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Archive for August, 2012

More BMW R1100S Photographs

For me, the R1100S is a great bike for trips of all sizes. Here are some pictures that support my thesis ;-)

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many mountains here in Flanders, but I’ll think of other ways to show off my bike in all kinds of landscape.

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I do not yet have a definitive explanation for the rising number of visitors to this blog, but I know this: a lot of visitors come here to see pictures of the BMW R1100S motorcycle! So let me point you to a few more fine pictures, over on the Adventure Rider website – how about this one for starters?

Nice shot of a great bike! Source: ‘sfarson’ (see http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=440462)

By the way: that looks like a non-standard seat to me… Probably for solo use only? Never mind. I took my R1100S on a 300 km trip (that’s about 185 miles) last weekend. I had no problems at all with the standard seat after all those hours, unlike some of my companions ;-)

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Yes, Wired does so in the article The Physics of Scoring the Olympic Decathlon. However, don’t take Lieven to seriously: although he’s a great storyteller and is often asked to explain science by our broadcasters, he is basically a comedian – or is it vice-versa? Check it out for yourself, and watch the movie referenced by Wired.

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Strange indeed: “How Did Zebras Give 2 Polar Bears Herpes?“… But the catchy headline is more than just summertime craziness; the article tells a tale of “species-jumping viruses” and its risks for zoos all over the world.

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My 'new' BMW R1100S

My ‘new’ BMW R1100S

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Since just a few days it is possible to install the famous Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android onto your Samsung Galaxy S Plus – other mobile phones have already had the honor, but Samsung isn’t to keen on supporting its customers when it comes to Android upgrades.

Specifically, it’s possible to install a not altogether official version of CyanogenMod 9 on your SGS+. YouTube features several videos showing SGS+ mobiles running CM9; however, the SGS+ is not yet acknowledged as an official CM9 machine on the Cyanogenmod website

I’m not yet ready to move to CM9. Not because I don’t like Cyanogenmod (of course not, just check out my positive evaluation of CM7 on my ZTE Blade), but 1) because CM9 isn’t yet fully debugged, and 2) because the upgrade instructions all require you to use a Windows PC (which I don’t have at my disposal). But I’ll find a way, don’t fear!

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As websurfers, we do not really notice the tools and technologies that drive the sites and applications we visit and use. Yet, the last decade has seen an enormous evolution: most current content management tools are relative newcomers, and to complicate matters most websites have frequently changed their structure, content and layout, be it within the same tool set or not.

I am still working on the last part of the migration of this blog from the “old” EditThisPage.com service to WordPress. I’m doing this manually, not just because I never took the time to convert the Manila backup into something WordPress can import, but also because it allows me correct spelling and other errors in the old version. And from time to time I check for linkrot too…

Today, I am migrating blog posts from March 2006, and the post from the 26th puzzled me (see the new version here). Clearly, the sentence “We love democracy, providing the Muslim nations elect the people we want” was wrong; the question was, did I miss-spell “provided” as “providing”, or did my source? So I clicked the link to the source, and got a 404 error message telling me the link in my post is dead.

The good news, of course, is that the website The Truth Seeker is still around. Even better: on their home page I spotted a link to their “Old site”. That old site does not look pretty, because there are obviously images missing. But it is still there, and changing my original link from “http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=4286” to “http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/oldsite/article.asp?ID=4286” brought me back to the source of my quote!

My conclusions from this little story:

  1. Webmasters, please do not forget the older versions of your sites – just deleting them may create a lot of linkrot.
  2. The Truth Seeker did the right thing and kept the older site;  too bad their missing page mechanism does not take the old links into account.
  3. The spelling mistake I noted did exist in the source, so I’m leaving my quote as it was (but  I have added a small editorial indication explaining that I did not make the mistake).

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Photographer David Hunt uses a Raspberry Pi computer in a somewhat unexpected way: he’s added it to his Canon DSLR.

Raspberry Pi within the Canon battery grip

Raspberry Pi within the Canon battery grip

This is indeed what the creators of the Pi wanted to achieve: make it possible for anyone to experiment with a computer, preferably in ways that haven’t been imagined by most of us. In other words, it’s proof for the fact that such cheap, basic computers are necessary.

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I have been using Trello tentatively, since I mentioned it in January. Tentatively only, mostly because the firewall of my employer blocks Trello. Perhaps some administrator thinks Trello is a game, and not a productivity tool?

Anyway, the coming of a Trello app on Android will change my use of the tool (and by the way: there’s an iPad version as well). Now I can see and interact with Trello on my smartphone at any time, even at work – and that will up my time working with the cards and boards the Trello paradigm offers. Yes, I know that he Android app has a series of limitations compared to the web app – the Android Central review lists many of them. But for the moment I’m using Trello as a single user tool, and for that it’s pretty good. I like it better than many other task managers I have tried to use in the past, be it on paper, on my Palm or on Mac and PC. Let’s hope that Joel and his gang manage to update the mobile app in the coming months, so I can try to convince my colleagues to use it as well for common work.

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Our vacation provoked a little delay, but the numbers for the month of July have been added to the Solar Energy Production page. Again, July 2012 wasn’t up to what 2010 had to offer – our numbers show almost 20% less photons hitting our roof top!

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… And Belgium isn’t watching them either! I used to play handball many years ago, and still love to see a good match. TV isn’t the place to do so, not even during the Olympics. Contrary to Wired, I wouldn’t call handball a brutal sport – but go read “Handball Is the Most Awesome Olympic Sport America Isn’t Watching” anyway.

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Talk about a thorough comparison: Play vs. Grails Smackdown at ÜberConf.

Play and Grails have been hyped as the most productive JVM Web Frameworks for the last couple of years. […] That’s why James Ward and I decided to do a presentation at ÜberConf comparing the two.

Matt Raible and James Ward built the same application with both frameworks, and put the end result as open source software on Github. Their presentation is not just pretty (thank you, Reveal.js) but above all very thorough.

My conclusion? Both frameworks, like a few others no doubt, allow you to build serious, performant applications. The devil, as always, is in the details – that’s where a good app distinguishes itself, and in many cases the quality of the app is determined more by the quality of the developer than by the quality of the framework used. So why don’t you try a few frameworks, and see what “feels” best? Not having to fight a framework (or a programming language!) to achieve the desired result may well be the best recipe for successful development.

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