Monday, November 19, 2018

L. Ron Hubbard - The Invaders Plan / Black Genesis / ...

Review.

10 books or so (a decalogy?) by L. Ron Hubbard (mister Scientology himself). These books are somewhat 'okayish' but only if you like this kind of humor. Yet, to be totally honest I think they are little more than empty filler (an oxymoron, I know). And they did not age well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Solid Monitor speakers and ceiling mount safety

DIY.

The Solid Monitor is a speaker manufactured early 90's, which makes them over 20 years old by now. They are (not that) small, solid monitor / bookshelf speakers, with decent high and mid and (for their size) quite acceptable bass.

These speakers are literally quite heavy, so you have to take some care when mounting these against the ceiling.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Bob Shaw - The Ceres Solution (De Ceres Dreiging)

Review.

I'm a bit on a Shaw run lately. This one I read in dutch.

Disabled man saves the world from overly powerful extra-terrestrials, who are disturbingly similar to us. During the plot the moon gets destroyed...

I like Shaw. He brings a certain 'weirdness' which appeals to me.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Ant Man / Ant Man and the Wasp

Review.

Perhaps these two movies are only a small part of the MCU (no pun intended) yet they are still fun to watch, especially because they do not take themselves too seriously.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Time travel and alternate universes

Column.

Let’s assume alternative universes exist, as does time travel. And still, we're all still here and have never suffered the effects of a time traveler messing up. There needs to be a valid explanation...

Monday, October 29, 2018

John DeChancie - Star Rigger / Red Limit Freeway / Paradox Alley

Review.

This 'action adventure' trilogy features Jake McGraw, a lonesome trucker from earth that travels the star lanes. Sounds wacky, but there are real highways between the stars, and things on wheels move on them. Do not be fooled: this is real science fiction.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Maniac

Review.

I like weird stuff. I like science fiction. I like 60's The Avengers (the Emma Peel / John Steed version). I like VR5 and Nowhere Man. I like Tom Baker as Doctor Who. So... would (or should) I like this?

Yes. I would. And I did.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

SR7011 - Dolby Atmos & Audyssey (Dutch)

Dutch.

Met de in de SR7011 ingebouwde Audyssey XT32 kun je de instellingen van je (geluids) installatie aanpassen aan de ruimte.

Bij het meten kwam ik een paar (rare?) zaken tegen...

Monday, October 15, 2018

Craig Alanson - Ascendant / Transcendent / Deceptions

Review.

Ascendant tells the story of young Koren, who actually is the most powerful wizard ever, and doesn't know. Add a demon taking its time to invade our lands, and some opposing kingdoms in in-fighting noble families, and you have an acceptable (young adult) fantasy series.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Peter David - How much for just the planet?

Review.

A funny and creative approach to the 'overruled and unimaginative' universe of the trekkies is How Much For Just The Planet? by Peter David.

After this book the 'big bosses' in the Star Trek merchandising empire forbid any further 'experiments' in that direction. Which in itself tells us enough.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Wasdroger voor nerds (Dutch)

Dutch.

Behalve een wasmachine is er ook nog de wasdroger...

Ik heb in eerste instantie hetzelfde programma gebruikt als voor de wasmachine, met een paar aanpassingen / opmerkingen...

Monday, October 1, 2018

Ready Player One

Review.

Both book and movie are enjoyable and related, but target a different audience.

The movie is an enjoyable entertainment romp, the book might be an acquired taste for some.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Antenneversterker icm. Ziggo en oude bekabeling (Dutch)

Dutch. DIY.

Wanneer gebruik je een antenneversterker? Alleen wanneer het nodig is 🙂

Deze tekst is gebaseerd op Ziggo als ISP, maar geldt natuurlijk ook grotendeels voor andere kabelaars.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Star Trek Generations

Review.

In February 1995 I went to China, which was an amazing experience. I did come back, and ended up with two children and an ex-wife, so in hindsight, twenty years later, that was quite the adventure 😇

Just before leaving the country I also watched Star Trek Generations.

Monday, September 17, 2018

John DeChancie - Castle Perilous / Castle for Rent / Castle Kidnapped / ...

Review.

If you don't mind how DeChancie treats bunnies, then, well, this is great light reading. Fluffy, too!

There is this castle, somewhere in the multiverse, where visitors and the regular guests from different realities mingle. At their own risk, of course. Especially when the host is away...


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Archer C7

Review.

I've been struggling with Wifi reception in my house in the past. We all have been there I guess 😀

I have been using different routers over time. At the moment I'm using the Archer C7 which goes for 80 bucks or so.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Roger Zelazny - The Dream Master / Dreamscape

Review.

In this novel a successful therapists accepts the challenge of his life: teach a blind wannabe therapist to deal with the visions of her (seeing) (future) clients.

Which leads to weird stuff.


Monday, September 3, 2018

Roger MacBride Allen - Farside Cannon

Review.

Scientist wants to save the world, gets caught in a web of intrigue and finally uses his exile to the far side of the moon as an advantage to stop an incoming meteorite.

Yes. MacBride Allen actually did write other stuff besides churning out Star Wars novels...

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Wasmachine voor nerds (Dutch)

Dutch.

Als je toch al een domotica systeem hebt met een led display, dan kun je dat net zo goed gebruiken om te melden wanneer de wasmachine klaar is...

Echt nuttig? Nee, maar wel leuk voor de uber-geek 😎

Monday, August 27, 2018

Witchblade 41

Review.

Are comics books? I don't know. They might be. They are printed, have letters and words, and you can read them. At least they are some kind of books.

I scored a 100+ Witchblade books...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

PS4 NAT Type 3 problemen met een Ziggo TC7210 (Dutch)

Dutch.

De combinatie van een Ziggo TC7210 en PS4 gaf problemen (NAT3 ipv. NAT2).

Ik heb dit opgelost door de TC7210 in 'bridge' mode te laten zetten.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The 4400

Review.

Cult craving guilt... Season 3 of any show is the most important season. Or so I think.

Let's have a look at the final two seasons of 4400 and see if my theory holds up... to anything 😁

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Musk versus the shorts

Column.

After Musk his little tweet about 'taking the company private' the pitchforks came out. On Ars Technica someone stated that 'short sellers' are also 'shareholders', thus they have the right (?) to sue Musk for any communication that would affect their position.

A big mistake? A deliberate action? Not even my goldfish knows...

Monday, August 13, 2018

One bad movie - League of Gods

Review.

Of course NetFlix can't get it right all the time.

I remember my first encounter with Netflix, way back when I visited the USA, a long, long time ago... The friends we stayed with had Netflix. Wow. I was impressed.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Homematic controlled (floor)heating (update)


I've updated some of the programs in my Homematic system, to add some additional error checking (and work my way around some of the bugs)...

I added a display unit, but otherwise the hardware and concept didn't change. The code did (to support the display).

Monday, August 6, 2018

Naomi Novik - His Majesty's Dragon / Throne of Jade / ...

Review.

An alternative timeline where dragons actually exist, but not because they are magic. In fact, thus far there hasn't been any magic at all and probably never will. Napoleon wouldn't want it any other way....

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Power shortcuts and rebuilding the icon cache

I think every version of Windows since XP (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10) suffers from an 'icon cache' glitch, leaving some icons missing or 'broken'.

I've tried different solutions, but this one seems to do the job every time.

In addition I've added some icons and batch files to quickly add power related shortcuts on your desktop.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Alison Sinclair - Darkborn

Review.

Darkborn was an interesting read. I was expecting an ‘interleaved’ book, where half the adventure would take place on the light side,  the other half on the dark side, but no.

Ah, more would be spoiling 😁

Monday, June 11, 2018

Getting Windows 10 settings right (what a mess)

Take Windows 8, remove Privacy and add enforced updates... that's Windows 10. I'm especially worried about Windows 10 screwing up older systems by involuntary driver replacements. Microsoft should at least allow us to block driver updates, please!

Anyway, if you want to run Windows it's the only game left in town.. And things can get very, very interesting if you're trying to run Windows 10 as the OS on a home server...

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Sleepy raid controllers and drilling holes

One of my hard drives started to misbehave seriously (and Harddisk Sentinel pretty much confirmed it is about to die).

I immediately picked up a new one, and was about to copy data from the old to the new drive when I realized I was running out of SATA ports. When I build my homeserver I picked a cheap case (actually: the cheapest I could find 😅) and somewhere in the back of my mind I convinced myself I could always add some drives later on.

Well, that turned out to be possible, but there were some unforeseen limitations...

Friday, June 8, 2018

Steven Brust - The Phoenix Guards

Review.

In the afterword Brust admits he likes the style of Alexandre Dumas and company

Brust himself called it "a blatant ripoff of The Three Musketeers" but I think he deserves a little more credit than that.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Van 1200ES naar 2400ES naar 2800ES naar SR6011 naar SR7011 (Dutch)

Dutch. Review.

Wat doe je wanneer je versterker kuren begint te vertonen? Je koopt een nieuwe. Nou ben ik niet echt een 'audiofiel' maar ik hou wel van een lekker stukje geluid...

De vraag is natuurlijk: wat en waarom?
 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Alan Dean Foster - Catalyst

Review.

Catalyst, or Cat-a-lyst, stayed on the shelf for two years before I read it. I was reading quite a bit at the time. (You wouldn't be able to tell, now would you?)

Eager for adventure, movie star Jason Carter tags along on a treasure hunt in Peru where he and his friend discover a lost civilization intent on conquering the world

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Mel Gilden - Surfing Samurai Robots / Hawaian Ufo Aliens

Review.

In Surfing Samurai Robots and Hawaiian Ufo Aliens there's a five feet two sleuth with a big nose and a mission... to become the next Philip Marlowe.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. He calls himself Zoot and he's actually an alien beneath that long trenchcoat.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Ziggo's prijsverhoging (Dutch)

Dutch. Column.

Ziggo heeft zojuist (opnieuw) haar prijzen verhoogd. Om 'meer en betere' diensten te kunnen aanbieden.

Op zich niet onredelijk.Alleen is het niet helemaal waar.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Lawrence Watt Evans - The Lure of the Basilisk / The Seven Altars of Dusarra / ...

Review.

Just plain heroic fantasy, the hero Garth fits right between Elric and Conan. Well, you have to be in the mood for these, and then it's okay though not exceptional.

One note: Garth is a hero whose stomach aches and whose feet hurt. Quite an uncommon feature in this category.

Christopher Nuttall - The Oncoming Storm / Falcone Strike / Cursed Command / ...

Review

And yes, another Christopher Nuttall series. Well, he is productive. This time it's the younger sister of Honor Harrington. There's no treecat even though the main character is called 'Kat'. Yeah, unrelated, I know.

Anyway, this is space opera, as the book covers clearly illustrate.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Dudeism

There is nothing wrong with me that a little reincarnation cannot fix...

If you're a dude (M/F) then visit this website:

www.dudeism.com

I am so tempted to buy that book...

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Top 5 'never give up' inspriational books, movies, songs

What makes you tick?

Monika’s Dapper contribution triggered some soul searching, and I discovered I cannot help myself: I’m motivated to a fault... And not always towards the proper goals as my employers can attest 😌

For those moments I'm not motivated I always have some ‘uppers’ at hand… Obviously, they had to be SF / SciFi / Music related… so here is my top 5 (and a bit)... 

Pamela Dean - The Secret Country / The Hidden Land / Whim of the Dragon


Review.

A group of kids strands (more or less) in a parallel world where they turn out to be the characters they liked to play on 'our'. But once in, there's not much of a way out...

Interesting fantasy read. Not yet another six volumes four-thousand pages Tolkien rip-off. These days it would probably be released as a single large paperback, and it would still be worth your while.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Geluid over HDMI (Dutch)

Dutch.

Alle nieuwere TV's gebruiken HDMI. Dat werkt erg gemakkelijk, een enkele kabel, maar soms stelt het je voor verrassingen.

Hier een korte uitleg over kwaliteit, soorten verbindingen, beperkingen, en geluid via HDMI, en een reden om NIET iets nieuws te kopen...

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Elizabeth Moon – Remnant Population

Review.

A relaxed read, a good book. You know it's going to be all right in the end, and yet you won't mind.

And I needed something relaxed after all the hard (military) SF I've been reading the last year(s)...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Amber DRPG

Column.

I must have been talking about role-playing games, and especially the Amber Diceless RPG, in the past.

For years I planned to go and play again, but I just never got to it. But I'm old and if I don't start playing again, I probably never will…

Why this sudden realization?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lindsay Buroker - The Emperor's Edge

Review.

I like my eBooks good, and my audiobooks cheap. Finding a decent title cheap is sometimes a challenge though, so The Emperor’s Edge was a nice discovery. I’ve listened to the first 5 books thus far, and they are quite enjoyable.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Airflow (a new PC build in an old case)

Let me start by saying I do NOT like to build my own PC. Once upon a time, long, long ago, I considered it fun. These days I just may build one myself for cost reasons.

Regardless if you use a new or an old case (as I did) it still is a good idea to pay attention to the airflow in your case...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Alastair Reynolds - Revenger

Review.

Ye' ol' pirate, matey! This one isn't marked as a 'young adult' novel, but perhaps it should be. Two young girls travel into space, get into a fight with a pirate, and then (obviously) one of them gets taken. Away. Scifi style.

I liked this one, even if I (in general) dislike pirate stories.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Homematic controlled (floor)heating

DYI.

This post describes my Homematic heating control system.

I live in a place with four floors (it's not as big as you'd suspect) with the two lowest levels having floorheating. I am using a Homematic domotics system to save energy by only running the pumps when needed.

Mounting a Tab3 7" tablet in a kitchen

DIY.

With all the recent security scares you may want to carefully consider what you want to do with it.

But... if you decide you still want to put a tablet in your kitchen, then here's an example with a Samsung Tab 3 7".

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Dominion Tank Police


Review.

First time I saw this was in 1995, but this anime series was actually released in 1989. That's almost 30 years ago...

Concept: in the future criminals have become too powerful, so the Police Force has opted for the deployment of tanks.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Akasa USB3 card reader

Review.

There could be a reason you want an USB3 card reader in your PC. In general, you'd better opt for an external unit, regardless if it is USB2 or 3, and simply plug it in an available USB port.

But let's assume you want one...