For obvious reasons: Tsunami from the Manic Street Preachers.
For obvious reasons: Tsunami from the Manic Street Preachers.
The year 2004 is almost over, which means that it is time for reviews. All important media have a review, so Brain Tags as wel!
Lets start with the most important day of this year: August 7. For us the greatest thing of that day was to see all our friends and all our family together. Even though they could not understand each other, it was great to see how they tried to help.
Another personal highlight of 2004 was of course our holidays in Thailand. I still have to upload the pictures, but promise that I will do it.
2004 has also been the year of new technology. It started with a a new computer after cursing on the old one for over two years. I chose a cheap but decent white label box, and expect that it will last seven years as well.
After that came a new cellphone since my ‘old’ one landed under a car. I am still very happy with my Siemens M55.
And to bring back some structure in my life, I searched eBay for a PalmOne Zire 31 PDA. It is used daily, and can’t image how I got things done without.
And finally, this site. Since it is my hobby, I spend a lot of time tweaking it. This year, I have upgraded the CMS to version 3, added a Link Dump section to store links to interesting sites and texts, changed hosting provider since my old provider is going out of business and added a Music Jukebox to offer MP3 files.
Quite a good year, don’t you think?
Once in a while I put a song in the Jukebox. Some songs are popular, others won’t be downloaded at all. That’s your choice. Today I put a file in the box of which I was sure that it would be popular. Why? Because the famous Boing Boing links to it.
And while I have enough bandwidth left for this month, I had no idea what to expect. 10 downloads? 100 downloads? 1000 downloads? More? In such a case, it is wise to monitor the traffic.
At this moment the file has been downloaded 170 times and has generated 835 Mb traffic on a little bit more than two hours:
If the downloads stay at this level, I can easily keep on sharing the file; but you never know what to expect when America gets active the next hours. I will keep on monitoring…
[Update 2004.12.30]: The biggest peak is over, everything is quite now. The file only consumed 1,5 Gb bandwidth:
This is our new entrance, with some chistmas decoration. The nativity scene is made from clay, with lead hands (clay fingers tend to break) and real textile clothes. The mark in the upper left corner contains dried mushrooms, hand-picked by my inlaws.
Found on Boing Boing: a Beatles Mash-up Medley.
Where ordinary mash-up mixes mix two or perhaps three songs, this mix is made up by appx 40 Beatles songs, with sometimes five different songs playing at the same time. A must hear!
A little bit of copy and paste work, and my Flickr page is up and running. At the moment it contains the same images in the same low resolution (400x300) as the original Brain Pics contained, but I will add more and higher quality photos soon.
I will remove the Brain Pics section from this site, and link to the Flickr site instead. For a DIY guy like me this is a big step, but Flickr offers so many advantages and features, that I decided to outsource this feature to them.
Since my parents are here to celebrate Christmas with us, we took them to a living nativity scene in Sudanell on the 25th of December. Each year they show some on the television, but I never actually visited one, so it was interesting for me as well. After buying the entrance tickets, I browsed through the leaflet, and found out that it was not exactly what I expected. I had imagined a place where the main figures would walk around with some animals, but in reality it was a lot more. There were 60 scenes in total with over 250 figures. Furthermore, the figures did not walk around, but stood still as statues. Each scene had been elaborated to the smallest details; everything looked right.
From the clothes to the tools they used! It took us an hour to see all scenes and reach the nativity scene. Besides biblical scenes from the christmas story, there were many scenes showing the life in that era: how to make baskets and soap, the work on the field, etc. We were very impressed. It was a pity that we were not allowed to make photo’s, the flash would disturb the figures, but my parents bought a video tape showing all scenes. It is difficult to explain it to others, but we really felt like we were walking around in another era. Next year we surely try to visit another living nativity scene.
It just had to happen one day: a mix up of the Beatles and the Beastie Boys. I have put three tracks in the Jukebox: Whatcha Want, Lady?, Tripper Trouble and Hold It Together Now.
After the recent messages about comment spam, I have upgraded both Movable Type and MT-Blacklist. Not that my comment spam problem became bigger, since my setup is different enough from the regular MT site to stop them. I have renamed my comment script and, more important, I force commenters to preview. This alone blocks all spam coming in through the comments.
The problem is that once in a while I receive spam through the trackback interface. Since trackbacks, comments on my writings left on other sites, are always generated automatically, I have no way to force a preview and have to use the default workflow. As a result, once in a while a spammer gets through and manages to place many spam on my site before I have the time to add his URL to the blacklist. Of course, after that all spam is deleted with a single click.
Conclusion: So far I am still winning the spam war, but only because I am on top of it with upgrades and by quickly removing spam.
I just installed Skype on my PC to have a look at it, but really wonder what it adds. I am already available through ICQ, MSN, AIM, Yahoo and IRC, and most of these services also support audio chats with reasonable quality. In my opinion Skype is just another IM client. I don't want to have yet another client, I only want that the existing clients work together. Of course, I don't have five applications running, I use Trillian, but it does open five network connections over different ports.
For the moment, you can Skype me at icg-jeroen. If I find it useful, I will keep on using it.
Today I will fly to the Netherlands for work. I will have some meetings with (potential) distributors and clients in the Netherlands and Germany. My schedule is quite full, which is a good sign for the future sales ;-).
Flickr is a great service for storing your photos, as everybody already found out. As the last person on the internet, I finally got to try their service out today, and just like everybody else I am very impressed.
I have uploaded a bunch of photos and started playing around. thing I like most is the tagging feature, allowing me to link keywords to photos. I like Flickr so much, that I am probably going to replace my existing photo gallery which I maintain in Movable Type by Flickr.
I will maintain the photos with Flickr, which will automagically create entries on my blog. The only thing I am not sure about is how to deal with comments, since both MT as Flickr allow visitors to comment on photos and I don't want my sparse comments split over two sites.
For the coming period I will be uploading and tagging photos, in preparation of the new gallery. You can follow the progress at my Flickr page.
Until yesterday I stayed away from social networks like friendster. Yesterday it changed when I saw that Volker Weber had been able to build a network of more than 10.000 second degree contacts, contacts of your contacts, in only six days. So I entered openBC and am now taking the first steps to build my own business network.
Windows XP has a nice function to keep your task bar organised by grouping windows of the same application. Apparently Windows considers Firefox to be the same application as Windows Explorer :-D
In my quest for a good CMS I have been looking at eZ Publish this week, and my first reaction is: "wow!"
It looks very slick, very complete, very customisable, well thought out, … but also looks very daunting to implement.
The sky is the limit, since you can create your own content classes, but this involves also a lot of scripting templates to get the functionality to work. Previously I have been looking at Mambo Open Source, which is very easy to use, but has no fine-grained control; I just want to decide what HTML elements are used in templates. eZ Publish does give me this low-level control, but at a price: template design is more complicated.
Still I guess that I am willing to invest the time to learn the template scripting language, since eZ Publish has many benefits. The biggest benefit is that it can handle everything I do with external scripts: searching, guest book, forum, … Secondly, its multi-language implementation is great; the properties of each object can be entered in several languages, which will be shown to the visitor depending on the site access used.
I still have to play around a lot more to get to know its possibilities better, but I certainly have a very good feeling about this software.
The easiest way for a club, company or organisation to have a webshop is CafePress. You can upload your logo and select which products you want to offer, and they take care about taking orders, printing the products and shipment. Works like a charm, but they are USA-based. That means that European customers will ahve to pay extra shipment costs, which makes the items rather expensive. So I am looking for companies like CafePress with facilities in Europe to lower the costs.
So far I have found T-Shirt Zoo and spreadshirt, both of which look reasonable, but not as slick as CafePress. T-Shirt Zoo has a very small assortiment, and spreadshirt is only available in German. Are there any other companies like these available in Europe?
It’s time for some punk!!! Dirty Girl from Boobie Trap.
Each year I look at the artists playing at the Dutch Noorderslag festival, since those are the artists that are very likely to break through during the coming year.
I just received a message from Apesjit in which they state that they are going to play on that important festival. I really hope that they are one of the bands that are going to break through next year!
They are free to use for everybody.
One of the nicest traditions in Catalonia is the ‘correfoc’: corre = run and foc = fire.
The Catalans love any excuse to have a correfoc, a riotous fiesta of sparklers, firecrackers, and roman candles, where colles de diables, or brigades of devils and dragons, dance threateningly to the strains of an accompanying percussion band as they weave through a startled and delighted public. In order to save your clothes, there is only one remedy: jump so the sparks roll off. We filmed a correfoc at October 8 in Sant Feliu de Llobregat, so you can see a little bit how it is:
Video file: Correfoc.mpg (5,93 Mb)
Tomorrow evening we will take the plane to the Netherlands for a short holiday. We will stay there until Wednesday.
I’m afraid that we don’t have a lot of opportunities to meet you, since we will spend the weekend with my parents and my sister. In the little time left after the weekend we have many obligations, but will try to meet as much friends as possible. We will bring the DVD of our holidays to keep you away from meeting us. :-D
Wednesday we will also take the photos from our wedding with us to Spain, so there is little time left if you did not see it yet.
This week the most important IT fair in Spain takes place: the Simo TCI. Of course ICG Software is present; we have a big stand together with our Master Providers. As a result, the office is very empty this week, since most of our commercial department is in Madrid.
We will be presenting version 5 of our software, which brings real-time communication between shops or restaurants and the central office.
I just installed Firefox, the Spanish version, which went flawlessly. It placed the files and updated my extensions. But after one hour I saw a new icon on my screen:
Apparently there are updates available, only one hour after I installed it. Almost surely this is an external extension that has quickly been updated after the new release of Firefox, but it will confuse new users.
Hoewel ik uit de provincie Utrecht kom, heb ik het Uterechs nooit echt onder de knie gekregen. En dat is soms best wel jammer. Ik moest dan ook hard lachen toen ik de tekst van het Utrechts dictee zag en ik de tekst in mijn hoofd hoorde.
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