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Showing posts from December, 2003

Fbucks - Price/Performance indication

Just completed the THG video card review and the last page is interesting... the Fbucks are a cool price/performance indication, revealing how much bang for your buck you get. Clearly indicated are "older" video cards in grey. But this makes it easy to see that while these old cards are somewhat hard to get and don't deliver peak performance, the new ones are almost without exception overpriced! The best modern card, if don't already have one or are looking to upgrade, is the GF FX 5200! Why? Because it's so damn cheap and still delivers good performance, even though you won't be able to play the lastest games at their highest resolution and most detailed setting... but if you seldomly play games, this is the one to get! Cool B)

BlogSpot having a hickup, diary inaccessible

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You probably won't read this until it's fixed, but BlogSpot is having a hickup with my .shtml files. It seems they've disabled Server-Side Includes (SSI) and that causes my diary and site news to be lost.
I use Blogger to create a text file with my posts on my site and then use SSI to read this text file into my HTML page. Been doing that ever since I started bloggin and now Blogger help tells me SSI has never been supported. Well it has! Wonder what they'll do or say...

Tom's Hardware Guide Graphics Cards

Tom's Hardware Guide has an extensive review of 46 video cards. Old ones but brand new ones as well. It is a comprehensive review of all current nVidia and ATI cards, but also shows you what newcomer XTI and good ol' S3 are up to...

EScrambler - Webmaster Anti-Spam Utility

Tired of leaving your Email address on your site and getting SPAM almost instantaneously? Use this handy freeware JavaSript utility: EScrambler. It's a bit daunting at first, maybe, but just read the page and you'll get it. Once you know that, use the script in your pages and be done with it. Highly recommended! (y)

Christmas Dinner

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After years of not doing anything special for Xmas, this year my parents invited all of us over again for a Christmas dinner. My dad my a special dish from the oven called "Chicken a la Provençale". Hmmm, yummie!

How to Make Your Own Network Cables - Network Cable Color Code Standards

Ever wanted to make your own network cables? My friend Martin showed me how to do it a while ago, but my amateur hands messed one this one wire. So I have to redo it. But how oh how was that color coding again? Blue inside, green around, red under and black... or was it cyan, magenta and yellow. No that was something different. :) Just read the easy to follow Network Cable Color Code Standards. Recommended!

Merry Xmas!

Just a small blog wishing you all a very happy Xmas. I'm not doing anything. Petra and I are spending the entire day in the sauna! :) Nice, easy, peaceful, relaxing, chilling, boiling and sweating... not necessarily in that order. :D

Make your own bootable CD-ROM

Ever wondered how to get a bootable CD-ROM? You need these if your system crashes, you need to flash the BIOS, scan for viruses and other nasty situations that always seem to happen when you least need them. This guy Bart has written an extensive report on creating bootable CD-ROMs for all occasions!
Highly recommended but not for the beginning computer user! It's not hard to follow but you need to understand some things about computers. I'm going to try this and will post ready-to-use ISO images that everyone can use (if I succeed!).

When you're old and gray

My girlfriend just bought a new PC, her first one and as a Comp Sci major, that is a crying sin if I ever heard one! It was a 3GHz Intel P4 with 512MB RAM and a 160GB harddisk. Plus the necessary extras of course, but these are the main points. Think about that for a while and then read the column of Good Morning Silicon Valley where readers report on their first computers. And I mean computers! Not these cheesy PCs or cutesy subnotepads and PDAs we all love and have today. :p LOL! Sinclairs, TRS-80s, Apple IIc, Osborne laptops (at 26 pounds, 13 kg, it *had* to be some form of mild torture, no doubt)... really funny and great light reading for a coffee break... Also check out oldcomputers.net and the University of Amsterdam's Computer Museum.

Asimov's "I, Robot"

Woohoo! One of my alltime favorite books is being turned into a movie: I, Robot is already in post-production and scheduled to appear in July 2004 (US) and August 2004 (NL). Cool! Will Smith is the detective... wonder what that'll be like. Better grab the book again now that I have the time... (runs off, goes through boxes and bags in storage and returns panting, slightly confused, without the book...)

BBspot - Reviews: Digital Music Stores

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Slashdot told me that BBspot reviewed many Digital Music Stores: the new Napster 2.0, Apple's iTunes, EMusic and even WalMart's late entry into the competition. So if you don't live in the Netherlands (and can't use Kazaa legally ;), check out your options with these legal versions. You can download songs for $0.99 per song. Not bad, I think... And you can always rip the protection out later... :devil:

DPreview - review of the Nikon D2H

DPreview finally posted a full in-depth review of the Nikon D2H. The camera has their own, home-made LBCAST 4Mpx CCD sensor and can shoot upto 8 frames per second in continuous mode. For that, there's a huge buffer which provides enough space for 40 JPEG or 25 RAW images. :shock: The D2H is also the first digital SLR (DSLR) to have a WiFi (802.11b aka WLAN) interface which allows you to transmit images back to a basestation server via FTP. Coool! B)

More - short film of stop-motion animator Mark Osborne

More: "The Academy-Award® nominated animated short-film tells the story of a lonely inventor, whose colorless existence is brightened only by dreams of the carefree bliss of his youth.
By day, he is trapped in a dehumanizing job in a joyless world. But by night, he tinkers away on a visionary invention, desperate to translate his inspiration into something meaningful."
You gotta see this! In this time of multi-billion dollar computer animated movies, this is a stop-motion genious short film!

Distributed Computing with a new twist

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Remember SETI@home? The search for alien life by jamming NASA data bits through your PC when it's not doing anything useful, as well as numerous other initiatives along the same lines? Well, the University of Berkeley has developed BOINC, an open infrastructure for doing this, no matter who you are.
"BOINC acts like a software platform that can run a number of screen-saver style applications on top of the PC's own operating system. The system will also solve some of the problems that have dogged distributed projects."

Dance Valley 2003 wins award by public

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Just learned that Dance Valley 2003 won the award for "Best Event for 2003" by the public that voted. I personally voted for Extrema Outdoor, but Dance Valley was also great. I was simply overwhelmed by the number of outstanding DJs and couldn't decide where to go and when. So I was a bit stressed and disappointed in the end. :( Poor me. LOL :D

What a lovely day

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Yesterday, I had a great day!
I woke up late, 1pm-ish and got dressed. Had coffee, sat behind my PC and just surfed a bit. Petra had gone earlier to meet a good friend Petula, so we would both have the day to ourselves... or so we thought.
Petra and Petula went to Scallywags, the lunchroom, and had brunch. While they were there, they ran into Richard (the owner) and he said there was a wine tasting in his new bistro "l'Orange" that day from 3pm-5pm. They were welcome to come and he asked them if I would like to come too. So Petra called me and I agreed to meet them there sometime after 4pm. I got there just before 5pm, but it was still crowded and very nice. I tasted some wines (which reminds me, I must go pick up my wines tomorrow!) and chatted with new people and old friends. Of course, all the wine and no food (besides tasty pita bread with pesto) is not a good idea, and I still had to have breakfast! Luckily, Richard had an offer for his guests: go have dinner in Sca…

Humpback whale beached in Katwijk

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Read on the vlok.net that yesterday an 8 ton humpback whale beached (story in Dutch) on our shores in Katwijk. It had no tail anymore and Naturalis thought the whale probably was caught in nets and fishermen cut it loose. :( Sad sad story. Poor whale.

Tiësto, Montana and Misha Helmsloot in Asta

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Last night, Petra and I went to see Tiësto again in Asta in Den Haag. We tried getting more people, but no one could make it. Helas, but it is also fun to go just the two of us every now and then. :) Asta was packed!!! The place was sold out well in advance, as expected, and at 11 pm, the line was pretty established. Once inside, the foyer wasn't so bad, but the main area was already full. We knew it would be really crowded. Sadly, it was so packed that dancing was hardly possible. More frustrating was that many people seemed to be there to socialize instead of dance and small groups of friends would constantly block your view, your path and bump into you. Anyway, I tried to lighten up a bit and make the most of it. No sense of ruining my own night, now was there! ;) Misha is on my to-watch list, Montana rocked only shortly and Tiësto was awesome! It was a hot, crowded but great night and at 4am we called it a night. Petra was exhausted and could niether sit nor stand, so we left.…

Little gap...

Spend a few days away from home. Had to go to my sister's to fix their home networking. They'd installed wiring and outlets all around their house when they bought it and now that ADSL was working fine, they wanted to finally get it working everywhere too. So I bought an 8 port switch, moved some boxes to the wiring cabinet and had Internet all around the house in approx. 40 minutes! Easy as pie!
Too bad I forgot about the USB printer and Rob's laptop, that needed fixing. So I came back today and finished that off too. They now both have laptops ready to be plugged in somewhere in their house... Elise will love it because they don't need to be away from her when they want to check Email.
In between this, I went to my parents' house to help them hang up all the pictures and paintings. Over summer, the ground floor has been freshly painted again (after 20 years or so). Everything came down and now I helped them put them back up.

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

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Saw the Lord of the Rings final episode last night in a marathon version. Pathe in Rotterdam (Schouwburgplein) had (as did a few others cinemas in Holland) a showing in series of all three Lord of the Rings (LotR) movies. As Petra hadn't seen any of them yet (don't ask me how, I'm baffled too), we cleared that problem in one sitting. I got the tickets from my friends Juli and Harrald for my birthday. Sad part, they gave away their own tickets for let me (us) see it. Major major thanks to them for that! Best present I've had in years, counting the thing I got myself! It was absolutely brilliant! Long sit but worth it! Go see the last part!

Awful Plastic Surgery

And now for something completely different! LOL
Awful Plastic Surgery is a site with exactly that. Examples of celebraties who've done things to themselves they shouldn't have or who simply went overboard when the doctor told them of all the possibilities! :) Very nice and very perceptive. Perhaps now I can learn how to distiguish real ones from fake ones... Ah who cares!

Wireless Local Loop (WLL) to come in the Netherlands

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WebWereld reports (in Dutch) that two Wireless Local Loop (WLL) licenses have been sold for WiFi frequencies to Versatel (760000 euro for 2.6 GHz band) and Enertel (4000000 euro for 3.5 GHz band). KPN was precluded from participating to promote competition.

STMicroelectronics develops easy way to end radiation-related chip errors

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Not a really big deal, but cool due to its simplicity. STMicroelectronics developed a way to easily shield memory circuits from radiation-related errors: "To defeat soft errors without adding to the size of the chip, the STMicroelectronics researchers stacked a capacitor on top of a memory circuit. By taking advantage of the three-dimensional design, they were able to lower the chances that a logic bit--a one or a zero--would be altered by radiation."

Exploitation of women in the media...

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Sometimes you just *have* to be glad they use gorgeous women to promote certain goods... Jeez! :9

Would Ansel Adams have gone digital?

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If you don't take any photos, if you don't know Ansel Adams and if you don't care about digital cameras, don't read the article on Fortune.com about would Ansel Adams have gone digital? Otherwise you *must* read it!

CyberAtlas: Internet Statistics and Market Research for Web Marketers

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I used to use nua.ie for all my stats on Internet usage, people, applications and all. Now it seems, they have been bought by CyberAtlas. Whichever, the site still provides you with great statistics on Internet usage, world-wide, by country, by age, men/women and so on. They also have demographics, traffic patterns and details about which Internet applications are popupar by households or corporate users. Sign up for they're newsletter and you'll get great info in your inbox every week. At least once a month there is an item there that you absolutely needed to know!!! Highly recommended!

Corporate IM (instant messaging)

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Coworking.com sent me a great article about Instant Messaging (IM). Of course, students and nerds have been doing this since ICQ appeared back in 1995 and normal people ;) began doing it when AOL came along for the ride (and bought ICQ eventually). However, corporation can also greatly benefit from IM, as you can read in Corporate IM, an article by PC Magazine.

PDFCreator

Either you'll never need this or you'll wonder how you got along without it all this time! :) Sector 7g's PDFCreator installs a printer driver in Windows that will let you create PDF files without needing to buy Adobe's very expensive Acrobat solutions. Highly Recommended!

Googlism

What do other people say about me! Curious? Try Googlism for Chris.
You can also fill in products, places and dates. LOL Sooo funny. Guaranteed to kill many hours!

PICTURETHISDETROIT's galleries

picturethisdetroit is a smug of a guy or group of clubbers in Detroit. They have tons of photos from parties at clubs over there. Many US DJs of course, whom I don't know, but all the big (mostly Dutch) names are there too: Sander Kleinenberg, Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Seb Fontaine, Paul van Dyke, Timo Maas. Seems Detroit is a place where many clubbers, ravers and trancers are located! Whatdaya know! (y) Cool!

QBubble

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Jelte, an old friend of mine from Groningen, who works for Symbian in London, has made a cool game for Symbian OS phones: QBubble. It looks cool and totally addictive! :) Unfortunately, I can't test it myself, but anyway: Thumbs up!

Job openings at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Not taking any more chances, I filled out an electronic application form and with help of modern technology (my G3 fax modem), I faxed two application forms to the recruitment office of the European Patent Office. All went well...

Update: 8 (!) months later I received a standard rejection letter. That took 'm eight months...? O_o

When it rains, it pours...

From 2 to zero job offers in under 30 minutes...
Just called Ajilon to tell them I will accept their offer. They told me that suddenly they/EPO have extra candidates for the job and want to take all of them into consideration. So the offer I got is off and the Intranet people from EPO will get back to me... I guess. *sigh* Well at least the situation is clear and everyone has made a decision.

Asics update

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Damn... Asics turned me down. :( Boohoo. Although they didn't doubt my skills and thought I was even perhaps overqualified, they didn't feel I fit into the organization. I'm not sure what the organization is like, but perhaps they are pretty calm and quiet and my tornado-style Internet buzz hit a void. Too bad, I *really* would have liked to work there. Cool stuff and sooo much to do... Oh well... Back to square one. Still have EPO...

Winter skies

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Last weekend, Petra and I had Sinterklaasavond in Assen. On the way back, we saw this sky... I was driving but could have taken 1000 pictures. Now, Petra did the honors for me. (k)

Michael A. Thomas, Photographer - powered by smugmug

What can a real photographer do with smugmug? Check out Michael A. Thomas's smug! :O Wow! :respect:

Free Solaris 9 for Intel x86 platform

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Slashdot reported that Solaris 8 and 9 are downloadable for free again, for people running the Intel x86 platform. That's good news for geeks and nerds who want to gain experience in working with the platform used by almost all large and self-respecting ISPs out there. Many companies also have it running in their backbones out there...

Warflying or finding active WiFi points in the air

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Some guys went warflying over LA and Orange counties and discovered 2000+ WiFi sites from the air. 70% of them did not have WEP encryption activated. :( Duuh! When will people ever learn to activate the WEP encryption when they install their WiFi cards? :S *sigh*

Life in the Fast Lane

ADSL is back up! Swoooosh!!! Yippee! Woohoo! Yeah! W00t! :D

1 Gigapixel consumer photograph

You may know that NASA and others take hundreds of shots from the moon, craters, galaxies or Earth and stitch them together to form huge composites that have a gazillion pixels in them. Consumers, however, are mostly stuck at 5 or 6 Megapixels (Mpx). Petra reported a week ago of a guy how went to the Bryce Canyon and took a 1 Gigapixel shot by stitching together 196 image of 6Mpx each. It took almost a week to do it, with final blending and stitching of the image taking 3 days!!! :respect:

Meeting Asics

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Meeting with Asics went well. Was only pre-selection for the job but I think I left an impression! To say the least. :D May be a bit overwhelming! I hope they got the idea that I know what I'm doing and excellent for the job. I may not be the best, but I'm surely the most motivated person! And I believe in what they want to do and know it's worth doing... So just do it... LOL ;)

MrVanes and Femke, Utrecht and Asics

While I Utrecht, I paid a visit to my good friend Martin as well. Hadn't seen him apart from parties. Besides, he bought a new snowboard and honored me with watching over his old one. (y) It's a great little ol' Nitro board. Not the latest styles but I won't notice. It's well kept and maintained and free. Now I just need some shoes and bindings and I'm set. Sooo psyched!!! Woohoo! Friends of mine own a ski store in Zaandam, the Zaanse Skikelder, so I guess it's time to pay them a visit soon too! :)
Before seeing Martin (who had to work at a client instead of at home), I visited the "carrière beurs" in the Jaarsbeurshallen. Employers meet candidates. Great idea (thanks dad!) but unfortunately it was highly targeted to new graduates instead of experienced people. :( So after I talked to the Dutch Railroads (NS), ICI, TNO and Thales and they all told me to check the sites and write open letters, I took the hint and went back to have lunch with Femke…

EdV and Rue d'Amsterdam in Utrecht

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Visited EdV again in utrecht. It had been many many years since we last met for real. He'd been to some of my parties but we never really talked. So now that have time enough again, I took the opportunity and paid him a visit. We went to the great little Marocan restaurant "Rue d'Amsterdam" where we had a lovely authentic dinner with real Tagine. Hmmm, yumm. Erik had the beef and I had the lamb (I think). Anyway, well worth a visit if you there and in the mood for no non sense food. Looks like a snack bar, but great food and friendly service!

Me, Ajilon Nederland and an EPO Intranet Webmaster

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Ajilon Nederland gave me an offer to work for the EPO on their Intranet Project. They're still finalizing the project but they'd like to get ahead with the work. Hundreds of servers need to get consolidated and content must be migrated to the the CMS & Portal solution. I'd be working on preparations and planning of all that. Not really exciting but it needs to be done. Pay is low, very low, but they claim hands are tied, budgets limited and the pay is normal in the field... I won't get into that. Bottomline is skill deserves pay and we can argue about skill but not about pay. I have until Friday to think about it. In the mean, I'm talking with my other 2 options...

Perfect Xmas gifts

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Have a girlfriend and don't know what to give her? Want to make her use and love computers more? Think about giving her this. LOL
It's a patent for using an inkjet printer to print "highly detailed, customized, multicolored designs that are scaled to precisely fit within the boundary of each individual nail". tsk tsk tsk

BlueMountain.com

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RIP
BlueMountain.com, sadly, has also gone the way of pay for use (they were bought by Yahoo a while ago). :( They used to be the greatest Ecard sender out there, IMHO. Now, they want $13.95 per year for the use of their services. Boohoo! The site is still great, don't get me wrong, but I don't want to pay for the occasional card. Might as well send real cards by snailmail. Slower but cheaper. ;) So I'll search for a new one, I guess... Keep you posted.

National LambdaRail

We used to surf at 28K. Then came 33K and soon 56K. But we wanted more. Cable gave us 1, 2 and even 8Mb/s (8000K). But that bandwidth was shared with the rest of the street/block/area. So nerds chose xDSL. This started out at 1Mb/s but keeps getting faster by the week, it seems. :) (y)
So how fast is the network that connects all these big pipes of bandwidth that come into our home? Well, I remember back in 1998, 1999, Worldcom's backbone used to hum along at 625Mb/s over ATM lines. But somehow that seems to slow now. Luckily, the people of National LambdaRail agree with me and are working on a 400Gb/s network connecting the major universities across the US. The first 1000 miles or so completed. The rest will follow soon... :respect:

Hot Hardware - The AOpen DRW4410 DVD R/RW Drive

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Been looking for a DVD writer for a while now, but found them too expensive? Then read HotHardware's review of the AOpen DRW4410 DVD +R/+RW Drive. At just under $100 this is the perfect gift to give yourself during Xmas. It burns DVD+R/+RW only, but they seems to emerge as de facto anyway, and complets a whole DVD in just under 15 minutes... Too bad this review just missed the Sinterklaas festivities here in the Netherlands (Dec. 5th or 6th). :( Oh well... I can always claim my watch was broke and the date on my PC was off... :devil:

The Brick Apple - New York City in LEGO®

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What do you get when you have a slightly insane adult with enough time and money on his hands, crazy about LEGO© and in love with New York City? The Brick Apple - New York City in LEGO® Seeing is believing!!!

ATM fraud: Banking on your money

What could you do with an ATM machine that looked like a real one? Perhaps even dispenses some cash is hooks to the banking networks? Interested? Read the MSNBC article on criminals who have built fake cash machines! They've already gathered approx $4 million in cash from 21000 unsuspecting people. OMG!

smugmug - Dreams's photo galleries

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Lots's been going on, as you'll now. I managed to update my gallery too. Lots of pictures of last weekend, the removal, the packing, an awesome ZANDhap finale dinner in Scallywags and a demonstration at the city hall of Den Haag... Check out and browse Dreams's photo galleries

Viva el modem

Been trying and trying to get Saskia's (my new roommate) dial-up line working again. Somehow, somewhere, when KPN disconnected her old line and moved mine over to hers, her laptop refused dialing in. :S It may have to do with the signaling, which used to be plain simple PSTN and is now voice over DSL and the like. However, Petra's laptop worked fine and my desktop's 56K modem also works fine (as I am typing this now on it). Go figure... Windows XP... who knows. ;)

Libraries

Thank god for libraries and public Internet... :respect: Found a place to check my mail! :D LOL I'll edit my blog when I get back online to show you all how terrible it is to be offline and crippled like this. ;)

EPO is history

Saw the wizard and well... now I'm also officially no longer with the EPO. Just handed in my ID badge. Snif... Made some lomos while I was out there...

Unemployment...

Well... I'm now officially unemployed, registered and all. On December 8th we'll see how high the benefits are going to be. Off to see the wizard... ;)