Joli OS is great for kids!

When the first wave of netbook computers appeared, I got myself an Asus Eee-PC 901. I loved it, and used it to play around with various flavors of Linux, even Chrome OS. But since then, I’ve been forced to buy a full-size laptop computer, and I handed the 901 down to my daughter. At first I installed Ubuntu, but the 4 GB SSD in the Asus turned out to be too small for that to really work out. So I decided to try Joli OS instead. And I think it’s great. Especially for kids.
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Having trouble with VNC and Unity? Try this!

The latest version of Ubuntu, released two months ago, replaced the Gnome desktop interface for a new one called Unity. In terms of simplicity and speed, I quite like Unity, but I found that operating it through VNC was horribly slow. Often, I’d be unsure whether VNC was still connected. Screen updates would sometimes take minutes. Today, I found a workaround that makes VNC usable again for me.
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Roy | June 16, 2011 | English,Gadgets,Software | Comments Off on Having trouble with VNC and Unity? Try this!
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Pics from the WordPress Meetup Amersfoort 2011

Last night’s WordPress meetup in Amersfoort was, at least as far as I’m concerned, a resounding success. Around 70 people attended, and we had a lot of interesting speakers. Most of the presentations were captured on video, and will be placed online later. For now, I’ve put the snapshots I managed to take on Flickr for you. Enjoy!

I’ve also created a Flickr pool for Dutch meetup images. Please feel free to add you pics there. I’m still pretty new to Flickr, but I think I allowed everyone to contribute…

Miro Video Converter strips it down to the basics

Converting video files from one format to another has always been a pain. You’re dealing with large files, tons of different formats and software that offers more settings than mere mortals can possibly comprehend. Programs like Handbrake work well and offer useful presets, but Miro Video Converter goes one step futher. It offers the simplest possible user interface, making transcoding as easy as it possible can.
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Quick tip: Atheros AR5007 wifi and Linksys routers

I’m writing this post hoping it’ll save someone the trouble I went through last night. After I’d installed my new Linksys E4200 router yesterday, all of my gadgets connected to it as expected, except one. My wife’s HP Compaq Presario C700 laptop would connect, it accepted the WPA2 passphrase, but connectivity would be limited to “local only”. I assumed it was having trouble connecting to the new wireless-n network, so I tried to see if there was a driver update for the Compaq’s Atheros network card. And thus, I entered the incomprehensible maze called hp.com…
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Why VLC will never be in the iOS App Store

Influential dutch technology website Webwereld recently posted an opinion piece in which the author outlines the VLC/Apple App Store situation. As you may know, a video player based on VLC popped up in Apple’s iOS app store a while ago, only to be removed a little while later. Unfortunately, the author of the the article, Job Spijker, had the whole thing backwards. He argued that people involved in open source software should “get with the program” and jump on the App Store bandwagon. Thankfully, this can never happen.
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Roy | January 19, 2011 | English,Gadgets,Software | Comments (6)
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Am I the only one who sees things like this?

Just look at the image below. The left version is the bottom right corner of my Chrome browser window (version 8.0). This logo appears on every new empty tab, and I can’t help but wonder why Google didn’t spend 15 seconds making it look nicer. The version to the right literally took that long to make. I added a little padding, made it more subtle and changed the way the text aligns with the logo.

Looks much better, doesn’t it? I think it went from “Hey, there’s room for a logo there” to “all this awesomeness os powered by Chrome”. If I were a company trying to promote a new browser, I’d try to get these things right. And it’s not like they can’t afford it, right?

Roy | November 17, 2010 | English,Internet,Software | Comments (10)
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Change your Windows 7 logon screen wallpaper

Last week, I finally switched my main work PC from Vista to Windows 7. Installation was easy enough, and I really enjoy the subtle improvements in 7. One thing I’m not too fond of is the Windows 7 artwork. The default wallpaper is a little too bright and blue for my taste, and while you can easily change it once logged in, it persists on the logon screen.

I know this is a minor gripe, it takes only seconds to log in, but it turns out there’s a really easy way to fix it. There are plenty of guides to be found online that walk you through the neccesary registry tweaks, but there’s really no need to get your hands wet. Tweaks.com offers a very easy to use utility that lets you change the logon screen wallpaper in a few clicks. No need to install, simply run the executable, select an image and go.

Roy | October 22, 2010 | English,Software | Comments (3)
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Don’t use BlogPress SEO. Ever.

I don’t make a habit out of “reblogging” or linkdumping, but since a lot of WordPress people seem to be finding their way to my blog, I wanted to write about this. I got an email regarding a new WordPress plugin called BlogPress SEO this morning. Normally, I would have considered reviewing it, but fortunately I’d already read Joost de Valk’s review-of-sorts. And so should you. BlogPress SEO is spam. It’s a link farm, and goes against every rule Google and other search engines have about linking. Read all about it on yoast.com.

Helping Joe the Worm escape is not easy

I was approached by Mastiware, a new game development studio founded by four French students, to take a look at their first game, “Joe the Worm – Escape or Die”. As a casual gamer, currently hooked om a poorly made but very addictive Bust-a-Move clone on the iPod Touch, I’m absolutely not a gaming expert. But I decided to take a look anyway, and now I wish I hadn’t.

In “Joe”, your task is to keep a little worm alive. this wouldn’t be very hard if not for two complicating factors. First, Joe is very hungry. You need to point it to fruit scattered around the screen. But at the same time you have to keep him away from two intersecting “beams” that move across the screen randomly. This means our little worm is either constantly hungry, or in risk of serious harm. Fortunately, there are several powerups, which you get when you complete a “recipe”. Certain combinations of fruits unlock things like increased speed, or the ability to stop the beams temporarily.
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