Monday, June 1, 2020

Words Worth

Review.

Words Worth will have the old poet crying in his grave. Anyway, no idea what the title has to do with this short series. Not a clue either what the authors of the hentai anime series Words Worth were trying to accomplish.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Commas

A writer's nightmare. It's very, very easy to do them wrong. And yeah, I did struggle, and still do.

The site Grammarbook seems to be pretty good. Here's the link:

https://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/commas.asp

Joe Haldeman - Forever War

Review.

A re-read. I pretty much managed to forget about most of the book, except for the stasis field and the cloning aspect near the end. But it's a good read, military scifi with a twist, and seen by many as the best anti-war novel ever. Dunno about that, but still a good read.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Writing is hard

For the whole of my life, I've been dreaming about becoming a writer.

I never thought I would ever write in first-person present tense. But actually, the longest (if not the best) story I've written so far is in first-person present tense. Scary.

Batman Begins / The Dark Knight

Review.

I'm one of those infidels who claims the original Batman movie was way, way better than the Nolan vehicles. And it's all thanks to Jack.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Sebastian de Castell - Spellslinger -

Review.

The first book clearly starts out as a YA, but by the end of book 6 we've partially left YA territory. Young (not so magical) boy mage flees his family and wanders the outlands, accompanied by an drawling Argosi, a squirrel cat, and hunted by all.

But boy, are these good! All 6 of 'm.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Corona - T Plus 20 - The second wave

Will it happen? I don't know. But, frankly, I'm a little scared.

People appear to assume the worst is over. Yes, the numbers appear to be on the way down, so the government has relaxed the restrictions a bit...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Shortcuts to Windows 10 settings

Sometimes it's easier to have a shortcut to some Windows 10 option directly from the desktop. Here's a list of all (well, some 😁) options...

Monday, May 11, 2020

Miles Cameron - Masters and Mages - Cold Iron / Dark Forge / Bright Steel

Review.

Starts with lots of sword and little sorcery, slowly moves into more sorcery then sword. Then ends in a rush.

Actually not bad, but the author was getting a little tired near the end, and decided to skip book 4.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Fastin... Faston... Stekers en kabel voor LED verlichting

Hoe koppel je LED verlichting? Of andere gelijkstroom spullen? Er zijn allerlei producten in de handel, maar sommigen zijn belachelijk duur, onhandig groot, of gewoon niet te krijgen.

Nou zijn er zogenaamde AMP en FASTON. De FASTIN-FASTON zijn niet perfect (je kunt met een beetje moeite (en geweld) de steker 180 graden draaien, met alle gevolgen vandien) maar voor mijn toepassing zijn ze goed genoog.

Michael Chatfield - The Recruitment / Coming Home / No Rest for the Wicked / ...

Review.

Horrible. Yet another book (series) about some Larry Stu figure, kidnapped by aliens, to become yet another soldier, sergeant, captain, general, hero, savior.

Who writes this stuff, and who reads it?

Friday, May 1, 2020

Corona - T Plus 7 - Did China know?

It's hard to believe a country like China would deliberately release a disease like this. Frankly, I don't think they did.

But if you are convinced the Chinese government did know, or knew more then they told the world, then that would be easy to prove.

Monday, April 27, 2020

B V Larson - Lost Colonies - Battle Cruiser / Dreadnought / Star Carrier

Review.

Space opera, but in spite of some good ideas not great stuff. Frankly the narrator (yeah, an audio book yet again) gets it right... which doesn't help. Duh?

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Disk cloning / migrating Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10

... is a hassle.

Assume you want to create a backup copy of your Windows boot drive. Or you want to replace that old hard disk with a new SSD, or replace your current boot drive with a larger one. Then it's time to jump through some hoops.

Or is it?

Friday, April 24, 2020

Corona - T Minus Zero - T Day

We survived so far. It's T-day, the world is still turning, and Trump is still in power. (I don't like the guy much, to be honest.) There's still Corona, and there's still no solution.

Things could have been worse though...

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Gratuitous Space Battles

Column.

I've updated my post 'Fortuitous Space Battles' and added micro jumps, transformation cannons, missile payloads, shield types, and short range engagements.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Tom Poes en de laadpaal-boefjes (Dutch)

Column. Dutch.

Ja... die laadpaal boefjes toch...

Even ongeacht de discussie of electrisch en / of hybride rijden schoner is voor het millieu of niet (ik dank van wel, maar dat is even niet het punt)... de vraag is of het voordeliger is.

Michael Wallace - The Void Queen - Queen of the Void / Star Wolf / Sun King

Review.

Pirate captain becomes officer in the (space) navy of the king of Avalon, of course against her will. Throw in some space vikings, and a monstrous race of alien avians hell bent on consuming everything, and a sub plot of a noble who made a career of running away.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Corona - T minus 20 - Twenty percent

Today it’s April 4, 4 days after the latest issue of Dapper, a few months after TellTales! #100and I have no idea in what state we all will be the end of April, when we reach T Minus Zero.

I am a little scared.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Fortuitous Space Battles

Column.

As you may have noticed I do like (some) military SF, and it’s fine if that borders on not all too realistic Space Opera. However, regardless of the believably of the generic concept I still like to see some consistency. Or at least stick to certain mechanics and principles.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Windows 10 and the forgotten icons...

... isn't the next Harry Potter book.

Unfortunately, no matter what you try, Windows 10 may suddenly become very forgetful of your icons and their positions. I tried many different solutions from the Internet, and nothing worked. Well, almost nothing...

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Corona - T minus 24 - Our new Best Friend

How a distant disease became our closest friend…

Two months ago Wuhan was a remote place, and nobody was paying all too much attention to Corona / Covid-19. Now, the world is in a near lock-down, and we’re all waiting to see what happens next. Scary.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Jay Allan - Gehenna Dawn / The Ten Thousand / ...

Review.

Well... I dunno. Typical conscripted lonesome soldier fights on some remote world, then becomes hero against all odds, then leader of the rebels, then fights the oppressive United Nations. Predictable fare.

Some like it, some won't. I wasn't impressed.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Corona - T minus 27 - Flattening the curve

Let's face it. Social distancing has nothing to do with protecting YOU.

We're all going to be sick. Some of us are going to die.

And yet... isolation and social distancing will save lifes. How? Read on...


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Corona - T minus 34 - IT and homeworkers

The Dutch government has given the advice to limit social interaction to a minimum, keep 1.5 meters of distance, and only go to work if absolutely essential.

Of course, it is an advice. So many people simply don't listen. Or are forced to ignore the rules, by circumstances, or by their employers...

Sunday, March 15, 2020

TellTales #100 - 25 years of Dapper

Column.

So. A historical moment. TellTales #100, my little contribution to Dapper, an APA. (The APA 😇)

For 25 years I've been unloading my rambling on the other innocent members, and they haven't booted me out. Let's look some of the statistics and facts...

Friday, March 13, 2020

Corona - T minus 42 - What's next?

Corona is here.

I made a quick estimate when the impact of the Corona virus would be largest, and that would have to be in 42 days.

The world is changing. Yet again. And though I am worried I'm an optimist: we've survived MERS, SARS, Justin Bieber, and even Trump (so far). We should be able to handle this one, though it might get hard

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Windows 10 1909 on Dell Precision M2800

Thanks, Microsoft. For... for... for everything!

But especially for cheating me out of all the hours I could have spend more productive. Instead, you released the glorious Windows 10, followed by the even more glorious Windows 10 version 1909. And trying to get that thing to run on my Dell M2800 has been lots and lots of fun.

Though I did get it to work in the end...

Monday, February 10, 2020

Charles Stross - Accelerando

Review.

My first Stross novel deals with the Singularity, a 'hypothetical moment in time when any physically conceivable level of technological advancement is attained instantaneously'. (Yeah, that explanation isn't mine, it's too intelligent.)

Saturday, February 8, 2020

RMB protection on web pages

Several webpages have a copy protection, ie. you cannot copy texts and / or objects by marking a section, then copy it by pressing the Right Mouse Button. Which can be very inconvenient, for example if you try to comment on something somebody else posted.

In FireFox that's pretty easy to fix. (Though it doesn't solve everything.)

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Witcher

Review.

Netflix doesn't get it right all the time. In fact, there's lots of rubbish, and Netflix added their fair share to it.

Still, sometimes there's just something that's worth binging. Take, for example, The Witcher.


Monday, January 27, 2020

Juuni Kokki

Review.

Not well known, and certainly harder to get over here (that is: Europe) it tells the tale of a young girl who found herself in another more magical realm.

Well, nothing spectacular thus far, we've seen that before. And yet...

Monday, January 20, 2020

Ian Douglas - Semper Mars

Review.

Marines in space. 'Nuff said. Will appeal to some, but I found it a little flat. His work under the alias 'William H Keith' (or the other way around), for example the Warstrider series, seems to be a bit better.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Blade - TV series

Review.

Most of the times I remember a book, movie or series. Perhaps not in details, but at least in some way.

Browsing through my old Dapper installments I found a reference to a television series called Blade. 13 years ago, 2007. And I cannot remember a single thing of it...

But... Here is what I wrote at the time...

Monday, December 30, 2019

Randolph Lalonde - Warpath

Review.

Lalonde continues, but I think the last two or three books in the Spinward Fringe series haven't been as good as the earlier ones. In fact, the best books of the series might have been the free First Light Chronicles omnibus, as well as The Expendable Few. He's losing a bit of steam, perhaps things got too big?

Let's hope he gets the story back on track for book number 10.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sticker (lijm) verwijderen? WD40! (Dutch)

DIY. Dutch.

WD40 is raar spul. Het helpt om tandwielen en schroefdraad te smeren, werkt als kruipolie, en je kunt er zelfs lijmresten mee verwijderen...

Monday, December 23, 2019

Kung Fu Panda

Review.

Kung Fu Panda. I've seen this movie now... what? Four? Five? Six times? Once in the cinema, couple of times on DVD and NetFlix.

And I keep laughing every time.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Neal Stephenson - Cryptonomicon / Snowcrash

Review.

I should change the title of this blog to 'reviews of old novels everyone already read'...

I was never a big fan of Neal Stephenson (but neither is he a big fan of mine, or so I assume 😄) and I never was much into 'present tense'... I tried some of his other works, and couldn't 'get into' them.

Monday, December 9, 2019

C J Cherry - Foreigner - Visitor / Convergence / Emergence

Review.

We're at books 17, 18 and 19 of the Foreigner series. It looks like Cherryh isn't giving up. And, to be honest, these are quite readable, though perhaps a little slow.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

D&D Player's Traveling Kit

Hobbies are great. Combining hobbies is even better. After fixing up my 'rollsnijder' (papercutter) I found a new use for the 3D printer... a 'D&D Player's Traveling Kit'.

Not very useful, but still fun 😇

Monday, December 2, 2019

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress - The battle of Unato

Review.

Netflix does bring a lot of Anime lately. Some of it awful, some of it not that bad. Some of it... euh... incomplete.

To quote Trump: sad.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Mi-Light - FUT014 versus FUT014W versus FUT014CW

Although many products from China are great, their documentation is often... lacking.

Here's the MiLight (FutLight) FUT014W. It's not listed on the Futlight website, probably because it is an older product. It has been replaced with the (almost identical) FUT014.

Almost.

Monday, November 25, 2019

RPG Review - 4e versus 4e Essentials

Review.

I have a reasonable 😅 collection of RPG stuff, much of it never used, and lots of it completely useless. I wonder why I even bought some of that stuff...

For example... D&D 4e Essentials... Why?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Staples Rolsnijder (Dutch)

DIY. Dutch.

Staples verkoopt een betaalbare rolsnijder. Niet de beste ter wereld, maar zoveel hoefde ik er nou ook weer niet mee te doen. (Er waren goedkopere, maar niets op voorraad, en ik had haast...)

Klusje gedaan. Rolsnijder in de kast. Tot het volgende klusje...

Friday, November 22, 2019

MiLight - W WW RGB RGBW RGBWW

In hindsight the behavior of the different FUT LED strip controllers was to be expected... but I just wanted to be sure, so tried the FUT35, FUT036, FUT037, FUT038 and FUT039 in combination with a FUT092 remote control, just to be sure.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Reading (old) Star Wars - 3

Review.

Even before The Force Awakens heralded the return of Star Wars I decided to dip in and refresh and improve my knowledge of the 'written' Star Wars universe. Would I have done so knowing most of it would become irrelevant with the changes introduced with The Force Awakens? Perhaps not...

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Nerd - Level 2.1

Define 'nerd'...

If it's a person who enjoys an overly complex technical solution for a problem that doesn't need to be solved... then... Yes! Guilty, your honor!

My own kids, fairly used to their father being a bit... euh... eccentric 😁 shake their heads in disbelief (and perhaps a little disappointment). Which means... Mission accomplished!

Monday, November 18, 2019

3D printing a LED driver enclosure - 3 - Click & Fit

I still have some issues printing large objects on my (unheated) printer bed, but the final product is taking shape. We're slowly getting there...

RPG Review - Ptolus - City by the Spire

Review.

Ptolus is a setting for D&D 3e, developed by Monte Cook of Malhavoc Press. There was a limited edition hardcover printing in 2006. At the time I considered buying it (probably should have) but didn't.

Life got in the way, and this thing was expensive... Even getting it printed today, with one of the online printing services, it still ain't cheap.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

MiLight - Futlight Device Table

I've got a bunch of MiLight / Futlight / MiBoxer LED lamps of different types and versions. Unfortunately the original design of the MiLight lamps and controllers might have been a little lacking in foresight. And documentation is piss-poor.

So I created a little table to see what I have collected over time, the lamps that I have and know about, and what works with what.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Reading (old) Star Wars - 2

In 2011 I was working on my 'classics' I guess... 😅

Let's see, Star Wars books... what did I think of them then? And now?