Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Months, no, years ago, I thought about setting up a coffee-rating blog. Every time I had coffee somewhere, I would rate it by certain criteria. That way, I was going to create an overview of where to get nice coffee. Because, as you all know, coffee is important. Of course, I never did this. Coffee isn't that important, after all.

Recently though, I noticed that almost every company or site I visit in the Netherlands has a Douwe Egberts coffee machine. If I'm correct, those come in several price categories. My own employer has the 'good' ones. The ones that ground the beans as you press the 'coffee' button. Most other companies have the cheap ones, the cones with pre-ground coffee, the ones that create jet-engine noises while brewing a cup. The ones that, in the end, prduce crap coffee.

What they usually have is something from the a DE Fresh Brew Gallery series or similar. They advertise these things with (in Dutch) 'every cup is fresh'. And 'every cup of coffee or espresso with a nice foam on top'. Foam?? WTF?

Coffee shouldn't have foam! If I want a frothy liquid, I buy a Coke! Espresso has a little foam on top because of the way it is made. In espresso, water is forced through coffee at high pressure. This pressure forces the oil from the coffee down into your cup, creating a slight foam.

The cups I get from these machines look like someone emptied their shampoo bottle in them. Unbelievable. But then again, people drink Senseo too...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

We’re on TV!

I just saw this Red Hat commercial on Youtube. It's fucking brilliant. I can't believe 'we' are actually so successful that we are doing commercials now!

Take a look at this baby and while you're at it, check out the other Red Hat and Novell commercials there. The Novell ones are funny too :)


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

You know Casema, the Dutch ISP?

Avoid 'em if you can. Granted they are not as bad as Planet Internet (a company I'll blog about later), but hell, they are pretty close.

A few days ago, I wrote them a letter. A paper one, not even an easy-to-overlook email, but a proper letter. The letter said, that since I am moving to a new home next month, I thought I'd inform them I wanted to stop using their ISP service and wanted to keep their cable TV service in my new house.

Now, this all coincided with the end of my agreement with them anyway so this all would be relatively convenient you'd guess? I expressly told them I did not want the ISP agreement to be prolonged, I expressly told them I did want the cable TV agreement to be prolonged (this part was by phone, since I did not want to confuse them) and I told them my new address.

A few days later, they sent me a letter. Most of it was okay (the cable was prolonged, the internet agreement wasn't). Only, all of a sudden they thought I was living at an address I moved a way from almost 2 years ago. So I called them and corrected this.

A few days later, they sent me a letter again. Now I didn't only live at the old address, I received my cable signal there too. Called them slightly irritated, corrected it.

A few days later, they sent me yet another a letter. Now the signal address was okay again, the address where I was going to receive their invoices was still wrong and my internet agreement was suddenly prolonged. Thanks. Called them, fairly pissed off and tried to correct this. The dude on the other end told me I had to choose another phone menu option while calling them, wait another 10 minutes, listening to Celine Dion and talk to someone else. Even though *he* was at the menu option 'problems with invoices'. After all: since the invoice address was wrong, I figured it to be an invoice problem. I had to call .subscription terminations. instead.

Funny thing was that though I waited longer when I called 'invoice problems' the 'terminations' phone menu option directly said 'you'll have to wait more than 5 minutes, please call again at some other time'. Isn't it weird how they tell you that when you want to terminate you subscription, but not when you are trying to set your address straight?

So I finally I got the 'subscription terminations' woman at the other end of the line. I think she was actually not annoying and they really tried to be helpful. There's a first. Still, I daren't hope: when I receive yet another letter from Casema, this time with the correct address and subscription details, then it'll be soon enough to be happy about all this. Not a second earlier.

When our cable company was still owned by the city, this stuff really never happened. I have or have heard of similar experiences with Planet Internet, Nuon and a whole bunch of other previously state-owned companies. Really, globalization, multinationals, privatization all that didn't bring anything good for the man in the street, only for wealthy shareholders.

My €0.02.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Phew, hard times

It's hard being a geek. Here we are inside, stuck behind our desks and keyboards, while outside the sun is melting the tarmac. Even your humblest, menial server sits in an air-conditioned room, where temperatures are a lot more pleasant then behind my desk. In the sun.

But let's cut the crap. Of course I was raging with anger (well, disappointment really) when I head today Tom Hanrahan is joining Microsoft. Hanrahan is a former employee of OSDL and the Linux Foundation. I haven't lost all hope, since precedents exists where prominent members of the FLOSS community join Microsoft, only to leave after a really short stay there. I'll just briefly mention the name of Daniel Robbins here in that context.

I am very anxious to here Hanrahan explain what he hopes to achieve in Redmond and what goals he is setting for himself during his employment. I wish him well and I hope he will be able to create a more understanding MS instead of strengthening the Moloch a lot of us have all come to despise. I really hope he'll bring insight to the people at Microsoft, but I really, really, really doubt he'll be able to.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another blog change

I'm not a very good blogger, it seems. I've changed this page about 6 times in the past year, I've swapped blogging engines in about the same rate, but the amount of posts here is well below that par.

I'm trying to up the ante a bit the next few months. I'm moving to a new house (again) and moving to a new job (again, though this time it's at the same company). Besides that, I'm going to the US on holiday this year. I should have enough to write about for a while, but then again, you never quite know...

On a sidenote, I hope I bump into an old mysql backup somewhere, because I used to have at least a couple of dozen posts here. I fscked them up when I migrated to a beta version of Typo, I think. My own fault though. I'm happy Typo4 is finally done. Typo is such a bliss to work with, compared to a lot of the other engines.

I'm going to set up a svn for my new Rails project now (it's still a rewrite of my old php project bbps called Lapis, but now it's a rewrite of the rewrite ;-) ). I think it's safe to say bbps is dead. Personally, I think the competition of and such websites killed it. That and the fact that it needed an Apache install, mod_php install and a mysql install. Too much of a hassle for a relatively small program. Lapis will do that differently. Lapis will be able to run with an Apache server, mod_ruby and mysql, but because it's rails, you can also run it locally with mongrel or webbrick and sqlite. Fast enough, low memory footprint and not as much of a hassle to install.