Showing posts with the label work

Organizing your team

Lately, there seem to be a lot of web-based todo list managers, task trackers and simply project management tools available. All integrate with your smartphone, so they're REALLY useful if you find one you like to use and you can get your team on board too.

I've used BaseCamp extensively and like a lot. Mobile site is awesome. I've mostly used for myself, to track tasks and projects and record progress and issues.
Because these tools use Email to send updates, you don't need to use the website. You can simply use your mail client to respond to messages from others, but the website records and chronologically orders all responses. And you get notified when there is a deadline or milestone approaching. Because I do Management by Priority, this usually adjust my focus and improve concentration. :)

I'd love to hear if anyone has good or bad experiences with one or another tool and why.

LinkedIn InMaps - Visualize your LinkedIn network

There is a tool that visualizes your entire LinkedIn network. Funny to see some groups form where there is common relationship or seed that binds the group. I found a group from the university in Enschede, my former colleagues from Blender aka Not a Number and a group centralized around Open Source, where the seed is RealOpen IT. :)

Moo Business Cards

Totally forgot about this until just now: Moo Partnered with Smugmug. MOO, a UK-based printing service prints business cards, Postcards and Greetings Cards based on one or more of your Smugmug photos. :) Given the partnership with Smugmug, you are assured of an excellent quality. Best of all, instead of choosing one photo for your business card, you can choose up to 50 and get a different image on each of the cards. :) For all of us who simply can't decide, a life-saver!

Update: I got them the other day and they're awesome! Very good paper, thick but not too much. High quality print, crisp colors and good feel. Recommended!

Career change: Gastheer-Cuisinier

Just before NYE, I decided to opt for a possible career change in a few years. I've always wanted to learn more about the restaurant business, cooking, being a host/maitre d' ;) but couldn't really find a good place to try it. Then I did: the 'academie voor gastronomie' in Holland created just that type of year-long course: Turbo opleiding Gastheer-Cuisinier.

There was an open house last Tuesday and I went there. It was everything I hoped it to be and the other people were nice and diverse from all kins of backgrounds. So that should prove educational in all ways. The course will start Feb 8th, not next week as I first thought. They are trying to seek official approval with the bodies that can decide these things, bu either way: a certificate from this institute will get quite the attention. Nationally as well as internationally. Granted, it's the Gordon Bleue in Paris, but just right for me!

Running a Small Business on Free Tools

There are so many great free tools out there for people on small budgets or start-ups or simply those who want to save money for other things.

Check Wizkid Sound for their choice of free tools that run their small business. Add wikidot to it, for writing collaboratively on any form of loosely organized documentation.

There are free hosted subversion servers out there, to give you version control for your website development. Lighthouse gives you free issue tracking for bugs reports, defects and feature requests. Blogger/Twitter to post regular news or stay in touch with each other if you are geographically spread apart. WordPress for a full-featured CMS with room to grow. if you provide ICT services to customers and want an organized (ITIL v3) way of controlling changes and maintenance. Thousands of people provide free template designs for all major content management systems (CMSs) so there is no (immediate) need to hire a designer.

Nokia 6500 classic from work

Work gets me a new Nokia 6500 classic. Very bare bone but decent enough. Symbian OS, so that gets me some flexibility. Hope I get it on time for my vacation... Be good to have all my contacts synced with Google again.

Update: FUCK, it's not a Symbian-powered Nokia, it's the Nokia Series 40 OS. Grrr

Why Google Employees Quit

In 2008 Google HR set up a private Google Group to ask former employees why they left the company. We’ve been forwarded what appears to be authentic posts to the thread by a number of ex-Googlers, which we reprint below minus identifying information other than their first names...Interesting read! But loooooooong.

read more | digg story


Sunny day at the office... flights of stairs always provide interesting patterns - Collaborative mind mapping in your browser is a mindmapper in your browser... Mind for two, aka mind42.
Neat! 8) Add this into Google Apps and you have a great online environment for brainstorming and collaborating. :)

Sywan Solutions

I accepted a new job with Sywan Solutions. This M$ powerhouse is running a major retooling operation for KPN's new twin data center operations, under the flag of ITNL, KPN's new business unit for all internal (NL) IT operations. They need a Linux Architect to help set-up the Linux stack using Oracle's fudged Red Hat sources... hehe Never say never!
/me root for Debian

EPO threatens to leave Netherlands

The EPO, after years of trying to get a new seat agreement with the Dutch government, is finally fed up. Apparently, the president Pompidou said he and the 2700+ employees are willing pack their bags on short notice (article in Dutch, sorry).
When I joined the EPO, in Dec. 2002, I was told there were positive signs about a new seat agreement and by Spring 2003, it could all be finalized. The procedure had already run a couple of years by then. But changes in government, internal changes at the EPO, government crises and bureaucracy have done even more worse, it seems. The EPO also needs to rebuild one of their major buildings and needs a solid foundation to do so. So I completely understand their reluctance. Hell, I'm even pissed off by it. I can't understand why there are so many problems with an international company like so many others here in The Hague. I do understand there are many far reaching complications, but these should be nothing new to anyone having dealt with t…


Had an interview yesterday with RealOpenIT. They want to hire me to design, implement and maintain their IT infrastructure, based on open source systems and software. It's a really nice job and quite a challenge too. But they're offering me a job, full-time and permanent... They don't want to hire me through my own company, for say 6 months or a year contract. And I do not know if I'm really ready yet to just give up my own company and independence. I've only just started. Besides, they're also a brand new start-up so who tells me they're gonna get off the ground? And what if they don't?
Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Peper IT - Scherpe Internetoplossingen en advies voor het MKB

I've updated my professional site, Peper IT again, slightly. Links back to main and better descriptions of my services and added value.

Possible job for me

Today, I had an interview with my old friend Michiel Schipper from University. He works at Topicus now and pointed me to a possible job for 1-2 days a week overseeing this Internet/E-commerce implementation. He has been working on it for a while and the project will soon roll into a new phase. At that time, he'd like to leave as project manager and thought it might be something for me. Well, I think it is! :) Can't say anything more about though... Kinda competitive market. ;) More soon...

Been a while...

Long time no blog! Really busy! Weddings, frisbee, photos, girlfriend and work deadline on Thursday, the 29th. But I am still alive! ;) Beginning on May, I'm a week off to visit my parents in France...

Peper IT - Internet voor het MKB - Eenvoudige oplossingen voor complexe zaken

Finally I got mad at myself and hacked together my company website: Peper IT. Petra photographed some red chilli peppers, based on an idea my roommate Saskia had. We simply added text below it, for now. I may get more creative later. The site also links to my Internet blog for small offices and home offices, because I was unable to set Blogger to ftp the blog to my site. The ftp protocol of Blogger is incompatible with my provider duuh! I thought this was all standard and all, but appearantly not. Must be something to do with the forwarding and such.

Internet voor MKB - gebruik, tools en diensten

In preparation for my soon to be founded company, I've started a blog "Internet voor MKB" to help me organise ideas, tools and services that I encouter in my daily Internet reconnaissance. :) Sorry, the site is in Dutch only. I can only focus on one thing at this moment and the Dutch market is where I'll operate. So... made sense.

Busy times

Busy times ahead... Tonight a bday party of Arjen in Rotterdam, then off to Bussum to stay with my parents overnight. Sunday, it's off bright and early to Vries for the last round in the Dutch Indoor Ultimate Frisbee Competition and back to Bussum. On Wednesday, I have a volleyball game at the EPO. Also the last game of this years' recreational competition. We didn't do too well, but then I kinda knew that would happen anyway. Nothing lost, nothing gained. Thursday, frisbee practise at the EPO and then next weekend off to Assen (near Vries!) for a weekend of.... Disney DVDs!!! Woohoo! Petra's sister is perhaps even more crazy than I am about cartoons. :D
Anyway, I'll keep y'all posted as always... ;)

TenderCoach best start-up of year according to Haagse Start

Haagse Start is a local competition in The Hague for Best Start-up of the Year. My friend Jessica (from ZANDhap) entered it together with her 2 partners. They have a company, TenderCoach, that helps SOHO companies (called 'MKB' in Dutch) to enter the tender offers of the (local or national governements) for contracts. This is often complicated and requires great patience, finess and experience. TenderCoach give you all three at once! Jessica won €5000 for her company.


A friend of mine, Jessica - whom you know as ZANDhap lady - has a company of her own... She created TenderCoach. It's an advisory company that helps SOHO companies (MKB) to get into tender offers that the governement puts out. It's often unknown for these small companies to get in on this, into this or to know about it. The company itself is work enough and these tender offers are long, cumbersome and tedious with piles of paperwork to be filed out. She can take it out of your hands and into your pockets! :) Sounds like a great idea!