2007 - a (social) year in review

posted in personal stuff on December 31st, 2007

The last few days have been so hectic, with meet-ups here and meet-ups there that I totally forgot to post this, but finally, here it is:

2007 would not have been 2007 if it were not for the three meetups I had during the last days; first Emma, then Claske and finally - the one meeting I have been looking forward to since we first met virtually: Jeroen Poortvliet.

Jeroen and me have been working on both building and maintaining a special interest community for no less than 30 months now and after much planning and shifting, we finally managed to get together for a pint of beer.

Jeroen, who is a real-life photographer has been spearheading the expansion of our community and it is safe to say that, without him, NL-Noob would not be what we have become. Thanks to his efforts, our turnover rate is incredibly low compared to other communities and what’s even better - whenever we seemed to hit a snag or stagnation in growth, he came up with ideas that allowed us to expand even further.

We are, by no means the biggest (Dutch) community, but we have a fair number of people that are very happy that we are there, when they need a gaming fix.

Marjon on the other hand, is totally uninvolved in gaming, but still made a tremendous impact on me, most of all because of the inner strength she possesses and if there is something I respect in people a lot, then it is the ability to conquer literally anything they are faced with. No micro-relationship here, just great talks and mutual trust.

And last but not least, the Wingman of the year award goes out to Kevin for accompanying me to a number of great and interesting events and helping me with most, if not all, visual branding things that came up over the past year.

I could probably go on for a fair bit, because the above mentioned people are by no means the only ones that made an impression on me, but I wont. The ones I care about know that I do and that’s that.

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(semi) public meetings of geeks - one month later.

posted in Tech Talk on September 14th, 2007

Exactly one month ago, I launched, a micro community aimed at providing XDA Flame users (d’oh) with a place to discuss, rant and rave (about) their Pocket PC.

During the last weeks, the site managed to attract some 90 users, who, collaboratively, created 824 posts. While this might not seem all that much when compared to, for example,, I am still very proud of what XFU (our hot, internal acronym) managed to accomplish.

On a more technical note, I am quite happy about the fact that we rank #1 on Google for not only XDA Flame Hacking but also XDA Flame Forum.

We have a #1 spot for XDA Flame User and XDA Flame Users and we even managed to enter the forums with the rather generic Flame Forum.

We had the #1 and #2 spots after only ten days, which is quite a feat considering that we did not do anything in regards of SEO.

That said, while I spearheaded the idea of the site itself, I am certain that I we would not have made it this far without XFU’s awesome team:

Thierry and cwkj have both been great moderators, asking interesting questions, coming up with great solutions and helping as needed.

My Second-in-command (so to speak), leek, on the other hand has not only focussed on providing great advice in the forums, but also kept himself (and, on occassion even me) busy with enhancing the forum in any way possible so that people who would use their Pocket PC to access the site would have the same (great) browsing / reading / commenting experience as those that would use a PC.

leek of course is Lee Killough, famous not only for his ports of the computer game Doom, but also for his other works, such as, oh, working on supercomputers and other stuff I can not even begin to understand.

I feel privileged to be able to work with these guys and am glad that turned out more hot than not.

Here’s to you guys, XFU would not be what it is, without you.
Thank you.


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Communication in a digital world

posted in Media on August 21st, 2007

I just received an email from a user at asking me about some general information on the device in question and so on.

While I would rather see said person asking their question in the forums, so that everyone can benefit from the answers, I still decided to type up an answer, but that is not the point of the email.

After sending my reply, I decided to do a quick lookup on the person I was “talking” to and grabbed some of the data that was available from the email header and forum software.

The name revealed a profile on a popular Dutch social networking site but other than that, did not provide me with any more information, so I used the second piece of information I had, an IP address.

It turns out that the IP address that was used to register on the forums is part of a block that was delegated to Achmea Active. After searching around a bit, it would appear that the IP was mainly used for vandalism on Wikipedia.

For the sake of clarity, I should note that, in this case, the IP is shared amongst a great number of users and I do not believe that the person that mailed me is amongst the group of people that vandalized Wikipedia, but it made me think about how digital communication could evolve (for me).

In real life, I do not talk to people I know have a bad reputation, especially if they did something that goes against my core values and I am thinking of adopting a similar system for online communication. This kind of background-check would take some time to conduct, every time, but it could be limited to those contacts one is not familiar with; those contacts that contact you out of the blue.

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(semi) public meetings of geeks

posted in Tech Talk on August 14th, 2007

Everyone who ever used a Pocket PC or Smartphone more than for just typing a quick email in Outlook or entering some contact details has probably come across a community called at one point or another.

With more than 100,000 threads and a tad more than 350,000 members, it is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, mobile technology community focussed on Pocket PCs and Smartphones ever to exist. And the best thing is, these guys keep growing and growing. is, hands down, the best resource you can wish for if you are looking to enhance your XDA based device. That is, let me clarify, it does not really have to be a XDA, it only has to be manufactured by a company called HTC.

This, in my eyes, silly, rule is what keeps the friendly staff at from creating a sub-forum for the XDA Flame. The reasoning for that is that it is not being manufactured by HTC, but rather by a company called Arima Communications.

Forum users at have voiced their opinions on many occasions, yet the moderators have decided against granting the users this simple wish.

Be that as it may, there is no rule that prohibits other users from setting up their own forums, so, without furder ado, here is

The goal of the site is simply to be a meeting point for all XDA Flame users, because one thread simply does not cut it, if you ask me.

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Waiting in line? No thank you

posted in Tech Talk on June 30th, 2007

So, while just about everyone out there seems to be waiting for Apple’s iPhone, I’m waiting for my very own O2 XDA Flame.

People with whom I discuss technology will know that I’ve beeb waiting for this device since it was first announced on Pocket PC Thoughts, back in November 2006. Initally, O2 planned to release the device in early spring, but delayed the launch till sometime in May.

After waiting for the first reports to come in, I finally decided to take the jump and replace my current mobile device of choice: iMate’s SP5.

It’s been more than two years since I last bought a Pocket PC and while my HTC Blueangel (Qtek 9090 in my case) still works fine, one has to spend some money on worthy upgrades every now and then. Gotta keep the inner-geek happy after all.

One might ask: what’s so special about this Pocket PC that I decided to get it? Well, for starters, there’s the 2gb of ROM, a lot more than any other Pocket PC on the market. Other features include nice things such as a dedicated graphics chip (nVidia, naturally), USB On The Go support, TV-Out and 802.11g WiFi. A more in-depth review of the hardware will be available here soon.

But, there’s a catch of course. The device is not yet available in Europe and chances are that it won’t be for another three to six months, so I had to order mine from an eTailer that, so far, does business the right way.