Dear Academia, I hope we can still be friends.

After many great years in academia, I finally decided in October of last year to resign from my position as tenured assistant professor. As of February of this year, I proudly walk the earth as an independent engineer. It has taken me two years of thinking to reach this decision. I started re-evaluating my life in academia two years ago after a¬†review-for-promotion¬†process that resulted in a “not quite yet” judgement.

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Please update your email and RSS subscriptions (cpbotha.net)

Dear readers, I will soon be starting a new life adventure. In fact, maybe even two of them. Hence, there is a significant probability that this weblog will again be updated more frequently in 2013. Also, I have just changed the email and RSS subscription system: If you were subscribed via email, please subscribe anew via the subscribe button to the right. If you still receive emails from feedburner concerning this blog, please unsubscribe using the instructions in those emails.

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Startups vs. Academic Research Groups: FIGHT!

There are many similarities between startups, defined here as (relatively) young and agile companies with a few bright people trying to change the world by working on some cool idea(s), and academic research groups, defined here as (relatively) young and agile units within academic institutes with a few bright people trying to change the world by working on some cool idea(s). Err, yes. Fortunately there are also many differences, so I have something to write about here.

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Nerd-alert: Ubuntu Linux 12.04 on my NVIDIA Optimus Samsung NP300V3A laptop

When I acquired my pre-ultrabook-era but still pretty Samsung NP300V3A laptop some nine months ago, I lamented that I’d probably never be able to put Linux on there due to the NVIDIA Optimus graphics switching thingamagoo. Well, yesterday I ate my hat. If you have nerdy tendencies, head on over to VXLabs, my nerd blog, to read all about it.

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Google Drive: Not reliable yet, but potential.

I’ve been a Dropbox Pro (50G) user for more than two years now, and in this time it has never let me down, not even by a little bit. Still, when Google announced its new Google Drive syncing service, I had to take it for a spin. For those of you with short attention spans, my conclusion is: Google Drive has great promise due to its price-point, Google’s great infrastructure and the integration with Google Docs, but you shouldn’t yet trust this service with your critical files.

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Rhythm of the Night. [Weekly Head Voices #66]

(This post has an extremely high slightly-insane-rambling index (SIRI). You have been warned.) The rhythm of life I love Unkle. Here’s the introduction to their song Back and Forth: The only life you can get is one made up of ups and downs. The trick is in learning how to deal with the downs, increasing the number and duration of the ups, and enjoying every last drop out of them.

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What is love? [Weekly Head Voices #64 no #65]

I’ve been dealing with a spot of blog writer’s block, hence the lateness of this post. I’d forgotten that these monthly instalments were initially intended to be extended status updates, with a spot of backyard philosophy every so often. Trying to come up with worthwhile backyard philosophy every week is just plain hard. This week I’m going for half a status update along with a list of possibly interesting sciencey tidbits.

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Slow philosophy. [Weekly Head Voices #64]

I’ve spent days writing this post in my head, and now it’s taken more than two weeks to get done. It’s not that I have something complicated or difficult to tell you, it’s just that I was privy to three absolutely awesome weeks of vacation in an undisclosed location to the very far south of my current coordinates, during which I attained ultimate levels of relaxation that caused my brain to shut-down large parts of itself.

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Astropsychonaut. [Weekly Head Voices #63]

I recently came across this hauntingly beatiful time-lapse view of Earth made from the ISS (the International Space Station! Yes, we have one!): Watching this, my nostalgia flared up. You see, I’ve been addicted to science fiction ever since I can remember. It started with Buck Rogers, and the original Star Trek, and only got much worse when I discovered Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Douglas Hill.

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You have beautiful ize. [Weekly Head Voices #62]

I completely lack the genes that usually cause human males to have a thing for cars, but I do love Top Gear. This trailer for a fictional 60s detective show, made by Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, encapsulates many of the reasons why: Moustaches, guns, girls, cars and Hammond karate-chopping the porter at Playboy Club London for absolutely no reason whatsoever at 41 seconds can be nothing but 100% pure AWESOME.

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