East / West and counter-intuitive train stations

I was booking train tickets from Vienna to Budapest this week and noticed the following absurdity:

My train from Vienna to Budapest leaves at Wien Westbahnhof and arrives at Budapest Keleti pályaudvar. In other words, I’m leaving from the western train terminal in Vienna and will arrive at the eastern train station in Budapest.

So far, so good.

It’s just that Budapest is straight to the east of Vienna.

(Yes, there are good reasons for that, for the Vienna side it’s that the train is coming from Zurich. In Budapest Keleti seems to be the default station for international trains.)

Numerology and Haider’s death

I spent this weekend in Carinthia and got treated to the local press. The KTZ had on their front-page a story about a numerologist who had calculated that Haider was in great danger during October and November. She had tried to warn him, but they didn’t manage a meeting before his date with a concrete fence post.

As usual, the story did not ask the only really relevant question: How many other calamities had she predicted in her career that did not came to pass?

Dusting off old files

Today I was trying to free up the IDE disk of my old PC to be used inside an USB enclosure as external disk for our laptops. This is pure archeology: backups of prehistoric home-directories are contained in disk-images of slightly less ancient hardware. Some of the files are there in duplicates, as I made backup copies long time ago.

One of the more interesting things I stumbled upon were the files containing my master thesis in Mathematics. That document was written in LaTeX and handed in in 1996. I haven’t touched TeX for a long time now and had no idea whether my files from back then would still work on a current Linux box.

So I installed the Ubuntu LaTeX packages on my laptop to a) test the TeX processing and to check how good the current LaTeX to HTML conversion tools work.

Everything worked surprisingly smooth except for a non-standard package I used to format and include C source code: tgrind.

It seems like the current version is no longer compatible to what I used back then, at least it doesn’t define the \tagrind macro. Luckily I had the full disk image of my old box, thus I could copy in the missing style and macro files.

Adding them to my TeX distribution made everything work. The speed on current hardware is not bad, too: a complete TeX run takes only a third of a second on my laptop. Well, the 486DX2-66 I used back then was a magnitude or two slower.

So here are the results: