De – Cell – Aration.

Jan 10

Our Cellphones. We carry them with us everywhere. No matter where
people are, what they are doing. In church, on a forest walk, in the
bathtub .. never are they without their little mobile companion that
lets them speak to the world and lets the world stay in touch with
them. This little box with 10 digits gives them the combination to Dial
almost anyone in the world and set up a 2 way full duplex
conversation. When you think of the medium per-é its a pretty crappy
job. The technology of the telephone is over a hundred years old, and
all you end up with is a medium quality conversation (voice only) with
the other person. Sure, sending text messages (with that 10-digit
keyboard) and even shooting a little picture and sending it over the
air .. those are possibilities that have popped up over the years.. But
when you think of it : Cellphone communications are primitive, limited
and (when you have an international posse) very expensive.

over the last few weeks I have done a little experiment.
I configured
my voicemail to give out the message that people could leave a
voicemail, but would be better off sending me an email that would
arrive on my blackberry instead.  (The cellphone number of my
blackberry is fairly unknown to most people, so I don’t get a lot of
direct calls on there) Next I turned my personal cellphone to "Silent",
plugged it in the charger .. And left it there.

We are now 3
weeks into the experiment
and the number of missed calls on my personal
(parked) cellphone have decreased dramatically. The number of emails I
receive on my blackberry, from people who would otherwise just ring my
cell, have increased. Sure there are some messages left on the
voicemail (even the occasional SMS) but after being unable to ring me a
few times people get the general idea they need to send me an Email if
they want to get in touch with me.

The trick here is to reply to
those emails immediately
( Even if its only an ‘OK i got your message’)
so people know they can reach you that way. And by persisting in this
way of handling my personal communications, I’m slowly but sure
shifting my ‘com chatter’ from the analogue to the digital.

cool thing is that this behaviour swings both ways.
More and more do I
use the Internet to communicate to people who are otherwise not in my
"digital circle". Sure , my podcasting buddies, twitter friends and my
extended "Internet family" have been used to communicating via Email
and other digital means with me. The problem was my "analogue circle",
people who saw me face to face regularly, used to be able to ring me on
my cell for some support, some question or just to chat. People like
ones mom, ones close family.  By persisting in this use of my personal
cellphone they are slowly but surely switching over to the digital

My Blackberry (bless the device) is doing all it can to
facilitate this.
The push email option from my Inbox to my cellphone
makes that Email is now THE fastest way to get in touch with me. Nyana
and I rarely speak on the phone and do 90% of our over the air
communications via the web. I have also installed my twitter client,
turning my twitter feed into a direct medium as well. Direct messages
get pushed to the blackberry and I see entire conversations beginning
to evolve over Twitter. There is of course Googletalk (the blackberry
client) as a direct message channel and I need to get MSN Messenger on
there too. (i would love to have SKYPE for Blackberry, not for voice,
but just to chat to my Skype posse). 

But the one application
that has brought the "analogue circle" closer to my digital realm is ..
Facebook !
Adding close friends and family to Facebook AND installing
the Facebook App on my Blackberry has made a big difference. Wall posts,
comments, direct messages.. They all get pushed to my Blackberry and
give me the option to reply right away. That way we found out that my
sis – in – law was looking for a new home for Kira the cat. I saw the
update, replied and 20 minutes later we had setup an appointment to go
and pick her up .. All from my Blackberry.

So : Who needs a
cellphone anyway.
Its embarrassing to use in public, quality is shitty ,
its very very expensive and I don’t like it one little bit. If you
really want to get hold of me .. You know where to go. Now put down the
phone and get behind your computah !



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Watch out : We are moving.

Jan 09

moveWell, the new year is nicely in full swing as I come wandering along with my first post of 2009.

To be quite honest, I’m not really sure if you are going to be able to
read this because at this moment, my hosting company responsible for
the up (and down) time of the is really making a mockery.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First of all I would like to start of
by wishing all of you a happy new year and may all that is good and
glorious cross your path in the next 356 days. I am not one to make new
years resolutions, nor am I the kind of person that dares to "predict’
just what the coming year is going to bring. I am a creature that
floats in linear time. Yesterday is merely a set of memories, tomorrow
harbors infinite combinations of possible outcomes and the only
fleeting impression we have of the world around us , is at this very
moment.. The present.

"Maiden white as this screen is the future to all of us. Waiting for the
next character we enter. Paused at the blinking cursor of the now, I
can only read back on what I have written and ponder on what is to come."

The past then : Well , the new year started of very well with my own
Macbook Pro becoming the victim of a deadly cocktail : My own
clumsiness mixed with the inevitable presence of gravity. As i was
recovering from my modest new years celebration I had perched myself
onto our sofa and had the Macbook pro on my lap (closed). Since it was
suffering from battery deprivation syndrome I decided to pick up the
wire of the power supply that was on the floor. Before I knew it, the
tilted surface of my lap became an empty place as my laptop slid off
and fell on the floor. Merely 20 centimeters separated my lap from the
floor, but the Macbook Pro impacted on the tiles with the left lower
corner first, and tipped over to fall flat on its closed display lid
afterwards. The result : No structural damage whatsoever, but
unfortunately both the hard drive and the LCD display suffered damage.
The new year had only started a few hours and my Macbook Pro was ready
for the apple store. Bummer.  Resulting new years resolution ? Hook up
an external USB drive to serve as a Time machine drive. I had backed up
most of the data on the Macbook pro, but had not yet gotten down to
moving the recorded instructional videos i made the day before, to a
safe place. Backup backup backup !

Since the incident I’ve been relying on my Acer aspire One to offer me
its services as my main system. So far i am very pleased. The
combination of my command line experience (using the terminal to run
apps like Alpine for email, Centerim for instant messaging and IRSSI
for IRC) combined with tabs in the terminal window, tabbed browsing in
firefox and multiple virtual desktops, make up for the lack fo screen
size the device offers. I have also noticed that the command line way
of working is much easier when it comes down to working with the
device. Where the small touch pad could appear to be clunky and
awkward, just using the little keyboard and some keyboard shortcuts
helps me to be very productive on the little device. Add an apple might
mouse to the mix (with a small scroll ball and short cable) and you
have quite and interesting device. Not as powerful as my Macbook Pro ,
but surely much more portable. Even watching video’s stored on the SD
card or streaming them from the NAS works like a charm. Ubuntu does run
like a dream on this little machine. Blows.

However the other thing keeping me awake these days is (as I mentioned
before) my current hosting company. Many of you have reported problems
with the website over the last few weeks. Failing SQL
database servers, corrupt SQL databases, large unreported downtimes and
so forth. It was edging towards the point where it just was not funny
anymore and I started resenting the whole thing. The comments section
got spammed like you would not believe, things did not work anymore and
stuff like that. I didn’t even want to login to the websites control
panel just because I loathed having to fix yet another problem , or
even worse , finding out that the site was down (again). Yesterday was
the final straw. The SQL database became corrupt at 9 am ( taking the
3000+ posts down) and was restored in the afternoon. When I got home at
night the whole database was empty ! There was NOTHING in it anymore. I
was furious.

So I have taken up an account at Bluehost and am in the process of
(thanks to the help of Codemonkey Rob) moving everything away from my
current hosting company. The hosting formula at Bluehost offer me more
storage capability so I might even be able to do something special. Who
am I kidding " might be able ". For the first time I have the chance to
put ALL of my content on line (all the 38 episodes of the previous
season, the 20 episodes of this season and of course the KWTV
episodes.) So I’m planning and scheming to get everything moved over,
upgraded, cleaned out and in order for the coming year.  Being able to
put all my stuff in one place and use one "master" rss feed to push out
my content has given me a lot more motivation to carry on and produce
more content.

I’ll keep you guyz and girls posted on how it goes, but in the meantime
it might be a little "silent" here at the site. No worries, you can
look me up on facebook or twitter if you need to find me. Now stand
back .. we have a site to move.

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