Metro Shuffle

During the weekend of July 31 through August 2 2015, a newly constructed metro train station was moved in its entirety from one side of the The Hague Prins Berhard-viaduct to the other side, onto a set of pillars where it will be put into use during the summer of 2016. The station is called the Haags Startstation Erasmuslijn (HSE)

Continue reading Metro Shuffle

London – June 2014

Google’s Four Seasons

I googled “Spring” because I was looked for something on the Java framework. The result inspired me to google the other four seasons as well and take a look at the four image results.


QR codes rock, strictly personal tablets don’t

Although I am aware of (and use) wonderful services like Read It Later, Springpad, Evernote and the ability to send myself links through various means such as mail, Twitter, Facebook updates or the old “typing what I read”, I find that shooting a QR code beats all of the above for ease of use and speed. Here’s the situation: I like to read ezines (web magazines, whatever you like to call them) on a tablet. In my case, I read them using Pulse on the Xoom. Sometimes I find something worth sharing, but here’s the problem: my wife and I share the tablet, so it’s not configured to use either of our social network logins.
Continue reading QR codes rock, strictly personal tablets don’t

Virtualbox running PostgreSQL

If like to keep the PC I use for development as clean as possible, to reduce the odds of “other installed stuff” influencing whatever I’m writing. Whenever I need to install some kind of server-type software on it, I prefer to use small virtual machines to install them in. Like a sandbox running the server, which I can just start and access from the host machine whenever I need it. Another big advantage of this approach is that it allows me to just copy the entire virtual machine to another machine and run the server there, for example on a colleague’s machine. Below are some tips on getting the open source database server PostgreSQL running on a virtual machine, accessible from the host (or any other machine on your network).
Continue reading Virtualbox running PostgreSQL

Rant: welcome to 2011, not unlike 2001

Remember how mediaplayers were really primitive back in the day? How they always had trouble keeping your music properly sorted and display the right metadata for whatever format you preferred? I bet you do because nothing changed, really. (Yes, I know, “RAEG” right?)

When I drop my properly standardized ID3-ed MP3’s and FLACs into my player, I get all sorts of interesting effects. And before you start, we’re talking about my own CD’s here. Ripped to FLAC for playback on my media center and MP3-encoded for convenient use on my smartphone and other devices. Depending on where you live, that may be illegal or borderline illegal, but where I live, it’s legal – at least at the time of writing. At the worst, we could be having a discussion about the legality of mp3-encoding.
Continue reading Rant: welcome to 2011, not unlike 2001

Two admins and a security hole

If you’re like me and you trust your wife to be the other admin on your desktop PC running Windows, you may have a serious security hole. I didn’t realize until recently, but if you’re logged in to Windows 7, or Windows Vista for that matter, and you’re an administrator, you get to change all users passwords, including the passwords of other admins without exception.

Now, if you try to change the password for your own account, you have to enter the old password before you can change it into a new one. But here’s the thing: for other users, even admins, there’s no such requirement. Of course it makes sense that you don’t have to enter their old password, how would you even know? But it doesn’t require you to enter your own either.
Continue reading Two admins and a security hole

NRC quote – significant

“Quotation is a servicable substitute for wit” is a quote frequently attributed to both William Somerset Maugham and Oscar Wilde. And it’s true, it can be. But in the weekend edition of my newspaper the NRC Handelsblad this weekend, there was an article on statistics and results in medical scientific research. An interesting topic, on which XKCD wrote a very funny and to the point comic a while ago: I don’t think you even have to be able to read Dutch to notice the similarities with the illustration accompanying the article in the newspaper.

Right page of article in NRC of May 7 2011
Continue reading NRC quote – significant

Nuclear vs. democracy

With the Fukushima situation in Japan still slowly growing further out of hand, discussions about the pro’s and cons of nuclear energy abound. Whereas some governments like the one of Angela Merkel in Germany take the opportunity to shut down the local nuclear industry, others like France can’t wait to assert the safety of their plants, even though he declared nuclear dead some time before.

What’s frustrating in all this, is that it’s really hard to get any good facts to base an opinion on. Am I pro or con? Not quite sure. But very recently, I read an interesting editorial (Dutch paper newspaper, NRC Handelsblad) with a viewpoint that changed my outlook.
Continue reading Nuclear vs. democracy

Too busy!

You know how people always tell you they don’t have time, or they’re too busy to do something with/for you? This is what they’re really doing. Oh, and perfection matters, don’t try telling me otherwise 😉
simone jaap