Castle in the Mist : Photoshoot at Alden Biesen.

It is not very often I get the possibility to have a few hours to kill, but last Sunday I found a small gaping hole in my agenda that just screamed to be exploited. With our living room redone, I was in dire need of some original artwork for the walls. And when I say original, I do mean : Original. Not your standard ‘everyone has bought this at Ikea’. Time for a little photoshoot : The weather was perfect, the place was deserted and the inspiration was present (although borrowed from my wife who did a similar shoot at this place a few years ago with her analogue camera) With wonderful misty weather the dawn provided me with excellent light conditions and tainted the scene exactly like I wanted it. So take a peak at my little “Castle in the Mist” set that I took at the Castle of Alden Biesen. If you want to you can pop over to my Flickr site and grab a few to give that burnt-in “Nude Lindsay Lohan” background a little break and slide in some good taste for a change.  The entire set can be found HERE.

 

 

 

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Pimp your Gnome !

Ok , I could not slip this post up. Being the cross platform slider that I am, I love working with Linux but hate the sometimes rudimentary boxiness of the graphical user interface. Sure .. Beryl and all that stuff is nice. But there must be nicer ways of totaly pimping out your Gnome desktop without turning all your windows into silly putty or spinning your virtual desktop cube ’till you blow chunks.  So I really like LIFEHACKERS TOP TEN Gnome Desktop Tweaks that help you put your best foot forward. (get it ? Foot / Gnome 😉 ) .. 

 

ter

 

My personal favorite must be using your command line window as a wallpaper 🙂 If THAT isn’t geek .. I don’t know WHAT is ! 

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What do you REALLY need ?

An interesting conversation at work inspired me to do todays article. Topic at hand was a brochure of one of the local supermarkets featuring a very nice desktop system from HP. For a small 900 euro’s you could get your hands on a sleek black compact tower with a 2 gigahertz Octo-Core system. Dvd writer, 2 160 gig drives, 2 gigs of ram and so forth and so forth. According to the folder you could chat with your friends, write emails, process video, play games and calculate the winning formula for the lottery without a glitch. (well maybe not that last one). Coming to think of it, that is one whoopass machine for that money. (you could line it up with a mac pro , but no-one dares to place these two machines in the same room.. The price difference might destroy the universe).  But the question is: Do you realy need this amount of power ? And if you do .. For what ?  Ok, this might be the only machine capable of at least getting Vista Premium running at a half distant speed (i kid, i kid ! ) But seriously : What do you do with 4 cores ? How many things can you do at once. I mean .. If the end user could keep up with the average word processing / surfing / chatting etc that this machine can handle. The average home user would have to be able to become a lovechild between superman and the flash with some serious ADD on the side. The only way to push this baby to at least halfway its 50% load is probably by never closing any application, run Vista pro with ALL of the eye candy turned on and of course pour frozen syrup into your hard drive in the form of Norton Internet security.

imac
If I look at what the average user does I wonder what kind of system you really need ?  To prove my point I have pimped up an old machine to do just these basic tasks. My little niece is in need of a machine that allows her to chat, surf and check her emails. Nothing major. She needs to take a peek at some word documents and that is about it. So I took a look at the old G3 Imac I found at the dump (yes, you heard me right)  I found it at the local recycling station when I was dumping the old wood from our living room floor. It has A 15 gigabyte hard drive, some 300 megs of ram and a G3 400 Megahertz processor. It “came” with a fully installed version of OSX but I decided I would be better of installing XUBUNTU for PPC on it. This version still exists for PPC processors and gives you the ability to do some nice things with your mac. The XFCE graphical interface is light and sober but very effective. And with Firefox, Gaim , Openoffice and Thunderbird (AND the Gimp) it gives her a great looking, fast (yep ! its FAST) and free machine. So why not ?

So what DO you realy need ? Let me put the question out there to you guyz : What is the absolute minimum configuration that u still use to do your average work : Surfing the web, Checking your Emails, Chatting, doing some word processing and crop and flip the occasional picture ?

You can use our brand new comment system to .. speak your mind :=)

Links : Ubuntu for PPC.   G3 Imac.

 

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Google Reader : Answer to the mobile 2.0 life ?

The web 2.0 does offer some interesting challenges to most of us these days. I for one am constantly feeling that I’m “missing out” on stuff that other people “seem to get”. There is always some news item that is hot on the feeds, or always something going down in one of the many web 2.0 communities that I am a part of. There is just so much stuff out there. I mean .. just look at email, twitter, flickr, my blog, youtube, the Global Geek Website.. Just so many things to keep track of.

 

So you say .. its time to install that master workstation. That single point of operations that enables me to be my very own ‘Darth Vader’ on his very own ‘Death Star’ . So you set up this  awesome workstation with multiple screens and all that jazz only to leave it behind to do stuff like .. go out to work. And being the average geek that one is, one does not only own that ONE major workstation , one of course has SEVERAL computers. Then the whole thing starts. How do we keep track of it all.

Thank the Matrix for RSS feeds, keeping us up to date with all that is going down. A good RSS reader does miracles of keeping track of it all. But when that sucker is installed on your Master Control Station and you are away.. That blows ! One has to be in touch with ones feeds from everywhere (all the time if possible).

So the solution I came up with was Google Reader. Yet another Ball-and Chain to the Google network but I am willing to sacrifice yet another peace of privacy for the better good of convenience. After uploading my OPML feed to the reader, all I had to do was sort out my feeds into different channels and  it was time to get the party started. For example : With all my tech-blog feeds in one category I now have a “master feed” to browse through ALL the entries in that category. Dailycupoftech, lifehacker etc .. all a mixed bag.

But became even more interesting when I added the latest feeds from several bittorrent sites and now have a clear overview of what is new on the “dark side” of the planet. Its never been so easy to browse through information without having to surf from site to site or adjust to different layouts and ways of browsing. Its all in one big blue and white list.

Keeping track of what is going down in my web 2.0 world was done by feeding Google reader my RSS feeds of my Flickr Comments, my twitter feed and even the Google and technorati searches of keywords like “knightwise” All tucked into one reader.

 

 

But the cream for me is the fact that you can share stories that you like with the world. Google just plunks them down on one page and you can even RE-subscribe to THAT feed. If there is an interesting article you come across and want to “store for future reference” ( Read : I have to download this torrent when I get home”) just Star the Fuckr and it will be stored in your ‘starred items’-list. Once processed you can remove the star and that is that. Much more convenient that bookmarking it. (lets face it : Bookmarking is a thing of the past ..)

So in conclusion ? Google reader  ? the ultimate RSS reader  ? Probably not. There are plenty of readers out there that are much much better but this baby gives you the option to look at your feeds from anywhere. ( @home, @work etc) + the fact that it sits side by side to your gmail makes it darn easy to forward articles to other people and all that jazz. Definately worth a try .

Links : DOWNLOAD HERE

 

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Get Simpsonized !

Thanx to Koen from QueenBlingerie (yes yes , the ones from the add) for pointing out this little one : How about having a go at "Simpsonising yourself" Just upload your photo to this website and make sure you choose the right eyes , color of skin, hair and mouth and after 20 minutes of wasting your life you might get something that resembles this.. Well, erm .. not this exactly .. It has to look like YOU of course ! 🙂  http://www.simpsonizeme.com

 

simpsonized
 

 

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Get original foto frame content with Flickr.

framesThere, The living room is finished an all the furniture is back where it belongs. Doing the finishing touches tool a little longer then we thought but we wanted it to be perfect and now it is. All we need is some pictures in the frames and the stuff is good to go. (But those last few things are Nyana's department, she is after all the Style guru of the house). When looking for original art its amazing what you can find on Flickr. Dozens of great photographers, thousands of wonderful pictures … and all original art that NONE of the "Offliners*) (*non web 2.0 aware people) have. I mean, If you go into the IKEA these days there is nice affordable art to buy and hang in your home. The only thing is : Everybody has them. The "lighthouse", the "Audrey Hepburn" and other big posters / frame that you can buy by the dozen. So I decided the art in our house should be something different.

A little browsing on Flickr, an A3 printer and some clever cutting and pasting (with real glue) made for some interesting and unique picture frames in the house. 

So there you go : Integrate technology and the web 2.0 in your life and be a little creative. But be sure to ask permission from the artist. Its not ok to get rich of their work, so if you are thinking of selling of your nice originals … that would be a violation of creative commons.  But for the rest .. Knock yourself out !. http://www.flickr.com

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Roundup of the week. 'Lets get Phisical'.

floorAlmost a week since my last update ! Oh my am I ever ashamed. Yet to be honest I’ve got another great excuse up my sleeve to tell you guys (and girls) why you had to miss new stuff from the  cutting edge of real and cyberspace. I (or should I say WE ) have been pretty busy tearing up the floor in our living room and putting  down new one. Yep : Physical labour galore ! (For me a totally new sensation) One of the fun things I got to do was tear of all the carpet from the floor (when the former is glued to the latter one does need quite a bit of muscle) After that it was time to take the crowbar and remove the wooden plates that where nailed to the floor. So a lot of physical work, swearing, hulk-like moments (where I showed a tremendous ammount of strength) and even some sweat. The result ? A clean living room floor with new floorboards being layed in as we speak. In the meantime Nyana was repainting the walls and all that Jazz. It has been quite hard work and it left me totally worn down by the end of the day… yet there is some kind of satisfaction that somebody can draw from labours like this. Doing something tangible as opposed to working on the computer. It gives a "man" this kind of primal satisfaction. For a Cerebral-oriented individual like me .. that’s quite a change.

imacWith all the hammering and tearing going down I almost forgot to check out the new Imacs. I've only bought mine two weeks ago and it looks like I already have an "old model". I could swear at the fact that the new Imacs are 20" models with faster processors, DVD writers and more HD space for roughly the same price.. but take comfort in the fact I would never again buy a 'first batch' product from apple. I'll wait until they iron the bugs out ( If you ask me I'm very curious about the keyboard they put out, cant wait to try it, cause overall the white apple keyboards i have suck balls ;( )

My whole Web 2.0 life is starting to take of again with a lot emailing going on between Me and Dave Gray from the GGP, listening to a series of podcasts and even sighing on to Twitter ! I think I am slowly healing from the information-technology overload that resulted in me being off the social networking grid for three weeks. And I must admit I’ve missed all of the friends I have made there. Hopefully when the living room is done I'll have some more time to just sit down behind my (OLD BUT GOOD) Imac and get in touch with the virtual world a little more. Now if you don't mind its time to get my gloves and get to work.. Stil have a floor to finish !.

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Free MP3's of DJ Tiesto for your Ipod.

FREE ONE HOUR MP3's OF DJ TIëSTO IN CONCERT ALL OVER THE WORLD.  There, That will get both yours and Google's attention I hope. But rest assured : This is no Idle spam I"m boasting my friends. I'm seldom hyped about anything but what I had fished up on Itunes this week did pop my brain this morning.

 tiesto

I admitt, I'm a fan.. What do I say : I'm a BIG fan of Mr Tiësto.. Having found MP3's from his work on Napster ten years ago I knew who "Thijs" was far before the masses today. A few years ago me and my wife got to see him in action with the "Magic" Concert in our town of Hasselt and we where thrilled beyond belief. As I wrote in my review back then : This IS religion in motion 🙂

clublifeEver since I have "bought" every new album he brought out. And the keyword here is BOUGHT since I refuse to download his stuff illegally cause he is so damn good and he is one of the few artists that deserves my hard earned money. So what am I jumping up and down about ? Well in a random search on the Itunes Music store I stumbled across " Tiesto's Clublife Podcast " A one hour episode featuring a full mix of DJ Tiësto in action somewhere across the globe. Audio quality is extremely good and there are only a few little "Jingles" integrated in the podcast.

 

So 35 minutes into this months mix (there is one episode each month) I was hopping up and down in my car and to be quite frank : My day could not have started better. So I rushed towards my computer to tell you guyz about it. Its fantastic to see an artist "cyber-minded" enough to pimp his stuff on the web and let us enjoy !!! So rush over to Itunes and enjoy.

Links :  Tiesto's Clublife podcast RSS (paste link into your podcatcher)  *** The Radio 358 site that hosts the podcast. (in Dutch) *** Our pictures from the Tiësto concerts : MAGIC and ELEMENTS OF LIFE *** The original Tiesto Article of the Magic Concert.

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Spoof your Emails with Telnet !

As we get ready to put down a new floor in our living room, time for blogging is limited. Yet I do not want to deprive you of your daily dose of Cyber news. So from between the stacked up boxes of stuff, our living room couch that has somehow levitated upstairs to come cramp up my office, I post this little one out to you guyz.

 

telnet

 

Remember I talked about email spoofing a few weeks ago ? How you can use Telnet to write up an email and completely scare the other party shitless by putting ' Bill@microsoft.com' as the senders adress ? This week I stumbled onto an article on the fantastic "daily cup of tech" website that describes how you can send emails using Telnet. Its all nice an dandy and gives you a nice view at just what your email client actually does and how Email works and stuff. But if you have your "Evil" switch set to ON it does not require much creativity to change the MAIL FROM: me@maildomain.com to MAIL FROM: drevil@evillayer.com before sending it away. So fire up those command line terminals and impress noobs and geeks alike by obsoleting your pop3 client and sending your emails via Telnet !

Links : The Article on DailycupofTech.

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