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.

girl

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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kw407 : Storytime

On the very end of the year we give you a preview of the upcoming book “On the Edge” that is about to be published by Knightwise.com. In this weeks storytime we read 3 stories from the book all centered around the very absence of technology. Chill out and enjoy this episode and don’t forget you can get your hands on an advanced signed digital copy of the book by sending a donation our way. Sit back, Relax .. its Storytime.

Shownotes

Knightwise.com Donation page.

The “Making OF’ screencast of how this show was recorded.

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Kc302 : "Macs an Mommies".

This week we talk Macs and Mommies with the Charming Melissa Davis. We dive off the deep end in this 90 minute interview on technology, education and how she uses tech in her daily life AND introduces it into those of others. A delightful spontaneous interview that you will surely enjoy.

Shownotes.

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Time for a reboot.

“A Reboot” The term has been used many times of the last couple of years whenever it was time to “reinvent” an older concept or tv show into a new fresh format. Take “Battlestar Galactica”, “The A-Team”, “Star Trek”. Many of these old but gold cultural icons have been re-invented into a fresh and novel skin pleasing new crowds with old content.

In many ways THIS is a reboot too. A long overdue overhaul of not only the Knightwise.Com website, but also of the whole Knightwise.com idea that is now finally coming together. For those of you who are new I’ll try to shed some light on the history of the website, for those of you who have been around since the dawn of time, its a little bit of a rehash , but here it goes. Many moons ago I started blogging about my everyday life. Back in 2004 that was “the thing to do” and wether you had something interesting to tell or not did not really matter. More and more those everyday stories got permeated with the use of technology and so this everyday “blog” turned into the story of life on the edge of real and cyberspace.  As the audience grew so did the technology and aside from writing up posts everyday, I dove into the adventure of podcasting and later screen casting, bringing all of you the content you’ve come to know and love as the creamy goodness called “Knightwise.com”.

But when comparing the recent material on the website with the original material (that all got migrated over) from 2004 , I started to notice how much content is devoted to technology and “production of sheer content” and how the “backstory” (the “Life” side of the edge of real and cyberspace) has been pushed back. I have evolved from a blogger to a content producer in all those years. A good thing ? Maybe. Not all of you are interested about stories about our hamster, but do perk up when I talk about wiring its little wheel to a usb adapter for hamster powered tweeting. However .. the tech story would not be as interesting if you didn’t know the ‘life’ story behind it .. or would it ?

A major reason for this “shift” can be blamed on social media. I tweet, Facebook and instagram quite a bit, spinning out the yarn that is my everyday life onto the digital frontier, but lately have written almost nothing about it on the blog here.  Now lets face it. You guys are not fans of long articles , its a miracle you’ve gotten this far, but I DO want to reach back to the old roots of Knightwise.com a little in this reboot, giving you some more insights on the ‘real life’ behind cyberspace.

So strap in for the ‘reboot’ of Knightwise.com as both the podcast, the screencast and the blog get ready for season three. And you might want to subscribe to the site’s RSS feed just to say in touch with what is going on.

So whats your take on this story ? You want just the tech stories ? Or does the “life” part we tell make the difference for you ? Give us your comments while we do our reboot.

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The absence of technology.

It seems a long time ago. Somehow it IS like another world , another time. And yet, only twelve years have passed. A book review is what started it all off. My girlfriend at the time had to do a book review for school and asked me if I (since i liked to read a lot) would want to do it for her. I agreed of course and pretty soon the book “ Summer seventeen “ was on my night-stand. A book about a seventeen year old boy who bought a bike and went on a solo trip to Santiago de Compostella in Portugal. The story intrigued my .. enchanted me .. enchanted me. As the writer described the rolling hills of Belgium, the golden plain of the French massive and of course the spectacular alps. All by himself the boy cycled through an amazing adventure that was not about the destination .. but about the journey itself.

blanc nezWhen I closed the book I remember looking up and saying to myself … This is something I have to do ! Three weeks later I had a holiday coming up and just like that I decided .. I was going to embark on my own journey. True enough Santiago the Compostella was a bit far but a look at the map offered me a very interesting alternative. The coastline in the north of France offered me an interesting route from a possible starting point in the Belgian harbor town of Ostend, all the way down to the French Le Havre, just above the normandic coast. It was may 1995 and the world was mine to explore. So three weeks later I was packed. Borrowing my brothers mountain bike, packed with saddlebags full of clothes and even a tent for emergencies I was of towards the big adventure. Me .. my bike .. and the unknown.

And it where different times. The only peace of technology I had packed into my gear was a walkman and a collection of mixed tapes to form the soundtrack of my adventure. No cellphones, No email, No gps .. Nothing.. Only me… the static hiss of analogue tapes .. music and the great unknown.  

And that great unknown came to surprise me everyday , It was in the eyes of every stranger, waiting behind every rolling hill, dancing in the shadows of the morning sun. I remember the second day of my journey that took me from Calais to Boulogne, a 85 km trip along two of the most magnificent cliffs of “la Cote Opale”.  “ Vous allez a Boulogne ? “ the old man said when I asked him for directions how to leave the city centre of Calais. “Qui” I replied. “ Sa monte et Sa decent” he chuckled indicating that flat terrain was not going to me on the menu today. As he pointed his crooked finger at the red line on my map indicating “la route de la cote” the first drops of  rain drizzled down on the transparent plastic. Half an hour later I had crossed the adjacent town of Sangatte and was faced with a monstrous climb up “ La cape the blanc nez”. As the mist had rolled in from the atlantic the sight was absolutely intimidating. As far as the eye could see there was only the rolling meadows, desolate and deserted, huddled under the cold and wet blanket of the morning fog. Ahead the asphalt road twisted like a slick anaconda into the horizon. Writhing and twisting up and down and left and right in its blackened wetness. At the summit of the enormous mount stood the statue mounted at the top of Cap the Blanc nez. A gigantic black marble speer pointing into the gray abyss of  clouds and fog. Defining the very desolate and lonely feeling that crept through my bones.  I dug my head into the ground and started pumping the pedals to face this desolate landscape .. alone.

ikkeAn hour later a speck of blue was to be seen pushing its way up the deserted road , mounting the desolate cliff .. Surrounded by fog and rain. An infinite speck in natures impressive painting. My blue rain-gear had perhaps protected my from the brunt of the rain.. Whatever motivation I had left had been washed out by the pouring rain , or had been blown to shreds by the gail winds of the invisible sea.  I stopped. Almost at the summit of the cliff and parked my bike against a shrub. Shoes soaked, feed whet and cold and feeling thirsty yet drenched at the same time.. it was time to take five. I turned around to face distance I had covered and sat down on a rock because I was just about ready to give up. What had I gotten myself into. I was a good 450 kilometers from home. Amid of nowhere, unprepared for what i was facing ( I might as-well have brought a wet-suit to keep me dry) .. feeling cold .. hungry .. soaked and .. miserable. But then the beauty of it all struck me. I was there .. a mer human in a landscape that was devoid of another soul for hours to go. No cars .. no humans .. nothing.. Just the immense landscape.. the fog , the rain , the wind .. and me. And in all its desolate perversion the landscape enchanted me. Letting me feel that it meant to feel small. Sitting there with no means of communication.. No transportation except my trusty bike. An  action radius of a 100 kilometers a day .. Totally vulnerable.. isolated and .. absolutely loving it. I sensed the magic of being alive. The sensation of how ones sense of distance expands when technological means of mobility are no longer there. How ones hearing sharpens to detect the sonnet of the faintest seagull on the invisible horizon when there is no Ipod to give you tunes. How one feels in tune with the immediate world around one when modern means of communication are no longer there. At that very moment I felt in awe for the world around me .. and had found an inner peace that has been absent ever since. The raging pulse of the world today … The digital roller-coaster we ride .. the very edge of real and cyberspace .. was nowhere to be seen.  I was completely alone.. experiencing the infinite analogue experience of .. being alive on planet earth.

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Oh right … That doesn

geniousOh Right.
Sometimes I think I should have become an inventor. That would have been something right up my alley. Sitting there with my think cap on, scribbling mathematical formulas on endless sheets of paper. Fretting around my Frankenstein-esque laboratory and suddenly screaming “ EUREKA “ whilst constructing some immensely complex machine.
The trouble is : I’m horrible at math, even worse at constructing anything with my hands and don’t have a think cap. But I do think outside the box a lot. From time to time I come up with a question of something I want done or something I need that requires fairly recent technology. Its not that I want a food replicator, a Hyperdrive or a Colonial starfighter for my collection. Sometimes I am fretting over an problem and conclude that the solution of the problem must lie in the combination of using technology X , software Y and method Z. When I can’t do it mysellf I step up to the guyz who know about X Y and Z and propose them my solution, naively assuming that they can give me the glue to stick X Y  and Z together.
And then I get this blank stare. Not this look that they want to put me into a looney bin, no this look like … “ Oh My God .. thats a brilliant Idea , better not let him know “.  Erm .. they mumbel , as I see the faint glow of an idea flaring up in the back of their heads .. “ That doesn’t exist yet “ they mumble. The undertone of their voice betraying that I have just made some kind of startling discovery. “ But thats not a bad idea”

Get is often.

And I get this often. Its not that i’m asking science fiction style solutions, but that in my mind I paste technologies, methods and a lot of “outside the box” thinking together to come up with the solution of a problem that I have. I don’t have the expertise of knowing HOW to glue it all together , but I just know it will work if I combine X Y and Z. So has a great inventor been lost ? I don’t think so. I’m sure that somewhere out there there are people who thought of what little old me has thought of . But the problem with the experts is : they know their field of work very deeply. I have a broader technological knowledge ( not as deep but a little wider) so I start to fish from a bigger , but more shallow pond. Thats how I come up with these crazy “all over the board” style solutions. And I don”t need a million for my bright idea, If i would get a penny for every raised eyebrow that I have conjured up on the face of the experts .. I would be rich already. So maybe i’m a genius, or maybe i’m insane. … I’m just hoping for a little bit of both.

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The Knightcast Episode 32 : My Macbook.

 The Knightcast Episode 32 : My Macbook. 

 

Direct link to the show : http://www.knightwise.com/podcasts/kc060606.mp3

Summary.

This week we do an in depth 'Knightcast Style' review of the 13,3 inch tinkerbell of technology called "The Macbook". Is it all that its cracked up to be ? Is it realy that great or is it all just a fab ? We dive down into the bowels of this Mac laptop and see if it can tune tech into your way of life.

Shownotes.

Intro.

Part one.

Part Two.

Part Three.

For more information visit our website : www.knightwise.com or subscribe to the knightcast in Itunes.

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the new macbook pro.

Its here ! Its HERE ! 

I'm a calm person. Introvert, quiet, not easily impressed. Years on the edge of real and cyberspace have left me jaded and therefore not likely to be amazed or star-struck by new technology. As trends evolve and gizmos and gadgets whizz by I raise the preverbal eyebrow and sigh. BUT NOT TODAY ! 

Today i am jumping up and down with the release of the new Mac-book. Nono ! Not the i've-got-money-to-burn-so-what-the-hell macbook PRO ! (an overpriced over-pimped version of the powebook line) I'm talking about the next generation (long overdue) incarnation of the Ibook. I am NOT going to delve any judgement on the little machine until i actually have one in my hands  ( and am surely not one of those who thinks that no matter WHAT Steve Jobs thought up , has to be fantastic ) BUT I am going to run over the specs of this baby before I slam my Visa card down and BUY one.  `

The New Macbook 

I admit, I have been waiting for this new laptop by Apple. When the Macbook pro line came out I knew I was in over my budget and that one of those shiny things where not likely to appear on my lap anytime soon. ( And i sure as hell was not going to be Steve's personal 2000 + euro personal beta tester.) So i waited and waited for what was going to come. Since I bought my first Ibook some year and a half ago I have been pleased with it beyond belief. I love the little bugger. The best 1200 euros ever spent on a laptop. And now its successor comes along. Lets all take a moment and drool together shall we ? Widescreen 13,3 inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. 1,83-GHz Intel Core Duo 512 MB Ram (i'm personally opting for 1 gigabyte if money permits me to.)  A 60-GB serial ATA hard drive on  5400 rpm (Bummer ,this should have been a 7200 rpm disk) A Combo drive (dvd-rom, cd-rw) Isight built into the display (owwwkey) Front row with apple remote.Now this looks pretty amazing for a laptop with a price-tag UNDER 1300 euros. you can also go for the 2 gigahertz version OR the BLACK 2 gigahertz version. The 2 gigahertz version is about 200 euros more expensive and to be quite honest , I don't think thats worth the money. The BLACK version is 200 euros extra (but you get a 80 gig hard drive).  Now the first reaction Nyana gave to this was : "black ? What do you mean .. black ?" A Black Mac ?  Well she was right. The black Ipod had made me frown , cause to be frank , the white Ibook I have is babe-magnet numero uno when you use it in a café. 'ooh look its white , its cute etc'.  I'm not an Apple snob but .. black ? no thank you. But black or white at first sight this baby looks like a tough nut to crack for same priced competitors. From personal experience I can tell that laptops around the 1000 euro price-point by for example Acer or Siemens have much poorer quality of design layout compared to even my "old" kevlar-coated (yes-yes) Ibook. Its like comparing a throw away tin foil barbecue to  a concrete super deluxe backyard super-stove.

 

macbook

 

One thing to rule them all.

 But time for the cherry on the pie when we look one step beyond the designed specs and see what loops we can let this baby jump through in the future. If we take BOOT-CAMP into account that lets us run Windows XP on this machine AND we look at the Linux versions that are compatible with the macintells we come to the next conclusion.  This is the sole and single sub 1500 euro computer laptop that will run the three biggest operating systems on the planet.

Needless to say .. as soon as I get my hands on one.. An elaborate review will follow. 

 

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