenty or so minutes on the first one without getting anywhere and then continued with the rest which went more or less well (at least I had some pretty logical approaches which lead me to solutions at the end, even if those differ from those of a friend of mine). During the last fifteen minutes I have gone back to problem one and solved it straight-ahead which was fine, but I didn't have the time to work on the last problem then. However, only 12.5 out of 30 points are required to pass (with 25 being enough to get full marks). More to come when the results have been published, probably Tuesday.
The exam took place at 15:30 which was quite late in my opinion since I could not concentrate as much as I normally can in such situations when writing mornings. However, the problems seems to be that those big auditoriums in which the exams are written are already occupied most of the time and we have to take what we get. This is probably also why I have to write the next examination saturdays (16. decemeber in theoretical physics), but at least at 10:00 in the morning.
Update: I now have the results for both exams. The good thing is, I have got more than 50% in both of them (19.5 out of 25 in experimental physics, 18.5 out of 28 in theoretical physics), the bad thing is that I thought I had done better (at least in theoretical physics). Anyway, to pass we need 50% out of two exams (in each subject; the next ones are in february) so I have a rather good starting point.