Tides!High or low tide? I really don’t have a clue, and because it changes every couple of hours, and is influenced by the moon and even the sun (I think) it is very difficult for lots of people to know if it is low or high tide. Luckily there is an app for that. It has the fitting name ‘Tides‘ and it will show the current water level as well as the past and future levels. Great information to review before heading to the beach.

The app itself costs around two euros. Actually, the app is free, but removing the advertisements costs the mentioned two euros. This is one of the few app’s where I did not even think about it. Two euros for such a good and useful app is a bargain.

With low tide the kids directly know the drill. We will head to ‘la Laja’ and search/explore the tide pools. If it is high tide there are more options. The woods, a park or hiking a track.

Too good to go

Too good to go!Too good to throw out. Toogoodtogo is an app that makes an effort to reduce waste. When a product is still pretty good a company can decide to toss it in the trash, or sell it with a big discount (or give it away, but that sometimes conflicts with the business interests). I installed the app and we have tried it twice!

Chinese foodFirst experience (4.99)
There were some left-overs available at a local Chinese restaurant. This felt like quite a risk, because what are you going to get? The left-overs from the buffet? Still we took a gamble, and what we got was unexpected. Four containers with freshly made Chinese food. Nothing to good to go, just normal Chinese food, with the only exception that we could not chose the menu. What we got was pretty good. White rice, rice with chicken, noodles with chicken and croquet’s. All very tasty, but not something that was at risk of being thrown away.

Meat!Second experience (3.99)
The second time we rescued a package from the trash from a big supermarket. This time we got lots of meat. Bacon, bacon pieces, sausages, yogurt (8x), and three apples. All the meat was from a pig. The best-before dates were all on the current date. Not bad, the products all looked pretty good, and we received a big amount of food. I spend the evening frying the meat and even though I would normally avoid pig-meat out of personal preference it looks like the next couple of days I’ll be having pig for lunch.

It is really a gamble. You don’t know what you will get, and you don’t know what state it will be in. I don’t think we will use this app a lot more. The food you get is cheap, and it can be a lot of food, but it is still a gamble. It is unusual to get something you really need. In our case it is much easier to simply pay a little more and get exactly what we want/need. As a game/gamble/surprise it might be fun to get something with friends.

For the company it is an easy way to achieve something. In the case of the Chines restaurant I think they used as a new way to advertise. A random menu for a low price, to maybe get some new customers. In this case I think there is a high probability I would try this Chinese place again, just to see what I will get next time. In case of the supermarkt the app clearly achieved its goal. Avoid throwing away food that was perfectly fine.

Companies that can really benefit from this app are companies that deal with perishable foods. Fruit, vegetables, bread, meat, fish, etc. These shops can avoid throwing away things and get some new potential customers at the same time. For the customer there is the potential for cheap food, but with a risk in not knowing what you are going to get.

Windows 10 and Ubuntu

Win10 Ubuntu!There was a lot of controversy about the latest version of the Windows operating system by Microsoft. It has been available for over a year, and in the beginning an update from an older version was even free. I like Windows 10 and I feel it is easy to customize to your own needs. The controversy originated by how this new version was introduced very aggressively. The new version was basically force-fed to the users.

The reasons for forcing the new Windows on to the users are unclear. Maybe Microsoft acted on their best intentions. Away with lots of old versions. People who really would not notice the difference and who would get a safer system. But maybe Microsoft was more devious and just wanted people to use a new Windows to keep a closer eye on their users, and at the same time be able to send them more commercials and other unwanted services.

I was quite happy with the new Windows version. A happiness which was enhanced even more recently during a mayor (free) update. Windows now offers an optional Linux subsystem as a part of its core functionality. Linux (or more specifically Ubuntu) that used to be one of the big competitors of Windows, now works from within Windows where both operating systems seems to work happily together.

The big advantage is that it is now possible to run Linux software directly in Windows, and there is no more need to mess around with dual boot systems, or emulators, or even entire virtual systems. Now you can simply start a prompt and go.

Still this integration is very new. There are bound to be some mayor updates coming our way, but even so the current situation had made me very happy. A lot of tools I use for my work are now available by default without installing lots of additional software.

The brand-new Linux subsystem is not available by default. If you want it you need to follow the installation instructions provided by Microsoft, which as stated require that you have Windows 10 installed.


Dropbox!Meer en meer gebruiken we de computer alleen om een verbinding te leggen met het internet. Mail checken, bankzaken regelen, betalingen, bellen, videobellen, eventjes iets opzoeken, muziek beluisteren, films kijken, series downloaden, een boek lezen, een recept nakijken.

Wat nog ontbrak voor mij was een harde schijf die ik overal kan gebruiken. Ik stuurde wel eens bestanden naar mijn eigen email, zodat ik ze altijd bij de hand had, maar het kan toch gemakkelijker. Met Dropbox kan je gratis een harddiskje van 2GB maken, die je vanaf een willekeurige plek kan benaderen. Zelfs vanaf je smartphone!.

En extra leuk is dat je met allerlei zaken extra diskruimte kan verdienen. De tutorial doorlopen is goed voor 250MB extra. Zorgen dat iemand anders zich aanmeld via een referentie zorgt er ook voor dat de nieuwe persoon en ikzelf 250MB erbij krijgen. Erg goed bedacht.


Lope de Vega - Floorplanner!
In the end the floorplanner website did turn out to be very useful. I was able to quickly make a nice layout of our apartment. The measurements are all off, but the result looks very much like the setup we have at home.

Google Earth

Onvoorstelbaar! Dat Google Earth is zo’n extreem leuk programmaatje. Lekker inzoomen op bekende plekjes, en aanschouwen dat je met zo’n satelliet beeld inderdaad je huis kan zien staan. Alle adressen van bekenden opzoeken en dan kijken wat de gemiddelde afstand is, kijken naar de Niagara Falls, Las Vegas en alle andere plekjes waar ik reeds geweest ben.

Uiteraard gecheckt of de ESA in Noordwijk (mijn voorheen favoriete werkplek :-p) er goed op staat en het is gewoon allemaal mogelijk terwijl het er ook nog eens bijzonder goed uitziet.

Voortaan geen vakantie meer zonder eerst de buurt te bekijken via de satelliet. Kennis is macht, en met Google Earth wordt onze macht drastisch vergroot. Hoera!