Archives for September 2010

Pflichtexemplar – Legal Deposit

How to write a German CV (cover)If you publish a book in Germany, then you are required to provide two copies – the so-called “Pflichtexemplare” – to the national library.

The system is similar to law in the UK requiring copies of new books to be sent to the British Library, and for certain others, eg. the Bodleian Library in Oxford, to be able to request free copies if they wish to do so.

As a result, the Deutsche Nationalbilbiothek is able to provide a complete database of anything published in Germany.

Recently, there has been some discussion as to whether digital publishers are required to provide free copies to the library as well, even to the extent of whether bloggers would have to provide copies of every post!

Luckily the library appears to have seen sense and just scans and stores any articles on blogs that they choose to archive.  But what about e-books?

With my e-book coming out at the beginning of October – tomorrow in fact – I contacted the library and asked them what I had to do.  Did they really want two digital copies, and in which format? [Read more…]

Changes to the stickers on German number plates

Emissions test sticker, expires September 2010If you have ever taken a closer look at a German number plate, then you might have been curious as to what the coloured discs mean, that are stuck onto it.

I’ve answered this question previously in a podcast.  The discs are called “Plaketten”. They show the date of the next M.O.T. (TÜV) and, until recently, the date of the next emissions test.

However, that changed at the beginning of this year, and now both are combined into just one sticker. [Read more…]

The Bommersheim Tram Depot

Last week the tram depot in Bommersheim (now used to store trains for the U-Bahn) opened its doors to the public for the first time, to allow a small number of people to take a guided tour.

I was able to join one of the tours, and consider myself very lucky because the restrictions in place meant that not just anyone could take part.

A U-Bahn (U2 type) stands across the points in Bommersheim.  The running rails are to the right, the sidings to the left.

A U-Bahn (U2 type) stands across the points in Bommersheim. The running rails are to the right, the sidings to the left.

Click on the photos in this article to enlarge them

Before we started, we were briefed on where and what we could do inside the depot.  The running lines, which link to the depot, were in normal use with trains passing us at close range at about 50kmh.  Inside the engine shed there are pits, used for access to the undercarriages, which posed a danger.  Levers and controls, although not themselves unsafe, were covered with grease that would be difficult to wash out of clothing.

After signing to say that we had understood all of this, the tour could begin. [Read more…]

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