Archive for September, 2008


Friday, September 19th, 2008
pirate flag

Here I am, sitting at my desk, minding my own business (and that of my clients), when totally out of the blue, John sends an IM saying “Arrrrr, lass, bring me my boots!”. Huh? John usually talks Dutch with me, and also I’ve never had him tell me to bring him his boots (and I’d advise him not to start either! ;-)). So, I sit there staring at the screen, my brain running full speed trying to figure out what in the world he could mean by that. I think it took about 10 whole seconds, before I realised:

It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day today!

Lucky for me, I’m not a guy, so I can talk without going ‘AAAARRRRR’ all the time 🙂

Google Maps Street View on Symbian

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

The news today: Google Maps has a new feature for the mobile phone. Street View.

Google Maps Street View on Nokia N73

Keen to see for myself, I followed the link to, which redirects to The instruction there is very easy: just visit with your phone. (or enter your phone number, but that only works if you’re in the US, so no go for me European person living in Europe)

I visited the link with my Nokia N73, downloaded a newer version of Google Maps than I already had, installed it, opened it, and… nothing. No Street View. Did I miss something in the instructions?

Looking at the info page again, I notice the small print below the title: “Personalize this site by choosing a phone”. It’s a link that leads to a page with 9 different models of phones to choose from, each showing a description on the right when hovering over it with the mouse. Nokia S60 phone seems to be the one for me, as it says it includes all N and E series, as well as other Symbian S60 Nokias. However, when I click that phone to see features Google Maps offers for my phone, the page all of a sudden does not show Street View anymore!

I’m okay with the fact that the iPhone can’t have it yet (iPhone is a special case of course, plus I don’t have one, so why bother ;-)), but.. a Symbian S60 should certainly be able to, right?

So, what about that other Nokia phone? It’s the standard Nokia phone. The description says this is for phones that run on S40, or legacy Symbian S60 sytem. It specifically says, that these phones are not part of the N series. But if I click that phone, Street View becomes an option. Hang on – can this be right? Do I need an older version of Symbian to be able to see Street View? It certainly seems to be so.

Despite Google saying you need a Java enabled phone (which mine is), if they can’t detect that when I visit the proper download page, there’s not much I can do. That is, until I read Sarah Perez’ post on ReadWriteWeb about the new Mobile Street View. She included a direct download link to the Java file. I downloaded that file, installed it on my phone, and voila – Street View on Symbian S60 🙂

Update February 2009

In the mean time a true Symbian S60 version of Google Maps came out, with both Street View and Latitude. Just go to where you can can choose your country and get the correct link sent to your phone.

Windows Live Messenger

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

When logging into MSN with Windows Live Messenger, the contact list shows an advertisement at the bottom. Normally I don’t really pay attention to it, but just now I thought it was quite funny:

Download Windows Live Messenger


Sunday, September 7th, 2008

It’s 7 September today. Our annual Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) feast, will be on 5 December. Last time I looked at a calendar, that’s still 3 months away.

Apparently that’s the start signal for selling Sinterklaas related sweets and biscuits, as I bought this bag of ‘kruidnoten’, a typical Sinterklaas treat, at the Albert Heijn supermarket yesterday already:

kruidnoten, a typical Dutch Sinterklaas treat

Out of curiosity, for all of you who aren’t living in Holland and aren’t celebrating Sinterklaas at all; are your shops starting on the Christmas stuff yet?

Trip to Blijdorp Zoo

Friday, September 5th, 2008

picture of Bokito the gorilla, receiving a snowball against his head

The image above is of a Ritteri anemone (Heteractis magnifica), apparently the one Nemo likes to hang out in. Nemo is a clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) of course, and the reason it doesn’t die from the anemone’s sting, is that its body is covered in a mucus that protects it against the toxin. This makes the anemone a safe place for little Nemo (and his dad!), and in return in eats algae and fish leftovers from the anemone, keeping it clean.

After an absence of eight years the polar bears are back in our zoo, and this is advertised with posters like the one on the left here, which shows the infamous gorilla Bokito, receiving a snowball against his head, with the subtitle “The polar bears are back in Blijdorp”. The same kind of posters have been made with a giraffe and an ostrich, but I like this one best.