A look back at my ‘creative' CV

In 2011 I decided to treat my CV in a different way. I was tired of the .pdf and the lack of options it gave me. That's why I created a keynote with a comic theme. Nowadays I'd want something with a more 'high-end' look and feel, but I'm still happy with the result. 

Quick Google Authenticator tip

Do you use two factor authentication on your Google account? No? You should! 

I have a simple tip. If you use multiple iOS devices, you can install the authenticator on all of them. Have them all with you when you set up, and you'll have a second device to give you your code when the first one is lost/out for repair like my iPhone was.

Just scan the barcode with both devices before you fill in the confirmation field.

Keep your door open by having a drink

This is a really simple Lifehack. A few weeks ago we got a little pirate on loan. His name is Joey. We're used to keeping all doors closed, and now we have to give the little cat a route to his private toilet. We were afraid we would inadvertently close the door on the cat when nature calls. However, we don't have one of those gadgets for keeping the door open.

After a minute I came up with an idea: let's put a cork in the doorframe. It's invisible, always there and free. And we already have a few in the house. If you want to customize the open 'angle' of your door, you can cut the cork. If you're not satisfied with the result, have another bottle of wine...

Have you got any tricks with wine bottles or corks? Tell me in the comments!

Talkin' bout a resolution

It seems like the whole internet is talking about an iPhone with a bigger screen. John Gruber and Marco Arment said there would be two possibilities. Bigger pixels or more pixels. Bigger pixels would indicate the same amount of content, just bigger. That would not seem like a worthwhile endeavor to me. So here I'll analyze the more content on screen possibility.

More content = more icons

There is one place in the system where there are clear dimensions. This is the organization of the home screen. It is a grid of six by four icons. They are each 120 x 120 pixels with 32 pixels in between and on the outside of the grid. This gets us a 640 x 1136 screen. Adding an extra row and line of icons adds 120 +32 = 152 pixels in both directions. This will get us 792 x 1288 screen.

Pixels to size

An iPhone 5s compared to a version with a 792 x 1288 screen. Visualised by Ys-Brand.

If (big if) the pixel size stays the same (326 ppi) that means the screen will be 2,43" x 3,95" and give us a diagonal of 4,64" and a ratio of 1:1,63. I've asked my brother Ysbrand to mock me up an iPhone with the bigger screen. On the left is an original iPhone 5s, and on the right you see a version with the bigger screen (click for a bigger picture).

The phone on the right looks big but manageable to me. I would not be surprised if this turns out to be the solution that Apple uses, but something totally different wouldn't surprise me either. What do you think?

The (very) Long Tail of my father

Photo posted by Virgin Radio Lebanon

No, he wasn't a monkey, but it's great to see that his contribution to nature in the Netherlands still manages to turn heads. A few days ago one of my best friends commented my name on a Facebook post by Virgin Radio Lebanon. The post was about an ecoduct, a wildlife crossing over the motorway. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the post had more than 50.000 likes. Of course I had to do the trifecta (like, comment & share) myself.

My father was one of the people who championed the building of these 'wildviaducten' in The Netherlands. After he died in 1991 I thought his contribution to Dutch ecology policy could never be as great as I had thought. When the ecoduct crossing the A1 near Kootwijk was named after him I realised that his contributions were maybe even more impressive than I had thought. You can probably guess that I'm still very proud of him. Next time you drive under the ecoduct below, maybe you'll think of him as well... :-)

The 'Harm E. van de Veen Ecoduct'

Personal music history - Dedicated to convergence to streaming

My first technology memory is winning a walkman for a poem I wrote about a carillon that was to be installed in my hometown. I was very interested in the walkman! During my high school years I was known as the kid with the earplugs because I would always be listening to my MiniDisc player.

I think I've worn out four portables and I didn't sell my deck and discs (300) until last year. I still love the system for its elegance, sound quality, durability, portability (for the day) and battery life (ditto). Then one day I got myself a new phone, the Sony Ericsson W550i. It's still the loudest phone I've ever owned and had a very reasonable way of filling its 256 MBs of flash. After that, the MiniDisc player didn't leave the home anymore. Time to put the CDs that I had copied to MDs into the computer.

To read more about my computer story read my blogpost about my personal computer history. My music habits kept changing though. I went from folders to iTunes and after two more featurephones from Sony Ericsson (W850i and W950i) I decided to write my bachelor thesis on the iPhone. This is the first time I would say a convergence device is better at music than a dedicated music device. The Sony Ericssons were more convenient, but their interfaces were clunky compared to an iPod and exchangeable media were still valid as competition for the small internal storage. My iPhone 3G changed all that. Enough space, easier selection, better search and easier management made it a winner for me compared to any dedicated player.

The last big change was from owning to renting my music. I've collected CDs for about 20 years. The first one was by The Beatles, and I have no idea which CD I bought last without it being more about supporting the artist than the music on the disc. You can follow me on last.fm if you want to know what I am listening to at the moment.

From a young age, music has been a big part of my life. That is just about the only thing that has never changed. What's your music history?

iMediacy - The iPhone Revolution

During the last months of 2008 it was time to finish my Bachelors in Communication and Information Sciences with a 5000 word thesis. I decided to focus my attention on the iPhone. The situation was quite different from the current one. The 3G was the current model and the App Store had launched just a few months earlier. I wanted to explore how a product like the iPhone could have such an impact after being on the market for only a short time. My suspicion was that this would have to do with the interface, which is why I focused on the theories of Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin about remediation, hypermediacy and (transparent) immediacy. Hypermediacy and (transparent) immediacy are usually at odds with each other. Making a product that could have qualities of both could make for a great user experience? was this the secret of the iPhone? My research question was this:

Is the iPhone interface capable of decreasing the tension between immediacy and hypermediacy as defined by Bolter and Grusin?

If you would like an answer to this question, please read my thesis. It won't take very long and I've tried to write in an approachable way. Comments are always welcome!

Download iMediacy - De iPhone Revolutie