The Private Frank Pilhofer

(The FPX Logo)

This page has historically been black. Some years ago, this has been considered "cool", and I could never persuade myself to change it. The color is also a nice contrast to my official pages, which are white.

Another way to look at it is that some of the stuff you'll find here is from the "dark ages." The World Wide Web started at CERN in 1992, the same year that I started studying computer science at the University of Frankfurt. I had my first home page in 1994, and have started accumulating pages since; I rarely retire a page.

Then, as today, my intention was and is to provide original information. I figured that in the World Wide Web, hyperlinks exist to avoid redundancy. You link instead of repeating. But if you do not have anything interesting to say, your pages are being reduced to lists of links that are incredibly hard to maintain. You won't find many external links here.

Back then, I was a student with a lot of free time, and a lot of enthusiasm. This has changed since: I have less free time, and the targets of my enthusiasm have moved. As a result, many pages are years old, and few is changing these days. I try, however, to keep the pages reasonably up-to-date, or at least insert notes that caution you about the most anachronistic antiquities.

Either way, I think that my site is still worthwile to see. It still contains a lot of information and software that will be useful for years to come.

Points of Interest

These are fast-forward buttons to the sections below:


Being a software engineer, I have written and am still writing a lot of software. Most of them are available for free. There are bigger programs, some smaller tools for various purposes, and a couple of geeky fun hacks. This section shows the highlights, click on the title above for a full list.

Password Gorilla
The Password Gorilla is a password database manager. It stores your password, along with login information and other notes, in an encrypted file. A single "master password" is used to protect the file. This way, you only need to remember the master password, instead of the many login information and passwords that you may use.

UUDeview is a very smart decoder for binary attachments from newsgroups or e-mail. It supports MIME, some of its variants, and is in general much more effective decoding attachments than the usual mail software or news readers. If you ever get an email with a lot of garbled characters that are supposed to be an attached file, take a look at UUDeview. It is still very popular, e.g. it is part of most Linux distributions.

MICO (short for Mico Is Corba) is a very popular Object Request Broker (ORB), adhering to the CORBA standard. An ORB is so-called middleware, because it exists between your application and the network. Using MICO, you can easily write distributed applications that communicate over the Internet (or any other network). I am one of the principal authors of MICO, having contributed some major pieces like the POA, OBV and CCM and numerous small bits all over the place.

Related Links:

Combat is the implementation of a Tcl language mapping for CORBA which allows you to easily access and implement CORBA objects in the Tcl language. It is great for writing test scripts, but equally wonderful for writing graphical user interfaces for your CORBA servers.

A program to train you for the theoretical Private Pilot License Exam in Germany. There is an official catalogue of multiple choice questions that I typed in and wrote a nice frontend for.

This is a converter that reads the Prescribe printing language (the native language of most Kyocera printers) and converts it to the somewhat more popular Postscript. It is very useful if you have legacy software that dumps Prescribe, because with P2P, you can convert it to Postscript and print it on more modern printers, or preview it with a Postscript viewer like Ghostscript.


(top 5% logo) Googolplex
This page deals with the largest number that has a (popular) name. It has some interesting background information on the number. It also has a program that prints a googolplex, which I then prove to be useless.

I have collected a fair amount of information about Disney features, and have once been very active in the online Disney fanship community. This has faded since, but I see no need to retire these pages. Things to find are and more.

Starship Titanic
In 1998, I "won" a "competition" related to the computer game, Starship Titanic. Finally, the full story can be told. It was quite fun, especially because the people at The Digital Village never imagined that anyone would be stupid enough to participate.

Akaflieg Frankfurt
I am maintaining the Web pages of our local soaring club. (In German)

A Student's Files

I have been studying computer science at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, from 1992 to 2000. These are files relating to my studentship, for example assignments and home work. Most of the documents are in German. Again, the highlights are below, but click above for a full list.

Design and Implementation of the Portable Object Adapter
This is my diploma thesis, written in English. It deals with the Portable Object Adapter in CORBA, which I implemented within the MICO project. In 1998, this was the first implementation of the POA.

Einführung in die Konstruktion fehlerfreier Software
Mitschrift und Übungen zur Vorlesung von Robert L. Baber im Wintersemester 1994/1995.

Überblick über die Programmiersprache Emerald
Hausarbeit im Rahmen der Vorlesung Verteilte Systeme von Prof. Dr. Geihs im Sommersemester 1995.

Protokolle zu diversen Praktika:

(No Smoking) This is a non-smoking Web site. Please kill your cig while visiting.

If you like my site, why don't you send me an email? If you don't like it, why don't you send me an email telling what I could do better? And if you have any requests, see above.

Frank Pilhofer <fp -AT->
Last modified: Sun Dec 5 16:52:42 2004