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Holux M-1000 and my Nokia E65 phone now play nice

Back in December, I bought myself a little present in the form of a GPS receiver.
I wanted to get it as it could work well with my then spanking new Nokia E65 phone.

After scouring the GPS websites, of which there hundreds, I eventfully decided on getting the Holux M-1000. This little gem was an absolute killer: more accurate, longer battery life and a smaller form factor than anything else available in regular Dutch high street shops.

So I got me one those little monsters from my local MediaMarkt and tried to get it to work. Sadly, the results were abysmal and most of the time I couldn’t even get a signal. Or so my phone said.

Well today I took the time do a thorough scanning of the internet. It turns out that both apps I used (Nokia Maps, Google Maps for Mobile) rely on the underlying Symbian 6 3rd Edition to connect with GPS devices. For some reason, Nokia’s version of Symbian seems to screw around with the Bluetooth connection and fails to maintain it.

To my relief there seems to be a reliable work-around for this. The work-around involves removing the Holux M-1000 registration in the paired devices list within the phone. You need to do this every time before you start a GPS-enabled application. It’s irritating to have to do, but so rewarding when you see the thing connect with 12(!) satellites within 2 seconds flat.

Now my GPS receiver works like a charm and I’m going to have a great time playing around with it. Yahoo!

Thanks to the great comments from dayoka on the Nokia forum.

Second Life woos corporations – too little, too late?

Just recently in the news, Linden Labs (the creators of Second Life) and IBM have announced that they will allow corporations to run isolated portions of the Second Life universe on their own administrated servers to cater their business needs.

I used to work at a company that was exploring the business uses of Second Life. Sad to say the subject has been so dead over here in Europe that this all seems a lot like something that should have been ready during the hype 2 years ago.

Not to mention, this whole setup sounds all to familiar to the way in which ActiveWorlds works; and a lot of good it did that.
For years, Linden Labs has argued that its sole hosting of the Second Life universe was a unique selling point, something that made it more secure, more reliable than its competitors.

Sorry Linden Labs, you really have lost me.
I’m ready to jump aboard the OpenSim, Croquet and Multiverse projects!

See: NY Times Article “Second Life: Tamed for Corporate Consumption”.

Stephen Colbert Still Has A Wish

It’s been almost a month now and yet poor Stephen Colbert has still not seen his life long wish fulfilled: to have a presidential hotdog lunch.

He has gone to great lengths to make his heartfelt plea to president George W. Bush (as seen on the 2008-03-06 episode of the Colbert Report):

In his desperation poor Stephen has been repeating his plea to the president for every show!

Yet to no avail.
Please mister president heed Stephen’s call; make him the happiest man in the world!

President Bush, Have a Hotdog Lunch with Stephen Colbert!


India days 3 and 4

The first day at Shimla was fine. The weather was fair but because it was so icy I had to make the 30 minute walk. Wow was that a shock to the system at 2100 meters up! Panting and heaving I made the walk in one piece.

I was glad to chat with Esem, a colleaugue from Amsterdam. He give me the first intro in how things work around here. Walking all the way round the other side of the hill we made it to the training centre.

After a quick introduction to the premises I was introduced to my teacher. Deepak is a quiet and concise guy and is explanations are spot on and very clear. I have a feeling he’ll get the best out of me yet.

The work was hard and the day long: there was a lot to cram into my my poor little brain.

To blow off some steam I met up with the other students to go out todinner. Thank goodness my first night out was at a western stylerestaurant. After a relatively fair meal we went to the hotel bar whereI got to know the guys a bit better. I especially liked talking toJason and Mike, two English guys also here for certifications.

With a nice glow in my face and a filled belly I gladly landed in my queen-size bed.

Day 4

Today was a little easier on the brain with subjects such as assemblies and setup features in .NET 2.0. Apart from that I helped him get rid of some nasty viruses on his laptop. He was really surprised how much I knew and I think he now respects me more than he already did.

It’s almost dinner time here, so I’ve got to wrap up. I’ll try and get the photo’s up later tonight.

One last thing: let it be known that my good ol’ bro (Sjoerd) turned 27 today. Hurray! Congrats dude, hope you had a great day.

My Trip To India – part one

As many of my friends and family know, I’ve gone to India to catch up on my Microsoft certifications.

Now, comfortably settled into my hotel in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, I’m ready to get my learn on.

It’s been an interesting trip to say the least.

Food poisoned by the in-flight meal (thanks to a flight attendants’ quick thinking I killed the nasty bugs with a few glasses of non-bubbly coca cola to kill the germs). I then arrived at to 2 am in the morning only to be driven to a shady rundown “service apartment” in a very slummy area of New Delhi. After waking up everybody from my phone list I managed to get a ride to my actual hotel and settled in at 4 a.m. sheesh.

Although I had a scheduled tour of Delhi at 9:30 I kindly asked the concierge to pick me up at 12 so I could get myself some shut eye.

Nice and refreshed the next day I was taken for a tour of Delhi. The guide quickly rushed me through some of the sites, some of which I only saw from the outside because he dismissed them as not being very interesting. In actual fact he was just peeved that I didn’t want to dole my cash around at the obligatory luxury art & crafts store “Saga” where both he and the salesmen there were very pushy. Sorry I’m not very interested in a 900 euro rug thank you very much. Anyway, I did get to see the following:

Sad to say I only got to really visit the first three, my guide got fed up with me and told me that the others weren’t open to visitors. Naturally I tipped him badly, suits him right for begging all the time. In contrast my ever quiet and conscientious driver was tipped quiet handsomely. ;P

After an early turn in I woke to the sound of my alarm at 4 a.m. time to get ready for the train trip to Shimla. The taxi ride to the station was a breeze and the Koenig rep was very kind and very helpful, even offering to carry my 20 kilogram (!) suitcase up the stairs for me.

As for the train ride itself, it was more or less straight forward. The trip from Delhi tot Kalka was in a standard AC coach, but because of the reservation requirement no unsavoury types made it into the carriage. The two armed railway police travelling in the same car kind of made sure of that.

At 11:10 I arrived in Kalka where I boarded the real Himalayan Queen Express: a tiny small gauge train with 4 cars: 2 “general class” (wooden, no windows) and 2 “first class” (somewhat isolated polymer and glass windows). Thank god for those windows because as we rose up the mountain the coal burning locomotive couldn’t heat up the air enough. Cough.

The ride up the mountain was spectacular. With the plains stretching out as far as I could see, with deep ravines and eventually picturesque snowy white scenes it was a ride I’ll never forget. It was well worth the 5 hour ride!

Arriving in the hustle and bustle of Shimla station I pushed my way through the very aggressive porters and found my driver who took me up to my hotel. It turned out that I had brought the snow with me: it hadn’t snowed in Shimla for a while, directly attributed to global warming.

After grabbing a rewarding good ol’ Domino’s pizza (Indian style, mind you) I turned in for my first day at “school”.

More on my first day soon….

More Transformers: Big Fucking Guns!

Yesterday I went to town with WoollyMittens.

He bought himself a big-ass new LCD monitor, an Apple 23" inch screen.
It was truely gorgeous: not just the styling (which is often damn sexy at Apple) but the picture was amazingly bright and full of colour.

Since we were in The Hague anyway we also went to see a few stores where they sold Transformers.

I ended up buying two new ones:

Binaltech Overdrive and 2007 Movie Deluxe Ironhide.

Binaltech Overdrive and Movie Deluxe Ironhide

Both are somewhat unusual as they both have huge guns.

Overdrive has a huge cannon which folds into the engine cover, raditor and drive shaft for the car mode.

Overdrive's huge cannon

Irondhide, on the other hand has a large energy canon and an even larger rocket launcher: serious armaments!

Ironhide's Big Fucking Guns!

By now i have to admit I’m addicted to collecting this stuff, but when this stuff is so good; how can i resist? ;P

Transformers Collection Update

Today I received my very own Masterpiece Megatron.

As proud owner of this exclusive toy marvel I’d like to share some pictures with you:

Masterpiece Megatron in Robot Mode

Here is the Masterpiece Megatron in all his robot glory

And here he is as the iconic Walther p38.

Masterpiece Megatron as a Walther P38

With this latest addition to my Transformers collection I now own the following:

  1. Optimus Prime (Masterpiece MP-04 edtion)
  2. Grimlock (Binaltech edition)
  3. Meister (Alternators edition)
  4. Optimus Prime (Alternators edition)
  5. Rollbar (Alternators edition)
  6. Ricochet (Alternators edition)
  7. Skids (Alternators edition)
  8. Tracks (Alternators edition)
  9. Dead End (Binaltech edition)
  10. Starscream (Masterpiece edition)
  11. Rumble (Alternators edition)
  12. Megatron (Masterpiece edition)

I had great fun transforming Megatron: it was probably one of the hardest in my collection.

The legs fold back 3 times, the arms need to be snapped really tightly to fit properly and getting the stock snapped onto the barrel can be real tricky.

Nonetheless, I had great fun with this figure and it really deserves its place in my display cabinet.

Props to Takara for an excellent piece of technology!