Samsung’s Flip Cover: Noteworthy protection

I’ll keep this very short. If you have a Samsung Note II, and you – like me – feel its huge display needs some sort of protection from scratches, then look no further. The Flip Cover is the case that Samsung should probably have provided with the device. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s also clever.
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Roy | November 2, 2012 | English,Gadgets | Comments (7)
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#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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Taming wp_list_pages

Ever since pages got added to WordPress in version 1.5, wp_list_pages has been the way to get a list of pages. In the pre-widgets era, it used to be coded into pretty much every theme’s sidebar or header to generate the site’s menu.

Nowadays wp_list_pages is at the heart of the Pages widget, and it’s perfect for blog-type sites with a modest number of pages. But if you’re using WordPress as a CMS, and most of your content is written as pages, using wp_list_pages can cause serious performance issues.
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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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New adventures in hosting a single file

When I launched my Flickr Widget a couple of years ago, I decided I would host the tiny little Flash file that is the heart of the widget. I didn’t want to bother end users with downloads and installs and such. I put the file on Amazon’s S3 service, and offered an embed code generator form on this site. This worked well for a while, but more and more people started using the widget. Soon, Amazon started sending me hefty monthly bills.

I experimented for a while with hosting the file on the same server that runs this blog, but my host did not like that idea. Their terms of service don’t allow me to host non website-related files. So I moved the file to a friends VPS (Virtual Private Server). By then, the 5 KB Flash file was being served millions of times a month, causing around 30 GB of monthly traffic. I needed a more permanent solution.
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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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New WordPress plugin: Tag Pages

Ever since tags were introduced in WordPress 2.3, people have wanted to add tags to pages, not just to posts. For years now, Page Tagger has allowed you to do so. It’s a great plugin, and I’ve used it often. However, since it was created, WordPress has made it a lot easier to add tags to pages, and that new approach has some significant advantages.

I’ve been working with Bjorn Wijers on a project that uses Page Tagger, and we’ve found it to have some small – but pesky – issues. Bjorn gradually improved and simplified the code, and sent patches to the plugin’s author. Most of those changes are now part of Page Tagger, but Bjorn has decided to also release his own plugin.
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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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