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A little bit about me...

I know there isn't much english text about me on my pages, so I gathered a little bit of english written information on this page...

Axel Beckert at CeBIT 2001
That's a quite up-to-date pictures of me... ;-)

I finished my studies in Computer Science (major) and Biology (minor) at the University of Saarland at Saarbrücken (Germany).

My main interests in Computer Science are Artificial Intelligence (Diploma Thesis: Compiliation of Anytime Algorithms: Conception, Implementation and Analysis) and internet services, especially information retrieval and dynamic/semi-dynamic (server-side, not client-side) web pages written in (X)HTML, CSS and WAP WML ("Wireless Markup Language"), being served with the Apache HTTPd running on some UN*X box, preferably Debian GNU/Linux and generated using Perl (as CGI script, e.g. with Blosxom or with mod_perl and Embperl, Slash or semi-dynamic with Perl scripts and cron jobs), WML ("Website Meta Language"), SSI, Content Negotiation and URL manipulation (mod_voodoo -eh- mod_rewrite :-).

I prefer web pages, where DHTML (Dynamic HTML, e.g. with JavaScript) or Java are only used for non-essential parts of page (e.g. goodies, funny stuff, additional hints, etc.) but not for navigation nor content, so that they can be viewed, respective parsed, with any browser, including text browsers like Lynx or with web agents (also called web robots) like crawler or spiders.

For viewing WAP WML pages from Dagstuhl's Solaris, SunOS and Linux systems here, I've written a compact and portable WAP browser called wApua. It runs on any computer, where Perl 5.005 and Perl/Tk 800 is properly installed, including OSes like Windows 9x.

My further computer related interests are GNU Emacs, Lisp (all flavours, especially Liquid/Lucid Common Lisp, Emacs Lisp, Scheme, and recently also GIMP and its Script-Fu), XML and PostScript. And not to forget all my more or less old x86, Sparc and StrongARM based computers running Debian GNU/Linux, OpenZaurus, DeLi Linux or FreeBSD.

My interests in biology cover nearly everything except botany. :-) The actual main focus of my biology studies are bionics.

For over six years I was a member of the Fachschaftsrat Informatik (Student Representatives at the Dept. of Computer Science). I'm still a member of the local students party Aktive Idealisten ("Active Idealists"), of Mensa in Deutschland e.V. (MinD, the German section of Mensa International), the Verkehrsclub Deutschland e.V. (VCD) and the scouts union Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder e.V. (VCP). And I'm a member of Linux User Group Darmstadt (Germany, DaLUG), Linux User Group Switzerland (LUGS) and Linux User Group Vorarlberg (Austria, LUGV).

Since October 2002, I'm one of the editors of Symlink, a Switzerland based Slashdot alike news site in German, which was initially started by members of the Linux User Group Switzerland (LUGS), but now operates mostly independent and not only in Switzerland but in the whole German speaking region.

From April 1998 to December 2001 I worked at the International Conference and Research Center for Computer Science (IBFI) Schloß Dagstuhl (Wadern, Germany) as administrator of its WWW/WAP- (Apache) and Anonymous-FTP (WU-FTPd) server. From January 2002 to April 2006 I worked at the Embperl forge ECOS at Dienheim (Germany) as software developer and system administrator.

Since 1st of May 2006 I work at IT Support Group of the Department of Physics of the ETH Zurich, keeping their Debian GNU/Linux and FreeBSD servers running.

Besides Computer (Science) and Biology, I also have some hobbies not related to my studies. My biggest hobby are old Citroën (a French car manufacturer) cars, especially the more spartanic ones, the 2CV and the H-Van (aka HY). But I now also own a '87 CX 25 TRI Break. More information about these cars can be found on my web site

But I also like biking and I am the proud owner of a Radius Hornet I recumbent bike. My favourite biking targets are former railway tracks which have been converted to bicycle tracks. BTW: Railways are another traffic-related hobby of mine, equal if as model or in real life: The main thing is, it has to be related with epoch I to III.

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