Thursday, December 31, 2020


Wrapping up 2020, and Welcome to 2021!

The image to the left takes you to the home screen which lists all major topics.

To search this blog you have to use the desktop version of this blog.

This link will show all 2020 posts.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Idiotic DRM

Buy a CD in Germany on, and you can immediately download the DRM free MP3 rip of it. You can even buy it digital only. Buy that same CD in the Netherlands on, and you only get the physical carrier, so you have to rip it yourself.

Of course, the music company will add copy protection. Seriously? How will that stop anyone?

Monday, December 14, 2020

Non-native speakers writing in English


A non-native English speaker runs into problems that may not be that obvious to a native speaker. To a native speaker, some of these mistakes may look funny, or stupid, but then I would like to invite the English speaker to try his or her hand at Dutch or Chinese.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Wattpad no more

Column. Writing.

How useful is online publishing? More specifically, will online platforms help you to become a (published) writer, help you to improve your writing, or simply help you find readers?

I have my doubts...

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Writer's block


Is there such a thing as 'writer's block'?

I, honestly, have no idea. But sometimes I'm just stuck, and I found a few tricks that work for me. Perhaps they work for you...

Monday, November 16, 2020

Alexandra Quick Audiobooks


Not only did Inverarity finish the fifth book of the Alexandra Quick series, there is now an audio book as well! Sam Gabriel is narrating them, find the podcasts here.

(If you don't know what Alexandra Quick is all about go here.)


Monday, November 9, 2020

Netflix - A Certain Magical Index / A Certain Scientific Railgun


Combine 'slice of life' with superpowers, heroic fights, add a dip of magic, and give it a little girl x girl x boy twist (though very, very minor). Fairly regular stuff, although not too bad. What made it stand out and interesting is the 'sisters' arc, especially in the spin-off, which is a lot darker than the rest.

Monday, November 2, 2020

SP-200-48 oud versus nieuw, Conrad versus Reichelt, Taiwan versus China (Dutch)

DIY. Dutch.

(Naar aanleiding van de defecte modules uit de WHR950.)

Ik heb twee SP-200-48's gekocht, eentje van Conrad, en eentje van Reichelt.

Netflix - Bloodshot (2020)


Is Vin Diesel salty because he's just a voice in the biggest Marvel / Superhero series? Perhaps. Let's hope he keeps voicing Groot because this superhero movie Bloodshot certainly isn't worth your while, unless you like a. Vin Diesel, b. a perfect Vin Diesel, c. an unstoppable Vin Diesel, and d. Vin Diesel for president.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Hoogbouw en schaduw (Dutch)

Column. Dutch,

Triest. Dat is het enige passende woord.

De gemeente Capelle aan den IJssel houdt geen enkele rekening met bestaande bewoners van hun 'modelwijk' Fascinatio.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Ventilator in Mean Well SP-200-48 geschakelde voeding (uit WHR950) defect (Dutch)

DIY. Dutch.

Wat te doen met een Mean Well geschakelde voeding van 15 jaar oud, waar de ventilator van stuk is?

Sunday, October 25, 2020

WHR950 (oud model) badkamer schakelaar en slim ventileren (Dutch)

DIY. Dutch.

In de handleiding van de nieuwere versies van de WHR950 staat een aansluiting voor een badkamer schakelaar beschreven. In de oudere versie zit deze functie ook, zij het iets minder duidelijk aangegeven. Zoek op de print naar de aansluiting DI2L. Dat is 'm!

Hierbij mijn 'mini' projectje om de WTW installatie automatisch in de hoge stand te zetten wanneer nodig. De principes werken natuurlijk ook met andere merken / producten.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

SqueezeBox - Update SqueezeBox Touch - Firmware to 7.8.x

I recently picked up another SqueezeBox touch, to replace my older, misbehaving unit. This stuff is getting old, with the last SB Touch units being manufactured in 2012. When I tried to connect my new second-hand unit to my server, it kept asking me to update the server.

Monday, October 19, 2020

A link to a webpage doesn't work from inside Excel, but works fine from a browser

Symptoms: funny error messages, such as 'Cannot locate the Internet server or proxy server'.

Cause: Excel (office) doesn't simply launch a browser, but does a test first. That test may fail (for example lack of login cookies) and return the wrong error message.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The reader's first impression, or 'what comes before the plot'


You're an aspiring author. And your work just... sucks. Potential readers run away with polite excuses, and it seems they can't understand your great vision. Fear not! You can get better, or at least better than me 😁

It's not that hard. But before you craft wonderful plots, believable characters, and encompassing worlds, you might want to have a quick peek at the basics, and what kind of first impression your work will leave behind.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Printer stuck in landscape mode - Windows 10 / Brother J5620DW J5720DW

Windows 10.

When you use Add printers & scanners then Windows scans your network for printers. Sometimes, if I install my networked Brother printers this way, they only allow me to print in Landscape, no matter what I try. There is a workaround, fortunately.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Parentkillers... is alive

Column. Writing.

I know the series' name will cause some dispute and raised eyebrows, but I still decided to use the 'concept' name I used for my story.

Don't worry. Nothing on has anything to do with the actual killing of people. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Netflix - Ghost in the Shell SAC2045


Painful, skip these.

The live move with Scarlett Johansson was better, the two older anime movies and the original Stand Alone Complex TV series were yet another step (or two) above that. I cannot comment on the comics as I’ve never read those, but this 'new' series was inconsistent and contained more plot holes than Gouda cheese.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Chrome - home button, pin to taskbar, default page on new tab, custom homepage

Chrome is my favorite browser. It has an important place in my daily workflow, but by organizing things a little I save a couple of clicks on every startup, adding up to quite a few clicks per day.

Thursday, September 24, 2020



Lacking motivation? Watch this.

Never give up. Never fear to fail. And if you fall, fall forward.


Monday, September 21, 2020

Edmund Hughes - Arcane Dropout


A download, noticed too late it contained ‘adult scenes’. Would be a reasonable book, except for the sex scenes, and the epilogue. 

I probably won’t read any of the sequels after that epilogue. Such a pity.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Alastair Reynolds - Revenger 3 - Bone Silence (2020)


Third book in the Revenger series. In the same vein as the previous two, yet explaining a lot more, but I thought the first two books to be a little better. This one seems a bit rushed near the end. I have a feeling he will return to this universe with a different cast of characters.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Netflix - Warrior Nun (2020..2022)


Okay, a guilty pleasure. But anything Buffy-like easily piques my interest. Haven’t read the comics but I liked the show. Dead teen gets another lease on life when a relic gets implanted in her back. And yet it is entertaining in a Buffy kind of way.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Veronica Roth - Divergent


There's a movie, and there's a book. I've seen and read both. The movie wasn't too bad, although the main character in the movie seems a bit 'soft' compared with the book.

Both movie and book are okay, but aimed at the angsty teen crowd hungering for some apocalyptical romance.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Practical network (and Wifi) speeds

There are many complex and perfect ways to test your network speeds, but here are a few practical examples, that do not require a degree in Science or Math...

This is a simplified explanation, but it seems to work fine for me 😏

Monday, August 24, 2020

Rachel Aaron - Part-Time Gods / Night Shift Dragons (2020)


Part-Time Gods and Night Shift Dragons are both nice, 'uppety' 'peppy reads'. Some action, some magic, some romance. These are parts 2 and 3 of the DFZ series, which started with Minimum Wage Magic, and take place in the same universe as the Heartstriker series.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

PS4 and PC do not recognize a Dualshock controller (connected via USB)

Sometimes you cannot pair a PS4 Dualshock controller with your PS4 using a cable. Sometimes the Remote Play application on Windows does not recognize a connected PS4 controller.

Fortunately, the fix is relatively easy: use another cable.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Bufferbloat on TPLink Archer C7 v3

This is an interesting (and very technical) subject, so skip it if you don't care πŸ˜‡. Simply put, your router / Wifi access point is a little dumb, and is so busy with downloads that it can't do concurrent uploads fast enough.

It's fixable (somewhat) by using QoS, as I tried on my Archer C7 v3.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Put your favorites in a box, Mister Geek


No matter how you categorize series, movies, books, you will always find examples that do not fit in. That refuse to respect certain borders. That are... different.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 (1998)


Remember the old Bubblegum Crisis? Well, here's the remake (which itself is also twenty years old), brought into a slightly newer era (we want rock, we want roll).

Monday, June 29, 2020

2012 (2010)


Another typical disaster flick. The first half is actually fun, with airplanes flying between, under, and even through crumbling buildings. However, once it gets past the visual extravaganza nothing can hide the flimsiness of the story. Fast forward to the next CGI / SFX scene... Dumb popcorn stuff, yes, but sometimes that's what the doctor prescribes...

Update. 2012 is now available on Netflix.

Sunday, June 28, 2020



What is your opinion on fanfiction / fanfiction authors? I don't mind, but I've never written a fan fiction, I once tried (to write) a little Farscape but it just wasn't my thing. (Farscape is, but fanfiction is not.) I prefer to work on original stuff. Does that mean fanfiction is bad?

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Suspense cheat sheet


For (the yet unfinished and currently on hiatus) Have Hat Will Travel story I needed a single 'suspense' chapter because, well, I was going to do bad things to my main character.

To make sure I pushed all the buttons I created this little 'cheat sheet'.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Daniel Arenson - Earthrise - Earth Alone / Earth Lost / ...


Scum. That's what the aliens are called. Horrible. That's what these books are.


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Dialogue (Format and Group Conversation)


I'm absolutely NOT a good writer, but I'm trying to improve. Which is hard... And one of the hardest things to learn is dialogue.

Then again: George Lucas become famous, so why would you care about dialogue? 😁

Monday, June 15, 2020

The Spirit Within (2001)


Re-watched this one after a long time, and realized perhaps it's not as bad as most people (critics) said it was. Perhaps a little flat, but so are most K-pop girl bands after you take away foam and silicone 😊.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Harry Harrison - The Jupiter Plague


Old fashioned hard SF. Not too bad though severely outdated, and sometimes loses the pace.

Still an enjoyable read (if you can handle old fashioned stuff written in the golden age of SF) about programmed biological stuff that the Jovians release upon us.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Words Worth


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 were trying to accomplish.

Monday, May 25, 2020



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. But sites can go down, and there are some exceptions, so...

Joe Haldeman - Forever War


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


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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Combining PC and Tablet / Tablet as monitor / TV as monitor / Tablet as sketchpad in Teams

Windows 10. Windows 11.

Use your tablet as an extra screen or input device for your PC, or as a sketchpad for meetings. This post only describes solutions for Windows 10 in combination with an Android tablet, but there are similar options when you're using a Mac and / or an iPad.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Sebastian de Castell - Spellslinger / Shadowblack / Charmcaster / Soulbinder / ...


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 (and other) settings

Windows 10. Windows 11.

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... 

Most still work in Windows 11.

Monday, May 11, 2020

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


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.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020



Do you have trouble with 'paragraphing'? Here's my little take on it, it just might be of use to you as well. And if I'm using the wrong method then please correct me!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Michael Chatfield - The Recruitment


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?

Fastin... Faston... Stekers en kabel voor LED verlichting (Dutch)

DIY. Dutch.

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.

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.