FrameMaker 5.5!I used to be a FrameMaker expert. My first job after finishing university was all about FrameMaker. I learned a lot in that job and even trained other people to use FrameMaker. Sadly it was only for a short while, a couple of years later my career grew in a different direction. Still, I am still reminded of my FrameMaker time whenever I have to make a document that’s bigger than one single page. FrameMaker used styles, page templates, and frames through which the text flowed. It worked! It simply worked, and it always worked, flawlessly. Even with huge documents of 1000 pages or more the software just worked, without any problems.

FrameMaker was bought by Adobe and at the moment that was no problem, in fact, people hoped for an impuls where FrameMaker could be much bigger as part of the adobe suite. The impulse never happened and the product development was moved to India. Suddenly it became a product for which you needed a subscription. Pay each year. A terrible progression, but for me it was not an interesting tool anyway. For a couple of documents I could never justify a price-tag of around 400 EURs (not sure about the price though). Now with the subscription approach I cannot even find the price, so that does not bode well.

I was working on a new book project, and once again I ran into the usual problems. Word just does not work. OpenOffice and LibreOffice don’t work. Working online with google Docs is even worse. They all work, but just not good enough. Maybe I am spoiled, but I want to see what is going on. See picture anchors, see the frames where the text will flow. I want to know which styles are available. I want to tweak the master pages. Maybe it is possible, but to achieve these simple things you need to figure out almost the core of each program, and it never works intuitively. In the end small tweaks costs lots of time, and big tweaks… better forget those.

There is still hope for me! I found a new tool, which makes me think about the old FrameMaker. Affinity Publisher which only costs around 50 euros! A bargain it if really works. I will give it a try.


“It was a nice couple of days.”

Naturalis!I have learned a lot the last couple of years. About nature, history, biology, science, and also about my business, IT, apps and projects. Still it is time to move on, and to broaden my horizon. I’ll be looking for something new, hopefully a bit closer home, in Spain, but I’m flexible and I have no problem working across the border.

First I’ll take it easy for a while, and I’ll see how everything goes with our new treasure, and than again giving it 100%.


Agile!It was unexpected but during our Agile training we played some poker and then started on building with Lego. It was the practical part after a day of theory. The result was pretty nice.


Bugfinder!What can you do when you find a little critter near your home and suddenly you get curious about what you found? Sometimes it can be very nice to investigate a little more and find out a little more about the bug you found. Lots of little animals have very positive properties and most of them would never hurt a human. Some of them are beautiful, and some have a important role then you might realize.

At Naturalis I contributed to the creation of the Bugfinder app (Dierenzoeker, for now only in Dutch). This fun free app is made for Android and iPhone. You can use the app to find out what bug you found and read all about it. The app is easy to use, made specifically for children from 7 to 11 years, but also very nice for all adults.

Ladybug!If you always wanted to find out what the strange yellow ladybug you sometimes find in the garden really is? After a little searching you will find out all about the little bug, including the fun fact that the little animal ‘plants’ his own crops.

With 300 little bugs and critters for sure you will be able to name a lot of the animals you find around your home.

In the news, thanks to Angelina Jolie

Ana in the news!
Who would have thought it possible that Ana would be the main news in the local papers thanks to Angelina Jolie. Ana does research and screening for generic markers related to breast cancer. A topic that recently became world news thanks to Angelina. The current awareness resulted in interviews, newspaper articles and publications.

Of course it makes me feel very proud of my Ana!

Back to Leiden

The situation in Spain is very difficult at the moment. There is a very high unemployment rate and if your lucky, and have a job, there is a lot of uncertainty. After years of employment people suddenly get contracts that last only a month. If you are sick at the end of the month you are automatically without a job.

After quite some debate we have made a decision to do whats best and try to create more stability for our family. We wanted the security of two incomes in these strange times of crisis. After months of searching for a job here in Gran Canaria I took a gamble in the Netherlands. This turned out to be a lucky shot and one week after sending my CV and a phone call I got myself a nice contract for half a year. A contract worth more that three times a similar job here in Spain.

Of course it was a very difficult decision. My family will remain (for now) in Las Palmas and we will have to see how we fill in our future together. I’m going back home to Leiden and start there the 1st of April. The positive feeling of returning to my roots, my family and my friends is however overshadowed by the nearing goodbye of Alex and Ana. Even though I know the goodbye is only for a while and there are lots of ways to keep in touch, it is still painful to think I will not be there for Alex in the middle of the night when he wants his milk.

It is a big change for us, but we are confident it is the best thing we can do for our future. I’m heading back to Leiden (first to Noordwijkerhout) and then we will see where the future leads us. See you very soon!

3d presentation

Cruz Roja!The Spanish red cross asked me to create a virtual tour through their offices. They would use this tour to add something visual when explaining the activities of the red cross and to add an impression of how the offices are set up and to make clear what is the scale of the activities and the size of the offices and storage that the red cross has available.

Enjoying a nice cup of coffee they explained in detail how the center was run and that this specific office is one of the four most important distribution centers worldwide.

Ik heb mijn mede vrijwillers uitgelegd dat ik nog nooit een dergelijke 3d presentatie gemaakt heb, maar dat ik het best wil proberen. Net als de flash applicatie die ik in het verleden gemaakt heb is het een leuke methode om weer iets wijzer te worden.

Voor de 3d presentatie heb ik twee gratis software pakketen en een website gevonden die ik ga onderzoeken.

  • SketchUp, niet moeilijk, je kan vlot een huis neerzetten, maar het aankleden ervan lijkt erg veel werk te zijn. Verder is het niet zo moeilijk om in 3d door het huis te bewegen. Iets verder onderzoeken maar.
  • Blender, erg ingewikkeld, hier begin ik niet aan.
  • Floorplanner, niet echt 3d, en je kan niet door je gebouw ‘bewegen’, maar het ziet er leuk en overzichterlijk uit.
  • Als iemand nog tips heeft verneem ik die graag! Binnenkort het resultaat.

    Hoeveel kost het redden van een leven?

    Cruz Roja!
    Het heeft even geduurd, vrijwilligers werken niet zo snel (maar wel gratis), maar uiteindelijk is mijn rode kruis flash spelletje toch af en binnenkort terug te vinden op de spaanse rode kruis site. Op mijn site kan je alvast een sneak preview bekijken.

    Oh ja, een antwoord op de vraag hoeveel het kost om een leven te redden zal je niet vinden. Het spelletje is bedoeld als een leuke manier om mensen tot nadenken te zetten over de vraagstukken waar het Rode Kruis mee te maken krijgt.


    Tsja, je moet toch wat. Ter leering ende vermaak heb ik voor het rode kruis alhier in Spanje een flashje in elkaar gedraait. Het idee is dat je een aantal vragen over het rode kruis beantwoord, om zo een beter idee te krijgen van wat ze zoal doen, met als gevolg dat mensen wellicht meer geneigd zijn om ten tijde van deze crisis toch nog wat te doneren aan de mensen die het nog slechter hebben.

    Hier de eerste aanzet: