Monday, September 21, 2020

Edmund Hughes - Arcane Dropout

Review.

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

Review.

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

Review.

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. Don’t ask, just watch.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Veronica Roth - Divergent

Review.

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

Review.

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

Column.

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)

Review.

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)

Review.

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...

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Fanfiction

Column.

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 cheat

Writing

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Dialogue

Writing

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

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


Monday, June 15, 2020

The Spirit Within

Review.

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

Review.

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

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 were trying to accomplish.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Commas

Writing.

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

Column.

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.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Paragraphs

Writing.

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

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 πŸ˜‡)

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...