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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

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High Speed and Low Tech

Being connected to email and internet at all times is something that feels very important to particle physicists, certainly most of the ones I know and work with. I am certainly addicted to my email, to a point where my wife is complaining from time to time in the evenings (rightfully so!). Since quite a while, I have a UMTS phone through the Excellence Cluster, and with it also came an additional card for laptops. Up to now I was not trying really hard to get it to work with my laptop, the Mac software for that device is not exactly user friendly, and it requires some additional work to actually connect successfully… And after all, Bluetooth sharing through the phone also works, but it is painfully slow. Last weekend, I tried once more, and finally got the thing to work. But only for a brief instant of happiness and satisfaction: Then the express card slot of my laptop spat out a small spring, and that was that… No more connecting of the broadband card. But such a thing does not deter an experimental particle physicist, especially not one with a detector background. So I used a technique I’ve already used successfully on ADC cards in VME crates: Small pieces of wood! Here, two small pieces of a wooden kebab skewer. And it works! A beautiful connection of low tech and high speed internet. People look at me a bit funny though here in the Lufthansa Lounge at Hamburg airport, where I’m waiting for my flight back to Munich after a Meeting at DESY, where we were discussing the recent progress and the next steps in our studies for highly granular hadron calorimeters for a future Linear Collider detector. But that is a small price to pay: I’m online, with a decent bandwidth!

High speed and low tech: The next big thing in mobile broad band internet.

High speed and low tech: The next big thing in mobile broad band internet.

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