Showing posts from October, 2005

Palm T|X with Wi-Fi and Bluetooh

Never say never... :)
Palm said it was impossible to make a PDA with both WiFi *and* Bluetooth in it. But this autumn Palm will ship the T|X model which does precisely that! :) The T|X also has about 100MB of RAM available for the user that will also remain alive when the battry goes down. So that's good. It also features the old 320x240 screen, which can be a little disappointing when looking at the full VGA PocketPCs. :( But the form factor remains the same (I love this one the Palm!) Read more on the Register, including pictures.

Sailing weekend on the Ebenhaëzer

With Petra gone for the weekend to the Ardennen on a trip with her photography group, I went sailing on the IJsselmeer with my alumni organization ENIAC. After 5+ years of trying to get this wish fulfilled, it finally came true.
17 alumni joined a crew of 3 on this old freighter from 1914. It was grand! Gorgeous Indian summer temperatures at 20C (70F) and wind at forces 3-5. We started in Workum, sailed over the IJsselmeer and the Waddenzee to Texel. On Sunday back again. Super! Saw the sun rising at 730am on a Sunday morning... :stunned: Wow! Breathless! Sooo beautiful...
GNOME blogger button in taskbar (i.e. window list)
I've just added a BlogThis button to my taskbar in GNOME (2.12). It's cool, that is... if it works. So here's a test.

OpenSUSE 10.0 on my laptop

Well, it took a little longer than expected... a 6 Mbit downlink is only so fast. But I finally have replaced SuSE 9.5 (originally SuSE 9.3 Pro but upgraded to OpenSUSE 10.1 using CDs and online patches) with OpenSUSE 10.0 stable.
I had repartinioned my harddrive to using an 8 GB root partition with the rest in a logical drive (25 GB) and a 1 GB FAT32 partition to exchange data with Windows XP running in VMware workstation, so I simply popped the 70 MB OpenSUSE network install and selected a fast mirror (thanx to!) and downloaded 5 GB of software in about 2 hours. I just completed installing Thunderbird and Java and some misc packages, so now I'm up and running again. And I must say... my little HP nx9030 is now lightning fast compared to my old patched SuSE 9.5 system... :)

Wine 0.9 - Windows op Linux

If you run Linux, you get less virus hassle, more freedom and mix and match to your liking. You get a more stable system, once you have been able to decide on a configuration that is. But no matter what you do, sometimes you just need to run a Windows program. Even just games or so.
For that reason there is wine. Wine let's you run any .exe file from the Linux command line and handles everything but giving a .C file in your Linux home dir. That was the good news. And the great news is, wine 0.9 was just released giving even more stability, features and performance! Woohoo!

Accidental Invention Points to End of Light Bulbs

A PhD student accidently discovered a way to make white light LEDs. Until now, that was usually done by using several colored LEDs and mix these, just like the sun works. Of course, it's a bit overkill and hence more expensive to use.
"Michael Bowers, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, was just trying to make really small quantum dots. Quantum dots contain anywhere from 100 to 1,000 electrons. They're easily excited bundles of energy, and the smaller they are, the more excited they get. Each dot in Bower's particular batch was exceptionally small, containing only 33 or 34 pairs of atoms. When you shine a light on quantum dots or apply electricity to them, they react by producing their own light, normally a bright, vibrant color. But when Bowers shined a laser on his batch of dots... they glowed white instead of blue.

ACDSee Pro Photo Manager

If you are serious about photography and have collected a huge collection of digital pictures already, you may have started to loose track of what is what and when you did what. That where image managers come in. And there are dozens to try. F-spot for Linux, which is absolutely great but still much in development. Irfanview, which is okay for simple managing and batch processing. Flickr has a nice tool. Google's Picassa seems an excellent one, designed for dummies to do what needs to be done. So try that one, at least. Apple has Apple Aperature and don't forget Iview's MediaPro. However, I have heard that many professional photographers still use ACDSee.
Now, for the serious amateur and busy professional, ACD has released ACDSee pro with better workflow and management support for those very large collections of photos. It also supports DNG and RAW formats, handles ICC profiles, sophisticated batch processing (like Irfanview) and integrated IPTC support for keywords, commen…


You have broadband right? You download music? Some. OK. Movies? A few? Oh lots! Niiice! Watched them recently...? Oh on the PC. Hmmm, too bad. Yeah I know, the conversion to DVD is a lot of work, getting it right, adding the AC3 sound file, subtitles (well it's the Netherlands here) and so on... hmm, yeah, I know what you mean...
Well isn't it good to know then that some French genius out there has written DivX2DVD for you! w00t! "It's a one click solution to convert and burn DivX movies to DVD. It supports pratically every format: divx,xvid, mov (quicktime), mp4, avi, wmv and even dv (digital video cameras!). You can select and force an aspect ratio, choose between PAL or NTSC. But it also deals with AC3 and DTS (5.1 digital audio), PCM (raw high res audio), mp3 and ogg! :drool: I mean, the guy is a genius! Right?!
The only sad thing is that this is shareware... Not freeware. You can download and test the shareware version but be careful, you'll get a watermark a…


Printing on Canvas? Sure, CanvasCompany does it pretty well. Haven't tried them yet but I think I will. Petra and I have been looking into companies like this. Prices are reasonable and they even print upto 100x200cm!

Kodak announces 39 megapixel image sensor

Kodak has released two new CCDs that will used in PhaseOne's digital backs. That's a backside for medium format cameras such as Hasselblad and Mamiya.
One sensor has 31 Mpx and one has 39 Mpx! Wow! That's huuuge!

Thank you to everyone

I just wanted to thank everyone who was at my surprise birthday party yesterday. But most importantly, also to those who weren't there: thank you thank you thank you!
Astrid, Arjen, Isabel, Jessica, Bas, Maaike, Rob, Isabelle, Eilse, Vincent, Petra, her parents, Marleen&Michel, Suzanne&Michel, Sjoerd, Martin, my parents, my grandmother (who'll turn 95 next January!) and anyone I may have omitted but not forgotten!
I was totally speechless, amazed, shocked, surprised, shy, humble, flabbergasted and stunned. At that doesn't happen often. Then, for everyone's enjoyment, I had the same dumb look on my face when I unpacked my present: Canon PowerShot IXUS 55. :shock: :drool: :S :) :D (L) I thank you all for contributing for this new pocket camera. It's gorgeous and powerful. It came with a 512 MB SD card too.
But mostly, I'm in debt to my girlfriend Petra who organized it *and* selected an amazing gift. Last but not least, the Special Edition DVD of the Incred…

Google KAI is the name of our SON

It's sad but true: some Swedish couple has named their son Google. Not his first name, lucky kid, but his second name. Still...
/me shivers in horror...

Birthday, parties, newly acquired wisdom

So many parties, soo little time! :)
Today is my birthday (yaih!) and I can't wait to go out tomorrow. Tonight, I'm having dinner in Bistro l'Orange in Den Haag with Petra and her parents. haven't been there is ages so I thought it was to pay Jeffrey a visit and head down to Scallywags later, if the mood calls for it. :) hehe of course it will!
Then tomorrow, it's either a great club night in XL in Amsterdam or a very cool sexy party in HappyDayz in Culemborg. I know it sounds weird, but I went to the place a few weeks ago and it rockz! Club is great. People are great and music was stomping! My god! And I went on a Sunday! Can you believe it! Really, if you can check it out, by all means do! Excellent!
As I turned a year older today *sigh* I was hoping for a little more wisdom. But in my infinite wisdom, when I had my hair cut, I also decided to try a little color wash to cover some of the grey hairs. But not all. I'm like 60-70% grey already and I feel a 27 ye…

Microsoft Office to support OpenDocument Standard

I think it is pretty chilly in hell today, because it seems the impossible just became possible!
Several open source Office applications (KOffice, OpenOffice) use an open standard for Office-type applications, called the OpenDocument standard. This is based on XML, accessible and interchangable. MS Office also uses an XML document format, but it is closed. This means interchanging data with MS Office is difficult for outsiders (of Microsoft).
Recently, however, the state of Massachusetts stated it would no longer use MS Office because it did not comply with OpenDocument standards. A big win for the open source community. It seems, Microsoft has since then suddenly realized OpenDocument may be worthwhile considering, because if it picks up steam, MS Office won't be able to read/write these files. Any everyone said it could never happen... B) Cool!

Netcraft: Google Draws Fire Over Blogspot Spam Blogs

Splogs... as spam blogs are an increasingly bad phenomenon. Robots create a blog and fill it with optimized content on a regular basis. This results in a high ranking in Google. Add AdSense to the blog, et voila, a nice income can be generated, especially if you create 1000 of these splogs.
Splogs and spam on blogspot blogs is getting so bad that some sites have stopped scanning blogspot for new blogs. Google has been getting a lot of abuse because they themselves don't seem to hindered by these blogs in search results. But Google won't share their secrets with anyone. probally because then spammers will find a way once again... vicious circle... viscous circle.. whatever.


OK, this is only funny if you understand Dutch. So that narrows it down significantly. :)
Anyway, you probably know the song by James Blunt (My life is brilliant...). This Dutch, Friesian actually, band "The Hypes" makes parodies to popular songs and has been doing so for 17 years. Recently, James's song has fallen victim. Their version is called "Die alkohol" and it's great! It was on the radio the other day and that sound bite is online now. Enjoy!

Exclusive new dpreview resolution chart

DPReview has updated their resolution chart, used to measure the resolving power of CCDs in digital cameras. "With the advent of 10+ megapixel digital SLRs and maybe next year even consumer cameras it's clear the time is right for an updated chart."

Prices for widescreen LCD monitor panels to drop 30% by 2Q06

This is interesting news: widescreen LCD monitor panels to drop 30% in price by 2Q06. I guess that makes it worth to wait a while and see what, at least, Xmas might bring for great sales! 30%! That makes a €2000 LCD screen suddenly €1400. Significantly better. Medium and low priced monitors will drop below the magical millenium barrier. Cool! B) Time to start gathering data, captain!

My Knoppix - Digital Home Edition

Interested in Windows Media Center but not enough cash to burn? MythTV too much work? Xbox Media Center (XBMC) too flashy?
My Knoppix - Digital Home Edition is meant to be a smart and centralized OS that can be implemented in a home environment. It can be connected to a TV or other large screen to record and play DVD movies and surf the Internet. It also implements video sharing with the NX technology, and includes the videolan program for broadcasting video or music throughout the network. Diskless client computers can connect with the server as it performs other tasks. Coool! B)

A Comparison of Solaris, Linux, and FreeBSD Kernels

Long ago, 1995, when I had a Java Programming course at Sun in Amersfoort, when we started talking about low-level system implementations such as processes, threads and memory management, I started to be impressed by the Solaris OS. On the low-level aspect of things, it is very well thought out and designed. It isn't VMS of course, :respect:, but I understood why the internet was built on its backs. For network communication it is excellent.
One of most commonly asked questions was: "And how does Windows (NT) do this?" That would result in loud laughter, followed by a deep sigh and a techy explanation at which we the class would repeat the laughter and head shaking. :) But now here's your chance to laugh too...
OpenSolaris has posted a comparison of three *nix subsystems: scheduling, memory management, and file system architecture. It compares these subsystems for Solaris, Linux and FreeBSD. It may be a bit too techy for most of you, but just browsing through it and …

Open source AJAX webmail

AJAX is all the craze. I already said that. Even my friend Marcel from GloMidCo knows about it and is also an evangelist. ;)
Microsoft and Yahoo have already launched beta versions of their new
AJAX webmail clients. Google is working on an AJAX office application. But now there are more demos of what can be done. RoundCube presents an AJAX-based webmail service. Slashdot says: "the demo they have is completely cross-browser compliant and overall very impressive".

2005 warmest year to record

It looks like NASA will prove to be right... It seems 2005 will prove to be the warmest year on record. Slashdot says: "2005 will probably have the highest mean global temperature of any year since the advent of systematic temperature records. At the moment, the mean temperature is about 0.75 degrees C above the global mean from 1950 to 1990, approximately .04 degrees higher than 1998, the year of the previous record."
Only if a major natural disaster strikes, will the temperature fall. Like a meteor strike, a giant vulcano eruption or something similar... be careful what you wish for. Alaskan vulcanoes are already primed. Pakistan and India are shaken to the bone. Bali rocked and rolled already. Mexico is sliding away into the ocean. America had enough wind and water to cool off and last them a life-time. I'd say we've got natural disasters pretty well covered already. :(

NASA Blue Marble

NASA has been taking pictures of Earth from space for 50 years now. Images early on where very crude by current standards of course. That why NASA Blue Marble let's you view the Earth in all its glory. Images from every concievable wave length are combined, filtered, scaled and glued together to give you whatever view of Earth you like. Check it out, choose a wallpaper and just sit back, sip coffee and marvel at the marble! ;)

Goo Systems

If you own a beamer, DLP or LCD or an old fashioned one with a big old hot bulb... read on!
"Screen Goo, by Goo Systems, is a specially formatted, highly reflective acrylic paint, designed specifically for the video projection industry. Screen Goo acrylic paint allows one to transform any smooth paintable surface into a high performance projection screen."
There are dealers all over the globe with one near you. They have seven products and nine combinations for use with home theater projectors, beamers, conference rooms and so on. There is even a review on Gizmodo! Easy as pie. Piece of cake. No brainer... 'nuf said. ;)

Why Do-It-Yourself Photo Printing Doesn't Add Up

In an interesting article about making prints of your digital pictures, Slashdot reports that it seems you're in for a loss no matter what you look at. Even though printers have become very cheap and ink is also getting cheaper, however you measure the expenses, you'll never get 4x6" prints (equivalent to 10x15cm) for as little as what the shops charge you. Manufacturers claim you'll get 25 cents per print. Consumer Reports have calculated 50 cents per print. Street prices are as low as 13 cents and some web services will make them for you for 10 cents per print...
Of course, if you value total control and have taken the time to calibrate your screen and the printer you're using as well, doing it yourself will give the best results no matter what they say. You do the math! My advise is to take some test pictures with varying compsition and colors and send them to the 3 services you're considering. Order prints in different sizes and compare them when they retu…

DARPA Challenge has been met

"Four robotic vehicles finished a Pentagon-sponsored race across the Mojave desert Saturday and achieved a technological milestone by conquering steep drop-offs, obstacles and tunnels over a rugged 132-mile course without a single human command."
The DARPA Challenge promised $2 million for team who's autonomous car could complete a 211 km rugged terrain course within 10 hours. Last year, the competition proved disaster with one team managing only 11 km! LOL This year, the VW Touareg from the University of Stanford managed the course in 9 hours 55 minutes. CMU also managed the finish with no less than two cars. See CNN for the whole story.

Home Improvement for Sjoerd

Today we spent another day at Sjoerd's new pad. Petra and I steamed through his house, armed with paint and brushes and did the whole kitchen, hallway and a wall of his livingroom. We were on a roll. It was great! It is really starting to look great and getting there.


If you feel something is about to go wrong, check this site: iiiiiiii

Haags ontzet

A friend of mine, Jessica, writes a weekly column in a local newspaper, AD Haagsche Courant. She also publishes the articles on an accompanying weblog: Paperlog. It's in Dutch, of course, so...

Nikon issues service advisory for D2H, D70

Also from DPReview is a warning that "Nikon has issued a service advisory for the D2H, D70 and N55 (F55) SLRs, which relates to the potential failure of certain components within the camera. In the case of the D2H this can lead to exposure
and auto focus errors, in the case of the D70 the camera can completely lock up." I hate it when that happens. Should it happen, Nikon has agreed to repair the cameras at no charge. B) Cool! (y) See DPreview for details and links.

Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw 3.2

DPReview writes: "Adobe has today announced version 3.2 of its Camera Raw plug-in for Photoshop CS2, which extends support to the RAW file formats of 13 digital cameras and backs. The plug-in is available as a free download from the Adobe website or comes with Photoshop CS2 and now supports DNG files."


Say, hypothetically speaking, you're a brilliant programmer who cranks out fully working application in no time. By now you have roughly a terabyte in complete, working source codes as well as binary executables for at least 15 different platforms.
Or you are a well-known celebrity or nature photographer with a medium format analog camera plus a 25Mpx digital back and a super high-resolution scanner. In other words, you have terabytes of critical portfolio data on your PC.
In both of these scenarios, how do you backup your data easily and reliably? Tapes are arcane and cumbersome. CDs are too small. DVDs are too small. Bluray DVD is still too expensive and too small. Harddisks are cheap. But SAN hardware is way too expensive for consumers. A NAS is for Windows (yuck) only. RAID is fine but how do you tell a photographer about LVM volumes, partitions and system groups...? That's right, you don't!
What you do is tell them about MogileFS! MogileFS is an open source file syste…

Jason Striegel: How I failed the Turing test

Slashdot pointed my to a story by a guy who's been unable to prove to fellow IM chatters (AIM i.e. AOL i.e. morons) that he is human, not a chat bot. In other words, a story about How he failed the Turing test. LOL

Photos Dance Parade 2005

I finally kicked my own butt and uploaded the Dance Parade 2005 photos from August. I had been wanting to do this for ages but Java refused to work properly in Firefox on my Debian PC. Go figure. I was too lazy to configure it properly and patiently, like I was last time. So I just bit the bullit and uploaded them to smugmug one by one... Works too.

DSL router dead - long live DSL

For reasons unknown, my Alcatel Speedtouch 510 DSL router died last Thursday. It had been giving weird results for some weeks now, where the Ethernet interface would fail non-deterministically (i.e. now and then) and a little jiggling would help sometimes but not all of the times. I noticed the device was relatively hot near the power adapter.
Tonight, when I got home and noticed the flickering of the Ethernet light, I decided to unplug the power and let the router cool down a bit. Petra was coming home soon and would need the net to do research for her photography studies. Of course, thanks Mr. Murphy, when she got home and plugged the power back in... it never came back up. The power LED, which is supposed to turn orange and then green, stayed bright red. *insert military tribute tune here*
But this was a bit of a tragedy in disguise, or so I thought. I had been wanting to replace the router with a newer version that had 4 Ethernet ports and, preferrably, WiFi with WPA2 encryption bui…

Office 12 to Include Native PDF Support

Slashdot reports that Office 12 Will Include Native PDF Support. Appearantly, one of Microsoft's site is receiving 30,000 searches *per week* for PDF support in Office. I wonder why the hell they didn't check their logs earlier...! I've been waiting for PDF support in Office since like Office97! Duuh!

not pr0n - hard online puzzles

not pr0n is a hard online puzzle. If you're into riddles and puzzles and cryptic hints and tips and can Google your way through everything... give it a go. Some of the best puzzle-o-philes I know have bailed at level 7 or 8...
I am not even attempting it, I *hate* puzzles like that.

Happy birthday mom

Today, my mother turns 65 years old! Happy birthday mom!
I heard she is on the phone almost continuously. ;)