After working hard on my PhD for years at Radboud University, a few months ago I fulfilled the publication requirements, so, finishing it up became the promise of the foreseeable future. It had the immediate effect on me that I had (the mostly false) impression of having some spare time as I did not have to do research and write papers continuously.

Because the preceding months were very overwhelming working hard on my papers for IFL’14 [1,2], first I relaxed a bit then restored my ultimate hobby of running by starting to prepare for the Berlin marathon.

Very soon, however, I felt unsatisfied. It is very hard to slow down if you are used to burn on high heat…

At that point did my friend tell me about his obsession of building a 3D printer. What’s a great idea! I also wanted one! A great project as it is far away from being trivial, but viable in the same time. I also felt it very tempting because as a kid I enjoyed experiencing with electronics a great deal, until computers, especially software, grab my attention for a long time.

I started to build my own 3D printer and it sucked me in so much that I ended up working on several DIY/robotic projects. I found it fun and intellectually challenging, and, even more importantly, my kids enjoyed very much getting involved.

After a while I also restored the research at Radboud University and my cross-compiler research started to reach a conclusion at the company I also work for. Some of these projects are documented at other blogs or in academic papers, but some, especially my fun robotics projects, haven’t be so far. At this blog I would like to make up this leeway. I find it very useful to draw a conclusion at the end of a project, summarizing what we learnt, what could be improved, and what further work it triggers (if any). I hope some of these conclusions will be helpful for others as well.

Do you also have a blog? Why started on one in the first place?