kw502 : A history of Transformers with @Jaspio.

We warp back into our childhood and go off the deep end in the land of Cult and Sci-Fi. Expert wiseguy Jaspio tells us about the history of one of the most popular toylines of all time : Transformers. We celebrate 30 years of Silicon Civil War with this great interview and bring you music from Scann-Tec, brought to you by Ultimae records. Don’t forget that this episode is also available as a Google hangout recording.


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Mcvries makes Evernote Cross over … with Crossover.

Evernote, oh evernote, how I have come to love you. And to be annoyed by you. No linux Client, seriously?
Ah well, but there is everpad, which works reasonably and there is the website, which works reasonably well ‘as well’. But reasonably isn’t always good enough, now is it. And as a cross platform slider, even with an ever so slight Linux preference, you want the same experience everywhere.


So, ever heard about PlayOnLinux  or Crossover? What they both do? They Wine!  🙂 PlayOnLinux does it for free, only on linux. And crossover is a paid application which runs on linux and on Osx.

Wine, is an application for linux helps you running Windows applications on linux without installing a full windows machine, be it virtual or not. So you will have a smaller footprint on your HDD. Wine is the hardcore, console driven, text file editing, parameters eating core of both applications. So if you are a really hardcore, text file editing  parameters eating kind of console guru (in which case you’d probably rather die than using any Microsoft software) you could just use Wine. But if you are a happy Linux Camper, not to hardcore into the console, loving your rig, but you just gotta have that ‘One application’, (even just because you can)  PlayOnLinux or Crossover can help you out. Big Time.

I used both to run Evernote on my system, and the latest installation was done in Crossover. The people at codeweavers every now and then give their software away for free and I jumped on the bandwagon, just to see how it ran. Well, I stuck with them so far, so they must be doing something good.

So how does this work? Download and install crossover from their site, and while you are at it, download the latest version Evernote. My setup uses at the time. An installed version of Crossover gives you some menu options, and one of them is ‘Install windows Software’. Hit that one. We are going straight to our goal here, so we choose to use an installer file of our own and we create a bottle which mimics aWindows XP machine. Crossover will prepare the bottle and it will install Evernote into that ‘Bottle’. Which are these bottles I talk about? Well, ever heard of sandboxing your applications? A bottle is a Sandbox. A self contained environment just for that application. So you can copy the whole application to another machine with Crossover and pick up where you left off. Crossover will make some menu items for you where you can start the Windows application so in my case, running Evernote was a painless experience.

Just these things to consider : within Crossover or PlayOnLinux choose XP as a windows environment, and use Wine 1.4.1.

And after a while I took an MS office cd, edited my existing Evernote ‘Bottle’ and installed Word and Excel alongside Evernote. Opening the dreaded docx coworkers share with me went great, without any formatting issues. Don’t bite my head off, sometimes the easiest way takes some non open software.

Links : Crossover.


McVries is an I.T. professional who tries to avoid the dreaded Vendor Lock In as much as possible by means off open source solutions. Hit him up on twitter @mcvries_ , GooglePlus or visit his blog on

What applications are holding YOU back from making the switch .. and could Crossover be a solution ? Tell us in the Comments Section.


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The dawn of Mario and the history of Nintendo.

With the advent of Nvidea’s Shield project, their days might be numbered, but Nintendo has written a big  page in our collective history. From the first barrel thrown by Donkey Kong to the last time you smacked your sister in law out cold with your Wii-Mote .. Nintendo made a mark on all of us. So sit back and enjoy a short history lesson in 3 minutes.

 Links : Nvidea Shield.

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Carry ‘Switchblade’ and save any PC.

Live Cd’s are a blessing. Whenever you arrive at that family dinner and get shuffled into a stuffy corner to fix another dinky pc.. You KNOW you need help. Sure, there are plenty of live cd’s out there (The list in Distrowatch is quite endless) and each live CD has its own specific skills and thrills.  However not all of them are geared towards “fixing” a Windows PC.

Enter Switchblade, A 220 megabyte gift from whatever digital deity we pray to. The simple ‘push here to preform instant magic’ interface  to this “live application” that you can run from a Usb drive, will have you fix the most common quirks and aches any pc might suffer from.

With the ability to backup drivers, install Windows patches, Ccleaner or quicky find drivers online, Switchblade can save you enough time to make it back to the dinnertable for the main course. In combination with the Ninite installer and some handy automated command line commands ‘ chksdk c: /f /r ‘ and ‘defrag c: -f ‘ you will have the PC crunching numbers while you get to much down on potatoes and yams. 

Links : Switchblade 

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How about a Citrix session in Ubuntu on a Macbook Air.

The one upside of being a slider is that you can do whatever the hell you want with your computer. I mean, its not only thinking outside the box, its like thinking about the box outside the box before there ever IS a box. The fun part of doing all this is that you can hack your hard and software the way YOU want it to work for you.

one does not

As you know I have an 11.6 inch Macbook air that I drag around everywhere. It would be quite dull if it ONLY ran OSX. Of course it doesn’t. Since the day I got it I fought, tweaked and tinkered right up to the point that I had it running exactly like I wanted to. In my case : on Ubuntu 12.10. After tweaking the fans, the keyboard, the screen illumination and the function keys, I had trained my Macbook to behave like a Mac, while still running Windows.

The only time I had to really boot back into OSX is when I wanted to access our work Citrix server. Since I take my little bundle of joy to work from time to time, but also work from home, it was always a little sad to say bye bye Ubuntu, JUST to use the silly Citrix client.

And when you tell me I HAVE to use a CERTAIN operating system JUST to use a CERTAIN application .. I get antsy and start looking around. So my new goal for the week was : Get a Citrix client working on Ubuntu .. ( on a mac ) and access your work deskop (A Windows 2003 Terminal server environment).

After finding this brilliant howto on installing the 64 bit Ica Client under Ubuntu I had the Citrix client running in no time. The only downside came when I started typing.

Remember : This was a Windows 2003 session I had open, with a Ubuntu operating system and a Macintosh keyboard. So when I started typing it looked …. Fracked up.  So how was I going to fix it.

After some searching in my home folder I found the Ica client config file.  in  /home/%username%/ICAClient/wfclient.ini

The first lines in the config file pointed towards the keyboard layout looked like this.

KeyboardLayout = (User Default) 
KeyboardMappingFile = automatic.kbd
KeyboardDescription = Automatic (User Profile)

I remembered I had kinda the same problem when I tried to run the Citrix Receiver client on my Mac (under OSX) and got a wonky keyboard. The solution there was to also look for the config file an change the keyboard settings to FRENCH (Since I have a French Macintosh keyboard layout) So I changed the first line.

KeyboardLayout = FRENCH

Now everything works perfectly ! I can now happily run my work “Windows” session under Linux on my Macbook Air. Sliders rule !  

Link : Ubuntu howto on running the ICA client.

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New Year .. new gear : Whats in YOUR bag ?

Well, not really… but I did buy a new bag and did some tweaks and additions to the gear I drag around all day long. Time to check out the pic and run down the list.


Laptop : 11.6 Macbook Air 4 gig Ram, I5 , 128 SSD. : This is my mobile base of operations. Although I have a 13 inch Macbook Pro at home, the 11.6 goes with me on the road most of the time. Its small, light, pretty powerful, and versatile. The Snow Leopard install is ideal for the podcast production process, but most of the time I run Ubuntu on it. (I dualboot) After the upgrade from 12.04 to 12.10 the Macbook air runs very smoothly under Ubuntu, except for the hypersensitive touch pad so that explains the extra mouse.

Cables : For those places that only have wired internet (Believe me, I know some of those) I drag around my Usb to Ethernet adapter. I also have a small 5 port USB hub for to expand the two onboard usb ports on the Macbook. The 16 gigabyte USB stick makes sure that I can store some additional data, but is equipped with at least 5 different live versions of Linux like Ubuntu, Backtrack, Clonezilla, Mint and Crunchbang linux. With this stick, “All your computers are now belong to me” The micro usb charger also makes sure I can just plug my phone into any usb port to charge or exchange files.

Phone : Not in the picture : My trusty Galaxy Nexus phone running Android 4.2.1. I just pimped it with a 3800 Mah ‘fat battery’ for extended battery life.

Tablet : Yes : that is a 64 gigabyte Wifi only iPad mini. I still use the Nexus 7 at home a lot, but because I need the storage, I switched to a bigger tablet on the road. The iPad mini houses my books, a lot of music, all of my audio and video podcasts and a ton of pdf files. In short its my digital portfolio for everything. In the car I hook it up via Bluetooth to my car stereo to play podcasts and music. At work I plug in my Apple ear buds (or ‘earpods’) to zone out and knuckle down.

Bag :  Samsonite V7609007 : Not a very exciting name but a pretty cool bag. Slung in ‘portrait’ mode instead of landscape mode its a lot lighter to carry the setup. There is not a LOT of room for extra cables and cruft, so I’m forced to keep the setup lean and mean. 

So .. whats YOUR setup for the road ?  Share it with us in the comments. 


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kw501: Ubuntu on the Nexus 7 with Alex Chiang.

We kick off season 5 of by cutting into a hot topic : Ubuntu on Mobile phones. Oblivious to the announcement Canonical made a couple of days ago about bringing Ubuntu to the Mobile phone, we talked to one of their lead developers in December of 2012.  Alex Chaing tells us about the development of an Ubuntu distribution for mobile devices. What were the hurdles, how is it done and how do YOU get it on there. A sneak peak behind Canonicals roadmap, a geeks guide to getting Linux on your tablet.


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New Zoogue smartcase adds and “edge” of security to your iPad.

We have previously talked about the ZOOGUE range of iPad and iPhone cases on, so when Tim and his crew came out with a new version of their ZOOGUE Smartcase for iPad we were tempted to give the new case a try. This time we decided to give Lab rat “Fiddler” a crack at their new toy.


Fiddler is an avid user of his iPad3 and has used Apple’s standard magnetic cover in combination with a hard-shell transparent cover for the back of his iPad. A couple of coffee-spills and a near catastrophic drop later, Fiddler was ready to try a new case.

 The new edition of the Smartcase has “The edge”. And I mean that in a literal way. The one flaw of the pervious version of the Smartcase was that there was an insufficient “edge protection” of the iPad. When the Zoogue Case would have an unscheduled appointment with gravity, there was a risk that the iPad’s “unprotected” corner would take the brunt of the fall. After hearing the suggestions from their users (and the sounds of breaking glass) Zoogue redesigned their new Smartcase. The new case now boasts a wider edge, allowing the iPad to “Sag” a little during an accidental fall, without hitting the pavement right away. The upside is that this gives the iPad some extra protection, the downside is that it makes the case even wider.

 In all the new Smartcase is a welcome upgrade to the previous design and adds an “edge of security” to the otherwise versatile product Zoogue has to offer. At 49.99 it is not the cheapest nor the thinnest case on the market but it does bring the same high quality and ease of use to your tablet experience.





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What is to come in 2013 ?

Its that time of the year again. Where we sit down and look back over the last 356 days to try to make sense of the chaos that is is ‘Linear Time’. And it has been quite a memorable year, both personal and on the field of technology. A year where some had predicted that it would be the end of times and in many ways for some technologies .. it has been.

I think it is safe to say that the realm of the desktop is officially over and the period in our lives where we could quite clearly draw the lines between a computer, a phone, a tablet and a laptop, can safely be reserved for the history books. Watching the technological evolution this past year I have seen boundaries fall. I have seen the clear lines of segregation between personal data and cloud data fade away, watched tablets and laptops merge into one , seen privacy and personal data fade away . I have watched the number of emails in my inbox decline and have started talking to my phone. However the one fact that continues to amaze me is the death of the early adopter.

There used to be a time where I was part of the technological elite. The happy few that sported devices and services that where largely unknown to the general public. Where the specs of my hardware or the customisation of my software setups would be lightyears ahead of the general population of “norms”. That time has come to a close.


Case in point was an event I went to a couple of days ago. My hairdresser is quite a geek. Their quaint little salon lies in a small town that can be considered the veritable ‘Anti Cupertino’ of Belgium. An ageing population, low level of schooling and beautiful rolling fields of orchards make this a beautiful area, but also a digital “blind spot” where adaptation of technology is something that moves at a slow pace. So when she decided to have a lottery event where every customer who spent at least 15 euro got a chance to win an iPad .. I frowned a little.

But the day came it was time to draw the winning ticket. In the evening she opened up her salon and invited everyone who had a ticket for the big raffle. I attended more as a curtesy and was very sceptical about the turnout ? Who would even show up ? This was a rural town , these was an ageing clientele.. they would not be interested in winning and iPad ?

3 hours later, when the raffle was over .. I had chewed, swallowed and digested those words. Over a 100 people turned up for the event on order to ‘win an iPad’. Many of them had come to the salon several times (and sent over their family members as well ) to collect as many raffle tickets as possible. I had spent the last 3 hours involved in a couple of high level tech conversations about where technology was taking us. How big were tablets going to be, the fall of the desktop era, the unification between mobile devices and computers, the falling fame of Apple, stagnation of innovation and patent wars. My audience (and very vocal counterparts) in these conversations ? Women between 35 and 65 years old. Born and raised in this very rural town with direct affiliation with the technology industry except that they where a consumer.

2 years ago this kind of conversation would have been impossible. It would have never dreamed of explaining the difference between ARM and Intel processors to a pensioner. I would have never expected that pensioner to reply with the question “Why don’t we use Arm processors everywhere”.
But somehow this evening was very real .. a sign of the times that the realm of the geeks has just hit the mainstream. I saw people sporting phones more advanced then mine. A housewife of 49 told me that ‘Since Steve Jobs died, Apple hasn’t been the same” and it wasn’t at CES .. it was at my hairdressers.

So with great curiosity I look towards 2013, where the age of ‘Consumerisation’ is going to go on and on. Where the fat underbelly of the “Norms” will ride upon the technological plains that used to be reserved for the Geeks and the early adopters. Sure, we are still ahead of the curve .. but not by much, and they are catching up … fast !

So let me close off with wishing you all the best in the upcoming year ! Wether you are an experienced geek or a budding ‘norm’ who has only dipped his toe into the great digital ocean of progress. We have interesting times ahead of us !

I wish you all .. a fantastic 2013.

* Norm : ‘Normal citizen with no tech job or interest”

Links : Kapsalon Hairdreams.

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