Are you using comment notification by email?

For as long as I remember, WordPress has had the option to send an automatic email to the admin whenever someone posts a comment. I used to have that option enabled. I love responding to comments right away. It helps keep discussions alive and it helps to keep you blog clean of any spam that might slip through Akismet. With the succes of WP-Cumulus however, the volume of comments has been increasing steadily, and I’ve had to disable comment notification.
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Ziggo support

Ziggo

Ziggo is a new cable company here in The Netherlands, that was formed when three major television providers (including mine) recently merged. They introduced their new philosophy in what is probably the worst-recieved TV commercial of the year, so they rubbed me the wrong way even before I had to contact their support desk today. If it wasn’t already clear, this is going to be one of my ‘incompetent companies’ posts…
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Taxi2airport.com = no show

I’ve been enjoying Suzero’s line of “incompetent companies” posts, so I thought I’d join in…

The internet is where you go to get a good deal, right? I order tons of stuff online, and have had only very few negative experiences. That’s why I felt quite confident ordering a cab to the airport (Schiphol, Amsterdam in my case) through taxi2airport.com. Big mistake.
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First steps…

I haven’t been using this website as a personal blog for a while now, but I’m just too proud to not put this up :). During our visit to Mallorca, Iris decided that walking had become a priority, and after a couple of days of practice she’s now very keen to show of her new skills.

Roy | May 13, 2008 | English,Personal | Comments Off
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Bizner experiences

Bizner logo

When I decided to quite my job and go freelance, one of the first things I then decided was that I wanted to change banks and move to Bizner. A recent startup, Bizner is an online-only business bank set up by the reputable Rabobank Group here in The Netherlands. I quite liked the tone of voice of their commercials, and more importantly I was getting dissatisfied with my old bank.

Recently, they sent me an online survey about my experiences so far. To my surprise, one of the questions was whether I was likely to post my experiences on my blog. But then it dawned on me just how clever that question was. For one thing it made me think about whether I perhaps should, but more importantly, considering how they’re an online bank I can see how important the blogosphere could be to them. So here goes.
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Setting up Nabaztag

A bunch of Nabaztags

It’s here. Yesterday a colourful box arrived that contained our new house pet. My daughters fell in love instantly, but my own initial joy was tempered somewhat by the fact that it took me an entire evening to get it online. As it turned out, the bunny uses a 802.11b network card (apparently, 11 mbit is sufficient bandwidth for the rodent). My router however was set to “g-only” because I ‘d never had a ‘b’ device before. Entirely my fault, and as soon as I changed this setting the bunny’s lights turned green and I was good to go.
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Roy | December 29, 2007 | English,Gadgets,Personal | Comments (2)
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Nabaztag!

Nabaztag

Last week’s Christmas celebration at work also marked my last gettogether with the people I’ve worked with for all these years. Saying goodbye to collegues I’ve come to regard as friends wasn’t easy, but the gift they got me really made my night. It will take a while to be delivered, but I can’t wait for my Nabaztag to get here.
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Roy | December 24, 2007 | English,Gadgets,Personal | Comments (5)
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Taking the plunge

I nicked the title for this post from my good friend Marco, who decided to quit his job and work as a freelancer a couple of years ago. Mostly because of Dutch tax law I myself am trying to avoid the term ‘freelancer’, but I did just quit my job. From January 2008 on, I’ll be focusing solely on my own web design business.

It’s been a tough decision, and one I’ve been struggling with for years. I love the people I work with, and will miss definitely many of them. But the direction my employer is moving in does not match my interests, talents and ambitions. Becoming an entrepreneur will allow me work with WordPress more, look into other CMSs, learn PHP and do way more design work. I’ve got plans for developing a Flash-based toolkit that will allow designers anyone to create cool websites with no programming skills needed, and tons of other projects.

Hopefully, I’ll also be able to devote more time to creating new WordPress themes and plugins and improving/updating the current ones. Marco has since his ‘plunge’ been tempted into not one but two seriously cool jobs, which goes to show that things always turn out how you least expect them to.

Who needs six degrees?

I guess everybody knows the ‘six degrees of separation‘ theory. What it comes down to that you connect with everyone else in the world with a maximum of six ‘steps’. If this is true, a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of mine knows Robert De Niro. Cool.

Although I’m not quite convinced the theory holds entirely (what about isolated tribes in the Brazilian rain forest?) I recently discovered that I need only one or two steps to connect to three of the hottest projects in the tech universe.
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10 years!

On June 14th 1997 I started my first full-time job at NOB Interactive, the internet branch of Holland’s (then) biggest audiovisual company. This means I’ve been a professional web designer for ten years now, to the day. From HTML 3.2 with lots of frames to tableless semantic XHTML, from 28k8 modems to broadband, from Futuresplash Animator and animated GIF to Flash 9. It’s been lots of fun and I hope to be able to keep doing this for a long time.