This week in KW-Tv episode Two, we dive back in time and digg up an old video made by Swift and me some 4 years ago. At the time Wireless networks where not as abundant as today, yet we ventured out in the search of an open hotspot. Take a look and watch just how easy it was back then (and now) to cruise around and hop onto people’s free wifi using horribly simple tools like Netstumbler. The WOW is Now .. presented by a cow. 🙂 KwTv episode 2 !
Its a glorious Saturday morning and I’m hanging out at the local coffee shop rattling away at my macbook. Bless the poor soul who once again left his wireless access point unattended and gave me the opportunity to write this post. Coming to think of it, a connection to the web empowers me to do a lot of things lately. If I just go back a few years I remember that re-installing my laptop offered to be a gigantic undertaking. I had to make sure that I had all my applications on there, a copy of all my data ( I ran a W2K server @ home just to have file synchronization) and so on. I remember hating all web applications that one had to use ( dreaded the horrible interface of hotmail and all web-based stuff) Web based applications and services where slow and clumsy. To that effect my laptop became a slower-working compact version of my desktop. Overloaded with applications one might need, and with data one needed on the road.
These days its a whole new ballgame. All I need is an IP address and there is this amazing choice of applications, services, data and more at my fingertips. These days my laptop is installed with all the programs I might need on the road, but carries almost NO local data at all. Services like Email and Contacts do not require me to sync before I go home, nor do i need to make sure I have the most recent version of document xyz. I check my emails using Gmail and use GoogleDocs for the storage of documents and information that I need when I’m on the road. My calendar and contacts are no longer synced between my laptop and my desktop, they are now all stored on Gmail. Anything that does not fit into a Google Document and needs to be available to me now sits on my linux server at home. Using a nice web interface (Usermin) I can browse through , upload and download, create and manage any documents that I need. And if i want to be fast and snappy I just open up my Cyberduck FTP client and bounce the files around over an SSH connection.If I need to go in deeper into my own network to access for example my Itunes library, I use the VPN endpoint on my router to literally dial in and tunnel whatever i need through my VPN connection. Its no longer required to have any data on my laptop. And come to think of it . I don’t even need my laptop anymore at all ! Most services I use (TVTV.nl to program our PVR, Gmail, the Usermin of my server and LOGMEIN for controlling all of my Windows workstations) don’t even require anything else then a browser. So it does not even matter if I am on my laptop or any machine equipped with a browser. One thing you should make sure of is that you use https connections as much as you can, but for all the "touchy stuff" that is not a problem.
All in all i’m pretty exited at all the possibilities the web offers up these days .. it really is … ‘Power to the Browser".
I sit in the main mess-hall of the GroupT college listening to some Norah Jones on my Ipod. Attention zeroed in on the screen of my macbook I hardly notice the not that bad looking girl that sits alone on the table next to me. Across the room a group of people is chattering away .. the sound of their voices canceled out byt the very effecient noiseblocking capabilities from my in-ear headphones. As the whole world interacts with eachother I Twitter a random thought towards the web 2.0 community that follows my tweets. A man sitting at the window taps his foot to the music playing on the radio. I don’t hear it and don’t even care. Surrounded by people and impressions it just takes an internet connection to completely take me away from this place. A small smile flutters across my face as my Australian friend Dave and Tim send me a horrible voicemail over Skype where they chat about bodily functions in a way my stumic turns. Its just a typical example on how my integration with the web seeps into every pore of my everyday life.
It has its pro’s sure. But also its cons. Take the way I handle media for example. I’ve been the proud owner of an MP3 player of over 10 years now. From the earlyest RIO player ( with a whopping 32 megs of ram) to my current Ipod. But even before that my trusty sony walkman was never far away from my side. Whenever I had the chance to grab my headset and zone out of the world.. I would take it. But back then things where different from now. For the last 2 years I have been engulfed in this new media world. Listening to podcasts, Becoming a member of the whole Web 2.0 community and of course discovering more and more sources of media and information.
Somewhere along the way I have strayed from the path called ‘mainstream" and setteled into my own little world of interest. Into this little niche of early adopters and the things they crave. I have waded deep into the pool of peer media and have gotten accustomed to talking to people all over the world while ignoring the stranger sitting along side of me.
All fine and dandy you might think… but on the other hand, it all has its downsides too. Take "classic media" for example. With the up-rise of podcasting I have tuned out of "Normal Radio" long ago. Escalating from a point where I could not care less what was on the radio, to the point that I cant even get myself to listen to an hour of radio in the car. Its not as much the content that I don’t like (Although there IS a lot of crap on there.) Its also the format. I cant stand having to listen to commercials without being able to skip through them, I hate the fact that I have to wait until that stupid song is missing before the news starts and so on. Add to that that I have been so spoiled in getting all this nice "niche-content", tailored to my exact interests on my Ipod and you have a recipe for classic-radio-drama.
It however does get worse. With the uprising of video podcasts I have subscribed to quite a few. The downside is , I don’t have the chance to watch them at work or in the car. So whenever I am couched out in front of the TV with my lovely wife .. I get a little frustrated. The next re-run of the Simpsons starts to agitate me, The fact that the good shows ( For example LOST) are on so very very late. The dumb dribble that has to masquerade as a talk-show starts to nag in my ears. "Yet another reality show" is starting to get on my nerves. The nagging thought that I could build my entire TV night from recorded material ( That I recorded with my EyeTv), Downloaded podcasts and purchased DVD’s is becoming more and more predominant as I sit in front of the tube. If I could be so bold and predict that little 30-something me is getting this pissed of with the way mainstream media present their content, I can only fear what the next generation is going to be like. I was born with the zapper in my hands, had some 50 channels to choose from for the better part of my life and have managed to skip almost 40 percent of the commercials that where intended for my viewing. So what is the next generation going to be like ? With the evolution of ‘The web 2.0’ I start to pose the question : When are we going to REALY see "Media 2.0" take shape.
With the poll pointing out the obvious I decided to give it a go and slam together my own video podcast. So check out my very first attempt at becoming the next Tv-Star in Cyberspace. (only kidding). In this episode of KW-tv I talk abou the latest Apple keynote and all the new products that where launched from a Belgian point of view. The new Nano, The Ipod Classic and of course the Ipod Touch and the Iphone. I compare the pro and the cons, the price and the competition and of course what all of this means to the average cyber citizen. Be sure to let me know what you think !!
Hello my cyber-savvy readers. It was a dire time but we have recovered. And I say that not in the sence that I have recovered some long lost files (although I have done a fair share of that over the last few days too) We have recovered from a little attack of off-line life. Times have been so busy that I did not even have the time to update my own precious website. Apart from the recovery of the attack of the analogue world I have recovered something else as well. I have recovered my student pass ! Lost for over two years but now once again tucked away in my wallet nice new and shiny.
"Ok Knightwise"’ I hear you fume, "Cut the crypto and spill the beans". Ok : Here is the news. I have re-enlisted my sweet little ass into GROEPT (Group-T) and am continuing my training to be a bachelor in telecommunications. The last time I was here was almost two years ago when I dropped out of my second year cause of the renovations on our house and the sudden passing of my father (with the resulting chaos afterwards) But know I’m back and things have not changed that much. Of course i’m a little older and wiser (I hope) but old comrades have joined the party once more. Due to a fluke in the inter-dimensional nexus both Swift and Diderius (old friends) have re-enrolled into the course as well. So it is just like old times. After all , the three of us started out in our first year here now almost four years ago. We carpooled from the far corner of the country to the technological Mecca-of-all-schools and spent our first semester together. ( Let me clarify , its not a full-time education , just one or two nights a week.) and now we continue along the same path. The three musketeers : "Dead-pan-Diderius", "Sly Swift" and me ! .. Oh the joy !
So I’m pretty enthusiastic about all of it. Not only do I LOVE to learn, its also very interesting stuff they are teaching. Networking, operating systems and stuff like that. Lets me beef up on my professional IT knowledge and finally give me the feeling that I’m really learning new things every day. I hate to say it but using Macs and Linux at home has thought me a lot, but I have kind of lost touch with the whole Server environment of Windows by not working with it every day. I’m still competent but just a little rusty. But as the saying goes : Its just like riding a bike. You don’t forget !
Being here at the school (waiting for one of my teachers to make some arrangements) brings back a lot of memories and brings back the ease with which I used to write. A few years ago (for those who have read through the archives) my website was a lot more personal and a lot more ‘tied in" in what was going on in my life and inside myself. With being here, I hope that ease returns. Stepping out of the routine I have known for the last two years ( drive to work / drive home …) this change of scenery and change of people I interact with will hopefully bring back a lot of inspiration and just plain ‘feeling good about myself’. My heart of course goes out to my lovely wife who supports me in all of this and who waits patiently at home until I pop back in from school.. Bless her !
So .. with new times come new challenges.
The technological arsenal at my disposal has changed a lot over the last few years. With the web 2.0 using email, storing files, interacting with fellow students, getting information and much more .. has evolved a whole lot. My I-river MP3 recorder is standing by to record the lectures (for later recapitulation on my ipod). My Linux server is standing by at home, my pda, the website, Skype, twitter, etc etc .. it brings a new dimension to the whole thing. I cannot wait to sink my cyber savvy teeth into this little challenge and .. get my degree !