Monday, December 31, 2018

Now and then, here and there

Review.

Someone called this Now and then, here and there 'a harsh show', and boy oh boy, is it 'harsh' indeed.

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Dragon Prince - Season 1

Review.

The Dragon Prince is an anime series in a style similar to Avatar and The Legend of Korra. Not very surprising, as some of the people behind The Dragon Prince were also involved with Avatar and Korra.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

What plays Atmos?

Now that I have a Dolby Atmos capable setup, I need a. material to play, and b. a way to play that same material.

It turns out not all combinations work...


Monday, December 24, 2018

Bob Shaw - Orbitsville (Het Stalen Paradijs)

Review.

Starts as a space opera, turns into an exploration story, to end up with a bleak view of a bleak future. Hmm...

Parts are good, as usual Shawn brings a surprising concept and adds some twists. I like the story, but I do not fully agree with his conclusion.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Ikea quality - The Oven's Tail

DIY.

Ikea is well known for their affordable furniture. You may dislike the style or wonder about the quality, but in general Ikea is considered value for money.

Yet...? Let's tell a tale about an Ikea oven and its tail...

Monday, December 17, 2018

Batman Gotham Knights

Review.

It is a bit confusing, but there is a comic series Gotham Knights, a home video release Gotham Knight, and The New Batman Adventures which is also known as Batman Gotham Knights.

Clear as the inside of his cape, I guess. Superheroes and their confusing timelines and naming schemes, sigh...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mediasoup, a Windows 10 Homeserver

I run a small (Windows 10) home-server that provides everyone in my household with pictures, movies, shows and music.

To be honest: mostly music (Squeezebox). On my hard-drive I've kept a few (very old or forgotten) series which are no longer available, neither on Netflix nor in retail. My days of endless torrenting are long gone.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Night of the Proms

Review.

You may have heard of the Night of The Proms?

In spite of some blemishes I still enjoyed myself. Just John Miles' rendering of Wreckingball was worth it all.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Secomber

Someone asked me about the old Secomber file I created 10 (20?) years ago. In answer I restored a few pages from the old website. If you're interested in a (very small) part of the Forgotten Realms setting then have a peek.

It's here in the archive and includes a large map by yours truly.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Terry Pratchett / Stephen Briggs - The Discworld Companion

Review.

A book of facts about a fictive world. Some parts are lifted from the stories, many are new. And they're all funny.

If you would expect a 'compendium' to be a dry summary of facts, well, you're damn right about the facts part. But even facts are funny on the Discworld. This is good stuff, and a must have for avid Discworld fans.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sluipverbruik 2e ronde (Dutch)

Dutch.

Ben je een nerd, heb je wel een slimme meter maar nog geen BeeClear? Gelijk eentje aanschaffen! (En nee, daar verdien ik niets aan 😄)

Met behulp van de BeeClear en een power meter heb ik mijn sluipverbruik in kaart gebracht. Helaas zie ik niet veel ruimte om er iets aan te doen... 😞 Zal nog wat puzzelen en uitzoeken, maar ja...

Monday, November 26, 2018

Escaflowne

Review.

Ah, romance, romance, a little bit medieval mecha, and more romance... And those weird, weird noses (gotta' watch it to see what I mean).

It's a bit too sweet in spite of the overall story and the... Guymelefs? (Well, the local magical equivalent of mecha, anyway.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

New version of SQB featuring 'quirck' particles

A new version of SQB and this time we are proud to announce the new and awesome mix function based upon 'quirck' particles!

The era of mix tapes has returned!

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. To be totally honest I think they are little more than empty filler (an oxymoron, I know). On top of that these 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.