Martin @ Blog

software development and life.


Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Some smart student from the UK who needs money to buy study books and other stuff, created a website which is divided in blocks of 10×10 pixels. People and companies can buy pixels on the site and use these pixels to publish a message or an advertisement. Each pixel costs one dollar and the minimum amount of pixels you have to buy are 100 (one block of 10×10). He already has collected 8,000 dollar with this site, which is not bad I think. The site will be online for at least five year.

Sun rejected ads

Sun has published some rejected advertisements for their new server line. Now that they have an agreement with Microsoft and thus cannot bash this company anymore, they seem to have choosen another easy target. Dell is this new opponent. Ads with the headlines ‘ 100% more bitchin’ than Dell’ and ‘Benchmark studies prove that Dell sucks’ are a little bit to harsh. But to make sure Dell gets the message, the company decided to publish the ads nevertheless.
Dell sucks More Bitchin\'

Office 12 user interface

Microsoft has revealed some screenshots of the new version of Microsoft Office. It is a tradition at MS that every Office version has a new interface, which is preferrably different from all current Windows applications which are available. The result of this is that there has never been an Office version which follows Microsoft own rules on user interface design for a specific Windows version.
But in my opinion they took the interface this time a step further. Especially when you look at the screenshot of Word (here and here). I can impossible imagine that a non-techical user easily find its way in this userinterface. The topbar (which is a mixture of a toolbar and a menu) is very cluttered. The concept of a toolbar is lost, because there are large chunks of text. The buttons are of different sizes and there are far to many buttons. The menu is also not very clear. To make it ‘easier’ they decided to change the whole concept of menus. All menu items which we currently know (file, edit, view, tool) are dissapeared and replaced with not very obvious ones. It looks to me that the menu itmes are very specific for a text editor, and therefore it is impossible to create a uniform feel across the operating system, because every application has a totally different menubar.
In my opinion the best userinterface for every application is the one which has as few buttons as possible. Apple Pages is a step in the right directoin (although not perfect), Abiword is (certainly for an open source applications) also doing a good job, but Microsoft seems to totally lost its way. It is a lot more logical to use preformatted items, such as default headers, instead of allowing the user to change every letter to a different font and size. Word is promoting this last option, and it seems that it is not very likely that this will change in the new version.
As a final note, I also like to mention the ‘looks’ of the new interface. To me it looks like a playmobil user interface. It does not look professional, mainly because of the strange blue/purple color of the interface and the looks of the icons. Of course this is personal. It seems I’m not the only one who thinks the user interface of Office 12 isn’t perfect when you look at the comments on the story about it on (Dutch).

I am still alive

Last month I almost wrote nothing. The reason for that is because I had not much to write about. The last few weeks of august I did two exams, which were hopefully the last ones ever. But unfortunately, at least one (Ontwerp van Algoritmen 3) I didn’t pass, so I have to do that one again next year.
I have to finish only two courses before I can start my graduation task. I already have a graduation task, which has to do with search algorithms and personalisation of the search results. I think it is a very interesting subject, because the accessability of information is a growing problem, and the goal is to make it easier for people to find information they need and to filter unrelevant information. The ‘new’ part of my graduation is to automatically decide if a document is relevant for the person who is looking for information.
Hopefully I will start at the end of this month with my graduation and I will write a lot about it on my weblog.

My girlfriend got his propaedeutics in one year (which only 46 percent manages at her study). So I gave her an iPod mini rose (which is not available at, because it is replaced with the iPod nano). I have bought a new Palm organizer for myself. I’ve choosen the Tungsten E2 with a 1GB SD-card. Unfortunately the shop were I bought it forgot to include the 1GB card in the package, while I already have payed for it. They told me they will send the card this week.

I also bought a new cd of the not-so-famous artist (at least I didn’t now it) Röyksopp. The cd is called ‘Melody A.M’ and the music genre is a mixture between lounge, dance and new age. I can recommend it to everyone. I bought the cd because I heard the number ‘Eple’ on some website I visited. Other popular songs of this artist are ‘Poor Leno’ (this was the single of this cd I have read) and ‘Only this moment’ (That one is not on ‘Melody A.M.’ but on ‘The Understanding’. When I heard that number, I recognized it. I don’t know if it was a single.).

I think it is a good cd (no copy protection 😛 ) and the music is very relaxing. The music is ideal when you are working. Maybe I want the other cd’s of Röyksopp also.

What The Hack

Last week (yes, I’m late writing about it) I went to the hackers conference What The Hack, which was near Boxtel. What The Hack is the fifth event in a row of four-yearly hacker events. The first was Galactic Hacker Party in 1989 in Paradiso. Then it was followed by the first outside event, called Hacking At The End Of The Universe (HEU). HEU was followed by Hackers in Progress (HIP) in 1997. Then there was Hackers At Large 2001 and this year What The Hack.

It was very interesting and I’m glad I have visited it. I wrote several articles about What The Hack for (1, 2 (Dutch)). Pictures of What The Hack are here. Obviously there is a lot of information about What The Hack on the wiki of What The Hack.


From 15 July until 24 July I went to Italy with my girlfriend. We went with a bus from Peter Langhout to Rimini. It was a very relaxing holiday, were we enjoyed the beach and cocktails. While Rimini is near nice other places, we also visit these. So we went to San Marino, the smalles republic in the world, where boose and parfumes are very cheap, because there is no taxed to be payed for these products. We also went to Venice, by bus and boat. As most people probably know, this is a very nice place. At Venice, we did a tour by boat through the great canal, the most famous canal of Venice.

Obviously, I’ve took a lot of pictures there, but unofortunately they aren’t online yet. I will publish them soom, when I have some spare time. Currently, I don’t have much spare time, because I have to learn for re-exams which are at the end of August. When I’m not learning, I’m helping my dad, who is redecorating the first floor of their house. The sleepingroom op my parent is already done, and now they are painting the walls of the room where I sleep when I’m at my parents.


Coming Friday I am going on holiday with my girlfriend to Italy, more specific Rimini. We’re traveling by bus, because we didn’t have the money to go by plane. I think it will be fun. Last week I almost did nothing on a computer. I cleaned my room at my parents house and found a lot of things I didn’t even know I still had. Now I really don’t have these things anymore. Not working behind a computer was a very good thing. The last few weeks of this college year, I almost didn’t do anything, because I was just sitting behind that stupid thing browsing to non-intersting sites. Now I do more than ever. Today I even sorted photographs from our holiday two years ago to Spain.
Last week I also signed a new contract for half a year at my current employee where I work 12 hours a week. After the vacation I have to start studying again for coming exams, which I must pass in order to start on my final thesis this year. Also I’m probably going to do some stuff for the first years introduction at the university, at least I’m going to promote our badminton club. Until now, this holiday is one of the best in the past few years in my opinion.

Softwarepatent directive rejected

Finally the EU has come to senses! The EU parliament has voted in favor of a proposal to reject the directive with a majority of 648 votes. This is a victory for the anti-patent lobby, because to enable software patents, the procedure has to start again from the beginning, which means that it will take another very long time to come to a new proposal. According to the (Dutch) newssite WebWereld has the EU commisary Joaquin Almunia already stated that if the proposal will be rejected, there will be no new proposal.
Essentially this means that there will be no softwarepatents in Europe soon!

Busy day

Yesterday we went to the movie Batman Begins, which was very entertaining. Today we cleaned the entire house, and trashed everything which we will probably never need anymore. All in all the house is now very neat and I feel like I’m sitting in the Ikea showroom (most of our furniture is from Ikea).


While it was today rather cool but still comfortable outside, we decided to go shopping today. I needed some clothes, so I bought two pairs of short trousers and a linnen trousers. I also bought a pair of new Puma shoes.
For my recently bought camera I still needed a bag. At first we couldn’t find anything suitable (because most are too small). But then we got the advice to go to a shop called Camex, where they had several Lowepro bags. After trying several types, I decided to buy the LowePro Edit 110 in which my camera fits exactly and also the spare battery and other accessoires.

You are currently browsing the archives for the Uncategorized category.