Thursday, October 27, 2011

Complete your cloudoffice with latex

At university you often finds yourself in need to write a professional document, for example a homework or a paper. In many cases, you do that together with other students or coworkers. The quasi  standard to accumulate this, beside MS Word, is Latex. At present, in day to day use, documents are passed via e-mail between the coworkers.

One the other hand side, there exist many webbased tools, like google docs or etherpad, which allow collaborative work in real-time. While extremely powerful, they still lack in essential features to build complex documents like a thesis, a book or even a physics students math homework.

Now imagine the possibilities of combination of both worlds. A free and easy to use collaborative editor with the rendering capabilities of a Latex compiler. That would be pretty cool.

My brother and I thougt about it and we came up with the idea of taking an etherpad, wich in the new javascript-based version is easily implementable in webapps. We build an javabased usermanagment and implemented a rendering engine for latex based on pdflatex for linux. You will find more details in later post.

The name of it is CoLabTex

The Software is currently avaiable as Beta 0.3

The current features are:

- writing latex-sourcecode with others in real-time
- rendering in browser
- send pdf oder source as mail
- collaboration focused document-organizing

Give it a try, you can find a working installation at:

If you want to learn more, get your own installation or contribute, take a look over here:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lets get started

Hi interested people,

welcome to my Blog. As I'm a german physics student working on my diploma thesis in experimentel physic (quantum optics), I work with many scientific devices, which I love to hack and build automated system both for experiments and analysis of data.

Right now I'am particular interested in enhancing old expensive tools with up-tu-date hardware using microcontrollers like arduino in order to fit them into a ethernet-driven network of tools. To connect and control all of them, I'am using Labviewprograms written by myself. While achieving this goal, I need to find many solutions for different problems. As I was searching for solutions, I found myself often in need to develop my own- In the spirit of sharing, I want to use this blog to share my solutions, so that maybe others can use them or at least save some time in order to find their own.

My first project will be an ethernetbased arduinodriver for Labview. I will post the first part in the next days, so stay tuned!