Thoughts on Online Word Processing – Part 1 – LibreOffice / Collabora

Over the past years, I’ve been using the Collabora Online / LibreOffice integration of my Nextcloud instance at home to collaboratively work on text documents and spreadsheets. While this works in general, there are a number of issues that have not improved for me over the years which make it difficult to encourage people to work with this setup. In this post, I will first have a look at the pain points. In follow up posts, I will then have a look if I get the same behavior when using other products such as Microsoft 365 online and Google docs.

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NFC Payment in the Paris Metro

It took many many years, but I finally used an NFC payment service on a mobile device: For paying in the Paris metro! So how well does this work and how does it compare to other cities?

Digitization – More Complicated?

To me, digitization is something out of the 1980’s, but it seems to be a resurrected topic in the 2020’s. In my opinion, digitization should strive to make things simpler instead of more complicated for the customer. Unfortunately, in reality, many services that are digitized are often just as complicated or even more so than than their analog predecessors. There is one exception that comes to my mind, however, and that is how one can pay in the London metro. It’s so simple that I’ve come to see it as the ‘gold standard’ of a service that was digitized. So let’s have a look at London Transport first and then compare the system used by the Paris metro.

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Reality Bites – Flight Simulation – Part 10 – Moving to ‘the Bus’

It was predictable in some way that sooner or later, I would want to do yet another ‘upgrade’ in the flight simulator and move to something bigger. After the turboprop Daher TBM-930, which I started flying last year, it was either a private yet or an airliner. There is lots of choice and in the end, I decided to go for an airliner. The big choice to make at this point then is: Airbus or Boeing!? In the end, I decided to go for an Airbus A320 and here again, there are several implementations to choose from: In the Asobo / MS flight simulator, one can choose the A320 that comes with the simulator itself, the open source FlyByWire A320neo or the closed source and not for free Fenix A320ceo. After some investigation, I came to the conclusion that I’d skip the default A320 and go straight for something with more ‘system depth’. Both the FlyByWire and the Fenix A320 seem to be fantastic products and, contrary to my open source nature, I decided to go for the Fenix A320 first. At 50 British pounds, it is very affordable and is said to have an unrivaled system depth, i.e. pretty much everything the real plane does works in the simulator as well. I have no idea how that could be done for 50 GBP, but I was eager to find out.

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Reality Bites – Flight Simulation – Part 9 – Satellite Communication in Planes

There obviously had to come a time when the interests of the wireless network engineer in me and my enthusiasm for flying in the simulator cross paths. Even small general aviation aircraft have lots of radios on board these days and if you go up the price range a bit, there are even built-in satellite communication options available. And when moving up the scale to airliners, satellite communication for voice calls and data exchange is a standard feature. So let’s have a look at these capabilities.

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Reality Bites – Flight Simulation – Part 8 – Radios In Planes

When flying in the simulator, I’m quite amazed how many radios a modern GA airplane or airliner has on board. Sometimes, it feels more like a flying radio tower than an airplane. The picture above and below shows the antennas of a Daher TBM 930 turbo-prop plane on its roof and its underside. Needless to say that all radio systems are not only used in reality, but also in the simulation, particularly when flying on Vatsim. So what are all those antennas for?

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When All Else Fails – The Garmin InReach Mini 2 – Part 13 – Hearing Iridium

I’m sure you’ve heard the typical ‘GSM sound’ on an FM radio by chance when a phone call comes in and the phone was close to a radio. It doesn’t happen that much anymore of course, as devices are mostly camping on LTE and 5G networks these days. But if you manually select GSM, you can still hear it today. So I was wondering if I could also ‘hear’ Iridium uplink transmissions of my Garmin InReach Mini 2 on the radio?

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