PADI Assistant Instructor – done and dusted

August 2nd, 2017

While still doing the PADI Divemaster internship, I started and recently finished the PADI Assistant Instructor course. The certification card should be on its way.

Whereas the Divemaster has a lot of practical aspects, the next step in the PADI career focuses on teaching, teaching techniques, structuring lessions and applied lessons in confined water and open water.

First time supervising an open water lesson was pretty stressful. All of a sudden you have to deal with things such as bottom topography and current, which you don’t really have to take into consideration in a pool.

One of the most painful lessons I learned was the aspect of control – even if you have an assistant, you need to constantly monitor everyone around you, even the assisitant – unless you know him/her pretty well and you make a good team.

I have to stay, I really enjoyed the first dive *after* the course because after weeks and weeks of tasks, homework, assignments and such I finally got the chance to enjoy a quiet, no-pressure dive again. Felt good…

Summer Problems…

August 2nd, 2017

Guess what kind of shoes I’ve been wearing this summer so far…

And don’t look at my weirdly shaped little toes… which you probably can’t unsee now.

 

PADI Divemaster – did it

July 18th, 2017

What can I say… this year seems to progress as planned…. I finished the divemaster course yesterday and signed the necessary documents which means I’m am a PADI Divemaster. Apparently there is no mandatory PADI Divemaster tattoo.

To think that I only started diving less than two years ago… it’s been a busy and interesting time. Next step: Assistant Instructor.

PADI Briefing template

July 10th, 2017

If you ever have to do a dive briefing, feel free to use the below template.

In some spots, you will need to fill in the details of the dive location e.g. phone number of the local hospital whereas in other spots you can delete whatever is not necessary (you do obviously not enter a dive spot from a boat AND walking from the beach).

When you have adapted the template to your diving spot, you will have covered all the major points of a dive briefing.

If you use the template for several dive spots, it will give your briefings a consistent look-and-feel (listen-and-feel, if you prefer) which makes it easier on the divers regularly attending your dives.

Feel free to add contents or delete what is not necessary. Use a map if you have one. Make one if you don’t. Remember to keep briefings short and to the point. Make it interesting but keep it relevant.

Briefing_Template

Update: Fixed a typo

Is what I’m doing really alright?

July 9th, 2017

Sometimes I get a bit thoughtful and slightly depressed. There is so much going on in this world and without doubt I’m engaging in many activities as well.

But should I? Is it really ok to spend time, again, not with my family? Shouldn’t I be with him? Does it matter as long he is still very young?

See the previous post… preparing for that test took a lot of time although I spent many hours reading late in the night and tried to keep time away from the family to a minimum. Those were difficult three years. My resolution is not to let that happen again, at least not in those dimensions.

But then again, the business world seems to be turning faster and faster and keeping necessarily ends in concessions. With personal changes looming I wonder to what degree my environment will accept my resolution to put the family first.

Then again, I want him to proud of me once he is old enough to understand what that means. I want his eyes to light up when he says “my dad…”. I’ve chosen my path partly based on such considerations but as the future is hard to predict he might not necessarily share my interests, neither in profession nor in hobbies. But that’s alright – he is a different human being and should have his own interests. I just hope he will be able to see through different genres and recognize the effort I made to become what I became.

As for the future… nobody knows for sure what will happen. Plenty of people have ideas and expectations but that means exactly nada. Might as well pursue the path I’ve embarked on and pull it through to the end.

ICT-Manager mit eidg. Diplom geschafft…

July 8th, 2017

2017 könnte ein grosses Jahr in Sachen Auszeichnungen werden… im April seit Jahren wieder einmal TOIEC Test geschrieben und mit 985 von 990 Punkten geschafft.

Im Mai dann die ICT-Manager Diplomprüfung und Ende Juni dann endlich die Bestätigung – bestanden. Das letzte Jahr der Wirtschaftsinformatiker Fachausweis und dieses Jahr das Diplom nachgeschoben.

Wenn ich nicht gerade ein PADI Divemaster Praktikum absolvieren und mich auf die Cambridge Proficiency Prüfung im Oktober vorbereiten würde, könnte ich ein wenig durchschnaufen…. naja, vielleicht nächstes Jahr.

Mal schauen, was das Jahr sonst noch mit sich bringt…

Open remote files in LibreOffice (WebDAV)

April 10th, 2017

Although the feature “Open remote files” has been around in LibreOffice for a while, I only got it working recently, at least for WebDAV. Success on remote files on Sharepoint is still on the horizon, maybe I will follow up with another post once I get that working.

In Writer, go to the menu File, select Open Remote File…
Click Add service
Select WebDAV from the dropdown menu

If the WebDAV url for your host is https://host.yourdomain.orgorg/remote.php/webdav, then fill in the details as follows:

(Selecting “Secure connection” should change the Port number to 443. If it does not change, change it manually.)

After clicking OK, a dialogue box should ask for your usernamen and password, which can be saved if you want to.

If your username and password are correct, the usual Open File dialogue will show but the content is of course your remote location.

To save the file in your webdav folder again, select “Save to Remote Server”. You can choose to overwrite your existing file or save as a different file.

Schnapszahl* anniversary on memrise

April 10th, 2017

I’m a cautiosly avid user of memrise (memrise.com) – every tool has its advantages and disadvantages. So far, memrise has worked well for me and this weekend I was able to celebrate a 555 day streak (everyday continous learning). Something to be a little proud of.

This means two things:

  1. I have used a computer/tablet/smartphone for 555 days straight
  2. 556 days ago, the memrise app login and the website were not available, I just could not login which ruined my previous 300+ streak. Thanks a lot, memrise. By the way, there was never an apology or even an explanation about the outage. Well, it’s a free tool so I guess I can’t complain.

*What’s a Schnapszahl, you ask? Apparently there’s no direct translation in English. It’s defined as a number which consists of several equal numbers such as the above 555. Before trying to find a translation and checking the definition I though it also included patterns e.g. 737737, but this could be a regional difference.

Already cold outside? Let’s go diving!

December 14th, 2016

Yes, you read that correctly!
It might be slightly nippy but that’s no reason at all to hang up the ol’ diving suit and wait for summer.
Do as I do and get yourself a Waterproof D9 breathable (http://waterproof.eu/en/products/drysuits/d9-breathable/) and the Waterproof Dry Glove set (http://waterproof.eu/en/products/accessories/drysuit-accessories/ultima/) and the cold will not be a problem anymore.
I’ve gone diving almost every week in November and December (and the previous months but the temperatures really started dropping in November) and I haven’t had any problems.
In 30m depth, it’s cold anyway, so why not make the best of it.

Does memrise help you remember stuff?

August 29th, 2016

I use a couple of memorization tools…. anymemo, memrise, mnemosyne. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. In this post, I would like to divulge my opinion on memrise.

Overall, I have been using memrise for app. 553 days. The app encourages streaks – continous days of usage. For one set of vocabulary, I’m on my 333rd consecutive day – before that, the website was down so I lost my previous 200 or so day streak.

By the way, no one at memrise has ever apologized for that one day of downtime nor was there ever any explanation posted on the webiste. Shame, shame….

Memrise comes in two options: You can either login to the website memrise.com and learn facts and vocabulary there or you can install the memrise app.

Please keep in mind that I’m using memrise to learn Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hebrew. The relevance will be clear after the next paragraph…

The algorithm behind either version is the same – the main difference is the input and its configuration. On the website, you can choose to type vocabulary by using your physical keyboard whereas in the app, memrise provides an onscreen keyboard. Why does that make a difference?

On my pc/laptop, I have succesfully configured Mandarin and Japanese input for which I can use the latin alphabet as a basis. To type 漢字 in Japanese, I switch to the Japanese input and type “kanji” (Enter). The same principle works for Mandarin.

Korean on the other hand uses a totally different keyboard and so far I have not found a latin alphabet-bases input configuration. A colleague uses a self-made paper layout on top of his physical keyboard. Until I have to get really close and intimate with Korean, I will remain on the current low-key configuration, thank you.

As for Hebrew which is a right-to-left language (totally freaks me out in vocabulary lists in Excel), I don’t know. I’m just learning some basic words and phrases for the time being, so I have not looked into any input methods on my pc/laptop.

The exercises on memrise come in several patterns, but this can widely differ from course by course, which are contributed by memrise members. Naturally, the quality of the courses can also differ…

Most courses come with cards in English–><foreign_language> and the opposite (<foreign_language>->English). The “better” courses provided audio files for the <foreign_language> cards which can be really helpful for any foreign language, especially tonal languagues.

The “written” cards come in the following variety: Typing, recognizing and selecting. All in all, a good variety.

Before a card is marked as learned, you have to repeat it appr. six or seven times in learning mode. Afterwards it is moved to the “learned” heap and reappears according to a long-time memorization algorithm, similar to supermemo, anymemo, mnemosye and so on.

The downsides of memrise (the app, not the website) is the development. I was invited to participate as beta tester for memrise but after watching the google+ group for a couple of weeks, I decided to leave the group and not update memrise if I can avoid it.

The guys behind memrise basically make the same mistake all developers seem to make…. features over fixes and implemenation of features that do not make sense. I can understand the rationale behind this, but first of all I want a working app not new features all the time.

Also, there is considerable lack of communication about development and features. I have not seen a properly maintained list of bugs (open, in work, fixes). Frankly, the whole process of reporting bugs until a fix is implemented seems not very mature. A lot of users in the groups simply state “it’s not working pls fix it”. The more communicative users at least state their type of mobile phone, what version of ios or android and how to recreate the bug.

If you just are looking for a different way to learn vocabulary, check out memrise – at least I think it’s a good way to learn.