#becreativenl: Please Take Note

Last week, pretty much out of the blue, I was contacted by a PR company representing Samsung. They asked me whether I’d be interested in testing the new Galaxy Note 2 smartphone. Their reasoning is that the Note, Samsung’s largest, almost tablet-like phone, is a device you need to experience. It’s easy to dismiss as simply being “too large”, but the Note’s big screen has obvious advantages too. Whether or not those outweigh the pocketability issue is a personal decision.
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Roy | October 31, 2012 | English,Gadgets | Comments (3)
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The WordPress-Apple Paradox

As a long time member of the WordPress community, I go to a lot of WP meetups, WordCamps and other WordPress-related gatherings. Often, people will pull out their laptops and start hacking away together. It’s a great community. What strikes me as somewhat odd however, is that the majority of those laptops are usually MacBooks. Now of course, everybody is completely welcome to use whatever type of computer they prefer, but to me there’s something strange about this situation. A WordPress developer with a Mac is a little like a church-going atheist.
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Creating more room for apps on the HTC Desire

A little while ago, I wrote about how I still love my HTC Desire phone. The hardware is excellent, and still on par with modern day mid-range Android handsets. It does have one tragic design flaw though. With Android 2.3 and HTC’s Sense skin installed, there’s only about 70 MB of internal phone storage left to install apps into. And with apps getting bigger and bigger, this is simply not enough.

The “Apps to SD” feature introduced in “Froyo” helps, but it doesn’t move all parts of the apps to the SD card. I must have spent hours moving apps around and cleaning caches, but I kept having to remove apps I really liked, just to free up space. This weekend, I decided I’d try to find a real long-term solution by fully hacking my phone. I’d been putting that off for months because I basically run half my business from this phone, but it needed to be done. And it worked.
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Three cool things to try with your old netbook

Back when netbooks were introduced, I was very excited about these cheap little laptops. The first ones ran Linux, and they had amazing battery life. I ended up getting two Asus Eee-PC models, and I stil have them. But now, with tablets and ultrabook boasting far better specs, mine are used less and less. That’s why I decided to see what I could use them for if I replaced general-purpose desktop OS Ubuntu Linux with software geared towards a single purpose. Below are three things I tried, and I was suprised by how useful they made my Eee-PC 901.
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Rapoo E9070 keyboard first impressions

Unlike most freelancers I know, I’m in the fortunate position where I can do most of my work from the comfort of my own office. I like the custom built desktop PC I have there, with its high-end multi-monitor setup and excellent set of peripherals. But over the last few months, I’ve started working on location more, and I did my best to assemble the best possible mobile setup I could. A good laptop stand and mouse were easy enough to find, but finding a good keyboard to take with me turned out to be a little more troublesome.
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Roy | July 27, 2012 | English,Gadgets | Comments (16)
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Is Google moving away from the Android brand?

Yesterday, Dutch media guru @erwblo tweeted an interesting question. Erwin wondered whether Android users are aware that their phone runs Google’s mobile OS. People around me usually are, and in my experience, they usually consciously choose Android over other options.

But others chimed in and it seems that at least a portion of Android users are unaware that their Samsung or HTC phone is powered by the cute little green robot.
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Google’s Nexus 7: Epic want!

It’s been a while since I really blogged about gadgets. A couple of years ago I used to get really excited about upcoming products, and I just couldn’t shut up about things like the CrunchPad and the Eee-PC. Lately, that hasn’t happened much, and I’ve been wondering why. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that I don’t have time to blog, or lost interest in gadgets. It’s just that everything released lately has been “incremental”. Almost everyday there’s a new laptop or tablet that’s thinner, lighter, faster than the previous one. Evolution, not revolution. The first thing that’s really tickled my fancy in a long time is the Nexus 7.
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Roy | July 4, 2012 | English,Gadgets | Comments (4)
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Raspberry Pi update

It has taken considerably longer than first estimated for Raspberry Pi computers to finally be delivered to customers. Logistics, manufacturing errors and other factors delayed the highly anticipated device time and again, but I’m happy to report that mine arrived a couple of weeks ago. This was around the same time things started to get really busy at work, so I’ve only played with it a little so far. Nevertheless, I wanted to post a progress update.


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XtremeMac Luna Voyager II review

Ever since my wife got her first iPhone, we’ve been on the lookout for an alarm clock docking station. Modern smartphones need to be charged every night anyway, so why not put its cradle next to ours and have it charge, occasionally play music and wake us? We wanted something that would work with the new iPad as well, and with a relatively small footprint. The people at GearZap suggested the XtremeMac Luna Voyager II, and it arrived at our house last thursday.
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Roy | April 21, 2012 | English,Gadgets | Comments (3)
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Wrap your new iPad in recycled leather!

When I started this blog, there were three things I wanted to blog about. Open source software, gadgets, and the environment. It’s been quite a while since I last posted anything in that last category, but the Proporta Smart new iPad case is the perfect reason to pick that up again. It combines two of my favorite things. It keeps my wife’s brand new iPad safe, and it’s been specifically designed to have a small ecological footprint.
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Roy | March 31, 2012 | English,Environment,Gadgets | Comments (3)
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